PATROL CRAFT

INTRODUCTION TO PATROL CRAFT

The Patrol Craft designations cover a large assortment of light, short to mid-range vessels, use by both military and civilian personnel. Patrol Craft include Corvettes, Cutters, Gunboats, Clippers, Sloops, Corsairs and Monitors. Although all are group as Patrol Craft, each is unique in their design and abilities

 

CLIPPER

Used for mostly civilian vessels, a Clipper is an extremely fast vessel, capable of tremendous speed, moderate maneuverability and often built with comfort in mind. Many civilian Clippers are armed with light weapons, often employed by corporate concerns as courier and pleasure craft. Star Fleet does maintain a small fleet of Clippers, used as high speed transport vessels and high speed escort. Although capable of deep space operations, most Clippers are designed to cruise from one port to another, often taking in any sights along the way. Star Fleet Clippers do have a large internal bay used to load special sensors or other science equipment for short periods of time, as well as moderate weapons that allow them to act as Escort vessels for high speed convoys. Civilian Clippers often have a small but highly specialized cargo bay used to transport unique and rare cargos from through space. Although similar in size to Blockade Runners, Clippers are rarely used in illegal activities, due to their often unique hull design.

CORSAIR

Corsairs are small, extremely fast luxury ships, used by dignitaries, military leaders and corporate heads as personal transports. Significantly smaller than other luxury vessels, Corsairs are used mostly near the interior of secure space. Corsairs are primarily used by Star Fleet as large personnel transport vessels, bringing crew and dignitary personnel to and from front line vessels and bases. Most Corsairs are well known for their speed, and are lightly armed, often having little more than the most basic defensive weapons.

 

 

CORVETTES

Modern corvettes are designed to conduct patrols in and near established Star Bases and Outposts. They are built for extreme maneuverability, often sacrificing speed for maneuverability. Most Corvettes are armed for short to mid-range battle, with either a small number of heavy firepower weapons, or a larger number of light weapons. Corvettes are designed primarily to work in teams or three or more vessels, patrolling in and around the immediate air space of a space station or outpost. Corvettes are not designed for deep space patrols, having very limited supplies. They are equipped with sensitive sensor equipment, equal to most cruisers and escorts. They are also equipped with excellent crew amenities, due to the tedium of their missions. Corvettes are very inexpensive to build and maintain.

 

 

CUTTER

Cutters, like Gunboats, are designed to operate in squadrons of 3 to 5 vessels, in and around an established outpost or base. They act as customs vessels, inspecting incoming transports, freighters and other ships. They have only moderate sensor systems, but often have a small boarding party or Marine or Ground Forces personnel. Most Cutters are built for only short range, remaining on patrol for no more than a month. Cutters are also used in system to scan local planets, re-supply in-system listening posts and research facilities, conduct sensor sweeps of asteroid fields and escort vulnerable incoming vessels. When faced with a large cruiser or small squadron, Cutters swarm a target, attempting to overwhelm it’s attack capability. Cutters almost exclusively employ short range weapons, opting for multiple hits rather than range. Although dangerous against large warships, this doctoring allows cutters to easily overwhelm most pirate vessels. Cutters are not built for speed, opting for maneuverability. Cutters are very common in most populated Federation systems.

 

 

GUNBOAT

Gunboats are designed to patrol in large numbers near established shipping and transport lanes, attacking enemy forces and pirate raiders. Gunboats, similar to Cutters, are built for speed rather than maneuverability, and are armed with longer range weapons, balancing ease of construction with combat ability. Most do not have as sensitive a sensor system as Corvettes or Cutters, but have stronger shield and higher speed. Most Gunboats also have larger cargo facilities, allowing longer patrols. Like Corvettes, Gunboats are designed to swarm a single target, overwhelming it targeting ability and delivering multiple hits on all sides.

