While the creation of COBRA's first carrier units is generally considered to be of greater historical importance, one would be remiss to neglect mention of it's older sibling the Adder class. While the refitted Garter class Frigate was a considerable improvement in terms of speed, durability and firepower there were still concerns. While a general assessment of their capacities showed that they had become more than a match for their raider counterparts, their were still concerns about the threat posed by larger, better made dedicated warships of the established powers listed in the raider's logs could pose. Initially three ships were ordered in 2121 (the Adder, the Cottonmouth and the Asp, named for Cobra Prime's three continents) with MARS's engineers working day and night. Work began on this first batch in 2123 with the respective ships being launched in 2126, 2127 and 2129. In 2133 five more of these ships were ordered with some minor improvements and refinements, mostly to simplify production and improve reliability.
The Adder's warp systems were identical to those of the of the Wasp, as was it's general performance at FTL speed with better STL maneuverability due to the fact that it weighed only 130,000 tonnes. It was 190 meters long and had a crew of 200 spacers, in addition to some 30 Void Vipers and 300 B.A.T.s in storage. Each ship also carries a pair of S-5 Dragon shuttlecraft, though it could also carry three Stiletto fighters. It was heavily armored and carried a main armament of eight torpedo tubes and two heavy particle cannons, each of which was more twelve times as powerful as those medium models mounted on a Frigate but had a lower rate of fire, plus four aft medium particle cannons. It's main energy weapons were placed in armored turrets to maximize coverage.
The Adder was the product of brute force engineering applied to creating a brawler. Built to be both take and give punishment and specifically to engage craft either comparable or larger in size with concentrated firepower. Even so, this came at the cost of STL maneuverability and a limited ability to respond to multiple assailants and generally requires an escort for support. The Adder class first taste of combat against pirate vessels in 2134 and saw a few more engagements which were similarity easily won. Even so, their true test came in 2142 at the battle of C-3 when the Adder class Cruisers Asp and Copperhead (as well as four escorts) were confronted by a squadron of three Klingon D-5 Cruisers. In that fight two of it's escorting frigates were destroyed, another was crippled and had to be towed back to COBRA prime while the Asp suffered major damage and needed several weeks of field repair work before it could limp home for proper repairs. The Copperhead while suffering less damage still needed some yard work afterwards. Even so, one ship was destroyed outright while the remaining two were forced into retreat after receiving damage, with one of said ships being unable to limp back to Klingon Space, forcing her crew to abandon ship and scuttle. While this did prove that Coatl Station's Shipyards, MARS and the Academy of Science could produce ships which at least hold their own in a firefight with the established power, they were now faced with the threat of a large expansionist power. Among the responses of the Third Commander to this threat was the commissioning of three more Adder class cruisers with upgraded Warp systems.
Very interesting! Will we see the shuttles and any transports Cobra uses in future pics? And hope this story lasts long enough for them to meet the Federation! That would be total mindf*** for Kirk and co!