Imperial Hotspur-class Heavy Crusier

The Imperial Hotspur-class Heavy Cruiser was built in the middle-Imperium period and represented the platonic ideal of the heavy cruiser mission and role. Even with the end of the Alphas and the Time of Five Emperors, the Hotspur-class of heavy cruisers would remain in service-with major revisions-during the Hegemony era. It wouldn’t be until the middle/late Hegemony period that a new heavy cruiser class, the Hachiman-class, would start replacing the Hotspur-class.

Design History

Built as a replacement to the Hafgan-class of heavy cruisers, the Hotspur-class would make the most of several improvements in Imperial technology against the Alphas and a change in battle doctrine where more beam cannons backed up by heavier missile point defense would be vital.

Like all Imperial capital ships, the Hotspur-class would mount a spinal Metaspace Cannon, namely one with a 240m accelerator tunnel and a 35mm discharge aperture. This would give the class nearly 25% greater range than the Alpha’s equivalent cruiser class and better power handling systems. Backing this up is six dual-mount turrets with 6.5 cm positron beam cannons. Arguments about the weapons loadout have continued through its deployment, but the Imperial design opinion was that more cannons with a higher rate of fire was more important than bigger cannons with longer range.

For missile engagements, the Hotspur-class mounts eight 500mm missile tubes with gravity drivers port and starboard. The Hotspur-class could use earlier Mk-22, Mk-24, and Mk-26 missiles, but the class was built to use the Mk-28 missile. This class of missile would become legendary, as it had both better range and better acceleration than its Alpha-equivalent missile, and in the -C, -D, and -E versions a more powerful warhead.The Mk-28 would remain in service far into the Hegemony era, with the -U and -W versions only being replaced by the Mk-32 missile.

Point-defense consists of six 150mm counter-missile launchers with 20mm and 40mm x-ray laser cannons in casement mounts. The reach of the counter-missile launchers would make it difficult for peer-level hulls to engage the Hotspur-class with missiles at long ranges. Passive defenses include shields and armor, with a heavy emphasis on “bow-on” engagements.

As a part of the ship’s systems, the hull also carries full stealth systems, IR dampening with a military-grade hypersink system, ECM systems (spike, strobe and anti-missile jammers), and sixteen decoys in ventral and dorsal dispensers. In addition, the ship also carries a full load of reconnaissance drones to extend the ship’s sensor range and a 450 m/875 m deployable passive VLBI array. The Hotspur-class has an Imperial standard 6LY/day in slipspace and can accelerate up to 350 G at maximum power.

The class also mounts full flag-facilities for command of squadrons and task forces on every hull. This not only includes space for a flag officer and his staff, but specialized computing and communications systems for command and control of fleets across several light hours.

The hull would see several major revisions, in the form of battle steel armor, antimatter power systems, and enhanced computing systems during the Hegemony era. This would extend the ship’s lifespan and keep the class in secondary service with the deployment of the Hachiman-class heavy cruiser.

Service History

The Hotspur-class would be built in eight flights with nearly thirty-thousand hulls being manufactured. Most of these hulls would be retrofitted from earlier flights with fusion reactors to later antimatter reactors and improvements in computer technology. While the Hachiman-class would be this ship’s replacement, the Hotspur would remain in production for over a decade for Patrol Fleet and Ghost Fleet missions.

The basic hull would be used for a number of missions, not the least of which was the Tarawa-class Marine Transport and the Serendipity-class survey cruiser. 

A number of hulls would be modified for the Ghost Fleet mission during the Hegemony era, namely the removal of the antimatter reactors and replacement with fusion reactors, and secondary modifications to improve long-duration mission operations with the class.

General Characteristics

Dimensions: 230 m x 25 m x 20 m

Mass: 35,000 tons (consistent across all flights)

Power Systems:

2x Yoyodine Type 47 Gravity Fusion Reactors (Imperium Era, Flight I-IV)

2x Yoyodine Type 45 Antimatter Reactors (Hegemony Era, Flight IV-V)

2x Yoyodine Type 45-A Antimatter Reactors (Hegemony Era, Flight VI-VIII)

Propulsion Systems:

8x Q-Coils (350 G acceleration, all flights)

3x Slipspace rings (6 LY/day, all flights)


180 days on stored supplies, fuel scoops (Imperium Era)

180 days of antihydrogen at 90% power, theoretically unlimited material endurance (Hegemony Era)


One Class VI AI, 25 Officers, 40 NCO, 250 Able Spacers, 150 Marines, backup bioshells and cybershells (Imperial Era)

One Class VII AI, three Class VI AIs, three Class V AIs, mixture of uploads and biological crew equaling 400 crew members, 150 Marines, backup bioshells and cybershells (Hegemony Era)


1xMetaspace Cannon, 210m accelerator tunnel with a 35cm discharge aperture.

12×6.5cm positron beam cannons in double turrets (two dorsal, two ventral, one port, one starboard.

8x700mm missile tubes with gravity launchers, two arrays of four port and starboard.


Stealth Systems: Radar sheath, IR dampener w/military specification hypersink,
hull form.

ECM: AN/SL(G)-88 Electronic Warfare Array, with “spike” and “strobe” jammer options.

AN/SG(N)-41 Electronic Warfare Array with one port and one starboard “spike” arrays.

8x Rodeo-class missile decoys, 8xMirrorball-class sensor decoys (dispensers ventral and dorsal).

Point Defense: 12 40mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

18 20mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

6x150mm counter-missile launchers, mounted in pairs bow, port and starboard.

Shields: Standard Hegemony Navigational Shields

Combat Shield Generators-175% capacity bow, 150% capacity dorsal, ventral, port and starboard, 100% capacity stern. (All Flights)

Armor: Fibersteel, 8 cm maximum (Imperium Era)

Battle Steel, 8 cm maximum (Hegemony Era)

Secondary Craft:

2xPinnance, 2xCutter, 12xType 2 Recon Drones, 4xType 3 Recon Drones (Imperium Era)

2xPinnance, 2xCutter, 6xHarvesting Drones, 14xType 2 Recon Drones, 6xType 3 Recon Drones (Hegemony Era)

Designer Notes

Space, the final frontier…these are the voyages of…

If there is an Imperial ship that has the same heritage as the Federation Constitution-class, the Hotspur-class is it. It’s the Imperium’s general workhorse cruiser, capable of handling just about every cruiser mission out there. While there are more specialized hulls that can handle very specific missions, the general purpose hull for most Imperial missions that don’t require a squadron or fleet is a few Hotspur and some light cruisers and destroyers, with a small support fleet train (fleet tenders, maybe a Marine transport and a hospital ship).

(Since this is Real Life and not a TV show where extra ships means extra SFX costs, even the Enterprise would be going with at least two to four destroyers and a fast fleet tender or two.)

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