Author Topic: Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?  (Read 766 times)

Liam's Ghost

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Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?
« on: 06 October 2023, 23:44:14 »
  Though its progenitor was designed well before Stephan Amaris overthrew the government of the Terran Hegemony, it is very likely that the Dickin class corvette would have never existed if not for the Amaris Coup. The original project that would, through a roundabout course, lead to the Dickin began in the first half of the 28th century as little more than a thought experiment. The venerable Vincent class corvette was in its third century of service at this point, and was regarded by many in the Star League Admiralty as woefully obsolete and due for replacement. However there was much debate over what form that replacement should take, or even if the Star League Navy needed corvette class ships at all.
  Thus the SLDF launched several evaluation programs under the umbrella designation of Exploration of the Viability of Small Capital Combatants. One of the many, many speculative programs that made up this effort would land in the lap of Dassault-Shimon Shipyards, and simply requested plans for "the smallest possible combat viable capital warship". The plans delivered as a result, designated Design SCC-40 were for a bare bones design massing one hundred thousand tons, but still mounting a respectable armament of six naval cannon and two capital missile tubes, along with some secondary defensive lasers, and armor protection at least roughly comperable to the Vincent class ships already in service. While it turned some heads in the admiralty by being able to match or exceed the larger and more expensive Vincent class in raw combat power, the SCC-40 was never seriously considered for deployment, and the plans for the design were filed away to be largely forgotten.
  But then came Amaris. While the Usurper had many, many flaws, he was still able to, eventually, understand that he had in fact aroused the anger the single largest army and navy that had ever existed, and that perhaps his own fleet of subborned drones and former second line Star League ships might not be able to resist an enraged General Kerensky or the vast military power at his back. Sweeping up everything that wasn't nailed down or a burned out hulk in the various shipyards and naval bases spread across his newly captured empire was some help, but to guarantee victory, Amaris knew he would need more, so he called upon those same shipyards he had just looted and now held (frequently at gunpoint) to get back to work building WarShips for his empire.
  The SCC-40 design was one of the classes chosen for production under this new building program. Though the Star League had been disinterested in the design, Amaris and his Admirals were enamored with the small, economical ship, envisioning vast numbers of small corvettes swamping the SLDF's larger WarShips, or at the very least serving as expendable flypaper to preserve more critical elements for more important battles. Whether this was a viable strategy or not was... doubtful, but thankfully for the vast amount of lives and material that might have been sacrificed otherwise, it would never be put to the test.
  Like most of the naval building programs started by Amaris, the effort to actually get the SCC-40 into production was plagued by relentless delays, sabotage, and both passive and active resistance, and the first six ships were only just nearing completion in time to be captured intact by the SLDF at New Earth in 2775. Always happy to claim whatever advantages they could, the SLDF was able to reactivate two of the ships (hastilly commissioned and named Tiddles and Blackie after historical seagoing cats) and bring them into the fighting to secure the system. Two additional ships, named Simon and Convoy, would be brought into service with the SLDF after the system was secured, with the final two hulls stripped of parts to complete and repair the first four. This small group, along with a smattering of other captured Rim Worlds ships, would go on to form a reserve element of Ninth Fleet under the command of Admiral Harry Montague, known informally as "Harry's Clowder". Despite its official status as a reserve force, the ad-hoc squadron would find itself in the thick of the fighting for the rest of the War, and many were the commendations awarded for the conspicuous gallantry of the squadron's crews. All but one of the squadron's ships would be lost during the invasion of Terra, and the last of the squadron, SLS Simon, was so badly damaged in a successful gunnery duel with an M-5 drone that she was ordered scrapped after the battle.
  This spelled the end of the class, retroactively designated the Simon class after its last surviving and most storied member. But the original SCC-40 designs, as well as the stories of the valiant little cats of Harry's Clowder, still made their way to the Bastion. And with the threat of a possible SLDF invasion looming over them as well, the Bastion's navy took a page out of Amaris' playbook and also turned to this humble corvette.
