Sketches – Krak Light Cruiser

“Modern” space travel is a comparatively new development for the Krak University States. While only having reliable drive-field engines for a handful of years, the pedagogical oligarchy has shown just how quickly they can take concepts into a developed, if not quite mature technology. Their prototype light cruiser goes with a comparatively classic standard armament: a heavy barrage of nuclear-tipped missiles. While lacking some of the refinement or finesse of other weapons, it remains effective even in the face of more advanced technologies.

The biggest difference that sets Krak ships apart from others (besides their sometimes bleeding edge technologies and the troubles that entails) is a radical focus on modularity. While the concept is nothing new even among more established shipwrights, it is the lengths that the Krak have taken the concept that is noteworthy. Recognizing that technology is always advancing in the Krak Navy, entire sections of the ships are modular and designed to be removed and rebuilt as needed.

That is not to say that the process is quick. Replacing hardware is still a task suited to a full shipyard, but the ship’s missile blisters, electronic warfare systems, and her twin engine pods are all designed to be removed and replaced or upgraded as needed. Life support connections, power and data runs, structural components all were engineered to a common standard. One paid a price in efficiency of course, but the ease of repair and upgrading is judged to be worth the cost.

The Krak perhaps best fit the “ISO Standard” spaceship meme. Rectangular blocks in a fairly conventional layout aren’t the most creative, but that’s what I get when I play around with a shape tool. But even so there’s a fair amount of creativity that you can do with that. The genesis for the whole “modular ship” actually came around when I was designing their first survey ship. As a newly spacefaring society in contact with several others who had been for years, it was clear that there were bigger and better systems that they simply couldn’t build. So the designs that were rolled out with empty spaces in the hull to accept easy upgrades. And then when the sketching started, I liked this kind of “tuning fork” concept for the engines where they seemed to slot into spots in the main hull. From there, it was a pretty easy path to extrapolate new and different implementations. This light cruiser is one of those.

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