The "Highland" is a large VIP shuttle 50m long (with acceleration vanes extended) that is equipped with inertial dampers so that it may accelerate for extended periods at 20g without harming its passengers, and is atmosphere-capable for planetary takeoffs and landings.
A middleweight space superiority fighter, the Spearhead is well liked for its speed and maneuverability. Pilots do have to get used to its limited visibility and the relatively low fire rate of the main armament.
This magnificent and remarkable vessel is the brainchild of and irony of irony – it’s his birthday too
I was requested to do this, to depict his pride and joy and bring it to life. When I first saw the Altantis I was like "HOW THE F*** WAS I GOING TO PULL THIS OFF!?!?!??!?!" But then that is what made me do this - it’s difficult, it’s unusual, and it’s a challenge; and that is a galvanising reason to try. If one can do this, anything is possible.
This ship was not as hard to do as I first thought; all I was worried about was the texture of the hull, something I had experimented on and which then gelled into place with ease. All the lights are done with Colour Dodges, and the Nebula was done with the Warp effect.
This machine is incredible and has influences obviously from the Sovereign Class, the SDF-1 Macross, and maybe a bit of the ol’ Galactica in this. But here is a terrifying ship to behold – it has numerous fighting subordinate craft, shocking weapons, and formidable defences.
The IATR (International Arms Trade Restriction) treaty uses naval classifications to define vessels that fall into the warship category. This is largely done to restrict mercenary companies from fielding anything larger than a battlecruiser within the boundaries of a TAN member nation. However it has become an industry standard among those same mercenaries to develop enemy classification equivalents. IATR classification standards are, frankly, rather sloppy, more or less mirroring the conventional commercial vessel classification. These are Corvette (300m or less), Frigate (300m – 750m), Destroyer (750m – 1.25km), Cruiser (1.25 – 1.75km), Battlecruiser (1.75km – 2.5km), Battleship (2km – 3km) and Dreadnought (3km and larger). It should be noted that the wide range of Battlecruiser classification does overlap into the Battleship classification. This is due to the heavy lobbying influence of the various mercenary corporations and governments that rely on them to influence the IATR review committee to create a great deal of wiggle-room. The result is the ability of mercenaries to field battleship-capable vessels that are classed as battlecruisers, such as Spartan Group’s Akinakes-class Battlecruiser.
However, Spartan Group operates in many Freespace systems- as well as owning over a dozen star systems of their own where they base their shipyards, R&R resort worlds, logistics support and mining operations (most mercenary corporations that can afford it mine their own turine for armour and Corellium for jump engine fuel rods, allowing them to be independent of outside suppliers for critical resources that cannot be replicated in a nanovat), etc. This non-national territorial dispersion gives them the ability to ignore IATR restrictions operationally and still make a profit. Put simply- they are not technically violating the treaty, as the battleships they build do not enter TAN member nation space, yet Spartan Group has enough non-TAN clients to offset the cost of such ships.
The primary battleship in the Spartan Group fleet is the Kopis, named for the inward-curving Greek sword (also known as a falcata when it was used by the Celts of Iberia to hack Greek and Roman troops into confetti) so feared by the enemies of Alexander the Great. The Kopis lives up to its namesake, being deadlier than most TAN nation military battleships. It should be little surprise that this has caused a great deal of discomfort amongst many of the smaller or more paranoid nations. Spartan Group is reputed to have between three hundred and eight hundred of these massive warships- small by TAN member fleet standards, but far more than every other mercenary corporation combined. Half of these are held in reserve as flagships for their garrison fleets that protect Spartan Group’s systems while the other have are projected as needed for field operations. The Kopis is, simply put, a ship-killer. While it may not have the terrifying WMD firepower of the Pinpoint Singularity Projector (PSP) or Point-to-Point Gravitic Projection (aka “G-Slicer”) cannons that can annihilate entire worlds in a shot or two, it should be pointed out that only the Ahruga, Australians, and reputedly the Americans and Orions have those weapons. Removing WMDs from the table, the Kopis is one of the deadliest capital ships in known space. Four bow-emitter spinal heavy AP lancers are flanked by a brace of custom-built super-heavy APPCs comparable to those found on Ahrugan warships (and reputedly purchased off of them, which should scare military analysts to ponder what the Ahrugan developed to make those monstrosities obsolete enough to sell). Underneath these are no less than eight heavy MAC Gauss cannons able to use fast-recharge gravitic accelerators to maintain a very high rapid-fire rate.
