The Terran Commonwealth was not, in its infancy, a heavily militarized state. It arose from the ashes of the 21st century, out of a global sense of unity that followed the triple ravages of nationalism, climate change and late stage capitalism. As traditional nation states collapsed and humanity’s future prospects seemed increasingly grim, a remarkable change swept across the world. The people huddled against the darkness began to set aside their differences and work together. Local communal governments sprang up and formed a complex network of interconnected humanity striving, for the first time in history, towards a single common goal: survival.
Tremendous strides in science and production capability were required to save the Earth. By the time it was done humans lived in relative harmony and the vast resources that had once poured into the military industrial complex were now redirected to miraculous civil projects. The Commonwealth explored and colonized the solar system. It successfully terraformed Mars and Luna and moved half a billion people to off world cities. Its scientists discovered jump theory, developed the first FTL drive and opened the stars to exploration.
That’s when humanity discovered they were not alone in the universe. The destruction of several exploration and scout ships, followed by the disastrous battle of Luyten 143-23, proved the need for military spending on both R&D and the production of ships. This led the development of the Commonwealth’s “2nd Generation Navy”, a true battle fleet and not the motley collection of customs and space guard craft that preceded it.
Frigates of the Commonwealth Navy
The smallest true warship in service at the time was called a frigate. The “standard” frigate displaced 8000 tons of liquid hydrogen with heights between 150 and 200 meters. They were designed to fill a variety of roles such as fleet escort, system defense or commerce protection. A squadron of frigates could act alone or in coordination with larger warships.
The Adamant Class
Adamant class Frigate 8,000 tons 230 Crew 1694.9 BP TCS 160 TH 960 EM 0 6000 km/s Armour 5-35 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 14 PPV 30 Maint Life 1.56 Years MSP 530 AFR 128% IFR 1.8% 1YR 250 5YR 3747 Max Repair 480 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 12 months Spare Berths 1 Magazine 330 Kaur Aerospace 960 EP Capital Ship Magneto-plasma Drive (1) Power 960 Fuel Use 47.32% Signature 960 Exp 12% Fuel Capacity 530,000 Litres Range 25.2 billion km (48 days at full power) Rahman-Clark AMM1-10 Launcher (30) Missile Size 1 Rate of Fire 10 Bhoi & Mapkar FC18-R1 AMM Fire Control (6) Range 18.5m km Resolution 1 AMM1-3 Swallow (300) Speed: 32,000 km/s End: 1.2m Range: 2.3m km WH: 1 Size: 1 TH: 309/185/92 AFM1-1B Thunderbolt (30) Speed: 32,000 km/s End: 12.1m Range: 23.3m km WH: 3 Size: 1 TH: 149/89/44 Bhoi & Mapkar MR18-R1 Missile Detection Sensor (1) GPS 168 Range 18.5m km MCR 2.0m km Resolution 1
The Adamant was the first of the 2nd Generation warships to be designed and enter full scale production. The lead ship launched in 2131. Classified as an ‘escort frigate’ it was little more than an bigger version of the Commonwealth’s older Vigilant-class frigate. Both served a primarily anti-missile role, providing defense for fleets of warships, logistics and commercial vessels.
The Adamant carried 30 Rahman-Clark AMM1-10 Launchers as its only armament but its extensive magazine space could be customized with ordnance for a variety of missions. The standard loadout for an Adamant in 2136 consisted of 300 AMM1-3 Swallow Counter Missiles and an additional 30 AFM1-1 Thunderbolt Anti-Fighter Missiles. The later were significantly longer ranged and carried heavier warheads allowing the Adamant to fulfill a secondary role defending the fleet against small fighters and strike craft.
At the start of 2136 there were eight of these ships in service: Adamant, Adept, Adroit, Adventurous, Allegiant, Ambitious, Assertive and Audacious grouped into the 2nd and 3rd Escort Squadrons. They served alongside four ships of the older Vigilant class: Vigilant, Protector, Sentinel and Warden of the 1st Escort Squadron.
