Most ships are large in Oolite, even a cargo canister is as big (6x6x10m) as a fighter plane. This allow the use of a Fuel Scoop as a launcher of light ships stored in your cargo space. There are no missiles and no cargo space on these fighters (but an ejection seat is included so you can scoop up your defeated pilots)!
Fighters are available in the equipment shop and not in the shipyard. Damaged fighters can not launch until they are repaired in a station which has a shipyard. Small scratches are repaired immediately when your fighters land back into your ship.
You can force them to land either by a run to 'green alert' - or by initiating a hyperjump countdown (h), then cancel it before can happen (h again) and repeat the process until no more fighters are outside.
You can follow the activity of your fighters in an MFD.
In combat it is very hard to hit an enemy fighter due to its extremely small size. The best solution is to use your own fighters against them.
It is well worth it to get more firepower - or even a decoy against pirates - for these cheap costs.
Fighter Class Size(m) Speed Cost Occupy En.+Arm Recharg Pitch Laser Other Light Knight 6x4x10 600 1000 5t 0+1 0 2.5 Pulse No shields, just armor Robot AI 7x2x8 400 5000 1t 1 2 3 Pulse No pilot so need only 1t cargo space Swarm Pawn 6x2x10 500 2000 5t 0+0.5 1 2 3*Pulse 3 ships in a group, Organic armor, need 3 Alien Items Raider Bishop 13x3x16 400 3000 10t 2 1 2 Dual Pulse ECM, passive cloak in cloaked era GalTech Rook 19x5x23 300/2100 5000 15t 2 2 1.8 Beam ECM, Injectors, need Galaxy 6 or Constrictor mission Steel Shark Queen 20x8x22 200 10000 20t 2 2 1.6 Sniper ECM, Need Galaxy 7 or Nova Mission Shark Queen 20x8x22 200/1400 10000 20t 2+2 2 1.4 Sniper ECM, Organic, Injectors, need 5 Alien Items, Galaxy 7 or Nova Iron King King 28x6x18 100 20000 25t 2 2 1.2 Thargoid ECM, need Galaxy 8 or Thargoid Plans King King 28x6x18 100/700 50000 25t 2+6 2 1 Thargoid ECM, Organic, Injectors, need 10 Alien Items, Galaxy 8 or Thargoid Plans
A standard Knight-class Light Fighter occupies 5t cargo space, uses a Pulse Laser but has no shields, so damage is repairable only when landed.
Lightning fast: 1.5 times faster than Asp but no Quirium fuel within, so no Injectors nor hyperdrive. Cost 1000 credits.
Very small AI controlled fighter, fit into a cargo canister and launch through Fuel Scoop.
As fast as an Asp, use Pulse Laser, but has a single energy bank only and no fuel inside so no injectors nor hyperdrive.
Use only 1t cargo space as hangar due to no pilot within, but 5 times more costly than a Light Fighter.
Swarm Fighter Group
Contain 3 Pawn-class fighters in a group, based on the robot technology of the Thargons which fly without pilots and save cargo space on the mothership: need 1t for each fighter and an additional 2t for supplies so 5t in total. Slower and less durable than Knight-class Light Fighters, no shields but its organic armor regenerates slowly. A group together offers 3 Pulse Lasers - but nothing else.
Uses only a single control link due to the group always staying in close formation. Named Swarm because a Fighter Bay can handle 16 groups - so 48 fighters! This huge swarm fit into a Python also using 100t cargo space: 16 x 5t = 80t, plus 20t for the bay.
Need 3 Alien Items to build a group and also costs 2000 credits. Repair: first regroup/merge 2 damaged groups into a single group without any cost. If only one group is damaged, then you need an Alien Item and 1000 credits - or you can decide to wait until another group gets damaged and then do the merge.
Ships in Bishop-class need 10t space and Fighter Bay on your ship. Offer Dual Pulse Lasers, shields, ECM, more energy and faster recharge but slower than light fighters (still as fast as an Asp) and larger so less hard to hit.
Raiders will get passive stealth (decloak when fire) after you acquired a Cloaking Device. No fuel within so missing injector speeds and hyperdrive. Cost 3000 credits.
The gap between Bishop and Queen fighter classes should be filled with a 15t Rook class ship which can use Injectors. This is why designers in Galaxy 6 made a smaller variant of GalTech Escort Fighter which is named to GalTech Interceptor.
Prototypes where sizes are reduced to half in all 3 dimensions show good results using a Beam Laser. Stronger than a Raider due to the better energy recharge, longer fire range and unique intercept/runaway speed, at least until there are some fuel in the tank.
