Solomani Confederation (Military)

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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:48 am

Solomani Military: Terms of Preferment

The Solomani Navy would like to retain it's personnel for six to nine years, before throwing them back into the gene pool and strengthen the Solomani race and the Confederation's economy.

Three years is very close to national service, and would lose the Navy the services of personnel just when they become competent at their jobs; longer than nine years would prevent a new generation of enthusiastic Solomani recruits from acquiring vital skills, at an age where they mold their minds and attitudes, at the peak of their physical capabilities.

After three terms, there would be pressure for an up or out retention.

For five-year missions to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no Solomani has gone before, would require volunteers and s specific enlistment with caveat that it doesn't end until the exploratory mission returns to Confederation territory, reports to an appropriately high enough headquarters, and Naval Staff signs off on it.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:17 pm

Solomani Navy: Carrier Evolutions

The Solomani have had a long naval aviation tradition, and that was responsible in large part in braking Imperium progress after the initial blitzkrieg pretty much gutted their capital ship units, and with the scattering of the Grand Fleet, left the Rim relatively defenseless. Carrier groups held the line while the Solomani reorganized and recalled their frontier fleets to face very much reduced Imperium forces, decimated by fierce resistance in the Sol system, led by dedicated defence fighter squadrons defending Terra.

Prebellum Solomani fleet carriers increased in size, though not necessarily due to the tonnage inflation of their embarked craft.

Warerborne aircraft carriers primary means of protection were security through obscurity, pre-emptive strike, larger nunbers of strikecraft, technological edge, multiple layered anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, and finally, extensive damage absorption and control systems

Supercarriers

For a variety of reasons, the Solomani had/have bottlenecks on the manufacture of large space-going vessels, which meant they had a trend of continuously building larger and more capable warships to make up what they lacked in numbers.

This extended to building supercarriers supporting strikecraft and fighters numbering in the thousands.

The largest of these, commissioned in the decades preceding the War of Imperium Aggression, were the Midway class at twice the size of the Victory class battlecruisers; for reasons of economy, more efficient use of smallcraft stowage and handling, and ease of manufacture, these were built is a dispersed configuration, which limited acceleration and prevented the effective use of protecting the hull through thick layers of armour plating.

The Solomani discovered that their supercrarriers became sitting ducks, as you can't hide them in space, and even if you leave them behind the line of battle, light forces could bypass that, fight their way through combat aerospace patrols, and willing to take massive losses if they can close and attack the unarmoured and sluggish Midways.

The Imperial Navy had discovered that one of the vulnerabilities of the Solomani aerospace doctrine had been their over reliance on large numbers of strikecraft and fighters, deployed on and serviced by their massive carriers, which tended to make the supercarriers a single point of failure.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:08 am

Solomani Navy: Carrier Evolutions

Fleet Carriers

The supercarriers of tech level twelve, at a hundred thousand tonnes, they were already pushing the limits of interstellar material and hyperspace technology.

At the time of of Solomani autonomy from the Imperium, whatever warships the Imperium Navy would passed to the newly forming Solomani Nay, it would certainly not be fairly new capital ships, which would include fleet carriers. The Solomani Navy in turn was busy building up squadrons of battlecruisers in order to defend their newly won sovereignty and as a means of easy power projection. This meant that any shipyard capable of manufacturing capital ships was committed to the battlecruiser building programme.

By the time the Solomani had built up a tech level thirteen industrial base, priority shifted to larger battlecruisers and really large carriers, which is the reason at least prebellum, the Solomani Navy never built fleet carriers.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:03 am

Solomani Navy: Carrier Evolutions

Light (Fleet) Carriers

Light carriers tend to be based on light cruiser hulls, which again, the Imperium Navy definition would be twenty to thirty plus kay; they're meant to keep up with the major combatants, while could perform an independent strike role, they're really meant to keep straikecraft off the line of battle ships.

Light carriers might be major components of Solomani subpolity navies, seeing as even within the cruiser category there's a substantial hole between the low teens and the fifties, probably due to the fact that the Solomani concentrated on building the largest cannons they could spinally mount.

Whether or not this was a sound strategy, the fact remained that the Solomani Navy had little call for light cruisers, and thereby decided logistically it made no sense to build any carriers within thistonnage range, that would share components with their non-existent light cruisers.


