AWD #629: Viper and Predator Arpay Upgrades
Viper and Predator Arpay Upgrades
Summary: The Arpay reveal the new upgraded Viper and Predator models in the Orion's Hangar Bays.
Date: 12/03/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Arpay stuff, such as the Raptor upgrade.
Gloria Alastair Pratt Dropkickst 
Hanger Bay, Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Each hangar deck is divided into five one-hundred yard sections, each divided from the others by massive blast doors that close vertically from the floor and overhead. Each hangar section houses all of the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators that the wing operates as well as the vital work areas to support and maintain these fighting platforms. Each bay is large enough to accommodate one of these frames and still get heavy work done, though the fore- and aft-most sections are dedicated to overhauls and major work to be done. The bays along the center section are located across from launch tubes and elevators in order to provide scramble and Alert-Five capabilities. The second-to-aft bay provides major elevator and transport access to the starboard bay as well as the major manufacturing facility. Due to the nature of the work, the hangar decks are major hubs of activity at all hours of the day and all but four hours overnight.
Wed Sep 27 14:09:59 2006

The engineering team from Arpay jumped back to Picon just after their fleet returned from Twin Rocks. There's been a lot of buzz, some of it an upbeat distraction after the losses. Reports are that the engineering team returned with a Predator and Viper Mark II and they don't look exactly as they did when they left. The head engineer is down on the Deck with Fencer and a couple of his wing pilots who brought them over.

The rumors are true. Down on the deck, Fencer is there, as is Jameson, and the two are talking off to the side and seem to be getting along well. A good sign! In two hangar bays next to each other are the distinct shapes of a Viper Mark II and a Predator underneath interestingly camo'd sheets. The Viper shape seems like a shadow of light and dark grays muddled with a mixture of deep black. The color looks like a complete freaking nightmare to see in space with the eyeball. The Predator is underneath a mixed and softly faded sheet of greens, browns, and grays that look very well melded together. Its hard to tell where they colors really shift from one to the other. But there is, notably, no Raptor here. Nope, the 'Super Raptor' is currently parked over on the other hangar deck. Meanwhile a face Alastair would recognize right away is standing between both aircraft, waiting for people to assemble.

Truth be told, Alastair is only down here to distract himself. As he arrives on the deck after hearing about the new arrivals - after they saved their collective asses over Caprica, the older ECO is making his way towards the new vehicles, noticing that the Super Raptor has been moved away. This brings a briefest flicker of a smile, perhaps it means that the design is going to be fully incorporated into the fleet.

Noticing the doctor from Twin Rocks and the time they worked together on the Raptor, he pauses for a moment to straighten up and taps his hand to his chest twice in a greeting salute, before offering a more proper one to both Jameson and Fencers. "They look damn good, sirs. I'm sure when Aegis gets the chance she'll be down here crawling all over the Predator to check it out." Hell, Kelsey will probably lick it and claim it's hers.

Pratt would usually be in the simulators or getting ready for CAP, buuut considering recent events, he's not precisely cleared for flight status, and got read the riot act just for trying to take a stroll. So that's why the huge Tauron found himself a wheelchair 'You happy now? No, put that needle away!' to come out and see what all the hubbub is about. He's not exactly a nible demon in the thing, but big arms at least let him propel himself along at speed, in the sweats he could throw on over the bandages. Wheeling up in the direction of the sheeted vehicles and the brass (pins are a sure fire indicator of Where Things Are Going To Be), he slows down to catch the conversation and see what's up.

Gloria is feeling considerably better since they're return from Piraeus and the revelationthat not everyone is dead. She'd called into medical to check on her wingmates only a few moments after Pratt had left, meaning she gets the heads up on whats going on too, and follows. Entering just behind the pilot she eyes the covered frams a moment, then heads towards the brass as well. Shy bairns get no treats and all that.

The Arpay Doc's Colonial seems to have improved remarkably well. But then again by his clock he's already been trying to learn it for probably three or four months, working with it every day in technical angles. "Oh, just wait, Lieutenant Piers," he says with a grin, doubletapping his chest as well. He does wait for the rest to arrive and more trickling in before he lifts his voice to address everyone. "As you are all aware, my team brought back the new Raptor you all have in your possession and are testing it. There are several systems on that Raptor that are functional but unable to be seen because they lacked a linkable airframe. You now have two that will link. First, the Viper. Captain, could you..?" he motions for the Arpay pilot. The woman moves over and tugs down the camo sheet.

