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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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Old November 19th, 2002, 11:03 PM
Tom Schoene Tom Schoene is offline
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Hauler-class Light Freighter

The Hauler is an unusual design, based on a mass-produced non-starship hull with a jump drive and fuel tanks grafted on after construction. The resulting ship is not particularly elegant but it is generally available very cheaply.

LCH Origins:
The Hauler started out as a non-starship LCH (Landing Craft, Heavy) for Imperial army force. Caught by surprise at the outbreak of the Third Frontier War, Imperial Forces lacked sufficient landing craft to support the anticipated assault operations and a crash construction program was begun.

The LCH was one of several designs rushed to production. The Army requirement called for a landing craft to carry one Army lift infantry or tank platoon in the follow-on echelons of an attack. Alternatively, 14 standard 4-ton cargo containers would be carried for resupply missions. There was no provision for long-term habitation; both crew and passengers would live aboard a larger ship until the assault was launched.

To simplify transportation, the lander was designed to fit the same attachment points used by several large freight companies to carry 100-ton standard cargo pods. Alternatively, nine LCHs could be carried in a 1,000-ton small craft rack mounted on naval auxiliaries. (See Deck Cargo at Freelance Traveller )

The hull was designed for simple fabrication, built around a boxlike center cargo bay with sloped front and flat rear hatches. Because the LCH was intended for external carriage on other jump ships, a jump grid was built into the hull from the outset. (This would prove important later.) The bridge is installed in a boxy “tower” above the cargo bay, with the maneuver drives and associated power plant in pods at the rear of the ship on either side. The flight controls and related components salvaged from old IISS Scout ships, another cost saving measure.

Despite the lander’s awkward appearance, it is actually reasonably nimble in flight, with excess power giving it good agility. However, it lacks atmospheric speed, meaning that it could not deviate far from its initial aim point during a landing. As it was intended mainly to reinforce landings initiated by Marine or Army drop troops, this was deemed an acceptable limitation.

The craft’s sole turret is sited at the forward end of the hull top, where it can fire over the open cargo ramp at the bow. Typical armament is a mix of two sandcasters and one pulse laser for self-defense and suppressive fire. With the laser firing, the craft’s agility falls somewhat as power must be diverted from the thrusters.

Detailed Description (T20 Design)
100 tons standard, 1,400 cubic meters, Close Structure Configuration (Fully Streamlined), 100 Structure Points
Pilot, Gunner
Jump-0, 3G Maneuver, Power plant-6, 6 EP, Agility 3 (2 w/laser firing)
Bridge, Model/1bis Computer, Model/2 Flight Avionics, Model/1 Sensors, Model/1 Communications
1 Hardpoints
1 Triple Mixed Turrets with:
1 Pulse Laser (1x Factor-2)
2 Sandcaster in each Mixed Turret
Organized into 2 Batteries (Factor-3)
1.5 Tons Fuel (0 parsecs jump and 7 days endurance)
59.0 Tons Cargo
MCr 46.0 Singly (plus Architects fees of MCr 0.69, rush job)
MCr 36.8 in Quantity
9 Months

Note: In practice, these were built much faster using wartime schedules. Cost was much higher as a result.

(Format cribbed from HGS output, but this design was not produced using that software. Any errors are mine.)
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