Nicha 4 Westand Attack Gunship
|First test flight|
(expected) June 2012
Trinium Turbide (720% refinement)
Light Magnu shield
|Alternate passive protection system|
The N4 Westand, more commonly referred to as Westand, is an in-development, three-manned, repulsor- and engine-driven Attack Gunship. The model is being designed by Kao'al Gor as the 4th model in the Nicha series, and subsidiaries are supply features, as a gunship more oriented for ground support than the HelAux GT2 for the Gammetan Ground Force. Although it was only announced on the 6th of March, 2011, two nations have agreed to purchase the complete model to reproduce it. The Westand features several mounted sensor suites around the model for target acquisition, as well as night vision and an ATS. It is armed with a front underbelly-mounted Stinger GPC for long-range ground support as well as rockets and the MG-like Flash GPCs, and has no proper hard points. It is equipped with crew-safety mechanisms such as a direct cockpit shield incase the exterior shield fails, a quick ejection system, and the new AutoBeam system.
In December 2011, it was announced that a combat-ready prototype would be ready for February 2012, and the full version would be ready for mass construction, if all goes to plan, in June that same year. Two prototypes were successfully tested on Can'dreo VI, from February 13, 2012 onward.
The requirement for a new different-role gunship to the HelAux GT2 was identified some time after its extended use in post-production exercises during post-summer 2010 and early 2011. It was apparent that the GT2 served best at doing hit-and-run attacks rather than playing a direct ground support role, the former being a better candidate for the Air Force and the latter being a better candidate for the Craft Support Force. Added to this, the GT2 focused a lot on anti-air capabilities, sacrificing air-to-surface capabilities and therefore effectiveness. All this was supported by the Gammetan military intervention in Tudia, during the Tudia rebellion, where GT2s and F16s were used extensively to wipe out ground targets. The government ordered the founding of Kao'al Gor as a subsidiary of Teranox, as HelAux refused to design any new models. Kao'al Gor would concentrate on small-scale vehicles, such as ships and ground attack, whereas Teranox would concentrate on larger ones, such as vessels.
The Gammetans issued the request for a series of new models including a strategic air transport, a tactical air transport and a direct ground support gunship. These three ships were announced as part of the Nicha series in early 2011. The N4 was designed to be the first released, followed by the N1 (strategic air transport). Teranox also offered to allow the BlyDonian Civilization, Jankan Empire and Unidia Republic to purchase specific models for use on May 7, 2011. The BlyDonians rejected, and the other two accepted, as their military-industrial complex was not very developed.
During its development, Kao'al Gor signed 6 contracts, one with AD-R for them to design new sensor systems for this craft (as they focus on vessels), another with Greyall Protus Productions for them to design new communication systems; and use-of-product contracts with MATWI (targeting systems), Enthusia Industrial Estates (navigation and power), JamTek (computer systems, with slight modifications).
The prototypes were done and begun testing on the planet Can'dreo VI for several weeks, in which they displayed an optimal ability to navigate and maneuver complex urban structures, but struggled to use weapons effectively in them. Kao'al Gor is considering revising the weapons system or combat systems so the craft is more top-down.
The Westand is designed around both long and short range support for ground troops in urban areas. The desired movement in combat is to strafe around the enemy in a circular motion. With the weapons given to the Westand, it is supposed to engage lightly armored targets as well as siege structures, however can perform quite effectively against heavily armored ground targets. Air combat, on the other hand, is a last resort. The injector TMLs used, while quite fast and precise, are designed for hit and runs against armored targets rather than air-to-air engagements.
Rotatable Stinger GPC Edit
The Westand uses its rotatable, light duty stinger cannon to engage infantry or personnel from long ranges. Usually, it would fire in bursts of around 10, with a delay of 0.0931 seconds or 644 rounds per minute. The Westand is designed to surprise infantry units rather than daunt them, and thus Stinger cannons are used as they fire physical ordnance rather than the more common energy projectiles. The standard capacity is 2,000 rounds, however can range from designated craft. Special "dust" rounds are used commonly to smoke screen infantry units, however neither the cannon controller nor the artificial targeting system can see through said dust, so during operations where casualties are an objective, standard rounds are used. The gunner is the primary controller of the Stinger, however the AI can take over should the Gunner be needed else where.
