Starships of Warfleet
United Colonial Overwatch
The Starsail is the standard cruiser of the Earth Expeditionary Force. Although not as heavily armed as warships appearing toward the end of the War of Independence, the Starsail is inexpensive to build, easy to maintain, and cheaper to operate than its heavier cousins. For this reason the EEF has kept many of its older Starsail cruisers in commission.
Any UCO cruiser group is bound to have one or two Abolisher cruisers. Leading up to the War of Independence and during the early years of the war the UCO used the Abolishers as special heavy cruisers dedicated to specific tasks that required heavy firepower. And indeed, the cruiser excels at this role. There are few other warships that can bring such firepower to bear. The Abolisher sports a tremendous amount of long range firepower in the form of twin heavy cannons and quad torpedo bays, all arranged to fire through the front arcs. The ship sacrifices some speed and maneuverability to keep the overall cost and mass acceptable. It also maintains the standard UCO cruiser turret armament as well as several laser clusters for close in work. Overall the Abolisher is a heavy and effective combat cruiser.
Based on the Nova-class cruiser, the Nebula variant was specifically designed by Lamborant as a tender for the experimental Wingblade Light Attack Craft. Most of the ship's weapons have been stripped to keep the overall mass acceptable. Additional storage bays have been added for LAC fuel and other logistical requirements. The Nebula can refuel, rearm, and perform minor maintenance to docked attack craft, but is incapable of repairing physical damage to the attack craft superstructure. To offset the lack of armament the Nebula has been equipped with an even more advanced electronic countermeasures suite than the Nova.
As typical a UCO destroyer as their ever was, the Tonken is a compact, general purpose escort destroyer. The starship excels at no particular role, but can be used to fill most mission profiles. Its mix of turret, laser, and Gauss cannon firepower means it can serve as a fleet escort, patrol ship, or stand on the secondary battlelines behind the cruisers to dish out heavy firepower. The destroyer's heavy concentration of forward firepower make it an ideal brawler, closing with the target and turning at close range to bring its laser weaponry to bear. Rounding out the destroyer's defenses are an adequate shield and ECM suite.
The Temeraire-class destroyer has been serving the UCO with distinction for three decades. It is the most common destroyer class employed by the UCO fleets. It is a versatile ship, at home operating independently on anti-piracy patrols, as part of an escort group, or with a cruiser element, exhibiting the best qualities of UCO starship design. In combat the vessel is well equipped for layered engagement, opening fire at long range with its Type 2 Gauss cannon, closing to engage with laser clusters, and finishing off the target with a battery of turrets.
Hope frigates form the backbone of the UCO light escort forces. They're quick, nimble, cheap to build, and can be quite dangerous in groups. Hope frigates are often used in packs of three to six ships in convoy escort and station defense roles. They excel at fending off pirate attacks (who are more interested in bounty than a stand up fight) and roving raiding squadrons. Despite these strengths, they are not powerful enough to stand up to fleet engagements are are usually not part of cruiser flotillas.
The concept of a "fleet frigate" that could operate with light cruisers as well as carry out standard duties often required of the fast, nimble warships appealed to the UCO hierarchy. The Primrose hull is similar in construction to the Hope but is much more heavily reinforced, granting the ship additional protection as well a solid structure to mount more weaponry. The engines have likewise been upgraded to compensate for the increased mass making the Primrose as nimble as the Hope. The heavily armoured prow allows the frigate to quickly close with enemy ships with little worry, then use their superior maneuverability to flank their opponents. With decent facilities, stowage, and a good blend of armour, speed and firepower the Primrose remains a much loved ship by its crews.
The Eragus frigates were the UCO's response to the gradual increase in the size of pirate starships leading up to and during the War of Independence. Traditional frigates like the Hope-class -while ample to deal with raiders and the outdated ships fielded by pirate bands- were not capable of standing up to ships like the Annihilator and Remora warcruisers. The Eragus makes use of the latest Moraton Corporation technology, combining the main reactor generators with the jumpdrive coils and systems drive as one continuous unit. This provides this ship with significant power for its size, allowing it to mount a cannon as its main armament and maintain the nimbleness of a frigate. The downside is that each Eragus, despite being smaller than a Hope, costs more than a naval destroyer. It is also a very frail ship that lacks any secondary armament. Regardless, the Eragus remains the only ship of its size to mount cannon armament, and combined with its ease of maintenance and small crew to keep operating costs reasonable most Hope patrol groups have a pair of Eragus frigates.
