Lee (DropShip class)
|Use||Heavy 'Mech Transport|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
102 bay personnel
|Heat Sinks||203 (406)|
Produced a few decades before the Amaris Coup, the Lee-class DropShip was one of the last major military transports to be produced for the SLDF prior to its conquest by Stefan Amaris. Pitched by three major naval yards in the Terran Hegemony, the Lee proposal was presented to SLDF Commanding General Aleksandr Kerensky in 2749. The design was part of his vision to streamline the number of Military DropShip Classes. His effort were focused in the creation of a heavily armed and armored vessel that could carry a large payload of SLDF troops into battle quicker than any current design currently in service. Twice the size of the SLDF's standard Overlord, the Lee's primary design was configured to carry a reinforced battalion's worth of BattleMechs, while supported by a single squadron of aerospace fighters. Kerensky's efforts to get the Lee into production was not easy, due to various boondoggles and political entanglements associated with the creation and development of previous vessels, such as the Colossus-class DropShip. However, the unpopular Star Lord Richard Cameron's efforts to prevent the design from entering production proved to be beneficial in having it approved by his Star League Council. The Lee entered production in 2756.
The Lee saw its first major action during the Periphery Uprising, where its ability to move large numbers of troops quickly proved to be a boon for the SLDF. However, the ship's large carry capacity became a liability during the invasion of the occupied Hegemony. Space Defense System's Caspar fleet of drones effectively destroyed a large number of these ships, causing a number of troops to be lost. Shortly after, these ships would be left in the SLDF's reserves until the landings on Terra where they were deployed in large numbers. Few of these ships survived to join the Exodus Fleet to deep Periphery with General Kerensky and those remaining ships would be later lost in fighting during the Pentagon Civil War.
The Lee has following weapons, by Firing Arc:
Forward Right/Left Arcs
2 Gauss rifles w/single 20-class autocannon, 2 ER PPCs, 1 ER large laser with a cluster of 4 medium lasers, and a pair of Artemis IV guided twenty-tubed LRMs.
Aft Right/Left Arcs
1 Gauss rifles w/single 20-class autocannon, 2 ER PPCs, 1 ER large laser with a cluster of 4 medium lasers, and a trio of Artemis IV guided twenty-tubed LRMs.
1 Gauss rifles w/20-class autocannon, 2 ER large lasers with a cluster of 6 medium lasers, and a pair of Artemis IV guided twenty-tubed LRMs.
Bay 1: BattleMechs (40) - 4 doors
Bay 2: Fighters (6) - 2 doors
Bay 3: Small Craft (2) - 1 door
Bay 4: Cargo (967 tons) - 1 door
The Lee was produced in four different configurations, with the later design produced limited numbers.
- Lee Aerospace Carrier
- This variant was designed to carry 40 aerospace fighters and a single squadron of small craft. This version of the Lee would lead to the creation of the Vengeance-class aerospace carrier DropShip.
- Lee Cargo Transport
- A short-lived design, which only saw three ships produced. This variant was designed as a blockade runner with 8,000 ton cargo capacity. Giving the SLDF the ability to run vital military cargo quickly to battlefields.
- The design carries 90 tons of ferro-aluminum armor. It has been fitted out with 3 first-class and 20 second-class passenger quarters.
- As of this writing, only the featured 'Mech carrier design has a canon record sheet found in Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2.
- The fluff indicating the CV version of the Lee was what brought on the creation of the Vengeance was written after the Vengeance was retconned to a post–Star League design, but prior to the design introduction date being reverted to the Star League era, in keeping with its original depiction.
- MUL Profile of the Lee (2756) - BV2 and Introduction year.
- Historical: Liberation of Terra, pp. 148–149, 159: "Lee-class (DropShip)"