Variable Fighters are series of transforming Star Fighters, developed as hybrid units capable of combat in a wide range of terrain, whether it's in the air, ground, or even underwater. The first Variable Fighter was the VF-0 Phoenix, developed by the UCR, while the first combat capable Variable Fighter was the Sv-51 Eyr, developed by the New Dawn Empire.
1st Generation Variable FightersEdit
2nd Generation Variable FightersEditStarting with the second generation, manufacturers began building variable fighters with emphasis towards multi-enviromental capabilities and high perfomance in all fields of operations, specifically speed and agility. However as a result of this design philosphy, 2nd gen valkyries were known to be extremely difficult to handle for inexperienced pilots.
3rd Generation Variable FightersEdit
3rd Generation Valkyries continue to emphasize functionality in different enviroments such as air and space like the previous generation, but began pushing towards greater ease of control with high performance in the hands of experienced pilots and greater payload capacity.
4th Generation Variable FightersEdit
A fourth generation Variable Fighter is the classification for current high end Variable Fighters. The characteristics vary by the nation but most have a strong emphasis on pilot customization and multirole capabilities. Some fourth generation Variable Fighters are last generation refreshes that have been upgraded given that 3.5's are not that different from a 4th gen.
UCR Variable FightersEdit
As the nation that spearheaded Variable Fighter research and development, UCR Variable Fighters are highly advanced and efficient at both Air and Ground warfare, using their powerful armaments, versitility and performance to gain an upperhand in battles. Several UCR VFs are also the bearers of pioneer technologies and weapons that would become standard equipment on future models.
- VF-0 Phoenix - First fully operational variable developed by Stonewell sometime in the early 2550s and is the ancestor to all modern Variable fighters. Although originally produced as test machines, the VF-0 was quickly adopted as the mainline fighter for the UCR and some allied Skyversian nations during the New Dawn Conflict. (1st Generation)
- VF-1 Valkyrie - A futher development of the VF-0, the VF-1 featured a redesigned frame and mounted the new Thermonuclear Reaction turbine engines, which were an improvement over the VF-0's conventional overtuned turbine engines. Thanks to this and other additions, the VF-1 was the first Variable fighter that was capable of operating in space. (1st Generation)
- VF-4 Lighting - The VF-4 Lighting was a short lived project initiated by Grunder Industries to replace the VF-0 Phoenix and VF-1 Valkyries after the war. While the VF-4 showed very strong performance in space compared to the VF-1, it's reduced capabilities in atmosphere hindered it's adoption. Only a few hundred were produced as L.A.I's VF-11 was favored as the next mainline fighter. (1.5 Generation)
- VF-11 Thunderbolt - As the immediate successor to the wartime VF-0 and VF-1s, the VF-11 showed very strong multirole capabilities and boasted balanced performance in air and space. It served as the UCR's main fighter well into the 2570s before being replaced by Grunder's VF-171 Nightmare Plus in 2579. (1.5 - Quasi-3rd Generation)
- VF-17 Nightmare - Failing in their bid with the VF-4, Grunder Industries produced the VF-17 Nightmare, a heavy combat variable fighter that had a strong emphasis in passive stealth technologies, making it perfect for pin point strikes from long range and was utilized by special forces. Like the VF-4, the VF-17 was a capable fighter in space, although it somewhat lacked in atmosphere. It served as the basis for the VF-171 Nightmare Plus. The VF-17 Nightmare was also the first VF that was capable of exiting a planet's atmosphere under it's own power. (2nd - 2.5 Generation)
- VF-19 Excalibur - The crown jewel of L.A.I that first entered service in 2561, the VF-19 Excalibur boasted raw high performance that made it impossible to be controlled by rookies, but was a force to be reckoned with when in the hands of an experienced pilot. Even in the face of being replaced by new 4th Generation fighters, the VF-19 is still hailed by most as a very capable valkyrie. The VF-19, alongside the VF-23 Ibis were the first UCR variable fighters to mount scaled down versions of the Pin-Point Barrier systems found on warships. (2nd - Quasi 4th Generation)
- VF-23 Ibis - The VF-23 Ibis was a low production variable fighter produced by Grunder sometime in the 2560s to test out experimental technologies such as the Brainwave Direct Interface system, allowing the pilot to control the craft with their mind. Like the VF-4 and VF-17, the VF-23 served well as a long range strike aircraft thanks to it's payload and passive stealth capabilities, although it did perform well in atmosphere unlike it's predecessors. It was the first aircraft to mount the Intertia Vector Control System, or IVCS, which was a primitive version of what would eventually mature into the Inertia Store Converter that's commonplace for 4th Generation UCR VFs. (2.5 Generation)
- YF-26 Seraphim - Following the trend set by Grunder, the YF-26 Seraphim was a low production prototype variable fighter tailer built for Esper pilots of the UCR. It featured an advanced version of the BDI which allowed the pilot to fight at their full strength, often resulting in a cloud of psychic energy surrounding the plane when the system was active. (3rd Generation)
- VF-171 Nightmare Plus - The successor to the VF-11 Thunderbolt, the VF-171 Nightmare Plus is the current workhorse of the UCR military. While not being a high performance machine compared to new 4th generation fighters and some past generation machines, it is none the less a very robust aircraft with excellent defense and multirole capabilities with a decent amount of firepower thanks to not relying solely on passive stealth, which prevented the VF-17 from carrying external ordinance. (3rd - 3.5 Generation)
- VF-29P Perceval - (4th Generation)
- VF-33 Evolution - (4th Generation)
- VF-34 Nimbus - (4th Generation)
- VF-37 Sylphid II - (4th Generation)
- VF-38 Adriel - (4th Generation)
UNSC Variable FightersEdit
Learning of the capabilities of Variable Fighters the UNSC quickly adapted them into service, at first with import planes and later domestic built fighters. The introduction of the generation between three and four the UNSC Variable Fighters can easily match their UCR counterparts. UNSC Variable Fighters generally are top spec compared to the UCR which have lower tiered fighters - the result is generally excellent planes at an extremely high price tag.
CMF Variable FightersEdit
As the F/A-924 Super Phoenix became unable to match the developement of Variable Fighters despite constant updates and upgrades, the CMF looked to the UCR for guidance in the developement of its own Variable Fighters. Using data from the VF-0, the CMF developed the VF-32 Hraesvelger as a testbed for CMF technologies in a Variable Fighter's frame. After this proved to be a success, the CMF wasted no time in developing a high tier 3rd-Gen Variable Fighter version of the Super Phoenix, dubbed the VF/A-924 Wyvern. Although the CMF joined relatively late in the developement of Variable Fighters, its valkyries are more or less par with current UCR and UNSC aircraft, having no clear advantages or disadvantages when compared to aircraft of similar generation. This is especially evident with the introduction of the VF-43 Stauros, a limited production unit designed to fly on par with the best aircraft in the galaxy at the time, both NUNS and CGE.
USSR Variable FightersEdit
As tensions grew between the CGE and NUNs an extremely classified program designated as 'Division 14'. Division 14 is a collective of scientists across the union to design and produce variable fighters deep within the exclusion zone protected by a good portion of the Red Fleet. With no former experience within variable fighters, Division 14 suffered major setbacks during its early days. It took nearly 5 years for a design to be put towards production as the Exon Premier at the time, Noah 'Chavam, insisted that if the USSR was to ever produce variable fighters it would need to be done right as to not embarass the Union. So the first Exon Variable fighter was born, the VF-47 'Sturmovik'.
- SU-47 Sturmovik