Behemoth (DropShip class)
|Manufacturer||Brigadier Corporation, Galileo Instruments, TAG |
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Drive System||Sunburst M-200L Megadrive|
|Safe Thrust||1 g|
|Max Thrust||1.5 g|
|Fuel (tons)||600 tons|
|Fuel (days)||68 days|
|Armament|| 4x Large Lasers |
10x Medium Lasers
|Armor|| 210 tons Standard |
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||5/5|
The Behemoth is the largest DropShip ever constructed. Originally designed by Krester's Ship Construction, the Behemoth was sold to foreign customers and its construction continued on after the company's demise.
Because of its sheer size, the Behemoth suffers from a number of drawbacks including a relatively weak structure, incapability of atmospheric operations, and occupying a second hardpoint on JumpShips; see Quirks and Notes below. Because of the weak structure, most vessels rarely operate above half their maximum thrust (0.75g) to prevent structural damage. It was noted that the inability to land means the ship has to dock with cargo stations or use shuttles to load or unload its cargo, markedly increasing operating costs.
The internal layout of a Behemoth is such that the bridge deck is self-sufficient, with independent life support and power supply, and can easily be sealed off. Seizing control of a Behemoth is thus nearly impossible. The Behemoth is noted for comfortable individual rooms for its crew of fifty, a large hydroponic garden, a medical facility, an exercise room, a lounge, and a relatively spacious mess hall.
Because of its exceptionally poor combat performance, the Behemoth class is rarely used in combat. Consequently, few have been lost and a relatively large number remains in operation.
The high cost of running a Behemoth ensures that only the largest trading companies can afford to operate them and they ply only the busiest trade routes, usually far from any conflict. Duke Hassid Ricol of the Draconis Combine was somewhat famous for being the only person to privately own a Behemoth-class DropShip.
As a civilian cargo carrier, the Behemoth's armament is pitiful at best, consisting of 4 Large Lasers backed up by 10 Medium Lasers. Intended as purely defensive, they are arrayed along the bottom/rear of the craft with the nose completely bare. The high cost of the craft keeping them far from any need to use these weapons has protected them far better that the lasers and 15 tons of standard armor.
The Behemoth's cargo capacity of 74,972 tons is split into twenty cargo decks linked by a central spire running the length of the vessel. Four heavy duty cargo lifts allow transit of cargo within the vessel. Due to the large degree of compartmentalization, the Behemoth can easily deal with both cargo that can and cannot be exposed to vacuum. Owing to its heavy reliance on shuttles for cargo transfers, the Behemoth features twenty small craft bays.
- Bay 1: Small Craft (20) - 4 Doors
- Bay 2: Cargo (37,486 tons) - 10 Doors
- Bay 3: Cargo (37,486 tons) - 10 Doors
(The cargo capacity changed slightly across various publications, owing to changes in the spacecraft construction rules: Initially, DropShips and JumpShips gave a cargo capacity of 85,000 tons; Technical Readout: 3057 later changed it to to 75,121 tons and Technical Readout: 3057 Revised finally gave the definitive stats given above.)
No Design Quirks are expressly mentioned in the writeup for the Behemoth (neither in the most recent writeup in Technical Readout: 3057 Revised nor in any previous publication), but the design's consistent description implies that the following quirks should apply:
- Large DropShip; this Quirk's description in Strategic Operations expressly mentions the Behemoth, and it was also described in the design's writeup in DropShips and JumpShips long before Quirk rules existed (see also Notes below);
- Un-streamlined; the Behemoth is explicitly described as "incapable of atmospheric operations or planetary landings" and the ship's entry in Technical Readout: 3057 even contained a note saying "May not operate in atmosphere".
- Weak structure - Operating at maximum thrust of 1.5g (or above 0.8g according to DropShips and JumpShips) is said to damage the vessel's structure and cause stress cracks.
- When the Behemoth was introduced to the BattleTech universe, the concurrent construction/space travel rules postulated that a DropShip required two docking hardpoints for every 60,000 tons (or fraction thereof) of mass to dock with a JumpShip. Consequently the Behemoth, the only DropShip massing over 60,000 tons, was said to take up the space for two vessels when docked to a JumpShip.
Under current rules (Strategic Operations), a hardpoint can dock DropShips up to 100,000 tons. From the context, it could be argued that the Behemoth does not actually need two hardpoints (and could thus be carried on a JumpShip with only a single hardpoint), but would block an adjacent hardpoint on some JumpShips due to its sheer size.
- Similarly, the structural weakness of the Behemoth and the danger of stress cracks is not reflected in any actual game rules.
- Though the design can not enter dense atmosphere or endure high gravity it is able to carefully land on low gravity planetoids and therefore includes landing legs.
- Dropships and Jumpships, p. 17
- MUL online date for the Behemoth (DropShip class)
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 263
- DropShips and JumpShips, p. 64; Technical Readout: 3057, p. 68; Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 66
- The Star League, p. 165
- DropShips and JumpShips, p. 65
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 162, "Mówáng-class courier"
- Strategic Operations, p. 198 (Large DropShip quirk)
- DropShips and JumpShips, p. 64
- Technical Readout: 3057, p. 68; Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 66
- Technical Readout: 3057, p. 68