The A-12 Avenger was a medium bomber designed to replace the A-6 Intruder. Although the most existing military factions during the Global War had always wanted a stealth design, no plane was taken into production, and the attack arm of the carriers was converted to attack-loaded F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18E/F's. These craft were not precisely what the Navy wanted, and the search for a better plane went on. LTV took on the challenge, with assistance from Grumman when this company began to develop the radar-absorbing skin covers later installed on the F-203 Dragon. A conventional plane equipped with such a cover could become 'stealthy', and thus a simple, cheap plane would fulfill the various faction's demands. The resulting plane became the Avenger.Pilots often joked, when viewing the external form of the plane, that it was put together by committee: the nose resembled that of the F-111 Aardvark and the hull resembled that of an A-6. The engines were an off-the-shelf design also fitted to other older planes, and the design - largely the result of the intense labors of Grunman's design teams - was of the same ruggedness that had given the Grunman the nickname 'Ironworks'. It was not armed with a cannon, although a cannon pod could be installed in its small internal bomb-bay, but two missiles in a conformal storage position under the engine nacelles were standard, and often the positions were filled by ALARM missiles so the Avenger could fight its way through anti-aircraft batteries to the target. In addition, there were eight underwing hardpoints.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
The Avenger was an immediate success. It was no surprise then when several navy factions decided to adopt the plane, and the plane was not only used on aircraft carriers, but, with a certain reluctance on the part of the Air Force's generals, it also equipped a large number of Air Force bomber wings. The plane received additional armor and a standard radar/electronic warfare system. The hardpoints were at a later date also fitted to take Stiletto multi-purpose missiles. For these later variants, the Avenger saw use during the Zentraedi Malcontent Uprisings. However, since the plane was definitely not a fighter, it was most often used as a more traditional bomber or as a stand-off missile launcher. As such, it saw service until 2016.
The skin of the Avenger was composed of an advanced titanium-steel alloy. The skin provides excellent protection against small grenade and shell fragments, good protection against small arms fire, and poor resistance to heavier infantry weapons, such as the 12.7mm machinegun round, as well as from fragments and near misses from higher caliber weapons. The armored 'bathtub' in the pilots' compartment stopped all small arms fire, provides good protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round, and fair resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round.
The Avenger provided full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for twelve hours maximum.