The Tanto light starfighter, named after the traditional Japanese (or Oninese) dagger, is Bushido Industries entry into the light fighter. Other light fighters include the Consortium Scorpion and Bobcat, the older Human Alliance Vixen, Naruni Kinjal, and the Wolfen Falx Supina. Many military experts have speculated that the Tanto was developed in direct competition with the Scorpion for Consortium and possibly Human Alliance service. The Scorpion is one of the most common fighters in the Three Galaxies and could be compared to the F-16 Falcon of the late Twentieth and early Twenty-First Century.
So far, in addition to being operated by Bushido Industries forces, a number of small defense forces and mercenary groups operate the Bushido light fighter in small numbers. These operators seem to consider the fighter extremely capable and dangerous. Both the Consortium and Human Alliance have purchased a number of the Bushido light fighters to study them. It appears as if the Consortium is going to adopt an upgraded version of the Scorpion known as the "Super Scorpion" instead of a new fighter design.
While still relatively inexpensive, the Tanto is slightly more expensive than the Scorpion. The Bushido light fighter has advantages and disadvantages over the much more common Scorpion. The Tanto does not carry the extremely powerful rail gun that the Scorpion carries but have the ability to carry the same weapon pods carried on the Katana fighter, Bushido Industries medium fighter design, and is considered by many to be more flexible than the Scorpion.
The Tanto is less heavily armored than the main Consortium light fighter. Unlike the Scorpion, the Tanto does mount a variable force field. Between the force field and armor, the Tanto is able to withstand more damage than a standard Scorpion. The upgraded "Super Scorpion" mounts a variable force field as well although is mounted externally.
As far as the Bushido light fighter's engines, they are copies of the engines carried on the Scorpion. The engine's design is modified so as to not be blatant and prevent Bushido Industries from being sued. As will the Scorpion, the Tanto mounts an auxiliary engine that can be used to boost performance vastly. One advantage the Tanto has over the Scorpion is that it is streamlined for much better atmospheric performance which makes it a highly effective ground attack fighter.
The Tanto light fighter is armed with the same particle beam cannon that the Katana medium fighter carries. While the particle beam is not as powerful as the rail gun carried on the Scorpion, as an energy weapon, it has an unlimited payload although the GR-1000 Rail Gun does have a vast payload. Two missile hard points are mounted on the Bushido light fighter. Each one carry a single capital missile or a mixture of smaller ordnance including long range and medium range missiles. The missiles are carried conformal to the hull of the light fighter. In addition, the Tanto has a single mount for a weapon pod. This allows the Bushido light fighter to operate in many different roles.
- Model Type: BIF-75 Light Fighter /Bomber
- Crew: One.
- Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
- Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.8 percent of light per melee and with using the Auxiliary Engine, the fighter can reach up to 1.8 percent of light per melee
- Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is Mach 4.5 (3,336.5 mph / 5,369.7 kph) without using the auxiliary engine. If the fighter is fully loaded, reduce speed to Mach 4 (2965.8 mph/ 4,773 kph) without using the auxiliary engine.
When the fighter uses the auxiliary engine, Maximum speed is Mach 9.5 (7,043.8 mph / 11,335.9 kph) and if the fighter is carrying ordnance reduce top atmospheric speed to Mach 8.5 (6302.4 mph/ 10142.7 kph). In all situations the fighter can enter and leave the atmosphere because flight system is contra grav.
- Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by drive system but only has supplies for pilot for ten days.
- Length: 32 feet (9.8 meters)
- Height: 9 feet (2.7 meters)
- Width: 34 feet (10.4 meters)
- Weight: 5.8 tons (5.3 metric tons)
- Power System: Advanced Fusion with 20 year life span.
- Cargo: Minimal Storage Space, place for a rifle, handgun, small survival kit, signal flares, and food rations.
- Market Cost: 38 million credits.
- One (1) Particle Beam Cannon: This cannon is identical to the cannon that is carried in Busido Industries Katana fighter and while the cannon does not do as great a damage as the GR-1000 Rail gun on the Scorpion starfighter does still inflict impressive damage. Like the Katana fighter, the cannon is protected by the ships hull and is not considered destroyed until the fighters main body is destroyed. The weaknesses of this cannon are larger compensated for by the use of weapon pods.
