The Barghosa F/A-38 Banshee is the first GNOMES-powered optionally-manned attack aircraft on the market, so named for the enormous amounts of RF interference kicked out by the high-powered GNOMES laser – a weapon capable of slicing through steel at a thousand meters and FM radios at a hundred kilometers. The laser and reactor both feature retractable RF shielding, enabling the Banshee to function as a basic-but-highly-effective EWAR platform if operating with a crew – otherwise the aircraft requires a direct line-of-sight with a control satellite, Majestic or mothership to function, as the interference obliterates the spectrum traditionally used for unmanned vehicles.
While the Banshee can operate in atmosphere its GNOMES laser attenuates rapidly even at high altitudes, forcing it to rely on missiles. It’s a heavy, ungainly beast in the air – with a cockpit designed for space and with reactor components prone to corrosion, the F/A-38 has proven to be an unpopular design and has already been replaced in the long-range precision attack role by “quieter” aircraft. Heirotus is the only organization to deploy the Banshee in quantity, as the platform combines a number of roles into a single airframe and supply chain.
Development Notes: The Banshee had a long development cycle. I started idly working on it in March of 2008, then set it aside to concentrate on page production. I came back to it in the spring of 2009 and then put it down again, eventually getting serious about it when Water entered pre-production in late 2012. Major design influences include the F-15 Eagle and the Su-35.