VVS Factory Ga-15
|VVS Factory Ga-15 "Fearless"|
Ga-15 in factory thermocoat
|Base Hull||North American X-15|
|Drive Type||x1 fusion torch|
|Drive Rating||Peak velocity 0.179c|
|Primary Manufacturer||Gagarin Crater Weapons Works|
|Owner||Soviet Air Force, LLC|
|Faction||Soviet Air Force|
|Launched||7 August 2013|
|Primary Crew||1 pilot standard (AI or human)|
"I've been thinking."
"Well, you know those rocks we've staked out? They're mostly iron and nickel."
"Sure, 's why we staked them out in the first place. Thinking of going into the stock business?"
"Nah, but we've got all the ingredients we need to make Inconel alloy. And..."
"Well... remember why Rhodes wanted the '71 in the first place?"
"Because it's the fastest airplane ever built."
"Yeah, but... it just happens that there was something made back in the late 50s that went faster than the '71 in atmosphere. And it happened to be mostly Inconel."
"If you know what I mean."
"There's no way. We'd never get one. There's only two, and they're in museums. No way in hell."
"Granted! But blueprints are available."
"A new production run?"
"Sure. If nothing else, they'd be something to one-up the Blackbird fanboys."
"Damn. Do we have the manufacturing ability? I mean, unless we want to spend the next three years in the hangar we'd need something to automate the process."
"Tools to build tools and all that? Well, even mundane manufacturing's come a long way, and we do have all that spare cash lying around. I'm sure somebody would sell us a few."
"Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting?"
"Just checking. Damn. Damn! Let's do this thing!"
The Ga-15 (NATO reporting name "Fearless") was designed during a marathon Central Committee planning session shortly after the beginning of the Boskone War. Specifically, the meeting happened around the time when SOS-dan pilot Benjamin Rhodes obtained the SR-71 airframe that would eventually become the Magnificent Midnight.
The Ga-15 is a moldline copy of the North American Aviation X-15 research aircraft, the fastest airplane ever flown. The airframe is made of Lunar titanium, with a skin composed of a handwashed nickel alloy trademarked as "Battle Inconel." Internal components are not too different from other high-performance fen spacecraft, consisting of handwaved Earth hardware. The XLR-99 engine of the original was replaced with a reverse-engineered copy of the Russian RD-0210.
The Fearless's cockpit was specially redesigned to fit the needs of X-COM. The original cockpit was removed and replaced in the block 1 aircraft with an ejectable CPU module, allowing X-COM's group of AI pilots to fly the fighter. This cockpit module can be hot-swapped out for a standard cockpit should a humanoid pilot wish to take the controls.
For offensive weaponry, the Ga-15 can be equipped with either a 35mm linear accelerator cannon (the "Rifleman" model) or a phased-array indigo laser (the "Zappy" model). All Ga-15s currently in service are Rifleman models. The original X-15's underwing tank hardpoints have been repurposed as variable weapons hardpoints, capable of handling large missiles, multi-missile launchers or experimental weapons such as X-ray lasers, phased plasma weapons or relativistic kinetic guns.
The prototype aircraft first flew from Gagarin Crater AFB on 16 June 2013, and after a series of tests (see "Trivia" section below) the design was approved for full use on 20 July. The initial run of Ga-15s were assigned to Squadron A, where they served with distinction during the Boskone War.
- Thirsty Little Bugger - The Ga-15 burns through a fuel supply incredibly fast by Fenspace standards, blowing through a full tank after only a few hours.
- Captain Obvious - The Ga-15 is not a subtle aircraft. At all. On full throttle, the exhaust plume rivals some comets. The Fearless is not something sent in during deniable ops, it's sent in when a target needs breaking and the entire galaxy needs to know X-COM did it.
- The Ga-15 is either the second or third fastest vehicle in Fenspace, depending on who's telling the story, coming in behind the Magnificent Midnight and/or the Virgil Samms. The Fearless prototype Hypervelocity Hurt Machine reached a record velocity of 19.96% light speed during flight trials, at the cost of ruining the engine and significant airframe damage.
The Ga-15 has appeared in the following stories: