Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
AeroFighter DropShip Carrier
“Revolver” – Leopard CV- Class DropShip
Type : Aerodyne (Military Aerodyne)
Tonnage : 1720 tons
Length : 70.2m
Height : 19.8m
WIdth : 53.0m
Crew : 15 (4e, 2p, 3se – 6 AeroSpace Pilots). 6 AeroFighters.
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p/se; Engine 1e
Cargo Complement : 6 AeroFighters
Bay 1 : AeroFighter Bays (6) – 6 Doors : 900 tons
Life Boats : -
Escape Pods : 2
Armament : 2xPPCs, 3xLRM-20s, 5xLLs, 7xMLs
Ammunition : 4 tons of LRM ammo.
Drive System : Star League V84 :
Heat Sinks : 64+16 :
Thrust : 4
Overthrust : 6
Structural Integrity : 7
Fuel : 10 Thrust-Points (1.84 tons per Burn-Day) : 123 tons
First Introduced : 2581
Hull Laid Down : 2957
Armor Factor 480 (16 points per ton) : 30.0 tons
Nose – 100 : 2xPPC, LRM-20, 3xMLs
Right Side Wing – 90 : LRM-20, 2xLLs, ML
Left Side Wing – 90 : LRM-20, 2xLLs, ML
Aft – 60 : LL, 2xMLs
The Leopard CV-Class DropShip is the most common AeroSpace Fighter transport of the Succession States era. Although its appearance is much different from its Mech-carrying sister ship, the two have nearly identical combat performance characteristics. The Leopard CV is designed to carry up to six fully equipped AeroSpace Fighters.
The Leopard CV has a more aircraft-like appearance than the Mech-carrying Leopard because technology had increased when the CV was designed. The Leopard’s crystal-steel armor could only be produced using flat panels, giving the earlier DropShip a box-like appearance. The Leopard CV, on the other hand, was designed and constructed using curved armor plates, giving the hull a more rounded shape.
The Leopard CV is also distinguished by the large wing attached to its tail section. Though this tall structure provides good atmospheric flight stability, it is also the DropShip’s critical weakness. A solid hit against the ship’s long, thin tail could disable the vessel’s trans-atmospheric flight capability. Designers attempted to protect this weak spot by shifting some of the ship’s armor but the added weight increased the strain on the tail structure and make the rest of the hull too vulnerable to enemy fire.
Another special feature of the Leopard CV is that t is the only ship still in existence that mounts the maneuver drive below it over-hanging tail section. By placing he drives under the large wing section, the ship creates much less of a heat signature on infrared deep-space scanners. To gain the full benefit of this design feature, however, the ship’s top side must be turned toward the enemy.
The Leopard CV is one of the few aerodynes not equipped with a separate transit drive, which means that the vessel’s internal gravity is oriented differently when on the surface than when in transit. This is generally not a problem, because the ship rarely enters atmosphere except to retrieve a downed fighter. The interior is designed almost exclusively for space flight, oriented so that “up” is towards the nose.
Aboard a CV, each crew member has a separate room located along a common shaft running the length of the DropShip near the bottom of its hull. The rooms are tiny and provide little space for storing personal possessions. This helps the ship maintain a high degree of readiness when on the ground; there is little need to secure crew quarters, since everything is already usually in place.
To make up for the lack of personal space, the ship offers a roomy lounge and a separate exercise facility. When off-duty, crew members are free spend their time reading, playing games, watching reruns of The RFL-3N, or working-out in the exercise room.
Because the ship is not designed to operate independently, it carries only a small supply of repair stores, and its limited medical facilities provide only minor care for injuries and illness. Even with limited supply of repair parts, the ship is known for its high reliability and ease of maintenance.
The Leopard CV often operates in moderate to large operations, and rarely functions on its own. In most combat missions, it is deployed well forward of the main body of ships, where it can support its own Fighter group with its heavy weapons fire against enemy fighters and DropShips. Other DropShips designed for space combat usually help to hold enemy vessels and Fighters away from the main body of the operations group and its JumpShips. If the group is successful enough, it then penetrates the enemy forces and disables them or at least keeps them busy whle the main force performs its mission.
The “Revolver” is a standard and relatively new Leopard CV, built in the Federated-Boeing Interstellar shipyards on Galax in the Federated Suns. It was purchased by a private firm for export in 2957, and promptly disappeared from the Inner Sphere. It appears to have been used by some corporate authority as a raider over the last couple decades, but last appeared in the Great Gorge system.
In late-February of 3023, the Iron Dingoes managed to trade a captured Leopard-Class DropShip (the “Star Warrior” ) loaded with four Mechs for this vessel from a merchant visiting the system during the appearance of The Lighthouse. The vessel was immediately assigned to support the Line forces of the Iron Dingoes military. It was assigned a skeleton crew of promising young unit pilots and engineers, though its lead pilot remains unassigned. The ship was placed under the command of Commander Lee Nystrom in early-3024, in hopes he could develop the crew to be more capable and work on filling-out his young crew.