Pocket Carriers

However, the requirement for a carrier that would be allocated a fighter aerospace group for fleet defence remained, so designs were drawn up for appropriate vessels in the sub ten kay weight range. One primary difference between an escort carrier and a pocket carrier, is the requirement that pocket carriers had to keep up with the principal fleet units.

Pocket carriers had the advantage that they could be built in small dockyards, leaving free the larger ones for major combatants, and their cheaper nature allowed at least one each to be assigned to all major squadrons.

Individual pocket carriers started to specialize in certain operations or missions, and their strikecraft makeup tended to reflect that. Groupings of a large number of carriers began to operate together, as unlike larger carriers, the removal of one wouldn't create a gap in capability.

The Solomani began to view the vulnerability of supercarriers as unacceptable, and started to conclude that carriers either had to be cheap and expendable, or an armoured box that would be very difficult to take out.

Pocket carriers were neither.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:55 am

Solomani Navy: Carrier Evolutions

Escort carriers are essentially steel boxes built to commercial specifications.

While they are considered expendable by Naval Staff, though not necessarily by their embarked crews, commercial standards adhered to for construction is more to ensure that the hull doesn't break apart after being hit, before the crew has a chance to safely abandon the ship, compared to a warship, which is expected to absorb an appropriate amount of damage, and still be able to continue it's mission.

Naval Staff expects that it's less resource intensive to manufacture more commercial grade ships, than trying to salvage or repair damaged ones, which during peacetime operations it's unlikely the vessel will get damaged except by accident, and during wartime, any damage taken would likely have mission killed a similarly sized hull built as a warship from the start, if not put it in spacedock even longer than it took for a new escort carrier to be built.

The primary defense of an escort carrier is it's aerospace group, though escort carrier groupings may have each carrier specialize it's group for a specific role, with requisite specialists and logistics.

These roles could be fleet defence, planetary assault, strike, or even vanilla escort, the original intended purpose.

They've proven useful as troop transports and and in the humanitarian disaster relief role.

While they're not noted for their acceleration, there is one famous tale from the War of Imperium Aggression, where an Escort Carrier task force managed to outrun an Imperium battle squadron that had imprinted on them, while it's aersopace groups and accompanying escort flotilla desperately fought them off, until the battle squadron gave up.

While Imperium variants appear to try and restrict themselves within Adventure class hull limitations, the Solomani Navy tends to specify tonnages at the cusp of capital tonnages.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:46 pm

Solomani Navy: Hierarchy and Flag Rank


Five Stars - Grand Admiral of the Solomani Confederation Navy

There can be only one, and tradition ensures that the imperialistic sounding title remains.

His principle duty is to ensure that the Navy can beat enemies foreign to the Solomani.


Four Stars - Admiral

Should be ten; three commanding military districts, one Chief of Staff to the Grand Admiral, one keeping track of Solomani subpolity naval assets, one in charge of the Flight Branch, one in charge of Logistics, one in charge of the Communications branch and X-boat network, one Technology and ship building, and one officially a liaison to SolSec, but actually earmarked to be the fourth military district commander, and coordinating SolSec spacetime assets and operations.


Three Stars - Fleet Admiral

As a rule of thumb, in control of about four or five subsectors worth of naval ships, naval branch commanders, chiefs of staff.


Two Stars - Vice Admiral

Task force commanders and subsector forces being their most prominent role.

One Star - Rear Admiral

Fleet Squadron Commanding Officer, as well as the Commander of supercarrier aerospace group; also nominal Strike Squadrons and subsector patrol assets.


Star and Stripe - Commodore

Commodore is a brevet rank, that's bestowed on a temporary basis and usually as means to skip seniority in a grouping of Captains. Fleet Divisions of two capital ships being the most prominent example, but also due to Solomani Confederation rank being considered one and a half echelons above Solomani subpolity equivalent naval rank, used to ensure that Solomani Navy candidates are plugged in the desired slots in the chain of command.

Flag rank requires General Assembly confirmation, and promoting someone to Commodore allows the Navy to position their more, presumably, capable senior officers in positions of authority without the requisite political horse trading and jockeying, whether centrally or at a local level.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:27 pm

Solomani Army: Hierarchy and Flag Rank

Or general rank.

I'd have gone with the Marshal title for interstellar sized commands, but unlike with Navy tradition, who still retained the position of Grand Admiral, the Army appears to have decided on the more egalitarian general range. Since they can't outrank even nominally the Grand Admiral, the maximum number of stars would be five.


