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Firehawk Gunship

This relic of the Clone Wars was technically out-dated over a thousand years
before that conflict shook the galaxy. With it's archaic electromagnetic mass
driver technology the Firehawks would seem to be out of place and
hopelessly out-matched by today's fighters. Nothing could be further from
the truth!

Originally constructed well over 2 thousand years ago by the enigmatic and
now extinct Nammurg, this sturdy gunship was built to defend the Nammurg
against the encroachment of the Mandalorian Raiding Tribes and did it's job
with frightening effectiveness earning it the nickname "Chi'ap Stokor'bali"
from the Mandalore which in their language means "Flying Demon of Earth and
Flame". The Firehawk gunships lived up to that name, being able to deal out
unprecedented levels of destruction and being faster and more maneuverable
than most snubfighters of it's day. This is most impressive since it's
primary mission was not the dogfighting space combat that most snubfighters
are built for. Instead it was meant to fight it's way through enemy cover
fire and deliver devastating bomb and missile attacks to shatter enemy
ground formations and hardened bunkers. It's four fusion bombs are still
some of the most awesome weapons ever mounted on a vessel of it's size.

The Firehawk's 125mm mass drivers even allowed it to make sustained
attacks on enemy capital ships, though the gunship's relatively weak
hull limited its ability to withstand retaliatory strikes from capital
ships. However against other craft of it's class its armor was
unmatched. With a hull over 6 centimeters thick in most places it
could all but ignore weapons fire from snubfighters and could even
endure light artillery barrages. The incredible range of its weapons
let it stand off at range in most fire-fight situations and blast away
at the enemy for several seconds before opponents could return fire.
This ability coupled with the vessel's incredibly destructive weaponry
would often lead to opposing fighters being completely destroyed
before they could even begin to return fire.

By today's standards the old Firehawks are hopelessly outdated but many
historians agree that it stands as a shining example of galactic society
forgetting what it already knew. The plasma missiles that it carried are
far more destructive and have a much greater range than today's proton
torpedoes and have only been abandoned due to the maintenance and care
required to keep the warheads viable and the danger of a lucky shot by
the enemy gang-firing the missiles and destroying the entire vessel.
Also the idea of having weapons with the penetration and power of the
2 125mm mass drivers on modern craft of similar size would strike many
as ridiculous and impossible, and yet it was both plausible and very
possible in this 2,000 year old relic. The archaic gauss weapons
technology that produced three of the 5 weapons systems on this craft
are all but impossible to recreate with modern technology due to the
fact that no one has bothered to try since the technology became
obsolete thousands of years ago.

Even in its day the use of such weaponry was regarded as the mark of
a primitive culture. While most remaining Firehawks are battle-
scarred veterans of hundreds of conflicts a cache of 240 of these
vessels was recently unearthed by a free trader on the burned-out
husk of the Nammurg homeworld and are currently on the market to
wealthy collectors and museums. About half of them have yet to be
purchased and the sale price for them has been dramatically reduced
since the trader managed to become a millionaire through the sale
of the first half of the battlecraft. Apparently this is one of
those few space tramps who really meant it when he said that he
just wanted to make the big time and then rest on his laurels. In
any event the trader has retired and is currently picking and
choosing who he sells his remaining ships to and tailoring the
prices to the individuals. Large organizations tend to be charged
much more than private individuals and one privateer has reported
purchasing a full squadron of the craft for an even million credits.
Who or what eventually comes to own the remaining craft remains to
be seen.

Historian's Note: The Nammurg survived their wars with the Mandalore but
were apparently exterminated by another race that at the time was
completely unknown. The Nammurg lived in an area of space that even
today is largely uncharted but records clearly described their destroyers.
Until recently no known race matched the description of the Nammurg's
killers but a race of genocidal murderers known as the Charon were
discovered by then-rebel forces during the time of the Galactic Empire
and almost perfectly match Nammurg records. Whether or not the Charon
were truly the beings who wiped the Nammurg from the universe or not is
still in debate in some circles but most historians agree that the Charon
are indeed the murderers of the Nammurg race.

Craft: Nammurg Aerospace Ltd.'s Firehawk-Class Heavy Gunship
Class: Starfighter
Size: Small (45 m long)
Hyperdrive: None
Passangers: 16 (troops)
Cargo Capacity: 250 kg
Consumables: 1 week
Cost: 69,000 (used, can fetch as much as 2.5 million if in mint condition)
Maximum Speed In Space: Attack (7 squares/action)
Atmospheric Speed: 950 km/h (16 squares/action)
Crew: 1 (Normal +2)
Initiative: +3 (+1 size, +2 crew)
Maneuver: +3 (+1 size, +2 crew)
Defense: 21 (+1 size, +10 armor)
Shield Points: 0
Hull Points: 160 (DR 5)
Weapons:
  30mm 7-Barreled Gatling Rail Gun
    Fire Arc: Front
    Attack Bonus: +3 (+1 size, +2 fire control)
    Damage: 4d10x2 (300 30-round bursts)
    Range Modifiers: PB -4, S -2, M +0, L n/a
  24 Plasma Missiles
    Fire Arc: Front
    Attack Bonus: +4 (+1 size, +3 fire control)
    Damage: 10d10x2
    Missil Quality: Good (+15)
  4 Heavy Fusion Bombs
    Fire Arc: Front
    Attack Bonus: +6 (+1 size, +5 fire control)
    Damage: 12d10x5
    Range: Laser Guided Bomb
  4 50mm Gauss Autocannons (fire-linked)
    Fire Arc: Front
    Attack Bonus: +3 (+1 size, +2 fire control)
    Damage: 8d10x2 (40 3-Round Bursts)
    Range Modifiers: PB -6, S -4, M -2, L n/a
  2 125mm Mass Drivers
    Fire Arc: Front
    Attack Bonus: +2 (+1 size, +1 fire control)
    Damage: 3d10x5 (30 rounds per gun)
    Range Modifiers: PB -6, S -4, M -2, L +0



Designer's Note:
Before I get flames and arguments from various Armchair Admirals on
the possible existence of so powerful a ship so long ago in the Star
Wars timeline I'd like to remind everyone that Star Wars technology
apparently moves along at a mere fraction of real world technology
because Star Wars assumes a galactic society of millions (yes,
millions!) of different cultures all trying to get along in a sort
of Interstellar U.N. type environment. Now this all changed with the
rise of Palpatine and the Empire but until the Empire came along
galactic society has stagnated. If nothing else the Empire sparked
technological innovation in a group culture that had almost
forgotten how to innovate. The Nammurg lived in an extremely violent
part of the galaxy and were a naturally technical minded species.
Between the constant conflict they experienced and their natural
aptitudes it's no wonder they developed the ships they did. Consider
the technological gap between Russia at the turn of the century and
the rest of Europe and you start to see what I mean. Russia had been
at relative peace for centuries (I don't consider Napoleon's
attempts to invade Russia as significant since the Russians simply
ran until winter hit and let nature take it's course.) and had
fallen into decadence for it. The rest of Europe, on the other
hand, was at least a century ahead of Russia in terms of technology.
As to the assertion that some of the Firehawk's technology can no
longer be duplicated, I give you this: With all our wonderful
microprocessorized gadgets we cannot today build or duplicate the
turrets and main guns of the Iowa-Class Battleships. And while
missiles and rockets may be the way of the future there's a REASON
that the old Iowas were dragged out of mothballs for service in the
Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars. No non-nuclear projectile on Earth
can match the sheer destructive firepower of 9 16 inch high
explosive warheads fired from the three triple-gunned turrets of an
Iowa. And we can't build them anymore.


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