As deWulf space expanded, it became clear that orbital industry had outgrown the Mittelspannung yards in orbit of Fenris. While they were expanding regularly, they were primarily a military installation, and so commercial work was often sidelined in order to make space for contracts issued by the deWulf Corporate Navy. What followed from this was the Frontier-Class Shipyard.
Built to the same broad standard as part of the Mittelspannung Yards, the Frontier-Class is designed to be a small but fairly self-contained yard complex. While it lacks some facilities that make it a fully self-sufficient yard (such as a smelter and forging array, or microcircuit fab plant), it has enough support equipment to take general components and build a ship out of it. In addition, it has an office and habitation block that provides on-site support and management for the required staff. While not palatial, the accommodations are considered above average when compared to other offerings.
Initially a test design, the Frontier-Class eventually became the de-facto shipyard for most corporations and local Canton governments. It’s relative cheapness and standard design meant that some groups could (and did) buy them more or less in kit form and assembled them in orbit. Often times finishing off the habitation block was the first project that the newly built shipyard completed.
As of 14.0 AS, there are over twenty Frontier-Class yards in service throughout the Corporate Democracy, the majority owned by corporations or other private firms and supporting their own operations. Most of them are tooled to efficiently produce and maintain specific classes, from small shuttles to the massive Delft-Class bulk freighter. Only a handful remain in their original multi-purpose specification, instead conducting spot maintenance and construction tasks. A sign that a colony is moving to truly stand on its own is when they begin construction of their own Frontier-Class in orbit to support their own local space industries.
Originally just a Frontier Shipyard (and not a specific class), this is a mk2 version of probably my oldest sketch I’ve ever done. The original is in a small black sketchbook I had back in high school, and among other things it has (terrible) fanart of Jovian Chronicles. One of those sketches has a shipyard very similar to the above sketch. As the deWulf universe got more and more serious, I started to dig into my older notes and begin to retread ideas. The Frontier was one of them. A bit of reworking to fit with pre-existing design notes for the deWulf universe, and it was ready to go.