The Furious Class
Furious class Frigate 8,000 tons 267 Crew 1778.8 BP TCS 160 TH 960 EM 0 6000 km/s Armour 4-35 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 13 PPV 44.22 Maint Life 1.35 Years MSP 486 AFR 146% IFR 2% 1YR 287 5YR 4303 Max Repair 480 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 12 months Spare Berths 1 Kaur Aerospace 960 EP Capital Ship Magneto-plasma Drive (1) Power 960 Fuel Use 47.32% Signature 960 Exp 12% Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres Range 23.8 billion km (45 days at full power) Sayala International 10cm Twin UV Laser Turret (6x2) Range 120,000km TS: 12000 km/s Power 6-6 RM 4 ROF 5 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 Sayala International S04 64-12000 Turret Fire Control (3) Max Range: 128,000 km TS: 12000 km/s 92 84 77 69 61 53 45 37 30 22 Kaur Aerospace P1-6 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (6) Total Power Output 36 Armour 0 Exp 5% Bhoi & Mapkar MR58-R10 Fighter Detection Sensor (1) GPS 1680 Range 58.4m km Resolution 10
The Furious was the most common type of frigate deployed by the Commonwealth and saw widespread service both as a component of the battle fleet, where it provided close in support and brawling capability, and in a system defense role, patrolling and providing some measure of protection to colony worlds in remote systems.
The armament of the Furious consisted of six Sayala International 10cm Twin UV Laser Turrets with a maximum range of 120k kilometers but an effective range of only about 60k. As this was quite short even compared with the Adamant’s small missiles, the Furious saw limited offensive use. Those serving in the main battle line primarily provided last ditch anti-missile fire and engaged small craft or similarly sized short ranged combatants that had closed with the fleet. They would also detatch from the main body to finish off larger enemy ships that had been crippled by missiles.
In 2136 there were 10 Furious class ships in service: Furious, Fabulous, Faithful, Fantastic, Fearless, Feral, Fervent, Formidable, Fortunate and Frenzied.
The Courageous Class
Courageous class Frigate Leader 8,000 tons 232 Crew 1676.6 BP TCS 160 TH 960 EM 0 6000 km/s JR 5-50 Armour 5-35 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 14 PPV 23.46 Maint Life 1.52 Years MSP 524 AFR 128% IFR 1.8% 1YR 257 5YR 3853 Max Repair 480 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 12 months Spare Berths 1 Schwab Engineering J8000(5-50) Frigate Jump Drive Max Ship Size 8000 tons Distance 50k km Squadron Size 5 Kaur Aerospace 960 EP Capital Ship Magneto-plasma Drive (1) Power 960 Fuel Use 47.32% Signature 960 Exp 12% Fuel Capacity 600,000 Litres Range 28.5 billion km (55 days at full power) Sayala International Twin 10cm Point Defense Turret (3x2) Range 96,000km TS: 20000 km/s Power 6-6 RM 4 ROF 5 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 0 Sayala International S02 48-20000 PD Turret Fire Control (1) Max Range: 96,000 km TS: 20000 km/s 90 79 69 58 48 38 27 17 6 0 Kaur Aerospace P1-6 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3) Total Power Output 18 Armour 0 Exp 5% Bhoi & Mapkar MR218-R140 Ship Detection Sensor (1) GPS 23520 Range 218.7m km Resolution 140 Bhoi & Mapkar MR18-R1 Missile Detection Sensor (1) GPS 168 Range 18.5m km MCR 2.0m km Resolution 1
Sometimes called a 2.5th Generation warship, the Courageous was the last Magneto-plasma frigate design to enter Commonwealth service. The first units only left the shipyard in early 2136. The Courageous design came about because the Commonwealth’s frigate fleet found itself operating in an increasingly dispersed fashion as the decade wore on. While the first frigates were intended primarily as escorts for larger battle line vessels the reality saw squadrons deployed on a wide variety of missions across known space, often without additional fleet support.
The Courageous was designed to fill two needs the navy had with its frigate squadrons. First, to provide jump capability that would allow frigates to operate independently beyond the jump gate network and without assistance from the battle fleets’ dedicated jump tenders. To fulfill this need the ship was equipped with the latest Schwab Engineering jump drive which could transport up to five frigates in a simultaneous transit. Secondly, to provide a longer ranged capital ship detection sensor of the type previously only found on cruisers. This would give frigate squadrons operating alone in hostile territory much greater visibility against potential foes.