Simply known as "UK02", Project 1302 was an attempt by the UCO to design a starship with inherent stealth systems that could function like an ECM system but were not susceptible to jamming or battle damage. The ship features a number of innovations. Its unique hull design deflects traditional lidar and radar systems, making it very difficult to get a solid fix on the starship's position. Perhaps its most unique feature is the Haydron Corporation-designed Magnetic Resonance Engine (MagREN). The engine creates a magnetic field around itself to manipulate local matter, in this case in a way to propel the starship. The engine has a very small energy signature compared to traditional ion drives, making the UK02 very difficult to detect at range. Only one starship of the type was laid down in 2269, and it showed a remarkable foresight for a navy that relied on traditional ship designs. The innovations made it one of the most expensive starships in UCO operation, but the core developments are considered a success and the UCO is likely to develop a new generation of starships using innovations from the project.
At the outbreak of the War of Independence the alliance had a dozen Eclipse cruisers, and relied heavily on older models like the Annihilator until the shipyards at Aldebaran could get fully ramped up for cruiser production. From mid 2273 onward the Eclipse-class formed the backbone of the Alliance cruiser strength in the War of Independence. At the outbreak of the war it was one of the most modern cruiser designs is existence, sporting superior speed and ECM capabilities to the EEF's Starsail cruisers with an equivalent shield system.
Turret-Heavy Alliance cruisers often have to rely on superior tactics and speed to close the distance with UCO cruisers that typically support longer ranged weaponry. The Antares-class does away with mid-range laser weaponry to provide heavy fire support for other CA starships. Only one example was available 2272, but by 2274 the Alliance fielded one Antares for every four Eclipse cruisers. The Antares maintains the standard CA turret armament for close in combat.
Shadow-class destroyers are dedicated, purpose designed fleet combat vessels. Seldom is a CA cruiser seen without at least a pair of Shadow destroyers "shadowing" its vulnerable flanks. The destroyer carries a variety of armament well suited to fighting other escort vessels. While it lacks the cannon armament of its main UCO equivalent -the Tonken- the Shadow sports better broadside armament with greater maneuverability. Shadows are also responsible with providing CA cruisers with long-range torpedo support. Like all Alliance warships the Shadow sports a decent shield and ECM system for defense.
The Cobra is a sleek, modern, and advanced fleet frigate design that forms the backbone of the Alliance escort arm. What it lacks in concentrated firepower it makes up for in speed. The Cobra is one of the fastest ships in known space. Thanks to its complex electronic countermeasures systems the Cobra stands a chance at surviving in fleet actions, and the Alliance has been known to deploy Cobras as fast skirmishers in multi-ship engagements. The Cobra's real strength however is in anti-piracy duty, where its ECM often nullifies the heavy armament of raider ships, allowing the frigates to get close, strike, and retreat while avoiding retaliation.
The incredibly unorthodox Basilisk mounts its turrets on pillars to provide clear fields of fire. The broadside turrets likewise are mounted outboard of the hull for the same reason. The Basilisk was specifically designed to operate in small groups staying in close proximity to each other for mutual fire support. Four of the small frigates are able to throw cruiser-sized firepower in a given direction for a fraction of the cost.
E-46 Commerce Raider
The Alliance's survival in a war with the numerically superior EEF depended on hampering the UCO's ability to resupply it's drawn-out warfleets. The UCO operated much of its logistical supply chain in small convoys with light cruiser escort. The E-46 is a heavily modified Cobra designed specifically to destroy merchant ships before their cruiser escorts could respond. The advanced ECM suite has been downgraded to a slightly less capable unit, and shielding and armour are kept to a minimum. All weapons have been replaced with three heavy torpedo launchers with a single salvo per launcher. This mix of equipment creates an even faster destroyer than the Cobra with long-range striking ability able to destroy transports while outside the range of their light-cruiser escort. The E-46 is designed to operate in groups of three-to-six ships, and is capable of extended operations away from bases thanks to the increased stowage provided.
