Tri-Galactic Military Squire class Fighter Support Shuttle:
The usual profile for fighter missions is to launch their ordinance against an enemy force and retire back to their base of operations to reload. Sometimes this is a carrier while other times it can be an asteroid, moon, or orbital, or planet based facility. While most fighters carry internal weapon such as lasers, their capabilities are a fraction of what they are with missiles. One idea which would appear to be obvious would be to rearm the fighters while still in space. Some experiment were done with light carriers but even light carriers are extremely valuable to risk in such a manner.
An engineer with the Tri-Galactic Military decided to do an experiment. She decided that she would develop a special shuttle design which could support fighters while out in deep space. It would allow for the support of fighters while more able to be sacrificed. While most fighter pilots do not like the idea that they are expendable, it is a fact of life. There were only limited funds available for the project but she was able to develop a working prototype of the design. To keep development cost down, off the shelf components were used as much as possible.
The prototype support shuttle showed enough potential that it was decided than a number of additional test craft would be built as well. Some tests have been extremely successful while others have been less so. Some pilots have resented the fact that a fighter pilot is usually tasked to pilot the support craft and feel it is a waste of their talents. As well, there are some who feel that a heavy fighter would be better to be used instead of a support shuttle. Still, it is much cheaper to build than a heavy fighter. Mission plans include the support in strike missions as well as operating with space patrols. Several militaries are looking at the testing of these craft with great interest. These include the Human Alliance Military and the Free Worlds Council.
The concept of the craft is fairly simple. It simply uses a group of robotic arms to rearm the fighter it is supporting. The two craft simple link up with the two under fuselage together. The craft cannot accelerate or maneuver while docking. As well, the craft cannot reload fighters while in an atmosphere. The support craft carries a tractor beam so it can dock with fighters. The tractor beam can also be used to pull damaged fighters to safety. Up to four missiles can be loaded at one time and only a single fighter can be serviced at one time. A long range or medium range missile takes about one minute to reload. A cruise missile can be loaded in a minute and a half. Short range missiles require forty seconds to load. Mini-missile packs and ammo clips for rail guns can be loaded within two minutes. Hard points are easiest to reload with bays taking about twenty-five percent longer to reload.
Because the support craft does not need to carry the missiles and other ordnance in a read to fire state, it can carry a larger amount of payload than a fighter or similar size. Up to forty-eight cruise missiles can be carried. Two long range missile replace one cruise missiles, four medium range missiles replace a single cruise missile, or eight short range missile replaces a single cruise missile. Each mini-missile pack or rail gun ammo pack requires the space of two cruise missiles. Usually a mix of different ordnance is carried.
The craft is protected as one might expect from a light fighter with light shields. As well, speed is equal to that of the Proctor class heavy fighter although the support craft does not carry a faster than light drive. While sluggish compared to most fighters, it is extremely maneuverable for a shuttle. There are no forward firing weapon but instead a single variable focus particle beam turret is mounted. With the fighter and support craft unable to maneuver while rearming, a turret was seen as the most effective potential mount. The support craft also has a pair of hard points. They are stressed for a cruise missile each although they are rarely carried. Eight medium range missiles are most often carried. The normal crew is a crew of four, a pilot, co-pilot, loading operator, and turret gunner. Due to the craft not needing the electronics to support missile launchers, price is greatly reduced compared to a four person heavy fighter.
This starship design uses modified starship speed and ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.
(Note: The power system is fusion not anti-matter because the author's opinion is that anti-matter is too dangerous to be used in vehicles that may be used in an atmosphere. If a starship powered by anti-matter was to detonate in an atmosphere it would cause huge planetary damage. At GM option, this can also be applied to all starfighters and shuttles or this shuttle can be changed to anti-matter.)
Model Type: TMS-FSS-10
Vehicle Type: Shuttle, Fighter Support
Crew: Four (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Loading Operator, and Turret Gunner)
M.D.C. By Location:
|Variable Focus Point Defense Particle Beam Mount (1, Top):||150|
|Missile Hard Points (2, Underside):||10 each|
|Cargo Bay (1, Underside):||250|
|Cargo Arms (16, Underside):||5 each|
| Main Body:||1,000|
| Variable Force Field:||200 per side (1,200 total)|
 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.
 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 round.
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. Shuttle can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.0 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed is Mach 1.8 (1,188 mph / 1,911.9 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 for one month (one and a half with strict rationing.)
Length: 86.5 feet (26.37 meters).
Height: 21.6 feet (6.58 meters).
Width: 54.4 feet (16.58 meters)
Weight: 428 tons (388.28 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 20 year life span.
Cargo: One hundred tons (90.72 metric tons) if not carrying missiles or other ordnance. Each crew member also has a very small locker for personal items and uniforms.
Market Cost: 75 million credits
- One (1) Variable Focus Particle Beam Mount: Mount is above the main fuselage of shuttle. This particle beam is 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).
- Missile Pylons (2): The support shuttle has two hard points. Each hard point can carry one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles. The pylon must carry all the same type ordnance. A Cruise missile is normally carried when on an anti-capital ship role and long and medium range missiles when fighting other starfighters. Cruise Missiles have 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). Long Range Missiles have 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 have 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. When drive goes dead, missiles will still cruise unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because the target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but all missiles are all considered smart missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: 300 miles (480 km) in space and 3 miles (4.8 km) in an atmosphere.
Mega Damage: Single Target: 4D6x10 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.
Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missiles range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds), Long Range Missiles range is 3,400 miles (5470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds)
Mega-Damage & Properties: See Phase World Missile tables (Cruise Anti-Matter does 4D6x100 M.D.C. and Long Range Fusion does 2D4x100 M.D.C.).
Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two or four.
Payload: One Cruise Missile, Two Long Range Missiles, or four Medium Range Missiles per hard point (Almost always, medium range missiles are carried).
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By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
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