The AH-80 Blackfoot is an attack helicopter in use by the United States Joint Strike Force.
The AH-80 almost never happened. Its original design went through extensive research and development but was canned due to budget cuts in early 2004. However, the recent arms race prompted a revival of the program. The Blackfoot’s predecessor was renamed and became the AH-80 now in service. Its most distinctive design characteristic is its canard rotor/wing design.
The AH-80 Blackfoot is a stealthy, high-agility gunship that represents the latest innovations in helicopter design. Its unique second-generation fly-by-wire system cuts down the time required to train a pilot by utilizing neurogenic circuits. It can also be upgraded to use a high-efficiency hydrogen engine which was developed by a company based in Southern California.
Its targeting system is another point of pride for its developers. Previous gunship targeting systems were connected to the gunner’s helmet, pointing the gunship’s chaingun at wherever the gunner is looking. The Blackfoot’s advanced targeting system takes this premise one step further and actually monitors the gunner’s eyes, making targeting virtually instantaneous and incredibly precise. Once the gunner has a target picked out, the Blackfoot’s 30mm chaingun can make short work of it. The Blackfoot is also equipped with rockets and guided air-to-ground missiles, making it a very effective tank-killing unit.
The canard rotor/wing spins like a helicopter but can also be fixed to act like a wing. Early pilots who flew the Blackfoot for the first time were often worried by the chopper's lack of a rear rotor to counteract the torque, but once they got up into the air these concerns quickly disappeared. The advanced canard rotor/wing design of the AH-80 allows it to perform an amazing array of aerobatic maneuvers.
- Up-Rated Chain Gun: Increases range. Cost 100,000 CR
- Target Acquisition System: Increases accuracy. Cost 300,000 CR
- Joint Common Missile: Unlocks special attack: Anti-tank missile barrage. Cost 900,000 CR
- Fire Control Radar: Increases range. Cost 1,200,000 CR
- DEAD: Increases Rate of Fire. Cost 1,500,000 CR
- Thermobaric Warhead: Increases damage significantly. Cost 1,800,000 CR
- Nano Composite Airframe: Increases Hit Points. Cost 100,000 CR
- Ballistic Protection: Increases Hit Points. Cost 300,000 CR
- Jammer: Increases shield durability. Cost 900,000 CR
- Power Unit: Increases movement speed. Cost 100,000 CR
- Hydrogen Cells: Increases movement speed. Cost 300,000 CR
Blackfoot call signs are all named after venomous snakes.
- The AH-80 is based off the design for the RAH-66 Comanche. The similarity of the cockpit shape is especially striking. Early concept art of the AH-80 also looked extremely similar to the Comanche.
- AH-80s appear to be able to store their rocket pods internally, and then deploy them when necessary. This is considered a "must" on stealth aircraft, as it reduces the aircraft's radar cross section.
- The Blackfoot is noted to lack a tail rotor but apparently this does not cause any problems. It is possible that the Blackfoot utilises an advanced form of NOTAR (no tail rotor) technology, which has been experimented with in the real world; indeed, close inspection suggests the end of the tail appears to feature a thrust vectoring nozzle.
|EndWar Joint Strike Force Units and Abilities|