A-17 Broadsword

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CF-131/A-17 Broadsword
Type fighter/bomber
Manufacturer Camelot Industries
Primary User Terran Confederation
Additional Users Union of Border Worlds


Introduction 2633
General Characteristics
Length 12 meters
Mass 14 tonnes
Crew 1 (pilot)
Cruise 150 kps
Maximum 320 kps
Mass driver cannon (3)
Dual-mount neutron gun turrets (3)
Default Missile Loadout
Missile mounts (3)

(Post-2648) torpedo mounts (2)

Tractor beam
Cloaking Device No
Jump Drive yes
Fore 13 cm equivalent
Aft 13 cm equivalent
Front 10 cm
Rear 10 cm
Right 8 cm
Left 8 cm
CF-131 Broadsword Target Identification circa 2654
Source Confederation Handbook

Work-in-progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.


Camelot Industry's CF-131 Broadsword is one of the Terran Confederation’s most successful spacecraft designs; Broadswords served on and off from 2633 to 2701 – across multiple wars and for several different factions. The bombers were originally designed during the Pilgrim War to support the Grand Fleet's invasion of the Pilgrim Alliance. Early CF-131 Broadswords served as massed missile platforms and strategic ship-to-planet bombers.

With the advent of the Kilrathi War and the development of the torpedo, Broadswords changed to fit the times. In 2648 all current model Broadswords were outfitted to carry two antimatter torpedoes. That number would eventually double, by 2664, and then double again, by 2701. Broadswords became the Confederation's heaviest anti-capitalship bomber for the middle portion of the war; Broadswords flying off the Tiger’s Claw, Concordia and elsewhere achieved great success in dangerous torpedo runs.

After the end of the Kilrathi War, the Confederation relegated Broadswords to reserve wings and boneyards.

Zachary Banfield's Guild maintained two squadrons of Broadswords which were used to attack the FRLS Mjollnir and destroy the FRLS Sindri. The Landreich themselves operated a number of Broadswords during the Kilrathi War, fielding them during the Battle of Hell Hole.

The Union of Border Worlds operated a number of Broadswords during their aborted war with the Terran Confederation. Admiral Tolwyn was, at one point, captured by a stripped patrol Broadsword as he attempted to flee the Peleus System.

But the Nephilim Invasion of 2681 reactivated Broadsword squadrons – and proved that they were incredibly effective against the new foe. Production of Broadswords resumed, with modernized variants like the Executor, Warpig and later Behemoth rolling off the assembly lines.

In the post-Nephilim War world, surplus Broadswords are a common sight on the volatile Terran-Kilrathi frontier.


Early Terran-Kilrathi War

CF-131A BroadswordWcmbroadswordprofile.jpg Broadsword (2648)Wcmbroadswordprofile.jpg Broadsword (2654)Wcatv-broadsword-cropped.jpg
Source: Confederation Handbook Confederation Handbook Academy TV
Class: Fighter/bomber Fighter/bomber Bomber
Length: 12m 12m
Mass: 14MT 14MT
Max Velocity: 320kps 320kps
Cruise Velocity: 150kps 150kps
Guns: Mass driver cannons (3) Mass driver cannons (3) Plasma guns (2)
Turret: Dual-mount neutron guns (3) Dual-mount neutron gun (3) Dual-mount particle cannon (1)
Dual-mount laser cannon (1)
Single-mount laser cannon (2)
Missile Hardpoints: Missile mounts (3) Missile mounts (3) Dart DF (?)
Spiculum IR (?)
Missile Hardpoints: Torpedoes (2) Torpedoes (2)
Tractor beam Yes Yes Yes
Armor Fore: 10.0cm 10.0cm
Aft: 10.0cm 10.0cm
Sides: 8.0cm 8.0cm
Shields Fore 13.0cm 13.0cm
Rear 13.0cm 13.0cm
Missile Decoys: None None None
Jump Capable: Yes Yes Yes
Life Support: 16 hours 16 hours
Crew: 4 (pilot and 3 gunners) 4 (pilot and 3 gunners) 2 (pilot, co-pilot)
Service Entry: 2633 2648

