Baolain Tactical Strike Bomber
Builders: Hunter Defence Systems
Place of Origin: Noronica
Cost Per Unit: $110 million
Empty: 25,000 kg
1/2 (Pilot, Co-pilot/WSO)
Radar & Sensors
2x After-Burning Turbojets
6x Internal Racks
Max. Payload Range
Baolain Tactical Strike Bomber
The B-82 Baolain is a tactical strike aircraft developed and built from the 1960s and 70s, but having seen a long and successful career in the Noronnican Air Force, it has been refitted and redesigned several times, prolonging its long existence. Primarily designed as a tactical bomber, the aircraft has also seen great success as a reconnaissance and interceptor aircraft.
The aircraft is named after the word for 'Buzzard' in the Nyssic language.
The HDS B-82 Baolain is a strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockspear Aerospace Company (later Hunter Defence Systems) for the Noronnican Air Force in the late 1970s. The B-82 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in the rear with nuclear or conventional weapons. Another intended combat role was to provide high-altitude, high-speed stand-off, side-looking, radar and photographic imagery and signals intelligence, reconnaissance. Some of the most advanced aviation technology of the period was incorporated in order to make it the highest-performing aircraft in the world in its projected missions.
The B-82 Eagle was designed as a light, tactical bomber, in order to align the Noronnican Air Force's capabilities with its enshrined doctrine of 'fast and hard' tactical strikes. Designed by Lockspear Aerospace Company and unveiled in 1966, the 'Buzzard' was the first aircraft to be officially completed by Lockspear Aerospace Company. Built to an extremely stiff specification, it was as fast as any fighter in the world at altitude and at low level promised to be nearly uncatchable.
Equipped with the latest terrain-scanning radar and infrared sensors, the 'Buzzard' was designed from the ground up to be not only a highly capable precision bomber, but equally capable of advanced reconnaissance techniques. Through its testing, the design of the aircraft proved it would be able to meet the requirements, showing itself capable of making unrefuelled supersonic strikes at targets up to 1200km away, before high-tailing it back to friendly lines - all without a single refuelling. Usually compared to the Aingeal for its similar strike features, the Buzzard is a highly capable reconnaissance aircraft and tactical bomber - ideal for air forces wishing to employ 'hit and run' style tactics. In the buildup to possible intervention in the Mesder Sea region, Buzzards were equipped with a fuselage mounted "buddy-fueling" system, allowing for the refuelling of up to three fighter aircraft.
The development of the B-82 was beset with committees that nearly saw the end of the project. The design of the airframe progressed without too many problems, but the advanced avionics was another matter entirely. Instead of minimising the number of companies involved, the Ministry of Procurement (now part of the Department for Defense) were more eager to hand contracts to various favoured companies, rather than building an efficient and reliable aircraft. Many companies were developing the automatic flight system, the terrain following and sideways looking radar, and the general aircraft avionics. By early 1960 it became apparent that the cost of developing these advanced systems by going to be much higher than previously estimated. It was at this point, after a series of public and humiliating scandals, that the government formally stepped and handed control over to Lockspear Aerospace Company to continue and complete the project.
Lockspear Aerospace Company, based at Weybridge would be responsible for the design and manufacture of the forward fuselage, cockpit and landing gear whilst their design department at Mòr Geal would be responsible for the wing, tailplane and engine cowlings. Although the use of multiple manufacturers was a precursor to the Falcon project and the modern day consortiums, the award of a joint contract would lead to problems and ultimately delayed the project.
Both designs proposed the inclusion of GrandTech Olympus jet engines. The GrandTech Olympus 22R-320 twin spool turbojet would be used to power the Buzzard, each of the two engines produced some 30,610lb of thrust. The construction of the GrandTech utilised aluminium alloys and titanium, for "hot" areas.
Advanced Version - B-82A
With its superb performance, state-of-the-art avionics and effective weapons load, the Buzzard proves itself to be one of the most promising warplanes ever developed in Noronica and is set to revolutionise the Noronnican Air Force. The Baolain-A is the most advanced and versatile variants of the aircraft, featuring all of the advanced avionics, weapons systems and counter-measures in one package, capable of striking at enemy targets hard and fast, before retreating rapidly to allied airspace.
Reconnaissance Version - B-82R
Whilst the operational requirement for the B-82 was drawn up - one of its the key requirements was for an aircraft that could fulfil a reconnaissance role. All-weather tactical reconnaissance by both day and night was defined as of equal importance to the tactical strike role. Using an array of terrain following radars and advanced sensor equipment, the B-82R is commonly used to analyse and survey terrain, gathering intelligence on troops and equipment movement.
Export Version - B-82E
Despite its outstanding abilities, it was clear that to Hunter Defence Systems that the price-tag of over $100 million per unit would be a deciding factor for many nations. In order help cater to their needs, the aircraft was modified to help reduce the cost, but not the combat capability. By removing the side-mounted radar system (reducing its reconnaissance capability), a simplified wheel carriage (not suitable for rough airstrips) and replacing some of the more advanced equipment in favour of 'off-the-shelf' technologies - HDS could reduce the unit cost to under $100 million, still making the Baolain a capable strike bomber.
The Lockspear Aerospace Baolain was, at the time, one of
the most advanced and high-spec aircraft of its age