Front [Pg 01-02]
Illustrated by Hidetaka Tenjin
VF-171 Nightmare Plus
The multi-purpose heavy Variable Fighter developed from the VF-17.
The VF-171 Nightmare Plus, which was the main fighter of the New Unified Forces in the 2050's, is an improvement on the VF-17 special forces heavy variable fighter. It progressed in deployment as the successor to the VF-11, in place of the VF-19, VF-22 and so on, which the Unified Forces were unable to get deployed due to problems such as cost. What the VF-171 aimed at wasn't merely high-performance, but the improvement of control - which was the defect of the VF-17 -, by using highly-reliable high low-output engines, and greatly reducing the load on the pilot by updating the control system avionics, so that it became an airframe that treated even general pilots easily. Even though these improvements were treated as a detuning, the latest production models at the end of the 2050's were equipped with the third generation model active stealth system on top of the durability and payload that the prototype aircraft handed over, and their comprehensive performance surpassed that of the originating VF-17.
Caption: The VF-171, which first flew in 2046, is widely deployed as the main VF of the New Unified Forces in the 2050's. However, as the armed forces stresses unmanned craft at the time, there were few chances for it to be used in combat.
Caption: In addition to the Fighter-Bomber VB-171, and Reconnaissance Patrol RVF-171, there is the sniping rifle equipped craft that was piloted by Jessica Blanc, Michael Blanc's elder sister (pictured), as well as an Electronic Warfare model, which is considered to be part of the RVF series, and an Unmanned Fighter Command model, which were also implemented.
Data: *Data is when it is in fighter form
Affiliation: New Unified Forces
Overall Length: 15.65 m
Empty Weight: 12,150 kg
Engine: 2x Shinnakasu/ P&W/Royce FF-2110A Thermonuclear Turbine Engine (initial type)
Engine Thrust: 2x 445.9 kN
Cruising Speed: Mach 3.5+ (at 10,000 m) / Mach 21+ (at 30,000 m or higher)
Equipment: 2x Mauler REB-22 Beam Cannon, 2x Ericon AAB-7B Beam Cannon, 1x Howard GU-14B Gunpod, 2x Bifors BML-02S Micro-Missile Launcher, SWAG Energy
Conversion Armour System (SWAG/RA155), a complete set of Flare and Chaff Dispensers
VF-17 > VF-171 > VF-171EX
Ozuma Lee (when enrolled in the UN Forces)
Reverse Left [Pg 03]
Even though it was the VF-171 that was adopted as the main manned fighter of the Unified Forces and even deployed to each emigrant planet, it seems to have been invested into few combat missions because the situation immediately after its adoption was an increase in the number of cases that could be satisfactorily dealt with by the unmanned AIF-7S fighter. However, in the incident where the Vajra attacked the 117th Large-Scale Research Fleet in 2048, the escort force that was formed with VF-171 weren't able to confront the Vajra, who were endowed with astounding abilities, and they were annihilated. The substance of this incident was hidden by the government for some reason or another (it was officially treated as "an accident where they were swallowed up in a Fold Fault"), and it appears that the problems in the abilities of the VF-171 as the main fighter weren't pointed out. However, in the incident where the Vajra attacked the Frontier Fleet suddenly occurred in 2059, the VF-171 which were committed into protecting the fleet still hadn't became an effective battle strength against the Vajra (besides the performance of the aircraft, this was also caused by insufficient degrees of pilot training due to a reliance on unmanned craft in combat), and it came to wait for the release of the VF-171EX Nightmare Plus EX, which was improved under the assumption of it being used to oppose the Vajra.
* Original: Although the VF-171 was adopted as the main manned aircraft, because the number of cases where the AIF-7S unmanned aircraft increasingly took charge in combat, the VF-171 seems to have seldom been put into combat missions. Though in the incident where the Vajra attacked the Frontier Fleet in 2059, the VF-171 was put into combat in a large-scale and had insufficient performance against the Vajra opponents.
Caption: In 2048, the VF-171 was deployed to the 117th Research Fleet. The VF-171 was no match for the Vajra even though it was piloted by Ozuma Lee and others, who belonged to the Unified Forces at that time.
[o] Standard Equipment
[o] The VF-171 is equipped with a Howard Co. GU-14B or General Galaxy MC-17C gunpod, which is the main armament. Even though the VF-17, which amounts to the prototype, stores the gunpod inside the leg in Fighter form order to improve stealthiness, with the VF-171, the gunpod could also be hung under the center of the lower side of the airframe, depending on the situation. Also, the VF-171, which was developed as a heavy multipurpose Variable Fighter, also had additional equipment developed that corresponded to various situations, such as patrol and sniping missions.
Caption: [o] The standard armaments of the VF-171. From the outside of the main wings, they are equipped with 1x anti-aircraft missile, a 6-tube rocket pod, and 3x short-range missiles.
Right: The VF-171 has 3 hard-points under each main wing (6 hard-points in total) for the suspension of equipment, and each engine nacelle has an Internal Armament Loading System Container.