Considered by some naval architects to be more of a work of art than a proper warship, the TCS Aurora was the first cruiser designed, built, and commissioned solely by the Tau Cluster. It is a sleek and modern warship, but is considered by both the UCO and IA to be underarmed for a vessel of its tonnage. The lack of naval shipbuilding expertise within the Tau Cluster is apparent with the Aurora -and indeed, nearly every other Tau ship- as the cruiser is susceptible to numerous cascading systems failures when it starts to take battle damage.
Still, the ship has several modern innovations, including a very advanced electronic countermeasures suite, and contains many creature comforts not present on most navy warships, leading to high morale among Aurora crews. The vessel has ample weapons and shielding to deal with the pirates it most often finds itself fighting.
First commissioned in 2248, the Arethusa-class was an attempt to remedy many of the reliability problems plaguing the earlier Aurora-class. The Arethusa uses many of the same components and is built on the same hull as the Aurora. The problematic power systems for the laser clusters have been reduced, and cannon armament has increased. Like the Aurora the UCO and IA consider the ship underarmed, however it has massive fire arcs for its cannon armament, a feature put to good use hunting faster and maneuverable pirate raiders. Overall the Arethusa is a modern and competent combat vessel.
One of the most common armed ships in colonized space, the Raven-class is typical of the countless small corvettes that patrol mining outposts, processing stations, cargo transfer points, orbital manufactories and just about anywhere else that contains resources and materials raiders may want to plunder. The Raven is cheap and easy to build, and does not house military-grade weaponry, making it available in large numbers to private buyers. Both the Hellhound and Blackstar Guard manufacture their own unique Raven variants for corporate use, and several other civilian shipyards build the vessel for sale on the open market.
Cortez-Class Destroyer Escort
By far the most common warship in use by the Hellhound mercenaries, the Cortez is a utilitarian warship designed for convoy escort. Because the destroyer is designed to stick close to its charges, speed is sacrificed for increased armour and weaponry. Few pirate raiders can stand up to the destroyer's firepower. The Hellhounds favour deploying the Cortez in pairs or three-ship elements, thus allowing one or two destroyers to chase raiders away (and hopefully crippling them in the process!) while the other stays with the convoy ships. Frequently Cortez elements are also employed as outpost defense ships -their low logistical and operational requirements making them well suited to this role. Because of their lower speed, Cortez destroyers are not generally used for scout or patrol groups.
Deep Space Mining Guild
Cutter-Class Light Cruiser
The DSMG "Cutter" is based on a UCO light cruiser design that never went into production. The original ship was designed as a "jack of all trades" cruiser with a mix of good speed, cargo space, range, and firepower. The UCO found the design large for a light cruiser -bordering on cruiser tonnage- with less combat abilities. It's only real advantage over existing cruiser designs was the increased range and ability to operate independently without need of resupply. The DSMG purchased the design and made extensive modifications. DSMG Cutters are seen all over space qhere the DSMG has a presence, and serve as armed transports, system monitors, and occasionally anti-piracy patrols.
Model K2 Gas Harvester
Essentially a giant storage tank with an engine pod, the K2 is a typical medium-sized gas collector used extensively by the DSMG and practically every other deep space mining company. The K2 is an improvement on the older J2 model that features slightly larger holding tanks and twin ram scoops instead of the single scoop on the older model. These features combined with a larger jumpspace coil make the K2 one of the most efficient harvesters in common use.
The Apocalypse-class Warcruiser is an exceptionally heavy warship that appeared mid-way through the War of Independence. It's origin remains somewhat of a mystery. The cost and resources required to construct such a large ship are exceptional and were thought to be out of reach of any of the known pirate factions, but all powers capable of building the Apocalypse have flat out denied any involvement. So far six distinct Apocalypse warcruisers have been encountered raiding convoys and outposts.
The original Remora design was in fact a bulk freighter intended for transporting non-time-sensitive goods long distances. More than half of the ship is dedicated to cargo space. However, it's poorly designed loading bays combined with its relative high cost compared to existing designs meant it was never able to penetrate the saturated freighter market. The Hanold-Mag Corporation went out of business soon afterward, but not before producing several hundred of the vessel. Almost all of these vessels have now found their way into pirate or militia groups, who refitted them with an array of turrets (their unorthodox design does not lend itself to higher powered weapons). Due to their slow speed and high cargo capacity pirate bands usually use them as boarding ships.
