North Sea Confederation MK. I Seafire class Subfighter
NSC Mark 1 Seafire Subfighter
Single-layer lightweight Titanium Alloy (Gamma-grade) over a composite hull frame
Made of similar materials and in similar manner to the UEO SF-37 series subfighters, the Seafire is designed with the utmost of interoperability in mind. Sharing the same grade titanium hull as the Raptor, and using advanced, native NSC composites for the supporting frame work, the Seafire is comparable in depth performance to it's UEO cousin, but does not benefit from the UEO's classifed (and recently developed) C65 carbon composites. Like the Raptor, the canopy of the Seafire is a four-inch thick metallic alloy, allowing for extremely deep operations in support of DSV-class warships.
Maximum Operational Depth:
Officially, "Greater than 20,000 feet"
Twin Rolls Royce/Boeing-Rocketdyne "Sea Merlin Mark 3" hydrojet turbines
Note: Statistics represent each engine...
Maximum Thrust: 56,500 pounds (530 kN)
Acceleration: 29.87m/s 2
Weight: 3,234 pounds (1467 kg)
Length: 210 in. (5.34m)
Inlet Diameter: 37.4in. (0.95m)
Maximum Diameter 43.3 in. (1.10m)
Primary - 2 Rolls Royce UFP-4 fusion reactor cores (integrated with the engines)
Secondary - Two Rolls Royce/Boeing-Rocketdyne Sea Merlin Mark 3 hydrojet turbines
Primary - Tritium, Deuterium (Required for Fusion Reactor)
Secondary - Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Range: 1600 Nautical mile combat radius at a cruising speed of 275 knots
395 knots (VNE - Velocity Never Exceed)
Cost per unit:
120 Million Euro (Estimate)
Weapons systems (Dependant on configuration):
- Up to 6 Mk 95M ASF-7 "Fox Hound" Plasma Torpedoes (Internal)
- 2 BM-9 "Harpoon" Anti-Ship Plasma Torpedoes (Internal)
- Up to 4 Mk95M ASF-7 "Fox Hound" Plasma Torpedoes (External)
- Dual SSR-69 Short Range Plasma Pulse Guns*
Additional UEO Weapons Systems (Capable):
*To aid in interoperability, the Seafire is capable of carrying the following UEO weapons in lieu of its standard NSC armaments:
- Dual SSR-85 "Hammer" Short-Range Plasma Pulse Guns
- Single S/GA-14A "Hades" Supercavitating Gattling Cannons (See notes)
S/GA-14A "Hades" Supercavitational Gatling Railgun:
Rolls Royce UFP-4 Fusion Reactor
Hydraulic, link-fed belt ammunition
2 megawatt pre-fire particle laser (primary stage)
3x200cm tungsten magnetic rails (second stage)
Maximum Rate of Fire:
4,500 Rounds per Minute (Maximum – Depends on barrel RPM acceleration and muzzle velocity)
Effective Range :
Muzzle Velocity: Variable depending on power and ammunition type:
From 2,000 feet/second (609.6 meters/second) to 5,000 feet/second (1,524 meters/second)
210 grams/round (Average)
(1000 rounds; 210 kilograms)
Sonar jamming system
Role-fit Intercept package: chaff, noisemakers
SeaLEX systems BlueFox II Sensor-spoofing sonar array
IBM XI Tactical AI
Thales BlueHoundER Tactical Hypersonar, effective range 55km
SeaLEX Systems Type 12 Active and Passive sensor suite, effective range 30km
Countermeasure Sensors, Effective Range 15km
1 Wayland tempered steel grapple (range: 100m)
When British Intelligence services revealed that Macronesia were producing an upgraded Lysander, the NSC immediately poured funding in to the building of new subfighters. The first to benefit was the Tornado, which was upgraded to Mark 3 standard in the early 2030s. The second project was a new class of subfighter - the Typhoon - that was intended to replace the aeging NSC Tempest: a lisence-built, native variant of the UEO's own SF-2 Spectre.
The ultimate outcome of these projects however was never intended to be the Typhoon. Intended as a cheap, stop-gap measure before an all-new, third-generation fighter could be build, the Typhoon nonetheless taught the NSC many lessons about the newest generation subfighters and their designs, with a far more ambitious project still planned.
