The SF-200 Spectre Space Superiority Fighter was designed by Hashimaru Aerospace Industries and The Bifrost Armory, the state-owned arms manufacturer for the planet Bifrost, the most powerful of the Free Colonies. While it is currently used exclusively by the Bifrost Defense Fleet (BDF) it is slated for future sales to "trusted partners" like the Guardsman Interstellar Security Service (G.I.S.S.).
This two-man fighter is fast and agile, and can perform a variety of missions, though it is designed primarily for fighter and sub-capital ship intercepts, meaning it is meant to take on frigates, transports, and other fighters...essentially it's meant to hunt pirates.
The fighter has two extended-range particle beam cannons, six external mounts for anti-ship missiles, and an internal bay with six anti-starfighter short-range missiles. However, it's most impressive features are its drive system and its sensor package. The sensor package is one of the best ever placed on a fighter, giving it the sensor capabilities of a much larger vessel, thus the need for a radar intercept officer (RIO) in addition to a pilot. It even has hull-penetrating molecular sniffers, designed to analyze a transport's cargo from ten miles out.
But the most advanced feature, and the one that gives the ship its name, is its short-range negative mass drives. These are the smallest known FTL engines ever built. However, the ship is not designed to travel between star systems. Whereas a standard FTL allows a ship to attain 365 negative masses (about a light year per day in travel), the Spectre only achieves 10 negative masses, going only 10 times the speed of light. This is designed to allow the fighter fast transport inside a solar system. In fact, it is so fast that for a time, depending on the distance, an enemy will detect the fighter in two places at once because all sensors work at a maximum of light speed. A squadron of Spectres launched from a carrier will arrive within a couple minutes or hours anywhere inside of a star system, a capability no other fighter has.
Since Bifrost is not actively at war it may be some time before observers determine if the mini-jump drives, as they are known, are worth the cost.
The fighters shown above belong to the Rattlesnake Squadron, which is quickly becoming the best known pirate-hunter fighter squadron in the Free Colonies. They are reserved for the escort of high-value cargo to and from Bifrost and for attacks on known and dangerous pirate forces.