Another episode form the victorian colonisation of Mars... Royal Navy faces the German Kaiserliche Marine on the Martian orbite...Battleships strongly inspired by ships and those you can find on old photos...On the foreground one of my favourite British battleships - HMS Rodney in a steampunk version , spiting his deadly shells into German "schlachtschiff" direction
couldn't refrain from colouring it the pride of Austro-Hngarian Space Fleet now in colours...it's a little break from the "family portray" which already exhausted me but those who await it- don't worry you'll see it soon! Now you have to settle for a lonely Imperial fleet ship somewhere near Mars
hi there folks! welcome again in the Victorian Age Space Colonisation
this time an Austro-Hungarian space battleship "Viribus Unitis" -THe Imperial Fleet flagship (latin: With United Forces) name of the ship is also an official motto of the Habsburg monarchy... this vessel is one of the four battleships of her class (Tegetthoff-Klasse) : SMS Prinz Eugen SMS Szent Istvan (Hungarian:Saint Stephen) SMS Tegetthoff and SMS Viribus Unitis of course
the Austro Hungarian Imperial Fleet is the fifth Space fleet as regards the size...(after the Royal Navy, German Kaiserliche Marine, Franch Fleet and Russian Imperial Fleet) but still can't be a real threat to the other powers(their fleet makes up a 1/5 of the British Royal Navy)...
The beginning of the Austrian adventure with Space colonies was the "Phobos crisis" in 1886 (earlier the Empire had only few lunar bases which were also the navy space harbours ) ...The German II Reich announced that one of the Martian moons -Phobos is for sale since it doesn't present any value for the German economy... Two sides declared their interest: USA and the Austro-Hungary( the U.K was involved in colonising Mars and later in suppressing the Martian Revolt )...The Germans finally sold Phobos to their Austro-Hungarian allies in 1885...one year later a leader of the scientific expedition on Phobos - Czech Frantisek Shveyk ( ) suddenly announced that he found a tremedously big layers of tungsten ore (hidden deeply under the surface) on Phobos...
the whole Earth was shocked...at first the German Kaiser Wilhelm II wanted to get back that Martian moon, but fortunately Bismarck convinced him to call off his claims...but the USA weren't so calm...in 1886 a 10 cruisers of the US Navy were heading towards Phobos simply to conquer it since the Congress claimed that the USA were cheated by the Germans...
the Austro Hungarian response was quick, Kaiser Franz Joseph sent four Erzherzog Karl (archduke Charles) class space battleships to defend Phobos...a Fight between the K.u.K. Kriegsmarine and the U.S. Navy commenced...one of the Austrian battleships -SMS Kaiserin Elizabeth was seriously damaged while the USA lost 2 cruisers...America soon sent their own battleships -USS Virginia, USS Arizona and USS Nevada...Now the situation was very unfavourable for the Austrians...American ships had a serious advantage over them...
Fortunately for Franz Joseph, German Emperor gave full diplomatic and military support to the Austro-Hungary ..Soon the whole German Weltraumflotte (former Hochseeflotte since it served on Earth ) - the strongest German navy located on Deimos moon set off to destroy the US vessels...the situation was really hot...everybody thought that soon the War will break out...Fortunately France and the British Empire (the Martian revolt was coming to the end) also set off their fleets to stop Germany and prevent the war... the USA was forced by the U.K. to relinquish their claims (in exchange the Austro-Hungarian war reparations ) ...
is there anybody out there or are you asleep lads?
PS_PL mam nadzieje że mnie nie zabijesz Boruciu jakoś tak wyszło z tym pancernikiem
After several British space successes supported by nimble fighters, the germans developed their own starfighters. They've even converted new atmoshperic planes into real starfighters. The Fokker K.3 Sternjäger is a fast, agile and lightly-armed triplane. Its standard armament consists of three MG-8 machine guns, but it is a wide practice to add 20mm cannons on the middle pair of wings. The cockpit has been drastically lowered into the hull for protection, but this became it's largest flaw as it limited the pilot's field of vision. Therefore, many planes have been equipped with periscopes, fitting perfectly in the cockpit.
This is the last of my concepts for this time, after one-two weeks I'm gonna do more. I just want to prevent myself from getting bored.
The first type of German spaceships, Ruhr-class battleship is lightly armed and slow, yet still useful in patrol and defence. It is also able to succesfully engage smaller frigates and corvettes.
Armament: four 320mm guns in turrets; four 155mm gun in side sponsons and two in the ventral front turret; six 88mm guns in side cupolas and four in turrets on the sides; two torpedo launchers; 15 flak guns.
Design deeply inspired by "Schleswig-Holstein" battleship built in 1903.
Done today on English, Biology, History and Geography lessons (I had to hide)
This is the very first type of Royal Navy space ships. The Liverpool-class ironclads fought with Prussian pre-dreadnoughts to achieve domination in the close orbit. Now, in the age of space dreadnoughts and advanced battleships, they serve as a reserve in Royal Navy defences and protect a forgotten British lunar base.
-three heavy (10-inch) twin gun turrets
-three flak (3-inch) turrets
-two early torpedo launchers
I wanted to show something pre-dreadnought. I've chosen an ironclad gunship, because it looks quite interesting. This drawing took me about one hour.
After staring at the X-wings for a while, I decided to design a custom heavy armament design. Designed to assist the B-wings and K-wings in taking on Capital ships. Most of the power gleaned from those oversized engines are fed into shields and those heavy turbo-lasers.
Created by Grand Inquisitor Kael, the TIE Stilleto was designed to create a ship capable of matching the A-wing in speed and maneuverability. Unfortunatly, the experimental engines were too powerful for the space-frame. So after downsizing the engines, the TIE Stilleto was still a formidable interceptor. Only three dozen were produced before the Battle of Endor, and afterwards, the TIE Stilleto's were sent to the Chiss Ascendancy.
The Results of the Y-wing Upgrade project, the H-wing heavy artillery support fighter was designed by General Salm and Colonel Blaine of Gold Squadron. After the Yuuzhan Vong War began, General Salm and Colonel Blaine stole the schematics and hid on the junk world of Fenris...
