Imperial Wayfarer-class TUFT Light Freighter

The Wayfarer-class light freighter was built as a multi-mission freighter hull for the Imperial Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Designed in the Second Imperium period, built at the start of the Time of the Five Emperors, the Wayfarer was built to be a part of the Imperial Taken Up From Trade (TUFT) program. Lightly armed for self-defense, the Wayfarer class would remain in operation during both the Imperium and Hegemony eras, steadily upgraded as technology improved.

Design History

The Wayfarer-class was built when the Second Imperium discovered that the consolidation of cargo hulls meant that massive, 10,000+ TEU starships were pushing out anything smaller on major transport routes. In addition, when the Imperial Navy had to take up hulls for additional logistics support, the relative slow accelerations and low slipspace speeds meant that supplies were often sent in massive “chunks” that were vulnerable to Alpha raiders and similar threats.

An additional concern of the Imperial Moot was that such massive hulls were highly efficient in large-scale civilian logistics, but smaller colony worlds would have one of these large ships in orbit twice a year-at best-and this was incredibly risky. While smaller freighters did exist and the Imperial Courier Service maintained fast mail packets to ensure a minimum of twice-a-month contact between Tier I to III colony worlds, the expense of any large-scale shipping increased the difficulty of colonies to establish themselves.

The Wayfarer-class would be built to handle these issues, based around several engineering factors such as an easily adaptable hull, minimum 160G acceleration and 3LY/day slipspace speeds, point-defense and light missiles for defense against raiders and pirates, and the ability to rapidly unload 2,000 TEU cargo loads on rough landing areas. The hull would be licensed to a number of shipyards and the Imperial Navy and Courier Service would establish a Taken Up From Trade program where easy-to-acquire loans and grants would be provided to small shipowners that were willing to work semi-regular routes and demonstrate that they could ensure that the ships were kept up to minimum standards.

At 30,000 tons, the Wayfarer-class would be built to carry 2,000 TEUs in two large primary cargo bays, wrapped around the core hull of the ship. The class has 180Gs of acceleration fully loaded, with a 3LY/day slipspace speed. Defensive weapons consisted of six 350mm missile tubes, basic electronic warfare systems and detection systems, and point-defense rated for handling Alpha Rani-class raider destroyers with eight 20mm xaser mounts and six 40mm xaser mounts. The ship’s armor is mostly against debris, consisting of mil-spec titanium with fibersteel overlays for “high value” components (Hegemony-era hulls would be built entirely of fibersteel), with shields to match. Later versions of the hull-starting with retrofits of the class in the Flight V and beyond-would be capable of 200Gs of acceleration and 4LY/day in slipspace.

The design was built so that in less than eight hours (barring orbital mechanics), the ship could unload the full supply of containers with the six attached heavy cargo shuttles and leave for reloading at a full-fledged port. Field reloading of the ship would take longer (within 24 hours in theory, usually 48-72 hours), with the ship having internal tractor-presser arrays in the cargo bays for loading and unloading. To provide support in unloading and loading, two Workbees are also provided and carried semi-externally on the ventral and dorsal sections of the ship’s hull.

Service History

The Wayfarer-class would see service for over five hundred years, being built in nine separate flights. The simplicity of the design meant that a large number of modifications in the base hull configuration were made. This included-

  • Large-scale liquid transport
  • Colonization logistics
  • Imperial Scout Service tender
  • Q-ship configurations
  • Fast fleet tender
  • Bulk cargo transport
  • Bombardment ship (for Mk 25 and Mk 30 missiles)
  • Orbital mining processing and transport hub
  • Personnel transport

-and a number of additional configurations based upon customer and mission needs.

It is estimated that there are over 100,000 Wayfarer-class hulls currently in service and the hulls are still being built to this day. However, the Imperial Navy and Imperial Courier Service have begun to phase out the TUFT contracts for older Wayfarers, replacing them with the newer Wanderer-class TUFT Light Freighter.

General Characteristics

Dimensions: 215 m x 20 m x 20 m

Mass: 30,000 tons (fully loaded, Flight I-IV un-retrofitted), 31,100 tons (Flight V-IX, Flight I-IV retrofitted)

Power Systems:

2x Yoyodine Type 33 Gravity Fusion Reactors (Mid Imperial Era)

2x Yoyodine Type 33-A Gravity Fusion Reactors (Late Imperial Era)

2x Yoyodine Type 34-A Gravity Fusion Reactors (Hegemony Era)

Propulsion Systems:

8x Q-Coils (180 G acceleration Mid/Late Imperial Era, 200 G acceleration Hegemony era, all flights)

6x Slipspace rings (3 LY/day Mid/Late Imperial Era, 4LY/day Hegemony era, all flights)

Endurance:

180 days on stored supplies, hydrogen scoops (All Eras)

Crew:

One Class III AI, 10 Officers, 64 Able Spacers, backup bioshells and cybershells (Mid/Late Imperial Era)
One Class III AI, three Class II AIs, mixture of uploads and biological crew equaling 70 crew members, backup bioshells and cybershells (Hegemony Era)

Armament:

6x350mm missile tubes with gravity launchers, two arrays of three port and starboard.