Late Terran-Kilrathi War

Class A-17D Broadsword (2664)WC2ManualBroadsword.JPG A-17 Broadsword (2667)WCAManualBroadsword.JPG A-17 Broadsword (2667)Wc2broadsword.jpg A-17 Broadsword (2669)P1broadsword.jpg A-17 Broadsword (2669)P1broadsword.jpg
Source: WC II Playguide Manual WC Academy manual Wing Commander 2/WC Academy Privateer Playguide Manual Wing Commander: Privateer
Class: Heavy bomber Heavy bomber Heavy bomber Fighter-bomber Fighter-bomber
Length: 36m 36m 36m Not Listed
Mass: 100MT 100MT 100MT Not listed
Max Velocity: 320kps 320kps 320kps 350kps 350kps
Cruise Velocity: 150kps 150kps 150kps Not listed
Acceleration: Poor Poor 1kps2 Poor 400kps2
Max Yaw 5deg/s 5deg/s 4deg/s Average 87deg/s
Pitch 5deg;/s 5deg/s 4deg/s 85deg/s
Row 5deg/s 5deg/s 4deg/s 95deg/s
Guns: Mass driver cannons (3) Mass driver cannons (3) Mass driver cannon (3) Mass driver cannon (3) Mass driver cannon (3)
Turret: Dual-mount neutron guns (3) Dual-mount neutron guns (3) Dual-mount neutron guns (3) Dual-mount laser cannon (1)
Dual-mount particle cannon (1)
Dual-mount particle cannons (2)
Missile Hardpoints: Friend or foes (3) Friend or foes (4) Friend or foes (4) Friend or foes (6) Friend or foes (6)
Missile Hardpoints: Torpedoes (4) Torpedoes (4) Torpedoes (4) Heat seekers (3) Heat seekers (3)
Tractor Beam Yes (aft) Yes (aft) Yes (aft) Not listed
Armor Fore: 15.0cm 15.0cm 40.0cm 25.0cm 25.0cm
Aft: 15.0cm 15.0cm 40.0cm 20.0cm 20.0cm
Sides: 13.0cm 13.0cm 35.0cm 17.5cm 17.5cm
Shields Fore: 18.0cm 18.0cm 50.0cm Not listed Level 5
Rear: 18.0cm 18.0cm 50.0cm Level 5
Shield Recharge Not listed Not listed 3cm/s Not listed
Missile Decoys: None Chaff pod (1) Chaff pod (1) None None
Jump Capable: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Crew: 4 (pilot, 3 gunners) 4 (pilot, 3 gunners) 4 (pilot, 3 gunners) Not listed

Terran-Nephilim War

Class Executioner (2701) Arenabroadswordexecutioner.jpg Warpig (2701) Arenabroadswordwarpig.jpg Behemoth (2701) Arenabroadswordbehemoth.jpg
Source: Star*Soldier Star*Soldier Star*Soldier
Class: Heavy bomber Heavy bomber Heavy bomber
Length: 36m 36m 41m
Mass: 100MT 110MT 150MT
Max Velocity: 300kps 275kps 225kps
Acceleration: 55kps2 55kps2 55kps2
Max Yaw: 65deg/s 55deg/s 70deg/s
Pitch: 65deg/s 55deg/s 70deg/s
Roll: 65deg/s 55deg/s 70deg/s
Shields: 410cm 410cm 410cm
Armor: 1000cm 1100cm 1350cm
Guns: Tachyon guns (2) Meson blasters (2) Tachyon guns (2)
Guns: Plasma guns (2) Neutron guns (2) Neutron guns (2)
Turrets: Deployable
Bomber turrets
Bomber turrets
Bomber turrets
Missiles: 2x5 heat seekers 1x4 torpedoes 2x4 Torpedoes
Missiles: 5x20 Dart DF 5x20 Dart DF 5x20 Dart DF
Jump Capable: Yes Yes Yes


Joan’s Ships of Known Space – 2654

  • CF-131 Broadsword
    • "The first Broadswords were deployed during the Pilgrim War to support Confed's invasion fleet. It still remains Confed's primary fighter /bomber. In 2648 all in- service Broadswords were upgraded to mount two antimatter torpedoes, but other than that change and minor upgrades to ship's systems, the Broadsword of today remains remarkably similar to those that flew with the Grand Fleet.
      • The Broadsword stacks an amazing amount of destructive potential into a compact package, but only at the expense of maneuverability. The Broadsword has virtually no evasive capacity it has to either destroy attackers outright or rely on escorts of lighter fighters. On the plus side, its three recessed turrets can provide a full 360 degrees of fire support, and be set for independent or synchronized targeting. There's also a defensive Al mode that will automatically fire the turrets at any enemy targets of opportunity.
      • Like all Confed fighters, the Broadsword mounts a Tempest targeting and navigational system, and its drive array is jump capable. The Broadsword is rated for up to 16 hours of life support. It can generate a retrieval tractor rated up to 150 tonnes. It is capable of ejecting the pilot in a standard survival pod."

Wing Commander Movie

Wing Commander: Academy TV

Wing Commander II Playguide

  • Weapons
    • "Depending upon which ship you’re flying, you may have blasters, chaff pods, missiles and/or torpedoes available to you. In larger ships, like the Broadsword and the Sabre, you can switch from the front viewscreen to turrets positioned at the sides and rear of the ship."
    • Torpedoes
      • "From this point onward, until you complete the lock, you must not maneuver your ship too quickly. There’s a little leeway, but you must fly mostly straight toward the target—any significant deviation will break the lock, forcing you to start all over again. (For this reason, only turret-equipped ships, the Sabre and Broadsword, carry torpedoes, even though any of the other fighters could theoretically handle the missiles."
    • Turrets
      • "the Broadsword and the Sabre, have multiple guns. In addition to the standard complement of front-firing weapons, the Sabre has a turret in the back, and the Broadsword has three turrets (one to the rear, one to the left and one to the right)."
    • Tractor Beam
      • "In addition to standard turret-mounted weapons, the turrets in the Broadsword and Sabre are equipped with a new device—a tractor beam."
  • Jumping Out
    • "A hyperspace jump is the quickest way to travel from one part of the universe to another. Of the ships you fly, only the Broadsword bomber is capable of making such a jump."

Joan’s Fighting Spacecraft – 2664.128 UPDATE

  • Confederation Fighters
    • A-17D Broadsword

TCSNA Handbook

  • Spacecraft of the Terran and Kilrathi Fleets
    • "The Broadsword was originally designed as an attack bomber for enemy capital ships, but it also serves as an adequate all-purpose fighter. Poor acceleration and maneuverability may force the Broadsword to take several hits from hostile fighters, but strong armor and shields and a wide array of weapons make it a formidable enemy. Keep in mind that the Broadsword is equipped with turrets on both sides and the rear of the ship and several missiles. If it manages to get close enough to a capital ship, it can successfully penetrate phase shields with its four torpedoes. A tractor beam allows this ship to perform retrieve-and-rescue missions in space."

Wing Commander II

Wing Commander II: De(Briefings)

Wing Commander II: Missions

Special Operations 1: Missions

Special Operations 2: Missions

The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong: The Kilrathi War's Greatest Ace (TCSN, Retired)

  • The New Tactics of Space Combat Operations
    • Watch the Rear Turret guns on Heavy Fighters
      • "Acceleration and maneuverability had become the weak links in the defensive capabilities of the Jalkehi and Grikath. Their acceleration ratings were average and bad respectively, so only our Broadswords had any trouble keeping up."
    • Using the Tractor Beam
      • "Confederation Sabres and Broadswords were equipped with a tractor beam that was used in rescuing pilots and retrieving other objects in space. The tractor beam could only be operated from the rear turret. The tractor beam was extremely powerful, but there were a couple of points that would ensure success."
      • "Since the rear turret was used for both the tractor beams and neutron guns, a switch (the G key) was used to toggle between the two functions. In the heat of a dogfight or rescue operation, it was easy to forget to change from the default "guns" setting. Nothing could be worse than putting yourself into position for a pickup, then blasting the object or individual away with your guns. Always be certain that you check the setting before engaging the tractor beam with the fire button."
      • "Tactical Command issued a recommendation for the use of the tractor beam. The safest method to retrieve an object was to fly past it, hit the backspace key to bring your engines to full stop. Then switch to the rear turret and begin the pickup sequence. If your engines were still running when you moved to the rear turret, they would automatically accelerate to maximum velocity and increase the time needed to tractor the object."
    • Torpedo Runs
      • "When phase shields first appeared on Kilrathi capital ships, Confederation pilots were stymied. It was impossible to break through the shields using our conventional missiles or guns. It didn't take long, however, for our research and development teams to design a weapon that would slice through the shields. The torpedo was the weapon, but it required specific procedures to ensure successful delivery."
      • "The effectiveness of torpedoes was affected by the range at which they were fired. The power of the torpedo blast increased as the range at which they were fired decreased. In addition, our torpedoes could be destroyed by flak cannons. When torpedoes were fired at longer ranges, it was more likely that Kilrathi gunners could destroy the weapon before it connected."
      • "Since it takes a long time for torpedoes to lock onto a target, Confederation engineers had determined that only ships with turret guns would have any chance at delivering the weapon. The turret guns were needed to engage Kilrathi fighter escorts that would attack during a launch procedure. Tactical Command had produced a procedure for our Broadsword and Sabre pilots that increased the odds of success:"
        • "1. Destroy enemy fighters before starting a torpedo run. It didn't guarantee that new fighters wouldn't appear later, but it gave us fewer enemies to worry about."
        • "2. At a range of 8000 to 10,000 meters, select the torpedo (W key) and lock the target (L key). This started the torpedo-lock sequence, which took about 20 seconds to complete. Staying at long range, either by stopping the engines or moving at slow speed, prevented your ship from taking heavy damage until the lock sequence was completed."
        • "3. When the torpedo-lock sequence (not target-lock) was completed, we increased speed and headed straight for the target. Our path couldn't waver, or we would lose the lock with our weapon."
        • "4. At a range of 2000 meters, we launched our torpedo."
      • "While the above procedure increased the odds of a successful torpedo strike, Kilrathi gunners were still able to knock a torpedo down about one-third of the time. Since only one torpedo could be launched per run, if a torpedo was destroyed, the procedure had to be started again from the beginning."
      • Author's Note
        • "In the Wing Commander II game, you operate the rear and side turret guns. If enemy fighters appear during a torpedo run, you must switch to one of the turrets and engage the enemy. You will be informed when the torpedo-lock sequence is completed."