Not long after, mysterious dark hulled ships with super powerful weaponry began to destroy Yuuzhan Vong coral skipper patrols and capital ships. Fast, heavily shielded, and deadly... Shadow Squadron had appeared on the scene.
I did this series of ships, but just couldn't squeeze any good ideas for the details on them so I commissioned Adam to bring this one to life. I'll be using it as reference for applying the detailes on the 3d models.
Top is production version (So far). Bottom is the one-off prototype.
She was originally a frigate competitor to the Ranger, but she did not outshine the Ranger's longevity on patrol. When the Antareans attacked, the design was revisited, revised, and pressed into service as an assault frigate.
Unlike the Ranger (which was constructed between several major shipyards as a symbol of unity in the ULP), the Rusalka was made from USN R&D- the research and Development arm of the Navy. Traditionally armed, part of the appeal of the Rusalka was originally the fact that it carried a balanced, conservative armament and could be pressed into service as a radar picket (which is why she has the nose-dome similar to the Loki and Fenrir, and the under-nose radar array). Obviously the admiralty favored the casual carrier and longstanding patrol nature of the Ranger, as a ship like the Rusalka didn't seem to have a future in what seemed to be the peaceful era at the time.
After some grumblings from management about weapons and my own inner desire to complete these space monsters, I returned to the sketch and redid them with loving attention.
I also mangled the Pride-A into it's Pride-C version- which is the one you'll most likely see in-game under the AISN banner. Me? I like the USN one better- since it retains the three massive mass-driver cannon turrets I felt it should have.
I don't have the armament list I made on the Pride-A On-hand at the moment, but suffice to say it carries more ion cannon mounts, two extra plasma cannons (insets in the hull bulges), four more anti-ship torpedoes (these were removed for the drone bay, as well as a counter-missile rack), and the two bridge-mounted burst missiles are still ion arrays. This, IMO, is what the Pride heavy cruiser SHOULD have looked like, instead of the meager armed ship that shows up in the AISN.
Since the Pride is an older vessel, I felt a design change from the rest of the AFF fleets was in order. The pride comes from the mindset and the time of armor versus extravogent weaponry, and reflects this in the large space of just solid armor plating on the hull. The turrets mount older mass drivers that are too big to have any kind of elevation machinery, and thus limits their range of fire. This is made up for in the Ion cannons though, which cover the ship, despite the fact that they are weaker than their 'modern day' counterparts.
The AISN Pride shown here is an older model having it's old USN paint buffed off and re-painted in AISN stripes of the old empire (or old USN...). Lots of drastic changes here, from removing two of the main mass driver turrets (Arguing they did no good anyway), stripping out some of the torpedo launchers, and mounting communicatios antenna across the ship to guide the drones. Two ion arrays were also removed and replaced with burst missile racks to put the old warship as a form of escort warship. Suffice to say, it is a shadow of it's former self.
I do have in my mind the pride-B version, which might have emphasis on guns over drones, but that'll appear if I draw it. Oh, and on both versions here I included some vertical-launch missiles...even if they aren't reflected in the stats... take 'em or leave them if you will, modlers.
There, that should make management's heads spin for a while...
トリグラフ Triglav Triglav was a trial design for a new command battleship that would replace the Patroclus model. Though the design was sound, after the disaster of an invasion into Imperial territory production was halted, and Triglav became the only one of her kind.
Though she has more forward gun ports than even the Kulishna (80 ports v 60) are smaller (22cm) than the Patroclus design.
Originally Triglev was supposed to mount new reactors, but financial pains forced the reactors from the space carriers to be mounted instead. Nevertheless, this is more power than the standard design, so Triglev is able to fire all her batteries at full power. Her only limitation is overheating, but the fact that Triglev has three separate batteries means she can fire constantly despite overheating.
Triglev was the warship of Dusty Attenborough during his time under Yang's leadership up until the battle at Vermillion starzone. Per the treaty of Balarat, Triglev was scrapped.
バルバロッサ Barbarossa Originally Siegfried Kircheis was supposed to get a sister ship to the Brunhild, but Admiral Kircheis declined and instead got the Barbarossa, an improved Brunhild design. It is the only flagship of the entire Imperial fleet to be painted in one color: red, to match the Admiral's hair.
Barbarossa went into battle approximately 60 times, mostly during the Lippstadt conflict where Kircheis put down small rebellions in remote regions. Before this, Kircheis fought Yang Wen-Li in one occasion and participated in the disaster at Amlitzer.
Following Kircheis' death, Barbarossa was moored permanently in birth 2 at Odin's fleet yards, a memorial to the best friend of the most powerful man in the universe.
------------ We can assume in this scenario that Ansbach was successful, and Reinhard died from a rocket-propelled grenade. Taking advantage of the situation, Minister Lichtenlade stirs up the imperial fleet and frames Kircheis for murdering the Kaiser. Having no other choice, the red-hared Admiral surrenders himself to Yang Wen-Li at Iserlorn, switching places with Admiral Merkatz historically.
The first of her line of Battleship, The H.M.S Iron Duke, is famous for the assasination of the last Emperor of Cerulean Empire during her launch ceremonary.
The Iron Duke was the fastest and best armored ship in the Cerulean skyfleet. Her twelve 16'in guns together with her state of the art fire control and rader systems, make her the deadliest ship in the Cerulean Empire.
As the most modern and best equiped ship of her day, she was penciled in as the new flagship for the Empire skyfleet even before her launch, following the tradion of the Cerulean Empire, the ship and her captain along with all her commissioned officers were made knights of the Empire by the emperor during her launch ceremonary.
Thats was when the emperor was shot by a suspected pirate sniper who managed to got away. The death of the Emperor made her the last knight, as the empire collapsed before a new emperor took the throne
She was put under command of Admiral Albert Graf von Spee in the hunt for the sky pirates, the Sky Raiders, the suspects of the crime.