With the increase in Macronesian activity and the world looking more likely to go to war (indeed, the NSIS maintained that it was not a question of "if", but "when") the NSC decided to commission a new, third-generation fighter that could compete with the latest UEO and Alliance designs. BAe was tasked with this development, and they partnered themselves with Fuller Fighter Industries - the company that had planned and produced the Typhoon only years before. The design process for this fighter began in 2035 with an examination of the Typhoon's shortcomings, and then a trip to the United States at the invitation of Marine Dynamics to examine the preliminary work on the UEO SF-37 Raptor.
The Raptor would ultimately shape up in to one of the finest fighters in the world, but as before, the NSC's own engineering teams began to see future issues with the design. They (correctly) predicted that the Raptor's original Williams-Leong engines would likely be underpowered for the high performance specifications of the design, and offered Marine Dynamics the option of working together with Rolls Royce on a new powerplant that - while unavailable for the initial production run of the SF-37 - could be used to improve the design in its first years of service. This engine would become the core of the "Seafire".
As this work with Rolls Royce began, BAe/Fuller Industries started examining the problems of the Typhoon. To begin with, it was not powerful enough - and this stemmed from the Typhoon being a small, single-engine craft that was designed to be affordable. There was however, little problem with the powerplant itself and it was from this that the Sea Merlin III was designed. Secondly, the Typhoon suffered from an extremely limited payload - a side effect of its single-powerplant design. From the beginning, Seafire was designed to have a larger internal weapons capacity, with the additional ability to carry two as-yet-undesigned energy weapons in a port-starboard arrangement under the nose.
As the questions continued, the answers defined the shape of the new design. In early 2041, the first prototype took to the sea. It was superior in all respects to the Typhoon, and was a quantum-leap beyond what was offered by the Tempest and Tornado. Additionally, being several tonnes lighter than the UEO Raptor II, the excellent Sea Merlin made the Seafire the fastest UEO or NSC subfighter in the world. Capable of 395 knots, the thirteen-tonne Seafire just slightly pipped the fifteen-tonne UEO Raptor II by the margin of barely 16 knots. Yet the question remained - was it good enough?
In late June 2041, the NSC took delivery of its first production-model Seafires. Without question, it was superior to the Raptor I, and was in some - but not all - respects comparable to the Raptor II. The NSC authorized full production just days later, fully intending to phase out the less-capable Typhoon and Tempest subfighters within two years of production beginning. Events elsewhere however hampered this plan.
Raptor production in the UEO had come close to a complete halt in April 2041 with the loss of three of the UEO's principle shipyards. San Diego had been destroyed by a nuclear attack, Tokyo had fallen to an invasion by the Chaodai, and Pearl Harbor had similarly fallen to the Alliance Fleet. With San Francisco's shipyards still in a state of complete disrepair following a missile attack at the offset of the war, only the relatively small facility in San Angeles remained on the US West Coast to produce the UEO's principle fighter. As it stands, the Raptors that are in service to the fleet are already becoming prized and increasingly rare posessions in Carrier Sea Wings that will not be replaced any time soon should they be lost. In some cases already, the UEO subfighter squadrson have needed to resort to using mixed units of Spectres and Raptors to simply send full squadrons to sea.
With San Angeles only producing two fighters a day (amongst other deliveries of Stormhawks and other craft) Raptor numbers increasingly dwindle, and more and more they are being assigned only to elite squadrons. This bottleneck in replacing combat losses has resulted in the UEO procuring the advanced NSC Seafire in an attempt to ease the burden on older, less capable fighters. Thus far, it has worked.
As early as July 2041, several UEO units were already using the Seafire, and to many carrier mechanics, the arrangement could not have been more ideal. With a high percentage of parts being common between the two classes, and a very similar level of performance, it was a simple matter to introduce the Seafire to UEO squadrons. Indeed, the powerplant inside the Raptor II - the Marine Dynamics AF7 Taurus - is nothing more than a lisence-built variant of the highly successful Sea Merlin III found on the NSC fighter. One squadron of note is the UEO's VF-107 Rapiers, four of whom are seconded NSC pilots who quickly upgraded their older craft as soon as the Seafire was available.
The Seafire is becoming an increasingly common sight in UEO fleets, and serves capably olongside the Raptor as one of the UEO-NSC Coalition's most capable fighters.
The NSC Seafire is named for a Supermarine-built fighter of World War 2 Vintage - commonly known for being the navalized variant of the highly successful Spitfire.