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The SFAX Universe Gigathread


The SFAX Universe is a military science fiction, space opera-like, creative writing project mostly based in Automation.

The plan is a series of challenges to “flesh out” the rest of the universe’s lore out. Ranging from challenges like the original US-based SFAX 2087, to future potential challenges that take place in other nations with different topics and exploring differing themes.

This thread is to serve as a hub of references for the Universe. Here I’ll be posting progress reports, information, and whatever else SFAX-related materials that one might want to read.

Most of the vehicles themselves are designed in Automation, with exceptions for larger vehicles like warships. But most things like aircraft, tanks, and other such vehicles are to be designed in Automation and later exported to a 3d modelling program to make cool animations out of to add to the writing or something.

The name for the universe is called “SFAX” because that was the original challenge that spurred all the nonsense I’ve created. The original challenge can be found here.

Currently, the project is headed by me (variationofvariables/Yuri) alone, although I will be taking on opinions from the general public and I will occasionally ask for help from people for vehicle designs, write-up ideas, etc.

Let’s hope I don’t abandon this one.


As the Cold War continued into the 21st Century and with the expansion into space, major leaps have been made in terms of military technology. New more efficient space engines and fuel types have allowed for breakthroughs in the militarisation of space.

No longer did humanity need to rely upon inefficient liquid fueled rocket engines and the subsequent rockets that were oh-so-desperately needed to traverse in space. As in 2007, engineers of the Socialist Federation first pioneered a “new” type of engine. Not exactly new, but building upon older Hall effect thrusters and boosting their efficiency and power significantly by incorporating nuclear technology into engines.

They were called Nuclear Ion Engines. Utilizing a new radioisotope that produced little radiation, yet was capable of giving off great energy in a very small space.

These new thrusters were capable of doing things never before thought possible, space maneuvers could be done more wastefully without the need of complex calculations, nor did they need major planning. Space travel soon became a very easy thing to do, and the Socialist Federation then became the first country to begin colonization of the Moon.

Of course, they came with drawbacks, notably how their radiation was lethal if ever a craft powered with such an engine went down. Or perhaps how they produced less thrust at less efficiency when not in a vacuum, but that changed with the introduction of Hybrid N-Ion engines, combining the thrust and efficiency of a jet at lower altitudes and the space efficiency and sheer power of Ion engines at higher altitudes and in vacuums.

The Unified States came close by with their own development of these new engines, too, as they utilized these new engines for interplanetary travel, sending the first men to Mars by the 2030s.
With the introduction of Nuclear Ion Engines and their Hybrid equivalents, Single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft were becoming no longer a pipe dream, and the price to get items to space significantly lowered, meaning more space missions were possible and were being performed every decade. Science had now reached a new frontier.

And of course, so did the military.

The first space warfare vehicles came about by the time the US had gotten to Mars and the Socialist Federation was expanding their space bases. It is still unclear which of the two countries were first to deploy a true space weapon, as the Socialist Federation had attempted in the 1980s and 1990s with their secret space stations. But it was said the Cold War’s space frontiers truly began when US President Doydlid Tyatsmir’s first “Space Force” law came into act in 2037.

Eventually entire military fleets were being launched into orbit by each country’s corresponding space forces, with different types of military spacecraft being made, from space battleships, to orbital cannons, and most importantly, space fighters with their own corresponding carriers.

With the advent of such powerful technologies, the Cold War was made even tenser. And with orbit being a bunch of jargon requiring lots of fancy spanky wanky space glitterdust nonsense, it was only natural that many close calls were being made. Risks were everywhere for large orbital fleets, with the first few space skirmishes between the Unified States and the Socialist Federation developing new tactics never before expected.

Thus, we have arrived at the present.


Korolev’s death brought a massive shock to the space industry. Questions arose as to who would continue his ambitious projects, and for a time, the West felt confident they could pull in the lead as Socialist leadership scrambled to their decisions.

Very quickly, they got to work and introduced the new director of the space programme.
Nikita Gruzinsky was among those who worked under Korolev, and was very much familiar with how he operated the programme.
And it was no wonder why they got back in business so quickly.

