FA-50 Sokol Modular Fighter
- Government(s)/Organization(s): Russian Federation
- Type: VTOL Modular Fighter Trainer
- Size: Small
- Crew: 2
- Weapons Mounts:
- 1 Cannon Mount
- 6 Medium Missile Pylons
- Default Weapons
- Basic Stealth Hull
- Flare/Chafe Launchers
- Vessel Connectivity
The FA-50 Sokol Modular Fighter was designed as a VTOL fighter which could be enhanced to fill a variety of roles. The base model however is traditionally used as a fighter trainer, making use of the second seat in the cockpit to house a trainer with the trainee up front. If used in real combat without any of it’s modular kits the rear seat acts as a sensor operator and missile commander enhancing the strike ability of it’s missiles.
It is not the fastest design, but it is VTOL and so can launch from much smaller spaces than faster designs. However this does mean it is unlikely to ever make an interceptor even with it’s modular system. It also limited the stealth materials the hull could be made from. The modular nature means it can fit various ‘kits’ which are a combination of wings, weapons, and electronics that ‘bolt’ on to the base version. The kits can be switched out given a couple hours and allows a carrier to fill a variety of needs with only a single fighter design.
The base version has a Cannon Mount using the Nozh 54 Railgun. The railgun gives it a solid punch at decent ranges to use against other fighters or even corvettes or shuttles, though is pretty light and has to low a rate of fire to do more than annoy larger ships. Then it has 6 Medium Missile Pylons which typically use the Kinzhal AFM. These let it reach out and touch the enemy at medium ranges and can even do some damage to larger targets.
The FA-50 Sokol Modular Fighter was a revolution in design when it was created and is still an example few have tried to imitate. It takes the concept of modular weapon systems to new heights. It also proved perfect for the Rostav Class Missile Frigate, which needed a VTOL design to make use of it’s docking bays. That said many other designs are considered more popular.
The FA-50 was built to have variations through adding ‘kits’ to the base design.
The most common kit is the Sokol 210M2, which is designed to make it a Space Superiority Fighter. To this end it switches the cannon mount to a Nozh 22 Rotary Railgun which has a shorter range, but much higher rate of fire. Then the kit adds a ‘upper wing’ to hang more pylons and weapons on. It has a pair of IIL-65 IR Lasers in fixed forward mounts for more direct fire weapons. The wing also increases the total of Medium Missile Pylons to 12. Typically they just bump the number of Kinzhal AFMs to 12. Lastly it has 4 Heavy Missile Pylons which can mount the Sunburn S-800 ASM, which gives it some ship killing ability.
Next is the OV-50 Owl kit, which is a atmospheric observation and recon platform. This adds wings while striping all the original weapon mounts to hold observation, recon, and targeting packages. It does add 10 Heavy Missile Pylons on the wings which are typically equipped with Barsuk SG-800 Guided Bombs. These can be sent down with a ground attack force launched from space and provide support from ‘on high’ while feeding a capitol ship views of the situation from overhead below possible cloud cover or atmospheric obstructions.
Lastly is the FA-50 Thunderer strike atmospheric kit. These can provide direct ground support while retaining some anti-air/anti-space capability. It replaces the cannon mount with a sensor and targeting package. The 6 Medium Missile Pylons are then armed with the Vydra AGM a guided bomb with a small engine of the same size as the normal Kinzhals. Then the wings carry a 4 Weapon Pylons which fit the Grom 13-80 Rocket Pods allowing the pilot the strike vehicles, lightly armored targets, or punch holes in stations and other large targets in space. Finally the wings offer 2 Medium Missile Pylons that hold the normal Kinzhal AFMs for anti-fighter ability.