Wing Commander: End Run

  • Chapter 1
    • "He cleared the energy field airlock and felt the slowing resistance of air on his wings. There was barely thirty meters of maneuver room inside the hangar and the deck was packed. To his port side was a squadron of F-54C Rapiers. On the starboard side was the squadron of strike fighter/bombers, F-57B Sabres, with the new upgrade of a copilot in a cramped backseat to handle the weapons launch while the pilot continued to fly. He still wasn't sure if he liked this hybrid design, created specifically for the CVE class, when it was realized that there simply wasn't enough hangar space for the battle-tested Broadswords. A pilot and flight officer crammed into a space originally designed for one was going to be a tight fit. He wondered if the design boys had thought this one out all the way. That was something that always bothered him—an instrument located in the wrong place might mean that a valuable bit of information was overlooked—or while wasting a second to take a look you don't see the shot coming straight into your face."
  • Chapter 6
    • "The deck was crowded beyond anything he had ever imagined possible. Each of the landing craft was damned near the size of a Broadsword, capable of carrying up to a hundred men, two M-77 light ground assault vehicles, an array of medium caliber weapons, with a full battery of ground bombardment missiles slung to the undercarriage. That alone gave him the creeps. Ten landing craft, each loaded down with enough missiles to rip the Tarawa apart a dozen times over, were sitting fully exposed on deck. Except for the hot-loaded planes, all armament aboard Tarawa was stored in blast-proof lockers beneath the flight deck, only to be hoisted out and loaded on just before launch. But no one in the design of the carrier had envisioned the addition of ten marine landing craft. There simply was no place to store the armament other than on the racks of the ships, a fact which Jason felt was the equivalent of handing a lit bomb to Maniac and then telling him to go blow something up—sooner or later something would indeed blow."
  • Chapter 11
    • "He realized that technically Grierson should now be in charge of this fleet; he was after all the senior officer. After the heat of action at Kilrah he had offered to turn it all over to him, but Grierson refused, claiming that Jason was doing well enough, that he was after all in charge of the largest ship in the fleet, and that as a destroyer officer he had no experience whatsoever with carriers. Jason had laughed at that, since until Kilrah the biggest craft he had ever run was a Broadsword. Grierson was a rarity; there were far too many officers who, qualified or not, would have shouldered him aside and taken control. Though technically in control of the two-ship fleet, Jason knew that in a pinch he would defer to whatever this older officer had to say."
    • "He finally saw them, tiny pinpoints of light that within seconds took form. A squadron of Broadswords flashed by, torpedoes glinting evilly under their wings, escorted by Sabres and Rapiers. Four Rapiers broke off, circling around to take up escort positions; and on their wings were the markings of their ship—Concordia."