Five Stars - General of the Solomani Confederation Army

Though considering the numbers involved ,General of the Armies of the Solomani Confederation seems more appropriate. It's nominally six stars, but I think the Solomani prefer a flatter hierarchy.

Anyway, pretty much an organizational, lobbying and administrative job.


Four Stars - Colonel general

To avoid confusion with the above, and maybe giving it that Soviet or Germanic tone.

Unlike the Navy, the Army doesn't divide it's commands into just three military districts, or four. They don't have to, since their job is fighting on the ground, so their focus tends to be planetary, and ensuring those troops are supplied. Sectors are too large to control or coordinate, and subsectors too small, so Colonel Generals would be in charge of four subsectorish sized districts or fronts, which could be organized as Army Groups.


Three Stars - Lieutenant General

In theory, a corps commander, but in practice, would be in charge of a major system command, and numbers should be sufficient for an army.

I never liked how Traveler messed up nobility titles, even though it's a future setting; if you arranged the general rank titles to correspond more in line with modern military non general ranks, it would go Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant.


Two Stars - Major General

It's an interesting question if you want to keep corps level command, but I think it's an opportunity to remove it and expand the division, since likely the brigade will become the smallest all arms combat unit; effective, anyway.


One Star - Brigadier General

I thought about making Brigadier a brevet only title, or even keeping the shortened version, but that doesn't fit in with the general ranking.

The Solomani Army brigade would be the equivalent of a Roman Legion, which is basically a five thousand man core, with five thousand man auxiliaries directly attached, which would make it a small division.


I'd stop here, but since I'm on a roll, let's see how the senior officer or field ranks look like:


Colonel in Chief

Regimental figurehead; it's an honorary position, as opposed to a temporary brevet promotion, and would normally be occupied by either a retired former Colonel of that regiment, some notable very influential personage who will look after the interests of the regiment and lobby behind the scenes for those interests, or maybe a serving general officer with links to the regiment.

In the Solomani Army, regiments would be an administrative unit, responsible for raising and training troops, usually in battalion batches, recruiting pools generally from a geographical area for line units, specialist and elite units would draw system or subsector wide candidates.


Colonel

Actual regimental commander, also chief of staff and task force commanders in brigades.

For some Solomani subpolities, an honorary award for notable personages, say for inventing and marketing an interestingly flavoured poultry dish. That's why commissioned colonels are referred to full bird colonels, to distinguish them from the carved up ones.


Lieutenant Colonel

It's convenient to make this a brevet only rank, to give seniority to picked majors chosen to command task forces. It wouldn't require General Assembly approval, or even that of the district commander, as it would be at the discretion of the brigade commander.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:59 pm

Solomani Confederation Mobile Corps: Vehicles

If the SCMC isn't allowed to use militarized grav vehicles, they could take a page from Hammer's Slammers, and use fusion powered air cushion craft; I would assume that not fitting them out with grav modules but instead with fans should make the armoured vehicles a great deal cheaper.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:01 pm

Solomani Military: Hierarchy

Image

The high point for most military careers, it being a rank, post and/or title.

For the Navy, it means the institution trusts you with the command of a major combatant, the administration of a naval base, or control of a flotilla of escorts; (Group) Captains have responsibility for all the smallcraft in a Fleet Squadron, supercarrier or major system command.

The Solomani Confederation tries to restrict the size of most mercenary companies operating within their borders to the size of a reinforced company, whose commander is termed captain; by tradition, a collection of companies would be under the command of a captain-general, while really large mercenary units are commanded by Great Captains.

When deployed outside of major bases and Fleet Squadrons, the most likely sized force of Solomani Marines you'd encounter would be company sized.

For the Army, the rank to aspire to is Colonel; outside of sergeants, Captains do most of the work involved in the day to day running of a battalion, and trusted to take command of a large detachment, or a forward base.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:53 pm

Solomani Confederation Mobile Corps: Covert Operations

Being blatantly obvious, you wouldn't think they could be used in this role.

First of all, they're expendable, so unlike the Navy's reluctance to popsicle anyone who isn't critically wounded, or when they're having a Titanic in the middle of nowhere, there's very little hesitation in freeze drying SCMP personnel, who aren't considered trained assets.

SolSec takes the same view, where selected individuals are volunteered to act as infiltrated storm troopers, to be awakened when it's time to liberate Earth from Imperium oppression. Also, less likely hood of them being missed.

