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|KF Drive Integrity||7|
|Armament|| 8 x NAC/10 |
12 x AR-10
24 x ER Large Lasers
24 x LRM 15
24 x SRM 6
30 x AMS
|Armor||192 tons of Lamellor ferro-carbide armor|
|Crew|| Total Compliment
|Grav Decks||1 x 75m|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||15/15|
|Heat Sinks||384 (double)|
The Molniya-class corvette was the first foray made by Clan Wolf into WarShip design and manufacture. The Wolves were looking to produce a WarShip that could be designed and manufactured entirely from within their own resources. The development of the Molniya was intended to give the Clan the valuable experience needed to keep up in the naval arms race going on amongst the Clans at that point in time.
The Molniya was not a success. With a tonnage limited by the domestic industry available to the Wolves, the design was compromised from the outset by the conflicting priorities of the warrior caste committee responsible for agreeing to the Molniya's requirements. The MechWarriors on the committee were largely interested in a transport rather than a fighting corvette, and their influence resulted in a class of ships that were unpopular with the Clan Wolf naval personnel from the very outset. Optimized for carrying multiple DropShips, the heavier capital class weapons in the original design were traded away by the design committee for AR-10 launchers and an array of lighter lasers and missile systems, producing a design with many similarities to the later Fox-class ships designed and built by the Federated Commonwealth in the Inner Sphere.
Following a number of failures by the Clan Wolf engineers to manufacture WarShip-scale fusion engines, the Wolves made the decision to import engines from Clan Snow Raven, a decision that would ultimately play into the end of the Molniya class. Having constructed six Molniyas, Clan Wolf deployed four of the corvettes to Lum in 2966 intent on fighting a Trial of Possession for one of the factory stations at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points, and recovering their isorla back to Clan Wolf space to compensate for the limitations of their industrial base. Unfortunately, the Wolf plan was clumsily executed during the initial stages when the merchant caste agents responsible for gathering intelligence on the Snow Raven factories telegraphed their intentions. What the Wolves had hoped would be a carefully-executed and limited Trial turned into a debacle, as the Snow Ravens had arranged to have the entire Swift Wing Naval Assault Star stationed at Lum, along with the CSR Corvidae, the first York-class destroyer to have been produced by the Lum shipyards.
After bargaining, the four Molniyas and their attached DropShips and fighters faced the Corvidae and a Cluster of fighters from Delta Galaxy. During the resulting battle, the only bright point for the Wolf forces was the fierce last stand put up by the Tundra, whose crews' skilled gunnery and masterful use of capital missiles succeeded in earning the surviving two damaged Molniyas hegira after the Corvidae finished destroying the Tundra. The recriminations from the Trial of Lum would haunt the Wolves for decades. In the aftermath of the battle, the two damaged Molniyas were never repaired, while the two Molniyas that had not deployed on the Trial were subsequently scrapped.
The Molniya mounted a pair of NAC/10s in the nose, aft and each broadside arc, supplied with forty rounds of ammunition. The Molniya also mounted a trio of AR-10 tubes in each fore and aft side arc, while every arc mounted a combination of four ER Large Lasers, four LRM 15s, four SRM 6s and five AMS supplied with copious quantities of ammunition. In common with other Clan WarShips, each Molniya mounted an HPG.
- The Molniya class was named for the Russian word for lightning.
- Technical Readout: Golden Century, p. 58-59, "Molniya"
- Strategic Operations, p. 15, "The Naval Factor"
- MUL online date for the Molniya