The operation was quickly collapsing on all fronts and folding faster than Jensen's command staff could keep up with the failures. Somehow, it had all gone wrong and it had gone wrong right from the start. Intel had been wrong. Planning had been wrong. Everything had been wrong and that meant it was a trap, set by SKYNET. Where ever it could have gone wrong, it had gone wrong and now Major Jensen was trying to reroute his remaining forces to evac zones and salvage what was left of his command but even that was going wrong. SKYNET had wanted Jensen for a long time now, he had hurt It bad on many occasions and hurt It really bad on more than a few others but now it looked like SKYNET was finally going to get what It wanted ...
where had he made a mistake? Intel and ELINT had looked good. Recon was
solid. He thought back as all around him reports came in of his
disintegrating command and his dying forces.
"Delta Team ... no contact."
"I've got two HKs in Area 5 operating in pacification mode. Aerials providing overwatch."
"Terminators in Area 2. Charlie Team reporting heavy casualties. Still no contact from Delta Team."
Where had it gone wrong? What had
Jensen looked up as his aide, Smith, signaled for his attention. He walked over to where Smith sat behind a series of Map Sheets, all coordinating and relaying tactical information from the field units. Several of the displays were dark with the simple words [NO SIGNAL] appearing.
"Bravo Team reports increased resistance at Alpha Site. Looks like a HK with Aerial support. Bravo says they're taking heavy casualties. Squad strength is down by a third and their CO reports that they're falling back." Smith, said, all emotion gone from her voice as she scanned the reports coming in on the displays.
Failure, plain to see, and in vivid color
displayed in a variety of ways for Jensen to view and contemplate.
Damn, he thought. Alpha Site had been the primary retreat area for the command
staff. Bravo team had a lot of friends on it, long time friends. Friends
that SKYNET was killing as fast as It could somewhere out there about two klicks
to the west.
"Major! Recon reports that SKYNET's got a Buster in the area, two Aerials are in escort. ELINT says the Buster is in search mode entering this sector at high speed, our vector! It'll be on top of us in two minutes."
Then that was it, Jensen thought.
SKYNET wouldn't bring a Buster in unless it knew where Jensen was. The
Buster's plasma gun could penetrate to the depth of the command bunker and turn
the atmosphere inside the bunker into a 4500 degree plus preview of hell itself.
"It must have picked up the command frequency bursts! Everyone! Get out! Now!" Jensen shouted. "SKYNET knows where we are, people and it's coming to torch this place!"
Around him, people dropped what they were doing and started moving for the exits to the makeshift command bunker. It was a good bet that with all that had gone wrong so far that SKYNET knew exactly where they were ... that's one reason why It had dispatched a Buster to their sector. SKYNET wanted Jensen and the way things were going, It probably had him but Jensen wasn't the kind of leader to give up and if SKYNET knew anything about Jensen then it knew that he had a few tricks left.
He picked up his M25A1 and pushed Smith
out of the bunker ahead of him.
