|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Safe Thrust||1.5 g|
|Top Thrust||2.5 g|
|KF Drive Integrity||13|
|Armament|| 12x NAC/10s|
|Armor||330 tons of standard armor|
|Crew|| 35 - officers|
160 - enlisted/non-rated
45 – gunners
60 - bay personnel
|Grav Decks||1 x 60m diameter|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||25/25|
The Essex I-class destroyer has the distinction of being the first major destroyer class to enter service with the Terran Hegemony. The first major production run of Essex Is began in 2351 and lasted for three decades, manufacturing enough WarShips of the class to make the Essex I and the Lola I-class destroyer the most numerous WarShips within the Hegemony's first generation of WarShips.
In comparison to the various WarShip classes that would be manufactured during the era of the Star League the Essex I was simple - perhaps shockingly so; small and built around a light frame, an Essex I was far from being a rugged ship, but the class effectively pioneered many of the features that would become distinctive characteristics of later generation Terran Hegemony WarShips.
The original Essex I class served throughout the Age of War and the Reunification War, although the Hegemony began replacing the class with the Baron-class in the twenty-sixth century and the Carson-class in the twenty-seventh century. The death knell for the class in Star League service was the introduction of the Naga-class destroyer in 2645. The surviving Essex Is were decomissioned, and by 2750 the only surviving ships of the class were those that had been acquired as military surplus by the various Great Houses. Even those ships were far from numerous; the Capellan Confederation was operating two, the Lyran Commonwealth another four and the Draconis Combine five. The most prolific user of the Essex I by this late stage was the Rim Worlds Republic, which was operating forty Essex Is - more than the Great Houses combined.
The Essex I would likely have vanished into the annals of history if it wasn't for the Amaris Coup. WarShip construction across the Inner Sphere began again in earnest in the 2760s, with the coup launched by Stefan Amaris only encouraging production further. The Capellan Confederation found itself in a difficult position, as the Confederation's naval infrastructure had become depleted during the relatively peaceful years of the Star League, and the Capellan government put pressure on Delhi WarShips - which had its headquarters on Capella - to come up with a solution.
Delhi's shipyards at Carver V were effectively unavailable to Delhi WarShips, and the Carver V system would remain under siege until 2773. Delhi WarShips smuggled the plans for both the Vincent-class corvette and the Essex I out of the Amaris Empire and restarted production of both classes at their Capella shipyards. Delhi's actions were condemned by both Stefan Amaris and Commanding General Aleksandr Kerensky over the blatant misuse of intellectual property belonging to the Star League, but neither was in a position to be able to do anything about it at the time. Production continued unabated at the Capella shipyards, building up a substantial navy for the Confederation, although both classes were somewhat underweight and outdated in comparison to the other fleets active at the time.
The Essex I would prove to be badly outclassed during the Succession Wars; both the Federated Suns and the Free Worlds League were forced to concentrate their WarShip fleets on their borders with other nations, giving the Capellan fleets the freedom to operate with relative impunity initially, but as the First Succession War dragged on the Essex I proved to be an easy target, and none survived beyond 2830.
Weapons and Capacities
Capable of accelerating at speeds of up to two and a half gees, the Essex I relied on a mix of naval autocannon and naval lasers for weaponry. Two NAC/10s were mounted in the nose, with one more in each broadside, another in the aft left and right arcs, and three in each of the front left and right arcs. No other weapons were mounted in the nose of the Essex I, while the aft mounted just four NL45s for armament. Three more NL45s were mounted in the front left and right arc, while four of the smaller NL35s were mounted in each broadside and the aft left and right arcs. Three hundred and thirty tons of standard armour protected each ship.
The Record Sheet for the Essex I-class destroyer is found in Field Report 2765: Periphery.
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 30-31, "Essex I (Destroyer)"
- Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 200, "Baron (Destroyer"
- Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 202, "Carson (Destroyer)"
- Field Report 2765: Capellan Confederation, p. 5, "Guarding the Vault of Heaven"
- Field Report 2765: Lyran Commonwealth, p. 5, "The Vacuum Fleet"
- Official Errata Thread
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 4, "WarShips of the Territorial States"