The Epee was developed by Douglas Aerospace as a replacement for the old F-36 Hornet light starfighter. The new F-54 Epee reach squadron status in 2661. Far more advanced that the fighter it replaced, the Epee was s packed with sophisticated sensors, powerful particle beams, decoy systems, and other advanced technological features that made it seem very impressive on paper. Problem was that the theory proved far better than reality and the Epee quickly acquired a poor reputation amongst combat pilots. Designers felt the reputation which the Epee had with pilots was undeserved with most pilots comparing the Epee to the Rapier medium fighter. Even though the armor on the Epee was actually about the same as the Kilrathi Sartha light starfighter, pilots complained that the Epee's armor was inferior to the Kilrathi light fighter. Other complaints included that the fighter's small frame was too fragile and susceptible to critical damage. A common joke among Confederation pilots was that wrapping toilet paper all around the airframe would double the ship's armor.
Even though many Confederation pilots preferred the Ferret over what some called "The Flying Deathtrap," the F-54 Epee was still superior to the venerable F-36 Hornet light fighter in every way. Instead of lasers, the Epee boasted twin particle beams which while only slightly shorter ranged than lasers, had over twice the energy output. Another advantage was that the light fighter had more hard points than the old Hornet and twice the hard points of the "Super Ferret." In extreme cases, some Epees were even outfitted with a single belly-line torpedo hard point for strikes against small capital ships and for carefully orchestrated multi-fighter strike missions. The Torpedo replaced all other external ordnance. Other advantages included shields about a third heavier than the Hornet and equal to those on the Ferret and a far more sophisticated fire control system. Due to all of the sophisticated systems, the Epee was far more expensive on a per fighter basis compared to the Ferret and took far greater man hours to build. As a result, large number of Ferrets were built to fill shortfalls in the manufacture of F-54 Epee light starfighters.
Along with the Ferret, the F-54 Epee light fighter was eventually retired and was replaced by more heavily armed (and armored) Arrow. The replacement fighter mounts over twice the armor and over three times the shields of the fighter which it replaced. Most of the fighters have been relegated to home defense squadrons beside Ferret patrol fighters.
- Model Type: F-54C Epee Light Strike Starfighter / Reconnaissance Fighter
- 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 .88 percent of light per melee maximum. Fighter has auxiliary thrusters which can be used a maximum of 15 minutes before fuel is exhausted. On auxiliary thrusters, the fighter has a maximum acceleration of 1.76 percent of light per melee maximum.
- Atmospheric Propulsion: The fighter is fairly aerodynamic and is quite capable in an atmosphere. As a result, the fighter can achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 25,053 mph / 40,320 kph) but normally operates at Mach 6.03 (4,473.8 mph / 7,200 kph) or less. The fighter also has Gravitic propulsion systems enabling it to leave an atmosphere even at low velocities.
- Maximum Range: Effectively unlimited by internal fuel (10 year duration) although auxiliary thruster range is limited to approximately 15 minutes. Fighter uses a very small fusion cell system for power systems. The fighter carries one week of consumables for fighter's crew.
- Length: 40.68 feet (12.4 meters)
- Height: 21.65 feet (6.6 meters)
- Width: 29.86 feet (9.1 meters)
- Weight: 14.33 tons (13.0 metric tons) unloaded
- Power System: Fusion power supply with a 10 year duration.
- Cargo: Small Storage Space, 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft x 2 ft. Used for emergency equipment and weapons.
- Market Cost: 29.45 million credits
Twin Particle CannonsEdit
- These cannons are mounted on the nose of the starfighter. Slightly shorter ranged than laser cannons although the pack a much heavier punch. Particle cannons replaced neutron cannons on most Confederation fighters. The weapon inflict about equal damage to most energy weapons carried on most C.A.F. Starfighters and have a much longer range than most fighter weapons in the Three Galaxies.
- Maximum Effective Range: 2,609.8 miles (4,200 km) in space and 13.0 miles (21 km) in an atmosphere.
- Mega Damage: 2D6x10+10 per cannon and 4D6x10+20 for both cannons
- Rate of Fire: Equal to pilots hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
- Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Missile Pylons (4)Edit
- On the underbelly of the Epee light fighter are four missile racks that allows the fighter to carry missiles. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. All ordnance can be replaced by a single cruise missile. 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). 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. Since starships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, 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.) Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously and all missiles are normally considered smart missiles.
- 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), 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: Varies with Revised Phase World cruise missile or medium range missile types (Cruise Anti-Matter does 4D6x100 MDC).
- Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two or four.
- Payload: One medium range missile per hard point (Fighter can replace all ordnance with a single cruise missile)
Anti-Missile Decoy DispenserEdit
- Located at the very tail of the fighter are two decoy dispensers. When a missile if fired at the fighter, a decoy can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Decoy system works against Phase World missiles although has a -10% penalty against Brilliant missiles.
- Effect: 01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates on decoy - Missiles are all destroyed. 51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target). 76-00 No effect, missile is still on target.
- Payload: Ten (10)