|GCN SF16 Ratfish|
|View In 3D:||N/A|
|Primary Roles||Trainer, Light Support, Coastal Guard Unit|
|Secondary Roles||Light Fighter, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Ship Warfare|
|Weapons|| Two 25mm Hyper-fire Cannons
8 Lasers (4 blue, 4 yellow)
4 Low Power Spatial Disruptors
Super Radar Disruptors
Electronic Counter Measures
Up to 8 missiles, including Micro-Missiles, i9 Punisher Missiles, Cateye Missiles, and Dealbreaker Missiles
Up to 1000lb of internal weapons, including smart mines, anti-submarine depth charges, bombs and rockets.
|Propulsion|| 2 X-i25 Hyperdrives with thrust vectoring
2 X-s13 Hybrid Nuclear/Hyperdrives
A small trainer/light fighter that is popular among experienced pilots for its abilities and fire power. It is known for its agility, ease of use, and being a good sport fighter. However, as it was built before newer, more advanced fighters like the SX22 BlueShark II and Black Falcon, it was replaced as a trainer by the SF17 Dogfish, though boosted in its combat roles, especially as a marine unit with various applications.
The SF16 Ratfish was the inspiration behind the MX16 Chimaera.
The main intended roles of the SF16 were to be an introductory trainer for larger, more powerful fighters, such as the SP21, and a full trainer for smaller fighters, including the SF15 BlueShark and the EagleRay. Its scope was expanded with improved AI to make it an all-purpose trainer, and later a specialized marine trainer, where it proved to be especially useful.
Marine Light FighterEdit
The SF16 Ratfish was not originally intended to see much active duty, if any, and it was assumed that it would do poorly in real life combat roles. However, it proved to be a hit among experienced pilots, who loved its smoothness, but also praised its hardiness and ability to keep going even under pressure. It excels against small ships alone, and large ships in numbers, and against modern helicopters, which have been a sore point for most modern fighters.
The SF16 has its roots in 2730, when it was initially conceptualized as a trainer for the GCN's quickly improving fleet. It was not until 2750 that initial prototypes began testing. The first flight of a final version of the SF16 occured in 2775, after delays due to the GCN being busier with other projects.
After this first flight, the SF16 soared into popularity, seeing the production of hundreds of units within just a few years in factories around the world. Even the GCN's extra-terrestrial colonies expressed interest in the SF16 to train their SP21 pilots. By 2820, over 10000 SF16s had been produced, and production continued apace without any sign of slowing down.
With the success of the SF16 as a trainer, the GCN began looking into using it full time in real-life combat roles. Initially, they envisioned the SF16 being used against rebel troops and encampments, likely as a light bomber. However, experienced pilots began lobbying for the GCN to begin testing the SF16 in other scenarios, praising its hardiness and agility. Marine pilots praised the SF16 accuracy at smoking out aquatic targets in practice scenarios, and in its ability to get in, do the deed, and get back out without taking much fire.
In 2825, the GCN gave the "go ahead", and the SF16 entered into active duty. It definitely earned its keep, and within less than a year, veteran pilots were racking up massive kill counts with this trainer turned tracker. It became notorious as a submarine killer, a pest to enemy ships, and an absolute nightmare for enemy troops. However, going into combat against more modern fighters began to expose the chinks in the Ratfish's armour.
Newer fighters began to appear on the battlefield, including the Black Falcon and WarHawk, and as rebels managed to steal more and more powerful aircraft, the GCN found it increasingly difficult to tackle troops on the ground without resorting to heavier, more expensive aircraft. More specialized fighters such as the SP22 GinsuShark were championed as better solutions to the issue of close air support. Thus, the usefulness of the SF16 began to wane, and its niche as a troublemaker for weaker, less well armed enemies, began to disappear.
By 2875, the GCN replaced the SF16 as a trainer with the SF17 Dogfish, and began to phase out the SF16's combat roles to make room for more capable light fighters, such as the SX22 BlueShark II and SX21 LeopardShark. However, the SF16 remains in usage in many parts of the world (earth) and on many other planets and colonies, due to its popularity among pilots. It is especially popular on the Paradise Planet and Mars.
The GCN has agreed to continue to update and improve the SF16 with new software, AI, and missile capabilities, but has declined to upgrade its design, radar or built in weapons.