Springbok AV-3B Rooivalk

The KinoHare (now Springbok) Aanval/Veelsydige (AV)–3B Rooivalk is a second–generation vertical takeoff & landing (VTOL) aerospace–attack craft. A Rodinian development of the KinoHare CSH.11k, it is (as of June 2112) the most recent advancement of the CSH family. The AV-3B is primarily used for attack or multi–role missions, and is typically operated from small attack carriers, large assault ships and forward operating bases. The AV-3B is primarily operated by Rodinian Defense Forces.

The AV-3B was extensively redesigned by Springbok from the earlier CSH.11k. It has a new wing, an elevated cockpit, a redesigned fuselage, and other structural and aerodynamic refinements. The hardpoints and the internal weapons bay were redesigned. Additional upgrades added advanced radar and broad–array sensor capabilities. KinoHare joined the improved CSH project as partner in 2109. Since corporate mergers in later years, Springbok and KinoHare Systems have jointly supported the program.

AV-3Bs have participated in numerous conflicts, providing close air support for ground troops and performing armed reconnaissance, proving themselves versatile assets. Rodinian Colonial Defense Forces (RCDF) Headquarters named the Rooivalk as one of the seven most important weapons in the Rodinian arsenal.

Development


Origins

As the first-generation CSH craft entered service with Rodinian Colonial Defense Forces, it became increasingly apparent that they were handicapped in payload and versatility. The CSH.11f, the Rodinian designation for the early advanced CSH.11 in fighter configuration, could only carry less than half the payload of competing craft and was unable to operate outside of atmospheric conditions. To address this issue, KinoHare and Springbok began joint development of a more capable version of the CSH. Early efforts concentrated on an improved Glocke engine, designated Glocke 15, which was undergoing testing by Kerberos Manufacturing Company (KMC). The engine was more powerful but had a larger diameter, too big to readily fit into the CSH.

A joint Rodinian and ONA team completed a project document defining an Advanced CSH with the Glocke 15 engine in December 2110. The Advanced CSH was intended to replace original RCDF and ONA CSH–craft, as well as the latter's H-Project craft. The aim of the Advanced CSH was to improve payload and engagement capabilities. The ONA pulled out of the project in March 2111 due to decreased defense funding, rising costs, and a small aircraft requirement. The RCDF was unwilling to fund development by itself, and ended the project later that year.

The two companies (KinoHare & Springbok) took different paths toward an enhanced CSH. KinoHare focused on a new larger wing that could be retrofitted to existing operational aircraft, while Springbok independently undertook a more ambitious project catering to the needs of the Rodinian military. Using knowledge gleaned from the Advanced CSH effort, Springbok kept the new structure designs and engine for an aircraft tailored for the RCDF fleet.

Design


Overview

The AV-3B Rooivalk is a pan–atmospheric attack aircraft. It retains the basic layout of the KinoHare CSH.11k model, with horizontal stabilizers and center–mounted wings featuring prominent anhedral. The craft is powered by a single Kerberos Manufacturing Company Glocke 15 series engine. The Rooivalk also features multiple additional new advanced sensor arrays in the nose, tail and wingtips to provide substantial situational awareness around the craft. The AV-3B is equipped with one centerline internal weapons bay (constructed of special ceramic and composite materials for heat shielding) and four wing hardpoints for carrying weapons and external peripherals, along with a single fuselage station for a 40mm auto–cannon and multiple caseless ammunition packs (accessible through compartment accesses within the shielded internal weapons bay).

The craft incorporates numerous structural and aerodynamic changes. Springbok engineers designed a new, longer one–piece supercritical wing, which improves performance by delaying drag rise. Made of advanced heat–resistant composites, the wing is thicker, has a larger aspect ratio, reduced sweep, and an area increase. The lighter wing has a high–lift configuration, and drooped ailerons. The main fuselage features a thick, specially shielded under–belly designed to handle both the immense heat and stresses generated during atmospheric entry, as well as kinetic impacts. The remainder of the fuselage is up–armored against kinetic impact and (in almost all cases) painted in a vibrant advanced anti–flash white–like coating (the components of which are classified) to reduce radiation (thermal & otherwise) absorption and serve (through various means) as a radar-absorbent material.

The technological advances incorporated into the Rooivalk, compared with the original CSH, significantly reduce the workload on the pilot. The supercritical wing, hands–on–throttle–and–stick (HOTAS) control principle, and deliberately engineered lateral stability make the aircraft fundamentally easier to fly. The cockpit was elevated to give the pilot an improved all-round view and shielded, armored forward windows were installed in tandem with the virtual cockpit. A large multi-purpose display makes up much of the instrument panel. It has a wide range of functions, including radar warning information and weapon delivery checklist. The pilots sit on a zero–zero ejection seat, meaning that they are able to eject in a stationary aircraft at zero altitude.

Specifications


Armament

  • Guns: 1x 40mm caseless multi–feed auto–cannon.
  • Hard–Points: 4× under–wing pylon stations, and 1 fuselage internal pylon on centerline weapons bay.
  • Rockets: 4× Mantra rocket pods with 16 FFAR 76mm rockets each.
  • Missiles:
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