I think this was the first non-spaceship I sketched out for the deWulf universe. It’s inspirations are pretty clear, as the name attests. It’s dated far back enough that it’s hearkening to when the deWulf were a lot more of a “Germans in space” thing than they are now, and I confess the name is one that makes me feel a bit uneasy. I suspect the next time I have to write about ground combat, it’s name is going to get properly overhauled and retconned into something else. But for now it is what it is.
The Stuka was another airframe that had its origins in pre-spaceflight airframes. In this case however, the redesigned Stuka exchanged it’s usual fat lifting wings for a pair of forward-swept wings that were designed to improve its handling at lower airspeeds. Modern electronics and flight computers help counteract the layout’s inherent instability at higher speeds, and the ability to easily maneuver makes it capable of dodging hostile ground fire before lining up for its attack run. Unfortunately though, this same strength means that mistakes made a low altitude can rapidly get out of control, and it’s collected a series of nicknames over it’s operational lifetime. “The Pilot’s Plow”, “Tree Trimmer” and “Retirement Package” are the most common, and printable ones.
Like the Rassler, it underwent a series of engine upgrades over its lifetime from turbine to nuclear and finally fusion power plant. Its armament however didn’t see much change in the same timeframe, going only from a spinal laser mount to a heavier plasma cannon.