The Zamak-class fighter is a Norb spacefighter employed in the Norb Fleet. Designed to maximize efficiency in space combat, it bears little resemblance to terrestrial aircraft, sharing more characteristics with Verandi spacefightercraft. Its legacy as one of, if not the most maneuverable and well-handled fightercraft in the galaxy is due to its unique shape and distributed engine layout. Its ability to jettison sections and continue fighting has given it a reputation for seemingly being able to "come back from the dead", while its propensity for utilizing self-destruct attacks causes it to pose a threat to capital ships despite not being a bomber.
The Zamak is circular in shape, with a circular core section mounted on a set of three intersecting gimbals. The outermost gimbal houses a trio of primary engines placed equidistant from each other. The secondary gimbal houses another trio of engines, these ones much smaller than the primaries, which allows for precise maneuvering. The innermost gimbal has a trio of a trio of P4's mounted in the same fashion as the engines. The core section houses the control components of the ship, as well as a spherical control momentum gyroscope in the center of the ship. It measures 11m in diameter and 3.7m in length.
Armor and DefensesEdit
The Zamak is minimally-armored to maximize impulses, with only the core and mountings armored. This approach to armoring gives it a tremendous mobility advantage over other fightercraft that have full sets of armor. Instead, the Zamak utilizes redundant systems and connections in combination with its skeletal frame to employ a "pass-through" defense. It can take many hits from rounds that "pass through" non-critical sections, automatically rerouting power through different pathways. Each DIE and PIE is equipped with a capacitor bank that holds enough charge for several minutes of active operation when cut off from the ship's main powerplant.
Like all Norb technology, the Zamak's AI is extremely sophisticated, utilizing advanced electronic countermeasures and several sensor suites to defend and attack. Peer-to-peer networking between other fighters allows for a high degree of coordination between vessels and an increased complexity in maneuvers. Further combat performance is achieved by communicating with its carrier ship, which will use its OCULUS to provide high-level strategic instructions that go beyond the standard combat tactics it is capable of.
The Zamak is a space-first design, offering minimal usability in planetary airspaces. It is capable of limited VTOL functionality terrestrially, and has a low top-speed when used as such, but its lack of pressurized components allows for operation underwater.
In space, the Zamak has average linear acceleration provided by its Directed Ion Engines. As it is designed for rapid course adjustment, it instead has high maneuverability that allows its main engines to rotate in any direction, while a set of Positional Ion Engines provides high-performance bursts to produce large amounts of directional momentum instantaneously.
The flat nature of the ship allows many to be stacked in tight quarters in order to maximize the number that can be deployed by a carrier. The combination of a central CMG and the triple gimbals provides means for the entire craft to precisely rotate. This allows the ship to continuously and efficiently aim its weapons on an enemy craft without requiring course alterations, as well as allowing independent operation of the engines and weapons without causing the weapons to be set off-target. With the engines mounted on the outer gimbal, the ship is capable of changing course rapidly, as well as allowing the core section to operate with reduced gyroscopic impact.
Because of the limited armoring, the "target" shape of the ship allows the center of the ship to rapidly rotate and deal with all missile threats that are attracted to the engine heat signatures. The skeletal nature of the gimbals allows most non-critical hits to pass through the non-essential parts of the ship. Advanced flight control software allows the Zamak to still be capable of operating at reduced efficiency after taking damage that would cripple most ships.
When engaging other fightercraft, its most commonly-employed strategy is to outmaneuver enemy vessels that cannot keep up with its rapid course-correction while continuing to fire. Due to the synchronicity between Norb fighters, a Zamak will usually not fire upon the crafts that are attacking it, instead prioritizing on maneuvering. To maximize efficiency, its weapons focus on other fighters, while another Zamak with an ideal firing solution will engage the enemy fighter from a surprising vector.
The outer pair of gimbals are capable of separating from the rest of the ship, allowing the fighter to break off into two, or even three individual components. Typically, the ship will aim itself at a target, such as a capital ship, and the outer gimbal will sever its mountings and engage its engines in order to ram the target with highly destructive force. The fighter remains operational but is at at reduced efficiency, as it is now relying on its maneuvering thrusters. If the need arises, it may repeat the dismounting a second time, shooting its second gimbal off while the core remains in position as a floating weapons platform. A rarer event is for both outer gimbals to be launched simultaneously, allowing both sets of engines to maneuver for greater accuracy against high-priority targets.