The Socialist Federation refused to sign the Space Weapons Treaty that prohibited arms bringing in space, and tensions briefly rose with the Unified States.

July Third marks a day that will be remembered forever. The day divergence truly happened.

Millions around the world watched as the red flag of the Federation was planted on the white regolith. Alexei Leonov, the first man on the moon was a communist. Brought to the lunar surface through the Socialist Federation’s N1 lunar rocket, the most powerful rocket on Earth.

No one expected it. And no wonder, the entire Socialist Lunar Programme was kept under wraps for the longest time. Rockets were built in utmost secrecy and not even the best satellites could capture the Socialists’ plans. It soon became apparent the Space Race wasn’t over yet.

While morale in the Socialist Federation was high, it was even higher in the West to beat them on other potential fronts.

The Unified States’ Apollo programme followed suit. The eleventh launch attempt after five failures finally brought the first Westerners to the moon. The banner stood proudly on the lunar regolith and was broadcast around the world as a show of “We’re still here, and we’re coming.” towards the Eastern Blok.

In other parts of the world, the revolution in Ishkarin and the subsequent invasion of its neighbouring Ivraakeh sends the Eastern Centre into chaos.
The Sino-Socialist Split happens during this time following de-Stalingization of the Socialist Federation.

The oil crisis takes the world by storm, and with prohibitively expensive oil means that more economic ways of doing things were becoming mainstream. The Unified States’ presence in Southern Sainang was weakening, and they pulled out of the Sainang War this year as they sought to lessen their usage of oil, now rising in price.

The Socialists and the West were now trying to cut their energy usage as much as possible to save funding, and this affected spaceflight as we know it. Lunar programmes were cut short, and development was halted as a result.

After years of attempts, the Angliran Kingdom ceased development of VTOL aircraft after too many cost-overruns, delays and the fact it was deemed “too costly” to continue funding of.

The preliminary designs for a potential Unified States “Space Shuttle” system are presented. Socialist spies pick up on it, and now they have their own plans too to introduce cheaper ways of getting into space. The cost cutting era had begun.

The first of the Space Shuttles have begun service. The Unified States launches the Constitution into space. The launch is successful.
The Socialists followed suit with Ptichka, the first Socialist Space Shuttle launching into space fully autonomously.

Over in Hangan, tensions rise between the North and South yet again as North Hangan accidentally shoots down an airliner from the South, but military intervention by the Unified States stops any kind of conflict from arising. As a result, the President of the Unified States had announced that the new Global Positioning System would be available for civilian use once it was completed, completely free of charge.

In fear of something similar to Hangan happening in their own backdoor, they decide to annex their Quebois neighbor up North before any kind of Socialist influence may arise. Little resistance is met to this.

The Socialist Federation launches the Svetilo military space station via a Space Shuttle, in disguise as a civilian station. The first known military installment in space.

Later that year in the Socialist Federation, new leader is put into place that rules over the country with a greater Iron Fist than any previous leaders have. Tensions rise over East and West Alleland.

In the Kurshian Gulf, war breaks out in the Eastern Centre. Civil wars arise out of nowhere and military efforts attempt to be directed towards there.

In the East, the People’s Dragon Republic is shown to have massacred innocent protestors seemingly out of nowhere following their peaceful demonstration. A similar thing happened a year prior in the Socialist Federation. None of this information ever made it out of either country.
The internet is released to the Western public this year.

Ion engines began to be experimented for space use by the Unified States.
A space shuttle of the Socialist Union breaks apart during re-entry following the delivery of a module to the Svetilo space station, which leads to the Unified States launching their own investigations about the safety of the Space Shuttle system.

The Sterllin Wall falls following constant military pressure from the Socialist Union, and West Alleland falls to the East and the Socialists’ power in the Eauran continent rises. Tensions start rising to a great extent.