Wing Commander: Fleet Action

  • Chapter 1
    • "Captain Ian "Hunter" St. John crossed through the final nav check point and turned in on attack approach. The lone habitable planet of the Munro system was now straight ahead. A flurry of matter-antimatter bombs snapped across the world, winking brightly even from thirty thousand clicks out, the bombardment suppressing the Kilrathi ground defense systems. He clicked into the Marine channel and listened for a moment as the second and third divisions started their descent into their landing points. Ian switched back to his main channel.
      • "Red squadron, arm all torpedoes, Blue and Green squadrons, keep close in for support. Let's get the carrier!"
      • Off his port quarter he saw the Yellow, Orange, and Black squadrons comprising the rest of the attack group fanning out into the standard delta formation, while the red squadron Broadsword bombers lined up for a classic anvil attack, swinging out to hit the Kilrathi carrier on its X, Y, and Z axis.
      • They were going to lose people in the next couple of minutes, but the light carrier straight ahead was going to be dead as well."
    • "Hunter looked back down at his computer information screen, which showed the other two Broadsword strike groups lining into position. All three groups hit their jump-off marks precisely and started in on the final attack.
      • "Range one thousand clicks, speed down to 110 kps," and Griffin started the chant, marking off range and speed. The computer could do the job as well, but a machine could always glitch off at a key moment and besides, he preferred Griffin's soft feminine voice."
    • "He was damn near hanging still in space, sparing a quick glance to his tactical display, filled now with a swarm of blue and red dots. A Kilrathi Gratha heavy fighter flashed by, followed by a Rapier. He heard Jonesy in the turret behind him, stammering out a curse as she snapped off a quick volley. His Broadsword shuddered, damage information blipping red for his rear starboard stabilizer. A spray of mass driver rounds arched up from the carrier as it twisted away, and he nudged up the throttle to follow the ship as it continued to turn.
      • The tone in his headset started to slide up the scale, signaling that his torpedo guidance system was breaking through the Kilrathi carriers phased shielding distortion defense, the weapon gaining a secured lock.
      • The Broadsword to his right disappeared in a flash. He tried not to think about the friends inside. A split second later Jonesy let out a whoop from the rear turret.
      • "Got the furball bastard. Burn, damn you, burn."
      • Damn, she was bloodthirsty. But then, who could blame a nineteen year old girl whose brothers were all dead in the war?
      • The tone in his headset started to warble and then set off three high pitched beeps, the last beep going into a steady tone, indicating that the heavy Mark IV torpedo was locked and armed. He felt his ship shudder as the torpedo broke free from its pylon and streaked off towards the target. Nearly a score of silver blips appeared on his tactical screen, showing the inbound strike. The timing was damn near perfect.
      • Now was the time to test out the new weapons system.
      • He slammed up throttle, yanked the stick into his gut and punched straight up, exposing the laser guidance system strapped on to the belly of his Broadsword.
      • "Have laser lock on torpedo," Griffin announced quietly, hunching over her read-out screen. The new laser system was designed to provide in-bound guidance for the torpedo, the designator locking on to the torpedo's tail. If target lock should be lost, the weapons officer could now guide it in, while also providing evasive for any anti-torpedo missiles and shield jamming by the target's defensive systems. The only problem was that it meant that the Broadsword had to loiter in the target area, belly exposed, until impact.
      • It might work, Ian thought, but I'd like to take the idiot who designed it and have him fly the wait out with me to see what it's like.
      • The Kilrathi carrier's point defenses slammed on miniguns sending out sprays of marble size mass driver bolts. Several torpedoes detonated. Anti-torpedo missiles streaked out from launch bays mounted fore and aft on the ship.
      • "Still tracking, still tracking," Griffin chanted, grimacing slightly and swinging a small joy stick over to put the torpedo into an evasive as two anti-missiles closed. The evasive threw them off and they continued on.
      • "Still tracking, impact in five, four ..."
      • And suddenly it didn't seem quite right. They were using their old single bolt anti-torpedo missiles. Hell, for nearly six months now Kilrathi carriers had been carrying their damn new sub-munitions anti-torpedo missiles which could break into half a dozen shots. The damn things had been a nasty surprise. Ships armed with them were almost invulnerable to torpedo strikes if they could get enough of them out there.
      • Fleet ordnance had been working like mad to come up with a counter, but so far no one had been able to snag a round for evaluation since they were armed with a timed detonator if they failed to strike a target, thus blowing up anyhow and confounding the munitions experts.
      • The drama played out in seconds. Four more torpedoes, all of them the older unguided models, went down to the counter-missile strike; it looked like several more were hit by miniguns and then the silver blips converged in on a single point two, one, got it!"
      • Space erupted with a brilliant flash as bright as the sun and the carrier was gone, internal munitions stores and fuel detonating in a firecracker string of secondary explosions that ripped the ship apart.
      • "Scratch one flattop," Ian shouted, comm channel discipline breaking down as nearly everyone came on yelling and cheering. He rolled his ship over, coming in on a banking turn, careful to avoid the edge of the expanding cloud of debris, making sure his gun cameras were running at high gain. A lot could be learned when the holo tapes were played back and inspected; did the torpedo guidance systems function correctly, exactly where were the impact points, were any structural weaknesses revealed as the enemy ship ruptured ... even ship contents were important."
    • "The timing was masterful, the strike crews the finest professionals he {Tolwyn] had ever served with, nearly every Broadsword gaining lock and launching simultaneously. A successful strike like that was even more intricate than the most finely crafted ballet, and in his eyes even more beautiful.
    • " "I hate losing people, but trading a Rapier, a Sabre and two of your Broadswords for a light carrier is a damn fine piece of work in my book. I wish it had always been that easy." "
