|This article, F-406 Katana, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "Swift and deadly, thats us."
- ―Captain Hannah 'Screamin' Eagle' Moreadu
The Fighter-406 Katana is the primary heavy fighter craft of the UNSC, replacing the earlier longsword. The Katana, while smaller than the Longsword, carries similar capabilities in terms of weapons, speed and armour, while improving on agility, stealth capabilities and avionics. The Katana represents the premier strike capability of the UNSC Navy, capable of engaging enemy fighters and capital ships with impunity, while also striking ground targets.
Due to the well-rounded nature of the Katana, it is used without modification by both the Navy and Air Force, being capable of zero-G landing and landing on runways. However, it has a electronic warfare variant, the F/E-406 Wakizashi, capable of dominating the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing friendly forces to remain undetected and unharmed before their attack and prevent the enemy from coordinating.
The four gunpods can fit a choice of two weaponry. It can fit 40mm railguns, normally found on close in weapon systems. These guns have a cyclic rate of fire of 400 rounds per minute and can cause significant damage to enemy fighters on impact, especially when using a mix of high explosive slugs and armour piercing. These railguns were replaced with newer models later in the Necros War, gaining a rate of fire of 800 rounds per minute. The Gunpods could also fit a single TITAN LASER, usually used as anti-tank weapons, or anti-starfighter weapons. While these had a long cool down time, they had sufficient firepower to take down a medium fighter in a single shot. These were often equipped on fighters sent after enemy bombers, or heavy fighters.
It carries 4 medium cyclic launchers, capable of carrying large amounts of ordnance. These included the deadly Spectre missile, for engaging capital ships, the Vendetta cruise missile, capable of carrying exceedingly deadly nuclear warheads, or the Katana can be fitted with an over abundance bombs, air to ground missiles and intercept missiles. The nature of the cyclic launcher allow the Katana to maintain its stealth profile and select munitions for deployment at will.
As a defensive weapon against pursuing aircraft, the Katana has four SUBTERFUGE Mine Dispenser, capable of launching five mines from the rear of the ship, which actively monitor the IFF of the incoming contact, and detonate proximity based explosions, capable of knocking down shielding of pursuing craft, or destroying unshielded aircraft outright.
Airframe and Armour
The F-406 Katana's airframe is constructed from a basis of superplastic-shaped diffusion-adhered metal matrix composites. These light, oxidation resistant light-matrix composites are formed from high modulus and high strength gold doped zirconium oxide fibres and a titanium/aluminium laminate matrix, formed by heat bonding layers of titanium, aluminium and titanium aluminide, forming high strength crystal matrices, the results forming a high strength, yet flexible and light airframe. The skin is formed from four layered plates attached to the frame. The inside layer is a high strength carbon nanotube nanobud mesh composite, which does not melt on re-entry and protects the ship and occupants. Above this is a environmental layer, which regulates internal and external heat, preventing layers from outright melting or freezing, and protecting the occupants. The third layer is a resin bonded layer of structural titanium aluminide with a titanium mesh insert. The fourth layer is a outer layer of AEGIS tiles, built on a non-newtonian shock absorbing layer, providing thermal and oxidation protection. The cockpit is situated in titanium-AEGIS compound armoured 'tubs'. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The windscreen is bullet-proof diffusion-bonded self-regenerating single crystal quartz, with a coating of liquid glass, with a variable electronically controlled gold tinted setting, which protects it from solar rays, laser dazzles and electronic interference. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The skin is painted with thermal diffusing paint, heat controlled hull to generate a black body exterior, infra-red suppressors on the engines, RADAR absorbent paint, liquid glass composites and LASER absorbent laminates, which when compounded with its stealth design, gives it excellent stealth abilities in all spectrums.
The armour of the Katana has often been compared to that of a tank, being capable of shrugging off a high volume of fire.
Thanks to it's unique flying wing design, internal ordnance bays, application of LASER and RADAR absorbent paints and engines sunk deep into the wings, it can maintain a minimal RADAR cross section in comparison to its size. It also has infra-red suppressors on the wings and heat controlled hull to generate a black body exterior. This allows it to remain invisible to most sensors until it has struck, surprising most enemies.
