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LAF-1 Shrieker

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A wing of Shriekers training above Port Arthur.

The LAF-1 Shrieker is a series of lightly armed and armored space superioty fighters designed and produced as part of Operation CARBONATE, one element of the rapid armament campaign by the Terran Navy during the Ascension War.  The final production model was designated the LAF-1B, after the initial LAF-1 and subsequent LAF-1A proved unworkable.

The LAF-1B has a single ion drive for propulsion, and is armed with two chemical lasers in fixed mountings.  The hull is shaped like a slightly oblong saucer, with the cockpit and weapons facing one side, and the engine on the reverse.

Shriekers were geared towards mass production.  They were cheap and simple to manufacture, requiring no magitech components, and are easy to operate relative to most Earth Fleet fighters.  However, the result is a compensating limitation of combat effectiveness.

Intended to be used in massive swarms, the LAF-1B had a relatively low survivability rate.  Pilots, recruited from convicts, were sealed into their cockpits by external latching mechanisms.  Shriekers are rigged with self-destruct "loyalty devices" which can be activated remotely by their commanders.  This led to the Shrieker's unofficial nickname as  "suicide saucers."

After the Terran Republic was conquered by the Holy Terran Empire, production of the LAF-1B was discontinued.  Most remaining Shriekers (a little over 300) were rounded up by Imperial Navy and sent to the Fifth Fleet containing the Bugs within the Arachnid Quarantine Zone.  Many others wound up in the hands of Imperial Houses ruling the planets of the former Terran Republic, or even in the hands of pirates like Aaron Roquefort.

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