The Courageous was built on a standard Furious hull but the addition of the jump drive and sensors greatly reduced the tonnage available for armament. Therefore the Courageous dispensed with the Furious’ illusion of offensive armament all together instead carrying only three dedicated Point Defense Laser Turrets linked to a single small fire control. These weapons were effectively miniaturized versions of the standard 10cm Twin Turret of the Furious but with almost double the tracking speed and reduced range to optimize effectiveness against small fast moving missiles.
Three Courageous class ships were constructed: Courageous, Chivalrous and Confident. The design proved to be effective in accomplishing its goals but came too late to see widespread deployment before the development of its successor.
Cruisers of the Commonwealth
The backbone of the 2nd Generation Commonwealth Fleet were the cruiser squadrons. They were primarily designed for offensive punch and to operate in tandem with squadrons of frigates that would provide defensive fire. The standard cruiser of the era displaced 16000 tons of liquid hydrogen and measured 300 meters in height.
The Knight class
Knight class Missile Cruiser 16,000 tons 339 Crew 3010.9 BP TCS 320 TH 1920 EM 900 6000 km/s Armour 7-56 Shields 30-300 Sensors 1/44/0/0 Damage Control Rating 17 PPV 56 Maint Life 1.23 Years MSP 823 AFR 292% IFR 4.1% 1YR 561 5YR 8412 Max Repair 480 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 12 months Spare Berths 1 Magazine 996 Kaur Aerospace 960 EP Capital Ship Magneto-plasma Drive (2) Power 960 Fuel Use 47.32% Signature 960 Exp 12% Fuel Capacity 1,020,000 Litres Range 24.2 billion km (46 days at full power) Sheppard Aerospace R300/360 Delta Shield Generator (12) Total Fuel Cost 180 Litres per hour (4,320 per day) Sayala International 25cm Spinal UV Laser (1) Range 320,000km TS: 6000 km/s Power 16-4 RM 4 ROF 20 16 16 16 16 12 10 9 8 7 6 Sayala International S03 160-6000 Laser Fire Control (1) Max Range: 320,000 km TS: 6000 km/s 97 94 91 88 84 81 78 75 72 69 Kaur Aerospace P1-6 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1) Total Power Output 6 Armour 0 Exp 5% Rahman-Clark ASM6-300 Launcher (16) Missile Size 6 Rate of Fire 300 Bhoi & Mapkar FC218-R140 ASM Fire Control (2) Range 218.6m km Resolution 140 ASM6-3B Wyvern (144) Speed: 32,000 km/s End: 110.2m Range: 211.6m km WH: 9 Size: 6 TH: 245/147/73 ASM6H-1B Dragon Heavy Torpedo (22) Speed: 32,000 km/s End: 41.3m Range: 79.4m km WH: 16 Size: 6 TH: 202/121/60 Bhoi & Mapkar MR218-R140 Ship Detection Sensor (1) GPS 23520 Range 218.7m km Resolution 140 Bhoi & Mapkar EM4-44 Passive Sensor (1) Sensitivity 44 Detect Sig Strength 1000: 44m km
The Knight class was designed in the aftermath of the First Battle of Luyten 143-23 to fulfill the role of primary combatant in the new Commonwealth Navy and it first saw combat in the campaign to claim that system, now called Styx, from the ancient alien machines that defended it. The Knight class proved very capable and continued to see widespread use in the wall of battle for decades even as newer and larger ships entered service.
The primary armament of the Knight was 16 Rahman-Clark ASM6-300 Launchers capable of firing a missile six times larger than an Adamants’ every 5 minutes. Although this may seem slow compared to modern warships given the ranges at which the Commonwealth ships of the era typically engaged it was more than sufficient. A Knight could empty its magazines in under an hour, less than half the maximum flight time of the first volley. This made missile combat a slow affair with ships often firing only a few volleys and then waiting hours to see the result before firing again.
In 2136 the Commonwealth had just begun wide distribution of the new ASM6-3B Wyvern missile to replace the older ASM6-2 Basilisk. The Wyvern was a terrifying missile with a range over 200 million kilometers, an estimated 130% hit chance against targets moving at typical Commonwealth Navy speeds and a warhead 50% more powerful than previous designs. The Knight had magazine capacity for 166 of these missiles (just over 10 volleys) but typically carried only 144. The remaining magazine space was taken up by 22 ASM6H-1B Dragon Heavy Torpedoes designed for devastating short range punch. The Dragon had about 1/3rd the range and endurance of the Wyvern but almost twice the warhead with only a slight decrease in maneuverability.