  This would not be a simple continuation of the class, however. Despite, or because of, Amaris' failed attempt to rush the class into service, the original SCC-40 design had never been an entirely complete design. The lack of amenities and sometimes even basic systems aboard the ships had made serving on them a miserable, difficult, and even unsafe experience for their crews, so much so that in SLDF service they were manned entirely by volunteers. Often by volunteers deemed particularly enthusiastic, but for whatever reason unsuited to operate on other ships, thus earning the class a reputation as home to those who were "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." Having no desire to foster a similar reputation among ships of their own fleet, Bastion engineers made sure that their revised design had been properly finished, with no high output power lines running exposed down corridors, all critical safety systems and airlock seals fully installed, and sufficient numbers of heads installed in dedicated washrooms, rather than being thrown in at the last moment. Going the extra mile, engineers even took the time to install a gravity deck, bringing the ship up to the minimum standard of operability expected of a Terran Hegemony WarShip.
  Upgrades were not limited to basic functionality, however. The main battery was replaced with a dual purpose battery of four quad naval laser turrets, providing a much improved anti-fighter capacity which was further bolstered by an upgraded and improved close range battery. Though these improvements did require a significant upgrade to the ship's power distribution and cooling system, the extra effort was seen as well worth it. Finally, the ship would be armored with ferro carbide compounds rather than the ferro aluminium used on the Simon class, providing additional protection to the design.
  As something of a nod to the Simon class which came before, this new class was named for the Dickin Medal, an award first established in the mid twentieth century and granted to military and civil service animals for "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty". Each ship in the class would be named for a recipient of the Dickin Medal, with the lead ship, THS Simon, having the dual honor of carrying the name of the valiant little Corvette from the Amaris coup, as well as that of the equally valiant ship's cat which was honored with the titual award. While this naming scheme would produce such auspiciously named vessels such as THS Warrior, THS Commando, or THS Reckless, it would also lead to such whimsical names as THS Winkie, THS Tyke, or THS Chips, positively incomprehensible names such as THS NURP.43.CC.1418, or the magnificently unsettling THS Flying Dutchman. While some within the Admiralty might have prefered to avoid using some of the less professional sounding names on the list of Dickin medal recipients, the shear number of Dickin class corvettes produced would eventually exhaust this list in its entirety, finishing in grand style with THS Das Boots, named for the then most recent Dickin medal recipient, a ship's cat aboard fleet flagship THS Washington which recieved the award for a strange chain of events which led the animal to assisting in search and rescue aboard a disabled jumpship.
  Unlike Amaris, the Bastion had no desire to simply throw swarms of badly made, poorly manned corvettes as their enemies. Instead, the new Dickin class ships were organized into numerous picket flotillas, each with a single Hunt class light destroyer serving as a command vessel. In the event of an attack, these squadrons were expected to avoid direct confrontation with the enemy unless they possessed overwhelming superiority, instead shadowing the enemy while feeding course and targeting information back to the stronger defenses deeper in the system. Only once the main battle was joined, idealy after hours or days of sustained missile bombardment from defense batteries deeper in the system, would the picket force be committed to the battle, and even then, unless the situation was truly dire, they were expected to concentrate on stragglers, isolated elements, and other weak points in the enemy force rather than pointlessly throwing themselves against the main enemy battle line. Though the Bastion had in the early years after the exodus faced a handful of probes by renegade SLDF or Rim Worlds forces and even the odd hilariously unprepared pirate band, they were fortunate to never have to test this battle strategy against the full might of Kerensky's Exodus fleet, despite years, then decades of waiting for that worst case scenario to play out.
  Though the Bastion would build hundreds of Dickin class corvettes in four distinct marks during the early post Exodus years, as the fleet moved from its emergency footing to sustained peacetime operations, this vast swarm of picket ships was deemed too unwieldy and unnecessary for the present strategic situation facing the Bastion. In 2805 the Mark IV production run (which incorporated a lithium fusion battery and hyperpulse generator) would be halted early with only forty ships built, while another sixty Mark III variants would be upgraded to the Mark IV standard to temporarily take up the slack in the downsized picket fleet while production of the latest marks of the Hunt class gradually assumed sole responsibility in the picket fleet. By 2825, the last of the Dickin class were taken out of service. Though the vast majority of the class has since been scrapped, forty Mark IV hulls remain mothballed in the deep reserve fleet.
 