  • Chapter 4
    • " "Now I should add here, that in terms of quality, our technology in fighter craft was showing some significant edges, though they still had it over us in terms of sheer numbers and in firepower, which we offset with maneuverability and the ability to take more punishment, especially with our new upgrades which were just coming on line with the Broadswords and Sabre D class.
      • "But these are the key figures that I want you to take a hard look at."
      • He snapped the controller again, and columns of figures in red appeared alongside the Kilrathi column.
      • "Damn, look at that," Ian whispered, and Jason could only nod in reply.
      • "As you can see," Tolwyn announced, "from the day of the armistice and for roughly twelve months afterwards not one new fleet carrier was going to come on line for the Empire. Beyond that, it appears as if a significant portion of their carrier fleet needed to be pulled off line for major overhauls and refitting." "
  • Chapter 8
    • "One of the cruisers, however, pushed on through and Jason felt the cold sweat start to streak down his back as he sat on the bridge, waiting for the Kilrathi cruiser batteries to open up. He had never fought a carrier in a head to head engagement and he longed for a joystick and throttle, rather than the cumbersome relaying of orders.
      • The first volley of missiles spread out from the lead cruiser, even while the second one in line exploded from the direct hit of a torpedo spread from a Broadsword."
  • Chapter 11
    • " "There's the rest of the strike," Doomsday announced, pointing nearly straight up, and he edged his stick back, climbing a thousand meters to tuck himself in under a Broadsword's belly, giving himself a little more protection from the heavy strike craft's gunners.
      • "We're going for the middle carrier," Doomsday said quietly.
      • "We'll go for his port launch deck, you take the starboard one, lad," the Landreich pilot of the Broadsword above them replied and Doomsday clicked his mike twice as an affirmative.
      • "Hang on, crossing through the frigates!" "
  • Chapter 12
    • " "Blue Squadron, this is Lone Wolf. Close it up. Remember, we want the big ones, nothing else, so cover your Broadswords."
      • "Lone Wolf, this is Round Top, read me?"
      • Kevin Tolwyn smiled; it was his old comrade from the Tarawa days.
      • "Where are you, Chamberlain?"
      • "Right above you in Broadsword Two off Moskva, so be sure to cover my butt, son, while I win the glory.
      • "With you all the way, Round Top." "
    • "It was impossible to sort out which target to lock on. Hundreds of IFFs streaked across space and within seconds dozens of ships on both sides were exploding. The Broadsword and Sabre gunners sent out sprays of shot in every direction as wing group size attack waves by the Kilrathi came in. The four light corvettes escorting the attack dropped out sprays of chaff, jammers, and flares. The first wave passed and Kevin, ashamed, realized he had notfired even a shot.
      • He looked up at the Broadswords he was escorting. One was gone, another turning out of formation, spinning, its port engine blown apart, its starboard engine apparently jammed at full throttle. Its crew ejected and the ship spun away, exploding seconds later.
      • From out of the confusion a wave of Dralthi, Krants, and Gratha, flying nearly wing tip to wing tip, came sweeping in, forward cannons firing.
      • "Blue three, there's our Cats. Let's break Сem up."
      • He edged his throttle forward, leaping ahead of the Broadswords, lining up on the lead Dralthi and putting a dumb fire bolt straight into the furballs' canopy, blowing the top of the enemy fighter apart. The enemy attack broke apart, three Dralthi dead, and Kevin came around, seeing that his number three man was gone. There wasn't even time to ask.
      • "Keep moving in, close in maneuvering scoops," the strike commander called. "We want the carriers!"
      • Kevin swallowed hard, passing the order on to his squadron, and he closed scoops in.
      • It was no longer possible to pull the tight-in maneuvers. It was going to be a straight in high speed run.
      • Blasts snapped around him, missiles detonating, his number five pilot ejecting from her fighter as it crumpled up in a ball of flame.
      • He pulled in close under the bellies of the Broadswords he was escorting."
    • "They slowly drifted in towards their target and Kevin felt as if his heart were wrapped in ice. The ship was massive, more than twice the size of any carrier he had ever seen before. He could barely spare it a glance, however, as hundreds of enemy fighters swarmed in upon them.
      • Within seconds he had lost the rest of his squadron in the mad melee as he twisted and turned his fighter, struggling to stay alive while at the same time desperately attempting to cover the Broadswords as they hung near motionless, waiting for their torpedoes to gain full lock.
      • Broadsword after Broadsword disappeared in white-hot explosions. Three Krants lined in on Round Top, his countdown still echoing in Kevin's headphones as he weaved into them, crippling one with a dumb-fired flechette spray, and destroying a second with a stream of neutron bolts cutting into the fighter's engine mounts.
      • The third stitched a flurry of rounds across the portside gun turret of Round Top's ship, and Kevin caught a glimpse of the gunner's body shredding to pieces, his canopy bursting into shards from the strike.
      • "Keep 'em off me," Round Top shouted. "Ten seconds and counting."
      • The strike squadron had drifted to within eight clicks of the carrier and what appeared to be a solid wall of mass driver rounds snaked out from the ship's bow, blowing three more Broadswords apart. Kevin struggled with his stick as a shudder ran through his fighter, starboard shielding overloading and a laser hit sheered of the last meter of his wingtip.
      • He turned inside the laser beam, blowing out reflective chaff which temporarily blinded the laser's target lock, the beam skewing across his bow, cutting a gouge into the forward durasteel armor.
      • "Three, two, one, it's away!"
      • The fifteen surviving Broadswords out of the thirty in the strike group launched their torpedo loads. Round Top, along with half the remaining ships, were armed with the laser lock guidance and they turned upwards making sure that the laser emitters were pointed at the torpedoes.
      • The space between the attacking fighters and the carriers turned into an insane explosion of anti-torpedo missiles, dogfighting ships, and point defense blasts from the Kilrathi carrier.
