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The CA-55 "Heli" Modular VTOL Craft is the standard VTOL of the Orb Royal Defense Forces as well as being in general use in some way by both the Okinawan Defense Force and the Confederacy Self Defence Force in small numbers. It is produced by Morgenroete Heavy Industries in large numbers and has since become quite popular.

Appearance[]

The CA-55 "Heli" VTOL is a compact design that looks quite similar to other VTOL units in both the Holy Empire of Britannia and the Chinese Federation but in a more compact like design. It is painted in the now standard Orb Royal Defense Force colors of a light gray and white while other nations that use it sport their own paint jobs.

Design and Historical Overview[]

When the Orb Royal Defense Forces requested a Combat VTOL to support their new Knightmare Frames and Airships Morgenroete Heavy Industries would reply to this request with the new CA-55 "Heli" Modular VTOL Craft. At its core, the Heli is quite different from any other Combat or Support VTOL ever developed before in that it is quite modular. The Heli is made up of three to four different modules along with different attached weapons or equipment. This allows the variety of different variant types for whatever mission it is required.

While its modular nature didn't really allow a single VTOL to be changed to different variants in the field it still allows an almost absurd low production cost and time to produce. Not to mention, how easy these VTOLs are to be repaired. Just swap out the damaged module with a brand-new module and the damaged VTOL is ready to be used once more. This rugged nature and ease of production does see the Heli in becoming quite popular among not only the Orb Royal Defense Force but other minor neutral powers. A few of which have even entirely replaced their aging fleets of fighters or VTOLs with these new modular VTOL Craft. While a couple others would continue to use older VTOL units but would support these VTOL units with Heli VTOLs.

However, like many military combat units the "Heli" sports a few weaknesses in its design. The major one being the VTOL Fans being exposed to enemy fire which is quite common of many VTOLs but these fans are a bit large therefore easy to target by an enemy. That said, "Heli" pilots are trained to be constantly on the move to prevent easy targeting of the fans. Another weakness is mainly due to weight which a couple variants actually suffer from like the "Heli-A" Gunship which can encumbered by its weapon pods and be slowed down. This can be countered easily by simply jettisoning the pods but removes the majority of its better weapons.

All in all, the Heli VTOL would be one of the more useful VTOL Craft anywhere on the face of the planet mainly thanks to this modular nature as well as the sheer number of variants that can be produced.

Variants[]

CA-55/A "Heli-A" VTOL Gunship[]

The iconic primary variant of the entire series is the "Heli-A" VTOL Gunship and is equipped with a pair of nose-mounted WMG-10A 20mm Machine Guns along with four modular hardpoints on its side winglets that allow the mounting of a variety of different weapon pods. This includes basic Six-Tube Rocket Pods for anti-infantry or anti-armor duties, Three-Tube Anti-Knightmare Missile Pods to fight against enemy Knightmares, Bomb Pods that drop small bomblets onto an enemy, or even Three-Tube Radiant Missile Pods for further Anti-Knightmare Combat. This makes the "Heli-A" quite a powerful small gunship. It also comes equipped with a W/E-E1T Targeting Camera and Radar System right underneath the nose of the VTOL. These units are not only deployed from airfields on Orb Island and its surrounding auxiliary islands but from forward deployed Guardian Class Sea Frigates and Broadsword Class Aerial Cruisers.

CA-55/T "Heli-T" Transport VTOL Craft[]

Another of the primary variants is the "Heli-T" Transport VTOL which adds an extra module in between the cockpit module and the back module. This module adds a small passenger compartment behind that of cockpit which can carry up to five passengers. The WMG-10A 20mm Machine Guns can be mounted on the nose of the Transport VTOL if required. This variant is the one of the main aerial lightweight person movers across the the Kingdom replacing the aging WZ-17 Utility VTOLs left behind by the Chinese Federation on Orb Island. It is also assigned to the small Guardian Class Sea Frigates for personal transfer between other ships and the islands.

CA-55/S "Heli-S" Anti-Submarine VTOL Craft[]

For anti-submarine combat the CA-55/S "Heli-S" VTOL would be introduced and would sport an extra module behind the cockpit that sports a drop bay for deployable sonar buoys while a new expanded cockpit module has been added which adds a position for a third crewman back-to-back with the craft's gunner. To combat enemy submarines, or amphibious Knightmare Frames, the "Heli-S" sports a set of three torpedoes on each of the bottom pylons which then can be dropped onto an enemy sonar contact. The "Heli-S" also sports a dipping sonar mounted bellow the craft's nose which is equipped with a far more powerful sonar then the buoys which can be used to verify a enemy sonar contact before dropping a torpedo. These VTOLs are most often deployed onboard Guardian Class Sea Frigates though some can be deployed from one of the Royal Defense Force air bases if required.

CA-55/P "Heli-P" Patrol VTOL Craft[]

A lighter alternative to the regular "Heli-A" VTOL Gunship which possesses extended fuel tanks and a more powerful radar system along with a powerful long range camera system. It is equipped with only the nose machine guns and doesn't even possess the modular pylons instead sacrificing them for extended fuel tanks. These craft are often seen patrolling along the coastline of the Orb Island and its auxiliary islands for anything that seems off. A modified version of this variant is a police-use who would swap out the machine guns for a pair of lighter camera systems on turret mounts.

CA-55/C "Heli-C" Civilian VTOL Craft[]

While the majority of the "Heli" Variants are for military purposes one variant had been set aside for regular civilian use. This variant possesses a small cockpit block for only a single pilot and a extra-large module behind the cockpit module which can either be used for light cargo carrying or even for carrying passengers around. Many of these units would even be used by hospitals across the Kingdom for medical evacuation. A minor sub-variant of the "Heli-C" VTOL is the "Heli-CN" News VTOL Craft which is equipped the same cockpit module of the military variants and a pair of turret-mounted cameras under the nose which are used by Orb's new Royal Broadcasting Service.

Armaments[]

WMG-10A 20mm Machine Gun

These are the primary weapons of many of the "Heli" VTOL Variants and are basically medium weight machine guns that can be mounted bellow the nose of the VTOL. It is not as powerful as Knightmare Assault Rifles, therefore, are rarely able to be used against enemy Knightmares but can be used for anti-infantry, anti-air or suppression.

Modular Weapon Pylons

The "Heli-A" VTOL Gunship possesses four modular pylons on the two side winglets of the craft with one on the bottom and one the top of each of these winglets. Each pylon can be mounted with a variety of different weapon pods including rocket, missile, and bomb pods. These pods give the "Heli-A" a large amount of firepower to call on when needed. However, these pods due weigh the VTOL done when fully loaded therefore these pods can be ejected by the pilot if it is required. The "Heli-S" Anti-Submarine VTOL possesses two pylons on the side winglets which can carry three torpedoes to be dropped onto an enemy sonar contact.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • Heavily based on the Heli VTOL Unit used by the Orb Union in both Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Though I did add the idea of it being highly modular and capable of being used for a variety of different missions thanks to this.
  • Funny enough, the Transport Heli Variant featured here is kind of canon in Gundam SEED Destiny since we see one of the main characters disembarking from a unit that resembles a regular Heli but has a side-mounted door which the character uses to exit the craft. Before, a few notable characters where seen in the backseat of the craft.
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