AHK 412C Model 312 - "BUSTER"
|RESISTANCE DESIGNATION(S):||“Mosquito”, “Buster”|
|TYPE:||Specialized – Role Specific Aerial Hunter-Killer Heavy Weapons Platform|
Mass (unloaded): 7500kg
Mass (Model 12 PPG): 1500kg
Mass (loaded): 9700kg (including Model 12 PPG and weapons fuel)
|PRIMARY DUTY PURPOSE:||Ground attack – deep penetration|
|SECONDARY DUTY PURPOSE:||Ground attack – wide area effect|
|PRODUCTION RUN:||4876 units, 4 prototypes, 6 test platforms|
|PRODUCTION YEARS:||2011; development: 2012 to 2029 AD production|
|PRODUCTION LOCATION:||Class II facility - standardized template|
|LOCATION(S) DEPLOYED:||All sectors as available|
|POWER SOURCE:||Type IV compact nuclear reactor, component armored with backup control and safety systems|
|Type I Mod 4 auxiliary power reactor, heavy duty crystal battery array, stepped power with redundant feed.|
|Unlimited flight and loiter capacity. Periodic maintenance required of reactor and power supply systems as well.|
|PERFORMANCE:||Max speed (aerodynamic drag limited) 710kph. Max ceiling rating – 7500 meters. VTOL capable. Non-supersonic – drag limited. High speed NOE capable. Pseudo-Agile rated.|
|CHASSIS:||Reinforced subsonic airframe constructed of blown aluminum with purposely manufactured honeycomb composite structure.|
|PROPULSION:||Twin, Series 5 Model AA23 variable pitch, ducted high amperage electric drive fans. Total thrust rated at 20,000 kg. Each ducted fan is component armored and able to rotate through a 360 degree arc.|
|SENSORS:||Standard Type III array with motion tracking, HRFLIR, thermal imaging and visual motion tracking. Microprocessor controlled and enhanced telescopic to 65x power. Ground radar to 10km and aerial radar to 25km. Laser and standard high band ultra-wave communication array. Dedicated Look Down Imaging System (DLDIS). Standard backup Type I array identical to Type III with 40% reduction in capacity and range.|
|PRIMARY CPU:||Model 3 fiber optic based Series 3 processor with twin tactical subprocessors – Series 3 Block 40.|
|Model 3 base fiber optic based Series 2 processor with single tactical subprocessor – Series 2 Block 28|
|4th Generation 3cm high gain, high specific output Model 12, Series 12 Block 40 TRVA Tunnel Ramp Variable Aperture phased plasma gun – 40 megawatt input sustained, 240 pulses per minute. Usable weapon fuel tankage 200 liters of processed combat grade excitable fuel in component armored, baffled and pressurized tank to the rear of the weapon ignition system. Total sustained firing time of 20 minutes. Anti-flashback stepped field generator installed in muzzle assembly. Weapon has very limited capacity for changing elevation / deflection and no capacity for changing traverse. Weapon is aimed along forward flight path and changes to flight path are required to aim the weapon and bring weapon on target. Hydraulic weapon mounts allow for a +/- 30 degrees of elevation / deflection along established vector while traverse is handled by vectored thrust of the airframe and deviations to the flight patch. Rotation of lift / thrust fans using airframe as pendulum capable of achieving stationary aiming correction status as well.|
|OTHER:||Three remote white spotlights in independently focused armored housings. Each spotlight has 600 million candlepower rating. Infra-red switching system can project an IR beam instead of visible light for use with HRIR systems.|
|ARMOR:||2cm elastisteel component armored control, power and sensor systems. 3 cm hyperalloy carapace sheath narrowing to 2.25 cm in the tail and aft sections.|
BACKGROUND / HISTORY / NOTES:
The AHK 412C Model 312 was designed and produced by SKYNET to fulfill a role whereby hard targets, located in fortified bunkers or deep positions underground, could be engaged and eliminated from the air. The type of high powered area defense plasma guns which SKYNET employed to protect its strategic assets had the penetration power required to engage deep targets or spread out threats but these plasma guns were emplaced and thus immobile. SKYNET needed the ability of a look down, shoot through plasma based weapons platform and that meant not only using a weapon of traditionally emplaced power ranges but also making it air-mobile.
for the Model 12 came from 200 liters of processed combat grade excitable fuel
in a component
armored, baffled and pressurized fuel tank to the rear of the weapon ignition system.
Originally, a standard Aerial Hunter Killer was heavily modified by removing its standard rapid pulse phased plasma gun and replacing it with a mass produced, fourth generation emplaced area defense gun, the Model 12 plasma gun which not only added an extra 43 percent to the unit’s weight and mass but also required extensive heavy duty frame work to support the massive weapon and substantial reinforcing of the airframe itself. Early prototypes had a tendency to twist their airframe under the stress of firing the massive Model 12 phased plasma gun and an initial fire rate of 360 pulses per minute proved enough to literally shake the airframe of the modified AHK apart in flight. Short duration firings resulted in cracked reinforcements, the catastrophic drop-loss of the Model 12 PPG itself in one instance and the eventual unit airframe failure of all prototypes within a short period.
