Bowfin fighter

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Bowfin fighter - Medium fighter Ship class medium fighter.png

Manufacturer Info
Manufacturer OKB Kaluri
Ship statistics
Forward acceleration empty: 12.0G (6.00MN) full: 9.7G
Reverse acceleration empty: 2.5G (1.25MN) full: 2.0G
Up acceleration empty: 2.6G (1.30MN) full: 2.1G
Down acceleration empty: 2.0G (1.00MN) full: 1.6G
Angular acceleration empty: 6.0G (3.00MN) full: 4.9G
deltaV empty: 6,089km/s full: 4,545km/s
Fuel tank capacity 26 t
Cargo capacity 6 t
Max lasers 1
Max missiles 20
Scoops 1
Hyperdrive mount yes
Crew min. 1 max. 1
Capacity 12 t
Hull Mass 25 t
Price $189,000
Hyperdrive class 1


Description

The Bowfin fighter is a six-engine single-seater short range combat and patrol spacecraft designed and manufactured by OKB-Kaluri of CIW in the early 3100's for the military. It's development was dotted with problems due to it being a testbed for some new technologies and shifting requirements. In the beginning it was plagued by frequent malfunctions and constant need of maintenance. And to make the matters worse, the Bowfin is quite hard and time consuming to maintain. The upside was its very good performance, combat effectiveness and survivability.

The tender request that brought this craft to life indicated a very large quantity to be ordered which resulted in heavy competition among the shipyards. But the tender experienced several delays and changes in requirements, which made the development harder. Eventually OKB Kaluri emerged as winner with a very small margin, and started mass producing the craft. It seemed to be a bright era for the shipyard for a while, but changes in the fleet funding policies due to the somewhat thawing cold war resulted in the withdrawal of most of the orders.

A lot of those crafts were already built by then. To mitigate losses as much as possible, Kaluri started for looking other markets for it. At first this wasn't really successful due to the ships complex high maintenance needs, so Kaluri was forced to refine the design further if it wanted to sell them.

The CIW Fleet had a large number of ships in operation despite the reduced order, and started to accumulate deployment experience and feedback. Spare part demand drove up, and also the need for refinement, so the life of the Bowfin marched on.

During its long operation history most of the initial kinks were eventually ironed out to a good extent which resulted in an increase of reliability and somewhat easier maintenance, but with some performance loss. Which wasn't too much of a problem, since the craft never saw any extended wartime deployment in its life, but the better dependability was invaluable for the border patrol support duty of a cold war, where it was mostly employed in.

The surplus stock of the Bowfin were still high, and with the refinement of most early issues, Kaluri was able to start iterating on the design for the civilian market. The original design hid the cockpit away close to the center of mass, right above its ventral docking port in order to protect the pilot as much as possible. This meant very meager capacities for additional equipment, not to mention cargo. So the engineers decided to remove the internal encapsulated cockpit, and put on a more traditional bubble cockpit on top of the craft. This, and the removal of some military components they weren't even allowed to sell for civilians freed up enough room, so it can compete in the market of autonomously deploy-able mutli-role combat crafts.

The civilian grade components reduced the performance further, but additional reliability came with it. Thus the craft found some success in the market, and brought Kaluri to almost break even with its investions to this craft.(not counting what was to be lifted to other designs). These days Bowfin isn't the most popular choice for combatants, but it is well represented nonetheless. In some circles it is a classic, due to it's central role in the VR action movie "Mavericks of Parker Citadel"

The civilian Bowfin widely available has a really decent acceleration and good maneuverability, but low capacity for additional equipment and even lower cargo capacity. It makes up for that with a good weapons capacity and armour, and great redundancy for reliability.

Role

The military version of the Bowfin is still mostly used in short to mid range border patrol and defense roles, acting as extended reach craft from carriers and orbital patrols. It can fulfill superiority tasks to a good extend too if the need arises, and can hold up well against most current light and medium fighters.

The civilian version is proved to be a really good fleet defense craft against pirates, so it is a well represented craft around less lawful spaces. Not so liked among pirates and other criminals because its maintenance is still complex, and parts can be harder to obtain, even if they are actually in abundance.

Some pilots retrofit it to light courier jobs in these rough parts of the galaxy, trading capacity and speed for the possibility to put up a good fight against freebooters.

Images

Bowfin concept art