Veyon Industries’ Hecate is the most advanced fighter yet deployed; only the CMIC Broadsword is a close competitor. Its supermaneuverability stems from an unorthodox airframe combined with first-rate avionics. While the Broadsword’s armament gives it the edge at longer ranges, the Hecate’s agility makes it deadly at close quarters.
- The Hecate’s airframe incorporates many proven stealth concepts, notably recurring angles and sharp leading and trailing edges. Further innovations include a lifting fuselage and rear-mounted forward-swept wings. These improve fast handling and generate less wingtip drag than their swept-back equivalents. The drawbacks of the forward-swept wing – greater instability and increased airframe stress – have been largely overcome through fly-by-wire control systems and improved materials. The Hecate nonetheless remains a relatively fragile fighter, relying on agility more than resilience for survival.
- The paired engines are widely spaced to further improve rates of turn through differential and/or vectored thrust. This feature is a two-edged sword; performance on one engine is worse, and in event of systems failure wholly manual control is almost impossible.
- The twin tails provide redundancy, and their coarse dihedral reduces radar signature. Their positioning also helps to mask the heat from the jet outlets.
- A high domed cockpit gives the pilot a commanding all-round view, and the polarised glass helps block out bright light at high altitudes. Additional sensors negate blind spots and further enhance the pilot’s awareness.
- The main missile armament is carried internally, though two underwing hardpoints provide room for further augmentation. These are positioned near the fuselage to minimise stress; the Hecate’s forward-swept wings are ill-suited to tip-mounted systems.
- The advanced flechette cannons employed on slower Veyon aircraft are not used on the Hecate due to the risk of engines ingesting sabots at high speeds. A bulkier but equally lethal 20mm chaingun combines high-volume, close-range fire with jam-free reliability.