Powerplant and Engines
The Katana is fitted with 4 Mk. XXXIX CENTURION Fusion reactors, all linked to maintain high efficiency. These powerplants power all systems on the Katana, including weapon systems, shields, engines, FTL drive, electronics and stealth features. These reactors are clean and produce low emissions, allowing them to be used with wild abandon, without fear of revealing themselves or cooking the crew.
The Katana is fitted with 2 X-13 Series engines, the largest fitted on a fighter aircraft. These give it high acceleration and speed for its size and bulk, and allow it to make trans-atmospheric jaunts with ease. These are fitted with infra-red dampening systems, reducing their visible output, and are fitted with a advanced multi-axis thrust vectoring system, allowing precise control. It is also fitted with numerous micro-thrusters for deep space agility. Despite all this, it is still somewhat unwieldy and sluggish, no where near as agile as other fighters.
The Katana is fitted with a slipstream space drive, allowing for faster than light travel. The smallest fitted to a combat aircraft, this allows the Katana to make short and precise jaunts, usually limited to mid-range. This allows it to significantly extend it's strike range (And the strike range of the carrier they are stationed on), perform far afield missions from planet or orbital based airfields and jump across star-systems for ambushes and to evade enemy defences. This drive is predictably limited and slow, preventing it from performing multiple jumps in a short time.
Avionics and Electronic Systems
The cockpit features an internal wrap around holographic HUD system for both Pilot and CSO, displaying all systems and targets, replacing analogue systems. These display all pilot navigation, war fighting, flight systems and operations. Both Pilot and Co-Pilot seats are equally outfitted with HUD interface and control gear. Along with the GPS and LASER Inertial Guidance system, the Katana uses four primary sensors to not only detect targets but also navigate and lock on to both air and ground targets. The external sensors are also fed into the Advanced Combat Engagement System, the next-gen helmet worn by the pilots. This gives them pin-point night and thermal vision and helmet mounted cueing system, allowing the user to track friendly and enemy craft around himself and engage enemy aircraft off boresite or even behind himself.
The Katana is fitted with a variety of sensors, allowing it to track and engage hundreds of contacts at once. The primary sensor system is the AN/APG-190 INTRUSION Active Electronically Scanned Array. This Phased Array RADAR is made up of 2100 bottle cap sized transmitters/receivers. The highly advance RADAR allows the vehicle to perform a wide range of operations. Also, the radar occupies less space than typical RADARs, because of its lower requirements and its lack of need for physical motion, making it much more reliable, and requiring less maintenance. It has a increased field of view, an extremely fast scanning rate, a much larger range, the ability to track and engage large number of air and ground targets, simultaneously through multiple agile beams and simultaneous air and ground modes, a low probability of interception and detection, the ability to function as a Electronic Warfare Jamming system, and a Synthetic Aperture Radar mode capable of penetrating cloud coverage and sandstorms. It carries six active electronically scanned array RADARS, covering all aspects of the fighter, with two on the upward facing aspect of the spacecraft, two facing downwards, a rear facing one and one forward facing RADAR, giving full 360 degree RADAR visibility, and excellent threat tracking, being capable of tracking enemy fighters and missiles, as well as providing navigational data. Supporting these is a 360 degree coverage of infra-red and optical cameras, capable of tracking a designated targets, other spacecraft, missiles and navigational hazards around them, with a larger sensor cluster on the front facing aspect. Supporting these is a number of LASER sensor clusters, capable of LIDAR and range finding duties and a PAVE CROW magnetic array, capable of detecting distant magnetic signals, such as reactors, plasma weapons, shields and large metal concentrations.
