Tri-Galactic Military Cerberus class Battle Minesweeper:


The planet of Temlar Prime was a major pirate base. The pirates had been raiding multiple systems and had been disrupting trade for hundreds of light years. It was well known where the pirates came from. A raid had been staged but it would have to be a smash and grab because the pirates had more forces than the various independent planetary forces could array against them.


The raid had come into attack the planet but it had been smashed. It had been hoped that the ships in system could be destroyed and then they could deal with the remaining forces in a more equal footing. Unfortunately, the planet was protected by a heavy mine field. When an attempt was made to clear the mine field, several cruisers had came out from the mine field and opened fire on the fragile minesweepers. Half a dozen were destroyed before they could retreat. In the time which the various independent planetary forces had attempted to clear the mine field, the pirates had gathered their forces. The planetary defense forces were caught between the forces of Temlar Prime and the pirate fleet. Only a few managed to escape.


In desperation, the various independent planets had hired the Tri-Galactic Military Services. Temlar Prime's orbital sensor arrays watched as six light battlecruiser class vessels approached the system along with a swarm of smaller vessels. While they carried a lot of fire power, these would smash themselves against the minefield. If they tried to bring up minesweepers, they would find themselves under fire from cruisers without support of the heavy warships in support.


As the fleet of Pocket Battleships approached the planet, four of the six heavy warships pulled forward of the others and entered range of the minefield. The other ships, including several carriers, joined the two pocket battleship that did not enter the minefield. The four pocket battleships which continued into the defenses of the minefield were modified with a reduction in the heavy batteries but the defensive batteries were vastly improved. They were also equipped with a mine hunting sensor array to cut through the jamming protecting the mine fields.


Mines began opening fire with capital missiles, Temlar Prime's forces expecting to overwhelm the ship’s defenses. Instead, the heavy warship’s defense batteries knocked most of the missiles out before they could hit the ships. Fighters, both from the modified pocket battleships and the carriers with the task force, knocked out even more of the incoming missiles. Decoys further confused the incoming capital missiles. Some of the missiles did make it through but most of the warheads spent themselves on the shields of the heavy warships. The four warships continued approaching through the heavy fire from the minefield.


The heavy minesweepers began targeting at the mines with their high powered search sensors. The targeting of the four ships were carefully synchronized so that they would not target the same mines. Between them the four vessels fired over a thousand long range missiles. Point defense batteries attempted to engage the incoming missiles but the defenses were not designed to deal with this many missiles at once and besides, warships were not suppose to get in this close to the mine.


Close to a third of the mines were destroyed in the first volley of missiles. The commander of the half dozen cruisers nestled in the mines ordered his ships forward to engage the ships with his main batteries. The minesweepers detected the approaching warships but continued to smash the minefields. The commander of the cruisers had made a mistake because while the heavy energy battery of the minesweepers was reduced, it was still heavier than the cruisers. Both forces opened fire at each other at virtually the same time. Energy weapon duels are extremely messy and both sides took heavy damage. One of the minesweepers took critical damage and with the ship dead and unable to defend itself, a volley of missiles turned the crippled warship into expanding gas. Other a thousand crew died under anti-matter fire. The other three heavy minesweeper had been heavily damaged as well but were still in fighting shape. They were almost out of long range missiles however. By this time, five of the six cruisers defending Temlar Prime had been destroyed and there was little left of the minefield.


The remaining unmodified pocket battleships joined the fray and the five warships made short work of the remaining cruiser.




Most minesweepers are built on destroyer or frigate hulls with some older classes built on cruiser classes. There have been in the past a number of cruisers and battleships also converted to the role of minesweeper although far rarer. While less expendable, the reason to use to use heavier ships over destroyers is that they can withstand far more damage. In addition, sometimes heavy warships will hide within a mine field and when a minesweeper attempts to clear out the mines, the heavy warship will engage the smaller vessels.


Tri-Galactic Military Services decided to built a number of their Pocket Battleships into a Minesweeper configuration instead of the standard configuration. Most are used by their own forces although they will sell the design as well. Being far tougher than a standard minesweeper, they can be highly effective when used properly. They can be extremely bad news for a cruiser hiding in the minefield if the Cerberus gets a chance to gets its teeth into the cruiser and is even more deadly against smaller vessels such as destroyers. The name of "Battle Minesweeper" is most often used to describe the vessel.


