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Union

Union (2).jpg
Union
Production information
Manufacturer Various, including:
Irian Technologies[1]
Taurus Territorial Industries
Bowie Industries[1]
Matabushi Incorporated[1]
Earthwerks Limited[1]
Federated-Boeing[2][1]
Production Year 2708[3]
Use 'Mech/ASF carrier
Type Spheroid
Tech Base Inner Sphere
Technical specifications
Mass 3,600[4] tons
Structural Integrity 11
Length 81.5 meters
Width 81.5 meters
Height 78 meters
Drive System Star League V250
Safe Thrust 1.5 g
Max Thrust 2.5 g
Fuel (tons) 215 tons
Fuel (days) 116.8 days
Armament 3 x PPCs
6 x AC/5s
6 x LRM-20s
12 x Medium Lasers
5 x Large Lasers
Armor Standard
Fore: 18
Sides: 18
Aft: 10
Crew 14
Escape Pods/Life Boats 7/0
Heat Sinks 90 (single)
BV (1.0) 3,259[5]
BV (2.0) 3,962


The Union is the archetypical DropShip, widely used in military and civilian roles and described as the yardstick against which all other DropShips are measured.[6]

Earlier sources described it as massing 3,500 tons, but Technical Readout: 3057 Revised corrected that to 3,600 tons, stating in its preface that the earlier sources were found to be riddled with errors.[7]

Contents

[edit] Description

A stalwart of company-sized BattleMech combat transports, the Union class is a venerable and capable member of the DropShip unit type. Capable of carrying twelve 'Mechs and two aerospace fighters (a standard 'Mech company including one air lance under classic SLDF doctrine), it is among the smaller dedicated military deployment vehicles, dwarfed by its larger cousin Overlord and especially the massive troop transports such as the Excalibur, Lee, or Colossus. The smaller but much more numerous, and implicitly also more cost-efficient and easier to manufacture, Union class withered Lostech throughout the Succession Wars era better than the much larger vessels, and has been in continous production ever since its inception.

The ship was designed as a 'Mech deployment vehicle, not for prolonged comfortable travel. The interior personnel spaces aboard the Union are infamous for being very cramped on most Unions, and the air circulation system is often found lacking.[6]

The command and control facilities onboard a typical Union are sufficient enough that it may operate as a coordination point for smaller lance-sized combat transports partaking in company or larger sized operations. Likewise, it operates well in larger operations, where it may conduct missions of a surprise, diversionary or raiding role. The semi-automated weaponry is significant enough to cause single and paired ASFs pause.

[edit] Armament

The Union, while not as heavily armed as Assault DropShips, carries a formidable array of weapons. The bulk of its firepower is provided by six LRM-20s backed up by six Large Lasers and three PPCs. Six AC/5s and twelve Medium Lasers round out the normal weapons loadout. More significantly than its weapons though, the armor of the Union is excellent for its size and role, allowing it to provide landing under fire.

[edit] Cargo

  • 12 'Mechs - 4 Doors
  • 2 ASFs - 2 Doors
  • 74 tons Cargo - 2 Doors

[edit] Variants

A common design in use across the Inner Sphere, there are many variants of the Union, customized or as factory variants. Common variants include:

  • Cargo Hauler 
    Due to the availability of the design and spare parts, the Union has proven a popular choice for merchants and traders, who strip out all twelve 'Mech cubicles to free up more than 1,500 tons of cargo space.[6]
  • Combined-Arms 
    An uncommon variant which removes the two fighter cubicles and drastically upgrades the life support system, enabling the ship to carry a company of infantry.[6]
  • Fighter Carrier (also colloquially known as "Union CV")
    Unions have been known to be refitted into aerospace fighter carriers, implicitly removing their 'Mech cubicles.[8]
  • Command Union 
    A "Command" version of the Union was mentioned that features a sophisticated and well-equipped command center, in a similar fashion to the Intruder or the "Command" version of the Overlord.[9]
  • Pocket WarShip 
    A refit developed by the Word of Blake, the Pocket WarShip variant of the Union attracted infamy for its shock appearance during the Jihad. Based on the upgraded model, the Medium Lasers have been replaced by ER Medium Lasers and the armor switched to thirty-three tons of Ferro-Aluminum plating, but the design appears otherwise visually identical. It's only when the two bow-mounted AR-10 launchers fire that the differences become apparent, the 'Mech bays gutted to provide the space required for the Capital Missile Launchers and four Killer Whale, six White Shark and ten Barracuda missiles. The fighter bays are retained while two Small Craft bays have been added to carry four squads of battle armor troops for boarding operations.[11] BV (2.0) = 7,935[11], 6,450[12]

[edit] Related Designs

  • Danais/Trojan - The Danais was based on the Union Class DropShip, albeit slightly smaller. It was originally designed as a civilian freighter that disarmed Periphery nations were allowed to build to haul cargo during the Star League Era. A militarized variant of the ship was Trojan blockade runner. The Danais/Trojan is visually similar enough to be mistaken for a Union, and some vessels even deliberately pretend to be Unions to scare off potential attackers.
  • Union-C - With a large number of Unions accompanying the Exodus fleet, the Clans refitted them to carry fifteen 'Mechs as per Clan military structure, eventually resulting in 2829 in a 4,000 ton heavier redesign designated the Union-C. BV (1.0) = 7,875 BV (2.0) = 7,955
  • Union-X : - Called the "Extended Union" (Union-X), this evolution of the Union design was developed in 3065 as part of a diversification effort by Shipil Company of Skye. The slightly heavier Union-X strips out four 'Mech cubicles in favor of two additional fighters and berths for five squads of Battle Armor troops, its revised weapon array consisting of six ER PPCs, two Gauss Rifles, six Artemis enhanced LRM-20's, ten ER Large Lasers, fourteen ER Medium Lasers, and four Ultra AC/5s. BV (1.0)= 6,106[13] BV (2.0) = 7,356[14]

[edit] Named Vessels

(See List of named Union-class DropShips)

[edit] Union Ship Gallery

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Dropships and Jumpships, p.17
  2. Handbook Davion p.181
  3. online date for the Union
  4. Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, pp. 28-29; its preface on p. 4 states that previous sources, namely DropShips and JumpShips (aka ComStar's FB-60 file) and Technical Readout: 3057, contained numerous errors that Technical Readout: 3057 Revised had corrected.
  5. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 221
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 28
  7. Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 4
  8. Technical Readout: 3025, p. 136 - CSR-V12 Corsair entry, "Battle History"; 4th Succession War Atlas Vol. 1, p. 25
  9. Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 24
  10. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 222
  11. 11.0 11.1 Technical Readout: 3075, p. 108
  12. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 224
  13. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 226
  14. Record Sheets: 3067 Unabridged, p. 303

[edit] Bibliography