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, optimising its flight profile whether it be in fusion propulsion vacuum form to deltoid atmosphere-breathing scramjet

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 1243, a number of its templates, including the VX12, were hijacked by the ANPO and from then on were part of the standard template package of ANPO nanofabs. At the time the ANPO nanofab reached many systems and due to its essentially freeware status the VX12 become a popular combat vehicle in many of the less wealthy polities. The design was surprisingly robust with several variants using different material components so that customers with varied local resources could attain similar performance.

The fighter utilized a Henry Hlorstein D-3He fusion drive in space and a fairly standard fusion-electric jet system in atmosphere. In space, the Aron possessed a maximum delta-V of 400km/s, though only at very low accelerations; higher acceleration cames at the expense of reduced exhaust velocity, and multi-G combat maneuvering limited delta-V to 20km/s. The jet allowed for 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 were possible but the vehicle's heat shield and cooling systems can only tolerate this for a few minutes.

The VX12 could accomodate biont or vec pilots, but for maximum performance was designed to be crewed by an AI or virtual pilot. The fighter was equipped with escape capsules and an extensive suite of expert systems, including the option to upload a slaved AI (this latter feature saw the template revilied, along with other Aron tech products, in later eras).

Weaponry was highly customizable but the most popular space-oriented models were 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.