Dickin Corvette Mark IV
Mass: 100,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2800
Mass: 100,000
Battle Value: 19,512
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-F-F
Cost: 8,652,424,000 C-bills

Fuel: 2,000 tons (20,000)
Safe Thrust: 4
Maximum Thrust: 6
Sail Integrity: 3
KF Drive Integrity: 4
Heat Sinks: 326 (652)
Structural Integrity: 40

Armor
    Nose: 20
    Fore Sides: 21/21
    Aft Sides: 20/20
    Aft: 18

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (6)             2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (2)         1 Door   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (5748.0 tons)     1 Door   

Ammunition:
    20 rounds of Barracuda ammunition (600 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks: 1 (80 m)
Escape Pods: 15
Life Boats: 0
Crew:  17 officers, 58 enlisted/non-rated, 22 gunners, 22 bay personnel      

Notes: Equipped with
    lithium-fusion battery system
    1 Mobile Hyperpulse Generators (Mobile HPG)
   80 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                                    Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                              Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (20 Heat)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (20 shots)
FRS/FLS (352 Heat)
6 ER Large Laser                        72   5(48)   5(48)   5(48)     0(0)   Laser       
4 Naval Laser 45                        280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
RBS/LBS (280 Heat)
4 Naval Laser 45                        280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
ARS/ALS (72 Heat)
6 ER Large Laser                        72   5(48)   5(48)   5(48)     0(0)   Laser       
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Daryk

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Re: Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?
« Reply #1 on: 07 October 2023, 06:09:45 »
The HPG really cranks up the price... I'd think they'd only be one to a squadron...

Otherwise, EXCELLENT fluff! :D

Red Pins

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Re: Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?
« Reply #2 on: 07 October 2023, 09:58:18 »
Agreed.  Excellent work, and nice to see the smaller ships of the line get some attention.

I think a sloop is the only lighter military ship - have ou considered one as a sort of armed merchant marine?  You are noticeably light in cargo and Dropships aren't going to do that much without collars.
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?
« Reply #3 on: 07 October 2023, 17:15:18 »
The HPG really cranks up the price... I'd think they'd only be one to a squadron...

The Marks I-III did lack an HPG. Faster than light communication for the flotilla would be provided by a removable "ground mobile" HPG mounted aboard the Hunt class flotilla leader.

(It was removable to further save cost. When a Hunt class ship went into refit, its HPG was removed and installed aboard another ship coming out of refit)

By the time the Mark IV was being developed, the Bastion's production capacity had improved to the point where it was decided every capital ship should carry an HPG. Of course, shortly afterward they also decided that they should just replace their corvettes with more Hunt class.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

kindalas

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Re: Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?
« Reply #4 on: 07 October 2023, 17:21:02 »
I'd argue that making it 110,000 tons fits my math aesthetic because being half the size of a Hunt is a design target that I can see happening during the design committee stage.

Rather then the exact minimum tonnage where these craft start to work for some reason.

Daryk

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Re: Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?
« Reply #5 on: 07 October 2023, 18:24:07 »
Reasonable arguments, both! :)

Vehrec

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Re: Dickin class Corvette: THS Bob?!?
« Reply #6 on: 07 October 2023, 19:06:50 »
Awww, it's cute!  Of course, every ship having an HPG does open up some...interesting options.  Emitting radio waves?  Cringe, ew, don't talk to me.  I only communicate via strict emissions control/HPG carriers.  Even tightbeam laser coms aren't secure enough for me.
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