The Annihilator-Class is a large warship originally designed by the Lamborant Corporation for mercenary and corporate militia use to defend against pirate raiders. It has large internal cargo space to facilitate long deployments to remote systems without need of resupply. In addition to its range, the vessel also offered military-grade weaponry to private enterprises. Many were sold in small numbers to a variety of private firms (with the exception of the Hellhound Mercenary group, who purchased a large number of the ships). Pirate bands especially took advantage of the War of Independence to acquire a moderate number of the cruisers. After the UCO and IA clampdown on private fleets following the war several more found their hands into raider bands. Outside of legitimate mercenary companies few now remain in private service.
The Carrack was originally an EEF design that never gained traction with the UCO fleet -more because of the disfavour of Kaplin Stardrive among the UCO political elite than because of any inherent problems with the starship. Carracks were designed to be largely independent, inexpensive warships designed mainly for pirate interdiction. The irony of a large number of the vessels ending up in raider hands has not been lost on EEF commanders. As no raider bands have the infrastructure to build or maintain Gauss weaponry, raider Carracks are modified from the original spec and carry a large number of reblast cannons instead. The Carrack was seen frequently in raider bands prior to and during the War of Independence, but the conclusion of the war saw a number of the ships sold off cheap at auction and the Carrack is now one of the most common vessels used by pirates.
Palak-Class C4 Raider
Small, relatively fast and agile, and usually bordering on being classed as a wreak, the Palak-Class raiders are by far the most common ship used by any pirate or raider group and are found all over civilized space. The Palak is a modified patrol and police boat that was built before and during the Resource War. They were built in massive numbers, nearly 950 having rolled off the assembly lines before the orbital construction facilities were captured (and later scuttled) by the UCO. Today they are only found in splinter militias and pirate bands.
The "Neptune" is quite possibly the ugliest subclass of ship ever created. While most Neptunes have individual distinguishing modifications, they all share a common hull profile. The massive clamps located at the front of the ship use magnetic grapples or tethered clamps to latch onto hulks or asteroids and lock them in where the wreaking arms can pull them apart.
Some Neptunes contain on-board processing plants for breaking ore or processing scrap metals and other materials in the forward lower hull. The forward upper hull consists of cargo and storage space, while the rear hull contains the engineering, operations areas and crew areas.
Neptunes are surprisingly fast given their bulk, and armed well enough to challenge a modern naval destroyer. Despite this Harvesters try and flee rather than fight when challenged.
Similar to the Neptune, the general subclass of ship known as the "Salacia" often have unique modifications per vessel. The Salacia is more common than the Neptune. When first encountered it was suspected the Salacia was an escort class for the larger ship, but observations support that it serves the same purpose. Like Neptunes, Salacias do not often operate in groups and tend to flee when challenged.
General Starships and Stations
Used extensively by the EED and EEF during the Resource War, the Admiral-class was the most powerful warship ever built at its time of introduction in the 2180's. As a cruiser designed to fit most mission profiles the Admiral class has ample cargo space to transport material or personnel. By modern standards the ship is slow, lightly armed and armoured. None now remain in UCO service, however they are still a moderately common sight in both independent system defense forces and some smaller mercenary bands. Quite a few have also made their way into pirate and raider services, although their slow speed makes them ill suited in this role.
Designed to complement the Admiral-Class Cruisers, the Barnett illustrates just how far cruiser design has advanced. With roughly the same tonnage and speed of a modern light cruiser -and the armament and armour of a modern frigate- the Barnett is completely outclassed by any modern warship. Several dozen have survived and can be found patrolling remote outposts, as members of second-rate militias, and even in raider bands.
Lamborant's most recent foray into the warship category, the Nova cruiser was a private venture intended to be sold to both UCO and mercenary contractors and is the first of a series of ships designed around the same spaceframe. The first ship left the yard in the last year of the War of Independence. The Nova uses many off-the-shelf components to keep the costs down and Lamborant has done a wondrous job combining "run of the mill" parts into an advanced and capable combat cruiser. The Nova can rival any military warship of comparable tonnage, and carries an advanced ECM suite to round out its defensive systems. The Nova is one of the few ships available to mercenary and corporate customers carrying laser weaponry. The special exceptions required for private ownership of such armament however means that, overall, the number of customers legally able to purchase the ship will be low. Regardless, most large mercenary units operate limited numbers of Nova cruisers, and the UCO has purchased several for evaluation.