In addition to its missile armament, the Knight was built around a huge 25cm spinal laser with an effective range of about 150K, more than double the range of the smaller lasers mounted by the Furious and capable of 5x as much damage. Despite these impressive statistics the laser was intended as a last ditch weapon and rarely saw use in combat except to conserve ammunition by finishing off damaged ships.
The Knight also boasted impressive defensive capabilities. In addition to seven layers of armor it was the first Commonwealth ship to mount a shield generator. Twelve Sheppard Aerospace R300/360 Delta Shield Generators were capable of withstanding up to three Wyvern type warheads and could be fully recharged in five minutes. The shields were primarily intended as a backup for active defense provided by the escort ships and proved themselves by preventing all damage at the Second Battle of Luyten 143-23.
Since it was intended as the centerpiece of a taskforce the Knight also boasted a more sophisticated sensor suite than accompanying frigates including a small passive sensor.
At the start of 2136 there were eight Knight-class ships in service: Bedivere, Galahad, Gawain, Kay, Lancelot, Percival, Robin and Tristan.
The Sorceress class
Sorceress class Command Cruiser 16,000 tons 430 Crew 4017.44 BP TCS 320 TH 1920 EM 1800 6000 km/s Armour 8-56 Shields 60-300 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 16 PPV 34.74 Maint Life 1.02 Years MSP 942 AFR 341% IFR 4.7% 1YR 909 5YR 13631 Max Repair 560 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 12 months Spare Berths 35 Flag Bridge Magazine 224 Kaur Aerospace 960 EP Capital Ship Magneto-plasma Drive (2) Power 960 Fuel Use 47.32% Signature 960 Exp 12% Fuel Capacity 1,060,000 Litres Range 25.2 billion km (48 days at full power) Sheppard Aerospace R300/360 Delta Shield Generator (24) Total Fuel Cost 360 Litres per hour (8,640 per day) Sayala International 10cm Ultraviolet Twin Laser Turret (2x2) Range 120,000km TS: 12000 km/s Power 6-6 RM 4 ROF 5 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 Sayala International S04 64-12000 Turret Fire Control (1) Max Range: 128,000 km TS: 12000 km/s 92 84 77 69 61 53 45 37 30 22 Kaur Aerospace P1-6 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2) Total Power Output 12 Armour 0 Exp 5% Rahman-Clark AMM1-10 Launcher (20) Missile Size 1 Rate of Fire 10 Bhoi & Mapkar FC18-R1 AMM Fire Control (4) Range 18.5m km Resolution 1 AMM1-3 Swallow (220) Speed: 32,000 km/s End: 1.2m Range: 2.3m km WH: 1 Size: 1 TH: 309/185/92 Bhoi & Mapkar MR137-R5 XL Fighter Detection Sensor (1) GPS 2800 Range 137.7m km Resolution 5 Bhoi & Mapkar MR779-R160 XL Capital Ship Sensor (1) GPS 89600 Range 779.2m km Resolution 160
Although the Second Battle of Luyten 143-23 was a success it did reveal some deficiencies in the Commonwealth fleet doctrine, primarily the lack of effective scouting to uncover enemies beyond engagement range. The Sorceress was developed to provide extensive sensor coverage and centralized command and control for the battle fleet. To fulfill these roles the Sorceress had the largest sensor array yet deployed on a mobile platform, a dedicated Flag Bridge and the heaviest defenses of any ship in the fleet.
The Sorceress was the first class to mount a mixture of counter missile launchers and laser turrets, merging weaponry from both types of escort frigate onto the standard Knight frame. As dedicated Fleet Command Ships the Sorceresses were never expected to operate without full support and thus carried no offensive weapons although they could fire the AFM-1 Thunderbolt Anti-Fighter missile and engage targets at laser range.
Two Sorceresses were constructed by 2136: Circe which served as the flagship of Admiral Wang Qiang Tian of the 1st Battle Fleet and Morgana which served as the flagship of Admiral Abdul-Nasser Malik of the 2nd Battle Fleet.