SW XA-1 Experimental Variable Fighter

SW XA-1 Experimental Variable Fighter

RPG Stats by James Allen jim1881@btinternet.com

The SW XA-1 is an old design prototype recently brought out of mothballs to reprise the role for which it was originally designed. Back in the early 2030s the UNSpacy sent out a brief to produce a stealth fighter to work alongside the VF-17, which at the time was in the late prototype phase. The VF-17 is still a superb space superiority fighter, with an incredible passive stealth construction that has ensured it's continued popularity, but it's basic design had flaws from the start which have been highlighted with time.

The design of the airframe meant that not only was it incompatible with the regular Fast Packs used by the UNSpacy, but in atmosphere the craft suffered from severely reduced thrust due to the lack of cooling vents. The SW XA-1 was intended to supplant the VF-17 if atmospheric combat or short range air superiority was required. One of the stipulations was that the airframe had to use some other means to achieve stealth other than it's basic construction. Shinsei Industries took the brief and built the SW XA-1, hoping that they could design something far better than the General Galaxy designed VF-17.

The main reason for their confidence was the fact that they were developing an Active Stealth system which would negate the need for a specially constructed airframe, so they could design the SW XA-1 for maximum performance and still make it as capable at stealth as the VF-17. However, the design had a number of teething problems, not only were Shinsei handicapped by the initial stipulation they had to design something in line with the old VF-1 series, they simply couldn't make the stealth system work as they wanted it to.

The first test flight came in 2035, using an old F-14 Tomcat chassis with minor modifications. At the same time another team was struggling to finish the proper prototype, which was heavily based on the VF-5000 because of that chassis' known abilities in a planetary atmosphere. When the new test mule was launched, the initial results were disappointing, and underperformance was always a factor. Shinsei were also distracted by the efforts they were expending on the YF-19 with which they hoped to win Project Super Nova.

By 2039 the SW XA-1 had failed to deliver what had been asked of it. The airframe itself, although cheap and easy to produce, had little to merit it ahead of the VF-11, let alone the new YF-19, and the Active Stealth systems were still not functioning correctly. The decision was taken to shelve the design and to concentrate on the YF-19, as the contract was worth far more to Shinsei. The VF-17 would have been a hard aircraft to supplant anyway, as it was very much a favourite with pilots and it's capabilities were still impressive.

The Active Stealth system failed to work correctly in the YF-19 either, and eventually after Shinsei won Project Super Nova they decided to fit the production VF-19 Excaliber with the stealth technology used by the YF-21/VF-22.

By 2045, Shinsei had set up a smooth production line of VF-19s, and decided to turn some attention back to the SW XA-1. Nobody had fulfilled the stipulations outlined by the UNSpacy and the contract still lay available to the first company to come up with a viable airframe. Now armed with working stealth technology, a small team of technicians was give leave to investigate the viability of using the SW XA-1 to fulfil its original aim. By now the test mules had been gathering dust for over half a decade, and both the mechanicals and the systems were vastly outdated. For the last 3 years Shinsei has been quietly refitting the prototypes with more up to date equipment, including some of the mechanicals of the YF-19 prototype, and they soon hope to begin full flight testing, although how anything will perform is a matter open for debate.
As it stands, the design still retains a lot of the VF-5000 in it, and still bears a resemblance to the low budget colony fighter. However most of the old systems found in the VF-5000 have been replaced by newer technology developed in the decade in which the design sat unchanged. Whether such an old design will work when compared to the machines of today is a point of contention, but with Shinsei secure in their future the SW XA-1 is now nothing more than an interesting side project.


2032: Development started on Active Stealth system using old F-14 Tomcats as test beds.
2034: Work begun on modified VF-5000 as final chassis, Shinesi begins work on YF-19.
2035: First test flight using an F-14 test mule. VF-17 makes debut.
2036: First SW XA-1 prototype makes test flight.
2039: First flight of YF-19, SW XA-1 project cancelled.
2041: YF-19 design wins Project Super Nova.
2045: SW XA-1 prototypes brought out of storage. Modified YF-19 parts used to refit prototypes.
2048: SW XA-1 project ready to begin flight testing.


Vehicle Type: SW XA-1 Test Type Valkyrie
Class: Tactical Variable Fighter
Manufacturer: Shinsei Industries
Crew: One pilot wearing Tactical Life Support System


  Location MDC
  Head Laser 30
(1) Head 100
  Arms (2) 125 each
  Hands (2) 50 each
  Legs/Thrusters (2) 225 each
  Shoulders 100 each
(2) Main Body 375
  Pilot's Compartment/Escape Pod 150
  Wings (2) 175 each
  Tails (2) 75 each
  GU-13 Gun Pod 115




  1. Destroying the head of the fighter will knock out the mecha's major sensor systems, including all of the optics systems (infrared, nightvision, thermal). Radar and communications will be unaffected.
  2. Depleting the MDC of the main body will destroy the mecha. The pilot and cockpit section/escape pod will be automatically ejected from the doomed mecha before it explodes by the mecha's main computer.


