Deckplans for a Freetrader vessel from the Dark Nova role-playing game.
Based on the Sparrowhawk rendered by
Thurman Industries’ most recent entry into the competitive armed transport market, the Sparrowhawk is one of the most common light cargo ships used by Freetraders when speed and maneuverability are more important than cargo space or armor. Surprisingly well-armed for her size, the Sparrowhawk class can hit hard and run fast when the occasion calls for it, which- with most Freetraders- is often. The Sparrowhawk has two crew quarters, one larger set of quarters for the captain, and a communal shower/toilet for crew and passengers. While not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination, the proximity of the two cargo modules to the engines, jump drive, and weapon systems creates an optimal alignment for installing smuggler’s holds that are virtually impervious to scans.
The Sparrowhawk’s factory weapons are two spinal-mount APBC lancers mounted under the bridge in the bow of the ship, two heavy dual-PPC turrets- one dorsal, and another mirroring it on the ventral side- each with DPX-11 targeting computer integration systems, and four retractable medium dual PPC turrets- two dorsal, two ventral- all with 360° horizontal x 180° vertical arcs of fire. Rounding out the firepower are two Swarm missile banks- one fore between the spinal mounts, and one aft between the engines- designed to add extra punch to the already impressive firepower of this agile little ship.
Deckplans for a privateer vessel from the Dark Nova Roleplaying Game, copyright Dark Nova Games.
The pride of Renault Aerospace, an Australian shipbuilding firm specializing in privateers, the Peregrine is one of the smallest privateer vessels in known space, surpassed only by the Jackknife in minute stature. Unlike most privateer vessels, however, the Peregrine doesn’t rely on brute force to achieve its goals. While extremely well-armed for its size, the Peregrine’s claim to fame is its extensive and comprehensive stealth and ENWO (Electronic and Network Warfare Operations) capabilities.
Many pirates and marauders underestimate the Peregrine due to her small size. This is almost universally a fatal mistake, as she packs one hell of a punch for a vessel only slightly larger than a Conestoga-class shuttle. The Peregrine sports two medium AP lancer spinal mounts, a unique pair of quad-barreled medium APPC turrets- one dorsal and one ventral- and four retractable light APPC turrets (shown in the deployed configuration), one dorsal-port, one dorsal-starboard, and a matching pair on the ventral side.
Hidden inside the armoured booms protecting the spinal mount barrels, however, are a pair of disruptor cannon spinals. While shorter ranged than their conventional counterparts, they are heavily shielded and do not betray their presence to any but the most determined of scans. These allow the Peregrine to take on vessels far larger than itself by knocking out critical systems, shields, weapons, etc. In addition to this directed ENWO weapon, the Peregrine sports a grab-bag of other ECM and ECCM.
The most obvious of these to any raider that attempts to flee is the jump engine destabilizer. Normally only found on mercenary and military warships- and most especially on ISP patrol ships- this device disrupts the cynosural link between normal space and hyperspace that is created by the jump engine to create a stable quantum tunnel (a.k.a. “wormhole”), causing the target’s jump engines to continuously reset for as long as the destabilizer is active. This prevents it from successfully opening a jump point.
In addition, powerful communications and sensor jammers prevent the target vessel from calling for help, giving warning, or finding the source of their misery. A displacement field emits distorted waves of gravitic energy that warp energetic emissions slightly, convincing sensors and targeting systems that the target is anywhere from a meter to several kilometers away from its actual location. A Doppelgänger unit allows the Peregrine to mimic a light freighter or luxury yacht, creating the holographic image and sensor readouts of a juicy target to lure marauders in.
Last, but not least, the Peregrine sports top-of-the-line active signature dampeners when de-cloaked, and has a potent cloaking field generator for maximized stealth. The vessel also has hardware slots for further expansions of the ENWO capabilities, making this one of the potentially nastiest vessels you will ever tangle with as a pirate.
The designers at Renault Aerospace made good use of their sub-contract with the Australio-Pacifica Coalition military, gaining access to the incredibly tough atomically-bonded metallic hydrogen battleplate for the Peregrine. This mil-spec armour is layered on far thinner than in a mercenary or military vessel, but gives it a significant edge over many vessels in much larger classes. Hyperion Combat II shield generators round out the defenses, making the Peregrine one incredibly tough bird.
A great deal of controversy has arisen after the debut of the Peregrine due to its shockingly low cost. The ENWO gear alone should have cost well over half a million credits at wholesale costs, yet Renault Aerospace was still able to produce this vessel with an average retail pricetag of 850,000cr. There has been speculation that they are receiving subsidies from the APC government to field as many of these vessels as possible to counter the growing threats from predatory aliens along the Fringe and in the Colonial Territories. Others claim that Renault is selling the vessels at a loss to drive their competitors out of business. Most agree that there is no way that the vessel could be sold so cheaply without some sort of sweetheart deal, government backing, or industrial espionage.
In the year since its release in 2317, the Peregrine has already made a name for itself. It has also earned the admiring eye of pirate gangs and Syndicates throughout known space. Despite the IATR treaty restrictions limiting sale to licensed mercenaries and privateers bearing valid and current Letters of Marque and Reprisal, it is inevitable that some of these vessels- through theft, corruption or capture- have wound up in the wrong hands.
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