A heavy, dedicated gunship developed by Nepleslian Arms and Munitions in YE 32 in service with the Marine Corps branch of the SMDIoN. The Corona was upgraded in YE 36 for improved performance. This craft is also sometimes called the “Sunburn 2.”
In YE 37, the Corona was overhauled yet again, with an upgrade to its electronic systems, weapon loadouts and an addition of an armored crew/utility compartment to transport both powered and regular infantry. This new variant of the Corona was quickly nicknamed “Super Corona” by its crews.
The Corona Gunship is a redesign of the old Sunburn gunship, the major difference between the two being the type of propulsion, what weapons they carry, as well as the amount of armor. It retains the primary function of an attack gunship, but with the added feature that it can remain in combat to support its troops for a longer time than the VTOL “Viper” Gunship/Troop Transport, which is primarily a transport.
Another feature of the Corona is the more comfortable cockpit for both the pilot and the Gunship's WSO, since several complaints were filed regarding the cramped spaces on the Viper.
Mini-Missile pods on either side of the Corona each hold hundreds of mini-missiles, housed in and operated from the Extended Rack System 3A. These pods are exactly the same as those used by Marine Power Armors. There are two on each wing.
A majority of the gunship is designed to be “crash friendly”, with seats designed to absorb the impact of a crash as well as other systems since there is a 'soft' layer of ballistic Mesh and SynAraS underneath the hard armor.
Another feature is the Crew/Utility compartment behind the cockpit can house either unarmored personnel, and half of that if the occupants are wearing power armor. The area can also be modified to simply transport cargo or to be converted into a small medical station for medivacs.
The Corona is primarily a heavy gunship. Because it is more heavily armed and armored, the Corona can no longer act as a nimble gunship like its predecessor (For example, a heavily loaded Corona past its safety numbers can only take off like an aircraft) with pilots using the multitude of weapons in strafing runs, rather than precision fire delivered by Sunburns while simultaneously flanking enemy forces.
The Viper was a great jack-of-all-trades troop/supply transport. It was also armed well-enough to cover itself while inserting Marines and to provide air support to Marines. However, it was not a dedicated gunship. The Corona was developed to add more firepower to an airborne assault, as well as to provide heavy fire support when Vipers were not available.
Although the original Sunburn was a step in the right direction, by providing Marines on the ground with a heavy gunship which provided close air support, it also had some problems. It lacked shielding, and its rotors were regularly targeted by enemy fire.
The redesign, renamed “Corona”, hopes to fix these problems, with a propulsion system adopted from the Viper troop transport, along with the addition of several heavier weapons, while also being smaller. The current design is less-nimble than it's predecessor, but what it loses in speed, it gains in weaponry and armor. This craft is also to be fielded exclusively by Marines and piloted by Marines, who's experience in ground combat provides a good understanding of the needs of the Marines they ferry to and fro, and of their needs for close-in air support.
In YE 36, the Corona was overhauled, upgraded, and up-armored. The previous missiles were replaced by Nepleslia's ubiquitous mini-missiles.
In YE 37, the gunship was further upgraded with better electronics for the cockpit, improved defense capability and the crew/utility compartment. Since the addition of the extra space, plans for also placing a minibar behind that were considered, but scrapped off since it would reduce the capacity to ferry troops.
Organizations Using This Vessel: Star Military of the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia
Type: Heavy Gunship
Class: Nepleslian Heavy Gunship
Designer: NAM Aerotech
Production: Mass Production
Crew: 3, one to navigate and do the actual piloting. One to operate weapon systems and to monitor other various systems on the gunship and a Crew Chief
Maximum Capacity: 11; One WSO, one Pilot, one Crew Chief and 8 passengers.
Appearance: The Corona is a blocky gunship, with its main engines situated above and behind the cockpit. It has two short, stubby wings with three hardpoints on each to mound weapons systems, to the front of these wings are the sliding doors to the crew area. The factory standard colors are black and red.
Length: 18 meters
Width : 7 meters
Height: 6.5 meters
Speed (Atmospheric, sea level): 200 knots
Range: 550 km
Lifespan: 5 years
Refit Cycle: Requires regular maintenance after every mission, as well as rearming after munitions have been expended.
Hull: 25 SP
Shields: 25 (2/5)
The Corona is crewed by a pilot, a gunner and a Crew Chief.
The cockpit is divided in two sections, where the pilot sits in the rear section, and the WSO sits in the front section; so that in the event that one of the cockpits is hit the other can survive it. The inside of the Nerimium “Glass” canopy of the cockpit is coated in an OLED film to simulate 'real' glass which would include an interactive HUD and information windows entirely controllable at pilot/gunner discretion, depending on individual preferences. These allow the crewmembers to filter and focus on relevant information.
The outer armor surrounding the cockpit has a thin layer of Nerimium, with a soft underlayer of SynAraS and ballistic mesh to help the crew survive in the event of a crash.
For night time operations, the Monoeyes can switch to either a “white hot” or “black hot” thermal imaging, or a night vision filter.
