Aron Tech VX12 Trans-atmospheric Fighter

Popular nanotech fighter first created by Aron Tech.

Aron Transatmospheric Fighter
Image from Steve Bowers
Nanotech materials covering the Aron fighter allow it to change shape in flight, from a fusion rocket to an atmosphere-breathing jet, for example

Aron Tech signed a cooperation clause with the Atlantis NanoPatent Organisation under which the ANPO gained the right to include Aron Tech designs in their nanofabs. When Aron Tech was absorbed by Trillicon Arms in 9234, a number of its templates, including the VX12, were hijacked by the ANPO and have since then been a part of the standard template package in all ANPO nanofabs. The ANPO nanofab has reached many systems and due to its essentially freeware status the VX12 has become a popular combat vehicle in many of the less wealthy, sub-ultratech polities. The design is also surprisingly robust and can take a great deal of punishment considering its technological level.

The fighter utilizes a Henry Hlorstein D-3He fusion drive in space and a fairly standard fusion-electric jet system in atmosphere. In space, the Aron demonstrates a maximum delta-V of 400km/s, though only at very low accelerations; higher acceleration comes at the expense of reduced exhaust velocity, and multi-G combat maneuvering can limit delta-V to 20km/s. The jet allows a cruising speed of 0.75 km/sec in most atmospheric types under 4 bars pressure (4.0E5 Pa), with nearly unlimited range. Short bursts of up to 2 km/sec are possible but the vehicle's heat shield and cooling systems can only tolerate this for a few minutes.

The VX12 is designed for a biont or vec pilot, but could theoretically be crewed by a generalist AI or virtual pilot, though in this case a cockpit is not needed and the AM12 TA AI-piloted Fighter would probably be a better choice. The fighter is equipped with escape capsules and an extensive suite of help systems, including the option to upload a slaved AI.

Weaponry is highly customizable, but the most popular space-oriented models are equipped with a Rhyly Thoran Rail Cannon and either nuclear/amat missiles or semi-intelligent attack drones.

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Development Notes
Text by Thorbørn Steen
Initially published on 26 August 2004.