Caption: Although the VF-171 confronted the Vajra as the unmanned craft were powerless, the battle was hard fought because the degree of the pilots' training was also inconsistent.
Caption: Even though such things were applied to the VF-171 as a nose extension and alterations to the shape of the trailing edge of the main wings, the basic structure of the prototype VF-17, including the cockpit, was inherited by the VF-171.
The fundamental structure was inherited without much change from the prototype VF-17. Although the stealthiness of the VF-171 seems to have been degraded due to the extension of the nose and the use of the ordinance stations under the main wings, the latest production models in 2059 are equipped with the third generation ASS/PS 155 Active Stealth System, which is the same grade as the VF-19's system, and have improved stealthiness.
Caption: When scrambling, the VF-171 takes off from the warship in Fighter form via an electromagnetic catapult. It quickly heads toward the front line. *
* Translator's note: originally was: "Fighter mode is taken when sortieing, and a lot of VF-171 launch from warships with an electromagnetic catapult. It is also possible to mount a total of 2 reaction missiles under the main wings."
The machine-guns on both sides of the cockpit are heavily used in dogfights. It's possible to use them even in the other forms, as the base of the guns is movable.
Caption: The active stealth abilities have been improved, probably because of an increase in interception missions, and the undersides of the main wing are often equipped with missiles.
Reverse Right [Pg 04]
[o] The transformation mechanism of this aircraft roughly emulates that of the VF-17, which is the prototype, and it attains the GERWALK form by respectively moving the arms and leg blocks, which are laid out on the surface of the fuselage, to the sides and underside of the fuselage. Also, even though the GERWALK form of the VF-17 had a "High-Speed Battle Form" in addition to the normal GERWALK form - where the arm blocks were arranged as-is on the surface of the airframe, and the two medium-bore beam guns that are stored in the elbows are exposed - , the VF-171 doesn't have the High-Speed Battle Form mode, and the elbow beam guns themselves were also eliminated. *1
*1 Translator's note: in the original, they were combined together in:
As the transformation system is also almost the same as the VF-17, the GERWALK and Battroid forms also follow the prototype aircraft. However, probably because the known operational instances of the VF-171 have only been in space, cases where it has actually fought in GERWALK form are not really known. The Battroid form is heavily used for close combat against Vajra, Zentraadi and so on."
Caption: The VF-171 transforming in the middle of a dogfight. The missiles and other armaments that are suspended under the main wings are available even in GERWALK and Battroid forms. *
* Translator's note: originally was: "Even though the prototype VF-17 model had a high-speed mode, where the arms are extended, the extension of the arms together with the legs became the normal form of this craft.".
Up: As an aircraft made by General Galaxy, who are known for novel designs like the YF-21, the VF-171's GERWALK form is safe, and the arms have a high degree of freedom.
Related Matter: The RVF-171
The RVF-171, which is a derivative craft equipped with a radome on the upper side and a large sensor on the underside of the VF-171's airframe, is an aircraft that bears the burden of reconnaissance, patrolling, flight control and so on at the front lines. They patrol the circumference of the fleet even in times of peace.
Caption: During long-range reconnaissance, the RVF-171 is equipped with 2 fold boosters.
[o] Just like the GERWALK form, the VF-171's transformation mechanism to Battroid form follows that of the prototype VF-17. However, in relationship to the nose, which has been extended further than the VF-17, a mechanism has been added that folds the tip of the nose into the interior of the fuselage (it is located in the groin in Battroid form). In addition, design changes have been performed, such as a decrease in the thickness of the leg engine blocks, in addition to the aforementioned extension of the nose, in order to improve the aerodynamic characteristics of the VF-171 in Fighter form, and it has slimmer overall proportions than the VF-17 in Battroid form. It seems that such proportion changes also influenced the later developed VF-171 Armour Pack, which is a design that's completely different to the Super Parts of the VF-17. On the other hand, a pinpoint barrier was also introduced into the VF-171 - which was later installed into the VF-17 -, and its bullet resistance and unarmed combat abilities were improved to levels greater than those of the VF-17. *1
Caption: A VF-171 firing the Howard GU-14B Gunpod. Even though the GU-14B was a reliable design, it had insufficient fire power against the Vajra opponents, until the completion of the MDE warhead. *
* Translator's note: originally was: "The gunpod is mainly used in battroid mode, and is either the Howard GU-14B or the General Galaxy MC-17C."
Up: Accompanying the extension of the nose, the shape of the groin changed. The head emulates the VF-17D. *
* Translator's note: originally was: "Accompanying the extension of the nose, the shape of the groin was also changed. The head is a model that emulates the VF-17D. As a pin-point barrier can be operated, such abilities as the VF-171's bullet resistance and hand-to-hand combat have been greatly improved."
Up: Nozzles that look like supplementary thrusters are seen in the center of the back, the lower legs and so on.
Caption: In hand-to-hand combat in Battroid form, the Vajra were also defeated by pin-point barrier punches.
© Aaron Sketchley