A terrorist plan is executed by a Eastern Central faction called Al-Sawaraiaeh originating from Ivraakeh. The result is the bringing down of dozens of airplanes from either side of the Iron Curtain. Peace talks between the West and the East are now beginning in an attempt to curb the Central East’s messiness. They eventually agree to attempt to thaw the coldness between them and create a joint anti-terrorism coalition.

The new Millenium arrives, both countries have decided on new goals to hopefully bring tensions down. Including collaborations between the Unified States and Socialist Union’s space programmes, in building a new collaborative Unity Space Station.

A new radioisotope was discovered by scientists of the Socialist Federation, a derivative of Plutonium-238, this radioisotope has a fairly long half-life, yet supplies an impressive amount of heat energy with human acceptable levels of radiation with appropriate shielding. However, it was found to be incredibly contaminative to a lot of certain types of light metals and without appropriate shielding, it was found to be highly radioactive and very lethal.

Sabotage happens in the building of the Unity Space Station from either side, and tensions rise between the Unified States and the Socialist Union yet again as the thawing fails. It is revealed to the Unified States that the Socialist Union has secretly been building an arsenal of military space stations, and the Unity Space Station plan falls apart in mere months.

The joint coalition between the Socialist Federation and the Unified States falls apart, and leads to a short conflict in the Eastern Centre between Unified States and Socialist Federation forces.
The Moscau-Washington Hotline falls apart, and both countries decide on diplomatic isolation from one another.

The Unified States began its own military space station programme, with the launching of the first module in December of that year. Unlike the Socialist Federation, the launch and beginning of their program was not done in secrecy, in an attempt to intimidate the Eastern Blok.

The Angliran Kingdom attempts to launch their own coalition with the Republique Francois to curb the Eastern Central conflict. The Unified States agrees to supply appropriate funding to either country in an attempt to gain their favour and increase influence while they attempt to focus their efforts in the continued space race.

The Socialist Federation pioneers a new type of Ion engine, with an integrated radioisotope in the engine for a more compact and efficient design. The result is an Ion engine with a powerful energy source being able to give off great amounts of thrust with great efficiency. Due to its integration with a radioisotope-driven nuclear battery, it is given the unfortunately confusing name “Nuclear Ion Engine”.

The first flights of Nuclear Ion Engines are trialed on the Socialist Federation’s Space Shuttle Atom. It spends six months in orbit with little troubles, and plans are built up for entire nuclear space vessel fleets.

Social Media and internet popularity begins booming in the Western world with the introduction of more affordable internet-capable devices.

The Unified States is now through developing their own Nuclear Ion Engine. The first trials begin by June on their latest Shuttle Design. Technology begins rapidly advancing by this point as each side of the Iron Curtain attempts to one-up the other.

In other news, the Eastern Central, almost having been forgotten about in the midst of the conflicts between the Socialist Federation and Unified States, is now taken over by the radicalist Al-Sawaraiaeh faction following a bloody conflict with the attempted involvement of the Republique Francois and the Anglirian Kingdom.

The development of Hybrid Nuclear Ion engines begins in the Unified States and preliminary design studies for potential spacecraft are created. The Unified States Air Force takes a particular keen interest in newer military spaceplanes that could potentially emerge from the new program.

Nuclear warnings all over the Socialist Federation go off as multiple targets are identified to be headed towards the country. In response, the upper echelon of the Socialist Federation began to approve the launching of their own nuclear arsenal.

Fortunately, one woman in command of the Strategic Nuclear Arms Committee had a hunch that it was a radar glitch, and refused to turn the final key needed to launch all nuclear weapons.

It was indeed a radar glitch.

On social media app Teeter, the hashtag “#EndOfTheWorld” trended for multiple days and later crashed its servers from the sheer amount of people posting such things.

The Socialist Federation begins colonization of the Moon with the launch of the Zvezda Lunar Base, the first permanent human presence on the surface of another celestial body.

The Unified States’ begins its first Hybrid N-Ion Engine test, with their new single-stage-to-orbit demonstrator. It is successful and launches a dummy payload into Low-Earth-Orbit. It is destroyed on re-entry however.

The Socialist Federation begins testing of military space planes in orbit.

