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Author Topic: The Explorer: Argo Class Exploration Ship  (Read 781 times)


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The Explorer: Argo Class Exploration Ship
« on: 02 August 2022, 02:49:03 »
Yes. You did read that title correctly. I was amusing myself by looking over some fan-created warship and jumpship designs when I got a bright idea: Why not convert the Argo Class into a full-fledged Compact Drive Jumpship design, aka a Warship? And this was the result of that self-said bright idea. So to start things off, I am not a hardcore Battletech rules nerd, therefore, other than using MegaMek Labs, I do not know if some of the things mentioned here are possible. I figured it would be an interesting thought experiment. Still I do hope you enjoy this little bit of insanity.

Argo Class Exploration Ship

Code: [Select]
Argo Class Exploration Ship
Mass: 400,000 tons
Use: Exploration Ship
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2762
Mass: 400,000
Battle Value: 2,836
Tech Rating/Availability: E/F-X-F-F
Cost: 11,327,503,904 C-bills

    Length: 420 Meters
    Width: 315 Meters
    Height: 315 Meters

Fuel: 9,338 tons (23,345)
Safe Thrust: 4
Maximum Thrust: 6
Sail Integrity: 4
KF Drive Integrity: 10
Heat Sinks: 500 (1000)
Structural Integrity: 30

    Nose: 11
    Fore Sides: 11/11
    Aft Sides: 9/9
    Aft: 7

    Bay 1:  Mech (12)               3 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Light Vehicle (12)      3 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Small Craft (12)        2 Doors   
    Bay 4:  Cargo (85250.0 tons)    2 Doors   


Dropship Capacity: 3
Grav Decks: 3 (250 m, 250 m, 250 m)
Escape Pods: 50
Life Boats: 120
Crew:  45 officers, 221 enlisted/non-rated, 8 gunners, 144 bay personnel, 175 passengers

Notes: Equipped with
    Advanced Mech Maintenance and Repair Facility
    2 Machine Shops (200 Tons)
    2 Hydroponic Gardens (500 Tons)
    1 Mobile Hyperpulse Generators (Mobile HPG)
    1 Satellite Imager [Infrared Imager]
    1 Communications Equipment (12 tons)
    6 Field Kitchens
    1 Satellite Imager [High-Resolution (Hi-Res) Imager]
    1 Satellite Imager [Look-Down Radar]
    1 Naval Comm-Scanner Suite (Large)
    Medical Facility, complete with ten theaters and a full surgical suite
50 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:            Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)      Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (22 Heat)
2 Medium Laser  22   3(26)   2(16)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
    2 Large Laser
FRS/FLS (6 Heat)
2 Medium Laser   6   1(10)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
RBS/LBS (32 Heat)
4 Large Laser   32   3(32)   3(32)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
ARS/ALS (6 Heat)
2 Medium Laser   6   1(10)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
Aft (22 Heat)
2 Medium Laser  22   3(26)   2(16)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
    2 Large Laser


The Argo Class Warship, or as the Star League Exploration Corps calls it: the Argo Class Exploration Ship, is a four hundred thousand ton Compact Kearny-Fuchida Drive Jumpship design. However, while it is called a Warship design by the Star League Defense Force, it is, in fact, a non-combat design that was designed to serve as a mothership for deep space exploration efforts for the Star League Exploration Corps. Hence, while it does sport a Compact Jump Drive, it can't be considered a warship at all as it does not possess any capital-scale weapons. Even then, only two ships of the class were produced, the Argo herself, and its sister ship, the Prydwen. The Argo would be lost during its shakedown cruise in the Deep Periphery among a bit of controversy, and the Prydwen ended up becoming pressed into service by the Star League Defense Force as a support ship during the Star League Civil War where it would after serving well in the war join the SLDF's Operation EXODUS where it would disappear alongside a good majority of the SLDF fleet and personnel.


The Argo Class is designed to serve as a deep space exploration ship that could jump into an unknown solar system and then move towards any detected viable planets in the said solar system. Therefore, it is equipped with some of the best telescopes and sensors the Star League possessed while also sporting everything needed to allow the Argo to go on deep space exploration missions of upwards to five years. This would include a large cargo capacity and an almost excessive amount of crew comforts for its crew and any passengers onboard. This would include things like a dedicated large crew lounge, an extensive library, a dedicated almost food court-like mess hall, a pair of dedicated Hydroponic gardens, and other such comforts for its crew. The majority of which would be along with the lavish crew quarters of the ship found inside the experimental gravity deck system. A gravity deck that sported three separate pods that rotated around the ship's spine while at rest or in direct orbit of a planet. Then while in transit, would fold the pods back along the ship's spine. This new type of gravity deck came about due to the needs of the ship's mission and needing a way to keep a crew comfortable while on an extended exploration mission.

