Higgens Light Assault Shuttle:


Most of the better known assault shuttle classes are relatively large designs with the Trans-Galactic Empire "Rain of Death" and the Naruni "Goliath" being two of the largest designs. The Consortium standard assault shuttle is smaller but still a huge craft and most of the companies which produce assault shuttles have concentrated on shuttle designs of similar mass.


Granted, there are many advantages of such designs. They can be heavier armored and can carry much heavier weaponry. Also, such designs can carry far more troops and can embark vehicles. That said, there are also advantages of much smaller assault shuttle designs. They can be carried on much smaller vessels, are far less expensive, and are extremely useful for commando type raids.


Several companies manufacture lights assault shuttle classes. The Tri-Galactic Military Rampage class light assault shuttle, around the size of a large heavy fighters is the minimum size which can effectively carry an armored vehicle of any mass. Most are quite a bit smaller though with the smallest only being a bit larger than a medium fighter. Some have upgraded civilian shuttle designs although few consider that an ideal solution.


The Higgens class Light Assault Shuttle is one of the oldest light assault shuttle classes in the Three Galaxies and is in widespread use. The shuttle is in service with many mercenary companies and independent defense forces. Most large militaries prefer larger shuttle designs. Some have been disarmed and are used for various civilian roles as well. While the original manufacturer of the shuttle is long gone, several companies still manufacture copies of this shuttle.


The naming of the shuttle is not exactly clear and has been a matter of much debate among scholars. It is most commonly believed that it comes from historic references of a small ocean type landing craft. Stories about the "Higgens" harken back from when the human race was limited to a single planet and war was fought on the oceans. There is some suggestion that the boat was actuallt constructed from wood. Some historians doubt the authenticity of the legends surrounding the original Higgens legend.


The light assault shuttle is a bit larger than a standard personnel shuttle at around sixty tons. Standard crew is three, pilot, weapon operator, and communications. A total of around four dozen troops can be embarked in the shuttle although limited to three dozen in power armor. There are no provisions for any kind of combat vehicle although a maximum of 25 metric tons of cargo can be carried.


The shuttle is quite heavily built and can take around the same abuse as an Osprey class medium starfighter. However, one disadvantage of the standard Higgens is that it does not mount any defensive shields. Several companies upgrade these shuttles with light fighter class shields. Acceleration of the shuttle is definitely better than a standard passenger or cargo shuttle but still comparative slow when compared to most starships and especially starfighters. It is an aerodynamic design which allows it to operate more effectively in an atmosphere better than many heavier designs.


As far as weaponry, the Higgens does not mount any actual turrets like most larger assault shuttles but weaponry is mounted in a similar fashion to most starfighters. The assault shuttle has a pair of forward firing light lasers mounted under the fuselage. There are a pair of mini-missile launchers of the wing tips which are mostly used for ground suppression roles. As well, the shuttle has a total of four missile hard points. Each hard point can mount a single long range missile, a pair of medium range missiles for a total of eight medium range missiles, or eight short range missiles for a maximum of sixteen short range missiles. Some upgrades increase the number of missile hard points to six.


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


Model Type: LASVP-10
Vehicle Type: Light Assault Shuttle
Crew: Three (Can be run by one)
Troops: Forty-Eight (Or Thirty-Six in light power armors)


M.D.C. By Location:

Fuselage Laser Cannons (2):30 each
Mini-Missile Launchers (2, Wingtips):50 each
Missile Pylons (4 or 6, on the Underside):10 each
Landing Gear (3):20 each
Side Troop Doors (2):60 each
Rear Cargo / Troop Door:200
[1] Wings (2):350 each
[2] Main Body:650
Cockpit:250
[3] Variable Force Field (Upgrade Models):200 per side (1,200 total)


Notes:
[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the shuttle to crash if it is flying within an atmosphere. Destruction of a wing has no effect in space.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the shuttle 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] Upgrade Models Only - Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (60 M.D.C.) per melee


Speed:
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 20 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.8 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed is Mach Two (1,482.9 mph / 2,386.5 kph), can enter and leave an atmosphere because flight system is by contra grav.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by Drive system but only has supplies for crew members for about two weeks.


Statistical Data:
Length: 67.3 feet (20.5 meters).
Height: 13.8 feet (4.2 meters).
Width: 19.0 feet (5.8 meters) with wings folded and 47.6 feet (14.5 meters) with wings fully extended
Weight: 60 tons (54.4 metric tons)
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 20 year life span.
Cargo: Cargo hold that can carry up to 27.6 ton (25 metric tons) of cargo if not configured for passengers The cargo hold is 13.1 x 9.2 x 32.8 feet in dimensions (4.0 x 2.8 x 10.0 meters).
Market Cost: Used models run around 30 million credits with new models cost around 45 million credits. Upgraded models with light force field cost around 35 million credits for used models and around 50 million for new models with force field generator.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Light Laser Cannons (2): Under the nose of the assault shuttle are a pair of laser cannon mounts. They are not as efficient as modern laser cannons beams but are more massive than most modern laser mounts. This means that they are actual slightly more powerful and slightly longer ranged than those carried by the CAF Black Eagle. However, they are not as powerful as the rail gun mounted on the Black Eagle. The gun pods are controlled by the fighters pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6 miles (9.7 km) through atmosphere and 600 miles (966 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: 2D4x10+10 per single blast, or 4D4x10+20 per double blast
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): These launchers are mounted on wingtips of shuttle and the Higgens class shuttle has two launchers with six tubes each for a total of twelve missile tubes that fire forward of the shuttle. The mini-missile launchers are controlled by the pilot or copilot. The mini-missiles are used for offensive and defensive purposes. 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).
    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 two (2), four (4), eight (8), or twelve (12) missiles.
    Payload: 24 per launcher for a total of 48 mini-missiles.
  3. Missile Pylons (4 or 6): On the underbelly of the shuttle are four missile racks (six in some models) that allows the shuttle to carry one long range missiles, two medium range missiles, or four short range missiles each. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. Long Range Missiles 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.) Medium Range Missiles has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Short Range Missiles: The missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 4% of light per turn (faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). 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 starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Missile can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously.
    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, Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds), and Short Range Missile range is 10 miles (16.1 km) in an atmosphere and 500 miles (804.7 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Long Range Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two, three, four, or eight missiles.
    Payload: 1 Long Range Missile, 2 Medium Range Missiles, or 4 Short Range Missiles per Pylon.



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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