8 months after her launch, she engaged the Sky Raiders' ship, Raider in a duel in which she was destroyed with the Raider.
For the last 5 decades, the Northern Alliance had been struggling to keep up in terms of both techological advances and productions with their southern rival the League of the Blue Emblem. But what it lack in military units, they made it up with their countless bases all over the world, all well hidden and well stock with supplies.
As the relationship between the two major powers continue to deteriorate, the Northern Alliance begin to deploy it's ships to the bases in preparation of waging economic warfare.
But most of the Alliance ships were unsuitable for long range deployment, due to their older designs, many will be limited to regions in range of the bases thus limiting their effectiveness in a economic warfare.
Here a Derfflinger-class battle-cruiser of the Northern Alliance arrived at it's new home for the upcoming war, although it will have a hard time trying to maneuver within the base itself.
~Artist Notes~ Been a while since I did a skyship, did this as a practice during my free time
All the pieces together. I may add a ship at some point. It turned out okay as an experiment and illustrates the fortress layout well enough ,but I could probably have created a more dynamic composition using conventional methods and with much less effort. Some of the pieces don't quite work and I probably should have made more turrets ( showing different scale and gun rotation).
A super-heavy tank . It has thick armour to the front and sides . The large number of heavy turrets protect it from arial attack. The tank is fully amphibious with a float attached to the exhaust, allowing it to float above the water during river crossings. This was a vital feature as few bridges can support a 1000 ton tank. The vehicle can also take refuge below water , relying on air tanks or drawing oxygen through the emergency tubing housed along the floated exhaust (which is dissengaged during such an opperation). Multiple weapons include dozens of machine guns and numerouse multi purpose cannons able to fire AP or high explosive rounds. A light tank and crewman have been included for scale.
A Prince class mobile fortress. Equiped with numerous cannons , machine guns and artillery pieces and supported by a motorised flak regiment and two motorised infantry regiments the 'Blutzen's' primary role is as a long range artillery piece, firing it's 10,000mm gun up to 3 times per hour. A super heavy tank has been included for scale.
This one is really really taking a long time. Mostly because I can't stop tweaking it. However, I think at this point I'm pretty much satisfied with this entire ship and how it comes out.
Also - SURPRISE. New weapon time. Amidship is an Alliance Top-Secret weapon. (When the ship is first deployed, a false covering plate is placed over it to give the illusion that it is another propulsion plant). An advanced form of weaponry, the Alliance has been experimenting with a version of the Elysian Navy's weapon of choice - the Gravity *insert name once I decide on something good* Essentially, the weapon projects a high density gravity field at a ship, piercing through shields and armor with devastating efficiency. While the Alliance's variant doesn't approach a fraction of the power contained in an Elysian weapon - nor the capability in terms of range - this new weapon gives the Legendary the potential firepower afforded larger ships with multiple conventional mass-driver turrets.
Final Length: 6,835 M Final Tonnage: 540,000,000 Tons *other specs to come*
Update to the mighty King Robert. Finally settled on how her engines will look (this is the first large design to break from the Impeller design my ships have always had in favor of the new Grav Repulsor Tech I will be writing up on). Hope you all enjoy.
TIE fighters are fictional starfighters in the Star Wars universe. Propelled by Twin Ion Engines (hence the TIE acronym), TIE fighters are depicted as fast, fragile starfighters produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the Galactic Empire. TIE fighters and other TIE craft appear in the original Star Wars trilogy Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) and throughout the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
Numerous TIE fighter variants exist in the Star Wars universe, such as the TIE bomber, TIE interceptor, and Darth Vader's personal TIE advanced prototype. Several TIE fighter replicas and toys, as well as a TIE flight simulator, have been released by merchandise companies.
Origin and design
Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) Colin Cantwell created the concept model that established the TIE fighter's ball-cockpit and hexagonal wing design for A New Hope. Initially given a blue color scheme, the TIE fighter models for the first Star Wars movie were grey to better film against a bluescreen; TIE fighters in the next two movies shifted back to being a muted blue. Sound designer Ben Burtt created the distinctive TIE fighter sound effect by combining an elephant call with a car driving on wet pavement.
Combat scenes between TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon and Rebel X-wings in A New Hope were meant to be reminiscent of World War II dogfight footage; editors used World War II air combat clips as placeholders while ILM completed the movie's special effects. The Jedi starfighter, created for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, was designed to bridge the appearance of the Jedi starfighter in Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the TIE fighter design from the original trilogy. Dark Horse Comics' Sean Cooke designed the TIE predator in Star Wars: Legacy, set 130 years after the events of A New Hope, to appear both reminiscent of and more advanced than the original TIE fighter.
Star Wars literature states that Sienar Fleet Systems manufactures TIE fighters and most TIE variants. TIE fighters' solar panels power a twin ion engine (TIE) system that accelerates gases at a high speed along almost any vector, affording the ships tremendous speed and maneuverability. Described as lacking a hyperdrive, life support, or shield generators, the fragile TIE fighters are deployed in large numbers from bases or larger ships; a Star Destroyer carries a wing of 72 various TIE craft. Although Expanded Universe material often describes the TIE fighter as lacking an ejection seat, the player can eject from TIE craft in LucasArts' TIE Fighter flight simulator. Expanded Universe material holds that TIE fighter pilots, who undergo intense physical and psychological testing, are trained to be intensely loyal to Emperor Palpatine and the Empire, willing to sacrifice themselves and their wingmates to accomplish their mission.
