the Defiant Space Vehicle Launch Complex

One of the most expensive items in the GI Joe arsenal, the Defiant space complex represents the team's ability to make its way into space when necessary - usually because Cobra is up to some shenanigans or other in low earth orbit.

The Defiant complex actually consists of three distinct units: a crawler gantry to move the shuttle into launch position, a booster rocket that doubles as a limited space platform, and the space vehicle, an advanced model shuttle and fighter spacecraft.

Space Vehicle

The component most people think about when you mention the Defiant complex (since it's usually referred to as the Defiant all by itself), the space vehicle is an advanced model space shuttle. Built for combat when it is necessary, it has these capabilities:

Handling
RV 6
Velocity
RV 500
Durability
RV 30
Protection
RV 30

Air Lock: the Defiant space vehicle is equipped with an effective air lock mechanism, which allows its occupants to exit the vehicle without depressurizing the rest of the facility. It can be used to allow space walks or travel between the space vehicle and the space station.

Body Armor: the space vehicle of the Defiant is built tough. It is of an effective Material Value of 30, and it provides its occupants like Protection from injury and attack, which at least covers small-arms and lesser laser fire.

Communications Array: the Defiant space vehicle makes use of a powerful gigahertz frequency, frequency wobbler clandestine operations radio system. This makes for rank value 100 communications power (100,000 mile range) that has rank value 30 signal encryption.

Crane Arm: the space vehicle on the Defiant has the ability to pull items into itself or place them in orbit thanks to this powerful, hydraulic crane arm. It operates with rank value 40 Brawn, allowing it to move several tons at once when necessary (satellites are heavy).

Crane Cannon: of course, sometimes you might have hostile operatives trying to sabotage a satellite you're working on. That's why the space vehicle's arm has a twinned laser cannon mounted on it, which can fire to inflict rank value 20 Armor Piercing Energy damage per deadly blast.

Extra Vehicular Activity Systems: the Defiant space vehicle can support an operative outside the craft. This system can supply him or her the vehicle's life support to augment the air supply in their suit, thanks to a long 'umbilical' cord that keeps them close to the vehicle.

Flight: the Defiant's space vehicle is built for speed. It can operate at many times the speed of sound, being designed to operate in the air and the inky blackness of space. It can fly at rank value 500, though the thing handles like a brick - especially in an atmosphere.

Fuselage Cannons: these retractable cannons are mounted beneath the Defiant's three-man cockpit. They can each be fired to inflict rank value 30 Armor Piercing Energy damage per blast, raised a further +1 RS if both are brought to bear on a single target.

Life Support Systems: the Defiant space vehicle is equipped with enough food, water, and oxygen stores to allow its crew to subsist for up to a month if necessary, though most mission profiles don't have that kind of duration. This is rank value 30 environmental independence.

Radar System: the Defiant's space vehicle is equipped with a long-range threat indicator system, and is able to spot items ranging from enemy spacecraft to errant asteroids, doing so with rank value 100 ability, and a range of 100,000 miles.

Resistance to Cold and Pressure Variance: designed to operate in outer space, the Defiant space vehicle has to shield its occupants from the extreme cold and vacuum present present outside our atmosphere. It can resist these two hazardous forces at rank value 75.

Resistance to Fire and Heat: re-entry causes friction - lots of friction. The silica ceramic tiles lining the Defiant space vehicle are especially designed with this in mind, and allow the vehicle to withstand fire and heat of up to rank value 100 intensity before it is endangered.

Booster Station

The booster rocket of the Defiant space vehicle is actually another manned vehicle which, after depositing said space vehicle into orbit, can itself transform into a fully functional, if somewhat small, space station. It has these capabilities:

Handling
RV 4
Velocity
RV 500
Durability
RV 30
Protection
RV 30

Air Lock: the third story of the Defiant station is equipped with an air lock mechanism, which allows its occupants to exit the vehicle without depressurizing the rest of the facility. It can be used to allow space walks or travel between the station and the space vehicle.

Body Armor: the booster rocket of the Defiant is built tough. It is of an effective Material Value of 30, and it provides its occupants like Protection from injury and attack, though this is reduced by -1 RS when it is in space station mode.

Communications Array: the Defiant booster / station makes use of a powerful gigahertz frequency, frequency wobbler clandestine operations radio system. This makes for rank value 100 communications power (100,000 mile range), and rank value 30 signal encryption.

