Professional Military Solutions Corporation is an up-and-coming mercenary firm that focuses on providing naval asset support for independent system garrisons, ground-oriented mercenary companies, and to engage in high-threat counter-piracy and marauder eradication operations. As the core of the company’s asset profile is based around their ships, it made perfect sense for PMSC to invest the 1.2 billion credits to construct their own shipyards and armaments factories to produce vessels ranging from fighters to battlecruisers. This is one of those vessels.
One of the most common problems with fighters is their lack of offensive capabilities against larger vessels, especially privateer/marauder class vessels and warships. Specially-designed fighter-mounted ship-to-ship missiles (SSMs) are often attached to fighters and fighter-bombers to compensate for this, but the end result is of middling success at best more often than not. The designers at PMSC, in their quest to develop a deployable fighter-bomber that could be a significant threat to even a warship, decided to build a fighter from the ground-up based around excessively heavy weapons that could penetrate the tremendous shielding and armour of most hostile vessels.
While SSMs were definitely incorporated into the design, PMSC military engineers wanted to develop a fighter that could be a threat to warships up to frigate-class even after their payload had been expended. The answer- integrate naval weapon systems into the Reaper. Normally, even light naval weaponry requires more power than a normal fighter can generate due to limited space to house the larger antimatter reactor cores. However, cutting-edge (and pornographically expensive) developments managed to combine miniaturized antimatter reactor cores with supplementary power from thousands of cold fusion microreactors spread throughout the hull of the ship. These microreactors fill every single gap in the Reaper, making use of formerly wasted space in a fashion not unlike those seen in starships.
With the power problem largely solved- though still limiting the weapons’ rates of fire- the designers placed two spinal-mount light naval AP lancers in the hull on either side of the cockpit. While not expected to be ship-killers, these weapons are far more effective against shields, armour, shield generators, airlocks and weapon arrays and turrets than conventional fighter weaponry. This allows the Reaper to act as a force multiplier for the weapon systems of other, larger vessels, degrading shields and armour with strafing runs while simultaneously being nearly impossible to hit with the larger weapon systems of the enemy, and heavily armoured and shielded enough to withstand significant abuse by point defense weapons.
Recognizing the need for the Reaper to be able to defend itself against enemy interceptors, the engineers mounted four of the same AP lancers as her companion fighter, the ISF-20 Talon interceptor. While nowhere near as maneuverable as the Talon, these four weapons give the Talon significant additional offensive capacity against enemy fighters and small craft. Unlike the nimble Talon, however, the Reaper mounts two omnidirectional APPC turrets in the rear, one dorsal and one ventral between the SSM launchers. These give the Reaper the ability to defend itself from attacks from all sides, though with a limited forward arc of fire due to the cockpit.The Reaper wouldn’t be a fighter-bomber without some serious ordnance to throw at the enemy, however, and in that regard she shines. The Reaper mounts ten SSM launchers- four dorsal, six ventral- carrying a total payload of no less than sixteen SSMs (the ventral launchers are double-stacked dual launchers), more than any other fighter-bomber in Terran space. Only the Ungala bomber built by the missile-happy Kereshi surpasses the Reaper for SSM payload. The Reaper carries a small payload of ten SSMs for defense against fighters, but mounts hardpoints for four naval LRMs designed to knock out corvette-class vessels and marauders.
Unlike most fighters, the Reaper carries a two-person crew, a pilot and a bombardier. The former controls the fighter and all fixed-forward weapons that require the pilot to position them in line with the target. The bombardier is responsible for deploying the missile payload, and managing the turrets for defense as needed. He also doubles as an ENWO specialist, manning the ECM/ECCM systems of the Reaper (which are classified, but believed to include- signal and sensor jammers, displacement fields and even a customized short-range jump engine destabilizer) when not firing off missiles. Despite the cost, the Reaper is truly one deadly little vessel to contend with.