The standard sensors of the heavy warship are retained but a powerful minesweeping sensor augments these sensors. Many smaller vessels strip out part of the main sensor array to make room for the mine hunting sensors. It is much shorter ranged than the standard sensor suite but is able to track mines under powerful jamming. Operating in a focused cone, the mine hunting array contains gravity, radar, tachyon, and neutrino based sensors.


The defensive battery of these pocket battleships is vastly improved. Of course this requires a reduction in the heavy weaponry of the warship. Two out of the four capital missile batteries are removed and the four 12 cm and four 8 cm gravity rail guns are stripped. Much of the capital missile magazines, already less than most heavy warships, are stripped.


Most of the "teeth" of the pocket battleship is retained with the four 40 cm particle beams, two 18 cm slightly lighter particle beams, and two of the four capital missile batteries are retained as anti-ship weaponry. While older type weaponry, the heavy energy batteries are quite capable of turning a cruiser into a wreck within minutes and taking a destroyer out with just one or two direct hits. Generally the particle beams are salvaged while the cruise missile batteries are new weapon systems. The capital missile batteries are still equal to that of a Warshield class cruiser in the number of missiles which can be fired in a single volley. These minesweepers can also use box launchers similar to the standard Wyvern with sixteen able to be carried, adding an additional eighty capital missiles to a single missile volley.


Instead of just four long range missile batteries, the minesweeper mounts eight long range missile batteries. This is equal to the much larger Consortium Protector class battleship. The magazines have a total capacity for just over fifteen hundred long range missiles which breaks down to just under two hundred missiles per battery. These are usually new weapon systems like the capital missile batteries. Point defense weaponry is augmented as well and is also approximately the equal of a Protector class battleship. A total of sixteen mini-missile launchers, sixteen point defense electromagnetic rail guns, and sixteen variable focus particle beams make up the point defense arrays of the minesweepers. The rail guns and the mini-missile launchers are usually salvaged while the variable focus particle beams are usually new arrays.


Even though when compared to most heavy cruisers, these ships are heavily armored, when compared to a larger vessel such as a true battleship or battlecruiser, these ships carry fairly lightly armor. Like the standard Wyvern class, much of the armor material used is salvaged from scrapped vessels although the structure of these ships is not made from salvaged materials. Salvaged structural materials often have stress fractures and are far weaker than new structural materials. Shields are a number of lighter shield generators tied together instead of the more robust units mounted on most battleships and battlecruisers.


Like the Wyvern pocket battleship design that the Cerberus battle minesweeper is based on, the engines are salvaged from older warships. These do make the battle minesweeper design slower than most newer ships with a top faster than light speed of three and a half light years per hour. Acceleration in normal space lacks a bit as well. Still, neither of these factors is considered critical. It does have military particle shields so can reach the same top speed as most warships.


These ships are not much more cramped than a standard Wyvern class pocket battleships. The crew is increased only slightly and the troop compliment is slightly reduced as well. These battle minesweepers have relatively limited command and control capabilities although they do have an auxiliary bridge. The mine sweeper does have a small fighter compliment of one squadron of light fighters and one squadron of medium fighters. Usually these fighters are augmented by fighters from escorting carriers.


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


Model: TMS-MS-05B
Class: Battle Minesweeper / Light Battlecruiser
Crew: 920 (90 Officers, 830 enlisted)
Troops: 160 marines (80 typically stay on board for ship defense), 36 fighter pilots, and 20 power armor pilots


Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:
Power Armors:

20Light Power Armors
Fighter Compliment:
12Light Starfighters (Commonly the SF-69 CAF Scorpion Star Interceptor)
12Medium Starfighters (Commonly the BIF-67 Katana Starfighter)


M.D.C. By Location:

Minesweeping Sensor Suite (Front):1000
40 cm Main Particle Beam Batteries (2, 2 particle beams each):3,000 each
18 cm Secondary Particle Beam Batteries (2):1,000 each
Variable Focus Particle Beam Cannon Turrets (16):150 each
Point Defense Electromagnetic Rail Gun Turrets (16):150 each
Cruise Missile Batteries (2):1,000 each
Long Range Missile Batteries (8):600 each
Mini-Missile Launchers (16):100 each
Outer Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):150
Inner Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):100
[1] Bridge:12,000
[1] Auxiliary Bridge:12,000
Hanger Bays (2):6,000 each
[2] Main Engines (4):10,000 each
[3] Main Body:100,000
[4] Variable Force Field:8,000 a side (48,000 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 also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are taken out, 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 heavy minesweeper 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% (2,400 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 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.75 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum normal speed is 400 mph (644 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 3.5 light years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either Drive system. Carries about four months worth of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:
Length: 1,389.1 feet (423.4 meters)
Height: 270.7 feet (82.5 meters)
Width: 315.9 feet (96.3 meters)
Weight/Mass: 2.5 million tons (2.3 million metric tons)
Power System: Anti-Matter with a 25 year life span. The ship normally only goes 7 years between refueling and refitting.
Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 20,000 tons (18,140 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, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: Using mostly used components, 12.0 Billion credits. Using more new components such as missile launchers, 14.0 billion credits. These ships cost about half of selling cost to manufacture. Five shot external launchers cost 32 million credits extra each. Sixteen launchers add 512 million credits to the cost of the vessel.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Four (4) 40 cm Main Particle Beam Mounts (2 Batteries): Mounted along the sides of the hull are two mounts with two 40 cm particle beams on each mount. While these weapons are not quite as powerful as the 40 inch laser batteries on the Protector class Battleship, they are quite powerful and capable of taking out huge targets. Each battery can fire at up to two different targets or can be combined on one target. These cannons are capable of firing forward to aft and anywhere along the side of the ship. The cannons are also capable of 45 degrees up or down. When these weapons are massed, they are capable of taking out cruisers in two blasts. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 70,000 miles (112,650 km)in space and 70 miles (112.7 km) in an atmosphere
    Mega Damage: 1D6x1000 M.D.C. each Particle Beam. Both weapons in a battery can be combined to do 2D6x1000 M.D.C.
    Rate of Fire: Maximum of three (3) times per melee per particle beam. (Pocket Battleship has 4 cannons so ship can fire a total of 12 single shots from the main battery per melee round.)
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Two (2) 18 cm Secondary Particle Beam Mounts: These 18 cm particle beams are mounted in the forward area of the ship. Batteries can be fired up to 120 degrees toward the rear on either side (can only fire one cannon at a target at that angle but can spin to be able to bring both batteries to bear) and can fire at a 30 degree angle up or down. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 70,000 miles (112,650 km)in space and 70 miles (112.7 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 3D6x100 M.D.C. each (6D6x100 M.D.C. for both)
    Rate of Fire: Maximum of three (3) times per melee per particle beam.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Sixteen (16) Variable Focus Particle Beam Mounts: These particle beams are copied from those carried on the CAF Assault Shuttle and will fire a very powerful narrow beam and can fire a scatter effect that is less powerful but is capable of striking multiple targets. The weapon system is quite useful against missiles although the cone is not as wide as Tachyon cannon sprays are (Gives +2 bonus vs fast moving targets such as missiles.) Weapons are mounted in turrets that can rotate 360 and have a 180 arc of fire. Each mount can be operated by a gunner or a gunner program (+2 to strike, 3 Attacks per melee).
    Maximum Effective Range: 300 miles (480 km) in space and 3 miles (4.8 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: Single Target: 4D6x10 per blast. Wide Beam: 5D6 to all targets within a 5,000 foot (1,524 meter) diameter area. When fired as a wide beam, the cannon cannot be used on targets closer than 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) away.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  4. Sixteen (16) Electromagnetic Point Defense Rail Guns: Unlike most of the rail guns used on Phase World Starships, these are standard electromagnetic rail guns. They are 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. Mounts use a 15 mm depleted uranium projectiles. 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.
  5. Two (2) Cruise Missile Batteries: 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 minuses to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. This launcher is a standard CAF launcher. 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) missiles per launcher, per melee round, for a maximum of 64 missiles per melee. Launchers are reloaded on the same melee and can be fired again on the next.
    Payload: 128 total, 32 cruise missiles per launcher. Ship has 4 reload of missiles (256 cruise missile reloads total.) The Cerberus class also normally carries 16 Five shot style "Pepperbox" launchers (May be combined with internal launchers).
  6. Eight (8) Long Range Missile Batteries: 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.
    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 thirty-two (32) per launcher, per melee attack.
    Payload: 1,536 total, 192 long range missiles per launcher.
  7. Sixteen (16) 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 2,048 mini-missiles. No additional reloads are carried.


Sensor System of Note:



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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