|Class name:||Alpine-class Starcutter|
|Designed by:||Renar Shipyards, Coa Maru Cluster|
|Inservice date:||699 After Arrival.|
|Crew:||20 officers and men|
|Propulsion:||-1x K-Drive unit|
-Multiple ion-drive thrusters for docking manoeuvres.
|Maximum FTL Jump:||32 Light-Years|
|Maximum Effective Sublight Speed:||Variable|
|Primary Armament:||-4x Omega particle cannons|
|Secondary Armament:||-12x missile tubes|
-16x 12cm lasers
-Mark 4 Magnetogravitic Force Wall
-8x CIWS laser mounts
|Small Craft:||Docking bay for 1x shuttlecraft|
The Alpine-class Starcutter is the smallest class of interstellar vessel in the service of the AstroNavy of the CCMC. Created by the Renar Shipyards complex of Ios system, it is propelled by a K-Drive engine and incorporates state-of-the-art technology including K-teleport facilities.
Design and Development
In the last hundred years or so, the average mass of K-Drive starships per class has shown a marked rise, such that the typical mass of, for example, a modern Star Cruiser is approximately 150-200% that of an equivalent ship from a century ago.
This upward creep of mass per ship class has opened up a new class bracket at the bottom of the ship tables. Massing below Star Corvettes, these new ship classes, dubbed "Starcutters", are employed as pickets, light scouts and couriers.
The Alpine-class, together with the larger and older Forthright-class, is the current exemplar of the Starcutter type in the Confederation of the Coa Maru Cluster. With a mass of only 200,000 tonnes, it is the smallest starship class in the CCMC. The lead ship of the class is named after the Western and Eastern Alpines, a pair of large mountain ranges on Saingavon. Other ships in the class bear the names of other distinctive planetary features of CCMC planets. The names are usually those of mountain ranges, but also include seas, oceans, deserts and other features.
The Alpine-class utilises an advanced K-Drive propulsion system for both FTL and infraluminal travel. The K-drive (or Karkarakkaradekk Stardrive) operates by sending the ship through a point-to-point wormhole in a similar manner to such technologies as “foldspace” drives or stargates, except in the case of the latter, the Gates are fixed positions.
K-drives obviate the need for mass-intensive duplicate FTL and infraluminal drive systems, though the system itself is quite mass-intensive and places a lower limit on how small a K-Drive ship can reasonably be made. The point-to-point nature of wormhole travel is more efficient with a longer jump length, though this must be balanced against the jump lag time, or variable time period after a transit has been completed before another jump may be initiated. More modern warships of larger than Star Corvette size generally have dual drive arrangements.
The AI ship's managers of frigate and corvette class vessels of the Confederation are less sophisticated than their fully-intelligent counterparts on cruisers and larger classes. This is mostly due to cost; manufacturing and educating highly sophisticated artificial intelligences is startlingly expensive, and so smaller ships tend to have less generally-capable, more dedicated AIs. The Alpine-class are something of an exception to this dictum, however, and feature quite sophisticated onboard AI units.
Armed with a combination of small Omega cannons, 12cm lasers and countermissile-sized missiles, the Alpine-class' offensive capability is markedly less even than most Star Corvettes. Considering their mass class, however, the ships are quite well armed, and punch considerably above their weight in space combat.
The proportionally high number of secondary weapons such as countermissile-sized missile tubes and 12cm laser turrets makes the class quite effective as a supplementary battery to add to a fleet's point defence. This is part of the reason for such a sophisticated AI in such a small ship.
The primary defensive system of the Alpine-class is the combination of K-Drive gravitic barrier to the rear and force walls around the rest of the ship. The small size of the class necessitates weaker defensive shields, classified as Mark 4. The ship also incorporates laser CIWS mounts which are the ship's first line of defence against missiles and even smaller fighters.
The hull is largely composed of a meta-alloy-reinforced lattice of carbon nanotubes in a tetrahedral pattern. Known as “Nanodiamond”, this hull material is backed by an energy-dissipating material which effectively disperses the energy of any beam weapon strike throughout the entire hull. Less effective against physical kinetic impacts, the nanodiamond and meta-alloy outer hull is usually strong enough to withstand most impacts which cannot be deflected by the shields.
The tiny Alpine-class Starcutter has hangar space for only a single shuttlecraft. Normally carrying the small Sheartail-class Planetary Shuttle, this single small craft serves in much the same role as the ancient 21st Century naval utility helicopter.
In what may represent the future of CCMC starship design, the ship's teleport system is considered the primary crew transfer system. Most modern starships have teleport systems, but the K-Teleporter is fairly energy-intensive, meaning that shuttlecraft still perform a lot of the crew transport and supply ferry duties.
|AstroNavy | Naval Marines | Colonial Forces|
|Babylon | Nemoc Tain | Tewa | Zanzibar|
|Orenda | Sulcandar | Oa | Lorapan | Alamaron | Umbra | Yavun | Sandas | Tanut | Watu | Forthright | Alpine|
|Axehead | Lancer | Sheartail | Windglimmer | Penetrator|
|Phalanx Hovertank | Kugelmecha | Centurion Hovertransport | Cougarine Gravbike|
|Caliburnus Rail Rifle | Oberon Plasma Rifle | R-7 Plasma Pulser | ARIES Battle Armour | SPIRAL Battle Armour | Cybersloth|