Black Lion I
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|Black Lion I|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Safe Thrust||3 g|
|Top Thrust||5 g|
|KF Drive Integrity||16|
|Armament|| 32x NAC/20|
12x Killer Whales
|Armor||1,080 tons of Standard Armor|
|Crew|| 99 officers|
120 bay personnel
20 first class passengers
50 second class passengers
|Grav Decks||2x 150m diameter|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||36/36|
The first class of WarShip to carry the name Black Lion, this early battlecruiser class was constructed to meet Director-General James McKenna's desire for a more mobile and affordable class of ships to supplement the Terran Hegemony's battleship fleet. While the Dart light cruiser was arguably already performing in this role, the Black Lion I was heavier and went on to define the core nature of a Hegemony battle cruiser.
While the legend indicates that Director-General McKenna personally designed the Black Lion, it was the skill of the desgin teams within the Terran Hegemony that successfully integrated the many features McKenna required into a single design, although to assist in keeping the cost of the Black Lion I down the design teams also designed the class to share a substantial number of components in common with the heavier Dreadnought-class battleship.
The Black Lion I was such a notable success that not only did Director-General McKenna adopt the lead ship of the class as his flagship, but three hundred years after the introduction of the Black Lion I Boeing Interstellar would revisit the earlier design, incorporating many of its features into the later Black Lion-class battle cruiser that debuted in 2691.
Despite the success of the Black Lion I in service with the Terran Hegemony as a command asset for cruiser squadrons and in forming scout wings for battleships, the class was soon outdated by technological innovations like docking collars. Later designs like the Quixote-class frigate attempted to replace the Black Lion I, although the Black Lion I remained in service for decades. The final end for the Black Lion I in service with the Terran Hegemony was the decision to refit the Aegis-class heavy cruiser, which was both more advanced and more numerous, and the Black Lion I went into mothballs.
In the lead up to the Reunification War the Terran Hegemony sold the majority of the remaining Black Lion Is to the Great Houses, where the class continued to serve well, only to end up in mothballs again as a result of the drawdown and streamlining of the House navies during the era of the Star League. The majority of the Black Lion I class were removed from service, their germanium cores removed for use elsewhere, but some ships from the class would survive as active WarShips, seeing combat during the Succession Wars.
The Black Lion was equipped with multiple bays of Naval Autocannon, conventional Autocannon and Killer Whale capital missiles. The nose, both broadsides and aft of the Black Lion I each mounted two bays of three Naval Autocannon/20s, while the front and aft left and right arcs each mounted a single bay of two Naval Autocannon/20s. Every arc of the Black Lion I mounted two bays of four Autocannon/5s and two bays of four Autocannon/2s, while the front and aft left and right arcs all mounted a trio of Killer Whale launchers.
- Bay 1: 12 Small Craft, 2 Doors
- Bay 2: 12 Small Craft, 2 Doors
- Bay 3: 93,688 tons of Cargo, 2 Doors
- Capellan Confederation
- Terran Hegemony
- Field Report: Capellan Confederation 2765, p. 19-20, "Black Lion I (Battle Cruiser)"
- MUL online date for the Black Lion I
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume One, p. 77, "Last Stand of the Grand Old Queen"
- Master Unit List intro date for the Black Lion