Free Worlds Council Virago Fast Escort Carrier:
(Converted Star Witch Clipper)


The Star Witch class clipper is one of the fastest merchant designs operated in the Three Galaxies. In fact, the merchant ships are faster than many older warships and even many newer Trans-Galactic Empire warships. These ships are more expensive than more common merchant ships designs and cost more to operate as well. Still, some merchant lines consider the fast ship worth operating.


While there are some exceptions, most escort carriers are usually converted from merchant hulls. In most cases, medium sized merchant ships are converted to escort carriers. Most of course are converted from more common merchant hulls. Still, there have been some interesting conversions of faster merchant designs. While relatively expensive vessels, they come much closer in performance to light fleet carriers.


The Free Worlds Council navy is desperate for warships designs including carriers. They already converted quite a number of more conventional merchant vessels. There are however concerns with the converted vessels being comparatively slow so it was decided to convert a number of Star Witch class Clipper. As a result, a number of military versions of the fast merchant ship were acquired for conversion. This was more expensive than purchasing lighter armed or unarmed versions but requires less refitting.


As with most other vessels refitted by the Free Worlds Council, it was decided to do as austere a refit as possible. With these ships, the most important issue it to refit the cargo holds into hanger bays. Some of the cutters converted have been general cargo designs while other were container ships.


With the conversion, these fast escort carriers are considered some of the best carriers in the Free World Council navy able to embark over eighty fighters. An effort has been made to embark more homogeneous fighter compliments than is common in the Free World Council navy although this is not always possible. A numbers of captains have complained about getting fighters just a few at a time and never the same kind even. In most cases, the captains have attempted to trade fighters with other vessels whenever possible.


Most common fighters embarked are Flying Fang fighters with two squadrons usually carried. A third squadron of medium fighters is usually embarked, most commonly “Long Tooth” Flying Fangs, old Human Alliance Osprey, or old Wolfen Gladius fighters. For light fighters, various fighters may be carried including older Human Alliance Vixen and Wolfen Falx Supina fighters. In some cases, the newer Hyena, Bobcat, and Scorpion fighters are embarked.


The military versions of the Star Witch are already pretty well armed with two long range missile batteries, six medium range missile batteries, and six point defense laser batteries. They also carry military class variable shields which are able to withstand a fair amount of damage. Four GR-1000 heavy point defense rail guns are added to the defensive battery. Six 12 cm laser cannons from salvaged Trans-Galactic Empire warships are mounted to give the ships some anti-ship weaponry. These has been some criticism of this, many fleet officers considering that it might be better to rely on speed, the long range missile batteries, and fighters to deal with attacking warships.


Even though originally military class merchant hulls, the sensor systems were not adequate to the role of an escort carrier. As a result, it was important to upgrade the sensors to full military standards. These are systems stripped from Trans-Galactic Empire warships which did create some compatibility issues however this was eventually solved. The computer systems and communication arrays are largely civilian designs but are still considered extremely robust.


As with many other Free World Council warships, there have been issues with filling crew requirements. The Free Worlds Council navy is almost perpetually short handed. There are some hopes that there might be some improvements with new training schools for fleet personnel. These ships normally embark around sixty power armor pilots in addition to crew and fighter pilots. The Warlord Mk II is the most commonly embarked power armor. Finally, up to two hundred marines can be embarked although usually only about fifty are typically carried aboard.


It is a bad idea to operate carriers without a proper escort. With a faster than light speed of four and a half light years per hour, escorts for these vessels have been an issue. Few Free Worlds Council navy warships are as fast as these escort carriers. As a result, these carriers are usually escorted by a pair of Hunter class corvettes and whenever possible a Lightfoot class destroyer leader or a rebuilt Chevalier class Escort Cruiser. The only other warships sometimes used are one of their slim stock of Warshield class cruisers but these warships are often called upon for other duties.


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


Model Type: Modified SSM-2000 Fast merchant Ship.

Vehicle Type: Fast Escort Carrier (Modified Medium Fast Freighter.)

Crew: 435 (40 Officers and 395 Enlisted Crew - Ship can be run by 200 crew).

Troops: 200 marines (maximum - Usually only about 50 are embarked), 126 fighter pilots, and 60 power armor pilots.


Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:

Power Armors:

 

10

SC-MM-1000 Stormcrow Space Combat Exoskeleton

 

50

Trans-Galactic Empire IPI-WI-H Warlord Mark II Combat Suits

Fighter Compliment:

 

10

Free Worlds Council FWC-FF-100-B/E “Long Tooth” Flying Fangs (Standard)

 

2

Free Worlds Council FWC-FF-100-C/F “Long Tooth” Flying Fangs (FTL Engines)

 

24

Human Alliance SF-9 Vixen Light Starfighter

 

12

Mercenary MSX-128 "Hyena" Light Starfighters

 

24

Trans-Galactic Empire FF-100 Flying Fang Interceptors

 

12

Wolfen PBI-25 Falx Supina Light Starfighters (Old Model)


M.D.C. By Location:

 

12 cm Medium Laser Cannons (6):

700 each

 

GR-1000 Gravity Rail Gun Turrets (4):

250 each

 

Point Defense Laser Cannon Turrets (6):

250 each

 

Medium Range Missile Batteries (6):

300 each

 

Long Range Missile Batteries (2):

500 each

 

Outer Hull (40 x 40 ft/ 12.2 m x 12.2 Area):

100

 

Inner Hull (40 x 20 ft/ 12.2 m x 12.2 Area):

75

 

[1] Bridge:

4,000

 

Hanger Bays (5):

3,500 each

 

[2] Main Engines (2):

5,200 each

 

[3] Main Body:

26,000

 

[4] Variable Force Field:

4,000 side (24,000 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 hull. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge 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] Destroying the main engines means that the ship’s faster than light systems are destroyed and maximum sublight speed is reduced by half.

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

[4] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (1,200 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Speed:

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.

Sublight: Has military class shielding and can reach 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.80 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 400 mph (643.7 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight.

Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 4.5 light years per hour.

Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either Drive system. Carries about two years worth of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:

Length:                980 feet (298.70 meters).

Height:                300 feet (91.44 meters).

Width:                 320 feet (97.54 meters).

Mass/Weight:      395,000 tons (359,340 metric tons).

Power System: Advanced Fusion with a 20 year life span. The ship normally only goes 5 years between refueling and refitting.

Cargo: Can carry up to 12,000 tons (10,890 metric tons) of cargo in addition to crew’s supplies. 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, armor, fighter compliment, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.

Market Cost: 4.0 Billion credits to build and convert (Does not include standard fighter and power armor compliment.)


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Six (6) 12 cm Horn Heavy Laser Cannons: Weapon system designed for anti-capital ship and anti-installation. Weapon system can engage three different targets or can be combined to strike one target. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities. Weapon has standard penalties to hit fighters and small targets for a large weapon system.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (25 km) in an atmosphere and 16,000 miles (25,750 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: 1D6x100 + 100 M.D. each (2D6x100 + 200 for two cannons and 3D6x100+300 for three cannons.)

    Rate of Fire: Two (2) per cannon per melee or two (2) double or triple blasts.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. Four (4) GR-1000 Heavy Point Defense Rail Guns: Gravity rail guns are in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. The GR-1000 Rail Guns both are more powerful and have more range than the conventional rail guns and is the same rail gun which is carried in the C.A.F. Scorpion Starfighter. Considered extremely effective even compared to other gravity rail guns. Even so, the mounts are not really for use against capital ships but can devastate a fighter quickly. They are also extremely effective against targets which are imperious to energy. Rail gun rounds are fired out of rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Cannon uses a 30 mm projectile. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 1,600 miles (2,575 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 4D6x10 M.D.C. for a 40 round burst.

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

    Payload: 10,000 Rounds (250 bursts) each cannon.

  3. Six (6) 30 mm Point Defense Laser Batteries: Weapon system is used as an anti-missile, anti-power armor, and anti-star fighter. Weapons system has no minuses to hit fighters and small targets and can be operated by a gunner or a gunner program (+2 to strike, 3 Attacks per melee). The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.

    Maximum Effective Range: 200 miles (322 km) in space and 4 miles (6.4 km) in an 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.

  4. Two (2) Long Range Missile Batteries: Carried on military versions of the vessel. Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, battery, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct 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.) Long range missiles do not have minuses to hit small targets unlike cruise missiles and are all considered smart missiles. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Long Range missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or thirty (32) long range missiles per battery, per melee attack.

    Payload: 512 total, 256 long range missiles per battery.

  5. Six (6) Medium Range Missile Batteries: A slightly higher capacity version of the medium range missile batteries carried on a normal Merchantman. Missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Normally used for anti-fighter and point defense. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (Multi-warhead heavy warheads inflict 5D6x10 M.D.C. each - See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire medium range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) medium range missiles per battery.

    Payload: 32 per battery for a total of 192 medium range missiles.



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2015, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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