UDK/s: UnterstützungsDussenjäger-Karakal/Sondereinsatzkräfte, or Supporting Jetfighter-Caracal/Special-Forces; a German Bundeswehr special-forces version of the Eurodefence ED-110 Caracal Airborne Weapons Platform (AWP).
About this creation
The Eurodefence ED-110 Caracal is a joint venture, initiated in 2022, between many of the European members, most notably Germany, France, Great Britain, and Spain, but also including Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Slovakia, Greece, Sweden, Canada, and Australia, of the North Atlantic Preemtive Military (NAPM) -- the expeditionary wing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which resembles an offensive standing army more than a defensive coalition force -- to produce a comprehensive and flexible Airborne Weapons Platform (AWP) that can be adapted to meet each member nation's specific requirements and provide the region with a formidable expeditionary tool. As such, each variant of the craft is given its own codename specific to its country of usage: UDK multi-role variant in Germany, CAG anti-air/escort variant in France, Pegasus naval variant in Great Britain, etc.
The Caracal is a versatile, single-seat, all-electric, jet-powered, ground-support Airborne Weapons Platform (AWP) -- the next generation aircraft to attack helicopters -- with few equals in the world of 2038. But what truly sets the Caracal apart from other aircraft of its class, though, is its fuel source. Whereas other military aircraft run on either fossil fuels (which at this time are quite scarce and thus very expensive) or hydrogen fuel cells -- or illegally on compact plutonium reactors -- the Caracal runs off of a revolutionary thorium reactor (whose manufacturer is unknown) that is legal, incredibly compact (the size of a suitcase), reliable, safe, derives fuel from a more abundant source than that of uranium, and that gives the aircraft indefinite range. This factor is incomprehensibly advantageous to a military force that exerts its influence across the globe.
As designed for the German Bundeswehr, the UDK is equipped with a varying and well-balanced plethora of weapons designed to meet any challenge it may confront on the international battlefields of the 21st century. What sets the UDK/s apart from its main-stream brother is its use of a recoilless 40mm autocannon in the roll of sniper, and a 12.9mm minigun rather than the standard 20mm cannon for saturation fire; the superiority of its electronics, including an electronic-warfare suite; its more specialized armaments for long-ranged armor deterrence via missile deployment; and its obvious black coat meant to conceal it during night operations.
As befitting of the requirements of 21st century warfare, the UDK/s, as well as the standard UDK, specializes in "stalking" its prey, keeping at a distance and attacking vulnerable flanks as though it were a fast-moving land vehicle, and is renowned for its aptitude at eliminating mobile anti-air units due to its electronic-warfare suite. In theory, the UDK/s fills the official role of providing anti-armor ground-support for airborne special-forces (though its anti-personnel capabilities should not be underestimated), and it can also work in a wolf pack with other ED-110 gunships fulfilling the role of marksman and/or spotter. But in practice, it has taken on the role that was assumed by prior generations of helicopter gunships of personnel assassin, eliminating pre-designated soft-targets from beyond visual and audible range, using primarily its cannon arsenal for open-air targets, and so-called "Luftunten," or Air-Down missiles for those inside buildings. As direct-conflict warfare between major military powers becomes more and more a thing of the past, the UDK/s has been enlisted in a few theaters into the ad-hoc role of constabulary adjunct, helping to enforce martial law in certain corners of the globe in a very clandestine fashion. Very few of these craft have been built, and those that are in existence are used very prudently by the German Bundeswehr.
The UDK/s has seen action during peacekeeping missions in Central Africa after the collapse of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2026, battling the African-Muslim arm of the al-Fatwah international terrorist organization housed there illegaly; during the preemptive strike on Ukraine subsequently following profound and incontrovertable allegations of ethnic genocide against native Ukrainians by Russian nationals in 2029; and during the invasion of North Korea in 2030 to usurp the rogue, nuclear-armed, autocratic regime, and end almost a half century of tyrannical rule and flagrant WMD proliferation.
The UDK/s is widely regarded as one of the most instrumental additions to the NAPM fighting force, despite its deficiency in numbers, and is considered by many as the crown jewel of German aeronautical engineering.
Eurodefence Air (airframe), Rolls Royce (engines)
1 Triton Thorium Reactor (manufacturer and specification number classified)
2 Rolls-Royce Zeus TE130A electric turbofans w/~ 22,000 pounds of thrust each (wing-mounted)
1 Rolls-Royce Zeus TE130B electric turbofans w/~ 54,000 pounds of thrust (central)
Maximum airspeed: mach 1.24
Maximum range: indefinite
Reactor Lifespan: ~2 years
Length: 42’ 6”
Wingspan w/engines: 26’ 1”
Height: 14’ 4”
Mass (empty): 4,837 kg
Mass (loaded): 5,936 kg
Maximum take-off weight: 65,000 kg
1 nose-mounted General Electric GAU-62/g 12.9mm anti-personnel mini-gun on rotating sponson
1 Rheinmetall RMK40 40mm recoilless autocannon, using HE, AP, or PAB (proximity air-burst) munitions interchangebly on articulating mount
2 British “Aardvark” medium-ranged AA missiles
8 PAD-56 “Luftunten” (Air-Down) air-surface missiles.
front profile. note the five weapons: air-down missiles on outside hardpoints, 40mm autocannon on inside-left, anti-air missiles on inside-right, and 12.9mm minigun on nose.
side profile. note the slight downward bowing of the craft towards the front and rear.
top profile (i didnt know i had hitchiker's thumb!). a reversed double-delta wing is employed, which grants the aircraft a steeper front-wing taper, creating the most drag and thus the most lift at low velocities, while also allowing for the greatest amount of surface-area atop the wing. the wing has no ailerons: roll is provided by counter-dispersing thrust from the engines in-flight, as explained later.