Mass space militarization by the Socialist Federation begins. Military SSTOs begin being launched by the dozens each month. Space bases are being expanded with new constructions occurring in space via materials being launched into orbit instead of whole constructs being launched from Earth.
The Unified States attempts to follow suit, but are too focused with their Mars missions.

The Unified States begins the first manned missions to Mars.
Eventually, three men landed on the Martian surface, men of the Unified States. Suddenly it seemed as if they were starting to get ahead in the space race.

Mars colonization begins, and the first Martian city is established.

Miramar is a town located in Martian territory of the Unified States. Initially, it was mainly government people living in the city, but it rapidly began being filled with citizens and business began thriving.

The Unified States notices the rapid industrialization and militarization of space by the Socialist Federation and launches the Space Force law which creates the new Unified States Space Force.

Rapid industrialization and militarization of space. The development of newer space weapons such as space warships, space fighters, and other such things happen during this time period.

The 2040s saw the first space fighters being fielded from military space stations and Lunar military bases, and the 2050s saw the first space warships and orbital space ports for such warships. Moore’s law takes over and nuclear spacecraft carriers, nuclear space destroyers and other such vehicles capable of orbital bombardment are utilized in very short timeframes.

Retirements of vessels introduced for only 8 years were common as development happened very quickly.

Military bases and larger cities on Mars and the Moon begin appearing, and orbital space construction via space yards are now a very common thing by the late 2050s.

The largest Martian city is Miramar, the first settlement on Mars. It features everything a regular Earth city has, from municipal halls, shopping centres, offices and the like. In the center of Miramar is Space Force Base Miramar, home of the Martian US Space Force Flight Tactics Instructor Programme.

The early 2060s also marked the beginning of an attempt at researching and developing VTOL vehicles by the Unified States, but the results of these tests were never publicized and the projects faded into obscurity.

In 2066, the Unity Space Station makes an uncontrolled reentry over Socialist Federation territory, and this angers them, putting the blame on the Unified States.

Colonization of the outer Solar System begins, the first manned flight to the outer planets happens in 2083.

Laser systems began usage in Space weaponry by the late 2070s, and now a multitude of space warfare vehicles have appeared or have been retrofitted to feature space laser capability.

In 2075, a civilian space liner of the Socialist Federation is shot down over Mars, with little to no debris ever recovered. The Unified States continued to insist it was a military operation by the Socialist Federation

The testing of the Unified States’ SFAX Programme begins.



Updated as of 9/25/88


Lightweight Multirole Strike Fighter

First flight: 2061
Introduction: 2065

General Characteristics
  • Crew: 2 (1 Pilot, 1 WSO)
  • Length: 53.4 ft (20.1 m)
  • Wingspan: 44.6 ft (14.9 m)
  • Empty weight: 41,382 lbs (18,771kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 53,484 lbs (24,260 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2x Generic Electro F9060-GE-500 Hybrid Nuclear Ion Engines, 15,000 lbf (66 kN) thrust each dry, 40,400 lbf (180 kN) with afterburner, 170-21,800 lbf (0.76-97 kN) in a vacuum.


  • Maximum atmospheric speed: 1,400 kn (1,600 mph, 2,600 kmh) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
  • Maximum atmospheric speed: Mach 2.1
  • Atmospheric range: 1,160 nmi (1,330 mi, 2,150 km)
  • Atmospheric combat range: 550 nmi (630 mi, 1,000 km) combat radius
  • Atmospheric ferry range: 1,500 nmi (1,720 mi, 2,800km)
  • Design load factor: 10.5 g


  • Guns: None
  • Hardpoints: 9 (3x under-wing 3x under fuselage)


Large Multirole Strike/Air Superiority Fighter

General Characteristics
  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 22.5m
  • Wingspan: 16.3m
  • Empty weight: [NO DATA]
  • Max takeoff weight: [NO DATA]
  • Powerplant: [NO DATA]


  • Maximum atmospheric speed: 4,300+ kn (5,000 mph, 8,000 kmh) at altitude (estimated)
  • Maximum atmospheric speed: Mach 6.5+ (est)
  • Atmospheric range: [NO DATA]
  • Atmospheric combat range: [NO DATA]
  • Atmospheric ferry range: [NO DATA]
  • Design load factor: 20+ g (est)


  • Guns: [NO DATA]
  • Hardpoints: 11 (7x internal, 4x external)


Extra Notes
(Also known as extra lore)

  • Hybrid Nuclear Ion Engine-powered fighters most commonly utilize either thrust vectoring or a reaction control system (RCS) to maneuver in space.

