CAF Cheetah class Missile Corvette:


This ship class can be best described as a direct descendant of the Human Alliance Forces Navy’s Ferret class corvette and the ships look very similar to each other. In fact many people have joking called the ship class as “Ferret Mk II” or “Super Ferret.”


There have been several incidents with Scimitar class patrol ships having to engage pirate ships and because the pirate ships were armed with cruise missile launchers, the Scimitars were destroyed or badly damaged because of their lack of any long range weaponry.


Several Consortium Armed Forces admirals used these incidents to leverage the construction of a missile corvette or patrol ship. In reality though, their motivation was not pirates but that it is clear than eventually there will be war with the Kreeghor and a small ship able to fighter a Kreeghor Berserker class attack vessel on its own terms.


The budget for the development of a vessel for this role was minimal. Several other major projects already stretch the Consortium military resources. As a result, the best which could be done was to develop an upgraded version of an already existing design. There were three basic concept considered.


First was a capital missile armed version of the Scimitar class patrol vessel. Advantages to this would have been many including the fact that the ship is still under construction. Unfortunately, the amount of modification to the design was considered impractical. However, a long range missile version of the Scimitar known as the Longbow was developed.


A second design ideas was to use the modified design of the Wolfen Hunter class destroyer using the Pepperbox capital missile launcher to allow for heavy missile volleys. There is a fair amount of resistance against the box launchers in Consortium Armed Forces service. A number of fleet officers however did really like this idea.


Both the first and second design ideas were rejected in favor of the final design idea. This was the construction of a new corvette design based on the old Human Alliance Ferret class corvette. Some fleet officers suggested to reactive many of the old corvettes in the inactive fleet but many of the Ferrets have stressed hull and space frames from years of service as well as the fact that electronics would need to be completely updated. Many would require an almost complete rebuild if to remain in service more than five to ten more years.


A far better option was to build all new vessels using the basic design of the original Ferret while improving the design. It would also allow the development of shipyard facilities for the rapid construction of corvettes in time of war. Losses of smaller vessels, especially corvettes, is expected to be heavy in any major war. It was decided that even though an upgrade to an older design that it would be given a new name with the name Cheetah chosen.


A number of these ships have now entered service although only so far in limited numbers. Individual vessels are not however given names but instead are numbered. However, a number of crews and captain have already given their ships unofficial names. Training with these vessels often pairs these ships with two Cheetah class corvettes operating with a single Scimitar or Longbow class patrol vessel. They are especially effective when operating with the Longbow giving them a measure of long range defensive protection.


There are several other parties interested in the ships. Initially, the Human Alliance navy considered adopting the Cheetah to replace their aging Ferrets. In the end however, they decided to develop a new design although similar in performance and weaponry. One might even consider the design a close cousin of the original Ferret. There is also several planets that are looking into constructing a very similar vessel although lacking in faster than light drives and operated in pure in system use.


While based on the old Ferret design, these vessels are vastly improved in many key areas. Some of the original structural problems from the Ferret were eliminated and the hull has been vastly reinforced. At the time of the Ferret entering service in the Human Alliance, it was rushed into service with design flaws which were never fully addressed. The new Cheetah is designed to operate for twice as long between refits and a much longer service life.


In addition, both the corvette’s normal space propulsion and faster than light drives have been improved. For power systems, the Ferret’s main fusion plant was replaced by an anti-matter plant. There was some disagreement with this because it makes the corvettes more expensive than they might be otherwise although the anti-matter reactor is far smaller while producing far greater power.


As warships, the most important features is the ship’s fighting ability. Even though the ship’s variable shields have been upgraded, the ability of these corvettes to survive long range combat is questionable. As such, most of the upgrades have been to improve firepower. The new capital missile launchers allow volleys of thirty-two instead of twenty-four capital missiles to be fired as a single volley. Fire control systems were upgraded in order to take advantage of these heavier volleys.


Internal magazines have been increased so still three of these heavier volleys can still be fired before emptying the magazines. While many of the systems, including the reactors require far less volume, part of the additional space for missiles is taken from crew quarters. The Ferret was already was considered quite cramped and the Cheetah is considered even worse.