If you defeat Constrictor then you can get this ship anywhere and not in Galaxy 6 only.
Developers made efforts to produce a Queen-class fast heavy fighter with some organic armor, Injectors and a new Sniper Laser, which is a Pulse Laser with a revolutional, very accurate targeting system named to Sniper Lock, where most shots will hit! Measured in real combat situations that pilots are able to deliver about 10 times more shots with this extremly useful system.
The result need 5 Alien Items, 10000 credits, 20t cargo space, main station, moreover available in Galaxy 7 only until Nova mission is not completed.
A weakness is if armor destroyed then Injectors are unusable and Shark need repair in a station to be usable again.
You can buy "Steel Shark" variant (named by Commander Duggan) if you have no Alien Items, which missing organic armor and injectors.
The strongest King-class fighter occupy 25t in cargo bay, offer frangible but accurate turreted Thargoid Laser with Sniper Lock, ECM and shields, moreover very strong organic armour plates around the ship, which absorb all damages for a while and regenerates!
Has strong scanner with double range (50km) which keep up target lock far from the mother and at hyperjump can follow you into the wormhole from this far. The slowest fighter but a King rarely retreat and Injectors can help a bit.
Fire less powerful shots than a Shark but longer range (17.5km instead of 12.5km) and hold 3 times more armor. King also need armor to use Injectors and very slow without so better if you go to pick up those who send a message about lost armor.
Very costly: need 50.000 credits and 10 Alien Items. Only main stations can build these, moreover the necessary parts are available in Galaxy 8 only. If you complete Thargoid Plans mission then you can buy it in other Galaxies also as a thank you from GalCop.
The cheaper "Iron King" variant (named by Commander Cody) is available for 20.000 credits without Alien Items but no organic armor nor injectors within.
Fighters from 10t occupied cargo space like Raider, GalTech Interceptor, Shark and King are heavy fighters which need Fighter Bay to get enough large doors for launch.
Allocate 20t cargo space for a control room to raise the number of fighters supported by your ship from 8 to 16. Help also to do not lose your fighters if you jump to another system without landing them first, except those which are out of your scanner so can not reach your ship in time.
Fighter Support Center
Add communication and supply rooms like in a carrier which allow to handle 40 fighters, but occupy 100t space and need a ship over 400t mass like Anaconda.
Convert your ship to a well equipped carrier by allocating space for very large supply rooms, which can handle 80 fighters at once. Contain self-repair systems which make the hangar undamageable but not the stored fighters.
Need a big ship over 8000t mass which can not fit into regular docks, like Andromeda or Condor. Occupy 200t space and cost 100.000 credits.
Model of Ejected Pilot comes from Knotty's Astronaut OXP.
Model of Light Fighter comes from Shipbuilder's Colonial_Viper_Mark_1_V1.03.oxp.
Model of Swarm comes from Thargoid's Swarm OXP.
Model of Raider comes from Shipbuilder's Cylon_Raider_Mk1_lower_detail_model_V1.01.oxp.
Model of GalTech Interceptor comes from Shipbuilder's GalTech Escort Fighter.
Model of Shark comes from Thargoid's Aquatics OXP.
Model of King comes from Killer Wolf's kw-kc-capsule.dat in King Cobra.
Do not unzip the .oxz file, just move into the AddOns folder of your Oolite installation.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License version 4.0. If you are re-using any piece of this OXP, please let me know by sending an e-mail to norbylite at gmail.com.
2020.09.17. v1.5 Robot Fighter added. 2017.05.16. v1.4 Fixed a rare error message around addDefenseTarget, thanks to cag. 2017.02.02. v1.3 Fixed a minor bug of Light Fighter in fighters_ship.js, thanks to Rustem. 2016.07.14. v1.2 Steel Shark and Iron King not need Alien Items but no organic armor nor injectors on these. Repair of a Swarm group need a single Alien Item only instead of 2. Fighter Hangar can handle 80 fighters on very big ships like Andromeda and Condor. Fighter Support Center available on Anaconda again, as in v1.0. 2016.07.09. v1.1 Improved target selection of Fighters, aim owner's target only when near. Damaged Light Fighters do landing regardless of alert level. Fighter Support Center require very big undockable ship over 8000t mass. Fixed Galtech fighter's stopover by lower accuracy (8, which disable sniper mode). Shark laser power halved, still very effective due to Sniper Lock. Sniper Lock range reduced to 6km. King cost raised to 50000Cr. 2015.06.13. v1.0 First release.
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