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|Manufacturer|| Tengo Aerospace|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Drive System||GE 2080|
|Safe Thrust||1.5 g|
|Max Thrust||2.5 g|
|Fuel (tons)||319 tons|
|Fuel (days)||75.6 days|
|Armament|| 1x AC/5 |
3x Large Lasers
8x Medium Lasers
2x Small Lasers
|Armor|| 16 tons standard |
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||2/2|
The ubiquitous Mule Class DropShip is 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.
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: 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.
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 ship, from which four large cargo elevators lead to the upper decks which can handle remaining 5,000 or so tons. Four cargo ramps are situated next to these lifts to provide easy access, as well as the only problem for the class. If the ramps are not properly secured prior to lift-off, which can occur if take-off procedures are rushed because the ship is under fire on the ground, the initial engine thrust can tear them free and vent directly into the lower cargo bay, damaging if not destroying the ship.
- 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. BV (2.0) = 21,307
- 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
- Pocket WarShip (Star League)
- Introduced during the Star League era, this Mule variant is armed and armored like 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
As of 3136, the Black Gold was mentioned as a renovated Mule-II class ore carrier DropShip, 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.
Mule Ship Gallery
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 181
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 182
- online date for the Mule
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 253
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 110
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 450
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 449
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 451
- Dark Age: LinkNet Articles (3136), p. 119, "Major Clash Reported in Augustine System!"