(non-exhaustive descriptive overview)
Aquarian Imperial Planetary Forces doctrine calls for an all-purpose, all-environment, space and atmospheric re-entry capable dropship with a medium-lift capability to insert troops and light mechanised units (such as drones) from orbiting 'wet' deployment platforms (I.e, they are exposed to the vacuum of space) to hostile surface combat zones, potentially under fire. Although Imperial Military Doctrine usually requires that total orbital and upper atmospheric superiority is achieved by the Navy before orbital insertions of IPF units, the requirement for providing basic CAS to disembarked units was underscored to simplify tactical deployment of aerial units in the combat zone. As such, the GS-T (Gun Ship, Transport) was designed to fulfil the role of orbital medium-lift transport/dropship, and close-support gunship simultaneously.
GS-T possess a heavily armoured reinforced spaceframe able to withstand heavy impacts and shrapnel from active surface-based anti-orbital weapons fire, along with two hardpoints for ground-facing turreted weapon systems (nominally equipped with Dual-Linked automatic 45mm FIMD cannons) and an extensive external suspended payload capacity due to hardpoints located on the aerofoil winglets.
Primary airborne propulsion in high gravity environments (planetside) is provided by the integral Gravimetric Gyro which reduces the effects of gravity around the craft. Additional thrust and manoeuvring is provided by the traversable directional Fusion Impulse Engines mounted on the quartet wings. In case of a Gyro failure, the GS-T's quartet Fusion Impulse Engines are capable of providing sufficient thrust to keep the aircraft airborne in environments up to 1.5 G, but at a significant penalty to fuel consumption, speed and manoeuvrability.
The design of the craft places emphasis on durability, transport capability and low-speed atmospheric glide re-entry. To achieve this, the GS-T is equipped with two large Cyclical Fluid Turbines which are able to provide forward thrust in most atmospheres with a pressure greater than ~700 mbars. These turbines engage in the final stages of the glide and allow the GS-T to reduce its speed considerably, at a much lower power requirement than firing the Fusion-Impulse thrusters in reverse, or utilising the integral Gravimetric Gyro.
In addition, the GS-T's quartet wings are equipped with powerful Fusion Impulse Thrusters and traversable aerofoil winglets that can produce significant lift in heavier atmospheres allowing unpowered glide to a phase of re-entry. Furthermore, these winglets also serve as air-brakes to control the speed of descent. Although the winglets possess hardpoints for external stores; these are not available if the craft is configured for atmospheric entry due to the pressure and thermal constraints imposed on the winglet structure.
The GS-T is, by design, space-capable and possess a rear-facing exhaust nacelle for the Fusion Impulse Engine allowing high acceleration in space by directing Fusion Exhaust directly behind the craft. Lateral De-acceleration is provided by rotating the forward engines so the exhaust is directed forward (or in the direction to de-accelerate). Due to this design, the GS-T is able to move with reasonable agility in zero-G environments despite its emphasis on atmospheric operation.