Silver Wolf Industries had licensed a number of aerospace fighter designs and banked them for a time when the military interest of the Inner Sphere might turn back towards air and space power. With the Clan War clearly demonstrating the ancient adage of "No Planetfall, No Invasion", S.W.I.ís Board of Directors felt that the market would soon grow hot for new fightercraft designs.
Similar to the way its namesake would streak across the heavens to attack the Egyptian Sun God, the Apophis in intended for an interceptor role. Once intruders are detected in system, the Apophis flights would be dispatched to intercept the enemy fighters before they could attack vulnerable satellites or make strafing runs on ground based assets. With a very high maximum speed for something in its weight range, it is faster than almost all other medium weight fighters and can run down many light craft as well. In fact, only two fighters around its mass have a matching speed and both are old Star League designs. The 75 ton Hammerhead is better armored but the Apophis mounts almost 70% more firepower while the 50 ton Hellcat II is primarily a specialized sensor and electronic warfare fighter.
Once it closes to range, the Apophis mounts twin PPCs and ER Medium lasers to deal with its adversaries. The design team had initially considered using the new enhanced range PPCs that were expected to soon be available, but eventually decided that the craft should have enough speed to close on almost any target to bring it into range and that space borne dogfights rarely required firing within the minimum range of standard PPCs. This also helped keep the heat management simplified as objects in space face extra difficulties venting internal heat. As initial simulation testing showed the design to have difficulties in a tight knife fight against lighter opponents, the pair of ER lasers were added for additional close range punch so that when an Apophis pilot did get a good shot lined up maximum damage could be inflicted.
While capable of atmospheric operations, the Apophis is clearly designed for near orbital and deep space operations. The curved vertical stabilizer makes storing the craft easier in DropShip or space station bays but makes the APH-1SW sluggish to change direction in an atmosphere and a real handful to fly in poor weather conditions. With only rudimentary ground attack avionics, it makes a poor bomber even though it does mount a single bomb hardpoint. The elongated cockpit houses a second seat behind the pilotís for a sensors and electronics officer. Although the actual effectiveness of the rear electronics officer (or REO) is debated in many circles, the test pilots all appreciated having someone to talk to during eighteen plus hour missions under communications silence. The need for an extra pair of eyes to scan the horizon may have long since passed, but there does seem to be some value in reassuring pilots that they are not totally alone in the dark void of space.
|Heat Sinks:||15 DHS||5|
|Weapons and Ammo||Location||Heat||Mass|
|ER Medium Laser||Right Wing||5||1.0|
|ER Medium Laser||Left Wing||5||1.0|