No less than TWENTY heavy AP lancer spinal mounts are located further back, four amidships and sixteen on the engine nacelle support ring. Eight aft-facing AP lancer spinals mounted in the rear-mid hull and stern make attacking from the rear nearly as suicidal as getting in front of the Kopis. Six more super-heavy APPCs are mounted as cross-spinals, two forward and one rearward of the nacelle ring on either side. Four adjustable-arc retractable-emitter heavy AP lancer cross-spinals are mounted amidship, two to either side just forward of the huge fighter and small craft hanger bays. For directional firepower, the Kopis mounts twelve conventional tri-barrel heavy APPC turrets, seven dorsal and five ventral, as well as four double-barrel turrets, two port and two starboard. Fourty medium AP lancer turrets on the nacelle ring alone make life hell for any small craft or corvettes attempting fast-attack runs, as do the two dozen medium APPC turrets located throughout the hull. Nearly one hundred light APPC and AP lancer turrets act as both anti-fighter and anti-missile defense, and the Kopis mounts enough point defense turrets to make it nearly immune to missile strikes.
Speaking of missiles, the philosophy behind the conventional missile payload of the Kopis can be summed up in a single word- overkill. This vessel spawned the slang term “Macross Missile Massacre”- referring to an old pre-Fall animated series known for small vessels spewing out ten times their own mass in missiles- when witnesses first saw a Kopis volley-fire all of its batteries. Tactical computers monitoring all objects in the battle theater nearly had meltdowns as five THOUSAND additional contacts instantly came onto the field, and two ships’ AIs voiced their surprise with rather colourful language. Six eighty-shot SSM batteries would be enough to wipe out a dozen capital ships by themselves, but the designers at Spartan Group were either driven to overachieve, or Accounting never sent them the memo about missile costs because they continued to add more. Fourty six-shot ASM silos, two hundred twenty-shot LRM batteries, fifty twenty-shot SRM batteries and eighty Hellhound cruise missile silos in the nacelle ring (fourty fore, fourty aft) round out the missile-chucking capacity of the Kopis.
No Terran military- private or governmental- uses dedicated carriers for a variety of reasons (carriers are based around a naval warfare principle of using fighters and small craft as force-multipliers, but against warships this is a difficult prospect as omnidirectional disruptors, point defense turrets, interceptors and corvettes usually erase fighters when they get too close, minimizing their impact relative to the cost of a dedicated carrier). However, battleships often fill the same role traditional held by carriers, with the addition of being a potent battle platform in their own right. The Kopis is no different, with fourty fighter launch-and-recovery bays (ten port, ten starboard, twenty ventral split along either side of the keel) each able to launch an eight-fighter squadron for a total of 320 fighters. Ten small-craft bays (five port, five starboard) allow for the Kopis to launch its compliment of fifty Condor dropships in quick order, carrying troops and vehicles to the surface. Eight specialized hanger bays- four port, four starboard, spread across the midship area- allow the Kopis to carry a compliment of sixteen corvettes in addition to the fighter compliment.
The Kopis is one of the toughest ships in the Terran sphere, rivaling Aussie battlecruisers and Ahrugan destroyers (which may seem to be a slap in the face, but when one considers that Ahrugan destroyers are nearly three kilometers long and basically a flying wedge of armour, this is a compliment. What the Ahruga call a battleship most nations call dreadnoughts, and Ahrugan dreadnoughts are battlestations on PMS with jump engines). In addition to a honeycomb superstructure made of carbon-turine interweave that is nearly unmatched in durability (1.5 MILLION hull points), the thick hide of the Kopis and its shielding make this one very tough ship to kill. Using nanofield-enhanced atomically-bonded metallic hydrogen/carbon-tourine composite battleplate between thirty and one hundred meters thick in some places, the Kopis has the thickest armour of any mercenary warship, and outclasses most military ones. The custom-built quadruple-layered Therion ablative/deflector shields- each layer equal to twice the protective energy of a class VI combat shield generator- cocoon the Kopis in warm, fuzzy layers of I-will-end-you-and-everything-you-love-if-you-poke-me loving.
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