FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

The Swift class is an oddity in the American line up of capital class warships, and one that isn’t well appreciated for being such a new class - being conceived and deployed during the Serpenti War.

Based on the XBC-3 design with a clear lineage to the Washington class battleship, it has a range of design and construction features that set it apart from the Washington, Kittyhawk and the fast attack variants on which the Swift was based.

While the Washington was built with the intention of defeating Mech vessels - and consequently proved to be good against Stotatl Battlejumpers, the USAN during the Serpenti War needed to deploy an increase of hyperdrive capital class ships faster than the programmes to retrofit Baltimores and deploy newer Washingtons like the Kittyhawk and Fast Attack variants.

The Swift has at it’s heart the superstructure and main reactors of the Washington class, but it is there that it diverges. It doesn’t use the massive muon rocket thrust system, reactor and coupled main gun, nor the nano forged hull.

These ships were inline for being rolled out as standard fast attack vessels, but instead, the USAN reached a deal with a Russian shipyard that specialised in making large iron/nickel armoured plating (which they were using to reinforce Alpha series space stations during the war), and had spare capital class HEFT thrust pods taken from retrofits of a number of Russian battlecruisers.

The incomplete ships were shipped using the Medusa colonial transporter out to the Russian yard and fitted with the engine pods, new hyperdrives and massive armour plates (giving it that distinctive surface rather than smooth cylindrical curves) and were fitted with weapons and systems designed for the fast attack variant.

The Swift got it’s class name from the fact it was being equiped with newer longer range hyperdrives, giving the class both patrol and strike range potentials not seen in most other Washingtons. The massive interlocking and layered plate system of the hull, allows these ships to be far more readily retrofitted with newer internals systems, like improved reactors, hyperdrives and engines.

While not a match for Battlejumper in a head on fight on it’s own based on raw firepower, the typical battle tactics, speed and manoeuvrability and armour of these ships means they can stand their ground and a smart commander can win a battle against the larger multi-role alien vessel. When deployed in pairs or 3+ ship squadrons these ships can easily take down a Battlejumper.

This class was always seen as a short term solution, with the intent of returning them back to military yards in the Sol system to be stripped and fitted out properly as Fast Attack variants with the usual systems typical of the Washington class. However they have proven too easy to fix after suffering battle damage, easy to service at allied shipyards in colonial space, and too useful in their patrol capabilities.

They continue to be deployed in the Serpenti Quadrant and patrol from Falicin to as deep towards Sol as Boristov, and along the frontier with the remaining Aronhi free clan holdings.

Categories: Starships

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