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Broadsword

Macronesian SA-29 Lysander Subfighter

Class:
SA-29 "Lysander" Class Submersible Marine-Superiority Fighter

Contractor/Builder:
Deon Naval Industries

Length:
19m

Wingspan:
15.3m

Height:
2.3m

Submerged Displacement:
19,090 Kilograms

Hull Composition:
Single-layer titanium hull plating over a composite titanium-aluminium frame

The first generation of Alliance subfighter, the Lysander is typical of fighters developed during the 2020s with a lightweight, inexpensive hull comprised of titanium alloys. While this gives the fighter excellent performance in flight, it was designed before the development of more purpose-built anti-fighter weapons that proved to be highly effective in countering the craft. (Most notably, the UEO S/GA-14/A Hades-class gattling cannon.) Despite a high rate of attrition, the fighter's low cost has kept it in production through to 2040. No efforts were made to rebuild the fighters with stronger materials due to a commonly held belief that it was cheaper and more efficient to focus on construction of newer Broadsword class fighters.

Maximum Operational Depth:
Estimated 15,000 feet

Propulsion:
Twin Deon SR-23D Hydrojet Turbines.

Note: Statistics and performance unknown.

Power source:
Primary - Two Deon Taurus-pattern Fusion Reactors, engine-integrated.
Secondary - Two SR-23D Turbine Generators

Fuel:
Primary - Tritium, Deuterium (Required for Fusion Reactor)
Secondary - Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Range: 1800 Nautical mile combat radius at a cruising speed of 250 knots

Top Speed:
310 knots (observed)

Cost per unit:
Estimated $27 Million (U.S.)

Weapons systems:

Twin Deon M5 Pulse Laser Cannons
Twin Deon-ASC FX60 Particle Decelerator Cannons ("Subduction guns")
2 wing-stored Internal weapons bays with 4 Mk4/D Electro-Plasma Torpedoes

Defence systems:
2 intercept torpedoes
Intercept package: chaff, noisemakers

Computer system:
Deon Systems F20 Multi-Engagement Combat System.

Sensors:
Tactical Hypersonar, effective range 40km
Active and Passive sensor suite, effective range 40km

Utilitarian systems:
1 tempered steel grapple (range: 100m)

Crew compliment:
1 Pilot

Development history and class background...

The venerable and respected SA-29 Lysander is a fighter that has both earned its laurels and aged well beyond what should be expected of a fighter born of the earliest days of subfighter design. While the Lysander is far from having earnt the title of the 'first' subfighter (indeed, it was preceded by at least half a dozen fighters of various classes around the world) it most certainly stands as the best example of how the world's major powers began to rigorously pursue subfighter development.

In 2018, the United Earth Oceans organization commissioned a design contract to create a high-speed, high-mobility attack craft. This contest produced what is now considered to be the first example of subfighter design - the YSF-1 'Vash'. Within several years, nations all over the world had sought to design their own 'submarine fighters', with some of the more prominent examples still in service being the SF-2/A Spectre, SF-27 Barracuda and, most pertinently, the SA-29 Lysander. Initially, none of these fighters were commissioned by the world's leading naval powers: Despite being fast, inexpensive and easy to procure, the United Earth Oceans organization did not see how the subfighter could ever represent a serious threat to the modern Nuclear Attack Submarine

This changed In 2024 as the New Australian Confederation split from the UEO to form the Alliance of Greater Macronesia - a South Pacific superpower that within weeks, found itself besieged by fleets of well-armed, well-equipped mercenaries and smugglers who sought to plunder its colonies and trade convoys with total impunity. These raiders, mostly using subfighters derived of the SF-27 Barracuda, would never attempt such audacious action against a military as developed and well prepared as the UEO Navy, but the fledgling Macronesian Alliance was a different matter entirely.

With the Alliance military still in its infancy, the Raiders were capable of hitting Alliance convoys and escaping well before the fewer, slower attack submarine formations could arrive to assist, and this proved pivotal in convincing the Alliance government of the necessity of reconsidering subfighter procurement. At the time, the Alliance shared significant political and economic ties to the Multi-national corporation and weapons contractor known as Deon International. Practically overnight, deals were signed that would deliver hundreds of Deon's "Lysander" class subfighters to the Macronesian Navy, and with the corporation's economic interests at just as much risk as those of the Alliance, the contracts were signed with rafts of provisions that would massively undercut the cost of the Lysander compared to virtually all of Deon's other clients. The SA-29 was signed exclusively to Macronesia for the next ten years, and further export of the subfighter was banned. The Lysander class would become a symbol of the Alliance's naval power, and the UEO's geriatric response to the development would grant Macronesia an edge that would last almost a decade.

Throughout the 2030s, the Lysander began to appear with greater frequency outside of Alliance military formations. Privateers flying the flag of the Macronesian Alliance would soon emerge as the new threats of the Pacific, and while it was never proven that the Alliance had any hand in these organizations acquiring the fighter, the almost-routine border skirmishes that errupted between pirate and UEO fighter forces seemed to suggest a deeper level of cooperation that foreshadowed all of the Second Cold War. The Lysander proved to be the single most lethal fighter beneath the world's oceans. Capable of speeds up to 300 knots and with incredible maneuverability and firepower, the SA-29 would remain a benchmark for nearly 10 years. While the UEO SF-2 Spectre could be considered an equal contender, the Lysander remained nearly three times as affordable and benefited from an Alliance shipbuilding industry that was operating at almost a wartime level of production. By as early as 2032, the Lysander outnumbered the Spectre by a ratio of four to one, and by 2036 had peaked at a practically unimaginable six to one, giving the Alliance fighter an unsurpassable advantage for the near future.

The Lysander has seen several refits and improvements in its fifteen year lifespan. The original SA-29/A was a modestly equipped fighter, bolstering only twin laser cannon armaments with a small payload of anti-fighter torpedoes. The SA-39/B was introduced in 2030 as the Alliance began to deploy their now-infamous subduction technology aboard their subfighters. This effectively doubled the Lysander's firepower, and new engines offered by Maynard Systems kept the fighter's impressive power-to-weight ratio untouched. Ultimately, the fighter would not be improved again until 2037 with the SA-29/C, also known as Lysander-II. Fitted with the latest in Alliance aquanautics, improved power management systems and retooled sonars, this was the final refit of the craft before it was replaced in Alliance production lines by the SA-33 Broadsword.

Despite nearly fifteen years of uncontested dominance at sea, the Lysander met its match in 2040 when the UEO rolled out the first of its impressive SF-37 Raptors. The Raptor would trump the Lysander in every conceivable technical fashion, and early engagements in the war proved that the UEO's latest interceptor was more than capable of meeting the Lysander at deficet ratios of better than four to one with favourable chances of emerging victorious. Early and substantial improvements to the UEO fighter in the form of the SF-38 Raptor II would all but cement this domination, and practically sealed the Lysander's fate.

As of 2041, the Lysander is no longer in production anywhere in the Macronesian Alliance - having been replaced completely by the newer SA-33 Broadsword. Those Lysanders that remain in the fleet are increasingly being moved to reserve squadrons as more of the SA-33s enter service every day. Those Lysanders that are not destroyed in combat are likely to have been replaced entirely by no later than 2044.

 

Copyright 2006-2009 James Ward. All reference pertaining to "seaQuest DSV" and "seaQuest 2032" are copyrights of Universal/Amblin enterainment and no claim is made to these titles. Atlantis DSV and all related themes are copyright of James Ward and associated writers.

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