Realizing that the Model 12 PPG needed a heavier, more capable airframe to carry it, SKYNET redesigned the basic model Aerial HK, starting from a fresh template and reinforcing just about everything. The DLDIS system was integrated into the sensor / scanner suite and FiConSys Fire Control Systems. The Model 12 PPG was itself an integral part of the airframe itself from the start rather than a modification or addition to an existing airframe. Power supply systems, power sources, and the propulsion systems were increased in order to provide near-standard Aerial HK performance to the new design. SKYNET designated the new aerial heavy plasma weapons platform as the AHK 410A Model 302.
The AHK 410A Model 302 was the first successful prototype of the new deep strike / wide strike capable series of aerial mobile heavy plasma gun weapon platforms. Following improvements to the series, the AHK 412C Model 312 became the standard template design with slight variations appearing throughout its production life.
Limited to high subsonic performance due to drag limitations, the AHK 412C Model 312 nevertheless became an important weapon in SKYNET’s arsenal. Utilizing the Dedicated Look Down Imaging System (DLDIS), the AHK 412C was able to scan for, track, and eliminate soft targets at a depth of up to 20 meters below ground.
Attack modes for the AHK 412C consisted to two profiles; deep penetration and wide area. Possessing the unique capability of dual attack modes, the 412C could either engage soft targets protected behind up to 20 meters of reinforced concrete or a comparable depth or it could adjust the aperture of the Model 12 PPG to produce a much less cohesive discharge which had the effect of “splashing” lethal plasma over a large area. Even at a depth of 20 meters, the plasma bolt retained enough thermal energy to incinerate all soft materials within a 5 cubic meter volume of space.
The tremendous discharge of the Model 12 phased plasma gun was such that even with the addition of a modulated anti-flashback stepped field generator the weapon produced visible atmospheric deformation upon firing and the audible report of the weapon, especially at altitude, was akin to that of heavy thunder and was quite distinct especially given the fact that the high rate of fire of the Model 12 PPG produced a staccato of thunder-like reports, a side-effect of which was the heavy demoralization of inexperienced or untrained individuals in the area. The AHK 412C had many Resistance nicknames, the most often used was “Mosquito” for the long proboscis-like snout of the Model 12 PPG that extended past the basic airframe. Other Resistance used nicknames included “Buster” and “Thunder Wasp.”
Due to its slightly less agility rating than a standard AHK model, the 412C was often escorted into an area of operations by two or three standard AHKs which also provided not only close air support but look down capacity to enhance the 412C’s DLDIS system. A coordinated engagement brace included two AHK 412Cs, four to six standard AHKs, and from 6 to 12 dedicated aerodyne based Recon / ELINT drones which operated at heights of NOE to 20 meters. The smaller drone units were linked into the subnet established by the two primary controlling AHK 412C series units and the four to six standard subservient AHKs. It was the job of the drone units to sweep the ruins on a sector by sector process, using overlapping patterns and detection fields. Data, including targeting information, was fed instantly to the group subnet and to the orbiting AHK units which also acted as co-processors for the overall group thus increasing the tactical processing power of the subnet itself. In areas strongly contested by the Resistance or with significant Resistance presence, the AHK group would further be supported on the ground by a brace of two to four tracked HK units and twelve to twenty-four Terminators or equivalent bipedal mobile HK units.
Later variants and models were the AHK 412C Model 313, AHK 412D Model 323A, AHK 412E Model 323B and AHK 412E Model 324A. Performance upgrades to the series continued resulting in increased performance and survivability. In 2019 AD, the Model 12 PPG was replaced with the much more powerful though lighter Model 15 PPG giving the AHK 412D Model 324A a 37% increase in offensive capability and a 12% reduction in weapons profile weight.
Actual size comparison between AHK - "Buster" and standard AHK series aerial hunter killer units.
The smaller AHKs were often used as escort, CAP Combat Air Patrol and to enhance the
subnet processing capability of the networked hunt group.