  • The fighters will still be flying through the atmosphere occasionally, and Hybrid Nuclear Ion Engines need air in the atmosphere in order to work, so intakes might be necessary.

  • As the fighters work in both space and in the atmosphere, they need a way to efficiently enter the atmosphere from orbit without burning up. Although it is possible to re-enter using mainly engine thrust to slow down, this is a practice not commonly used as fighters still utilize non-ablative atmospheric shielding during re-entry, usually in the form of a very fine ceramic coating on the edges and underside of the wings, as well as the underside of the fuselage.

  • The fighters still utilize landing gears with wheels as well as arrestor wires and cable hooks. However, instead of utilizing a glideslope in space, the fighters instead approach almost parallel to the carrier’s landing deck. In the atmosphere, they land like normal with a glideslope.

  • The radioisotope powering the systems of common N-Ion engines is an advanced and non-naturally generating derivative of Plutonium-238, with a slightly shorter half-life whilst producing less radiation but still a relatively large amount of heat. The fuel used is a blend of Helium and Argon (HARP) with a blend of JP-D, a type of heavily compacted jet fuel.




  • Strategic space bomber fleets of the Socialist Federation are usually comprised of at least five space bombers, and escort spacecraft usually ranging from a single fighter to a small wing of three.

  • MiG-325s and derivatives are observed to have no self-defense armament to save weight and increase bomb payload and range, thus needing escorts like the Su-71 and its derivatives. The MiG-325s do feature countermeasures however, and are often observed to act like Spaceborne Early Warning spacecraft as well.

  • The MiG-325 has recently been reported to have been carrying newer RDS-80 Family Thermoplasma orbital bombs, with a yield of approximately 15 megatons and a laser range of approximately 140km.

  • Sukhoi Su-71s, reporting name “Firefox”, is the latest in the Socialist Federation’s family of fourth-generation low-observable (Stealth) space fighters. The spacecraft was first observed over the skies of ██████, ███████ in December 207█. Latest intelligence reports suggest the spacecraft is of multirole capability, is highly maneuverable in-atmo, and is capable of large amounts of movement in space.

  • The Firefox carries its weapons in an internal weapons storage bay, though it has been seen with up to eight wing-mounted hardpoints capable of carrying either highly maneuverable AA-23 Anteater heat-seeking missiles, or the longer-ranged radar-guided AA-24 Alvin missile. It is said that these weapons are controllable by thought in combination with the Firefox’s avionics systems, the Agency of Intelligence is currently dispatching Agent ██████ ███████ to ██████ and ████████ a ██████ ██-██ ███ ████ ██ ████ ██ ████ from the ██████ ███████████ ████████. [DATA EXPUNGED]

  • The Firefox is assumed to be capable of Hypersonic flight in the atmosphere, with an estimated top speed of Mach 6 or lower. Though this is being debated, as studies have shown that sustained Mach 5 or higher flights could cause significant damage to the airframe and the engines.

  • In the atmosphere, the Firefox is observed to be supermaneuverable at speeds of up to Mach 2, and is capable of sustaining up to 15+Gs in a turn. On accounts of the Incident over ██████ ███, where a Dassault Faucon of the █████ ████ encountered two of the type, a █████ maneuver was performed at speeds exceeding Mach 1.

  • Carrier-capable variants of the Su-71, designated Firefox-C, have been spotted testing near the Sea of █████ near ██████ aboard the carriers Red October and Iyosef Staling. The Su-73 with reporting name “Firefox-C” is a carrier-capable variant of the Su-71. Said to have nearly the same specifications as a regular Su-71.