 Other TIE craft Darth Vader's TIE advanced x1
In addition to the TIE fighter, a variety of other TIE craft appear throughout the films. Darth Vader (David Prowse) flies a TIE advanced x1 in A New Hope. ILM gave it a design different from the other TIE fighters to make it instantly recognizable. The next movie, The Empire Strikes Back, introduces a TIE shuttle and TIE bombers, which ferry Captain Needa (Michael Culver) to Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer and bomb asteroids in the hunt for the Millennium Falcon, respectively. Both TIE craft have a design that stems from an unused "TIE boarding craft" concept developed for A New Hope. The TIE bomber's double-hull design led ILM's modelmakers to dub the ship a "double chili dog" fighter. TIE interceptors faster TIE fighters with dagger-shaped wings and four laser cannons appear at various points in Return of the Jedi. Two scales of TIE interceptor models were used during filming. A TIE bomber
Additionally, LucasArts Star Wars video games introduce several TIE variants, such as the TIE hunter starfighter in Rogue Squadron III and the TIE mauler surface vehicle in Empire at War. The TIE avenger and TIE defender heavily upgraded derivatives of previous craft seen in the Star Wars universe first appear in TIE Fighter as player-pilotable craft. The plot of Rebel Assault II revolves around destroying the Empire's ability to manufacture the cloaking TIE phantom starfighter, and a campaign in X-Wing Alliance centers on destroying experimental remote-control TIE fighters. A TIE interceptor
Star Wars literature also introduces TIE varieties. Corran Horn flies a TIE clutch in I, Jedi and TIE raptors attack Rogue Squadron in Solo Command. TYE wings TIE fighter and Y-wing hybrids appear both in I, Jedi and Rogue Squadron: Masquerade. Dark Horse's Dark Empire introduces both the droid-piloted TIE/D and the TIE crawler "century tank". West End Games' roleplaying sourcebooks introduce varieties that include the TIE/fc fire-control support ship, the TIE/gt ground-attack fighter, the TIE/rc reconnaissance vessel, and the TIE scout.
 Cultural impact
A TIE fighter model used in filming the climax of A New Hope sold at auction for $350,000. Fans built a 16-foot-by-20-foot, 1,000-pound TIE fighter float to commemorate Star Wars' thirtieth anniversary as part of the 2007 Crystal Lake Gala Parade. A Wired editor's creation of a TIE fighter model out of Starbucks cups and stirrers prompted the magazine to create a contest for its readers to submit their own art out of similar Starbucks material.
Kenner released TIE fighter and TIE interceptor toys during the original Star Wars trilogy's theatrical release, and Kenner's die-cast TIE bomber is a rare collector's item. Hasbro also released TIE fighter, TIE bomber, and TIE interceptor toys. Both Kenner and Hasbro also manufactured TIE fighter pilot action figures. Lego manufactured TIE fighter, TIE bomber, TIE interceptor and TIE advanced models. One of eight Lego mini-kit vehicles released in 2002 is a TIE advanced, and the pieces to all eight can be combined to create a TIE bomber. Lucasfilm members had access to a limited-edition mini-kit TIE fighter. Decipher and Wizards of the Coast published various TIE starfighter and TIE-related cards for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and Star Wars Trading Card Game, respectively.
In 1994, LucasArts released the TIE Fighter flight simulator, which casts the player as an Imperial pilot flying a variety of TIE starfighters. TIE starfighter variants are also playable in Star Wars: Battlefront II and appear in other LucasArts Star Wars titles.
In January 1991, with the cancellation of the ATA and the NATF, the Secretary of the Navy directed that planning commence for a new A-6 replacement program. This new program became the known as the A-X, an advanced, “high-end,” carrier-based multi-mission aircraft with day/night/all-weather capability, low observables, long range, two engines, two-crew, and advanced, integrated avionics and countermeasures. The Air Force participated in this new program from its initiation, still seeking a replacement for the F-111 and, in the longer term, the F-15E and F-117A.
The A-X was a joint program with participation by the Navy and the Air Force to replace current strike aircraft that are completing their service lives. The A-X would replace the Navy A-6 and the Air Force F-111, F-15E, and F-117. The A-X would offer major advantages over both the F-111 and A-6, some of which will be as much as 42 years old by the time the first A-X squardron was to become active with the Navy or the Air Force. The multi-mission capability of the A-X would provide the tools necessary to execute successfully any mission assigned. Its technology would be state-of-the-art, designed to neutralize future threats and to provide superb weapons delivery capability. The A-X was intended to be fast, highly maneuverable, and able to conduct a wide variety of autonomous missions. It was to be able to employ air-to-air missiles, antiradiation missiles, precision guided munitions, and unguided or dumb bombs. It was to have the latest survivability upgrades.
The A/F-X was designed as a multi-role attack/fighter aircraft for the Navy and a deep interdiction aircraft for the Air Force in response to a joint operational requirements document. The A/F-X is expected to have a new airframe configuration that incorporates advanced low-observable and associated materials technologies. The engine was to be from a new generation of engines exemplified by significant improvements in thrust-to-weight ratio and operation at high levels of turbine inlet temperature. The aircraft's avionics suite is expected to draw heavily on the integrated avionics from the F-22 program.
The Navy launched the AX program -- successor to the A-12 which was terminated for default by Secretary of Defense Cheney -- with a design competition planned for the concept exploration and definition phase. According to the Secretary of Defense, the AX was expected to possess a significant air-to-air and air-to-ground capability for both offensive and defensive purposes.
Contracts of $20M each were awarded to five contractor teams on 30 December 1991 (prime contractor listed first):
The original A-X / A/F-X CE/D work was due to be completed in September 1992. A solicitation for Demonstration/Validation (Dem/Val) proposals was expected in late 1992, leading to a Dem/Val start in 1994 and EMD in 1996. Under the Navy’s original plan, the short Dem/Val phase would consist of design refinements and other risk reduction activities, but would not include flying prototypes. However, in late 1992 Congress directed that the A-X Dem/Val phase also include competitive prototyping. This increased the projected duration of the Dem/Val phase from two to five years. Concurrently, as a result of the termination of the NATF in 1991, increased air-to-air requirements were added to the A-X, prompting a change in the name of the Program from Advanced Attack (A-X) to Advanced Attack/Fighter (A/F-X).