nose shot without weapons.
upper view of tail. this is the normal angle of attack for the craft at low velocities.
the pilot sits behind probably the most advanced targeting system on earth (which well suits the name caracal). behind him is the forward-extended/skyward facing radar system, countermeasures system (such as missile detection and laser warning, as well as a radar detection system for spotting ground-based radar establishments, such as anti-air SPAA's), electronic-countermeasures systems, and a powerful yet small-scale electronic-warfare suite capable of jamming unfriendly targeting systems within a limited radius, making the UDK/s utterly invulnerable against surface-to-air missiles; above him is the laser target-painting and aquisition system, able to acquire and locate targets for nearby friendlies; below him in the nose is the composite tv camera with optical, night-vision, infra-red, and telescoping capabilities, and just behind that is the navigation suite. the pilot himself is equipped with a helmet-mounted display.
inside cockpit. a slightly fuzzy picture of the targeting edifice and pilot's console. though the cockpit in and of itself is quite small, the pilot still has plenty of head-room and a very good view.
left air intake. leads to the central lift-jet which can divert its thrust directly through 10 ports on the craft's belly and tail, and directly into the wing-mounted engines.
thrust vectors. the two grills running down the middle of the craft are the main thrust ports, providing about half of the airplane's downward thrust during hover mode, while the four sets of two studs each are the four articulating directional thrusters which help stablize the craft while in hover and low-velocity flight.
tail vectors. here thrust from the central lift-jet can be diverted horizontally via ports on the sides just forward of the tail-fins to control yaw, or vertically via the ports on the top and bottom of the very back of the tail to control pitch. the pitch of the grills concluding the exhaust ports can be altered as well; those on the side can aid in roll, while those in the rear can be used to help slow down and accelerate the aircraft.
side profile of the Rolls-Royce TE130A Zeus electric turbofan, left engine. both wing-mounted engines can rotate a full 360-degrees in 6 seconds, and a transition from hover to forward flight can be made in as little as 2 seconds. all three engines are equipped with a sound-dampening system that reduces the sound emitted to be noticable only as a high-pitched hiss at 50m, and all but silent at 100m, thus making the aircraft very hard to pick up on audio-detectors, let alone be heard by ground forces. note the duct close to the front of the engine: this directs air passing through the intake out the side of the engine, and can be used in conjunction with the horizontal thrust port on the tail and the articulating thrusters on the belly to push the aircraft sideways rather quickly.
exhaust port. both wing-mounted engines are fitted with a thrust-dispersion nozel that can "dump" thrust out the sides parallel to the direction of the aircraft, altering the amount and direction of applied downward force much in the same way that a helicopter changes the pitch on its rotating blades in order to gain lift and alter pitch and roll. the system is utilized primarily in hover flight and for vertical takeoff, but as mentioned before can be used to perform roll while in forward flight.
although the wing-mounted engines are quite powerful, they are not the dominant thrust-providers on the aircraft. during hover-flight, it is the central engine tha keeps the aircraft afloat; the side engines are mostly for control and stability. and during forward flight, air from the central engine is dumped directly into the outer jets, and passed through as extra thrust.
engine in position for takeoff. note the aerospike effect of the tip of the nozel. all three engines give off only warm air; the only heat generated is that of the friction of the moving parts and the destruction of the air in the electromagnetically-induced compression process.
front view of engine. the two rods you see help guide airflow. the air entering the engine is hyper-accelerated by a series of electromagnetically-inducing grills within the intake (think sharper-image air purefier times a billion). this, along with the very high rotational speed of the fan, helps to create the low-pressure, high-velocity system within the engine, keeping it small, and thus harder to hit, while still creating adequate thrust in conjunction with the other two engines. in short, it's very powerful for its size, more powerful probably than it should be.
engine profile to pilot. as you can see, the engine apparatus is twice as long as a man, but the jet itself is only about eight feet long. the small size and diameter of the engine--and thus less torque incurred--, combined with the base responsiveness of an electric jet, the light wieght of the airframe, the versatility of the central lift-jet, and the special thrust nozel employed, makes the ED-110 out to be an extremely agile and nimble aircraft at low velocities, comparable only to a hummingbird.
here is a realy cool shot of the craft from the side (the lighting effect i learned from a friend who is a photographer). the details of the engine and landing-gear can be made out quite explicitely.
lastly, a shot of the UDK/s taking off just before nightfall, heading out on a sortie.
ending notes: thank you for looking at my creation. this has been a labor of diligence for more than a year now, and has gone through probably hundreds of sessions of trial and error to get to that which you see here. the idea of the drooping head, though not original (which pretty much means im on the level), is something i have been tinkering with since i was 11, seeing itself into 3 creations i have previously built, and i feel i have finally achieved my goal of seemlessly fusing the cockpit to the fuselage. as you can see, i believe that weapons should be componential, and not a part of the craft. look at every military combat aircraft, from jetfighters to helicopters to interceptors, today and since ww2 and you will find that with the exception of the main cannon all weapons are stored on detachable hardpoints so that weapon configurations can be altered to the circumstances, not that they are unique to the design. this is especialy true for aircraft that are to be the next generation to attack helicopters. all in all, truly this is my masterpiece of aviationary engineering. please feel free to leave a comment, and dont be afraid to say you like it.
Amazing work !
Like the last guy said, reminiscent of the terminator one - just this looks meaner, what with the stealthy-looking colour scheme etc !
Feel free to join my Black Sun Empire group - though it's only for a limited style of creation, this would fit in great !