Union of Solar Republics TYPE:
Space Destroyer-escort/Transport shuttle MODEL:
Vesta Factory #18 TS-04 DATE INTRODUCED:
2076 AD DIMENSIONS:
Main Body: 144.4 feet long x 50 foot high x 65.6 feet wide.
Engine Pods: 104.9 feet long x 32.8 feet high x 39.4 feet wide.
Command Module/Escape Ship: 47.6 feet long x 21.3 feet high x 36 feet wide. MATERIAL:
Composite-Alloy POWER PLANT:
Hensai Energy HEFR-5000A OUTPUT:
5000 megawatts ARMOR TYPE:
Composite-Alloy ARMOR THICKNESS:
1 inch DISPLACEMENT:
1500 tons CREW:
59 (10 Pilots, 10 Technicians, 10 Electricians, 10 Engineers, 3 Gunners, 7 Officers, 4 Medical, 5 Pilots) PROPULSION FASTER THAN LIGHT :
2x Centauri Research 3rd Generation, Mark-IV, CR-TSWD-185 SPEED:
.185 light years per hour each (.37 light years per hour total) INTERPLANETARY:
6x Eurospace ES-ID-400 (2 each engine pod, 2 on command module as emergency engines) SPEED:
30,400 mph each (121,600 mph total), command module engines have a combined speed of 60,800 mph WEAPONS: PRIMARY (OFFENSIVE):
1xCydonia Research dual CR-EMPAC-80 electromagnetic particle accelerator cannon turret; Effective Range: 200 miles; Payload: unlimited with nuclear battery clutch system recharged by the shuttle's main reactor: ROF: up to 6 dual blasts per minute in individual discharges of 2 blasts. PRIMARY (ASSAULT):
2xUNSC LC-120 laser cannon barbettes; Effective Range: 1200 miles; Payload: unlimited with nuclear battery clutch system recharged by the shuttle's main reactor. ROF: 3 blasts every twenty seconds for up to 9 blasts per minute. ELECTRONICS:
1x Laser Communications array with a 1AU range.
1x Passive EMS array with a range of 500,000 miles.
1x Active EMS array with a range of 1000 miles.
1xAntigravity control system.HANGARS:
Holds 5 BK-01 type BattleKnights (BK-01
, or BK-01O
only: no BK-01L
). DEFENSE SYSTEMS:
6xCydonia Research CR-DF-300 omnidirectional deflector field generators; Range: 300 feet from hull; Power Requirement: 300 megawatts each; Output: 15 terajoules with a regeneration of 1.5 terajoules every ten seconds. Description/Overview:
While not an improvement over its sister shuttle the AS-04
, the TS-04 Transport Shuttle was a variant that had a very important and useful purpose. This ship was intended to be both a destroyer-escort like its sister ship and a BattleKnight transport. The transport was the brainchild of Chief Engineer Major Suvorov prior to the USR invasion of Mars and in this capacity it served well. However, as a Destroyer-escort it was abysmal and could not perform as well as the Byzantine class. The problem facing the fledgling USR forces was that the bulk of the Byzantine class of ships were non-FTL and it would take eight months to convert the fleet to FTL capability. Far too long for the battle plans of the USR leadership. Alphonse Zhukov and Generalissimo Sulaco had determined that small assault shuttles like the AS-04 would have a much better chance of making it into the atmosphere of Mars to deploy their BattleKnight forces than the large easy targets that both the alien- and USR-built capital ships presented.
There was not time for Suvorov to develop a completely new ship design before the invasion of the Martian moons of Phobos and Deimos. Therefore, Major Suvorov made significant alterations to the main body of the ship and removed the anti-mecha missile batteries from the shuttle, which had proven to be useless at the Battle of Vesta in 2075 AD. He then designed an enlarged cargo hull section for the AS-04 that could be easily installed where the old aft-cargo section of the fuselage merged with the front cockpit section. The bulkheads had to be reinforced and minor superstructure rigging added, but overall the conversion was a success. Upon its completion the TS-04 was given the unflattering nickname of "pregnant goose" because of its hangar section's bloated look.
The rearrangement of internal systems and the moving of the cargo bay forward allowed Suvorov to lengthen the main body of the ship and raise the rear quarter section of the primary hull to accommodate the beam turret. This allowed for the storage and deployment of the 31.6-foot tall BattleKnights within a the shuttle hangar that Suvorov had fashioned.
This new bay held its complement of five 5-ton BKs in a single row down the length of the hangar. The hangar was extremely cramped allowing only a small mobile catwalk/gantry--three feet in width and at the cockpit level of the BattleKnights--to be run along the sides of the hangar bay to allow pilots and technicians access to the machines while on board the transport shuttle. While unloading the mecha was a simple matter due to a conveyor in the floor of the bay that rolled each BattleKnight out the back of the shuttle one at a time, loading the mecha back up again was an entirely different matter. Unloading took less than a minute while loading the machines back into the shuttle required an hour or more as each unit had to be positioned back in its respective position on the conveyor belt and rolled back into the ship. Another shortcoming was the fact that the BK-01L Lancer was too large to fit inside the cramped space of the shuttle and thus the original need the TS-04 was supposed to fix was only partially remedied. BK-01Ls still had to be launched from much larger capital ships like the HSD-01
The TS-04 was larger than the older AS-04 by 500 tons, and used a pair of newly developed 3rd Generation Stellar Warp Drives that had started development by the Solar Empire technicians at Vesta as part of the plans of the conspirators to develop every possible advantage against the Solar Empire they could muster. When the USR took control of Vesta's FTL development labs, they went to work trying to complete the 3rd generation SWD drive designs as quickly as possible. A variety of nacelle options were tried, from cylindrical, to ring and angular. The angular configuration was chosen by Suvorov because it tested best with the AS-04 hull frame in computer simulations of the warp bubble generated by the craft. Therefore a pair of Centauri Research Mark-IV CR-TSWD-185 warp engines were chosen to replace the older Cydonia Research CR-TSWD-760 1st generation, Mark-I stellar warp drive engines that were used on the AS-04.
The majority of TS-04s were either destroyed, marooned, or badly damaged on Mars during the USR invasion of the planet. Most of the BattleKnights of the USR had to be evacuated by the Jovian Defense Forces Ogre and planetary assault ship fleet (Nevada, Alaska, and Warspite classes) during the retreat from the Inner Sphere of Sol in January of 2077. Despite its poor record as a combat craft, the TS-04 did blossom into one of the most common, and popular merchant FTL light stock freighters after the 1st Interplanetary War was over. They became a common sight throughout the local group of starts during the 2080s and 2090s, and all were almost exclusively built by the USR as one of their major exports.
Nexus Arcana Books.
The Stygian Conspiracy Trilogy:
Ruins of the Ancientswww.amazon.com/dp/B01IYNNT0C#n…
Children of Methuselah www.amazon.com/dp/B01KEGLVT8#n…