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ship designators

Ship designators - this could be of use/interest to some Travellers (fellow ship designers perhaps). Note that this list of ship designators is military and applies to the Third Imperium as well as (IMTU) the rebel factions, Regency, RC and other inheritors.

Primary designator:
A Auxiliary, Merchant, Tender
B Battle
C Cruiser
D Destroyer
E Escort
F Frigate, Fighter
G Gig
H Hunter
I Intruder, Imperial, Misc.
J Jump
K Pinnace
L Lab, Corvette
M Merchant
N Ferry
O -
P Planetoid
Q Auxiliary
R Liner, Rescue
S Scout
T Tanker
U Tug
V Carrier
W Barge
X Express
Y Yacht
Z Special

Second (qualifying)designator:
A Armored, Heavy
B Battle, Boat
C Cruiser, Close
D Destroyer
E Escort, Ammunition
F Fast, Fleet, Stores
G Gunned
H Heavy, Hospital
I Imperial
J Jump
K Cargo, Courier
L Leader, Light
M Missile
N Nonstandard, Miscellaneous
O -
P Provincial, Patrol
Q Decoy
R Raider, Rider, Repair, Salvage
S Strike, Survey
T Troop, Transport
U Unpowered
V Vehicle, Carrier
W Slow
X Alternate, Unclassified
Y Shuttle, Cutter
Z Experimental

Some Notes:
ARS – Salvage Ship (one of the rare three-letter
AR – repair ship (an auxiliary raider would be QR)
AF – stores ship
AK – cargo
AE – ammunition ship
AS – survey ship
AH – hospital ship
AD – Destroyer Tender
AN – Misc Auxiliaries; many are tenders and support ships
AT – Transport
AV – Auxiliary boat transport (like the old aircraft ferries used to transport fighters, etc)

Designation IX is an unclassified service craft / auxiliary; examples include water tankers, chemical (non-fuel related) tankers, beacon tenders, hacks and yard ships, wrecking ships, etc.

Examples: AR = repair ship, BR = battle rider, AS = survey ship, QS = auxiliary strike cruiser, etc...
[Any auxiliary that is primarily a warship will be prefaced by "Q" and not "A" (which are strictly tenders, supply ships, stores ships, repair ships, etc)]
[The primary designator "M" for merchant implies private ownership; MF would be a merchant ship either used as a private stores ship, or loaned to the navy for use as a stores ship; AF would be a navy-owned stores ship. This system allows for the private-owned Leviathan class cruisers to be correctly typed MC]

I worked out this system to cover naval designations for many types of ship understandably missing from the printed materials (finite space, finite time, potentially thousands of designs...and that's what we refs and players are here for anyway)but which IMO would exist and would play very important roles in the Imperial Navy.

Sources: Megatraveller and (mostly for the auxiliaries) History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II , Vol. XV: Supplement and General Index
In my Excel spreadsheets, I added a blank space for primary and secondary as well as the letter designation so the user could add designations not included in the LBB lists. These cells are not protected so they can be modified with ease, while the official designations are protected.

Another use for "Q" is as a under cover role. They usually have popup turrets that seem to be non-existant in port. These "Q" ships are commonly use for anti-piravy operations.
Damn the cargo or exploration games... I gotta get me a YB - Battle Yacht for a Merc Noble. My next character concept.

Thanks for the list,

I always wondered if CT had gotten R and M backwards... this tends to confirm my suspicions.
One niggle I've always had with the designators is that 'Scout' can't be a secondary. That's the reason for the lower-case 's' in my type Ms Merchant Explorer (and you thought it was a typo... :rolleyes: ).

There's just no way to add 'scout or 'reconnaissance' to a primary designator, which seems wrong when you consider that most reconnaissance ships, vehicles and aircraft have been variants of other types.

Originally posted by robject:
I always wondered if CT had gotten R and M backwards... this tends to confirm my suspicions.
Me, too. Swapping them around makes much more sense.
From Azhanti High Lightning, it appears that scout cruisers were typed "ISC", which implies that the scout service might use a different system (contrast the US Navy and US Coast Guard designation systems). Perhaps the scout system is simpler, with a simple "C" representing cruiser (in the IISS case, I'd imagine "cruiser" implies a certain size ship rather than a type of warship, although the IISS AHL cruisers were indeed warships - with nasty particle accelerators).

As for a survey cruiser, I'd imagine CN or "nonstandard cruiser" simply because I doubt there would be a specific class but rather modified examples; IMTU when the navy needs its own surveys, it generally uses AS survey auxiliaries. However, in a highly dangerous circumstance a modified (but still heavily armed) cruiser would be advisable and no doubt such ships exist. As always, whatever works for your campaign go for it. I uploaded this list mostly as my tip of the hat to the heroes in hardhats - the auxiliaries.

As for Q yes, it is used for "decoy" (seems like a merchant ship, but when you get close, you feel like the HMAS Sydney). QQ is a Q-ship.

By the way, according to my modified system, MS would be fine for "survey (explorer) merchant" because a strike auxiliary would be QS. I see the "Q" primary as reserved for modified auxiliaries that are either overt (QC or QS) or covert (QQ) warships.

Oh and sorry to rain on the "battle gigs and yachts" :( which would be pretty damn cool, but "battle" designators require a ship to be large enough for a spinal mount. But hey, that's IMTU so if you can work it out (and don't have the entire Imperial Navy chasing you) why not? Next time you run into a ubiquitous corsair, then...