LAST EDITED ON Aug-24-12 AT 09:07 PM (EDT)
Babylon Project Galactic Database
Text Data Extraction Search: Jane's Fighting Spacecraft
Précis Search Criterion: CSF-105
SEARCH COMPLETE: APRIL 14, 2413
CSF-105 Arrow Mk III
The story of the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow is one of the great lost legends of the galaxy's aerospace community. An atmospheric jet fighter under development on Earth in the 1950s, half a century before First Contact, the Arrow showed revolutionary promise by the standards of the local technology level of the time - and it was canceled for nebulous, probably political reasons before initial flight testing was even completed. For equally mysterious reasons, the prototypes and tooling were subsequently destroyed.
Conspiracy theories and widespread bitterness over these decisions still abounded in Earth's military aviation community at the time of Contact, and even today the Arrow remains a wistful dream of many aerospace antiquarians. It's been held up for centuries as an example of a promising road inexplicably not taken during Earth's critical early Jet Age.
Which made it all the more startling when starfighters obviously based on the Arrow, in the style of the Wedge Defense Force's RetroTech series, appeared in the skies over Earth Alliance-occupied Canada during the 2412 Battle of Earth. Broadcasting the outlawed IFF code of the Royal Canadian Air Force, four dozen Arrows launched from hidden sites in the hinterlands of central, western, and far-northern Canada, entering the fray on the side of the Galactic Alliance. With performance far superior to that of Earthforce's SA-23J Thunderbolt Starfury fighter, the Forty-Eight (as they have since entered aerospace folklore) punched well above their weight in the battle, cleaning up Canadian airspace, wiping out the rogue planetary defense satellites in their sector, and paving the way for Galactic Alliance ground troops to take Ottawa. At day's end, only five Canadian airframes had been destroyed and six damaged, with a loss of seven aircrew.
After the battle, IPO investigators learned that the Arrow had quietly been in development for several years before the Earth Alliance crackdown of 2406 outlawed the Dominion of Canada. The original intent seems to have been to create a homegrown equivalent to the RetroTech line while reviving a Canadian aviation icon for purposes of national morale. When the crackdown occurred, the Arrow team managed - with the connivance of certain RCAF personnel - to conceal the existence of the project from the Earthdome bureaucrats and inspectors who were sent in to take over the administration of the former country.
The project continued in desperate secrecy throughout the Earthdome occupation. Testing was conducted in the far frozen north, meticulously timed to avoid detection by the Dome's surveillance satellite network, and production was financed through a series of complicated budgetary cutouts and brilliant schemes dreamed up by the team's intrepid managers. By late 2411, 48 Arrow Mk IIIs and their crews stood ready at secret bases throughout the Canadian hinterland. All that was needed was an opportunity to strike that offered some hope, however slim, for success... and the Galactic Alliance invasion was precisely that.
Following the reorganization of Earth's sovereign nations in the wake of Earthdome's collapse, the renegade RCAF and the engineering team responsible for the Arrow's rebirth were both made legitimate enterprises again. Today the Arrow is in full and open production, and has been selected for service by not only the RCAF, but other forces around Earth and beyond - including the Royal Salusian Flying Corps and the WDF's aerospace strike/superiority subsidiary, the United States Air Force™.
Designation: CSF-105 Arrow Mk III
WDF Procurement Number: CSF-105C
Manufacturer: Avro Canada
Entered service: 2412
Power system: General Atomics JCR-49 power converter/fusion reactor
Propulsion system: 2x Orenda FPS.30 Haudenosaunee axial fusion turbines (rated at 300 KTU each)
Speed rating: 140 MGLT
Flight control system: Avro Canada 4K7C dynamic flight control system
Maneuver rating: 80 DPF
Navigation: Narmox Zr-400 computer system
FTL: Incom GBk-435F motivator drive unit (hyperdrive)
Drive rating: 1.2
Shields: Avro Canada CRC2 barrier shield system
Shield rating: 55 SBD
Armor: Composite-reinforced titanium/supraluminum alloy hull
Armor rating: 55 RU
Description: Fixed-configuration all-condition aerospace superiority fighter
Crew: 1 pilot, 1 weapons officer
Mass, fully loaded (standard armament): 68,000 lb.
Mass, empty: 49,000 lb.
Reaction mass capacity: 12,000 lb.
Fixed armaments: 2x General Atomics PF-32 rapid fire particle beam cannon
Expendable armaments: 8x Canadarms "Velvet Fist" medium-range air-to-air missile
The performance of the Arrow Mk III is as startling as was its first appearance on the galactic stage. Blisteringly fast and yet still highly maneuverable, armed with deadly weapons whose capabilities were largely unknown to the opposition when the fighter first appeared, and sturdily built with a considerable capacity for punishment, the first four dozen Arrows owned the skies over Canada.
However, this performance is not entirely without cost. The Arrow is expensive and tricky to produce thanks to its exotic alloy hull (which, coupled with the difficulties of secret production, is why there were only 48 of them in the original run), and its combination of speed and maneuverability makes it more than some pilots can handle. Extensive training and, ideally, prior starfighter experience are necessary to make a successful Arrow pilot, as well as a certain mindset that combines aggression with a lighter hand than is typical.
Because of the secretive and isolated way in which it was developed, the Arrow shares few common parts or systems with most other aerospacecraft, complicating maintenance and supply. (The principal exception to this is the fighter's FTL navigation and drive package, which is a fully compatible clone of the venerable systems fitted to such classic craft as the SF-14H Space Tomcat.)
The Arrow team are reportedly working on a new model. Details about the Mk IV's capabilities are thin on the ground, but it is rumored that it is largely to address the Mk III's systems incompatibility problems, adapting more widely used systems to the spaceframe. One perennial speculation is that the PF-32 particle cannons might be replaced with clusters of industry-standard Taim & Bak KX-series blasters, though many Arrow pilots insist that this would dilute the aircraft's distinctiveness unacceptably.
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