Thread: MGT Only: duel drive fighter
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Old May 14th, 2019, 06:01 PM
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Default duel drive fighter

The Duel drive fighter (sometimes called a "Transit Drive Fighter") is a design paradigm that is the solution to a problem unique to TL 9 civilisations, due to a specific combination of circumstances at that TL. The problem in question is the 1G gravitic M drive.

At TL 9, Gravtic M drives allow, for the first time, space travel free form the tyranny of Tsiolkovsky's Rocket Equation. it became possible to build a ship with a powered endurance of weeks or even months, compared to the hour or two most reaction drives can sustain, and are able to carry much larger payloads over those long duration trips as the fuel required drops to a fraction of what was previously required. This massive increase in capability allows for meaningful space exploration, colonisation.....and warfare.

It is in war that the limits of the 1G drive were most felt, especially by fighter craft. While Gravtic drive ships had the endurance to preform long range missions, traditional reaction drives offered much higher performance, with 6 or even 9G drives being common on some fighters. A fighter equipped with only a 1G grav drive could simply not compete with a reaction drive fighter inside the R-drive fighter’s radius of action.

Thus, the duel drive fighter, carrying both gravtic and reaction drives, able to stay deployed for many hours on patrol, and also had enough thrust to compete with R drive fighters in a dogfight. At TL10 and above, the increasing power of gravtic drives allows them to totally replace the R drive, leading to this concept falling out of favour.

Spoiler:

Dual drive fighter

40 tons, streamlined (2.4 Mcr, 16 hull points)
Armour: 8 points, titanium steel (8 tons, 0.5 MCr)

Drives:
M-Drive: 1G (0.4 tons, 0.8 Mcr, 4PP)
R-Drive: 6G (4.8 tons 0.96 Mcr)
R Drive fuel: 2 hours @6G (12 tons, 120 thrust-turns of fuel)
P-plant: Fusion-8, 20PP (2 tons, 1Mcr)
Basic systems: 8 PP
M Drive: 4 pp
Sensors: 1 PP
Weapons: 1PP
Total: 14 PP
P plant fuel: 1 ton (four weeks/24 weeks?)
Bridge: 3 tons (0.5 MCr)
Computer/10: (0.16 Mcr)
Sensors: civil grade (1 ton, 3Mcr, 1PP )
Weapons:
Pulse laser (1Mcr, 1PP)
Missile Rack (0.75Mcr)
Missile storage: 4 in rack, 24 in mag (2 tons)
Stateroom: 4 tons, 0.5 Mcr)
Cargo: 1.8 tons
Total cost: 11.57 Mcr.

Ammo costs:
28 standard missiles: 7Mcr
28 Nuclear missiles: 12.6 Mcr




I came up with the idea when browsing the MgT2e High Guard rules, and spotted the 1G limit for TL9 M drives. I doubt my design is exactly optimal, but its built for long duration missions, hence the full bridge and stateroom. the idea is that a fleet making a long in system transit can push out these fighters, and then leave them out on sentry duty for two or three days without needing to change the ship or crew out. to better optimise the design, I reckon if I stripped out the staterooms and switched to a cockpit, I could free up enough space to install and fuel a bigger R drive, or maybe replace both weapons with a Torpedo Barbette and some rounds.


The combination of low M-drive thrust and R drives is, I believe, a quirk of the MgT rules, but I am sure a similar thing could be built in other systems (t4 would seem very easy to do this in, given that R drives are standard in that)
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