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Kodai Okuda

Jhararo's All the Galaxy's Warships Volume 1: "Spaceboats" of 1st Interplanetary War.

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Welcome to the premier issue of Jhararo's All the Galaxy's Warships, the digital database dedicated to the study of mechanical devices, weapons, vehicles, and other machines.

This month's issue: Evolution of the Spaceboat.

The concept of the spaceboat type spacecraft is derived from the old assault shuttle category of military spacecraft first developed during the Great War period of the 2050s.

The first of these "boats" was the Kentucky class of assault shuttles. The term boat came to be associated with the Kentucky because many of the recruits for the early United States Space Navy were aircraft pilots from the old wet-Navy of the US. In fact, most of the USSN personnel were comprised of ex-wet-Navy personnel as the USSN increasingly relied on spacecraft to perform many of the missions once held by the old Navy. With aerospace craft capable of trans-atmospheric flight and round-the-world aerospace fighter/bomber capabilities, aircraft carriers were quickly becoming obsolete during the Great War Era of the 2050s. Thus, the "new Navy" of the United States of North America was in essence their space forces, and the traditions, ranks, and vehicle designations followed along with the personnel.
Therefore, while the official designation of the Kentucky class had been that of an assault shuttle, it was almost always referred to as a "boat" by the men and women of the USSN.

The design concept and overall mission of the Kentucky class assault shuttle was not that different than the PT boats of the World War II era. Essentially, the Kentucky was intended to hunt down enemy satellites and shuttles and then use its torpedoes to destroy them.

Once the USSN had become amalgamated into the Earth Federal Forces of the newly formed Earth Federal Republic in the 2060s, the Kentucky class was once again put into production and saw considerable action throughout the decade and even into the initial phases of the 1st Interplanetary War of the 2070s. The Kentucky class of assault shuttle proved to be a pivotal asset in the protection of Ogre class troopship transports and were instrumental in the success of the Battle of Ceres at the start of the 1st Interplanetary War.
However, it wasn't long before the EFR realized that the Kentucky was a venerable design that had to be replaced.
Despite its shortcomings, the Kentucky class lead to a larger, more powerful uprated version of the spaceboat, that being the Kentucky Mark II.

The Kentucky Mark II class was officially designated as a picket/gunship and used in a variety of roles during the 1st Interplanetary War. This vessel was a workhorse of the EFF SpaceNavy and representatives of this class fought in every major battle of the conflict. The Mark II still used the same class of space torpedoes that the Mark I used, only in place of the old autocannons a pair of quad-laser cannon turrets were added. These rapid fire anti-spacefighter/mecha turrets acted as the main defensive batteries of the spaceboat and were very effective against the fighter craft of the 1st Interplanetary War era. The main purpose of the Mark II was still to act the guard-ships for the Ogre class troopships. A variant of this design, called the Type-75, was built in small numbers to protect Luna and Earth during the conflagration. This model had two Norking LC-801 80-megawatt laser cannon turrets added in place of the Norking RFL-404 rapid-fire 40-megawatt quad laser cannon turrets. However, the Type-75 was not much of an improvement, and the upgrade in firepower wasn't enough to warrant the Type-75 being put into mass production.

With the close of the 1st Interplanetary War and the rise of spacepiracy throughout the inner sphere of the Sol star system, the EFR once again turned to the spaceboat concept to meet the challenge of solar system wide organized crime. The basic design of the Kentucky class was enlarged yet again, and this time a Faster Than Light drive was added to allow for quick intra-system transit and interstellar travel if deemed necessary. This new addition to the spaceboat family was the Type-81. The Type-81 was developed in 2078 during the final years of the 1st Interplanetary War era and examples of this design were built at the EFSN planetoid base on Juno in 2079. However, the Type-81 was not put into full production until 2081 and thus uses that year as it's model designation. The prototypes and short-run production models that served in the 1st Interplanetary War did so with distinction and proved the success of the basic design. The type-81 was the last of the spaceboats built during the 2070s and is representative of a whole family of vessels that would come after it in the late 21st and early 22nd Centuries.

Updated 07-23-2012 at 06:02 AM by Kodai Okuda

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