Vindex Escort Carrier:


The idea of converting cargo ships into carriers actually predates space travel with ocean going cargo ships being converted into carriers actually being among the first aircraft carriers. Starships designed as cargo vessels being converted into carriers dates from soon after star travel was achieved. The normal term for these ships is “escort carrier.” One reason is that they often operate as escorts for merchant fleets although this is only a small part of their duties.


Compared to purpose built carriers, with very few exceptions, escort carriers are slower and are far less protected. Even so, they can be very effective warships with their fighters acting as their main strike arm. Being slower means that these escort carriers cannot respond to a crisis as quickly as one might wish but that is usually manageable. As far as being less tough, one can only attempt to avoid being directly in the line of fire. Of course, this is not always possible.


The Vindex was converted from a Cargo Master medium merchant. As such, it is larger than many escort carriers. Few are converted from larger than medium merchant ships. It was originally operated as a military support ship for an Independent Defense Force (IDF) but was sold as surplus with a military downsizing. The ship was actually pretty new when sold and was in generally excellent condition.


Most escort carriers are highly individual with each ship quite different in internal layout, fighter compliment, and defensive batteries. As such, while the Vindex is similar to many escort carrier designs, it cannot really be considered representative.


Some escort carriers are converted as an ad hoc affair with the Vindex being something of an exception. The ship was in fact actually converted in a proper ship yard. This make the escort carrier one of the better escort carriers. It is generally a more effective vessel in many respects than many although a true light fleet carrier is still far more effective. Its worst weakness is still the ship’s speed. It has rather slow acceleration in system and can only reach about sixty percent that of most modern light fleet carriers as far as faster than light speeds. The power plant also is unmodified but this is less critical.


The main hull is basically unarmored although the size of the ship means that it can take a fair amount of abuse. It does however carry military class force fields. Variable and able to be focused to one side, these shields can withstand almost five times as much abuse. Particle and radiation shielding is also upgraded. Sensors are also upgraded to military standards so that the ship might find danger easier and avoid it.


Still, a ship needs to be as ready as possible for danger as can be done. For this reason, the ship is reasonably well armed as far as self defense. The only original weapon system that is retained are the six medium range missile batteries. Their payload is however is vastly increased and an additional two batteries are fitted with the ship having eight medium range missile batteries. Of course, the long range missile batteries are generally much more effective with their much greater range. Eight point defense particle beams replace the standard point defense lasers. While they inflict similar damage, the particle beams have three times the range. In addition, the ship mounts four GR-1000 heavy gravity rail guns. These heavy point defense mounts are both extremely powerful and long ranged. No true anti-ship weaponry is carried although the long range missile batteries can do it in a pinch.


As a carrier, the main strike force is in the fighter compliment. The carrier has four squadrons of light fighters and four squadrons of medium fighters. Interestingly, there is some effort at cost cutting in the embarked craft while not greatly cutting into combat performance. The light fighter compliment is four squadrons of Ross Aerospace “ICE Hyena” light fighters. As far as cost, the Ross “ICE Hyena” light fighter is only about sixty percent that of a Bushido Industries “Tanto” and eighty percent that of a Consortium “Scorpion.” Medium fighters include three squadrons of Vector Aerospace “Super Osprey” with three lasers each and a single squadron of Bushido Industries Katana fighters with FTL boosters embarked for the Bushido fighters. The upgraded Osprey is among the least expensive medium fighters at forty million credits while still considered quite combat effective. Still, the single squadron of Katana fighters with their boosters cost almost as much as the three squadrons of Super Osprey. Their main role is long range scouting and in some cases may not even be used in combat roles.


The carrier does not embark significant troop compliment but does have forty troops embarked for shipboard defense. In addition, the ship has thirty-six space power armors. As with the fighter compliment, there was an effort made to reduce costs and the Stormcrow armor is carried instead of the Silverhawk. Each one of the knock off designs is only a little more than half the cost of the Consortium combat armor. All are fitted with protective force fields for greater durability.


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


Model Type: Modified CRA-1565 Cargo Master Medium Freighter

Vehicle Type: Escort Carrier (Modified Medium Freighter)

Crew: 308 (18 Officers and 290 Enlisted Crew)

Troops: 265 Fighter Pilots / Crews, 36 Stormcrow Pilots, and 30 Marines.


Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:

Power Armors:

36

SC-MM-1000 Stormcrow Space Combat Exoskeleton

Fighter Compliment:

12

Bushido Industries BIF-67 Katana Medium Fighters (with FTL Boosters)

48

Ross Aerospace MSX-128-ICE “I.C.E. Hyena” Light Starfighter

36

Vector Aerospace SF-6 "U” Super Osprey class Medium Starfighter


M.D.C. By Location:

GR-1000 Point Defense Gravity Rail Gun Turrets (8):

250 each

Point Defense Particle Beam Turrets (4):

200 each

Long Range Missile Batteries (2):

500 each

Medium Range Missile Batteries (8):

300 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

Hanger Bays (4):

3,000 each

[1] Bridge:

4,000

[2] Main Engines (2):

5,000 each

[3] Main Body:

25,000

[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.


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 0.5 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 250 mph (402 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 2.5 light years per hour.

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


Statistical Data:

Length: 950 feet (289.6 meters).

Height: 330 feet (100.6 meters).

Width: 320 feet (97.5 meters).

Weight: 350,000 Tons (317,500 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 10,000 tons (9,070 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.

Market Cost: 2.3 Billion credits to build and convert (Does not include standard fighter and power armor compliment.)


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Four (4) GR-1000 Large Point Defense Rail Guns: The GR-1000 Rail Guns both are more powerful and have more range than the conventional rail guns. This greatly increases their effectiveness. Even so, the mounts are not really for use against capital ships but can devastate a fighter quickly. The mounts are still useful against incoming missiles and against opponents who are impervious to energy. Each Gravity Rail Gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Projectiles are fired from rail gun at a significant fraction of the speed of light. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at F.T.L. velocities. The gravity rail guns use a 30 mm projectile.

  2. 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. Eight (8) Point Defense Particle Beams: Replace the original six laser mounts. They are used for anti-missile, anti-power armor, and anti-starfighter. Each Particle Beam is in a turret that 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.

  4. Maximum Effective Range: 600 miles (960 km) in space and range is 6 miles (9.6 km) in 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.

  5. Two (2) 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, 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.

  6. 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 (32) missiles per battery, per melee attack.

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

  7. Eight (8) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Launcher magazines are increased from standard capacity of 32 missiles per battery. Medium range missile 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. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

  8. 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 (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), or eight (8) missiles per battery, per melee attack.

    Payload: 128 per battery for a total of 768 medium range missiles.



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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 © 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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