The VF-171 Nightmare Plus is a mass production, heavy combat variable fighter developed by Grunder Industries as a replacement for the venerable VF-11 Thunderbolt .
Technologies and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
In building the VF-171 Nightmare Plus, the most outwardly noticeable changes Grunder Industries made were to extend the nose and enlarge the cockpit canopy for a superior field-of-view. The engine/leg units were also redesigned and the main wing, fuselage and arm units were changed for improved aerodynamic characteristics.
Instead of excessively high performance, the Nightmare Plus's design focuses on providing robust multi-role combat capability and ease-of-control for its pilots. Using less powerful engines and a more aerodynamically-stable design, the Nightmare Plus achieves a standard of performance that both exceeds what the original VF-17 was capable of without overwhelming inexperienced pilots. The inclusion of a 3rd Generation active stealth system and a pinpoint barrier considerably improved the Nightmare Plus's stealth and defensive capabilities, while the armament itself has remained largely unchanged, except for the addition of under-wing pylons for longer-ranged ordinance. All that aside, the VF-171's biggest selling points are its comparatively low production and maintenance cost, and that its design is versatile enough to be adapted to serve as an attack plane, light bomber, or even reconnaissance craft with very little modification.
Specifications (VF-171/Block II-EX)Edit
- Crew: 1 Pilot (Accommodations for a passenger).
- Length (Fighter): 15.65 Meters
- Wingspan (Fighter): 14.18 meters
- Height (Battroid): 15.1 Meters
- Powerplant: 2 x FF-2110C-II Thermonuclear Reaction Turbine Engines
- Airframe G Limit + EX-Gear: 25+12 /-22'Gs
- Armament (Standard):
- 1 x GU-14B+ 40mm Gunpod
- 2 x REB-22 22mm beam guns (Head mounted)
- 2 x AAB-7B+ 30mm beam MGs.
- 2 x Internal micro-missile launchers/15 missiles per launcher.
- 6 x Underwing hardpoints.
- Shielding: Pin-Point Barrier Mk.V
- Armor: Energy Converting Armor Mk.VI.
- Additional Avionics/Features:
- EGP-03/05M1 EX-Gear
- AA/AS/SF-06A1 Unified Sensor Matrix
- 360 degree panoramic cockpit.
- Countermeasures Suite
- 3rd Generation Active Stealth System
- Optional Equipment:
- AAS-171 Strike Pack
- AP-SF-01 Aegis Early Warning/Electronic Warfare Pack
TestsEditOn May 11th 2576, the first eight YF-171 prototypes arrived at Bankero Air Force Base on Sapin to begin a series of tests and mock battles against L.A.I's YF-20 Secace. On June 20th, Grunder's Nightmare Plus was announced as the winner of the competition. Mass production of the Block 1 model VF-171 began in August of that year. UCR Navy suqadrons began phasing out their VF-11s with the 171 soon after, followed by the Marines.
In early October of 2576, VF-171s from the UCR Stargazer took part in the destruction of several facilities belonging to New Dawn Remnants, and provided Close Air Support to the ground forces involve. This was the first combat mission of the VF-171.
TRM Civil WarEdit
VF-171s saw extensive action against Peter Snow's Coup d'etat forces in the 2576-77 TRM Civil war. The Nightmare Plus, unsurprisingly, proved to be superior than any aircraft in the Coup forces' inventory. Navy and Marine pilots compared the one sided engagements to Seal clubbing on Earth.
NUNS Intervention at NipponEdit
UCR VF-171s later saw combat at Nippon during the NUNS Intervention Operation in 2577 against CGE forces.
By the dawn of the new decade, the VF-171 had fully phased out the VF-11 Thunderbolt as the primary variable fighter of the UCR. The VF-171 was also adopted by NUNS members such as Voldor and Nilo, as well as a replacement for New Dawn War era Variable Fighters still being used by other Skyverisan nations.
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus Block I: Initial production single seat version. Powered by 2 FF-2110A Thermonuclear turbine engines. Default armaments are one GU-14A 40mm Gunpod, two 30mm ventral heavy beam cannons, two laser cannons face the rear of the aircraft that becomes the head guns in battroid mode, two internal micro-missile launchers and six hard points mounted in the wings for missile and other munitions. Can equip special mission packs.
- VB-171 Nightmare Plus: Variable Bomber variant. Equipped with eight hard points under the wings.
- RVF-171 Nightmare Plus: Radome equipped variant. Can perfom recon, ELINT, electronic support/warfare and drone control roles.
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus Block II: New block modification introduced in late 2578 for standard N.U.N.S use. Improvements include the installation of the new Ariel II airframe and fire control A.I, replacement of the AA/AS/SF-05D USM with the AA/AS/SF-06 Unified Sensor Matrix, and slightly up-tuned FF-2110C Thermonuclear Reaction Engines. The original laser cannons were replaced by 2 REB-22 22mm beam guns.
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus\Voldor Type-1: Block 2 subvariant locally produced by Voldor. Minor modification includes enhanced electronic warfare and targeting capabilities.
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus Block II\EX: A package upgrade developed around 2579 with the planned adoption of the EX-Gear system by the UCR. The cockpit block was modified to incorporate the new system, resulting in a slightly lenghtned fusalage by 1.8 meters. 36 standard Block II variants were changed to the II\EX configuration and assigned to SVF-406 for live combat testing in Andromeda from 2580 to 2582. After mission analysis reported that the Block II\EX had a 15% increase in combat capabilities and a 20% increase in pilot survivability. Conversions of the already existing Block IIs and production of the Block II\EX is slated to begin somewhere in 2585.
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus\Nilo Mod-1C: VF-171 sub-variant locally produced by Nilo. Changes include installation of modified FF-2110N engines, giving a 10% increase in power output.
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus "Command Wolf": A custom version of the VF-171 Nightmare Plus piloted by Morgan Adolpho. This variant boasts higher speed and agility thanks to up-tuning the engines.
- VF-171S Nightmare Plus Block IIS\EX: Limited production Commander variant equipped with the VF-19EX's FF-2580X Thermonuclear Reaction Turbine and enhancements to systems. Other changes include 4 REB-22 head mounted beam guns mirroring the older VF-17S.
- VF-171X Nightmare Plus EVALA : The VF-171X Nightmare Plus EVALA (Evaluation Airframe) are a batch of six VF-171s that have their airframe rebuilt from the ground up in order to incorporate an ISC unit for testing and evaluation purposes to find out whether or not it's feasible to have future ISC equipped 171 batches. The EVALA 171s are operated by the 601st Flight Evaluation Squadron based on Fera Air Base. The EVALA airframes flew between 2578 to 2582 before they were retired and stored. Data during the tests were stored.
- Infobox picture of the VF-171 was made by Luis Venegas of the Macross World Forums for the Macross New Horizon RPG group.