Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Salvaged Supply Dropshuttle of the 405th Marik AeroFighter Wing
K-1 Class Dropshuttle “Crimson Sands”
Tonnage : 200
Length : 28 m
Width : 22.5 m
Crew : 2
Cargo Complement : 45 tons, 62 passengers
Armament : LRM-5, 4xML, SL, 1 ton of LRM ammo
Drive System : Pratt & Whitney 400
First Introduced : 2536
Thrust : 4
Overthrust : 6
Structural Integrity : 6
Armor Factor : 192 (12 tons)
Nose – 40
RS – 25
LS – 25
Fuselage – 90
Engine – 12
Nose : LRM-5, ML
Right Wing : ML
Left Wing : ML
Aft : ML, SL
Overview : The DropShuttle tends to be more commonly used than the KR-61 Class Long-Range Shuttle, due primarily to its higher cargo capacity and roomier interior. The craft was designed when JumpShips were plentiful and passage aboard one inexpensive. At 200 tons, the DropShuttle is the smallest space vehicle with an integral docking collar for attaching to JumpShips.
As the cost of JumpShip travel has increased, the DropShuttle has taken on the role of a long-range shuttle, and is often seen at starports and isolated communities allowing contact with the greater galaxy at large. On rare occasions, when adequate room allows the carrying of these vessels, the vehicle is used as it was intended, but such opportunities are becoming vanishingly rare.
A tiny booth aboard the K-1 DropShuttle serves as both the vessel’s breakfast table and a mid-day workstation, and the cramped cockpit features three seats, and has berths for six passengers for long-term occupancy.
The “Crimsons Sands” bears a mottled red/orange “camo” pattern, much worn and abused from the sands and storms of Pilpala’s violent atmosphere. Very old, it has served a variety of purposes in the 405th Marik AeroFighter Wing, mostly as a simple supply ship for its once important base. The vehicle and its pilot, Lieutenant JG Dara Gideon, have since taken service with the Iron Dingoes, following the latter’s raids at System – Pilpala. Though the vehicle is old, it still runs admirably, a testament to the care given to it by Lt. Gideon. She is assisted in piloting the ship by Tech Cobb Usher, acting as engineer and weapons tech.
Following the DropShuttle’s capture on Pilpala, the Iron Dingoes welded numerous acceleration couches and storage lockers along one side of the cargo hold on the Crimson Sands, making it possible to haul two infantry or technical platoons for limited strikes, either on the ground or in zero-G ops. This modification has been upgraded and occupies ten (10) tons of space from the cargo hold, but has increased its passenger capacity to over 60 people. While not overly comfortable (akin to living on a Greyhound bus), a small washroom with limited sanitary facilities has since been installed, and allows for greater tactical deployment of the Iron Dingoes personnel assets, if over the short term. Also, a series of salvage straps and tie-downs has been installed, allowing salvage operations to proceed with greater speed and safety. A series of storage lockers have been built into one side of the cargo hold, with the intent to eventually equip them with tool kits for salvage operations.
Tactical deployment of forces from this shuttle uses one or two Line Force Recon Groups to be fully deployed from its bays, but traditionally, the Dingoes deploy a single Force Recon platoon with a platoon of their salvage tech squads during clean-up operations.