The Viper is done in the exact same black camo as the sheet and the colors are completely matte on the frame. Trying to see a wingman is going to be impossible. There are small green strips to each wingtip for close observation, it seems… but there are other changes. "We've termed this the Mark Two Plus. Note the changes." The Doctor walks to the nose. "Thin chin-mounted device is not a laser or a gun. This is an infrared search and track camera that pans five degrees vertically and horizontally off where the nose is pointed. The camera links directly into the cockpit and will track vehicles without heat shielding or thermal stealth to about 45 colonial miles." He then runs a flat palm over a bulge just behind the pilot's seat on each side. "Avionics upgrades for the cockpit including the same helmet-mounted sights and night vision filters available in the Raptor. We've built in double redundancy." He then turns and climbs up onto the wing and then the back of the frame and pats the vertical tail. "We've packed in all the networking antennas and communications gear forward under armor plating, but anyone who see's this craft under thermals will see a simulated heat signature of electronics and protect the true source." he points down. "Under my feet, we've installed a trio of Hornet engines that will increase thrust by sixty percent without sacrificing maneuverability. We've very carefully balanced the weight changes with the position of the forward weight in order to keep as centered a point of mass as possible, which will allow for high dynamic maneruverbility while shaving weight and fuel use." The guy moves to hop down and moves a hand to pat the guns. "We've replaced the twin thirty millimeters with four, using a more slim design that is designed to feed HEAP rounds — that's high explosive, armor piercing. They are capped with depleted uranium with a small explosive charge just behind the tip. They will punch through four inches of Cylon armor reliably in space."

Giving a low whistle, Alastair circles around the two vehicles. "When will we get a chance to see the link in action, Doctor?" he makes sure to speak in Colonial, but just a bit of Arpay settles in as he considers. "What about the Pred?"

Pratt glances up at Gloria and practically whispers, "I can hear the viper jocks asking for a smoke already." He grins a little to himself and returns his attention to the Doctor, shifting his weight a little as he follows the presentation along.

"I'll show you how it all ties together in a few moments. The Super Raptor in the other hangar bay is on the other side of the ship by my request. I wanted a proper demonstration." The Doctor nods to Alastair and then moves over to the Predator. The Captain pulls off the camo sheet and reveals the matching paintjob from that green/brown/gray sheet. However, the bottom looks to be painted a dull gray. Seeing it from the ground, this makes sense.

"This is a different sort of upgrade," he announces, moving to the nose. "We've replaced the twenty-millimeter with a six-barrel thirty millimeter that shoots the same rounds as your new Viper cannons. Do -not- fire this gun in space as the torque will rotate the bird. It is designed to penetrate thick tank armor and stone fortifications common to other planets." He continues his walk and pats a pair of sensor pods on the front. "These are your IRST and night vision sights, both will do both jobs. They are meant to be backups in case of battle damage sustained to the helmet, they will link directly to the high res screens in the cockpits." He leans underneath. "Both pilot and co-pilot now sit in an armored bathtub to protect against both SAMs and anti-aircraft fire. It has an anti-fragmentation design and the canopy has been reinforced to protect similarly." The hand continues and he maneuvers under the wing, patting a bulge under the stomach of the bird. "Integrated targeting package that will take on-the-fly updates from Raptors and FTL-communication equipped ships. This avionics upgrade includes a terrain following radar system accurate down to six inches at ten miles." He then crawls out from underneath and points to the wings. "We've replaced the wingroots and upgraded the whole rear frame with lighter and stronger materials. There are four hardpoints in total which will allow for four missiles and a set of triple ejection bomb racks, as well as gun and rocket pods and refueling stores that will allow you to refuel Vipers, Raptors, basically anything Colonial or Arpay." The guy then pats the backseat canopy glass. "ECO's can also now fly the Predator from the rear in emergency situations."

"Really need to give the missiles more punch." Alastair grouses a little, remembering the battle from a few nights prior and how it seemed that the armor was pretty easily defeating HE missiles with ease. But when he mentions that the ECO can fly backseat, there's a firm nod from the ECO. "Good. It's a nice redundancy to have. Just means I need to dust off my own piloting skills."

