Commonwealth (WarShip class)
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|Manufacturer||Ioto Galactic Enterprises|
|Introduced|| 2375 (Block I)|
2765 (Block II)
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Safe Thrust||1.5 g|
|Top Thrust||2.5 g|
|KF Drive Integrity||15|
|Armament|| Block I|
4x Killer Whale Launchers
12x White Shark Launchers
48x Machine Guns
4x Killer Whale Launchers
18x Barracuda Launchers
36x Anti-Missile Systems
|Armor||700 tons of Improved Ferro-Aluminum armor|
|Crew|| 50 - officers|
140 - enlisted/non-rated
100 – gunners
120 - marines
110 - bay personnel (Block I)
56 - bay personnel (Block II)
|Grav Decks||2 x 145m diameter|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||30/35|
|BV (2.0)|| 98,421 (Block I)|
102,832 (Block II)
The Commonwealth was the first WarShip to be produced domestically by the Lyran Commonwealth, although the production wasn't perhaps as home-grown as the term "domestic" might imply. The Lyran Commonwealth attracted the attention of Di Tron Heavy Industries shortly after initiating the first forays into design and construction in 2371; DiTron was already a successful WarShip manufacturer, with the Dart-class light cruiser in production and the Aegis-class heavy cruiser due to enter production in 2372. DiTron Industries had the know-how and experience, and businessmen in the Lyran Commonwealth had a firm grasp of financial chicanery. Avoiding the legalities of the restrictions the Terran Hegemony imposed on the sale of specified technologies by DiTron, two months of financial artifice by the Lyrans led to the founding of a new company, Ioto Galactic Enterprises. Three years later, the first Commonwealth-class light cruisers emerged from the Port Sydney Naval Yards.
More compact in design than the Dart, but also slightly heavier, the Commonwealth incorporated a number of technologies that were more advanced than those of the other non-Terran states; the most noticeable of these technologies were larger engines and more sophisticated armor. In common with the Dart, the Commonwealth also incorporated six DropShip docking collars.
The Commonwealth was a long-lived class and a solid design, although most of the class had been destroyed or otherwise taken out of service by the end of the Reunification War (or shortly after). Many of the ships were scrapped so that the valuable germanium used in the jump cores could be used elsewhere, but this didn't mark the end of the class; when the various Great Houses began expanding their WarShip fleets rapidly in the closing years of the Star League, the Commonwealth revisited the design and began work on a new production run. The first three of the new Block II Commonwealths were in service in 2765, although these were actually refurbished Block I vessels; production of freshly-built Block IIs began that same year. These new vessels differed most from the original Block I production run in their armament, although the Block II also altered eighteen of the small craft bays found in the Block I to transport aerospace fighters.
In the early Succession Wars, Commonwealths were most commonly deployed as escorts for the indomitable Tharkad-class battlecruisers, but the end of the class came with the destruction of the heavy aerospace industries within the Commonwealth and the destructive naval battles between the various Successor States.
Weapons and Capacities
Both blocks of Commonwealths sported a solid array of capital weaponry, consisting primarily of banks of naval lasers, with banks of four NL55s mounted in the nose and aft and another eight in each broadside. Mounted in each of the fore and aft quarters was a bank of eight of the light NL35s. A substantial short-range boost to the Commonwealth's firepower was achieved with the presence of naval autocannon pairs – specifically a pair of NAC/35s – mounted in each broadside and the left and right aft quarters.
Where the two Blocks differed substantially was in their remaining weapon payload: the Block I mounted a pair of White Shark launchers and a hundred missiles in every location other than the nose and aft, with a quartet of Killer Whale launchers and forty missiles mounted in the nose. The Block I also mounted eight machine guns in every location other than the left and right broadside arcs, with each bay drawing on four tons of ammunition. In contrast, the Block II retained the four Killer Whale in the nose but replaced the paired White Shark launchers in the other bays with a trio of Barracudas. The machine guns were also removed and replaced with six anti-missile systems in each respective location.
In addition to its point-defense systems, both versions of ship boasted 700 tons of improved ferro-aluminum armor applied to all sides equally. The Commonwealth's protection was on par with early Terran Hegemony vessels of its weight class, while its engines provided it modest speed over the larger ships of its time.
- The Commonwealth originally appeared in Strategic Operations as part of the Inner Sphere's "firsts" in aerospace-based technology, developed per faction.
- The Record Sheets for both the primary and variant of the Commonwealth-class light cruisers are solely found in Field Report 2765: LCAF.
- Field Report 2765: LCAF, p. 23-24, "Commonwealth (Light Cruiser)"
- Strategic Operations, p. 14, "The Naval Factor"
- MUL online date for the Commonwealth (WarShip class)
- MUL online date for the Aegis
- Field Report 2765: LCAF, p. 5, "The Vacuum Fleet"
- Strategic Operations, p. 14 "House Steiner (Lyran Alliance)" (infobox)