The World of The Gunny

Aerials and Airsupport
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Author:  Carib [ 20 Dec 2005 20:56 ]
Post subject:  Aerials and Airsupport


The Model A8 was the largest Aerial class unit produced by SKYNET and could carry up to forty T600 or T800 series Terminators at a time. The A8 was armored better than the A4, and had several rapid fatigue high energy weapon systems for use in pacifying a landing zone in a very short amount of time. One favorite tactic used by SKYNET was to fly at low altitudes over human concentrations at supersonic speeds, generating powerful shockwaves. Sometimes, the A8s would approach at supersonic speeds, then deploy their speed brakes just shy of the landing zone, letting their sonic boom pass them in flight and hit the landing zone just ahead of their touchdown. SKYNET learned how to demoralize the Resistance using its air superiority fairly early in the War.

Upon landing, a large cargo ramp would lower from the rear of the fuselage, exposing the almost cavernous interior of the modular cargo pod. Several batteries of independently movable, ultra-powerful white and infra-red spectrum spotlights (mounted in armored housings along the airframe) would activate just before touchdown, flooding the immediate area in both the visible and IR spectrums, giving any emerging combat units full visual advantage as well as illuminating areas in infra-red energy that the low light and HRIR sensors of the Machines could fully utilize. An added benefit of this tactic was that it tended to blind humans in the landing zone, especially those who were operating night vision or low light enhancement visual aids.

Terminator units were stored in individual 'niches' within the cargo pod, in four rows of ten slots each, secured against any sudden maneuvers by a series of magnetic locks and interfaced with the system of the transport so that battlefield and tactical information could be accessed and uploaded on the fly. The entire cargo pod could also be jettisoned, landing on its own four integral landing claws (which extended from the sides of the pod) if required. One combat operational protocol called for the A8 to approach at low altitude, slow to a hover, drop the cargo pod, and then climb to a loiter orbit around the landing zone in order to provide close air support and to be protected by A5 and A4 units loitering on station. Once the cargo-pod had grounded and either landed successfully or slid to a halt, the Terminator units would deploy normally through several large security locks. Later, the Terminator units would return to the cargo pod, the A8 would descend in VTOL mode and pick up the cargo pod for the return trip back to its staging base.

Another variant of the A8 allowed for the carrying of heavy equipment, and the cargo pod was set up for the transportation of larger HK units such as the tracked and walker models. This version could not transport bipedal combat units in a secure manner though it could carry them for short distances if the units used the integrated holds mounted in the pod.

The Resistance often referred to the A8 as the "Gar" due to its unique shape. Its massive length, almost seventy-five meters from nose to tip of tail, was another advantage it had in the psychological department.

SKYNET built many other models of Endoskeleton and Terminator transports during the War, both ground and aerial variations but the A8 was the largest that the supercomputer ever produced or fielded. At least three A8s were reconfigured to super-gunships between 02:27:2027AD and 07:03:2028AD, their internal transport bays being modified to hold a variety of look-down, rapid fatigue, autonomous weapon systems and dedicated target acquisition / tracking electronics. One such modified A8 was lost during the Cheyenne offensive to coordinated ground fire from highly trained and very specialized Resistance anti-air units while another was captured still in its armored hanger. The third A8 super-gunship was discovered three years after the battle of Cheyenne Mountain, partially disassembled in an abandoned hanger in the North West Pacification Zone. SKYNET was apparently using the third A8SG as a test bed for even more powerful weapons and offensive systems but this 'super-super gunship' would have still been years away, even if the Resistance hadn't defeated SKYNET. its partially completed reinforced airframe and the heavy mounts for its much improved engines (found in yet another nearby facility) proved the SKYNET was still willing to expend massive amounts of its rapidly dwindling resources on projects that had little or no chance of being completed in time to slow or halt the human campaign.

Author:  Carib [ 20 Dec 2005 21:05 ]
Post subject: 



The A5 was SKYNET's later model (02182019AD to OFFLINE) dedicated ground attack / support design, its use was seen shortly after the Resistance began its first organized campaigns against SKYNET. While the A4 aerial was sufficient for general close air support, the A5 was much more dedicated in that role, giving up some speed and maneuverability in trade for increased survivability (thanks to 3mm thicker hybrid armor plating), better electronics and the addition of not only a second weapon mount but also more powerful weapons. The A5 was somewhat less agile than the A4 but it more than made up for this by mounting two independently operating high speed heavy duty electric weapon mounts which could depress their weapons almost straight down below the unit. The first A5s were armed with a Type 3 Series D Model 7 rapid pulse phased plasma gun (the same as the late model production run A4s) but second production class A5 units added a heavier twin capacity mount that carried two Type 4 Series C Model 5 rapid pulse phased plasma guns with the improved cooling and cohesion sleeves mounted to the co-linear muzzle attenuators. Three hardpoints (mounted one to each side and one directly below) allowed the A5 to carry a wide variety of general purpose rapid fatigue close support weapon systems that could be changed out at any docking station by an automated carousel handling process. Hardpoint Weapon systems included chemical and solid ejectors, explosive munition dispensers, and various types of rapid fire high energy weapon pods.

The A5 was more heavily armored than the A4, with a long list of case hardened components designed to withstand withering fire and still remain air-worthy and combat operational. Three independently operated batteries of armored white and infra-red high intensity spotlights allowed the unit to flood the target area with illumination while its sensors and scanners were capable of full spectrum target acquisition as well as visual comparison modes whereby all aspect images were checked by powerful dedicated microprocessors to see if movement occurred between individual frames of data feed (sampled at one thousand frames per second in early A5 series units, later at five thousand frames per second in second production class units).

Almost twice as long as the A4, the A5 nonetheless had superior engines (second generation high capacity variable stall / variable speed electric turbofans) and far better combat electronics (Series 3 Ver 5.0A). its top speed was slightly less, as was agility but the control surfaces and command datasets were geared to increasing the agility and maneuverability of the A5 at low speeds, ranges of operation where the A4 was considered vulnerable to counter attack but layers of operation at which the A5 was designed to take advantage of and operate within.

SKYNET's later tactical doctrines dictated that a brace of four A5s would move in ahead of the A8 transport units to pacify a landing zone before the transports arrived. After the initial pacification of the landing zone, the A5's would move on to close air support protocol, staying on station and continuing to pacify any human resistance in the area while ground units worked the zone over from below. In later stages of the War, SKYNET equipped several A5s with the same heuristically based hardware and protocols as it did the Centurions, in effect, creating aerial managers of its forces, allowing A5s to assume some command role and to use other units as mission available assets as required. In this role, they performed as a less expensive (and less effective) version of the A9 850T units. This was a stop-gap measure instituted by SKYNET when the facilities to produce the A9 series units were lost (but the facilities to produce the control hardware were not). This allowed SKYNET to fit some of the high capacity C3 hardware into various other units, hoping to spread around the A9's function through multiple overlapping layers. The A5 and the Centurion were just two aspects of this particular protocol.

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