Aircraft Equipment/Miscellaneous/Fuel Pod
Technical Specifications: Fuel Pod
CLASSIFIED LEVEL BLACK
PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit
Technical Document, Sigma Clearance -- Commander's Eyes Only
Filed: 19 March 2084
By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command
Under the continuing efforts of the Excalibur program, we have scoured the globe for the best components on Earth in order to fit our aircraft with the equipment they need to survive against the alien threat. As always, only the very best equipment has been selected for the defense of our planet.
We've determined that the modular equipment bays on our aircraft can be used to accept extra fuel reserves. By installing these special but very simple fuel pods, we can greatly increase the range of an aircraft by loading more fuel on board, and improve the craft's speed by providing the engine's enough juice to run on maximum the entire way. It also lets pilots make far more liberal use of the afterburner, further upping the speed, allowing us to better compete with hostile UFOs.
Take note, however, that installing a Fuel Pod will add a significant amount of weight to the craft. Care must be taken not to overload our airframes. If an aircraft is too heavy to safely launch, our our Command Center computers will automatically deny it launch clearance.
We should make use of these pods in any situation where our aircraft are unable to reach their destinations, where they may end up with too little fuel to continue engaging a UFO, or where a large section of ground is left uncovered by our network of bases. They will help to extend our reach and provide more protection to Earth and our people.
Its only downside is that it takes up a whole modular slot that could be used for defensive electronics or other equipment. This may leave our interceptors weak in other areas.
Addendum, Executive Office Abel S. Howard, 20 March 2084:
Having read Cdr. Navarre's report, Commander, I have to stress that our charter stipulates we must stop any and all alien activity on Earth. We can't afford to let some of it continue because it's just out of our plane's reach. If civilians were to die because the dropship couldn't quite make it, our image would be shattered and our funding could suffer the consequences. We should keep some Fuel Pod equipped planes on standby to deal with distant incidents.