At the mention of the 'armored bathtub' and the ECO being able to take over in an emergency, Pratt rubs his good hand across his chest and chuckles softly, nodding in Alastair's direction, "That'll be appreciated. Oates had a litle need of that recently."

"I don't know what you were attacking but we evaluated some missiles you have and they seemed to be quite well designed. It might matter more what you were shooting at." The Doctor wasn't around this part of space when that happened. He does move ot push ladders up to each of the pits. A Viper Ensign moves up to take a seat in one while the Doc gestures for a Raptor crew to come up. "Come. The APU is already warmed up and the avionics are hot. The Raptor is broadcasting a recording tape of an engagement we were provided."

"Landers. Just a bad night, Doctor." Alastair quiets for a moment, glancing down. "Bad night." he says, and drifts back a little to watch the demonstration, falling further silent as he doesn't make eye contact with anyone for the moment.

Pratt nods slightly in agreement with Alastair and offers, "We were trying to take down capital ships with popguns, sir. We just had a lot of popguns. Death from a thousand papercuts." He leans forward with his knees on the armrests to listen and watch the pilot for the demonstration.

"Landers. Just a bad night, Doctor." Alastair quiets for a moment, glancing down. "Bad night." he says, and drifts back a little to watch the demonstration, falling further silent as he doesn't make eye contact with anyone for the moment. But when the Doctor asks for volunteers, Alastair responds. "If it's anything like the Raptor, I can probably handle it better."

An ECO and pilot crew hop up into the Predator. Like the Viper pilot, they are pulling on their helmets. Its almost identical to the normal helmets, but there's an extra section above the face with a pull-down lever. Each one pulls it down and an electrical charge runs through the glass, glowing their faces subtly green. In space it would be easier to make out. But the two pilots are staring at wide eyes into the pit. Leaning forward, they both begin pressing buttons and going through systems. Eyes the size of dinnerplates. "Right now they are seeing a downlinked dogfight that happened months ago. The Predators and Vipers have the ability to see telematry and live contacts within range. The Raptor ECO is painting targets for them and issuing orders, allowing each crewmember to have a targeting reticule appear on the faceplate of their helmet. Without Arpay ears, this is as much as we could demo here. You all will be able to fly these as they are. Those who have or will have the Arpay conversion will see a much more enhanced capability. Precision munitions delivery, instantaneous systems and situational knowledge, and direct downlink of the tactical situation to your mind and projected to the back of your eyes - much like your heads up display."

Pratt scoots himself a little closer, canting his head a bit to hear. He listens to the explanation and a thought comes to mind, "Ah, sir, if we DON'T have the conversion as the Raptor pilot or ECO, are we going to be giving everyone else we're working with a disadvantage because of that?"

"That depends on the reference to disadvantage." Quite a few people seem interested in this so the Doctor steps forward away from the Predator and Viper, leaving the crews to giggle to themselves about the upgrades. "You can access any information as a normal human crewmember. There is nothing that an Arpay can do with this frame that a normal Colonial cannot - but those with the conversions can do it a bit faster. The goal is to provide backwards compatibility without forcing the military to subject themselves to surgical alterations just to fly combat. You are not Arpay, nor should you need to be."

"It's like one of those video game systems. Better if you have the addons. But you can play it classic just as well." Alastair says as he nods. "I saw some of the systems at work. They're pretty damn impressive."

Pratt nods slowly, partially lost to consideration as he slouches a bit in the wheelchair, "Gotcha. Thank you, sir." His brow furrows a bit in thought, while he glances up at Alastair.

The Doctor looks around. "Any other questions? No?" He looks to a rolling toolbox behind him and points to binders. "All upgrades are cataloged here. Feel free to take one. We've got about twenty copies for the wing so be sure to share, please." Jameson already has one in his hands and another, likely for Robin.

Now, reading material? Pratt has PLENTY of time for that lately. With a quick, "Thank you, sir!" the Tauron is already in motion to wheel his big butt over that way to grab a copy of his own. Hey, if he cant sit in one he can sure as hell catch up on them!

"Got it Doc. Looks like another grand project, can't wait to see it at work." Alastair tries to muster a smile that refuses to come as he takes the information. "Gonna post one of these in the Raptor bay for the folks who don't come by." he offers as he takes an extra before he turns to head off after offering up salutes.

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