Author Topic: Vignette: Blue Squadron  (Read 255 times)

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Offline GirlieAllie

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Vignette: Blue Squadron
« on: December 24, 2017, 12:23:41 AM »
Blue Squadron had reached sixty thousand feet, its designated cruising altitude.  The flight, in its maiden combat voyage, had left from Agincourt Air Force Base just five seconds prior, and was finally levelling out - the estimated time to target wasn't even measured in minutes.  Being led by Blue One, the squadron of ten "Hard Target" aircraft was entrusted only to a junior officer, its mission to engage the enemy armed forces that had amassed at a neutral buffer country's border.

Blue One had hardly a moment to wait before giving the order to slow to conventional cruising speeds.  "Remember," the young pilot's voice crackled over the squadron communications, "the mission calls for visual observation of the targets at all stages.  We'll blow right by if you don't keep it Mach Two. " His navigational suite read the distance to target: four thousand kilometres.  He fidgeted, thinking of how quickly he could cover that distance.

"Blue Nine, thermals confirm the Nords, targets are still there. . .  and I have TV now.  Blue Lead, come back?"

He looked across the display, switching the modes of viewing.  Thermal, visible light, electromagnetic. . .  then, the active radar.  He wanted to make doubly sure their first flight wouldn't be anybody's last.  Opening his mouth, Blue One knew that every second he spoke, another kilometre passed below.  Time to be brief.  "All green.  Call out and paint.  Be aware, twelve Size Eights, on the nose, V-formation.  Interceptors. "

"Size Eight?? What the hell, we're cooked!" "Blue Lead, are you there?!"

The lead aircraft stayed steady, its pilot busy working the fire control to focus on the central mass of enemy ground units.  "Hold.  Speed's ours.  They're not. . .  missiles. . . "

One by one, his subordinates steeled their own resolves.  As each target assignment was reported, the next pilot's voice was calmer, and responded quicker.  All ten aircraft had their ordinance armed: Size 6, Antiship, Mk. 1 - designated "Hellfire".

"Blue Five, bogies are closing - I'm getting painted - launch! Missiles, twelve, bandits--!!"

Planes broke formation, wandering as their Machs rose, but the leader didn't budge.  Their anchor, he coached them to calm and return to formation.  Soon, the missiles connected - the first into the squadron leader.  It exploded in a small cloud of shrapnel and dust right on the aircraft nose with no effect, the paint barely scratched.  More impacted other Blues, over six dozen in total, to the same effect.  Soon, their owners zoomed into view, sailing below Blue Squadron, diminutive.  "Raptors," Blue One called out, "They're nothing.  Squadron, report readiness. "

Silence hung over the formation as they realized nobody had been damaged, the quiet broken hesitantly.  "Blue Two, ready to fire. " "Blue Three, I have Target ID 4. " "Blue Four, I've got 6. " The aircraft called out in turn as the F-22 Raptor squadron performed a breathtaking maneuver, noses pointing right at the tails of the fighter-bomber formation.  Those pilots felt their craft shake, gun pods mounted on the wings being fired at speeds they were hardly designed for.  Armor piercing shells, thirty millimetres in diameter, slammed into the rear of every Blue they could be aimed at.

"Blue One, all aircraft fire and observe. " Thirty tons of weight each vanished from all of Blue Squadron as their missiles left hardpoints.  The pilots watched, waiting for when the engines kicked in - then, it was as if someone had fired a gun at the troop formations.  Missiles connected in under a second, each one travelling the remaining two thousand land-kilometres so quickly that there was hardly a contrail to be drawn, only smoke from the ignited air, sliced at impossible speeds.

"Twenty strength nine detonations.  Blue Squadron, begin a roll at twenty degrees, right, on my mark, and continue to watch for fire mission effect. . .  now. "

The F-22s had expended their ammunition in the time it took the missiles to fire.  Between the two squadrons, communications were silent.  Thermal and TV sensors watched the smouldering craters that were the Federation's army.  Eventually, Blue Six spoke up.  "Jeez. . .  all gone in an instant!" "Blue Two, uh, good effect on target.  Was that. . .  did we get the whole. . . ?" "Blue One.  Mission complete.  Take vector One Ten in formation, our job's done here.  Increasing throttle to five hundred. "

The man in the cockpit relaxed as the formation turned with him.  The Squadron continued to talk in Blue One's helmet, speaking as they navigated.  "They didn't stand a chance. . . " "Ten bombers with no escorts.  Those guys thought it would be easy, huh?" "If only I had a cannon!" "Do you think they knew what hit them?" Quietly, he dampened the volume.  It had barely been half an hour, and the ground war was essentially won.  At his speed, and his height, he could just see their huge missile base firing its salvo into the sky against the enemy orbital platforms, who themselves were bombarding the surface.  He wondered why those battalions were even worth the mission.

Off-Topic: show
'My First Game' has started to take a good ten minutes to compute industrial increments and not much shorter during any increment above the several-minute-zone, and since I had yet to see aliens or any combat at all, I decided to orchestrate a multi-faction Sol start.  To my surprise, one faction violated the same-system truce after just a few months, and thanks to me stationing my fighters on Earth instead of taking them far out on a carrier like the enemy, I got good first-strike capabilities.  However, in my first wave of attacks, I essentially destroyed their ground forces after just a single bomber sortie, which got me to thinking about how quickly a Ground Unit can get obliterated if they have no PDCs to shelter in or antifighter craft to cover them. . .  the enemy had neither.  I also thought about how monstrous Aurora fighters must seem to present-day ones.

Anyways, the above popped out of me a few hours after the hostilities had essentially been ended.  I have to do something with this forum account, right?  ???
 

 

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