Somtaaw "Dervish" Multi-Beam Frigate

Cataclysm Statistics

Class: Frigate
: 700 RUs
Build Time: 60 s
Support Req.: 12 SUs
Maneuverability: medium
: 100 m/s^2
Max Velocity: 370 m/s
Hit Points: 10,000
Repair Rate: 80/5 s
Sight Radius: 12,000 m
Firepower: 3,900
Coverage: 90%
Mass: 10,200 tons
EMP Stun: 1.5 s
Leech Dam.: xx/s

Salvage Points: 2
Repair Droids: 3
Nav Lights: 6
Leech Points: 10
Required Tech:
Frigate Drive
Advanced Ion Cannon

Upgrade Tech:
Repair Bots
Advanced Frigate Drive
Armor Level 2


Weapons: Mult.: Damage: Range: Fire Time:
5 Small Ion Cannons 2.2 11 4,000 m 4.0 s

The Ion Beam Frigate has long been the mainstay of any offensive star fleet. The only drawback to these powerful beam weapons is that they are so large that frigate-sized craft can only support them in a spinal mount configuration...and this restricts combat coverage. Somtaaw Fleet Command, unwilling to make the jump to the heavy cruiser chassis just to incorporate ion cannons in turret mounts, instead decided to research advanced ion beam technology jointly with Kiith Paktu. This change in initiative resulted in the development of the helix bundle, which allows charged streams to be accelerated in a tightly curved configuration.

The Dervish class frigate is built around just such an accelerator helix, and uses a multi-path beam-splitter to direct the charged ion stream to any or all of its five focusing turrets. The turrets themselves are solid state devices that use magnetic fields to focus and direct the ion beam in a large firing arc. Using the cold vacuum of space to keep functioning at super-cooled temperatures, the focusing turret is highly efficient and capable of a high rate of fire. While these ion beams are not as powerful as the ones fired from a traditional Ion Frigate, this lack is more than made up by the increased coverage and decreased fire time.

Dervishes function best in the anti-strike craft role, where their rapid tracking ability allows them to tag enemy fighters with devastating firepower. The sight of a single Dervish plowing through a cloud of enemy strike craft with all beams firing is often enough to cause even the most dedicated fighter pilot to reconsider his options. When faced with enemy capital ships, especially other beam frigates such as the Taiidani Sajuuk Cor, the Dervish is forced to rely on its maneuverability to keep turning out of the enemy's strongest firing arc, while still bringing at least 2 or 3 turrets to bear.

Dervishes are difficult to manage; they are almost incapable of keeping formation, and tumble through the enemy, firing their many beams at whatever targets they seem to feel like. It's probably a good idea to keep them in a separate squadron from the other frigates.