Ferret-E class Escort Corvette:


In many cases, a variety of different designs are derived from a single design. Classes produced in large numbers are often converted for a wide variety of roles. As such, corvettes, frigates, and destroyers are classes of warships converted to other roles. Some of these roles include specialized escorts, mine sweepers, and even high speed troop transports.


One of the single largest classes of warships ever produced was the Ferret class corvette. They were massed produced during the first war of survival for the Human Alliance. There were so many in service that many were retired or put in mothball status when they had almost no service. Many under construction were also canceled when the war ended. As a result of the Human Alliance downsizing, large numbers were sold.


These ships were picked up by independent governments as well mercenary companies. Some were even purchased by individuals. Most were unmodified but still considerable numbers were modified for different roles. Originally, the ships were considered extremely fast. Some were converted to escort vessels, others were converted into minesweepers, and even a few were converted into light cargo ships. These ships were simply too small to be converted into high speed troop transports.


There was some consideration given to producing the variants by the Human Alliance but the leaders preferred other ships to fill these rolls. The conversion of Ferret class corvettes were not considered worth the cost and the corvettes were seen as having limitations due to their size.


Today, these ships are slowly disappearing. Some have been lost in combat while others simply have been scrapped. Many sit in starship graveyards around the Three Galaxies, some little more that hulks used for parts. In some cases, these ships have been simply forgotten. Still, it is surprising the number of these ships still in service. Most likely, these ships with serve for longer than the original developers would have considered possible. Unlike many other designs, there are few companies offering upgrades to the various versions of the Ferret.


As escorts, these ships replace the standard cruise missile launchers with a pair of long range missile launchers. These ships are known as the "Ferret-E" and are the most common version beside the standard model. These ships can fire twice as many missile per volley as a standard Ferret although they have a limited payload. There are two reloads for the launchers. In some cases, these ships are used as convoy escorts. As well, some experimenting has been done with assigning Ferret-E escort corvettes as protection for standard Ferret class corvettes. One of the biggest limitations of the standard Ferret is a lack of decent long range protection. The crew is the same as the standard version, sixteen crew with two officers.


As minesweepers, the ships also replace the standard cruise missile launchers with a pair of long range missile launchers. This version is called the "Ferret-M" and is much less common than the "Ferret-E" model. These only mount a single reload for the missile launchers compared to two for the escort version. It is funny due to the fact that in some cases these ships have been used as escorts as well. The Ferret-M also mounts a powerful mine hunting gravity sensor. It has an extremely limited search cone but is more powerful than the sensors even on a battleship. Range is limited compared to the system on larger minesweepers. Because of the limited payload of the main battery, these ships usually operate in groups. Otherwise, these ships can find themselves overwhelmed by the defenses of many mine fields. In addition to losing cargo space for missiles, these ships also greatly reduce the amount of cargo they can carry. The "Ferret-M" has a crew of twenty compared to sixteen in the standard model.


The final version strips out the missile launchers completely and instead. replaces the missile launchers with more cargo spaces. With missile launchers stripped out, these ships can carry up to three hundred tons of cargo. Virtually all cargo versions are owned by civilian organizations or private individuals. They were considered extremely fast when first entering service although there are many faster cargo ship designs now. One role these corvettes often performed originally was as couriers. A small number also were converted into yachts with extremely spacious passenger quarters. Crew on cargo versions (as well as yachts) is reduced to ten.


All versions of these ships retain their mini-missile launchers and point defense lasers and rail guns. The cargo version reduce the payload of mini-missiles. These secondary batteries are suppose to protect the ships from incoming missiles along with main battery. Power is provided by a fusion reactor, not an anti-matter reactor like most newer ships. This was mature technology when the ships were first introduced and anti-matter systems were still experimental. Still, they are extremely durable and cheaper to operate than anti-matter plants.


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


Model Type:FFL-04-EFerret-E class Escort Corvette
FFL-04-MFerret-M class Minesweeper
FFL-04-CFerret class Fast Cargo Ship
Vehicle Type:FFL-04-EEscort Corvette
FFL-04-MMinesweeper
FFL-04-CFast Cargo Ship
Crew:FFL-04-E16 (2 officers)
FFL-04-M20 (3 officers)
FFL-04-C10 (2 officers)


M.D.C. By Location:

Central Sensor Suite (Minesweeper Version, built into hull): 300
Point Defense Rail Gun Turrets (2):150 each
Triple Barrel Defense Laser Turrets (2):150 each
Long Range Missile Batteries (Escort / Minesweeper Versions,2):400 each
Mini-Missile Launchers (4):100 each
[1] Bridge:800
[2] Main Body:2,000
[3] Variable Force Field:800 a side (4,800 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% (240 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 0.9 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is Mach 2, 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 3.5 light years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either Drive system. Carries about one year worth of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:
Length: 115 feet (35.1 meters)
Height: 220 feet (67.1 meters)
Width: 80 feet (24.4 meters)
Weight: 1,800 tons (1,632.9 metric tons)
Power System: Fusion with a 25 year life span (fusion was far cheaper than anti-matter). The ship normally only goes 5 years between refueling and refitting.
Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 100 tons (90.72 metric tons) for Ferret-E class Escort, 20 tons (18.14 metric tons) for Ferret-M class Minesweeper, and 300 tons (272.16 metric tons) for Cargo Ship version. This is 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 take up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: Escort Version normally cost between 200 and 400 million credits, Minesweeper Version cost between 300 and 500 million credits, and Cargo Version cost between 75 and 100 million credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Two (2) Rail Guns: Unlike most of the rail guns used on Phase World Starships, these are standard electromagnetic rail guns. Each Rail Gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. The rail gun still fires projectiles at incredible velocities compared to rail guns on Rifts Earth and projectiles are fired from rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. It is used as an anti-Starfighter and missile weapon and against targets that are impervious to energy. 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 800 miles (1,290 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 3D6x10 M.D.C. for an 80 round burst.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 16,000 Rounds (200 Bursts) each cannon.
  2. Two (2) 2 cm Point Defense Lasers in Double Mounts: used as an anti-Starfighter and missile weapon. Each laser turret 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.
    Maximum Effective Range: 2.5 miles (4 km) miles through atmosphere and 250 miles (402.3 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  3. Two (2) Long Range Missile Batteries: Carried on escort and minesweeper versions. 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, launcher, 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. Batteries have a lower number of actual launchers than the modern CAF long range missile batteries and each launcher is slightly larger in size.
    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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles per battery, per melee attack.
    Payload: Escort Version: 144 total (72 long range missiles per battery), Minesweeper Version: 96 total (48 long range missiles per battery.)
  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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of four (4) or eight (8) 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 (No reloads on cargo version.)


Sensor System of Note:



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Image drawn and copyrighted by Roman Kochnev (r_kochnev@hotmail.com) .

More Roman Kochnev artwork at The Science Fiction Art and Design Portfolio of Roman Kochnev.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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