Combat Carrier

Combat Carrier Negentropy Alliance
Image from Steve Bowers
The carriers of the Negentropy Alliance are painted a regulation shade of grey

Class of relativistic warship designed to transport and support smaller combat craft over interstellar distances.

Combat carriers are produced by a number of different polities and come in a number of different designs reflecting the design philosophy of their creators and the needs of their specific mission. The following description should be thought of as a 'generic' design rather then an accurate reflection of all combat carriers everywhere.

An average combat carrier is typically about 10 kilometers long and 3 kilometers across at its widest point. The majority of the ship consists of a central spine connecting two spherical or ovoid hull structures. Extending down the length of the spine are some one thousand docking racks, typically 'Y' or 'X' shaped and each capable of hold 3 to 4 autowars. Under combat conditions any or all of the racks can be spun at high speed to provide the initial impetus for the launching of the autowars.

Each autowar can be equipped with a wide variety of weapons, including Electronic Counter Measures, particle beams, lasers, amat missiles and micro-fletchettes, railguns, and even conversion and metric devices. Autowar weapons are modular and are loaded and deployed depending on mission parameters and the needs of combat. Additional weapons can also be constructed and stored in the carriers manufacturing modules.

A combat carrier's manufacturing modules are located in the larger cap structures on either end of the central spine. Each end cap contains a broad-spectrum nanofacturing complex taking up some 25% of its total volume. A magnetic launching system, several high powered Displacement Drive tugs, temporary storage hangers, and a Displacement drive unit account for another 25% of the available space. The remaining 50% of each end cap houses a large supply of refined materials ready to be used as feedstock for the manufacturing module.

A combat carrier can transport its cargo of autowars to a target system and then deploy them upon arrival either individually or en masse. Once its autowars are deployed a carrier will typically withdraw to the edge of the target system and either remain on the sidelines until the cessation of combat or act as a support hub for its own or any allied autowars as required. It can use its manufacturing capability to repair and resupply associated autowars prior to the acquisition of 'on site' resource nodes, deploy a wide variety of probes, spy modules, orbital interdiction craft, and kinetic attack vehicles up to RKKS level using its tugs, or even use the tugs themselves as weapons in their own right.

The ship employs a high-powered phased array laser system on its outer hull for point defense but primarily relies on its supply of autowars and a high-end nano-immune system for protection. A third Displacement drive, located down the length of the central spine, provides triple propulsion redundancy and helps ensure that if only one end or the other of the ship is destroyed, or even if it is cut in half, that overall propulsion, maneuvering, and manufacturing capability will be only minimally reduced.

Combat Carrier Terran Federation
Image from Steve Bowers
The carriers of the Terragen Federation use more colourful pigments on their hulls

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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 18 September 2005.