Defenses:

ECM: AN/SL(Q)-52 Electronic Warfare Array, with “spike” and “strobe” jammer options (Mid/Late Imperial Era)

AL/SN(Q)-58 Electronic Warfare Array, with “spike” and “strobe” jammer options (Hegemony Era)

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

Point Defense: 6 40mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

8 20mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

Shields: Standard Mid/Late Imperial/Hegemony Navigational Shields

Combat Shield Generators-50% capacity bow, port and starboard, 25% capacity ventral, dorsal and stern (Mid/Late Imperial Era).

50% capacity bow, port, starboard, ventral and dorsal, 25% capacity stern (Hegemony Era)

Armor: Milspec Titanium with Fibersteel Inserts, 2cm maximum (Mid/Late Imperial Era)

Fibersteel, 2 cm maximum (Hegemony Era)

Secondary Craft:

2xWorkbee, 2xCutter, 6xHeavy Lift Shuttles (Mid/Late Imperial Era)

2xWorkbee, 2xCutter, 6xHeavy Lift Shuttles, 4xHarvesting Drones (Hegemony Era)

Imperial Lachesis-class Light Cruiser

A replacement for the Lysandra-class light cruiser at the start of the Hegemony era of the Third Imperium, the Lachesis-class light cruiser was built specifically for the light cruiser mission in the Imperial Navy. This mission includes convoy and task-group escort, exploration, survey, and anti-piracy missions, with the Lachesis-class making the most of the experience of the Lysandra-class.

Debates about the class-namely the relatively light beam cannon load-would result in the replacement of the class with the Lindworm-class in the Middle Hegemony period.

Design History

Like the Lysandra-class light cruiser, the Lachesis-class was built for interior missions, including exploration and line-of-communications operations between Imperial worlds. With the class being built after the end of the Alpha Wars, combat with Alpha warships wasn’t a major consideration. However, the Imperial Navy did maintain combat capability against Alpha or other “near peer” warships as a major portion of the ship concept.

The Lachesis-class can be seen as a revision of the Lysandra-class, and it is only in defensive systems and support systems that the class can be considered improved. The ship is built around a spinal Metaspace Cannon with a 120m accelerator tunnel and a 30cm discharge aperture. Secondary direct-fire weapons are built around twelve 5cm positron beam cannons in dual turret mounts, considered to be a far too light weapons load for the class (the later Lindworm-class would mount 6.5cm beam cannons in dual turret mounts).

Long-ranged engagements are based around ten 350mm missile launcher tubes with gravity drivers on the ship’s port and starboard. While the class could use all Imperial-standard missiles, the Lachesis-class would have its fire control optimized for the Mk-21-B missile and the later Mk-23 and Mk-27 missiles. Point defense would not only consist of standard 20mm and 40mm x-ray lasers, but four 150mm counter-missile launchers. Debates about the effectiveness of mounting counter-missiles on a light cruiser hull is continually discussed, but against most light combatants it gives a ranged engagement option against missiles.

Passive defenses would be built around shields rated to withstand 1.5 strikes of a Lachesis-class equivalent main beam cannon strike on the bow, dorsal and ventral aspects, with a single-strike resistance to the port and starboard, and 75% resistance aft. Like Hegemony-era warships, the Lachesis-class uses battle steel armor. The ship mounts six Q-space coils and three slipspace drive rings, giving the ship a 360 G acceleration and 6 LY/day travel time. 

Sensor capability would include a 320 m/640 m VLBI array system (with two backup deployable arrays), an extensive passive and active EM sensor system, and standard navigation and operational sensor packages. The ship also carries a planetary survey package as standard, twelve sensor decoys (split between Rodeo-type anti-missile decoys and Mirrorball-type anti-sensor decoys), stealth systems backed up by a mil-spec hypersink, and the AN/SL(G)-82 electronic warfare package. The Lachesis-class would also mount the AN/SG(N)-33 electronic warfare package, which included two high-powered “spike” jammers for anti-missile duties.

