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Belisarius Class Gunboat

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By samurairyu   |   
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© 2014 - 2020 samurairyu
Shown with a Hipparchus Class Corvette in profile at left for scale comparison.

UEG Navy Belisarius Class Gunboat
Length: 225 meters (~738 feet)
Crew: 4 Standard / 1 Skeleton(severely reduced performance, no engineer) / 6 Max Occupancy
Primary Shielded Hull
Class 1-G Crew Quarters(small single-occupant chambers, personalization allowed)

The Belisarius was first used in the conflict with the genetically-enhanced Myu during their attempt to overthrow the Earth Government and gain total supremacy of the Sol System. The design was a direct result of the prevalence of Massive Assault Vehicles in the Martian Uprising although the initial production line was finished long after that was resolved. The Earth Navy needed a vessel that could travel long distances at high speed and still deliver enough firepower to counter mobile craft. Large ships were also vulnerable to the hit-and-run tactics preferred by advanced Myu M.A.V.'s. and required escorts with more teeth than fighters.

The solution to this vulnerability was the Belisarius. Designated as a Gunboat, it is the epitome of the role, bristling with weapons and engines and forsaking a powerful directed energy shield in favor of lighter hull-embedded emitters. The large ventral rail cannon can destroy most corvettes in a single shot but has limited ammunition and was therefore seen as inferior to beam cannons but was included in the design because of the lower energy costs that allowed it to be fired at the same time as the other weapons and with engines at full burn. While not recommended, it could also be fired behind the ship even in FTL, a trait unique to the Belisarius. The smaller forward-mounted rail and pulse cannons are capable of an impressive barrage that can shred through fighters and M.A.V.'s at distances outside of the range of most smaller craft. Against the Saurians, despite the ineffectiveness of the energy-based weapons, the rail cannons proved extremely useful, allowing the Belisarii to provide at least some protection to capital ships. Often this meant diverting power from the pulse cannons to the engines, providing a boost to maneuverability that assisted in targeting the highly agile Saurian fighters.

Of all the ships in the Union, it has the lowest percentage of hull space devoted to the crew. This is due to the ship having the smallest crew of a standard-operation vessel. Gunboats are extremely useful against smaller targets and the Belisarius can also be a threat to larger ships, however their lower defenses force them to rely on speed to avoid taking critical damage. Destroyers and frigates are particularly dangerous and so are often avoided entirely. Unlike frigates and destroyers, gunboats are small enough to operate within atmospheres at a respectable level of combat efficiency. The Core Systems of the Union routinely rely on formations of Belisarii to patrol vital locations both within and without atmospheres and remain available to support police cutters if pirates or other threats the local authorities are unable to handle are detected.

Since Gunboats are officially assigned number designations instead of proper names, crews usually have a nickname for theirs such as "Belle," "Lisa," or "Sara." Generally female names are preferred but this is not always the case as the crews tend to be more diverse in personality than other ships because of their near isolation and minmal oversight.

Rumors that there were some Belisarii featuring advanced cloaking technology derived from alien artifacts were neither confirmed nor denied by the Union for years until the war with the Saurians necessitated their greater use. The cloaking systems appear unable to function properly on other ships in the navy as well as both time-consuming and difficult to produce and so have not been made standard issue. Instead they are reserved for gunboats assigned to the Special Tasks Division and other vital assignments.

Armaments:
1x Frigate class Rail Cannon on trainable mounting
2x Corvette class Rail Cannon
8x Corvette class Pulse Cannon(6-shot burst, 3 second recharge)
6x Light Pulse Cannon(12-shot burst, 2 second recharge)
2x Point Defense Anti-Missile lasers
Image size
9000x6000px 18.15 MB
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