      • "We've got lock, we've got holding lock," Round Top shouted.
      • Kevin turned his fighter to circle around Round Top and saw yet another swarm of Kilrathi fighters cutting in, dropping a wall of missiles on the surviving Broadswords.
      • "Round Top, evasive, evasive!"
      • "Can't! We still have lock, three seconds, two, one . . ."
      • Kevin screamed with rage as five missiles detonated across the top of his friend's Broadsword. The ship simply disappeared.
      • From off his portside wing he saw four torpedoes impacting on the carrier's bow. In the silence of space it seemed some how surreal, as if a holo movie was being played out. For a brief instant the carrier disappeared behind the exploding curtain of antimatter warheads. He waited for the secondary explosions to begin.
      • "Scratch one flattop," someone screamed on the commlink. "We've got the bastard!"
      • And as he waited, the carrier emerged from out of the fire. Its forward bow, and for nearly a hundred meters back, was a twisted wreckage, but the ship continued to purposefully move forward.
      • Making sure his gun cameras were still on, Kevin turned in towards the carrier.
      • Wreckage was trailing off from the bow of the ship as he raced in and he could see fires flaring inside the ruins of the forward portside launch bay. He crossed up and over the top of the carrier and then suddenly the anti-aircraft defenses of the carrier kicked back on.
      • She still had internal power; it was impossible after four torpedo strikes!
      • Jinxing to throw off the gunners, he raced down the length of the ship, passing one of the aft launch bays. He locked his camera into a laser designator and swung the designator in on the bay. On his small comm screen he caught a quick glimpse inside the ship. Another fighter was coming down the launch ramp, afterburners flaming. Internal lighting was still on and launch crews were purposefully working, some of them still picking themselves up, shaking off the after effects of the torpedo hammer blows. The image disappeared as he flashed across the stem of the ship.
      • He looked up and saw that more than a dozen Kilrathi fighters were streaking in to pick him off and he went into a violent spin, cutting down over the stern of the ship, his fighter bucking and shuddering as he got caught in the exhaust plume of the carrier.
      • He punched through into the fleet comm channel.
      • "White Wolf, this is Blue One. No joy, repeat, no joy, carrier still running after four torpedo hits. Catch my video transmit."
      • He sent the signal through and then looked at his tactical.
      • Space was dotted solid with red, with only an occasional blue dot. The strike force had shot its bolt and been destroyed, and the Kilrathi Fleet continued on in."
    • "Two of the new carriers and one of the old ones had been hit in his strike. The old style carrier was gone, but the two new ones still appeared to be relentlessly moving forward. In return, all four of his carriers had been hit. Verdun was lost with all hands. and now Moskva was finished Leyte Gulf, which had only joined him this morning, had one bay down from a direct hit. Of the more than four hundred and eighty strike craft and bombers he had launched three hours ago, less than two hundred and twenty were still able to fly. Worst of all was the loss of Broadswords; less than a quarter had returned. Estimates of Kilrathi fighter loss stood at just over seven hundred. He knew the figure would be cut once the debriefing teams had a chance to look at all the camera footage. In short, he had lost.
      • He looked at the status plot boards. Only twenty-nine Broadswords and twenty modified Sabres were armed and ready for a second strike. Already the Kilrathi were sending up their next strike wave which was even stronger than their first as they shifted craft over from defensive to offensive operations. He turned back to his strategic communications officer, who was burst signal linked back to Earth."
  • Chapter 13
    • " "You know your missions. Blue Three, you're flying Combat Air Patrol over the carriers. Blue Two, you're escorting in the Broadswords."
      • He could see Blue Three was less than amused, getting stuck in a purely defensive role. Blue Two knew what was going to happen to her but didn't display a flicker of emotion. The Kilrathi would turn their full fury on the Broadswords and Sabres, and with less than eighty making up the strike and eighty escorts, the chances of any of them coming back was nil."
    • " "They're throwing everything in as a screen to waste our weapons on. Order the outer wave of fighters to ignore them and to concentrate on the incoming Broadswords and Sabres. Once their offensive capability has been smashed we can turn our attention to this chaff they throw out and destroy them."
      • "We're also detecting Marine assault and landing ships, my lord."
      • Thrakhath stirred, ordering that this new sighting be highlighted on the main display. Several hundred of the blips started to blink bright yellow.
      • What were they up to?
      • "A diversionary effort, my lord?"
      • He looked over at his chief tactical officer.
      • He still had over seventeen hundred fighters at his disposal, almost all of them already launched and moving towards position. The first offensive strike wave was already committed, four hundred strike craft moving out past the outer line of picket ships with four eights of corvettes and light frigates in escort. Long range Confederation patrols were already moving to intercept, a pitiful six eights of fighters.
      • He was holding back over a thousand craft, assuming a more defensive posture than in the last battle. One of his carriers was gone, anotherslightly damaged. He would absorb and totally destroy the offensive strike, eliminating the final threat. Then he would smash through with a totally annihilating second strike, smashing whatever was left of the enemy fleet. They could no longer retreat and regroup, they would have to stand and die.
      • But the Marines? What were they for? To draw fire, obviously, while the last of the Broadswords went in.
      • "Still concentrate on the Broadswords," he said. "Then we slaughter the rest." "
    • "Kevin tried to purge the anguish, to block it out. His friends, his comrades were dying. Flickers of light filled space straight ahead and to starboard a hundred and fifty clicks away. The Broadsword strike was going in. His tactical screen traced the attack. The first wave of Broadswords, what few were left, was slowing, hovering. Going through the agonizing thirty second countdown to launch. And one after another their transponders winked off, the blue blips replaced by brief flashes of light and then disappearing."