Retrofits of the Lachesis-class would continue through the early Hegemony period, but no major revisions beyond reactor improvements of the hull would result.

Service History

The Lachesis-class would be built in five major “flights,” and at a replacement rate of 1.5 times the number of Lysandra-class ships currently in deployment. The only major variation between flights is the replacement of the Type 34 rectors with the improved Type 35-A1 antimatter reactors starting in Flight IV and later hull retrofits. The class would remain in Imperial service until the Lindworm-class was deployed, later to be assigned to secondary service then materials reclamation.

A proposed version would have replaced all of the missile launchers and the Metaspace cannon with bow launch arrays for Mk 25 missiles, but the Imperial Navy saw no need for a small bombardment hull and the class couldn’t carry enough missiles to be worthwhile. An additional proposal for specific revision of the hull for Survey missions was considered, but this mission would be filled by a version of the Hotspur-class heavy cruiser, the Serendipity-class.

A number of hulls would be modified for the Ghost Fleet mission, 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: 180 m x 22 m x 18 m

Mass: 15,000 tons (consistent across all flights)

Power Systems:

2x Yoyodine Type 34 Antimatter Reactors (Hegemony Era, Flight I-III)

2x Yoyodine Type 35-A1 Antimatter Reactors (Hegemony Era, Flight IV-V)

Propulsion Systems:

6x Q-Coils (360 G acceleration, all flights)

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

Endurance:

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

Crew:

One Class VI AI, three Class V AIs, mixture of uploads and biological crew equaling 400 crew members, 100 Marines, backup bioshells and cybershells (Hegemony Era)

Armament:

1xMetaspace Cannon, 120m spinal mount with a 30 cm bow discharge aperture.

12×5 cm positron beam cannons in six dual turrets, two ventral, two dorsal, one port, one starboard.

10x350mm missile tubes with gravity launchers, two arrays of five port and starboard.

Defenses:

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

ECM: AN/SL(G)-82 Electronic Warfare Array, with “spike” and “strobe” jammer options.
AN/SG(N)-33 Electronic Warfare Array with one port and one starboard “spike” arrays.

6x Rodeo-class missile decoys, 6xMirrorball-class sensor decoys (dispensers ventral and dorsal).

Point Defense: 10 40mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

16 20mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

4x150mm counter-missile launchers, mounted in pairs port and starboard.

Shields: Standard Hegemony Navigational Shields

Combat Shield Generators-150% capacity bow, dorsal, and ventral, 100% capacity port and starboard, 75% capacity stern.

Armor: Battle steel, 5.5 cm maximum (Hegemony Era)

Secondary Craft:

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

Starships Of The Imperial Hegemony-Deva-class Destroyer

I’m taking a few minutes to enjoy building starships again. And, to start codifying some aspects of the Third Imperium and the Hegemony, and maybe one day this will form the part of a novel…

Imperial Deva-class Destroyer

Developed shortly after the Time of the Five Emperors (considered the separation point between the Early Imperial and Late Imperial era by later historians), the Deva-class would replace the Dnieper-class in Patrol Fleet and later Battle Fleet service.

The Deva-class would remain in service for nearly four hundred years, through the Late Imperial/Third Imperium and into the start of the Hegemony era of the Third Imperium, and would become a very important part of the Ghost Fleet concept developed by Imperial Intelligence.

Design History

The Deva-class was developed soon after the end of the Time of the Five Emperors, based on Second Imperium design studies and issues that the Dnieper-class had in peer combat with fellow Imperial ships. While the ship did well in Battle Fleet operations-especially in combat against the Alphas-peer combat during the Time of the Five Emperors revealed that the Dnieper-class was lightly armed in direct fire combat. Additionally, Patrol Fleet had been forced to continue using the Davis-class destroyer during the Time of the Five Emperors, who were far past their design lifespan.

The Deva-class would resolve the direct-fire issue by mounting six 5cm positron beam cannons in single turrets-two ventral, two dorsal, one port and one starboard. At most engagement aspects, the Deva-class could engage a target with four positron cannons, and possibly up to five. Long-range engagement would be based around eight standard 350mm missile tubes with gravity drivers, four mounted port and starboard. The Imperial standardization of 350mm missile tubes for light combatants simplified logistics, since older missile stocks of the Mk 13, Mk 17, and Mk 19 missiles would be available for use (along with the current Mk 21, Mk-21-A, Mk-21-B, and Mk-23 missiles).