Flash GPCs Edit
The Flash GPCs, mounted in a fixed position, either side below the cockpit, are energy cannons designed for anti-armor and minor anti-air duties. Usually in the former case, the gunship, when not engaging infantry, would swoop over an enemy armored unit and fire its rockets and flash cannons. Upon impact, the flash cannon energy spreads about the hull of the vehicle, damaging it and anything touching it at the same time. A single shot is enough to kill an unarmed human. They have a very visible tracer compared to other GPCs, and move considerably slower.
Injector TMLs Edit
Injector missiles are used for ground and structure assault. The launchers are inside the Westand, towards the back, with nine launcher on each side. Each launcher has its own tube, however there are two ways in which the rockets can be fired: From its own tube, or from the master side tube. In the former case, all rockets can be fired at the same time, maximizing the damage of a given area. In the latter case, the 9 closely grouped launchers on a given side connect to the master tubes, so only two tubes can be used at once. The master tubes, however, are flexible to around 50° from forward-facing. The degree can be controlled by the Gunner or Utiliter, however firing can only be done by the Gunner or Pilot. Each launcher carries 9 missiles, equaling 162 missiles, however has storage for up to 25.
The rockets themselves are unguided, and leave a dense black trail for around two seconds. Usually, they would be fired in to areas in which the Stinger either cannot reach or needs support, for instance with a big group of enemies or enemies behind cover.
Bulk TMLs Edit
The Westand uses Bulk TMLs as guided anti-armor missiles. Target acquisition is done by the Utiliter, however firing can be done by the Pilot too. Bulks move slower than injectors, but have an obvious advantage of being guided and having a much higher damage. They can be used quite effectively against infantry, although are rarely needed due to the Injectors and Stinger. Four launchers, also concealed like the injectors, are placed on top of the craft, above the cockpit.
As a means of propulsion, like much of the Nicha series, the Westand uses repulsors. Not much is confirmed around propulsion, as test concerning the use of weapons are currently underway. Repulsors will allow it equal potential maneuverability in either direction, even strafing.
The Westand is fitted with several more countermeasures to counter and measures. More are expected to be introduced during testing and deployment phases.
False radar scoping Edit
The false radar scoping (FRS) system is a manually-triggered module which produces up to twenty false radar signature with a range of 1,250 kilometers. The amount of false signatures can be chosen manually by the pilot, however a quick system is planned whereby the pilot or any of the crew can press a button to quickly create a random amount of signatures. The false signatures, being broadcasted to all surrounding ships, are signified as false by any other determined ship which a crewman chooses. In other words, any crewman can, through the FRS, broadcast whether a signature is false or true to any sensor system. By default (as in through non-manual interference), sensor systems which are given notification of the falseness include only the ship itself, however usually before deployment, friendly sensor systems are also notified.
The main weaknesses of this system is that enemies beyond 1,250 kilometers away cannot see the false signatures, and thus if the enemy has a long range targeting system, will be able to lock on to the projecting ship before the false signatures are displayed to them. Another disadvantage is that the signatures can, with the right systems, be easily identified as false or true.
Artificial targeting system Edit
The artificial targeting system (ATS) is a triggered artificial intelligence module which automatically targets radar signatures based on parameters such as threat, proximity, and course. There are two methods in which the ATS is triggered. The first, being expected as the most common, is a one-time target, whereby any crew presses a button and the ATS locks on to a signature filling the parameters with the most priority. The other method is automatic, where signatures are automatically targeted in succession. Within this method, there are two modes: Validity, where the most valid target is selected, ignoring whether the first-selected target has been eliminated or not; or successive, where in order to lock on to a new signature, the first-selected target must exceed the range of the targeting system, be destroyed, or in any other way evade detection of the targeting system.