This competition would have seen two teams selected to build prototype aircraft. That phase was to be followed by the selection of one contractor for the crucial demonstration and validation [DemVal] phase. The existing A-X CE/D contracts were extended to reflect a revised Dem/Val strategy to accommodate flying prototypes. The expected IOC date of the A/F-X slipped from 2006 to 2008. A Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) Milestone I Review of the A/F-X Program was expected in Spring 1993; however, the BUR placed the A/F-X program on hold pending the outcome of the report. An Milestone I DAB for the A/F-X never took place. The Navy later rejected the idea of competitive prototypes for the AX as too expensive. The AX program, while intended to develop a less costly successor to the A-12, was nevertheless expected to cost at least $14,000,000,000.
The degree to which the AX could perform both air-to-air, as well as air-to-ground, missions, was an important consideration being defined during 1992. The specific mix of combat capabilities and airframe performance parameters was defined in the concept exploration phase of the AX program in 1992, as competing industry design teams formulated their specific proposals to meet the Navy's broad set of tentative operational requirements.
The Defense Science Board Task Force on Aircraft Assessment was convened to respond to direction received from Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993, (Public Law 102-484). The Task Force first met on 21 January 1993; OSD requested the report be provided on 25 February 1993. During this time the Task Force met seven times.
Because the A/F-X program was still undergoing a design competition before Dem/Val, it was simply too early for the Task Force to make a technical risk assessment of the A/F-X aircraft. The A/F-X mission requirements for both the Navy and Air Force appear to be achievable, and the Navy is managing the program at this time to ensure adequate performance margins, including carrier suitability. Tradeoffs of cost, performance, and other requirements have been important elements of the current phase of the program Once prototype designs are submitted, a meaningful assessment of the A/F-X aircraft’s technical risk can be made. The planned Dem/Val program appeared to be structured to accommodate a substantial risk reduction effort.
A/F-X requirements called for a level of &sign innovation that justified a flying prototype before the start of E&MD. The A/F-X program was planned to follow an acquisition strategy for competitive prototyping of the aircraft during Dem/Val. If the design competition leading to Dem/Val provides a clear winner, then a single design could be prototyped. Because the A/F-X is likely to employ avionics concepts and common equipment from the F-22 program, avionics prototype testing in a flying testbed may be required only for selected components, systems integration and software.
Although the A/F-X was still in an early stage of development, the Navy and Air Force succeeded in arriving at a high degree of compatibility in the aircraft characteristics to meet their respective mission requirements. It was also planned that this aircraft will incorporate avionics having a substantial degree of commonality with the F-22.
The 1993 budget request contained $165.6 million to continue concept development of the AX medium attack aircraft for the Navy and the Air Force. During action in 1992 on this request, the House authorized $760.6 million for development of the AX, and required a competitive prototype strategy for the AX aircraft emphasizing current generation stealth technology and existing engines, radars, and avionics, with the competitive prototype phase be completed by no later than 1996. The Senate authorized a total of $50.0 million for AX development, and also endorsed a competitive prototype acquisition strategy. The Congress approved the $165.6 million as requested, and directed that that the Department of Defense should utilize current generation stealth technology and, to the maximum feasible extent, engines, radars, and avionics systems that exist or are in development.
The 14 July 1993 Defense Science Board Task Force on Tactical Aircraft Bottom Up Review found that the analytical foundation established by the BUR team provided valuable insights. The results demonstrated the value of survivability (driven principally by low observables), and swing capability (both air-to-air and air-to-ground capability), especially in combination. The results, therefore, reinforced the capabilities associated with the "F-22+" and the A/F-X. These capabilities supported the objective of maintaining overwhelming air superiority and the ability to strike the full range of targets with minimum attrition from day one.
The analytical results did not significantly discriminate between the F-18E/F and F-18C/D in a force which includes the F-22 and the A/F-X. However, during the expected ten year gap between the F-18E/F and A/F-X operational capability, the F-18E/F provided a significant enhancement. In addition to the roughly 30% improvement assessed in the performance model, the F-18E/F provided added flexibility in carrier operations, and includes provisions for growth which are limited by the current "F-18C/D airframe.
While the Defense Science Board Task Force strongly supported the need for the A/F-X, it was concerned about the program structure. The current program required $20 billion of research and development expenditures with significant operational capability not achieved for 20 years. Amortization of R&D is likely to approach $100 million per aircraft for the first production block by extrapolating current trends and consider only Navy use. The DSB suggested that a better approach to obtaining high end capability in limited numbers may be the dual airframe, common components approach which was recommended for JAF. The F-18E/F provided significant enhancement relative to the F-18C/D until the A/F-X enters the inventory in significant numbers (2010).
The Task Force observed that the tactical air community was not sufficiently well informed about US bomber capability and vice versa. The mutual understanding needs to be improved, so that the US can better exploit the synergy of long range bomber and tactical air employed jointly. It also called for a better understanding of the alternatives available to obtain deep strike. Besides longer range for tactical aircraft, the Task Force suggested considering bombers, shorter range f tactical aircraft with buddy refueling (to include refueling over enemy territory), standoff weapons, and TLAM launched from vertical tubes on ships. There was no new start program for the Navy operating alone that won't leave a significant time gap for deep strike. Perhaps the most critical issue was to better understand the number and nature of deep strike targets.
Accounting for future airframes (e.g. A/F-X) and upgrades, it seemed appropriate to keep separate track of recapitalization for engines, avionics, weapons, racks, launchers, low observable treatment of external stores, etc. In a future enironment with dramatically reduced production rates and much smaller production blocks, we will need to rationalize the ' critical. supporting subsystems to best support development and upgrade of multiple airframes.
On 1 September 1993, the release of the BUR announced the cancellation of the A/F-X as well as the MRF. As a result of the BUR, A/F-X efforts during the latter half of 1993 were directed toward closing out the program and transitioning applicable experience and results to the upcoming JAST program. In early 1993 the Congressional Budget Office had estimated that canceling the Navy's AX tactical aircraft program would save $3.6 billion over 5 years, under the theory that the FA-18E/F was adequate for another decade.
