Sketches – Russian Space Fleet Cruiser

The Kosmicheskie Voyska Flot Rossii (hereafter Russian Space Forces Fleet, or RSFF) has been in existence for well over two hundred years, tracing its history all the way back to military spaceflight under the old Soviet government that was one of the founders of human space flight.

One of the last classes deployed before the Collapse War was the Elbrus-Class Patrol Cruiser. Designed by the venerable Rubin Design Bureau, the Elbrus maintains the classic Russian cruiser lines and usual concealed weapon mounts common with other Rubin designs. Another hallmark of the Rubin Design Bureau is a dual-drive system. While relying on standard drive technologies, all Rubin ships maintain a small secondary charged particle drive. Combined with a multi-layer ablative EM-absorbing outer hull, the ship is capable of executing short “stealth” burns to adjust orbit while still remaining somewhat stealthy.

In reality, this “design feature” is at best situational, and most military grade systems aren’t fooled. The Elbrus has only minimal thermal masking, and standard milspec starfield sensors can easily detect the thermal signature of a drifting spaceship. Still, short of combat or survey systems, the Elbrus can usually count on approaching from unexpected vectors given enough time to set up.

The rest of the Elbrus’ systems are best described as straightforward, with a pair of missile batteries on the dorsal and ventral sides, and energy mounts installed in retractable hatches on the forward upper and lower decks. Defensively, the Elbrus mounts a single heavy-duty point defense system right on her nose, which provides reasonable point defense coverage forward, but leaves gaps to the rear of the ship. Crucially, the Elbrus only carries enough support for five weeks of independent cruising, restricting her to fleet operations

As I was developing the “history” of the Terran Dominion, it became clear that there wouldn’t be one monolithic design aesthetic for human ships. While the base design for the Terran Dominion / EU ships has already been worked out, that left several other polities still to be defined. Some navies (like the United North American Navy) would have broadly similar design concepts, other navies would have their own ideas. The Russian cruiser is a prime example of the latter. It’s pretty clearly inspired by current Russian designs in general form, but with a few subtle differences.

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