 

HEAVY CORVETTE

Sometimes referred to as Pseudo-fighters, heavy corvettes are designed as patrol craft for use in known hostile areas and as attack craft within fleets. Like the standard corvette, these vessels have high maneuverability but have moderate to good speed. They are generally built with small numbers of heavy weapons and their superstructures are reinforced to increase their combat survivability. As patrol craft, they are deployed either as leaders for standard corvettes or in groups consisting solely of heavy corvettes. Their better combat  survivability over standard corvettes are a plus in areas where hostile action is the norm and heavier vessel types are unavailable for patrol duty. Primarily used by the Imperial Klingon Navy in fleet actions, groups of 3 or 6 of these vessels take advantage of their superior maneuverability to exploit weaknesses in the enemy defenses. The larger vessels in the fleet seek to pin down and engage the enemy’s large vessels while the heavy corvettes jockey for position to deliver their weapons load through a lightly or unshielded side or swoop in to deliver more fire through downed shields. When traveling with a fleet or task force, this vessel type is dependent upon tenders that are specifically designed to re-supply and repair them due to their limited shipboard resources. The Klingons also utilize these vessels as raiders. Like the battle scout, these vessels serve this dual roll well.

 

 

LIGHT CORVETTE

Light Corvettes are essentially a larger version or a Long Range Shuttle or Courier. Most operate in larger squadrons than standard Corvettes, and often use similar tactics to fighters and armed shuttles. Light Corvettes do have extremely sensitive sensor equipment in keeping with their mission parameters. Most remain on patrol no longer than a few weeks, even during times of conflict. Because of their small crew compliment and ease of construction, Light Corvettes can be mass produced on a huge scale, with nearly every Star base in the Federation having one or more squadrons of Light Corvettes.

 

 

MONITOR

Monitors are considered one of the most basic of all in-system patrol craft in use today. Monitors primary function is to patrol a given star system, monitoring all in-bound and out-bound space traffic, continually update navigational records, scan and monitor planets and asteroids and provide in-system defense from pirate or other hostile activity. Monitors are considered by many to be sub-light “police” vessels, and indeed many monitors do not have Warp drives. Monitors are usually larger than Cutters and Gunboats, and are also more heavily armed, relying on large numbers of short range weapons to overwhelm and disable enemy targets. Monitors have extremely extensive sensors, often rivaling most cruisers in the area. Monitors are also outfitted with a wide range of communication systems, allowing them to act as control ships for robotic freighters and comm. station while in system. Most Monitors are also employed by Merchant Marine commands to board cargo vessels for inspection, conduct salvage missions, re-supply out-lying stations and conduct checks on buoys and another in-system equipment. Although not a popular command, Monitors and their crews have more interaction with other life forms and other ships than nearly every other command combined. Monitors are designed to allow interaction between various systems and crews without endangering equipment or men. Most Monitors also maintain a moderate boarding party of marines or other armed forces personnel to help with inspections and trouble shoot during combat operations. During combat, Monitors are used to assist Cutters, Corvettes and Gunboats with larger enemy vessels, and can often be the difference between success and failure. Most Monitors are extremely fast and agile, despite their lack of Warp drive. Monitors work closely with Star Base personnel, various police officials and other government agencies to maintain lawful transit and operations within a given star system. Because most lack warp drives, Monitors are surprisingly inexpensive to construct, and very easy to maintain in-system. Most are nearly luxurious in their accommodations, and

 

SLOOP

Nearly identical to a Cutter, a Sloop is a civilian version of the useful frontline cutter craft. Most Sloops are larger than a standard Cutter and are employed by large corporations and smaller governments as a patrol craft near sensitive instillations. Many sloops are surprisingly comfortable, with extensive recreation and communication equipment. Sloops are even more popular as luxury craft than clippers, being both larger and roomier. Sloops are used by Star Fleet as dignitary transports and moderate speed Couriers. Sloops are also used by Star Fleet to transport small specialized cargo’s between deep space stations and patrol ships.

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