100 mph (160 kmph)
55 ft (17 m) high or 80 ft (24.5 m) long without thrusters.
Mach One (670 mph/1072 kmph)maximum speed limit in an Earth-like atmosphere. Can also hover in place indefinitely.
Mach 3.5+ (2345 mph/3572 kmph) max speed at 10,000 meters or less above sea level. Mach 5.1+ (3417 mph/5205 kmph) max speed at 10,000-30,000 meters above sea level. Mach 24+ (16,080 mph/24,494 kmph) max speed at 30,000+ meters above sea level, for a maximum of 5 seconds. Cruising speed is usually Mach 1.8 (1206 mph/1837 kmph). The SW XA-1is capable of achieving orbital velocity over an Earth-class planet without additional rocket assistance. Maximum rate of ascent is 60,000 meters/minute. Structural G limits are +29.0 to -16.5 Earth gravities.


14.03 metres in fighter configuration.
Equal to a P.S. of 50
Small compartment behind pilot's seat for personal belongings.
52,700 kg x2 in an atmosphere, 67,500 kg x2 in space. The engines are a refinement on those found in the YF-19, and still suffer from cooling problems. There are Two 2-dimensional independentent convergent/divergent exhaust vents mounted on engines for greater maneuverability and V/STOL performance.
Several additional Pratt & Whitney HMM-3A high-maneuverability vernier thrusters for additional mobility are mounted at key positions along the mecha's hull.


Dorsal: NP-BP-01, NP-BP-02, NR-BP-T1, NP-BP-10, NP-BP-11, NP-BP-12, NP-BP-19

Arm: NP-AR-01, NP-AU-T1

Leg: NP-FB-01, NP-FB-T1, NP-FB-10


1. ANTI-AIRCRAFT PULSE LASER: The SW XA-1 mounts a single pulse laser for use in air combat skirmishes and for defensive purposes. The laser is mounted on the head of the mecha in battloid mode, and is located in the central dorsal section of the main body pointed rearward in fighter and gerwalk modes. The laser can only fire to the REAR of the fighter in these modes; it cannot be turned to fire along another arc.
· RANGE: 4,000 feet (1,200 m)
· DAMAGE: 2D6 M.D.
· RATE OF FIRE: The laser can be fired in rapid pulses up to 4 blasts per round. A rapid fire blast counts as a burst of up to 4 shots.
· PAYLOAD: Unlimited

2. GU-13 MULTIPURPOSE GUN POD: The GU-13 hand-held gunpod unit is a smaller version of the GU-11. The GU-13 fires armor piercing 55mm shells and is the direct predecessor of the the GU-15. Made by Shinsei Heavy Industries and Howard Industries, it was the obvious choice when choosing what the SW XA-1 should be armed with.
· RANGE: 4,000 feet (1200 m)
· DAMAGE: 4D6 M.D. for a short burst, 1D6x10 M.D. for a long burst, or 2D6x10 M.D. for a full melee burst.
· RATE OF FIRE: Equal to the number of combined attacks of the pilot.
· PAYLOAD: 800 rounds in an internal ammo hopper equals 80 short bursts, 40 long bursts, or 20 full melee bursts.

The legs of the SW XA-1 are equipped with two concealed missile launcher bays, that can each hold up to 9 new high-maneuverability mini-missiles in each bay. When armed, the missile launcher assembly rises out of the leg units, allowing all 9 missiles to be fired at once if necessary. The missiles can be fired in any mode; fighter, gerwalk, or soldier. Any type of mini-missile can be used in the launchers.
· MISSILE TYPES: Any type of standard UN Spacy Mini-Missile
· RANGE: 1 mile (1.6 km).
· DAMAGE: 1D4x10 M.D.
· RATE OF FIRE: Volleys of 1-9 missiles per launcher, per round. One volley counts as one attack. If necessary, all 18 missiles can be fired in a single round by expending two attacks.
· BONUSES: +3 to strike, +1 to dodge.
· PAYLOAD: 9 missiles per launcher; 18 total.