To allow the ship to do its mission, the Argo Class sports the capacity to carry twelve mechs, usually split between regular battlemechs for security and worker mechs for supporting exploration on a planet, and a dozen light vehicles pretty much similar to that of the mechs. As the Argo Class are space-bound ships and not dropships, therefore, cannot get their cargo of mechs and vehicles to a planet's surface by themselves; they possess the ability to support three dedicated dropships of their own along with a small fleet of small craft. As originally planned, one of these ships would be a specially modified Buccaneer Class Dropship, mainly to carry needed cargo and personnel to a planet's surface, another a modified Union Class Dropship, set-up to transport mechs and vehicles to a planet's surface, and finally a Achilles Class Assault Dropship for the general security of the exploration mission. All of these dropships would often have their crews having their downtime and such with the Argo Class thanks to the various crew comforts and such onboard the larger ship. Finally, the Argo Class sports a small fleet of Small Craft that can work alongside the larger dropships assigned to an Argo. This would often be a handful of ST-46 Shuttles, a couple of K-1 Dropshuttles, and a few S-7 Buses for orbital work. Supporting all of this is pair of dedicated machine shops, which can be used to fabricate needed parts and such for anything the mission requires, and an advanced mech refit and maintenance facility.


Overall, the Argo Class was something of a dream of many inside the Star League Exploration Corps for many years. A ship dedicated to exploration efforts and to paving the way for further human colonization of space. A dream that many inside the Star League and the Star League Defense Force found foolish but there were enough people in high places to listen to the pleas of the Exploration Corps. Along with a few higher-ups in Boeing Interstellar and other notable companies across the Star League. It took many years for the Exploration Corps to get enough funds and support to build such a design. Finally, in early 2759 the first Argo Class ship would started to be build at Boeing Interstellar's large Galax Shipyards in orbit of the planet Galax. The second ship of the class, the Prydwen, would start construction a few months later at Boeing Interstellar's Terran Megaplex over Terra itself.

Originally the Argo Class was designed as a large ninety-eight thousand-ton dropship. However, the still experimental Multiple Docking Collar System, it was going to be equipped with was still not working correctly; therefore, it was decided to expand the design into a full-on Compact Core Jumpship Design complete with an In-System Transit Drive. This would allow the new exploration ship to more easily move about during its mission. From there, the design expanded vastly, with the original ninety-eight thousand-ton dropship design becoming a four hundred thousand ton compact drive jumpship design. Due to this larger design, several new things were added to the new design, including vastly expanded crew comfort facilities, larger and more lavish crew quarters, a pair of dedicated hydroponic bays, a large cargo capacity, and other such notable additions to the design. However, the crown jewel of the design was the new gravity deck system which would allow the crew and passengers of the Argo Class to be more comfortable on lengthy exploration missions.

Still, the Star League Defense Force would balk at the idea of a fully-fledged Warship in the hands of a civilian-run organization like the Star League Exploration Corps. However, this was countered by the Exploration Corps not wanting their exploration ship to boast any large capital scale armaments as it was designed to serve as an exploration ship, not a warship. Hence, the reasoning for them to classify the Argo Class as an Exploration Ship, and not a Warship. No matter that the ship is a Compact-Core Jumpship Design which is often Warships in design. Instead, they were quite content with more basic self-defense weapons of twelve Large Lasers and twelve Medium Lasers spread across the ship's hull along with only fifty tons of Ferro-Carbide Armor.

Sadly, the class would start its career in disaster and a bit of controversy. As the Argo, the first ship of the class, would disappear while on her shakedown cruise through the Periphery. This became quite a controvesry when it was found out that the Argo had been working under the orders of the Star League Intelligence Command to scout out some of the Periphery Powers along with dropping off some supplies at a couple of the SLIC bases. Over a year later, the second ship of the class, the Prydwen was commissioned just in time as the Amaris Coup began.