More mundanely, if they need to shore up the Confederation position in another system, and the transport budget is short this quarter.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:43 am

anno Domini 5'227 - Solexit
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:42 pm

Solomani Navy: Hulls and Steel Boxes

It was Honor Among Enemies that may have really made me think about spacegoing Q-Ships and armed merchants, though the Honorverse merchantmen tended towards large container ship equivalents, which i don't really think could be disguised in Traveller, nor really be combat effective against actual warships, who'd tear them a couple of new holes, in the hull.

Being merchantmen conversions, the hulls would consist mostly of empty holds, which make them ideal as transporters of aerospace craft, supplies, or troops, or all three things. Really large ships would just be juicy targets, since you'd really need to rely on the escorts to ward off raiders, or if they're really unlucky, major combatants fulfilling that role.

Large empty spaces would allow the interior to be configured as needs arise; this is different from the Littoral Combat Ship, in the sense that you don't install a module to define the current role it has been assigned to (though it didn't really work out for the LCS), but the holds are large enough to install multiple modules, if necessary.

In a way, a hardpoint enables a process where at least weapon system modules can be installed, and if I recall correctly, if empty, bays can be used to park stuff.

Therefore, you could install a launch facility/garage at each hardpoint, instead of having launch tubes, or if you have two sets of doors, it becomes an airlock for smallcraft.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:24 pm

Solomani Navy: Hulls and Steel Boxes

The reason you'd want a high hangar, or any form of maintenance bay, because your mechanics don't actually want to crawl over the machinery or vehicles. For hangars once maintenance is completed, opening up the hangar to space doesn't really matter, since they're covered by steel walls on three sides and top and bottom, the excess space in the hangar no longer counts as having an effect on performance of the mothership.

This works in hyperspace as well, since the ship is engulfed by the hydrogen bubble in any event.

Since there's no minimum structural strength requirement for the hull, you can use tech level seven titanium steel; using more advanced materials makes no difference in the chance of anything puncturing the hull, just on the chances of it breaking apart, and the primary protection of a transporter are it's organic aerospace complement, and the assigned escorts.

If the ship by itself were really important, they wouldn't be using commercial standards to build it; steel boxes act as a cheap convenient platform, that's very economic to run in peacetime, and expendable during wartime.

Internal subdivisions might have a few bulkheads for stability, but the walls and the floors could be plastic and gel cores, which would allow both rigidity and flexibility, plus absorb the impact of bodies flying around, since you have the issues of how inertial compensation actually works and how far it extends, as well as how far an artificial gravity generator extends the field.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:45 am

Solomani Confederation Mobile Corps: Organization

Currently playing Hearts of Iron Goes Forth, and one fun feature is the divisional designer, though rather annoying that you have to collect experience points in order to make any changes from the defaults, let alone any radical departures.

Basically, the principal unit of manoeuvre is the division, and that is subdivided into one to five brigades, plus upto five supporting rump battalions, that can only be selected once, which would sort of represent the direct underlying organizational infrastructure.

The most cost effective way is to take a default organizational chart and tweak that, the optimum (for the Great Patriotic War British) would be the Motorized Division, fill-up one of the Motorized to five Motorized Battalions, change the other Motorized Brigade to Armoured, and add three supporting battalions to the Combat Engineers and Reconnaissance.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:09 pm

Solomani Confederation Mobile Corps: Organization

So what you have is a basic framework, that each SCMC commander can tweak to reflect or optimized for local conditions or what's available, within reason.

Twenty four divisions being the maximum that a general can optimally control is for ease of play. Counting supporting, corps and army troops, you're looking at half a million men, at which point, you need an actual army (or army group).

The number should remain fluid, and though five is considered the upper end that a command group can control, I rather suspect that once you integrate AIs and computerize command, the number is actually higher.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:10 am

Solomani Confederation Mobile Corps: Brothers In Arms

It's been percolating in the back of my mind for quite a while, but the implication in the Solomani Gazetteer is that the Solomani Army acts as the catspaw of Solomani Security, which I feel has both downsides and upsides.

It politically contaminates the military, whereas what the Solomani Founding Fathers should have preferred a set of balancing powers; on the other hand, it would be a separation of powers, ensuring that SolSec have no means in which to militarily take over the Confederation.

Which brings us back to the catspaw paradox.

While this may not have been the designers' original intent, my take on the Confederation is that the Navy is completely apolitical by necessity, being one of the institutions that holds the Confederation together, and carrying out the policies and directives of the executive, while cooperating with the Army and SolSec.

