(Strikecraft) DF430 Deep Space Fighter
A versatile long-range Deep Space Fighter based on the Aquarian Federal Navy's older F-4300 Dragonfly. The DF430 is the mainstay of the Aquarian Imperial Navy's agile strike capability, and its multi-role capabilities have allowed it to assume almost every role required by the fighter class. Despite this, various dedicated adaptions exist, including a dedicated long-range bomber variant.
Role: Multi-Role / Deep Space Fighter
Mass: 410 T
Length: 29 M
Max Speed (Impulse Cruise): < 10 KM/s
Max Speed (Hyper Cruise): < 7900 KM/s
Max Range (JDA): N/A
Date: 4402 A.D / 1 I.D.S
Origin: Origin: Aquarius Imperial Naval Shipyards, Lorentis System
Crew Complement: up to 6
Primary Armour Plating: Nanopolymer-based low-ferrous metallic composite construction
Primary Armour Thickness: =< 0.4M (Main), =< 0.25M (Secondary) =< 0.2M (Tertiary & Pressure)
Spinal/Axial Armament: -- [PENDING DECRYPTION]
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Variants: - DF430 Interceptor variant, DF430A Multi-role/Space Superiority variant, DF430B Long-Range Bomber variant.
A Long Range Deep Space Fighter developed by the Imperial Navy based on the proven F-4300 Dragonfly strikecraft used by the Aquarian Federal Navy in the New Federal Era. The DF430 shares almost all functionality and design traits with its predecessor, but features new upgrades for Imperial Service such as improved, higher efficiency cruise drives and upgraded armour composition. The Fighter is deployed everywhere the AIN operates, and proved so successful filling a multitude of roles from interceptor to bomber, to space-superiority, that it essentially replaced all other spaceframes of the Strikecraft specification in Imperial service.
The primary weapons capability of the Dragonfly is comprised of externally mounted (under the central fuselage) 'Hornet-S' anti-ship missiles with compatibility with a variety of warhead types for different situations. The maximum payload for the Interceptor variant is 6 projectiles in two external stores on each side of the craft with three projectiles in each store. The secondary weapons payload is a trio of dual-linked FIMD rotary cannons, with a dual-linked, quad-barrel 50MM FIMD autocannon under the nose on a gimble mount for countering highly mobile strikecraft, and a pair of dual-linked fixed, triple-barrel 75MM rotary autocannons in housings under the belly of the craft for use against heavier targets.
DF430 are thus present as the primary strikecraft contingent on every Imperial Vessel with carrier capabilities, with the versatile space-frame allowing fast adaption to almost any role required of it. Despite this extensive multi-role capability, dedicated variants of the craft do exist, such as the DF430B; a dedicated bomber variant with upgraded powerplant and heavier mass-lifting capabilities for anti-capital ship ordnance. The 'B' variant is unique in that it is the only strikecraft in service that can carry an external SPARTAN-LE Missile - a strikecraft optimised, lighter version of the Imperial Navy's extremely powerful SPARTAN Missile Platform. This allows the DF430B to conduct anti-capital ship operations and even anti-surface strikes with devastating firepower previously reserved for larger warships, greatly expanding the Aquarian Imperial Navy's agile heavy strike capability.
Due to its versatility and dependability, the Dragonfly is essentially the only dedicated strikecraft class vessel employed by the ATIS military, and there are at present no plans to replace the design with an entirely new, or series of new, hulls. However, a modernisation of the DF430, known as the DSF430 is being rolled out by the end of the 44th century. This design would go on to become the basis for the first full modernisation of the Dragonfly, the DSF440/SA Super Dragonfly.
|| Picture 2: DF430 DSF Cockpit view over Lorentis, circa 4470AD~, A Thunderhead-class Heavy Cruiser can be seen in the distance, to the right, over the planet.