From there, the Prydwen would be pressed into service with the Star League Defense Force as a support vessel for their fleet. Using its large cargo capacity and extenstive passenger capacity to support the SLDF's warships while they started to fight against the new Amaris Empire. It would remain in that role all the way through the Star League Civil War serving with distinction. However, in 2784 during the start of Commanding General Kerensky's Operation EXODUS, the Prydwen would do what it was designed to do for the first time in its service: the exploration of unknown space. The Prydwen would serve as a dedicated pathfinder unit paving the way for the rest of the Exodus Fleet as went out into the unknown. From then on the ship would disappear alongside the remains of the Star League Defense Force Fleet and from the history books.

However, two hundred and sixty two years after its disappearance the Argo herself would be found and recovered, thanks in part to the actions of a small mercenary group, and the disposed High Lady of the Aurigan Coalition, Kamea Arano. This same mercenary group and Lady Arano would, after some basic needed repairs, would use the ship as a mobile base for the fight against the Aurigan Directorate. Months after its recovery, the Argo would be the flagship of the small fleet of ships used to attack Coromodir IV and help wrest control of the Aurigan Reach from that of the Directorate. Back into the hands of Lady Arano and her supporters. Afterward, in a surprise move, the newly crowned High Lady would hand control over the Argo to the mercenaries who had supported her in getting back her throne. These mercenaries would then accept a contract from Federated-Boeing Interstellar, who had emerged from the larger Boeing Interstellar company division and had been originally reasonable for the construction of the ship all the years ago. This contract was to study the old ship, and in response, the company would help finish repairing the ship and modify it for the mercenaries if needed.

Okay. That is about it for this first bit. I may come back and add a few things to it. As I have a couple of ideas and such about it. I have to put together some sort of background and such for the game's player-lead mercenary group before I do anything else with this. Mainly how it would be modified to be a mercenary mothership, and no, it will not receive any capital scale weapons. Or anything all that major. For one, this is still early for capital-scale weapons to be brought back. Still, with Federated-Boeing studying the Argo, this may quicken some things in bringing back true warships to the Inner Sphere. Shrug. As for the reason why Com Star didn't all out panic and react at the reappearance of something the size of the Argo? Well they really didn't care about the original Argo after all during the game's story. Not to mention the Argo isn't really a true warship after all and doesn't even carry any capital weapons. That is partly the reason why I didn't put any in the design. My original plan would have the Argo having a handful of warship weapons, but were either too damaged or destroyed in the ship's crash to be of any use. I think it is better like this. Now the question would this be viable in such a story? Again. I really do not know, but I would think it would be interesting. Thanks for reading.
« Last Edit: 02 August 2022, 02:56:25 by deathzealotzero »


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Re: The Explorer: Argo Class Exploration Ship
« Reply #1 on: 13 August 2022, 17:43:16 »
But, but... where is the WAVE MOTION GUN?!  :D


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Re: The Explorer: Argo Class Exploration Ship
« Reply #2 on: 14 August 2022, 22:11:21 »
But, but... where is the WAVE MOTION GUN?!  :D
Snort. I honestly did consider putting in a couple of frontal mounted Naval Lasers or Naval PPCs as the big stick for the Argo, but in all honesty, if the ship did end up having Naval Weapons. ComStar and even the Great Houses would try to take it from the Aurigans. Or at least destroy it. Having it only lightly armored and only armed with regular weapons it gets looked over by many as it is said not to be a true warship. Another thing to add to this is that in this setting, there is a few primitive jumpships still around, mostly a handful of later produced Aquilla Class ships. Not to mention "Jolly Roger" Type Jumpship becoming a larger niche in Succession War Era space combat. So the Argo wouldn't be that all out of place in the scheme of things.

Heck. One of the guys over at the Spacebattles Forum gave me an interesting idea of the Prydwen becoming the Wolfs Dragoons mobile field base when they first arrive in the Inner Sphere. Instead of that mobile space station thing they had in canon. Therefore, when the Argo is recovered and becomes the mothership for yet another merc group things look to be interesting for the class. Also, with Kamea using the Argo and Jamie using the Prydwen to get to Terra for the Wedding of the Century, the two sister ships finally, after a few centuries reunited in orbit of Terra.

Anyways. Thanks for the reply.


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Re: The Explorer: Argo Class Exploration Ship
« Reply #3 on: 14 August 2022, 22:14:20 »
It might worth fluffing in an oddly shaped cargo bay in the nose (about the size of a Heavy Naval PPC)...  ^-^