Furthermore, in its space station mode, the booster can serve as a communications satellite for GI Joe (when they can't already make use of other satellites for this purpose), which allows the team to communicate with field operatives from a base (and vice versa) with global range.

Flight: the Defiant's booster is built for speed. It can operate at many times the speed of sound, being designed to operate in the air and the inky blackness of space. It can fly at rank value 500, though the thing handles like a brick - especially in an atmosphere.

Forward Laser Cannons: the Defiant booster has two front-mounted laser cannons, one on each side of its cockpit. These weapons inflict rank value 20 Armor Piercing Energy damage each, raised by +1 RS if both are trained on a singular target (+2 RS if the rear lasers are, too!)

Laboratory: the first story of the Defiant booster's space station mode is a fully equipped computer laboratory, which allows onboard Joes to process data beamed up from ground stations, and to deliver advanced intelligence to field troops and a command center.

Life Support Systems: the Defiant space station is equipped with enough food, water and oxygen stores to allow its crew to subsist for up to a month if necessary, longer if it gets some sort of resupply from earth. This is rank value 30 environmental independence.

Missile Launchers: all four laser cannons on the Defiant space booster / station each have one missile attached, which can be fired singly or in tandem. For each doubling of missiles that hits a single target at once, add a +1 RS to the damage indicated here:

Handling
RV 20
Velocity
RV 500
Durability
RV 20
Damage
RV 30 Slashing (fragmentary)

Radar System: the Defiant's space station is equipped with a long-range threat indicator system, and is able to spot items ranging from enemy spacecraft to errant asteroids, doing so with rank value 75 ability, and a range of 10,000 miles.

Rear Laser Cannons: the Defiant booster has two rear-mounted laser cannons, each hidden in a secret compartment. These weapons can be fired to inflict rank value 20 Armor Piercing Energy damage each, raised by +1 RS if both are trained on a single target.

Resistance to Cold and Pressure Variance: designed to operate in outer space, the booster / space station has to shield its occupants from the extreme cold and vacuum present present outside our atmosphere. It can resist these two hazardous forces at rank value 75.

Resistance to Fire and Heat: re-entry causes friction - lots of friction. The silica ceramic tiles lining the Defiant booster are especially designed with this in mind, and allow the vehicle to withstand fire and heat of up to rank value 100 intensity before it is endangered.

Shape Change: the Defiant booster can, once it is in orbit, transform into a small, ready to use space platform. This transformation takes several minutes to complete, but it gives the GI Joe team several tactical advantages.

For one thing, it allows the craft to serve as a communications satellite (see above), as well as the ability to make use of the advanced laboratory on board. Of course, the vehicle loses its net heat resistance and ability to maneuver in this configuration.

Sleeping Quarters: the second story of the space station is equipped with personnel quarters. They have high tech, zero G sleeping modules, along with lockers to hold the Joes' weapons and personal effects securely while they are not in use.

Crawler Gantry

The least considered portion of the Defiant Space Complex, the crawler gantry is perhaps one of its most vital. This large ground vehicle is used to maneuver the space vehicle and booster / station into position for launch, and has these capabilities:

Handling
RV 6
Velocity
RV 2
Durability
RV 40
Protection
RV 6

Body Armor: the large doors on the gantry crawler serve to effectively protect the space vehicle and booster / station from attack. They offer those vehicles rank value 40 protection from attack, which serves as Protection for their occupants before launch, as well.

Communications Array: the Defiant gantry makes use of a powerful gigahertz frequency, frequency wobbler clandestine operations radio system. This makes for rank value 50 communications power (5,000 mile range), that has rank value 30 signal encryption.

Countdown Laser Cannons: mounted on the sides of the crawler gantry, each of these twinned laser cannons can rotate 180 degrees if necessary. They can fire their twin beams to inflict rank value 20 Armor Piercing Energy damage to their target with each blast.

Elevators: the crawler gantry is equipped with two elevators, one on each side, in order to raise the occupants of the space vehicle and booster / station into their rides. Each elevator can only move one Joe up at a time, but both can operate simultaneously.

Engine / Control Rooms: deep within the crawler gantry are its engine and control rooms, each of which can be manned by several Joes - and are useful in the event that the main drivers are distracted or attacked directly, or a mechanical problem arises.