Gemini Guide

  • Other Spacecraft
    • "The Broadsword is a commonly encountered Confederation fighter. It is equipped with a deadly array of blasters and several HS and FF missiles, which pose a severe threat to any enemy that ventures to cross its path. The Broadsword’s main weaknesses lie in its slow speed, low maneuverability and limited acceleration powers. If you are flying a very maneuverable ship in an encounter with this vessel, the odds are definitely in your favor. A side attack on the weaker port and starboard armor is advisable."

Wing Commander: Privateer

Joan’s Fighting Spacecraft 2700-2701 – Epsilon Sector Supplement

  • A-17 Broadsword Executioner
    • "The Executioner is a return to the Broadsword’s pre-war role as a heavy missile platform. Fighter pilots are well advised to avoid the Executioner’s forward firing arcs: they combine five Dart DF rocket packs with heavy hitting plasma cannons. A truly deadly combination on their own, these weapons are accompanied by a military grade tractor beam capable of immobilizing enemy ships."
  • A-17 Broadsword Warpig
    • "Though they were initially relegated to the surplus yards, the Broadsword design proved itself against the Nephilim. During the first assault on a construction reef, it was a militia Warpig squadron which scored the killing blow — while Devastator and Shrike units suffered heavy casualties."
  • A-17 Broadsword Behemoth
    • "The Behemoth is an inelegant solution for the limitations of the modern battlefield: the design adds giant sheaths of Platolum armor to protect the ship’s delicate fuselage. The upgrade also doubles the torpedo capacity of the classic design. Although these additions significantly reduce engine performance, expert Broadsword pilots know better than to rely on maneuverability in the first place."

Wing Commander: Arena