A core of A/F-X personnel performed a large portion of the working-level planning and definition of the emerging JAST Program. The A/F-X CE/D contracts were extended a second time, through 17 December 1993, to allow the contractors sufficient time to bring their activities to a logical conclusion. Each of the four teams received $3.3 M contracts to close out their efforts because the airplane was deemed unaffordable. At one time Vought had over 150 people working on the project full and part time, including a contingent of McDonnell Douglas people. All A/F-X program operations ended on 31 December 1993.
* Crew: 2 (Pilot and Radar Intercept Officer) * Length: 18.80 m (61 ft 8 in) * Wingspan: Wingspan, fully forward: 20.62 m (67 ft 8 in) * Height: ll: 4.52 m (14 ft 10 in) * Wing area: 1000 ft² * Empty weight: 30,000 lb * Loaded weight: 60,600 lb * Max takeoff weight: 65,000 lb * Powerplant: 2× G Pratt & Whitney YF220 , 65,000 lbf
* Maximum speed: Mach 2.34 (1,544 mph, 2,485 km/h) at high altitude * Combat radius: 500 nmi (575 mi, 926 km) * Ferry range: 1,600 nmi (1,840 mi, 2,960 km) * Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,200 m) * Rate of climb: >45,000 ft/min (229 m/s) * Wing loading: 113.4 lb/ft² (553.9 kg/m²) * Thrust/weight: 0.91
* Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan 6-barreled gatling cannon, with 675 rounds * Hardpoints: 10 total: 6× under-fuselage, 2× under nacelles and 2× on wing gloves[N 2] with a capacity of 14,500 lb (6,600 kg) of ordnance and fuel tanks * Missiles: o Air-to-air missiles: AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder
has since been deployed into theater by the USAF, where its vastly improved performance in “hot and high” environments has come in very handy. Unlike the pending Airbus A400M, however, the C-130J doesn’t solve the sub-survivable 20-ton armored vehicle limit that has stymied multiple US armored vehicle programs from the Stryker IAV to Future Combat Systems. As such, it represents an improvement that fails to address US tactical airlift’s key bottleneck limitation.”
Something called the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) may – or may not – represent a first step toward addressing that issue. It may also represent a US aerospace effort to avoid a looming future in which the Airbus A400M would be the only available tactical transport for survivable armored personnel carriers. With the light transport JCA made up of entirely foreign designs, the 20-ton transport market beginning to crowd, and the heavy-lift C-17 production line headed toward shutdown, the US aerospace industry risks a slip from a 1980-1990s position of market dominance in the military transport space to a position of fighting for its competitive life by 2020.
So where does ACAA fit in? How is it connected to the Composite Affordability Initiative, and the notional Advanced Joint Air Combat System (AJACS) program?
From CAI to ACAA The AMC-X/ AJACS Program: Intent and Issues Contracts and Key Events Additional Readings & Sources
From CAI to ACAA X-55 ACAA X-55A tow-out (click to view full)
The Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACAA) effort was made possible by an 11-year, $152 million Air Force Research Laboratory-led research and development investment called the Composite Affordability Initiative, which began in the mid 1990s. Despite the potential weight and hence performance advantages offered by composites, industry was reluctant to use them in new aircraft due to their perceived risks and costs. Under the CAI, government labs including NASA, worked collaboratively with industry, in order to develop advanced materials and manufacturing technologies. Composites World summed up the results:
“CAI research accelerated the maturation of materials and processes, increased our understanding of structural behavior in bonded joints, encouraged development of new quality assurance methods to ensure bonded joints remain bonded throughout an aircraft’s service life, and – critically important – ultimately gained large integrated and bonded structures the essential buy-off of DoD aircraft certification authorities…. As the use of CAI technology increases, we envision a day when composites become the default material in DoD airframes, exceeding 50 percent by weight of the structure.”
The Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) illustrates why those changes are important.
In its RFP, the US Air Force Research Laboratory set out goals for a STOL aircraft that could fly 400kt (740km/h), pressurized and carrying 3 cargo pallets, 20 troops or 1 light-wheeled vehicle. This is obviously a scaled-down version of the eventual plane the Air force might want, but it does force the contractors to use appropriate designs as they work to address the cost and weight issues associated with “advanced structural design and manufacturing techniques integrated with advanced aerodynamic design.”
According to Flight International, Alenia North America, Lockheed Martin, Piasecki Aircraft and Dick Rutan’s Voyager Aerospace all expressed interest in the RFP. This is hardly surprising, given the manufacturing and design advantages that may accrue to the winning firm. Lockheed Martin won the ACCA contract, which it turned over to its famous “Skunk Works” advanced design & technology group.
The results have validated that belief. The X-55A ACAA was built using large, bonded unitized composite structures featuring low-temperature, out-of-autoclave curing. That’s ahead of even Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, which uses out-of-autoclave curing in some areas but not for large fuselage parts.
The AJACS Program: Intent and Issues AIR_YC-15_and_F-4.jpg YC-15 and F-4 (click to view full)
The USA has been here before, however, with the 1980s Advanced Medium STOL Transport competition that produced the Boeing YC-14 and McDonnell Douglas YC-15. Both planes were produced, both made extensive use of new technologies, both met all tests. The program ended up canceled.
ACAA lays the foundation for a second go-round, if the USAF wishes. Airbus’ new A400M medium-heavy transport will make extensive use of composite structures, and so will Embraer’s KC-390 medium tactical transport. If any future American military airlifter expects to offer competitive performance and costs, the ability to use similar technologies effectively will make a big difference to project risk, project timelines, and aircraft performance.
Ultimately, however, the Advanced Joint Air Combat System (AJACS, formerly AMC-X) requirements are likely to be considerably more ambitious than ACAA’s. A 2004 Air Force Magazine piece had this to say:
“Afghanistan and Iraq have underscored the need for a new tactical transport that would fulfill a variety of airlift and special operations roles, Air Force officials reported. The new aircraft – dubbed Advanced Mobility Concept, or AMC-X – would have about the same cargo capacity as a C-130 but be able to fly higher and faster, while operating from 2,000-foot runways. Moreover, the AMC-X would be stealthy.
