The first X-COM craft engineered from Alien technology, the Firestorm is a direct replacement for the standard combat craft Interceptor.
With a crew of one, the Firestorm has been designed around the classic "Flying Saucer" concept, with a central propulsion unit identical to those found in UFOs.
This craft appears in UFO: Enemy Unknown. For the Terror from the Deep equivalent, refer to the Manta.
How to use it
As a fighter the Firestorm is much faster than the Interceptor, capable of travelling fast enough to keep up with almost any UFO. It also has much better armor and is not easily destroyed by enemy return fire. It therefore makes an excellent interceptor in the true sense of the word: launch, intercept, return to base. However, that's about all it can do: Due to its very low range it is incapable of shadowing the enemy and following them around half the world as you're used to from the Interceptor craft.
So you only should launch the Firestorm if you positively want to shoot down an alien craft.
Due to a design flaw, the Firestorm must immediately return to base upon depleting half of its fuel supply, regardless of the distance it was deployed to.
The Firestorm is fueled by Elerium-115, so before manufacturing this craft, make sure that you have sufficient stocks of Elerium in your general stores.
When airborne, the Firestorm consumes fuel at the rate of 1 fuel unit (1/5th unit of Elerium-115, 5% total fuel) every ten minutes, regardless of the speed of the craft. The Firestorm has a maximum (radial) range of only 7,000 nautical miles, while being airborne for a paltry 1h, 40m. Its maximum (distance) range is 14,000 nautical miles, while having a total fly time of only 3h, 20m. Patrolling has no effect on fuel consumption.
One Firestorm requires 4 units of Elerium for refueling. When refueling, the Firestorm receives 25% more fuel (i.e., 1 Elerium) every half hour, on the half hour. So it can take up to two hours to refuel, and will be finished fueling precisely on the turn of a half hour.
If Plasma Beams have been fired, it will take 3 hours to re-arm, regardless of how many PB shots were used. At the turn of the first hour after refueling (measured by hour on the clock, straight up), your left Plasma Beam goes to 100 ammo. At the turn of the second hour, the right one goes to 100. Turn of third hour: Craft drops out of REARMING status and is ready to fly. Even if your craft has not fired (ammo=100), it will still wait until the next hour (straight up) going through that last REARM phase after refueling.
Firestorms are repaired at the rate of 1 HP per hour(4.8% per day), and this is updated on an hourly basis. Service is done in this order: Repairs, refueling, rearming. If you transfer a Firestorm between bases, it will still need refuelling and rearming when it arrives even though 12+ hours have passed (if it needed them before it left). Presumably, your maintenance personnel are hesitant to inject explosives or a highly volatile, poorly-understood alien fuel into a damaged fighter.
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