|Type||VTOL Transport / Gunship|
|Seats|| All variants:
Armed: 4 seats:
Infantry transport: 36 seats:
Vehicle transport: 4 seats:
|Item capacity|| Max: 12000 kg
|Top speed||~ 538 km/h|
|Service ceiling||~ 8,350 m|
|Fuel capacity||1000 L|
|Primary armament|| Armed only:
|Secondary armament|| Targeting:
|Variants||Armed, Vehicle Transport, Infantry Transport|
- Vehicle transport
- Troop transport
- Close air support
|«|| The V-44X Blackfish’s third-generation tilt-rotor VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) technology allows this long endurance aircraft to conveniently utilize a wide range of airfields and runways. It also provides unparalleled maneuverability with its unique ability to perform pylon turns or merely hover in place. The huge internal storage allows for transportation of vehicles up to the size and weight of AMV-7 Marshall APC in the vehicle transport variant or up to 32 fully armed soldiers with supplies in the infantry transport variant. The storage space of the gunship variant is fully occupied by automated weapon stations and carried ammunition.|
The Blackfish is a multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft that uses one three-bladed proprotor, turboprop engines fitted on the end of each wing. It has both VTOL and STOL capabilities; for take off and landing, it can operate as a helicopter with the nacelles orientated vertical and rotors horizontal.
It is is available in three variants; a dedicated gunship version that has multiple weapons mounted on it, and two transport variants that are designed to carry either infantry or vehicles (respectively). All variants possess a nose-mounted targeting pod with an integrated laser designator that can be used to mark targets for friendly forces.
Unlike its CSAT counterpart, it has a significantly greater cargo capacity and can transport twice as many troops or vehicles.
However, the Blackfish consequently has poorer manoeuvrability and is slower due to both the size of the fuselage and its wings being longer. This also means that it is restricted from landing in areas that lack enough clearance (i.e. building rooftops, small forest clearings, etc.) lest the rotors be damaged from contact with structures or nature. It also cannot defend itself while transporting either vehicles or infantry, as only the dedicated gunship variant of the Blackfish retains armament.
- V-44X Blackfish (Armed): Armed variant of the Blackfish. Has two gunners who remotely operate its weapon systems through control panels in front of their seats. All three gun turrets are physically located on the left side of the aircraft, allowing both gunners to fire on targets simultaneously. The right door gunner operates the 40mm cannon while the left door gunner operates the 20mm minigun and the 105mm howitzer.
- The right door gunner with the 40mm cannon has access to 160 rounds of armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS-T) and 240 general purpose rounds (GPR-T). The 40mm cannon fires at a rate of 3 rounds per second, potentially expending its entire ammo supply within 2 minutes and 13 seconds.
- In contrast, the left door gunner's minigun comes with 4,000 rounds of high explosive (HE) ammo, which it fires at 16.7 rounds per second, precisely fast enough to expend its entire ammo supply within four minutes of sustained firing. The left door gunner's howitzer comes with 100 rounds of high-explosive anti-tank multipurpose ammo (HEAT-MP) ammo and fires at a rate of up to one round every five seconds.
- V-44X Blackfish (Infantry Transport): Unarmed variant. Its cargo space contains drop down seats fixed on both sides of the compartment. It is optimised to carry up to thirty two passengers but cannot airlift any vehicles.
- V-44X Blackfish (Vehicle Transport): Another unarmed variant. Unlike the infantry-only variant, this variant's cargo space lacks seating and is instead optimised to airlift ground vehicles instead.
The Blackfish always has at least a seating capacity of four regardless of the variant. This consists of both the pilot and co-pilot, and either two gunners in the case of the armed variant, or two flight engineers/crew chiefs for the transport variants.
Note that while the cockpit crew can swap seats with each other, they cannot switch to the back of the aircraft (and vice versa), and none of the cockpit crew are able to eject in flight. As such, the Blackfish is limited to deploying no more than thirty two paratroopers at a time.
All three variants have access to the same camouflage options:
- Olive: Pattern-less olive green paint scheme. Can be universally employed, but is more suited to tropical and and forested environments to help it blend in with ground clutter.
- Blue: Two-tone pattern-less scheme that combines medium blue and gunship grey paint colours. Designed to blend the aircraft in with the sky as opposed to hiding it from above.
The Blackfish has several sensors meant to enhance its survivability against both air and ground threats, while augmenting its role as an air-to-ground fire support platform in the case of the armed variant:
Active Radar Edit
It has an active radar range of 7 km against aerial targets and 4 km against ground targets. Azimuth coverage is limited to 240 degrees and an elevation of 110 degrees.
Target recognition locks in at a distance of 3 km out from a target.
Infrared Search and Track/Visual Sensor Edit
Both IRST and visual detection have a maximum range of 4 km against aerial targets and 3 km against ground targets. Likewise, azimuth coverage for both sensors is limited to an angle of 45 degrees and have a minimum operating range of 500 m. Target recognition locks in at a range of 2 km.
The sole difference between the two sensors is that their elevation coverage is different by 1 degree; IRST has a coverage of 35 degrees while visual coverage is at 36 degrees.
Radar Warning Receiver/Passive Radar Edit
The RWR has a 360 degree detection radius and a target recognition range of 12 km.
Laser Spot Tracker Edit
The acquisition cone has an azimuth of 360 degrees, but elevation coverage is limited to just 120 degrees. Otherwise, laser markers and infrared strobes can be tracked at a standard distance of 6 km.
Vehicle-in-Vehicle Transport Edit
The vehicle transport variant has room for internal vehicle storage and can transport:
- Quad bikes (4 max)
- Prowlers (armed/unarmed, 2 max)
- UGVs (armed/unarmed, 2 max)
- Hunters (unarmed only, 1 max + 1 quad bike)
- Civilian cars, vans, and trucks (Maximums: 2 cars, or 1 light truck/van + 1 quad bike, or 1 heavy (Zamak) truck)
- Offroads (all variants, 1 max + 1 quad bike)
- AMV-7 Marshalls (1 max)
- HEMTT trucks (1 max, and base truck only, not the repair/medical/fuel/ammo/transport variants)
- Zamak trucks (1 max, all variants)
- Striders (All variants, 1 max + 1 quad bike)
- Utility Drones (All variants, 7 max)
The Blackfish has a wider range of vehicles it can transport than the vehicle transport variant of the Y-32, and is able to carry two passengers in addition to its pilot and copilot. Vehicles can also be paradropped from the Blackfish at altitudes exceeding 100 meters. However, the vehicle transport Blackfish is unarmed and relies upon other vehicles to protect it in combat.
For comparison, the infantry transport Blackfish has room for 34 passengers in addition to the pilot and copilot. The 30 passengers in the back are able to parachute out of the vehicle while in flight. This variant is also unarmed.
Note that utility drones which are airdropped from a Blackfish will be lowered down on parachutes, rather than immediately flying.
- The Blackfish appears to be based on an enlarged version of the real-life Bell Boeing "V-22 Osprey" currently in use by both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force.
- The rotor propulsion system on the other hand, seems to be based on the "V-280 Valor". The Valor is another tiltrotor aircraft design intended to replace the venerable "UH-60 Black Hawk" as part of the U.S. Army/U.S. Navy Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. Like the V-22, it is also designed by Bell Helicopters (a subsidiary of Textron) but in partnership with Lockheed Martin instead.
- According to the CTRG Group 15 member Salvo in the Apex Protocol campaign, the Blackfish seemingly has a notorious reputation for being unsafe to ride in as he calls it a "deathtrap".