A highly modified A-10 Thunderbolt, the Rattler was conceived of and built by Destro's MARS corporation. Serving as a dangerous air to air and air to ground combat vehicle for Cobra, it has served them well over the years. The Rattler has these capabilities:
AEA-56 Quick-Thrust Short-Range Missiles (i): these four missiles are primarily meant for air to air combat, but can be used on ground targets in a pinch. Designed to track and eliminate heat sources, these potent explosive devices detonate to inflict intensity 10 damage.
Armor Plating (s): the Rattler is built from an aluminum/carbon composite frame, has titanium plating around its engine covers, gunner's turret, an 'armored bathtub' cockpit, and has molded, shell-proof turrets, all of which contribute to its material strength of 13 (+3 armor).
Cobra-band Radio (i): Cobra gear uses a communication system of its own, not beholden to conventional broadcast standards. The Rattler in particular has comm gear with intensity 9 range (500 miles), and benefits from like signal encryption.
EO-118 Renegade Electro-Optical Missiles (i): these two missiles are suitable for tracking any radio emitting target, especially those using an active radar system. Functional as both air to air and air to surface missiles, these rockets inflict intensity 10 damage on impact.
Flight (a): the hallmark feature of the Rattler is its ability to soar above the opposition. Functioning at intensity 8, this function allows the Rattler to cruise at 450 miles per hour, with an ultimate combat radius of 300 miles (1.5 hours over target).
Infra-red Air Defense Jamming System (i): useful for deflecting heat-seeking missiles, this system consists of heat-emitting flares dropped behind the Rattler, to confuse warmth-tracking projectiles. This intensity 9 countermeasure makes heat seekers unreliable.
Kerry CDV-9B 'Jawbreaker' Nose Cannon (a): the Rattler's primary non-missile armament, this front-facing chin turret can inflict devastating damage. It can fire a short burst to inflict the gunner's Agility +7 damage, +8 in a high-volume stream of lead.
LORADS Constant-Scan Ion-Seeking Missile (i): these two missiles, armed with a LORADS (long range radar and display system), can easily track and destroy moving targets by means of a powerful radar lock, and inflict intensity 11 damage on impact with their target.
Levitation (a): the primary departure from the basic A-10 model Destro 'borrowed', Rattlers have the ability to take off and land vertically. This VTOL capacity consumes lots of fuel, but its intensity 8 levitation allows a lot of Rattlers to be launched from a very small space.
PL-MK48 Wave-Sensor Cluster Bombs (i): primarily an air to surface attack vessel, the Rattler is equipped with several bombs. Its six 750 lb cluster bombs are launched from two triple ejector racks carried on the Rattler, each of which inflict intensity 12 damage.
If more than one bomb is dropped on a single target, raise the damage inflicted by +1 for each additional explosive that hits. Furthermore, this fragmentary damage affects everybody within near missile distance of their detonation area equally if they are not under cover.
Radar-Guided Autopilot (i): the Rattler has a powerful, flight-enhancing mechanism that can automatically guide it around obstacles, which is great for nap-of-the-earth flying. This function works at intensity 8, and controls the Rattler at that intensity when active.
Twin 40mm Multiple-Fire Cannons (a): mounted in the Rattler's gun-booth, these twinned machine guns can be fired to lethal effect. They inflict their operator's Agility +5 damage when firing a short, controlled burst, or +6 damage when fired fully automatic.
Xenon Stun-Spot Search Lights (i): the Rattler is equipped with powerful, twin light emitters in order to spot hard to see targets when flying at night. Able to illuminate an area with intensity 10 light, the Rattler can mostly pinpoint targets directly ahead of it.
the Tiger Rat
When commissioning their Tiger Force unit, GI Joe made use of numerous old vehicles, both of their own manufacture and Cobra's, in order to equip them. GI Joe was able to source numerous captured Rattlers in the creation of their very own Tiger Rat aircraft.
Though manufactured by MARS, the Rattler is based upon the A-10 Thunderbolt II, an American ground attack aircraft. Thus, GI Joe repurposing them is kind of like bringing them home, after a fashion. Aside from their bright paint job, a Tiger Rat is identical to a Rattler.
the A-10 Thunderbolt II
Having already refitted numerous captured Cobra Rattlers for GI Joe use, modernizing them a decade later was a cinch. Rechristening them the A-10 Thunderbolt II, upon which Rattlers were ultimately based, the Joes' A-10s also feature this variant armament:
Rapid-Pulse Laser Cannon (a): replacing the Rattler's Jawbreaker, the Joes' A-10 features a front-facing, multi-barrel pulse laser emitter. This directed energy weapon inflicts the pilot's Agility +6 Armor Piercing energy damage when firing one pulse, raised +1 with a series of such.
Almost twenty years after first flying them into combat, Cobra refreshed the avionics of their Rattlers in 2002. While they have the same basic characteristics, one can tell these new Rattlers from their counterparts by their brilliant brass coloration.
Cobra directories featuring a version of the Rattler:
GI Joe directories featuring a version of the Rattler:
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