Active defenses would be scaled up slightly, but would retain the Davis-class emphasis on multiple lighter point-defense weapons for the inner point defense mission. Shields would possess the capability to withstand a single engagement on the bow, port, and starboard of an equivalent Deva-class main battery, with lighter shields ventral and dorsal. Passive defenses would remain identical in layout, but the changeover from battle steel to fibersteel armor meant an effective 10% increase in armor protection for the same mass. Finally, improvements in both slipspace and Q-coil technology would give the ship the ability to travel six light years a day in slipspace and have a 380G acceleration in normal space operations.

Sensor capability would be based around the independent reconnaissance role, with two deployable 200/300m VLBI arrays, an extensive passive and active EM sensor system, and standard navigation and operational sensor packages. In addition the ship would carry the AN/SL(Q)-77 electronic warfare array, eight decoy packages (balanced between Rodeo-class missile decoys and Mirrorball-class sensor decoys), and stealth systems. Because of the ship’s IR masking systems, the Deva-class would also mount a mil-spec hypersink array.

Ironically, the Deva-class would be retained during the Hegemony era, as the ship’s hull design was more than capable of being retrofitted with new quantum-level printers and smelters for the production of spare parts and equipment.

Construction

The Deva-class was built around a “spine and modules” framework-a heavy duty spinal core would be built, with the various modules and components attached to the spinal core. This concept was used during the Early Imperial era for light combatants and was kept because it allowed for quick assembly of ships and fast repairs and upgrades once the assembly was done. This would ensure the Deva-class would remain in operation for nearly 250 years, with upgrades and improvements through the Late Imperial and Hegemony era.

Service History

The Deva-class would come seven major “flights,” and these flights were mostly based upon the need of the Imperial Navy to replace Dnieper-class destroyers in Patrol Fleet service. The Flight I-III assembly were built prior to the revolution in antimatter power systems (this also marks the change between the Late Imperial and Hegemony eras), with over 700 hulls built (several hulls were built as “notational” hulls, which were probably constructed for the Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Directorates).

After the transition to antimatter power technology, the Deva-class would be retrofitted with antimatter reactors, and future flights of the IV-VII specification would be built around these reactor systems. Another major renovation would be the installation of additional processing power and space to run multiple AI and human personality uploads, and the removal of the atomic-level fabricators with quantum-level printers.

Over 1500 Flight IV-VII Deva-class destroyers would be built, only being replaced in service with the Dauntless-class destroyer in the middle Hegemony period. Outside of specially retrofitted hulls for the Ghost Fleet mission, there were few variants of the Deva-class. The only one created in large numbers was the Songbird-class survey destroyer, which removed all but two of the missile launchers for an enlarged drone bay and supplemental sensor systems for planetary surveys.

General Characteristics

Dimensions: 120 m length, 16 m width, 14 m height

Mass: 9100 tons (fully loaded, Flight I-III un-retrofitted), 9300 tons (Flight IV-VII, Flight I-III retrofitted)

Power Systems:

2x Yoyodine Type 33 Gravity Fusion Reactor (Late Imperial Era)

2x Yoyodine Type 21 Antimatter Reactors (Hegemony Era)

Propulsion Systems:

4x Q-Coils (380 G acceleration, all flights)

2x Slipspace rings (6 LY/day, all flights)

Endurance:

180 days on stored supplies, hydrogen scoops (Late Imperial Era)

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

Crew:

One Class V AI, 20 Officers, 32 NCO, 200 Able Spacers, 100 Marines, backup bioshells and cybershells (Late Imperial Era)
One Class V AI, Mixture of uploads and biological crew equaling 250 crew members, 100 Marines, backup bioshells and cybershells (Hegemony Era)

Armament:

6×5 cm positron beam cannons in six single turrets, two ventral, two dorsal, one port, one starboard.

8x350mm missile tubes with gravity launchers, two arrays of four port and starboard.

Defenses:

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

ECM: AN/SL(Q)-77 Electronic Warfare Array, with “spike” and “strobe” jammer options.

4x Rodeo-class missile decoys, 4xMirrorball-class sensor decoys (dispensers ventral and dorsal).

Point Defense: 8 40mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

12 20mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.

Shields: Standard Late Imperial/Hegemony Navigational Shields

Combat Shield Generators-100% capacity bow, 75% capacity port and starboard, 50% capacity ventral, dorsal and stern.

Armor: Fibersteel Armor, 4cm maximum (Late Imperial Era)

Fibersteel/Battlesteel composite, 4.2 cm maximum (Hegemony Era)

Secondary Craft:

1xPinnance, 2xCutter, 2xHarvesting Drones, 10xType 2 Recon Drones (Late Imperial Era)

1xPinnance, 2xCutter, 4xHarvesting Drones, 16xType 2 Recon Drones (Hegemony Era)