The cockpit also contains two Na-C3-I3102 Chairs for the pilots. Both seats have buttons that immediately cut fuel lines in the event of a crash, and also have devices that destroy any key internal components to prevent them from being salvaged after a crash, activating either 10 minutes after a crash automatically, or immediately by the pilot or gunner.
The pilot's area contains a full set of flight controls to fly the gunship, but less electronics than the WSO. The 'dashboard' in front of the pilot's seat is a triple set of Colored Multi-Function Displays that can be customized by the pilot to show different kinds of informations, from topographical data and maps to the overall status of the gunship, for example. The CMFDs are largely optional, since the option to display this info on volumetric displays is also available, and can either be displayed in front of the pilot or into his helmet's HUD. The pilot wears a helmet similar to the WSO's, with a radio link that is able to converse with friendly forces from squad-level to receiving orders at the battalion level. The pilot is also responsible for relaying targets from squad or platoon leaders to the gunner.
Despite not being primarily engaged in operating the weapons, the pilot can also fire them in case he/she needs to take over full operation of the gunship. This was deemed necessary since in long flights either of the crewmembers decided to stop operating the vehicle and open their canopy for a smoke break mid-flight.
The WSO (coloquially known as the 'gunner' of the craft although he has his own set of flight controls) is all but encased in electronics, and wears a specialized helmet that bears resemblance to a large motorcycle helmet. The inside of the helmet contains a radio uplink to the pilot and other friendly units, while the HUD can be adjusted for a variety of system, such as switching between the different optics and cameras, as well as showing information on the weapons systems such as damage taken and ammo count. There is also an option to override the mono-eyes should they be knocked off-line; in this manual override, sensors in the pilot's helmet detect his head movements, which move the Chain-gun itself.
Added to the functions of the helmet, volumetric displays can be brough up to show magnified views from the optics or other important information like the local maps, damage control and locations of neearby friendly units. In the event that the volumetric displays are turned off, or that the WSO prefers the 'old-school' method, the seat also has two Color Multi-Function Displays behind his set of flight controls, as well as a third set of optics that resemble an upturned binocular for long range engagements.
Despite not being primarily engaged in flying the Corona, the WSO also has a full set of controls on his seat in case he/she needs to take over full operation of the aircraft.
Although the Corona's main defense consists of Eletronic Countermeasures and -most important of all- staying out of sight from the enemy at low altitude, hugging the ground and using the terrain as cover whenever possible, it doesn't hurt that it also has the armor that wouldn't be out of place around a tank.
The Gunship's hull is covered in a thicker layer of Meridium, made even thicker near the engine, crew/utility compartment and cockpit.
There is a “soft” layer of Durandium Alloy under the gunship that is meant to absorb the shock of a crash.
Behind the cockpit and to the front of the wings is the space dedicated for transporting troops or other cargo. Since the Corona is smaller than its other counterpart, the Viper, the crew area is significantly more cramped. This space can be customized for a variety of roles, ranging from a simple troops transport and cargo, to other things like an improvised medical station or a Mobile Air Command Unit. The one feature that doesn't change is the Crew Chief's seat, which faces the back of the gunship.
The Adv. Combat Executive was installed in the upgraded Corona as a replacement for the Combat SavTech. It allows greater networking and coordination with Nepleslian ground forces. The AI is also completely responsible in using the Corona's PLA arrays due to its much faster response time compared to the crew.
Monoeyes are placed on the nose and tail of the Corona. Both can rotate and give a 360 degree view given that they have the proper vertical angling of the gunship (so that in the event that one monoeye is knocked out, there is another still functional). On passive mode these sensors emit low key RADAR, LADAR and receive data on a wide spectrum of optics, such as thermal and night vision. Each monoeye can also “paint” a target with laser in case the gunship posesses guided munitions or to help friendly ground forces
NAM Noisemaker Device The NAM “Noisemaker” excels at jamming passive sensors by constantly emitting random signals of all types and frequencies, throwing off target locks on nearby units. Since active jamming is, coloquially, screaming so loud no one can hear anything, the Corona will be easily detected when this is activated.
NA-M11-E3600 Chatterbox Communications Array Antennas are internally located behind the cockpit, under where the “MARINES” is written.
The Sunburn 2 is powered by four Na-K7-P3104 Air-breathing fusion engines with two located in each pod on either side of the craft.
The Corona is protected by a Combined Shield System (Nepleslia)
Location One mounted on each wingtip.
Location: Mounted in two missile pods on each side of the Corona. Can be loaded with DARTs, ARROWs, or BOLTs.
Location: Mounted on a rotating turret in front of the gunship.
Location: Mounted on the wings of the Corona, directly behind the Crew/Utility Compartment.
Other weapons systems can be attached on the wings instead of the regular loadout, such as "Pufferfish" Airburst Missiles, "Marlin" Penetrator Missiles, "Eel" Seeker Missiles. Na-DMV32. Weapon Systems from other sources can also be installed, although they might need to be programmed to work with the Corona's targeting systems.
Export models include a downgraded version of the combat AI and communications array. Does not include NAM Noisemaker Device