The European Union has long been the last holdout on the use of drones in combat. Other nations recognize the inherent flaws in drone use- especially after the tactics used by the Andali Confederation when they broke away from the EU- and stick with meat-body pilots. Remotely-operated drone feeds can be hijacked and control of the drone taken over, and limitations on artificial intelligence abstract thinking after the AI rebellion limits autonomic drones to relative stupidity. Both of these factors came into play as Andali netjackers sent the fleets of European drones back at their command carriers and outwitted both combat bots and AI tanks on the ground.
The EU, having learned a bloody lesson in the evolution of warfare technology, has put more emphasis on upgrading their naval, aerospace and ground forces with meat-body troops and pilots. The AF-30 Zephyr is the first of a new generation of war machines designed to upgrade their military paradigm. Due to centuries of primarily relying on drones, European military engineers have been playing catch-up with the rest of the Terran nations. Without the battlefield trial-and-error experience of other nations, none of whom are overly enthused to assist a potential adversary and thus reticent to share such experience, the Zephyr is a bit rough around the edges.
One of the primary problems with the Zephyr is the lack of non-missile forward firepower. Working off of the idea that most attacks would come from behind- not entirely true due to the omnidirectional nature of space warfare- the primary weapons are aft. After several training runs with the first series of Zephyrs exposed this flaw, a forward AP lancer was installed under the nose. Primary offensive capabilities are still missile-based, however
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