Hyperstar Incorporated HSB-124 Pegasus Heavy Bomber
Capable of astounding acceleration and agility, the highly popular Hyperstar Incorporated HSB-124 Pegasus Heavy Bomber can outfly most fighters. Conceived as a fast attack bomber, it utilises the cutting edge in Syndicate miniaturisation technology. Unlike many similarly sized assault shuttles, the Pegasus does not have any turreted weapons, and is armed with two forward light ultrabeam cannons. The Pegasus has a compact but powerful bridge module, with a suite of full-sized starship sensors. This both allows it to fire while making evasive manoeuvres and to identify targets with greater precision.
The Pegasus is comparatively fragile compared to most vessels in its own size class. It is unarmoured, and only has moderately powerful shields. It instead relies on its speed and manoeuvrability to avoid enemy fire, making a high speed dash to attack range. This has the unfortunate tendency of encouraging Pegasus crews to act recklessly, charging in like some latter day flying cavalry, sometimes to their detriment.
The Pegasus’ primary role is close aerospace support (both anti-starship and anti-surface operations). As its mane weapon in this mission, the Pegasus utilises the new Ingram-Faust Manufacturing RD-1 Astro-Accelerator Bomb. This is essentially a nuclear-powered, miniaturised astro-accelerator projector. The bomb can sustain a warp field for only a few seconds before burning out, but the damage that is inflicted in that time is still considerable. Because the RD-1 is more frequently used in atmospheric operations, where the light-scattering effect of an warp field is much more visible, it has earned the unofficial nickname of “Atomic Rainbomb” among it's crews.
The Pegasus is a sufficiently reliable platform that several variants are in production. The first, the HSB-124A replaces the Pegasus’ RD-1 AAB capability with more a conventional small arsenal of the SSA's starship-borne standard "dirty" nuclear warheads in both missile and torpedo form. The HSB-124W removes the warhead capability altogether, and adds additional facilities for the crew for extended operations. This variant is used for scouting and pathfinding missions ahead of the main fleet, particularly in dangerous areas like nebulae, which the Pegasus is particularly suited to navigating. These latter missions are often jokingly referred to as “weather patrol” by their crews.