- Maximum Effective Range: 4 miles (6.4 km) through atmosphere and 200 miles (321.8 km) in space.
- Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 per blast
- Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5).
- Payload: Effectively Unlimited
- One (1) Weapon Pod: The fighter can carry one special purpose weapon pods. They are identical to those carried by the Katana starfighter and are attached centerline on the underside of the Tanto. Like the pods on the Katana, the pod can be changed or interchanged within 10 minutes by a capable service crew that is familiar with the fighter. Crews that are no familiar with the Tanto or the Katana may require an additional 2D4 minutes.
- Anti-Starfighter Weapon Pod: This pod combines a medium range missile launcher and a powerful gravity rail gun. Along with Fighters, It is also useful for use against Robots and Power Armors. The rail gun is very powerful but is short ranged. Projectiles come out of the gravity rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Medium Range Missiles has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Normally used for anti-fighter and point defense. Medium range missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously.
- Maximum Effective Range: Gravity Rail Gun: 2 miles (3.2 km) through an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space. Medium Range Missiles: 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds).
- Mega-Damage: Gravity Rail Gun: 3D6x10 per 40 round burst. Medium Range Missiles: Varies with medium range missile type (See Phase World Missiles.)
- Rate of Fire: Gravity Rail Gun: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5). Medium Range Missiles: One at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) missiles.
- Payload: Gravity Rail Gun: 8,000 rounds (200 bursts). Medium Range Missiles: Sixteen (16) medium range missiles.
- Cruise Missile and Laser Pod: A mount that carries two cruise missiles and a light laser to backup the internal particle beam. Cruise Missiles has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship). Cruise missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously. Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will still cruise unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.)
- Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missiles: Range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds). Light Laser: 1 miles (1.6 km) through an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km).
- Mega-Damage: Cruise Missiles: See Phase World Missiles for details (Anti-Matter inflicts 4D6x100 MDC). Light Laser: 6D6 per blast.
- Rate of Fire: Cruise Missiles: One at a time or in volleys of two (2). Light Laser: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5).
- Payload: Cruise Missiles: Two (2) Cruise Missiles. Light Laser: Effectively Unlimited
- Mini-Missile Pod: This is a pack of mini missiles that can be used against ground targets, infantry, and against starships. Missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). Mini-Missile is phase world are normally guided.
- Maximum Effective Range: Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space
- Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile type (See Phase World Missiles.)
- Rate of Fire: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or twelve (12.)
- Payload: Forty-Eight (48) mini-missiles.
- Plasma Ejector Pod: A very heavy weapon that fired superheated plasma. Very destructive weapon but limited in rate of fire and short ranged. The Ejector Pod is capable against tanks, Giant robots, and large starships.
- Maximum Effective Range: 25 miles (40 km) in space and 1,200 feet (326 m) in an atmosphere.
- Mega-Damage: 1D4x100 M.D. per cannon.
- Rate of Fire: Twice per melee each (each shot counts as two melee attacks, even when linked together).
- Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
- Two (2) Missile Pylons: On the underbelly of the fighter are two missile racks that allows the fighter to carry one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. Cruise missile are normally carried when on an anti-capital ship role and long and medium range missiles when fighting other starfighters. Cruise Missiles has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship). Long Range Missiles has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship). Medium Range Missiles has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will still cruise unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously.
- Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missiles range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds), Long Range Missiles range is 3,400 miles (5470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds).
- Mega-Damage & Properties: See Phase World Missiles for details (Cruise Anti-Matter inflicts 4D6x100 MDC and Long Range Fusion inflicts 2D4x100 MDC).
- Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) missiles.
- Payload: One (1) Cruise Missile, Two (2) Long Range Missiles, or Four (4) Medium Range Missiles per Pylon.
- Special Bonuses: Like the Katana starfighter, this fighter is extremely maneuverable; add +5% to the pilots piloting skill, +1 to strike, +2 to dodge energy and projectile fire, and +3 to dodge missiles, obstacles, and stellar debris. The fighter also have a very advanced terrain following system. All bonuses are in addition to pilots bonuses (Hand to hand and Starfighter Pilot: Basic or Elite).