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Technical Specifications: TR-20 Rocket Pod


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


Now that we have aircraft capable of intercepting the attacking UFOs, we need to equip them with armaments that can actually shoot down these alien craft. We have evaluated every available weapon on Earth as part of the Excalibur Program, and we have selected the very best for the defence of our planet.

The TR-20 rocket pod is an interesting departure from conventional air-to-air weapons, in that it was originally designed for air-to-ground operations. The pod contains a total of 152 very small, very fast rockets with depleted uranium tips and powerful pulse detonation engines. No one considered using the TR-20 for anything other than chewing up ground targets until an attack helicopter pilot in Africa discovered their potential.

At the time, the pilot -- the last surviving member of his flight -- had been cornered against a mountain by three MiG jets which were closing in for the kill. With nearly all his weapons expended, the only thing the pilot had left to fight with was one pod of TR-20 rockets. He made a suicide run with full afterburners, and managed to swat all three MiGs out of the sky with rapid fire before he ran out of fuel and had to crash-land. He returned to his airbase two days later without a scratch on him.

Though unguided, TR-20 pods contain such a large number of rockets that they can be used almost like a rocket machine gun. This is because the rockets are stacked nose to tail inside their launch tubes, eight to each tube, and fired electronically in a timed sequence. This system is so fast that all eight rockets in a tube can be ignited and underway before the first rocket actually leaves the tube. At its maximum possible rate of fire, the pod can fire all 152 rockets in 0.2 seconds. However, this is usually throttled back to approx. 300 rounds per minute due to the low accuracy of any single volley.

The advantages of the TR-20 over the SHIVA cannon are increased range and greater hitting power. However, the pod's ammo capacity is limited compared to the SHIVA's large portable magazines, and a single TR-20 pod is unlikely to last through a full UFO engagement.

Recommended Doctrine

We anticipate the TR-20 will perform nicely against slower or slow-moving UFOs, especially if their propulsion systems have been damaged somehow. In these situations, TR-20 rockets perform with flying colours, tearing mercilessly into a target. However, accuracy drops rapidly against faster opponents. Damage potential is irrelevant if we can't place a single round on the target.

For this reason, it's recommended we use the TR-20 in moderation and mostly in situations that play to its strengths, such as when engaging a single UFO with multiple aircraft. The flight leader can drive the target into his wingman's killzone with cannons or guided weapons, at which point the wingman has a clear shot with his rockets. Even so, no more than a single TR-20 pod should be loaded on any one aircraft for maximum air-to-air efficiency.

If the mission target is stationary or ground-based, these rockets will be ideal for softening up any defences and defenders before a tactical mission.



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