The Liberty Aerospace F70 Bluejay was an air superiority fighter of the Coalition military.
The increasing lethality of aerial warfare during the last half of the 27th century forced militaries to take a second look at their aircraft. The Coalition's Mallard fighter was quickly outclassed by the Conseil Type-13 "Nimbus" fighter, which was faster, more heavily armored and had a longer range. Projections calculated it could only win battles if it outnumbered its enemy and the Navy Air Corps detested the idea of relying on quantity over quality. However, Air Corps military planners were divided on the issue of how to tackle this issue. One side promoted faster, more maneuverable fighter craft that could close in on enemy aircraft, neutralize them and fly off into the wild blue yonder. Another looked to the Coalition Army's armor for inspiration and proposed heavily-shielded, heavily-armed fighter craft that can intercept any incoming projectiles and blow the enemy out of the skies from a distance. Infighting became rampant and after several scandals and the fund-draining development of two separate fighters, the Party stepped in and ordered a compromise. The F70 "Bluejay" was the child of that compromise. Liberty Aerospace was commissioned to both design and produce the fighter privately, to keep out the rivalry within the Air Corps. It was modestly armored and well-shielded but fast. It was also equipped with anti-gravity plating in the cockpit so pilots would not black out during dogfights. It can be launched horizontally from a runway or vertically from a launchpad. Unlike its predecessor, the Bluejay is equipped for vacuum travel and has a full life support system. One drawback to the Bluejay's design was its armament: to accommodate its advanced systems, it could not use weaponry that taxed its power supply. Instead, it was armed with a nose-mounted M7 aerial flak cannon, which can down enemy aircraft in a few passes but is extremely short-ranged. To cut down costs, the Bluejay cannot be equipped with missiles (although with increasing EMSEL interception in the skies, missiles themselves were quickly becoming useless). The Bluejay entered production in 2702 and was fairly popular among pilots, who considered the Bluejay a luxury when compared to the cramped Mallard. The Bluejay was popular enough to spawn a successor, the F74 Sparrow. However, the rivalry between the two schools of thought within the Navy Air Corps continued and the continued development of each faction's sacred cow designs went through.