the Night Raven

The Night Raven is a supersonic reconnaissance jet that Cobra uses while spying on its enemies - GI Joe in particular. Able to fly at over three times the speed of sound at an elevation of up to 86,000 feet, the Night Raven can often go unopposed while doing its job due to sheer elevation - though it can fight when necessary. The Night Raven has these vehicular characteristics:

Air to Air Missiles (i): thanks to an internally mounted rotary launcher, the Night Raven can fire off up to eight air to air missiles at a target - though only two may be fired on a given 'load' (after launching two it must retract and reload mechanically). They inflict intensity 11 damage to all within near missile range of when they strike, though this can be raised to 12 if both hit their target.

Body Armor (s): the Night Raven is not particularly durable, but it does provide its pilot and gunner some protection from attack; it is physically between them and exploding missiles and such, after all. While in the Night Raven, its crew receive the benefits of intensity 8, or +2, protection from attack, whether or not someone aims for the pretty red windows on the cockpit.

Chain Guns (a): when missiles are unnecessary or impractical, the Night Raven also has the use of twin, 30mm chain guns that it can use to shred up enemy aircraft. These guns may be fired in tandem to inflict the gunner's Agility +7 damage to whatever is in front of the Night Raven, and have up to 900 rounds each - giving the pilot plenty of time to down the enemy before running out of ammo.

Communications Gear (i): the Night Raven can fly with significant range (3,250 miles round trip), and as such needs a radio system to match - should it need to pass orders and intelligence back and forth. Functioning at intensity 9, the Night Raven's comm system has a 500 mile range, curvature of the earth notwithstanding. This allows it to talk to a control tower just about anywhere within its flight radius.

'Double Toxin' Heat Seeking Twin Missile Pod (i): able to be mounted in a rear-pointing configuration, these two pods are each filled with two heat seeking missiles, which have a +2 to hit any heat source of intensity 5 or greater. They can inflict intensity 11 damage when launching only one missile, though this can be raised +1 for each missile fired (up to the maximum of four).

Dual Radome Units (w): the Night Raven has two radar units - one in the front for targeting and one in the rear for threat identification. Both function at intensity 8, allowing the pilot of the Night Raven to effectively spot enemies and target them before they know what hit them. Of course, using them will defeat the craft's built-in radar invisibility, so there's that.

Dual 'Viper' Turbojet Engines (a): these twin engines, the source of the Night Raven's impressive speed (when combined with its aerodynamic frame) allow it truly impressive flight capabilities. Able to fly at intensity 12, the Night Raven can achieve regular speeds of Mach 3.32 at an elevation of 86,000 feet, with short bursts of Mach 3.5 in emergencies.

Electronic Counter Measure Scrambler (i): this handy unit assists the Night Raven's dual radomes by actively scrambling electronic counter measures that act to disguise themselves to radar. This unit functions at intensity 8, giving the pilot an effective +2 to spot enemy aircraft who happen to be using stealth technology or similarly designed aircraft built to avoid radar detection.

Invisibility to Radar (i): though not truly unable to be spotted by radar, the Night Raven is built to minimize it's radio profile as much as is possible. Its very shape and color absorbs and deflects radar in odd directions, giving it intensity 8 invisibility to detection by enemy radar. Opponents may spot the Night Raven, but by the time they do so, it usually will be far too late for them to react.

Twin 20mm Cannons (a): mounted behind the cockpit, these twinned 20mm cannons are rear facing, able to strike any aircraft foolish enough to try and keep up with the Night Raven - assuming they can match its pace. They are fired in tandem to inflict the gunner's Agility +7 damage to whatever is lurking directly behind the aircraft - but cannot swivel from side to side (or even up and down).

Recon Craft:

The recon craft of the Night Raven is a top-mounted, secondary airplane that may detach during missions and engage in more direct offense - or simply serve as supplemental reconnaissance. Very small, it essentially consists of an airframe wrapped around an engine (which the pilot straddles while flying), and is not too durable. It possesses the following vehicular capabilities:

Body Armor (s): the Night Raven's recon craft is not particularly durable, but it does provide its pilot some protection from attack; it is physically between him or her and exploding missiles and such, after all. While in the recon craft, its pilot receives the benefits of intensity 4, or +1, protection from attack, whether or not someone aims for the pretty red windows on the cockpit.

Flight (a): as can its parent vehicle, the Night Raven's recon craft can also fly at speeds in excess of Mach 3, giving it a flight intensity of 12 as well. Though not as large, the thing is mostly engine when you get down to it; while flying the recon craft may be a harrowing experience to say the least, you can't argue with just how fast it'll get you somewhere.

Invisibility to Radar (i): similar to the Night Raven, its recon craft is built to minimize it's radio profile as much as is possible. Its very shape and color absorbs and deflects radar in odd directions, giving it intensity 6 invisibility to detection by enemy radar. Foes may spot the recon craft, but by the time they do so, it will usually be far too away for them to properly react.

Mk12 HOGS 20mm Cannons (a): the principal armament of the Night Raven recon craft, these wing-mounted, High Observation Gunship System cannons can be fired singly or in tandem to wreak havoc on enemy aircraft. They each inflict the pilot's Agility +6 damage when fired singly, though the pilot may fire both when necessary to inflict +7 to whatever is in front of him, instead.

1990 Variations

the Sky Raven

When GI Joe repurposed numerous Cobra aircraft they had captured over the years, the Night Raven was one of the first in line for the VIP treatment. Already virtually invisible to radar, the Sky Patrol's chromium-based stealth technology enhanced that quality to intensity 16. Though they lack the Night Raven's recon drones, GI Joe's Sky Ravens are nonetheless equally effective in the air.

Extra Goodies:

Night Raven Saga System 13 Text File Download

Cobra directories featuring a version of the Night Raven:

  1986  

GI Joe directories featuring a version of the Night Raven:

  1990  

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