Ceres Astrospace Delta
One-man long-range exoatmospheric fighter used for planetary and orbital defense. Designed and built by Ceres Astrospace and later manufactured under license.

First introduced during the middle Federation period, they have gone through a number of revisions and variations, outliving their original design megacorporation by millennia. Despite being long rendered obsolete as a front-line fighter by the introduction of Reactionless Drive, their simplicity and rugged reliability, along with the fact that they require an expert system no higher than C15 (even a C14 will be adequate) for fire-control and shielding, ensured they continued to be used in a number of less advanced worlds, and among paranoid groups suspicious of high singularity hyperturing technology. Whilst many designs were so greatly engineered as to almost unrecognizable, Deltas barely differing from the original Ceres Astrospace specifications can still occasionally be encountered, especially in the Barnard Belt and Wolf 359, and some of the other low resource inner sphere systems and polities.

The original Ceres Astrospace SF 513 and 514 series used fusion drive, but during the Empires age Deltas were frequently fitted with amat-fusion hybrid, greatly increasing performance, although at the expense of reliability and safety (a few have been known to suffer magnetic-bottle failure, resulting in a rather unfortunate and catastrophic explosion!)

Armament usually includes: 2 antiship missile tubes, 4 heavy lasers (two on each wing), and 1 particle beam cannon, although this can be modified, depending on the mission type

First brought out and put in service in the mid 34th century, many lasted for many years, and were much loved by service and backup crews for their ease of maintenance.

Although primarily used for planetary and system defense these fighters can be stored on fleet carriers and system control ships, and can enter battle with other ships as support fighters. Thanks to their long range, they are also often used to escort and police incoming freighters and cargo ships.
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Development Notes
Text by Grant Thomas

Initially published on 09 October 2001.