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(Strikecraft) DF431 Cranefly Deep Space Fighter

Heavier variant of the versatile Dragonfly Deep Space Fighter, equipped with a stronger powerplant, support for shield modulator, EXL-class external hardpoints and stronger sensors.

(Strikecraft) DF431 Cranefly Deep Space Fighter


Class: Strikecraft
Role: Attacker/Bomber, Reconnaissance / Deep Space Fighter
Mass: ~580 T
Length: ~39 M
Max Speed (Impulse Cruise): < 8 KM/s
Max Speed (Hyper Cruise): < 6500 KM/s
Max Range (JDA): N/A
Date: 4406 A.D
Origin: Origin: Aquarius Imperial Naval Shipyards, Lorentis System
Crew Complement: up to 3

Primary Armour Plating: Nanopolymer-based low-ferrous metallic composite construction
Primary Armour Thickness: =< 0.4M (Main), =< 0.25M (Secondary) =< 0.2M (Tertiary & Pressure)
Fixed Weapons: 2x Dual-Linked FIMD-20-4 20MM Rotary Autocannons
Weapons Hardpoints: Hull: (M) x4, (XL) x4, (EXL) x2, Wings: (L) x4, (M) x4
Point Defence Turrets: PDS-2 CIWS x4
Systems Hardpoints: (L) x2, (M) x2, (S) x6
Shielding: SCSM (S) x1
Sensors: PARALAX-V (Without shield modulator) PARALAX-IV (with shield modulator)
Propulsion: Dual Hydrogen-Helium Fusion Impulse Drives, quad H-HFID auxiliary/Cruise assist drives
Powerplant: Dual, Quad-Cylinder H-H Turbine (20,000 RPM). 8 MW.

A derivative of the versatile DF430 Dragonfly, the DF431 emphasises increased payload capacity, powerplant output and systems support at the cost of significantly increased mass as a result. Unlike the Dragonfly, the Cranefly is able to equip a Shield Modulator, making it one of the smallest spacecraft in the Aquarian Fleet to be able to do so. There are two distinct variants of the DF431; the 'B' variant denoting 'bomber' capability and the 'R' variant denoting 'Reconnaissance'. The major functional difference between them being the installation of either a Shield Modulator or PARALAX-V Sensors System, as the power plant is only able to support one of these, in addition to physical size/mass limitations of the space-frame.

The Cranefly is equipped with a standardised Point Defence System for defence against guided munitions, such as missiles or homing mines, or potentially hostile interceptors at point-blank range. In addition to this, it features significantly expanded flexible systems hardpoints due to the larger powerplant, making it able to carry a variety of external support modules increasing its flexibility in deployment. The larger space-frame of the Cranefly allows it to carry two (EXL)-class external hardpoints, giving it the ability to carry powerful stand-off anti-capital ship weapons in its bomber configuration (DF431B).

The increased mass of the Cranefly has a negative effect on its limit-imposed maximum speed and acceptable linear inertial tolerance; while almost as fast as the Dragonfly in a straight line, the Cranefly requires considerably more energy/time to deaccelerate, limiting its flexibility in course alterations in cruise to some degree. Despite this, the larger space-frame allows for increased fuel capacity and thus increased effective cruise range compared to its smaller sibling, idealy suiting this craft to picket operations, a platform for stand-off anti-capital ship munitions (bomber) or a Deep Reconnaissance craft when configured in the DF431R variant.

Like the Dragonfly, the Cranefly's space-frame is optimised for limited atmospheric flight; the wings have aerofoil surfaces for glide and lift generation to reduce fuel consumption during such situations. In space, the wings carry external weapons, and are folded/retracted when depleted or not in use.

(Strikecraft) DF431 Cranefly Deep Space Fighter

Imperial Naval Database

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