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Artemis Class Gunship
A sub-capital warship used for fleet screening, fast strike, and picket formations, larger than a bomber.
Caption
ARMAMENT:
3 Turrets of Twin 145 mm (Approx. 6 Inch) Stabilized Cannons
6 Quad mounted, High-Energy Plasma batteries with Computer Assisted digital Targeting.
Undisclosed Electronic Counter Measures and Warfare Capacity.
COMPLIMENT:
75 (25 Officers and Gunnery Personnel operating in Triple rotation)
The Crew compartments are very tightly packed bunks and billets, very reminiscent of the cramped quarters on Submersibles and Naval vessels of the early 20th Century. All crew share lavatory facilities, and shower facilities. Each crewman is allotted enough space for one foot locker of personnel effects and clothing. A single galley serves the vessel, and doubles as the recreation room when not serving meals. The vessel maintains no launches or Shuttles, and is reliant on Hard Dock or Manual EVA for loading and unloading of personnel, supplies, or cargo. The primary airlock and supply elevator is located in the structure just behind the conning tower, reminiscent of a smoke stack of old Naval vessels. A few Construction and Utility A.P.U.s are maintained for in-flight rearming and maintenance purposes. It is rumored that a Black Ops variation of the Artemis has been modified to carry a small contingent of Aerospace A.P.U.s, though little supporting evidence has ever been found of this, and it seems unlikely given the support services combat A.P.U.s would require.
HISTORY:
While the Artemis class of Gunships is technically just shy of the Capital Ship classification, they are significantly larger than bombers, and pack the firepower of a corvette. The design lineage was initially conceived of exclusively for the Marines, who required a fast strike weapons platform that could keep pace with bombers and act as a screening vessel for their troopships and fleet against enemy fighters, as well as serve as a weapons platform that could delivery pinpoint accurate artillery bombardment. The real unique aspect of the Artemis class of ships that sets it apart from capital ships is its ability to enter the upper levels of atmosphere and act as a gunship, providing fire mission to support ground forces over near continental theatres. While it's actual range is mere hundreds of miles, it can easily boost out of atmosphere, and in minutes traverse thousands of kilometers, before dropping back into the upper atmosphere to provide support nearly a continent away from it's initial position. This has proven invaluable to the shock and awe tactics employed by the Colonial Marines, allowing for rapid siege and strike missions. Such tactics, however, do place the vessels at direct risk from planetary defenses, and despite their agility and speed compared to larger capital ships, they can still be vulnerable, as their atmospheric maneuvering is greatly reduced when compared to conventional aerodynes and aerospace fighters. After heavy losses during the corporate uprisings to entrenched and well fortified corporate artillery, the Marines have been increasingly reluctant to employ these gunships in atmospheric support and bombardment roles until planetary defenses are largely secured or destroyed.
The success of the Artemis class quickly saw a variety of variations and refits for more diverse mission roles. After it's initial service, the design was adapted and added to Fleet as a fighter screening and support vessel, and has performed extremely well. Though the design is aging, it continues to shine in Fleet and Marine service, with many vessels being rotated out to planetary security and the Marshal corps to aid in keeping the peace and securing Terran concerns in an ever expanding Colonial front. While a replacement is slated and on the drawing board for the near future, so many of the Artemis and her variants have entered the different branches of the armed services, it is likely these vessels will be seen for decades to come.
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Reactions: Carey
My very first scifi book on the cover had fighters that had rocket engines front and back, it set my imagination on fire. nice work!
 

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