Since the Army is more involved with events dirtside, by necessity they would be more in contact with SolSec, who should only be able to direct general officers during planetary insurrections, insurgencies, and internal security matters.

This just distracts them from their primary purpose of liberating planets from Imperium occupation.

That's why they need a separate instrument that can easily be disavowed if things turn pear shape.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:29 pm

Solomani Navy: Revising Assumptions

1. If you built the Victory class battlecruiser at tech level twelve, you could have them right from the start of the Confederation.

2. If tech level twelve still caps hull construction at a hundred thousand tonnes, or more likely, the computers can't handle more than a hundred thousand tonnes transitioning, the largest default jump drive would be seven thousand five hundred tonnes. Plus five.

3. While I personally believe the battlecruiser is a dead end development, I have been chasing down everyone's battleships, including the Yamatos, with two Renowns and a Hood, plus a entourage of thirty or forty light cruisers, in HoI4, so the Solomanis may have been on to something.

4. A seven thousand five hundred tonne, plus five, jump drive would seem to have revised the size of a jump five deep strike cruiser of the Beijing class to sixty thousand tonnes, instead of sixty six and two thirds thousand.

5. You will need four Victory class jump drive modules to transition a three hundred thousand Vanguard class; five, if it makes sense to increase the volume to three and three quarters of hundreds of thousands.

6. The Zeus and Midway classes would be the next weight class, and with two Victory jump drive modules, you'd have them at two hundred thousand tonnes, at jump factor three.

7. The Normandy class strike cruisers would come in at seventy five thousand tonnes.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:38 am

Solomani Navy: Revising Assumptions

Image

Image

I count eight engines, which is within the nine engine yoked limit.

The largest jump drive at tech level nine should be one hundred thirty tonnes, assuming the five thousand tonne limit is still in place.

Eight of those would be the equivalent of a forty thousand tonne transition push, or thirteen and one third thousand tonnes at jump factor three.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:20 am

Solomani Spacetime: Skip Class Trimaran

. Primary Hull:
.. Bridge (ten tonnes)
.. Engineering (nine and a half tonnes)
... Jump Drive (seven and a half tonnes)
... Manoeuvre Drive (one tonne)
... Power Plant fifteen scotts (one tonne)
.. Fuel (twelve tonnes)
.. Monotonne Docking clamps two sets (two tonnes)
.. Stateroom (four tonnes)
.. Cargo (two hand a half tonnes)

. Secondary Hulls
.. Pod (thirty tonnes)
.. Pod (thirty tonnes)

. Power Budget
.. Monojump (ten scotts)
.. Monogee manoeuvring (ten scotts)
.. Primary hull basic ship systems (six scotts)
.. Basic sensors (no scotts)

. Fuel
.. Monojump (ten tonnes)
.. Operations eight weeks (two tonnes)

. Notes
.. Airlock and ship's locker is expected to be part of the bridge volume
.. No armament is included, and going strictly by the book, would be based on a forty tonne smallcraft
.. Pods can be cargo, passenger or just ballast for the emergency lifeboat variants
.. Reading the tea leaves, the smallest default jump drive would be seven and a half tonnes

. Further notes
.. I'm probably wrong about eight weeks operations, it's likely thirty two, as power is only consumed for twenty five tonnes.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:44 am

Solomani Spacetime: Skip Class Trimaran

Spacetime Patrol Starships: Catalina variant

The primary hull of the Skip class trimaran is principally a jump shuttle, meant to transition within a monojump range it's payload.

The Solomani Navy has more sophisticated interstellar patrol craft, but have found it useful to use this tested commercial design, and attach appropriate payloads that allow it to function as short range (relatively) spacetime patrol starships for both their member polities' system defense forces, and regions they may not want to expend resources on and/or provoke vested interests.

The first cargo pod is basically a thirty tonne fuel tank, with a twenty nine tonne capacity for liquid hydrogen, and a one ton docking clamp including a fuel line. The fuel line has a flow rate of about eleven tonnes over seven days, which allows the fuel tank in the primary hull to be refilled during transitions, and gives the Catalina a potential range of four monojumps.

The second pod is actually a thirty tonne smallcraft; this contains the actual long range sensors used of the spacetime patrol mission, as well as acting as a fast rescue boat, should the patrol come across a ship in distress. The boat can be equipped with any tech level of equipment, from eight to fourteen, depending on the the perceived need, and budget constraints, thereby able to tailor capabilities to the needs of the operator.

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