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|Tech Base||Star League|
|Sail Diameter||1.433 m|
|Safe Thrust||1.5 g|
|Top Thrust||2.5 g|
|KF Drive Integrity||17|
|Armament|| 18 x NAC/30s |
8 x White Shark Missiles
6 x Barracuda Missiles
32 x NAC/20
|Armor||841.5 tons of Lamellor Ferro-Carbide|
|Grav Decks||2 - 65 and 85 meter diameter|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||20|
|Heat Sinks||1837 Double Heat Sinks|
The Black Lion-class battlecruiser, named for former Director-General James McKenna's famous battlecruiser, was developed after it became apparent that the infamous Cameron class ships were not living up to their design specifications. Bypassing the usual procedure of accepting design proposals, the Star League Defense Force awarded a contract in 2689 to Boeing Interstellar for a modified version of the design it had submitted during the contract competition that led to the creation of the Cameron. Despite the unusual nature of its genesis, the Black Lion exceeded all expectations and Boeing would build two per year for the next 31 years.
The Black Lion's three Carston Pegasus interplanetary engines generate almost twice as much thrust as those used on the Cameron Class. With less weight than the Cameron, the Black Lion became one of the quickest WarShips of its size, but the size and complexity of the engines cause an increase in engine breakdowns due to maintenance difficulties. The Black Lion's second important improvement over the Cameron is increased armor protection. The ship's flight deck can carry 18 heavy AeroSpace Fighters, and its four docking rings can handle the largest DropShips.
The Black Lions lived up to most of the admirals' expectations, leading battle fleets into action and easily dominating battles in the Periphery. However like many Star League era WarShips, Black Lions cannot cope with swarms of enemy fighters and this proved their undoing during the Great Houses' so-called Hidden Wars and against the SDS drones surrounding Terra.
The most controversial aspect of the Black Lion is its choice of weapons. The vessel does not have a single energy weapon, the Black Lion mounts exclusively cannon and missiles as its primary weapons, four turrets carrying Scarsbrough 30 Series autocannons and two turrets capable of firing White Shark missiles. The battlecruiser also carries four turrets of smaller autocannon and six tubes firing the Barracuda missiles. The designers used only non-energy weapons so the ship could mount a smaller and lighter power system. The main drawback to this choice of weapons is that the ship must devote interior space to carrying ammunition and the need of regular ammo shipments to avoid the risk of ammo exhaustion in prolonged engagements.
The Black Lion 63,700 tons of cargo split between an launch bays for 10 Small Craft and 18 Aerospace Fighters.
Less than a dozen Black Lions survived Operation Liberation to accompany the Exodus Fleet, but each has become prized by the Clans as Galaxy flagships. The Clans have made few changes to these vessels, save for installing HarJel Hull Sealant technology and Lithium-Fusion Battery systems.
Black Lion Ship Gallery
- MUL online date for the Black Lion
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 301
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 17, "Black Lion" WarShip record sheet
- ComStar, p. 46
- Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 119
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, pp. 108-109
- Technical Readout: 2750, pp. 136-137
- Technical Readout: 3057, pp. 150-151
- Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, pp. 148-149
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans
- Field Manual: Free Worlds League
- Field Manual: Updates
- Hide and Seek (BattleCorps Scenario)
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien
- Technical Readout: 2750
- Technical Readout: 3057
- Technical Readout: 3057 Revised