Sketches – Terran Dominion Fleet Carrier

Originally designed in the years just before the Collapse War, the Constellation-Class carrier is one of the best examples of a Fleet Support Carrier deployed in known space. Originally built to provide organic support for fleet carrier groups, the Constellation trades out strike group capacity and launch rate in order to fit in heavy duty squadron maintenance shops, a squadron command bridge, and a flag bridge. Working in conjunction with other Terran Commonwealth carriers, the Constellation would handle the majority of support functions and enable the other more numerous Commonwealth carrier designs to provide additional strike craft.

The Constellation had several refits over its lifetime. The original design featured a heavy missile battery in the forward hammerhead (similar to the Io-class cruiser), datalinked point defense systems and a standard drive field engine system. Her first refit stripped out the missile batteries and datalink systems in exchange for a brace of broadside kinetics that better fit EU combat doctrine. Late in the war, as drive field engines became impossible to maintain a second refit stripped those and replaced them with cruder, but maintainable charged particle drives. That refit also forced the removal of one of the craft’s launch bays in order to accommodate the bulky engines.

As the Terran Dominion consolidated its control over the outer colonies, the Constellation got one more refit that replaced its charged particle drives with brand new gravimetric drives. The most recent version of the Constellation is both more and less powerful than her original incarnation, losing most of its intrinsic anti-warship defenses in favor of a far better anti-small craft defense suite. Time will tell if this is objectively more effective, but the Constellation undoubtedly remains the centerpoint of most battlefleets.

This sketch was an undefined concept when I first did it; it wasn’t a carrier, it wasn’t Terran, and it certainly wasn’t as big as it turned out to be! When I first played around with this idea, it was another hammerhead design, but with some large side “plates” for heavy armor from the sides in a kind of spaced armor concept. As I refined the concepts for the various Terran navies, it became more and more apparent that this ship had the broad lines of a human ship. It’s not really 100% where I want it to be, so I imagine that I’ll be doing a mk2 version of this sketch in the future, eventually.

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