Gantry Door Laser Cannons: each of the heavy gantry doors is equipped with additional laser cannons, which can hit whatever is in front of the crawler. These guns can fire their twin laser beams to inflict rank value 20 Armor Piercing Energy damage to their target with each blast.

Launch Control Center: this portion of the crawler gantry is heavily armored against enemy attack, thanks to its layered alum-silicate blast-proof windshields. The occupants of this room enjoy a +2 RS version of the Protection offered to the crawler's other occupants.

Launch Gantry: when the crawler is in position for launch, the gantry will elevate the space vehicle and booster / station into a launch position. It can then withstand the incredible forces applied by the takeoff of vehicles with their impressive size, weight, and thrust!

Machine Guns: the launch control center of the crawler gantry has two separate rotary-barreled machine gun emplacements mounted on top, each of which is controlled by one of the operators inside. They can fire to inflict rank value 30 Piercing damage per automatic blast.

Passenger Compartments: the crawler gantry of the Defiant can easily carry dozens of additional Joes with it, either for security or for assistance in operating the launch procedure. These compartments are spaced around the vehicle as a whole for such purposes.

Protector Laser Cannon: this turret is mounted on the front right corner of the crawler gantry. It can hit anything within a 270 degree arc of its emplacement, firing twinned laser beams that will cause rank value 30 Armor Piercing Energy damage per deadly blast.

Resistance to Fire and Heat: the Defiant's crawler gantry is equipped with multiple blast shields and deflectors to keep the exhaust from its launch vehicles from crisping the crew; these work to protect them from fire and heat at rank value 100.

Surge Laser Cannons: these manned, twinned laser cannons are mounted on the rear of the crawler gantry. Each station (there are two) can be fired to inflict dual pulses of laser fire which inflict rank value 30 Armor Piercing Energy damage per deadly blast.

1989 Variations

the Crusader

When it turned out that GI Joe was spending a whole lot of time in space to counter Cobra's nefarious low earth orbit activities, it was deemed necessary to commission a second space shuttle for the team. Soon enough, the Crusader was delivered to the Joes!

Making use of the Defiant's crawler gantry and booster rocket / space station to conserve materials and reduce costs, the Crusader has an added bonus: a special scout craft - the Avenger! The Crusader lost its hydraulic crane arm to gain this advantage, however.

the Scout Craft

This small, one-person space vehicle is stored in the cargo bay of the Crusader when not in use. It can be launched at a moment's notice, either to serve as an advanced scout (to save the Crusader fuel) or to instead perform fire support duties. It has these capabilities:

Handling
RV 10
Velocity
RV 50
Durability
RV 20
Protection
RV 10

Body Armor: the Avenger scout is built tough for something so small. It has an effective Material Strength of Excellent (20), and it provides its occupant rank value 10 Protection from injury and attack, which at least covers small-arms fire.

Communications Array: the Avenger scout makes use of a powerful gigahertz frequency, frequency wobbler clandestine operations radio system. This makes for rank value 100 communications power (100,000 mile range), with rank value 30 signal encryption.

Flight: the Avenger scout craft is built for speed. It can fly ten times as fast as the Crusader itself, moving at 34,090.91 MPH. It can fly about with rank value 50 speed on the space movement colum, though the thing is not designed to operate at all in an atmosphere.

Life Support Systems: the Avenger scout craft is equipped with enough food, water, and oxygen stores to allow its crew to subsist for up to two days if necessary; it's not designed for long term use in any capacity. This is rank value 2 environmental independence.

Mk12 HOGS 20mm Cannons: these wing-mounted, High Observation Gunship System cannons can be fired singly or in tandem. They inflict rank value 20 Piercing damage when fired singly, though the pilot may fire both when necessary to inflict +1 RS to whatever is in front of them.

Radar System: the Avenger scout craft is equipped with a long-range threat indicator system, and is able to spot items ranging from enemy spacecraft to errant asteroids, doing so with rank value 100 ability, and a range of 100,000 miles.

Resistance to Cold and Pressure Variance: designed to operate in outer space, the Avenger scout has to shield its occupant from the extreme cold and vacuum present present outside our atmosphere. It can resist these two hazardous forces at rank value 75.

Extra Goodies:

the Defiant Space Vehicle Launch Complex 4C System: Edition 13 Text File Download

GI Joe directories featuring a version of the Defiant Space Vehicle Launch Complex:

  1987 1989  

If you're not seeing this content within the technohol.com domain, it's been stolen by someone who doesn't respect others' work.