The Mk1 RI-76 Gryphon is a quad-engine transatmospheric starfighter used by all branches of service of the Threshold Military. It is the primary multirole fighter and interceptor of many star-nations. The fighter is not ideally designed for atmospheric flight, but remains stable in it and through its considerable engine power and maneuvering thrusters can perform as a Combat Air Support aircraft in one instant hovering over a battlefield, then fight starships in orbit moments later.
Figure 1 – Standard Mk1 RI-76 Gryphon of the TNV Kongō– Full View
The Mk1 Gryphon sports an aerodynamic lift-generating airframe, generally triangular from both a vertical and horizontal view to maintain a strong physical structure. All of its weapons are forward-facing, though it relies heavily on the use of missiles, which are deployed from fixed weapon-pods on the sides of the structure. The atmospheric wings, which can be removed, are fixed to these pods to give it inherit stability in atmospheric flight in the event of equipment failure, should the craft need to perform a powerless-glide to safety.
Figure 2 – Standard Mk1 RI-76 Gryphon with a weapons pod instead of atmospheric stabilizers- Full View
It has notably overpowered engine-pods. To compensate for its lack of turreted weaponry, the engines are able to pop outwards in an “X” configuration, allowing the Gryphon to maneuver efficiently through differential thrust alone, let alone vectored thrust. The engines themselves are capable of swiveling such that the fighter can hover on their power alone, though it typically relies on maneuvering thrusters located all over the craft for this task.
As a multirole combat spacecraft, the Gryphon and it’s many variants have a multitude of uses. The considerable sensory suite housed in the nose of the baseline fighter earned it a “Reconnaissance – Interceptor” designation, though Electronic Warfare fittings and variants do exist. The fighter was also rapidly adapted to dogfighting-settings, its four overpowered engines giving it brute-force hypermaneuverability. Its ability to hover easily over a landbased battlefield and it’s space combat/force-reentry-grade shield has earned it the noted use as a supplementary combat-air-support aircraft to protect ground forces, though it is normally used as a strike and air superiority fighter in atmospheric settings.
Some variants are used as light tactical bombers, carrying missiles externally in order to give smaller spaceships a heavily armed, yet small, escort.