Argo (DropShip class)
- This article is about the DropShip class. For other uses, see Argo (disambiguation).
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Length||ca. 320 meters|
|Width||ca. 215 meters|
|Height||ca. 215 meters|
|Safe Thrust||4|
|Max Thrust||6|
Prototyped in 2762 as a self-sufficient civilian mobile base and described as "a mobile space station in a sense", the Argo was intended to follow behind the first wave of explorers into a new system and support surveyor, terraformer and colonizer teams there in the sense of a "shore leave" base and logistical hub. It featured state-of-the-art habitation and an internal cargo conveyor system that could ferry equipment and vehicles between the cargo bays and several docked vessels. Being unable to land, the Argo could not deploy ground vehicles (or 'Mechs) itself.
The Amaris Civil War that began only three years after the Argo prototype was unveiled (and subsequently lost), and the subsequent Succession Wars, made Boeing Interstellar abandon the design and repurpose their Galax shipyards for wartime production.
A very large peacetime exploration ship lacking any significant weaponry and featuring only paltry armor, thrust and maneuverability, the Argo was said to be unable to function in battle. It was, however, capable of deploying a complement of aerospace fighters to provide cover.
The Argo has a cargo capacity of 57,000 tons to support explorer missions and help establishing new colonies.
It was noted that the Argo could deploy an unspecified complement of fighters, but it was not specified whether these would deploy from dedicated fighter bays or from Small Craft Bays, the latter being considerably more in line with the purpose and overall profile of the Argo class.
- Un-streamlined; the Argo is explicitly described as "too large to land on a planet, much like the similar-sized Behemoth."
- Large DropShip; the Argo was explicitly said to occupy two docking spots on a JumpShip, again like the Behemoth.
- Grav Deck; unusually for a DropShip, the Argo features a habitation ring that is a Grav Deck for all intents and purposes.
- Docking collars; the Argo featured a "prototype multiple docking collar system" that allowed smaller DropShips to dock for resupply, cargo transfer and personnel transfer. It is not explained how this was different from standard cargo bay doors, however unclear wording implied that the smaller DropShips might be carried through a jump on the Argo, without having to attach to their own hardpoints on the JumpShip that carries the Argo (see Notes below).
Only two prototype Argo-class vessels existed, and only one of them ever slipped its moorings. This prototype, also named Argo, dropped out of contact during its maiden voyage in the deep periphery. The other prototype, Myrmidon, was broken down for parts before being fully completed.
Incumbent Line Developer Randall N. Bills explicitly stated that it was the intention for this particular game's storyline to be fully canonical. That means that if and when the finished game is released, any information it contains about the Argo will likely be declared canonical.
- Fans have speculated whether or not the Argo would be able to dock with a JumpShip and have other DropShips docked to itself to carry them through a jump without requiring extra JumpShip hardpoints. This concept, dubbed "daisy-chain" by BattleTech fans, would be revolutionary as the rulebooks established that a DropShip must invariably be docked directly to a JumpShip; the construction rules posit that every DropShip automatically features a (single) Docking Collar but cannot install Hardpoints with a K-F Boom like JumpShips do.
- After game release, this function was confirmed. A single Leopard-class DropShip, used for atmospheric operations, is carried by the Argo, without said DropShip docking directly to the JumpShip to complete a jump.
- No Record sheet exists for this vessel, nor were full game stats published. Some features, if taken at face value, would make the design illegal under current DropShip construction rules.
- BattleTech Kickstarter update 8 March 2016
- Type determined to be spheroid on grounds that its given mass exceeds the permitted maximum mass for aerodyne DropShips
- Determined by comparing the Argo's size to the (known) size of a Leopard class DropShip shown docked to the Argo
- In this posting by a developer on the official HBS BattleTech computer game forum