It was decided that there would be no major modification to the point defense weaponry and the same number of weapon systems would be carried. They are upgraded however with modern particle beams replacing the original lasers and gravity rail guns replacing the Human Alliance electromagnetic models. The mini-missile batteries are also retained although the launchers are smaller while able to fire the same size volleys. Of course mini-missiles themselves have improved since the Ferret entered service as well.


As previously mentioned, the Cheetah class corvette is already more cramped as far as crew quarters than the Human Alliance Ferret. This is not helped in that the new corvette requires an additional crew member. Similarly to the Ferret, the new corvette does not embark either fighters or actual troops. They are not well suited to customs patrols.


Starship design uses modified starship speeds and weapon ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.


Model Type: FFL-12S.

Vehicle Type: Missile Corvette.

Crew: 17 (3 officers and 14 enlisted).


M.D.C. By Location:

Point Defense Gravity Rail Guns (2):

200 each

Point Defense Particle Beam Cannons (2):

150 each

Cruise Missile Battery:

800

Mini-Missile Launchers (4):

100 each

[1] Bridge:

1000

[2] Main Body:

3,200

[3] Variable Force Field:

1,000 a side (6,000 Total)


Notes:

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridges is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.

[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the corvette out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.

[3] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (300 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Speed:

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.

Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 50 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.1 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is Mach 2.0 (1,522.4 mph / 2450.1 kph), can enter an atmosphere because flight system is by contra grav.

Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 6 light years per hour.

Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either Drive system. Carries about eight months worth of supplies on board for the crew.


Statistical Data:

Length:                84 feet (25.6 meters).

Height:                235 feet (71.6 meters).

Width:                 122 feet (37.2 meters).

Mass/Weight:      2,100 tons (1,905.1 metric tons).

Power System: Anti-matter with a 40 year life span. The ship normally only goes 10 years between refueling and refitting. Backed up with emergency fusion plants.

Cargo: Small cargo hold that allows for carrying up to 20 tons (18.1 metric tons) of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammunition, weapons, engine, and other equipment.

Market Cost: Ships cost 350 million credits to manufacture. Presently not for sale but will probably sell for twice ships cost if sold by the Consortium. A copy of the ship without faster than light engines would probably cost in the range of 150 to 200 million credits to manufacture.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Two (2) Point Defense 20 mm Gravity Rail Guns: Used as an anti-Starfighter and missile weapon and against targets that are impervious to energy. Each Rail Gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Projectiles are fired from rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Cannon uses a 20 mm projectile. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities. Replaces original electromagnetic rail gun design on the Ferret class corvette.

    Maximum Effective Range: 2 miles (3.2 km) through atmosphere and 200 miles (320 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Rail guns inflict 2D4x10 M.D.C. for a 20 round burst.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: 10,000 Rounds (500 Bursts) each cannon.

  2. Two (2) Point Defense Particle Beams: These weapons are used for anti-missile, anti-power armor, and anti-star fighter defense. Each Particle Beam is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities. Replaces the original point defense lasers on Ferret corvette design.

    Maximum Effective Range: 600 miles (960 km) in space and range is 6 miles (9.6 km) in atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 3D6x10 M.D.C. each.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  3. One (1) Cruise Missile Battery: Missile has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launching starship, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless preset to self destruct or receives a destruct code but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) See modified starship rules for more details - Cruise missiles have standard penalties hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. This launcher is a standard CAF launcher and the ship could have larger batteries than the original Ferret Corvette. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Anti-Matter multi-warheads inflict 5D6x100 M.D.C. each.)

    Rate of Fire:Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) cruise missiles per melee round. Launchers are reloaded on the same melee and can be fired again on the next.

    Payload: 32 cruise missiles with 2 reload of missiles (64 cruise missiles total in reloads.)

  4. Four (4) Mini-Missile Launchers: These are missile turrets used for point defense against enemy fighters and missiles. Missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Mini-Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile type (See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of four (4) or eight (8) mini-missiles.

    Payload: 128 per launcher for a total of 512 mini-missiles. Cargo hold has an additional 512 mini-missile. Reloading launchers from cargo hold takes 1D6 minutes.



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