Mule

Mule TRO3057r.png
Mule
Production information
Manufacturer Alshain Naval Yards[1]

Federated-Boeing Interstellar[2]


Kathil Shipworks[3]


Tengo Aerospace[4]


Tharkad Aerospace Group[4]

Production Year 2737[5]
Use Cargo Carrier
Type Civilian Spheroid
Tech Base Inner Sphere
Technical specifications
Mass 11,200 tons
Structural Integrity 20
Length 158 meters
Width 158 meters
Height 100.4 meters
Drive System GE 2080
Safe Thrust 1.5 g
Max Thrust 2.5 g
Fuel (tons) 319 tons
Fuel (days) 75.6 days
Armament
Armor 16 tons standard
Crew 20[6]
  • 4 Officers
  • 13 Enlisted
  • 3 Gunners

(Base Crew Type Requirement)[7][8]

  • 2 Pilots
  • 4 Engineers
  • 12 Secondary Engineers
Escape Pods/Life Boats 2/2
Heat Sinks 59 single
BV (1.0) 1,664[9]
BV (2.0) 1,282[citation needed]

Description[edit]

The ubiquitous Mule class DropShip is one of the most commonly encountered merchant craft plying the shipping routes of the Inner Sphere. Developed during the height of the Star League, the Mule has survived due to the combination of its practical and uncomplicated design, affordability, ease of maintenance, and spacious crew accommodations. This makes the Mule highly attractive for independent traders.

The Mule is so ubiquitous that its GE 2080 drive system (along with its Lyran-made GE 2080-II cousin)[10] were used by BBP Industries and Semier Data Tron on the Excalibur-class when the original drive supply dwindled during the Succession Wars, keeping the military DropShip in use.[10][11]

Large single-occupancy rooms with personal storage space occupy the command deck. Large mess and lounge facilities, a well-equipped medical bay, and the bridge along with specialized rooms for three uniquely Mule specific activities. The first overlooks the upper cargo deck, giving a view of the large open area. This can be used for supervision or impressing a customer but is usually used as a lounge. The second is a market viewing room, tied to the vessel's communications system, and broadcasts specific market values of interest to the ship. Exchange rates and prices are tracked by the captain, who often takes this room as their own. The third is full of communications coordinating equipment from across the current system and allows the crew to keep in touch with agents for their carried goods.[6][12]

Armament[edit]

Because the Mule operates in the "wilds" more so than other civilian cargo carriers, it is moderately armored and carries a small array of defensive weaponry rivaling that of some small military Dropships[6]: a nose-mounted AC/5, two SRM-6 launchers on the sides with a smattering of Large, medium, and Small Lasers bolstering the other weapon bays as well as covering the other angles.

Cargo[edit]

The Mule is capable of carrying close to 8,500 tons of cargo, split between a single large 3,000-ton capacity bay in the lower portion of the ship, from which four large cargo elevators lead to the upper decks which can handle the remaining 5,000 or so tons. Four cargo ramps are situated next to these lifts to provide easy access and are a potential problem with drive location for the class. The landing gear, cargo ramps, and engine drive exhaust setup are the major problems with the class. Upon liftoff, the engine drive blast scorches the interior of the landing gear wells, requiring cable assembly replacement every 20 lift-offs. Failure to do so can result in the landing gear locking in an inopportune position. The large cargo ramps also lock or extend only with careful oversight, and with an active engine drive, the bottom of the vessel is bathed in the fusion engine's output. This can lead to major damage to the vessel if proper procedures are not followed or hurried, as when under fire.[6][12]

  • Bay 1: Cargo (2,715 tons), 2 doors
  • Bay 2: Cargo (2,715 tons), 2 doors
  • Bay 3: Cargo (2,714 tons), 2 doors

Variants[edit]

While considered for upgrades post-Helm Memory Core, the Clan War delayed any plans for a refit.[6]

  • Pocket WarShip (Star League) 
    Introduced during the Star League era, this Mule variant is armed and armored similar to the the Word of Blake's Pocket WarShip. The only difference is the lack of AR-10 launchers. Instead, this version carries three White Shark and three Barracuda launchers. These launchers have thirty-nine reloads. It also has space for six aerospace fighters. BV (2.0) = 10,330[13]
  • Pocket Warship 
    While minor variations exist, the most notable major modification is the so-called Q-Ship version of the craft, not seen since the era of the Star League but making a return during the Word of Blake's Jihad. Relying upon the stealth provided by its civilian form, this hides double the amount of armor and four AR-10 capital missile launchers in the upper cargo bays. The lower cargo bay has been converted to store a score each of Killer Whale, White Shark, and Barracuda missiles for the AR-10's, and a fighter bay capable of carrying a complete aerospace fighter Level II.[14] BV (2.0) = 21,307[15]
  • Q-Ship 
    This Mule variant carries four AR-10 launchers equipped with twenty Killer Whale, White Shark, and Barracuda missiles. It also has provisions for six aerospace fighters. Unlike the Pocket WarShip versions, however, it retains the same armor protection as the civilian Mule. BV (2.0) = 20,492[16]

Mule-II[edit]

As of 3136, the Black Gold was mentioned as a renovated Mule-II class ore carrier DropShip,[17] but its stats are unknown at this time and it remains unclear if this is a variant of the venerable Mule or an entirely new class.

The Master Unit List does not (yet) list the Mule-II class. Given that the vessel was explicitly "renovated", and going by the precedent of the Magellan MkII class, it can be assumed that the Mule-II should be considered a variant of the Mule instead of a new class unto its own, the result of an unspecified but presumably standardized upgrade done during renovation. It may or may not be connected to the role of ore carrier.

See Also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • In German products, the unit's proper name was translated to Maultier. This creates a potential mix-up with the later introduced Maultier Hover APC.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Objectives: The Clans, p. 33: "Alshain Naval Yards"
  2. Handbook: House Davion - Federated Boeing, p. 181
  3. Handbook: House Davion - Kayhil Shipworks, p. 182
  4. 4.0 4.1 DropShips and JumpShips: ComStar Intelligence Summary, p. 15
  5. online date for the Mule
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 56
  7. BattleSpace rulebook, p. 63
  8. DropShips and JumpShips: Operations Manual, p. 41
  9. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 253
  10. 10.0 10.1 Objective Raids, p. 83: "Produced Semier Data Tron Components"
  11. DropShips and JumpShips: ComStar Intelligence Summary, pp. 36–37
  12. 12.0 12.1 DropShips and JumpShips: ComStar Intelligence Summary, p. 58
  13. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 451
  14. Technical Readout: 3075, p. 110
  15. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 450
  16. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 449
  17. Dark Age: LinkNet Articles (3136), p. 119, "Major Clash Reported in Augustine System!"

Bibliography[edit]