4. WING HARD POINTS: Two fixed hard points are mounted on each wing of the VF-11 for a total of 4 hardpoints on the fighter. These hardpoints can be used to hold a variety of different ordinance types, including long, medium, or short range missiles, or even the new medium-range high-maneuverability (MRHM) missiles (after 2040). One long range, one MRHM, 3 medium range, or 5 short range missiles can be mounted per hardpoint.
NOTE: Due to the location of the hard points, ALL missiles must be fired or ejected before the VF-11 can convert into soldier mode. For this reason the hard point missiles are usually fired within the first few passes of an attack.

Primary Purpose: Heavy Assault
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Spacecraft
Missile Types: Any type of standard UN Spacy Long Range Missile can be used.
Range: Varies with missile type.
Damage: Varies with missile type.
Rate of Fire: Volleys of 1-4 missiles.
Payload: One per hardpoint; 4 maximum.

Primary Purpose: Assault
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Mecha
Missile Types: Any type of standard UN Spacy Medium Range Missile can be used.
Range: Varies with missile type.
Damage: Varies with missile type.
Rate of Fire: 1-3 missiles per hardpoint.
Payload: Three per hardpoint; up to 12 maximum.

Primary Purpose: Assault
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Mecha
Missile Types: Any type of standard UN Spacy Short Range Missile can be used.
Range: Varies with missile type.
Damage: Varies with missile type.
Rate of Fire: 1-5 missiles per hardpoint.
Payload: Five per hardpoint; up to 20 maximum.

Primary Purpose: Anti-Mecha
Secondary Purpose: Surgical Strikes
Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D.
Rate of Fire: One per hardpoint.
Range: 80 miles.
Payload: One per hardpoint; 4 maximum.
Note: Not available prior to 2040.

5. HAND TO HAND COMBAT: If necessary, the pilot of the SW XA-1 can engage in melee combat rather than use a weapon. The Valkyrie is extremely agile and can execute most typical hand to hand combat moves, such as punches, jump kicks, leap attacks, rolling with impacts, etc.
· Restrained Punch: 1D4 M.D.
· Full Strength Punch: 2D6 M.D.
· "Booster" Punch: 3D6 M.D. (counts as two attacks)
· Tear or Pry with Hands: 1D6 M.D.
· Kick: 1D6 M.D.
· Leap Kick: 2D6 M.D.
· Body Flip/Throw: 1D4 M.D.
· Body Block/Tackle: 1D6 M.D.
· Stomp: 1D6 M.D. (only effective against small objects)


ACTIVE STEALTH SYSTEM: The SW XA-1 includes an active stealth system identical to the one used on the YF-21 and VF-22 Advanced Variable Fighters produced by General Galaxy. Unlike passive stealth systems like those used by the VF-17 Nightmare or the old USAF F-117, the SW XA-1's stealth system is actually bends radar waves around the mecha rather than reflecting them. The original YF-19's stealth system is not quite as good as the YF-21's, but following the conclusion of the Project Super Nova contest the VF-19 was redesigned to include an upgraded stealth system that is identical to the VF-22's and this is the one used in the SW XA-1. When activated, this system gives the SW XA-1 a +3 on initiative and a +1 to strike at all times.
NOTE: Since the SW XA-1ís stealth capability is a system and not a feature of the design, it can be damaged or destroyed. Once the mecha has lost half of its main body MDC, there is a 50% chance that the stealth system will fail every time the main body of the craft is hit. Once the stealth system has failed, it will not work again until repaired at a UN Spacy base.


AUTO-PILOT: The SW XA-1 is equipped with a computerized auto-pilot. Although not as complex as those equipped on some other VFs, it can be reasonably trusted to get the fighter from point A to point B safely. The onboard computer will alert the pilot when the fighter is near its destination, and can also be set to automatically signal when sensors detect objects near the mecha.

COMBAT COMPUTER W/HUD DISPLAYS: The SW XA-1 is equipped with a combat computer that can store and analyze data during combat with hostile forces. The entire cockpit canopy of the SW XA-1 is a large HUD display, which allows the computer to display large amounts of data to the pilot and even highlight enemies and missile attacks with overlaid graphics. The combat computer tracks and identifies specific enemy targets, and has a database of over 10,000 images stored in memory. The computer can identify and track up to 250 targets simultaneously.


ESCAPE POD: The entire reinforced cockpit of the SW XA-1 is a detachable escape pod that can be jettisoned when the mecha is destroyed. The ejected cockpit does not contain thrusters, but does contain a powerful locator beacon and an integrated life support system that can support the pilot for up to 24 hours after ejection. The pod is also equipped with parachutes in case of ejection in an atmosphere. The combat computer is programmed to automatically eject the escape pod if the mecha is destroyed (main body MDC reduced to 0), but this can be overridden if the pilot is feeling suicidal for some reason.

