Retribution GR.7 operated by VA-1983 "Northfists" of the FMN Fleet Air Arm, assigned to the carrier FMS Shinano
Retribution GR.7 "Monsieur LeBrrt" operated by No. 9824 Assault Fighter Squadron, FMAF, based at Laurent AFB, Ville-de-Lis, Continental Vinan Confederacy, Vinan Continent, Moreillia
Retribution GR.7 Assault Fighter
Manufacturer: Imperial Albinionian Lillanedre Aircraft Design Office, Federal Moreillian Aircraft and Spacecraft Company
Operator: Federal Moreillian Air Force, Federal Moreillian Navy Fleet Air Arm
Description: Extremely durable and heavily armed attacker craft designed for assaulting fortified surface/space targets. Famous for its main armament, a 200mm Tempestine "Shock Rifle" capable of penetrating destroyer-class armour, backed up by quadruple GAU-99M1 Marauder 30mm Gatling cannons and generous pylon capacity.
The Retribution owes its creation to the invention of the shock rifle, which was in turn inspired by the Cobert tragedy. The Lumindore factory of Cobert and Company, a precision scientific and medical instruments manufacturer established before the Collapse, was destroyed when ultra-powerful permanent magnets on its MRI scanner assembly lines accidentally propelled mild steel ball bearings at speeds in excess of 2,000 m/s, while only 16 ball bearings were launched in total, it was enough to destroy the entire 358-year-old factory floor, killing 27 employees in the process. One ball bearing, in particular, was found lodged in a public library bookshelf 330 metres from the site of the disaster, having penetrated a total of 6 buildings, an empty bus and 3 full bookshelves in total. Although magnetic weapons were already a mature technology, an electromagnetic weapon small enough to be fitted onto a fighter-sized frame remained unfeasible due to the size and bulk of the capacitors and generators required to operate it. The Cobert tragedy showed that very strong permanent magnets could be used in lieu of electromagnets in a magnetic weapon, if the permanent magnets could be somehow temporarily demagnetised with less effort than powering a electromagnetic weapon of equivalent power.
The result of research to that end was the Tempestine Shock Rifle, able to propel 200mm ferromagnetic rounds at 2,500 m/s at a rate of 1,000 rounds per minute. The Tempestine is known to create extremely powerful shockwaves when fired in atmosphere, which more than doubles its destructive potential compared to its performance in vacuum. Despite being weaker than a capital-class railgun, the Tempestine was the most powerful weapon of its mass and size. However, it remains too large to be adapted into any existing Moreillian fighter. The Tempestine became essentially "a gun waiting for a plane" to carry it.
In 205 AC, it was decided that a new assault fighter airframe would be created specifically to accommodate the gun. Designers looked at previous assault fighters and found the Albinionian Defiant Assault Fighter to be an excellent starting point. Despite being more than 160 years old and bound to an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, the Defiant served many of the same roles as the new assault fighter, up to a similar weapons configuration of a quad array of 30mm Gatling cannons. Much of the new attacker's fuselage was based on the Defiant, but the sheer size of the Shock Rifle required the engines and many other systems to be placed outside the central fuselage. Thus, the attacker was built as a twin-boom aircraft with its engines placed in outboard nacelles. Despite its unconventional configuration, the aircraft is surprisingly cheap, the most expensive component being the Shock Rifle itself. It is also one of the most durable aerospace strikecraft in the Moreillian arsenal, having returned from missions after losing more than 60% of its control surfaces, one engine and hydraulics. After an incident when a flight of Retributions were heavily damaged by the lead plane firing a Tempestine shot, pilots are instructed not to fire their shock rifles when flying in close formation to prevent damaging friendly aircraft.
The Retribution was still undergoing operational evaluation in 209 AC when the Narnian War broke out. After the high-profile assassination of Council President Tollen Akari and Jadis' sudden invasion of Moreillian and Calormene territory, the Retribution was rushed into front-line service in a desperate bid to halt the advance of the White Witch's army. After several victories where Moreillian Retributions played an instrumental role, it was decided that the Retribution was to be immediately greenlit for mass production. Moreillia's Calormene allies, in particular, clamoured for the new assault fighter to be exported as military aid, stating that the fighters were "as important to [their] armies as water and shelter from the sun." Eventually, 120 Retribution GR.3 aircraft were provided to the Republic of Calormen Space Corps on a lend-lease basis, where they performed a series daring raids in support of ground forces. Due to the ground-based nature of the Narnian War, wartime Retribution production was prioritised over other types and a total of 1,350 were built by the end of the war. 16 were lost in the war for varying reasons, but only 5 were shot down in battle and 8 returned to base after sustaining heavy damage, but were written off afterwards, aptly demonstrating the Retribution's resilience.
Weapon stats, if I end up deciding to mod it in FS (firerate stepped down by a factor of 10 from the "actual" rate for sanity reasons):
Name GAU-99M1 Marauder 30mm Rotary Cannon
Range 1 300 m
Rate of fire 6.50 s-1
Velocity 1010 ms-1
Armor damage 15
Shield damage 12
Subsystem damage 4.5
Name Tempestine 200mm Shock Rifle
Range 2500 m
Rate of fire 5.00 s-1
Velocity 2500 ms-1
Armor damage 30
Shield damage 30
Subsystem damage 30