Designed by Peregrine to fulfill the Shogunate Navy's need for a Heavy Bomber hunter, the Harrier mk III features a slim forward attack profile, earning it the nickname "Slender Man" by New Republic forces, after the Corellian urban myth. While not quite as agile or as fast as the smaller Hayabusa Aerospace fighter, the Harrier is deadly in a dogfight thanks to its impressive set of guns, capable of unleashing a twenty second long burst due to its high-capacity cooling system. As per shogunate doctrine, the gun configuration is close to the cockpit, allowing for a narrow stream of fire. With four heavy weapon pod hardpoints to configure for various mission profiles, pilots with less-than-ideal gunnery scores often pick an extra gunpod or two.
The Harrier mark III also features the first successful COFFIN, allowing it to minimize crew requirements to just a single pilot. A more advanced version of the COFFIN is under development to enhance the Hayabusa's already impressive performance.
"Hope you like swimming in gelatin while you fly."
1660x1024px 520.69 KB
Featured in collections
I like the shape and the Modern Starwars feel, but this craft also ticks my box of sci-fi design concepts to avoid.
When it comes to guns I would prefer a single cannon designed for the purpose (IE anti-fighter gun, 1 anti-armor gun). When it comes to missiles I am fine with the concept of more the better.
It's not so much a sci-fi concept as it is a World War II one. During that era of aviation, air combat involved dogfighting, and the more guns you had spread out over the frame of your fighter, the better your chances of scoring a hit against your opponent. These days modern jet fighters carry a single (very impressive) gatling gun just in case, but will rarely use it. Instead, they rely on launching missiles at very long distances (sometimes out of visual range) to take out their enemy. In the future, space combat may involve that kind of long distance sniping as well.
That being said, Star Wars is all about those World War II tropes in space.
I will not deny that using that logic the use of multiple main guns might seem justified but with the addition of one vital piece of equipment, that argument might go to waste. All starfighters are equipped with targeting computers.
A targeting computer can greatly increase the effectiveness of the guns in a dogfight to the point that less weapons can be more effective than more. This can result in less rounds fired to score a hit and less rounds fired to destroy a target.
Another way to look at it is that if you can use a single more powerful weapon that can punch through shields and destroy the target in one go, the tactic of using multiple weapons that strip shields and then destroy the target might seem inefficient. In other words, if you have a better chance to hit and kill with one shot, then one shot might be your best option. This could also reduce on redundant systems, loosing weight and allowing for increased reliability on the tech.
I know Star Wars starfighters and their tactics are inspired by WW2 technology but the tactics and technology of WW2 evolved.
This is my biggest complaint with Star Wars design.
Targeting computers in Star Wars are meant to increase the effectiveness of a pilot's gunnery, not the guns themselves. Having that on TOP of multiple guns only increases the chances to hit even more. While you have a point with less rounds being fired to destroy a target, the fact is that we're talking about energy weapons with virtually limitless ammo reserves. As for less rounds fired to destroy a target, that largely depends on the gun's firepower and the target's defenses... hence why there are two sets of calibers. The 20 mm guns have higher rates of fire, ideal for nimble fighters, while the 30mm can punch through heavy armor, ideal for heavy bombers. When both calibers prove unsuitable, or would consume too much time and energy to be considered effective or efficient, that's when the missiles and torpedoes come into play.
Having a single one size fits all single gun sounds great, but even in the reality of the Star Wars setting, large cannons have their issues, such as size, mass, power drain and heat generation, issues that the starfighter would have to be designed around. There are other considerations, such as ease of maintenance, replacement and modification, as well as the costs and benefits of having redundant components.
I'm happy you brought this up!
Star Wars' aerospace craft's max atmospheric speed statistics, in both Canon and Legends, tend to be surprisingly low considering the tech level of the setting. The Millennium Falcon, hailed as one of the fastest transports in the galaxy, has a max atmospheric speed of 1050 kilometers per hour, not even crossing Mach 1. The A-wing, a smaller, nimbler craft, does not even come close to Mach 2. Under the scale of the setting, a heavy fighter that nearly crosses mach 2 is downright revolutionary.
The reason for this, at least according to the canon in my head, is that starfighters and space transports are not optimized for atmospheric flight, depending on Repulsorlifts to provide lift and minimizing escape velocity requirements, while their engines work best to provide acceleration in the airless, zero gravity void of space.
As for re-entry conditions and speeds, whoever wrote the technical manuals for Star Wars fighter craft probably did not take those into account, or maybe thought Repulsorlifts made it a moot point.