Merlin (DropShip class)
|Manufacturer||Irian Technologies Clipperton facility
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Safe Thrust||3 g|
|Max Thrust||4.5 g|
|Armament||4x ER PPC|
7x ER Large Laser
4xMedium Pulse Laser
|Armor||50 tons Standard|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||2/0|
|Heat Sinks||90 Double Heat Sink|
The Merlin is a combination WarShip escort and fast attack design. Rushed through the design and testing process, the Merlin was created to fill a gap in the Free Worlds League Navy after they lost access to Capellan Lung Wang production. The design process was expedited using assistance from the Word of Blake. Since entering service in 3063, most of the Merlins produced to date have been assigned to escort the Thera-class WarShips. The Merlin's performance has won rave reviews from their crews and the ships they support. Fast, well armored, and with a decent punch, the Merlin does an excellent job of covering a WarShip's weak zones.
The crews originally complained about the cramped, Spartan quarters aboard the Merlin, but soon realized that they had access to the much larger recreation facilities aboard their assigned WarShip. The only real flaws with the ship are some minor heat management issues and the limited fuel supply. Though the Merlin can draw fuel from a Thera or Eagle if part of that task group, on a fast attack the Merlin is likely to run out of fuel if the captain is foolish.
IrTech's Clipperton facility had produced a dozen Merlins by 3067, but the Brigadier Corporation's Gibson facility had serious production problems due to interference by a ComStar sympathizer who sabotaged the project.
Most of the Merlin's weapon array is energy-based. This is a good thing because the SRM launchers have only two tons of ammunition. The LRM launchers, by contrast, carry ten tons of ammunition, but this will probably be gone much faster than the crew would like. Fortunately, the ER Large Lasers and ER PPCs can still inflict significant damage on enemy AeroSpace Fighters and DropShips once the missile ammunition is gone.
The Merlin carries a pair of AeroSpace Fighters to provide some additional defense. The second cargo bay can contain a little over 500 tons.
- Merlin Ngake
- First spotted undergoing refits at Ngake, this unique Merlin variant was captured from the Word of Blake by marines from the Principality of Regulus. After the refit at Ngake was completed, the capabilities of this new Pocket WarShip became apparent. By removing the fighter bays and standard weapons, engineers were able to install four SCL/1s in the nose. For close defense, the Merlin Ngake carries fourteen Large X-Pulse Lasers; Missile defense is provided by fourteen Laser AMS systems. This ship was last seen attacking various worlds of the Word of Blake Protectorate. BV (2.0) = 6,295
- Merlin R1
- The production version of the Merlin Ngake, the R1 variant is intended to be used as orbital fire support for ground troops. This variant has ten Laser AMS systems, but retains the fourteen Large X-Pulse Lasers and nose-mounted SCL/1s. A single fighter bay has been restored and the fuel capacity has been slightly reduced. Production remains low, however, as the Principality of Regulus has to buy new or salvaged Merlins and convert them by hand. BV (2.0) = 6,115