Odysseus class Patrolboat, mk I - mk XIV
You will look in vain for the Odysseus in the SLDF warships lists, although more than 80 were produced and it fulfilled its duty for almost 100 years. This has got everything to do with its designation 'patrolboat', instead of 'Raider' or 'Corvette'. History tells us the following story:
In 2674 the SLDF put out a request for an independent patrol vessel, which could standup to a Vincent, could do deep periphery exploration, would probably survive contact with a cruiser, could destroy a pirate dropship fleet, and was cheap. Several well known firms proposed Destroyers or Frigattes, but all were seriously over budget. Blue Nose Clipperships - then a small commercial jumpship builder - entered with their Odysseus, a whopping 100,000 tons heavy 'corvette'. The proposal was never taken seriously and before she even reached phase 1 she was 'filed'. As the other contendants were to expensive, the request was closed with 'no suitable results'.
Then the Cameron/st.Joan debacle occured and Blue Nose threatened with a lawsuit. They claimed that their design never got the attention she deserved, that she accomplished all the demands, and that the big shippingyards had paid the admiralty to ignore them. What remained of the procurement department dug out the specifications to find a clear reason why they had rejected the design, but failed to find a glaring mistake before the investigation commitee would start. To stop more heads to roll, they 'bought off' Blue Nose by ordering 10 Odysseus, and to hide the fact to the public they invented the 'Patrolboat' designation (a Support vehicle).
The Odysseus mark-I weighted a mere 100,000 tons, far below any other vessel of the SLDF. With a acceleration of upto 4Gs, a sizable fuel tank, and the twin very efficient RollsRoyce Merlin-IVs, she could patrol for extended periods, overtake almost all dropships, and flee from any capital ship. Her armor placement was based on the following strategy: either it's a dropship and you just attack it, or it is heavier so you run away: her aft had the most armor, followed by the nose. To take on a Vincent or pirate dropships it had a single, nose mounted, heavy naval autocannon. In case of an encounter with a hostile cruiser it had an aft mounted Killer Whale launcher, coupled with a Baracuda laucher in the aft left/right arc as missiles were at least some threat. Each arc had an unprecedented four twin turrets (PPC, LL, ML, SL) in a clover-4 arrangement cooled by 350 heatsinks. Six fighter bays, 2 dedicated small crafts, a marine platoon, and a nose mounted dropship collar finished the design.
The mark-I was not a bad design, but it was not without its problems. The dropship collar on the nose meant that the dropship could function during accelaration, that is, if it had the mass of a Lion. The SLDF however tried combat maneuvres with a fully loaded Bulk Carrier-XII (a predecessor to the Mammoth) attached, which resulted in the mark-II. This still could not handle a BC, but a Titan could stay docked at 1G. Next was the problem with the nose AA weapons which hit the dropship if it was over 8000 tons (Mark-III) and a variable recoil system for the NAC30 depending on the dropship weight (Mark-IV).
Some design elements where defended with fervor by the crew: 1 small craft bay sat next to the bridge (usually an aerodyne), while the other (often a battletaxi) was within easy reach of the marine platoon. The escape pods sat in the middle of the 'clovers' (except for the nose), and the small craft and ASF personal had extra '2nd class' space for both crew and technicians, making a 9 months tour far more comfortable. The small gravdeck was enough as the Odysseus often patrolled at 1G.
Ten Mark-IVs functioned well for 20 years (loosing only 1 to a jump failure), and the SLDF ordered several more for extended deep exploration. This included space for 13 explorers (Mark-V), a brig for 10 prisoners (Mark-VI), and a Lithium-fusion battery (mark-VII - mark-X).
For decades the Odysseus mk-X patrolled the outer periphery and other, low priority, space lanes, until the steady improvement of dropships and ASFs made its defensive armament to weak as an attack from all sides could overwhelm the 350 single heatsinks. Oddly enough the Odysseus was now well liked by the admiralty, as many remembered their first mission on these crafts. After recalling all 67 surviving ships, extensive tests were done with the newest defense equipment (mark-XI - mark-XIV). Gone were the four twin turrets and instead four quad turrets were installed with ER large lasers, large pulse lasers, medium lasers, and AMS. The reason that the old medium lasers stayed was simple: not once had they failed in nearly 80 years of activity.
The mark-XIV continued to function well, until it was recalled for a clearly needed armor upgrade in 2766. All Odysseus were ordered to await their upgrade in orbit around Saturns moon Phoebe, when on christmas eve a single hydrogen bomb cracked the moon and destroyed all ships.
Name: Odysseus mk XIV classe Patrolboat Tech: Star League Introduced: 2678 Mass: 100,000 ton Length: 370 meters Sail Diameter: 970 meters K-F Drive: 3 integrity 45,250 Sail: 2 integrity 35 Engines: 5 speed 30,000 SI: 80 8,000 Fuel: 2500 tons 25,000 fp 2,550 Bridge: 250 Gravdeck 85 meter 50 Armor: 35, 31/31, 31/31, 45 160 Heatsinks: 350 double 264 free 86 Docking Hardpoint: 1 1,000 Lithium-fusion battery 1,000 Escape Pod: 8 48 pers 56 Life boat 8 48 pers 56 Spare Parts: 2% 2,000 1 NAC/30 (50 salvos) nose 100 3,540 1 Killer Whale (10 salvos) aft 20 650 1 Barracuda (10 salvos each) aft left/right 20 780 1 quad large pulse each arc 320 224 1 quad ER large laser each arc 384 160 1 quad AMS (10 salvos each) each arc 32 176 1 quad medium laser each arc 96 32 Fighters: 6 900 - personal 12 84 Small Craft: 2 400 - personal 10 70 Personal: 15+60+36 822 Marines: 28 140 Brig: 10 50 Passengers: 3+10 100 Lab/Workshop 50 Food/Water: 350 days 184 pers 350 Cargo 1,019