EXTERNAL AUDIO PICKUP: Range: 300 ft (91.5 m). A sound amplification system that can pick up normal conversation up to 300 feet away.

HEAT AND RADIATION SHIELDS: Special shielding prevents the penetration of life threatening heat and radiation. A radiation detection and alarm system are linked with the shields and will sound an alarm if there is a rupture in the shields and what the levels of radiation are.

HOMING SIGNAL: The escape pod of the SW XA-1 is equipped with a homing device that enables rescue teams to locate a disabled craft or ejected life pod. The range of the signal is 400 miles (640 km). Most UN Spacy ships and variable fighters can locate and track homing signals, and the onboard computers will automatically notify their pilots if such a signal is detected.

LASER TARGETING SYSTEM: Range: 100 miles (160 km). Used for increased accuracy in the striking of enemy targets and is partly responsible for the mecha's strike bonus.

LOUDSPEAKER: A loudspeaker system is built into the craft, which can be used to amplify the pilot's voice up to 90 decibels.

OPTICS: INFRARED: Range: 2000 feet (610 m). This optical system projects a beam of infrared light that is invisible to the normal eye, but detectable by the mecha's sensors. The system allows the pilot to detect hidden/concealed objects by their IR reflectiveness. The beam will be visible to anyone with IR sensitive optics, however.

OPTICS: NIGHTVISION: Range: 2000 feet (610 m). A passive light image intensifier that emits no light of its own, but relies on ambient light which is electronically amplified to produce a visible picture.

OPTICS: THERMAL IMAGER: Range: 2000 feet (610 m). A passive optical heat sensor that detects infrared radiation projected by warm objects and converts that data into a false-color visible image. The system enables the pilot to see in the dark, in shadows, and through smoke, and also adds a +10% bonus to pilots using a tracking skill.

RADAR: 200 mile (321 km) range.

RADIO/VIDEO COMMUNICATION: Long range, directional communications system with satellite relay capabilities. Range: 600 miles (960 km) or can be boosted indefinitely via satellite relay.

SELF-DESTRUCT: To prevent capture of a variable fighter by the enemy, the pilot can activate the SW XA-1's self-destruct system, which will cause the fighter to explode after a delay of up to 60 minutes (time is set by the pilot). The explosive damage is contained within a 20 foot (6 m) area and inflicts 1D6x10 M.D. to everything within the radius of the explosion. All internal systems are obliterated. The escape pod will be automatically ejected prior to the explosion unless the pilot overrides the ejection sequence.

STANDARD SURVIVAL KIT: All UN Spacy variable fighters come equipped with a portable survival kit. Inside the small reinforced box is a medium-sized flashlight, two hand flares, one rocket flare, a compass, infrared distancing binoculars, a small mirror, a pocket knife, dehydrated and concentrated food (can be stretched into a five day supply for one person) and basic first aid items (aspirin, bandages, disinfectants, etc.)

TACTICAL LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM: The SW XA-1's cockpit is pressurized, and also provides additional air feeds to the pilot's flight suit that provides him with pressurized breathing. The UN Spacy flight suit also contains an upper and lower g-suit that promotes blood circulation even during high-g turns, thus decreasing the possibility of pilot's blacking out in combat.


· Basic training for non-pilot military personnel.
· 1 attack per melee (plus those of the pilot).
· Add one additional action/attack at levels three, nine, and fifteen.
· +1 to strike.
· +1 to parry
· +1 to dodge in soldier mode, +2 in gerwalk, +4 in jet mode.
· +1 to roll with a punch or fall with an impact, reducing damage by half.
· Critical strike same as pilot's hand-to-hand.
· Body block/tackle/ram - 1D6 M.D. plus a 50% chance of knocking an opponent down, causing him to loose initiative and one attack that melee round.


Advanced training for pilots specializing in the SW XA-1 (Note that there are no SW XA-1 specialists as yet)
· 4 attacks per melee (plus those of the pilot).
· Add one additional action/attack at levels three, six, eleven, and fifteen.
· +3 on initiative. (+3 with Active Stealth)
· +3 to strike (+1 with Active Stealth)
· +3 to parry
· +3 to dodge in solder mode, +5 in gerwalk, +7 in jet mode.
· +3 to roll with a punch or fall with an impact, reducing damage by half.
+2 to leap dodge. A leap dodge is an automatic dodge which causes no loss of attacks per melee. The new generation variable fighters are so maneuverable that the pilot can dodge an attack while moving to counterattack an enemy.
Critical strike same as pilot's hand-to-hand.
Body block/tackle/ram - 1D6 M.D. plus a 50% chance of knocking an opponent down, causing him to loose initiative and one attack that melee round.