|Model-66 "Fukiya" Hovercraft|
|Faction||Empire of the Rising Sun|
|Production Building||Shipyard#Imperial Instant Docks/Instant Docks|
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Created by||Kakutasu Company/Kure Naval Arsenal|
|Key Features|| » "Daikyu" missile launchers (x4)|
» Lightweight nano-alloy frame
» Vector jet engines provide thrust
» Enclosed cockpit protects pilot
» Targeting A.I. handles combat
By the end of the Third World War, the mighty Imperial Navy was in shambles. Many ships had been lost during the war; Naginata cruisers, Yari mini-subs, Seawing submersibles. Even the mighty Shogun battleships had taken significant losses; over six battleships were lost during the Battle of the Bering Strait alone.
Given the losses, it was necessary to re-evaluate Imperial naval strategy. A.I.s were put to the task of analysing all the data from the Third World War, while Imperial officers discussed what had gone wrong and why. They soon arrived at several conclusions; one of them being that the Imperial Navy had been inadequately protected from air attacks. While many ships had died to the guns or torpedoes of other ships, all too many had fallen to foes they had no defence against.
During the war, the Imperial Navy had relied on its fighter aircraft and Seawing submersibles to fend off any attacks from the air. However, this had not been enough. Allied Sky Knight drones would attack Imperial ships without concern for their losses; in littoral operations, Apollos and MiGs would drive off fighter support, leaving ground attack aircraft to repeatedly bomb vessels until they sank. Fighter planes were only available during coastal operations or in the vicinity of a Takamori-class carrier or Floating Fortress; this meant that all too often the only protection the Imperial fleets would have against the heavens were the Seawings. While the submersibles could easily destroy any aircraft with their missiles, the time they took to surface and open fire proved a crippling factor.
To address, this deficiency, the Imperial Navy soon contracted several companies to begin constructing anti-aircraft vessels to replace the Seawing. While the new Ryusei-class cruisers were introduced as the final word in air defence, the considerably smaller and swifter Model 66 Fukiya Hovercraft was introduced as a light harassment craft and speedy anti-air platform.
Mounting a set of "Daikyu" missile launchers and held aloft by powerful vector jets, the Fukiya has the speed to chase aircraft and the firepower to bring them down. The extensive use of artificial intelligence in the craft means only a single pilot is needed. In battle, a targeting A.I. handles all combat; once the pilot has designated targets as hostile, the A.I. will automatically engage them with volleys of missiles without need for any further human input.
Capable of operating in deep water with support from Imperial logistical vessels, Fukiyas are often seen escorting naval convoys, their all purpose missiles making them suited to fending off most attackers. Though the new hovercraft has yet to prove itself in combat, it has performed well thus far in simulations and war exercises, and it is hoped that it will prove superior to the Seawing in performance.