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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-12-2010, 07:37 PM
Solar-class Star Cruiser

In the late 22nd century as the Unification Wars ground to a halt, The Solar Imperium recognized the need for a heavy warp-cable warship. The only reason the poorly armed and armored warp vessels of the day had been able to subdue the Outer Colonies was because of the relatively unguarded nature of the Colonies. However the costly battles against the planetary defenses on Alpha Centauri, the oldest and largest extra-Solar colony, had clearly demonstrated the need for a ship able to hold the line against a prepared and determined enemy. In this.

And with the costly Unification Wars coming to a close, resources to divert to the construction of such a class of ships were becoming available. In 2196 construction started on the SIS Solar in the Luna Spaceport. Within a year, the Solar was making her trial runs across the Imperium and the Outer Colonies in particular. While not a breakthrough by any means, the Solar is an excellent example of the evolutionary engineering techniques of the Imperium. She was one of the largest warp capable vessels of the period and as such had among the largest warp engines of any vessel to this point.

The Solars were also designed and built on a theory of modular constriction and ease of upgradability in order to hasten construction and extend the lifespan of these vessels.

The initial weapon loadout of the Solar was 48 Marksman Focused Neutron Rifles in 24 dual beam turrets and 32 Reynard III Dual Use Missiles. The proven Reynard missiles proved equally capable against space and ground targets and could be fitted with a variety of conventional, sub-munition, fusion, or antimatter warheads. Within a decade the Marksman Neutron Rifles were replaced with Heterodyne Particle Rifles. The ship could carry up to 6 shuttles.

Initially fitted with Echler Field defenses backed up by Plasteel fused armor, the same upgrade that introduced the Heterodyne Particle Rifles also replaced the Echler Field with a Reventine Energy Shield. Their Antionic Power Cores produced prodigious amounts of power, much of which was diverted to batteries in the event of an emergency.

The Solars initially could remain away from a base for up to four months, assuming she would not need to restock missiles. Later improvements in power systems and cryonics improved this to eight months, but three months remained the standard patrol for the class. In times of emergency there is however records of Solars remaining on duty for a full Standard Year. They boasted a crew complement of 250 and additional room for up to 1000 more, usually ground troops or civilian evacuees (see Eporian Crisis).

The Solar class and it's many variants remained active in the Imperium's Star Fleet for 180 years, the last being the SIS Vanguard, stricken from the active list after two decades as a training ship. Dozens of Solars remain as museums across the Imperium and the parts of many more, most notably their power cores, remain in service in planetary and orbital facilities. In all, some 596 Solars and their variants were constructed.