The SA-21 Dragon is an anachronism in the battlefields of the 28th century. In a universe where orbital bombardment, anti-gravity tanks (used by the major national players as well as some independents) are the normal tools of war, the Dragon fulfills a more "direct" role that specialized gunships played in the late twentieth century and from then the concept was not forgotten.
Designed after the first two years of the invasion of Mashara this provides immediate aerial support and interdiction of target areas. Whether commanders want it reduced to rubble or simple fire support the SA-21 can do it. The main asset the vehicle has are two pods that fold alongside the fuselage cross-wise which each hold a total 24 160mm rockets (12 per pod), and uses a wide variety of warheads. The two forward stub wings mount eight pylons and can mount a wide variety of ordnance. Mounted under the nose is a dual-role Vulcan system that can be used to swat down missiles or used as a direct fire weapon. Mounted at the rear are two 10mm caseless machineguns for limited support as the Dragon, while heavily armed, is slow but nimble and requires protection from the sides. It is crewed by a pilot and a gunner. And to handle the immense task of fire support a DJINN system is installed, to help with the task of providing support.
The internal bay is modular and can transport a command suite (which has five passengers) or an externally mounted 150mm railgun for anti-vehicle and other needs through a fuzing system allowing it to engage a wide variety of targets. A 10mm caseless machinegun is mounted coaxially for local defense and through the use of the AI, also independently targeted.
"Mashara Monster" was one of four Dragons deployed to Mashara as part of the 9th Aviation Company, or "Deathstalkers" and out of four two were equipped with the 150mm gun and two were used as command aircraft. It only saw limited service, either in large assaults (one was used on the assault on Al-Habir in late 2739 before the handover of the planet to the ESU) and is the one depicted during that engagement.
DRAWERS NOTE: Yes I used the Aliens Dropship as the main fuselage inspiration, elements from the C-21 Dragon from Avatar, and the nose area from the A129 Mangusta. I had to give it some kind of European look
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