The Katana is outfitted with a Generation 3 Flight Assistance Intelligence (Gen. III Valkyrie FAI) produced by JOTUN Intelligence Engineering. The Valkyrie is a Flight Assistance Intelligence, designed to speed up the reaction times and improving the sensory awareness of the crew. The FAI is a autistic intelligence unit, dedicated solely to aiding the crew. The FAI is directly linked into all the flight systems, but is incapable of receiving or delivering digital outputs to other craft outside of the conventional datalinks or analogue systems. The FAI has a number of roles with the crew, its first be increasing the sensory awareness of the pilot, using the on-board flight systems to track threats such as enemy craft, weapon systems or projectiles and prioritising then displaying this information in holographic feeds on the HUD to the crew and advising on the best possible course of action, providing augmented reality adjustments to the HUD to display threats and evasive course action, as well as attune the settings of the on board countermeasures to allow optimum deployment and protection. Its next function is flight control, being used as an auto-pilot. By utilising the on board sensors, topographical information and mission parameters it can navigate at low altitude to preform landings or return to base commands (RTB). As well as that, during flight, it can advise on routes and manoeuvres, using GPS, topographical, meteorological and sensor assets. Its last function is autonomous control of the craft. Should the pilot or tactical officer be incapacitated in combat, the FAI can take over their roles, using the on board systems to either pilot the craft, use the weapon systems or deploy the tactical systems. Should both crew members be incapacitated, the FAI will then take control of all the Katana's systems, allowing it to autonomously operate the entire craft. The FAI will then preform a advisory check with the nearest commanding AI and decide on the best course of action, whether it should complete it's given mission or preform an RTB. In this mode, it can operate all the combat systems and defend itself, being a capable combatant, but no match for a trained and experienced human combatant. The Last feature of the FAI is as a data management system, managing the flow of data to and from the Katana, prioritising targeting information and command data, as well as providing sensory data to ground side units and airborne units. As well as this, it can control the Katana's cyber protection systems, allowing it to protect the Katana from cyberwarfare attack through a variety of methods, both aggressive and passive, legal and outlawed. The FAI is entirely autistic, meaning the only way to preform a successful hack attempt on it is to manually interface with it via a hardwire link. The FAI is equipped with a limited self learning neural net, allowing it to grow in experience and control. The FAI is fitted with a two way Direct Voice Input Control, allowing the pilot to verbally command the FAI, as well as allowing the FAI to verbally respond and alert the pilot. FAI's usually develop a 'surface' persona in the first two weeks of instalment, with a limited visual avatar and self awareness, but little depth, being no match for a fully fledged AI.
The Katana is also fitted with an Adaptive Flight Control System to provide optimal flight capabilities, keep the Katana flying and balanced and learn to adapt to the flight properties. For Atmospheric and exoatmospheric combat, the Katana is fitted with a variety of thrusters, allowing excellent agility, and control surfaces, allowing it to preform high speed manoeuvres.
The Katana has a number of countermeasure systems, the most prominent being the DECEPTION Countermeasure launcher. There are five of these located on the Katana, to cover all aspects of it against threats. These contained a three barrelled loader, with each barrel capable of being loaded with a different munition. It is fitted with a magazine containing multiple caseless munitions, including chaff launchers to confuse RADAR, infra-red flares, capable of creating lifelike decoys in both the infra-red and ultra-violet spectrums, or just outright blinding the sensor of the missile, smoke projecting munition to blind optical sensors, or miniature jammers to jam the RADAR incoming missiles or spacecraft, feed electronic false targets to incoming missiles or provide a decoy for jam homing missiles.
The Katana contains a rudimentary but effective on-board ECM system, utilising a RADAR receiver and jammer to jam and confuse incoming missiles. It operates on strobing frequency jamming, with emissions control, allowing it to provide wide band blanket jamming, without putting itself in overt risk, or blinding other UNSC assets.
The Katana features triple redundancy on most of its systems, allowing it to continue operating regardless of the horrendous damage incurred on it. This includes redundancies to the electronics, fly by light systems, sensors and life support. There have been instances of fighters with multiple hull breaches and only one remaining wing returning to their carrier.
The Katana as a crew of two, made up of the pilot and combat systems officer. The pilot is sat at the front of the cockpit and controls the majority of flight and weapon systems. The CSO sits behind him and operates the non-line of site weapon systems, defence systems and increases their situational awareness.
The well rounded nature of the Katana meant it was capable of filling multiple roles for the navy, other than just an anti-starfighter role. It could be used for high speed interception, interdiction missions against capital ships, in atmosphere close air support and long range air support. With the specialised electronic warfare variant, the Katana can also provide in air electronic support against enemy forces.
"The LASERs make a mess of enemy fighters and enemy tanks. Perfect"
"The Katana and the variants are well liked, capable craft. No reason to even dream of replacing them in the next fifty years"
- Bravo-6 Squadron
- Red Squadron
- Black Knights Squadron
- Eagle Squadron
- 42nd Naval Squadron
List of air and space craft of the UNSCDF