Navy frigates can't be everywhere at once, and relying on mercenaries -though usually reliable- is expensive, and not always available. The Promade fills the civilian market niche with the need for a navy-sized escort ship for private corporations. In order to increase its appeal to private buyers, Resloth Yards kept the ship's crew requirements to a minimum and included a generous amount of easy-to-access cargo bays along the vessel's exterior -allowing the vessel to double as an armed transport. Rounding out the design is a slew of turrets well oriented to provide 360-degree fields of fire and an efficient (although slow by fleet standards) drive system. The versatile design of the Promade means the ship is also a favorite of militia and raider bands.
The Kaplin Stardrive 'Carrack' was never adopted by the UCO, and thus never obtained a fleet class designation. If it had, it would probably have been classed as a light or scout cruiser. While no more heavily armed than a destroyer, the Carrack is substantially bulkier. The additional space is used for armour, provisions, stowage, and other necessities of a starship operating independently for prolonged periods. The Carrack was designed for interdiction of pirate raiders or fast escorts, and has it's weaponry arranged to fire through wide sweeping arcs rather than focused in narrow firing lanes.
Model J2 Gas Harvester
Possibly the most utilitarian collector ever constructed, the compact J2 is still found in service with smaller secondary mining operations. Most major mining corporations have sold off their J2 fleets in favour of the larger K2 and E4 models. However, ruggedness, reliability, and their cheap maintenance costs means the nearly 100 year old J2 will still be in service for years to come.
Freighters come in all shapes and sizes, from small inter-system couriers to the massive deep space cargo trains. Bulk freighters are designed to be cheap to run, easy to maintain, and to quickly transfer cargo. Most freighters have extensive external racks for cargo pods or tanks along with modest internal storage.
Goods are transferred to and from deep space freighters at staging depots just beyond a system's hyperspace boundary. Those goods are moved to and from the numerous locations in the system via smaller transports ships. Transports typically lack any provisions for long-range space travel and have basic hyperdrive coils for short jumps to and from the system boundary.
At 1,800 metres the C3 is typical of an average tanker found throughout civilized space. The C3 carries its cargo in external tanks, allowing quick disconnect to quickly transfer the containers to another starship (for in system transport, for example) or to jettison in the event of an emergency. The C3 is capable of transferring liquid or gas from tank to tank, but carries none internally.
The Pegasus is a typical luxury starliner found within UCO -and to a lesser extent Capellan- space. They normally run sightseeing cruises among the more picturesque areas of space, such as the Helix and Flame nebulae.
Monolith Defense Platform Series One
Simply known as a Monolith-1 or M1-class platform, the Monolith Series 1 platform was designed nearly half a century ago to defend high-value targets against raiders and pirates. By modern standards the platform is relatively weak compared to heavy cruisers, but they are still used by civilian and military alike to defend lower priority planets, shipping lanes, and stations.
The Series One platform has now been replaced with the Series Two and Series Three platforms.
Monolith Defense Platform Series Two
The Monolith-2 is an updated and upgraded version of the older M1 series platforms. It is slightly more heavily armoured and carries a better ECM system to help avoid long-range weaponry. The main difference between the Series 1 and Series 2 platforms is the Series 2 replaces the short range heavy reblast cannons with more effective laser cluster weaponry.
Series 2 platforms are among the most common defense platforms.
As typical a mining station as their ever was, the standard smelter is seen all over civilized space in various configurations and layouts, but they all serve the same purpose -to break down ore rock into raw materials for transport. The station has three main components: A large section containing the station's ore storage and fuel bunkers as well as the smelters themselves. A central "spar" contains power generators, crew provisions, general cargo, conveyors to move processed ore, and a modest hanger deck. The cross spar holds connecting conveyors to load the smelted materials into a variety of cargo containers (tanks for liquid or pressurized gas storage are shown on the example above). These containers are modular and can be detached and transported by a variety of freighters. Atop the cross spar sits the main crew area with accommodations, recreational facilities, and command control areas.