“We’re talking about … airliner speed,” close to Mach 1, said Col. Marshall K. Sabol, Air Mobility Command’s deputy director of plans and programs. The C-130’s average speed is 345 mph.
AMC also wants an airplane that can fly at the altitudes used by airliners, with greater range and greater survivability, he said. Paramount for the new transport will be its ability to operate at austere locations and carry outsize cargo, said Sabol.
Moreover, the next tactical airlifter will have to be able to operate in blackout conditions at low level, perform paratrooper and equipment airdrop, operate in all weather, and be capable of accomplishing “autoland” – automatic, virtually hands-off landing, guided only by the runway and onboard navigation systems.
Such requirements are “not the future,” said Sabol, adding, “it’s where we operate” today.
AMC is also working with Air Force Research Labs and the Army to make sure that the tactical transport is compatible with the Army’s new Stryker vehicle. The Stryker was designed to be transportable on C-130s, but the vehicle’s weight has continued to grow.” AIR_X-48B_BWB_Wind_Tunnel.jpg X-48B in wind tunnel (click to view full)
According to Jane’s, potential competitors for the AJACS program could include Lockheed Martin’s MACK concept sketched out in response to Special Forces requirements, a modified Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, or a Boeing concept based on the company’s experimental X-48B blended wing body (BWB) design that offers higher lift, higher capacity in a given footprint, and even noise reduction.
Whatever the eventual platform looks like, in order to accommodate a Stryker vehicle in combat condition, as well as currently contemplated US and foreign armored personnel carrier designs with enough armor to be survivable on modern battlefields, a cargo capacity increase of at least 50% over the current C-130J (21.7 tons – 30-35 tons) would almost certainly be required.
One would think this imperative might be a higher priority than cost-turbocharging requirements like stealth and airliner-class cruise speed, but the 2004 Air Force Magazine article seems to suggest that it wasn’t. Those stealth and speed requirements certainly make sense for Special Operations aircraft beyond 2015, as Robert Martinage’s CSBA presentation [pdf] explains. They can add significant purchase and maintenance costs, however, which risks pricing aircraft intended for conventional military operations out of the market. All in exchange for capabilities that are rarely required by regular forces.
C-130J.jpg C-130J Hercules (click to view full)
In order for AJACS to emulate the C-130’s success and result in a competitive aircraft on the international market, as opposed to an aircraft that shares the fate of its AMST predecessors, it will indeed need next-generation manufacturing technologies and materials. It will also have to be designed according to Army priorities, rather than Air Force wish lists. The A400M’s focus on those needs, and smart international production arrangements, have booked it almost 200 orders before AJACS even has a notional design. If it can deal with its technological risks, it will be widely successful. If AJACS cannot compete on cost and capacity, countries that intend to transport survivable armored vehicles in their airlifters will have absolutely no option except the A400M. Especially if the larger and more expensive C-17 production line shuts down.
Even if the C-17 remains in production, however, the combination of proliferating choices in the 20-ton airlift market (C-130J, HAL-Irkut MRTA, Embraer 390), plus a practical 30-ton military requirement that must be met at or below the A400M’s $100-120 million cost, will leave large market slices without American coverage if AJACS is not thought through correctly at its earliest stages.
All of this assumes, of course, that AJACS is funded at all, amidst a wave of exploding public entitlements, demographic squeezes, and lower economic performance.
Contracts and Key Events X-55 ACAA X-55A ACAA (click to view full)
At this stage, the Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH is acquiring the design, development, and manufacture of a technology demonstration Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) that features advanced structural design and manufacturing techniques integrated with advanced aerodynamic design. The purpose of this aircraft is to demonstrate the application of structural design and manufacturing technologies that can significantly reduce the structural weight and cost of future military transport type aircraft.
Oct 19/09: USAF officials announce “X-55A” as the ACAA’s new designation.
The X-55A is a technology demonstrator for the design and manufacture of future aircraft using advanced composite materials. The X-55A is a modified Dornier 328J aircraft with the fuselage aft of the crew station and the vertical tail removed and replaced with completely new structural designs made from composites using new out-of-autoclave curing techniques. The vertical tail was designed using tailored stiffness technology. These were joined with an existing Dornier 328J cockpit, wing, engines and horizontal tail. The test platform contains some 600 accelerometers and stress gauges.
The fuselage was built in 2 large half-sections (upper-lower), featuring sandwich construction with MTM-45 skins and Nomex core. These were bonded together with adhesive and ply overlays along the longitudinal seam, rather than the numerous frames, stiffeners and metal fasteners used commonly in traditional aircraft. Compared to the original metallic components, the X-55A’s composite structure uses approximately 300 structural parts, vs. 3,000 metallic parts for the original components; and approximately 4,000 mechanical fasteners compared to 40,000.
Sept 17/09: Phase III of the ACAA program is awarded to Lockheed Martin. This phase will expand the flight envelope, fully characterize the structure, examine the reliability and longevity of the design, and baseline the X-55A as a test-bed for other technologies. a href=”[link]”>Source.
June 2/09: First flight of the ACAA at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA. Working with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, it was designed in 5 months, then built and flown 20 months after the go-ahead. Barth Shenk, the ACAA program manager with AFRL’s Air Vehicle Directorate, says that it was built at half the estimated cost of a conventional design of the same size.
Test flights on July 13 and August 8 expanded the aircraft’s maneuver envelope, and recorded external aerodynamic flow data. Source.
Oct 17/07: A Lockheed Martin release says that the USAF Research Laboratory (AFRL) has authorized them to proceed to Phase II of the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) Flight Demonstration contract. Lockheed Martin will build and flight-demonstrate an X-Plane type aircraft with emphasis on innovative structural configurations and concepts; its solution involves replacement of the mid/aft fuselage and empennage of a Dornier 328J aircraft with advanced composites within the required 12-month schedule. The Lockheed Martin release adds that AFRL is currently investigating opportunities for Aurora Flight Sciences to collaborate with Lockheed Martin and AFRL in the demonstration of additional technologies and capabilities for future transport structures.
The integration of advanced composites on the ACCA flight demonstrator is intended to reduce the aircraft’s parts count by 80-90%, and dramatically reduce corrosion and fatigue issues, sharply lowering conventional maintenance costs. ACCA will also offer production traceability, allowing its key technologies to be used in a broad spectrum of next generation aircraft. On the flip side, battle damage to composite airframes can be more difficult to repair, depending on the exact composites and design. Frank Mauro, vice president at Lockheed martin’s famous Skunk Works, says:
“With ACCA we are attempting to reinvent the manufacturing paradigm through the strategic use of composite manufacturing technologies…”
April 20/07: Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. in Manassas, VA received a $46.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide for an ACAA flight demonstrator. At this time, $2 million have been obligated (FA8650-07-C-3700).
Aurora currently builds about 1/3 of the airframe for the large, composites-heavy RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. AIR_K-X_MACK-type_Concept.gif not from Lockheed (click to view larger)
April 20/07: Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth, TX received a $49.1 million cooperative agreement contract to provide for an ACAA flight demonstrator. At this time, $2 million have been obligated. Solicitations began January 2007, and negotiations were complete April 2007 (FA8650-07-2-3745).
A 2005 Military Aerospace Technology article makes note of the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ MACK concept aircraft, proposed for Special Forces insertion, tanker, and gunship uses. It may exert a significant influence on Lockheed Martin’s ACAA/AJACS designs:
“Lockheed Martin Skunk Works has developed the concept of a modular large-body aircraft to undertake the range of roles listed. This aircraft, designated MACK, will be capable in M-X (special forces insertion), A-X (gunship), C-X (transport) and K-X (tanker) roles. Interchangeable modules can be fitted depending on the requirement.
MACK would have a tailless compound delta wing, with roughly the outer third bent upwards. Multi-spectral stealth characteristics would make it capable against both early warning and fire control radars. Its two engines would be installed inside the airframe. They would be high-bypass types, making them quieter and cooler.
The airframe itself would be made primarily of composite material, although existing composites would be employed in order to reduce costs. Like today’s dedicated strike/interdictor aircraft [DID: and all SOCOM fixed-wing aircraft], MACK would be capable of terrain-following and terrain avoidance flight. It would also be fitted with both offensive and defensive self-protection systems. Aircrew would include pilot, co-pilot and navigator. Gross take-off weight would be 230,000 pounds to 240,000 pounds The engines would each provide 63,000 pounds of thrust, and field length with a 22,000 pound payload would be 1,500 feet.”
Crew: 13 Officers: 5 (pilot, copilot, navigator, fire control officer, electronic warfare officer) Enlisted: 8 (flight engineer, TV operator, infrared detection set operator, loadmaster, four aerial gunners) Length: 137 ft Wingspan: 125 ft Height: 38 ft 6 in Wing area: 185.5 ft² (162.2 m²) Loaded weight: 202.00 lb (55,520 kg) Max takeoff weight: 155,000 lb (69,750 kg) Powerplant: 4 ×Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 Pitch Thrust vectoring turbofans
Performance Cruise speed: Mach 0.76 (450 knots, 515 mph, 830 km/h) Range: 2,420 nmi (2,785 mi, 4,482 km) Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,716 m) Max wing loading: 150 lb/ft² (750 kg/m²) Minimum thrust/weight: 0.277 Takeoff run at MTOW: 7,600 ft (2,316 m) Landing distance: 3,500 ft (1,060 m) 2004-2011 Defense Industry Daily, LLC in association with Watershed Publishing
The United Republic of Earth has always relied on dedicated, state-sponsored military contractors to design their warships, fighters, and weaponry. The Jovian Confederacy, however, takes a far more free-market approach. Contracts with Jovian military contractor Rangald Industries (and other contractors) for smaller ships are traditionally written so that ship designs must be produced exclusively for the Confederacy only for a set period of time (usually 5 years), and following that, the contractor has free reign to sell the ship to anyone they see fit. This arrangement tends to produce a high level of innovation, as the contractor(s) are also designing for a larger, less military market, and have the added incentive of future non-government sales.
As such, Rangald Industries has become known as one of the finest producers of civilian and paramilitary combat vessels in the system. Rangald Ind. ships are extremely durable, hard-hitting, and affordable, though they tend to suffer in the areas of electronic systems and speed. This design philosophy makes them extremely popular with mercenaries, police forces, warlords, and anyone looking to add a bit of firepower to their arsenal. Rangald Ind. ships are a common sight in station patrols and pirate raids alike.
The Skald-class gunship is one of the most popular Rangald ships, and includes some of the best features of their smallship lineup. While the Skald is only as large as a patrol boat, it can bring as much firepower to bear as most corvettes, and its armor plating can resist blows from guns all the way up the frigate caliber.
While in exclusive military service, the Skald-class was armed entirely with weapons of Confederate design. As soon as the vessel entered the private sector, however, Rangald Industries quickly scrapped that design philosophy in favor of weapon technology stolen from the UESF. It proved to be a good choice, as the Republic fleet is well known for it's exceptional railgun technology. However, Rangald opted to retain the powerful Jovian 'Rage' missile system, giving the Skald the best of both worlds when it came to weapons
Crew Compliment: -4 ships company (room for up to 8)
Designer -Rangald Industries
Manufacturer -Rangald Industries, through various Jovian Ship Yards
Contracts/Commonly Used By -Contract with the Jovian Confederacy; sold to various nations and corporations
NOTE: My first ship of Jovian design (all previous ones were designed by the UESF of core-world based corporations), this one does a good job of showing off some features that are distinctively Jovian in appearance. Hope you like it!
The Tempest-Class is typical of UEF battleship design: big, slow, and brutish. Bearing massive cannons and a slew of torpedo tubes, a Tempest can reduce pretty much anything to slag in a matter of minutes and its armor can take a tremendous beating before cracking. However, like most UEF ships, it is designed exclusively for operation with a fleet or taskforce, and as such has very few anti-fighter weapon emplacements, relying almost exclusively on support ships for light defense.