Kushan "Puppeteer" Drone Frigate

Homeworld Statistics

Class: Frigate
Build Cost
: 800 RUs
Build Time: 75 s
Maneuverability: Low
: 75 m/s^2
Max Velocity: 325 m/s
Hit Points: 16,000
Repair Rate: 150/10 s
Firepower: 4,900
Coverage: 100%
Mass: 13,000 tons

Salvage No.: 2
Dock Points: 24
Nav Lights: 4
Special Abilities
Launch/Retrieve Drones

Required Tech:
Capital Ship Drive
Capital Ship Chassis
Drone Tech

Weapons: Damage: Range: Fire Time:
24 Gun Drones* 10-12 6,500 m 2.7 s

*Each drone has a max velocity of 700 m/s and 120 hit points.

Early on in the fleet design debates, a faction within the Kushan military was pushing to develop a series of autonomous or tele-operated strike craft that would render on-board pilots obsolete. Unfortunately, AI systems never could match the adaptability or reliability of living pilots, and even communications delays of a fraction of a light second rendered remote-controlled drones useless in combat. Several promising designs of cheap, powerful drone were abandoned simply because there was no way to operate them effectively at range.

Kushan Engineers have a unspoken belief that anything can be put to use, even the dead, and so it wasn't long before a research team trying to develop an effective anti-fighter capital ship turned the drone problem around so that it became a solution. The answer lay in not asking more from a drone than it was capable of doing. Instead of expecting a drone to behave like a fighter, researchers developed a sophisticated tracking and targeting system that could control 24 drones as if they were remote turrets. Deployed in a perfect sphere around a modified heavy frigate chassis, these drones can project firepower in any direction against multiple fast moving targets.

The resulting Puppeteer Class Drone Frigate has the raw firepower of other Frigates, as each drone can carries a rapid fire rail gun, but the tactical coverage is unsurpassed, making the most effective anti-strike craft platform yet seen. Puppeteers can break up massed fighter attacks in less than a minute, and can even direct substantial fire against single targets like heavy corvettes or other enemy frigates. Two Puppeteers used in conjunction with a Trapper class Gravwell generator can completely destroy an enemy fleet that has concentrated on strike craft instead of capital ships.