Saturn (DropShuttle class)

This article is about the DropShuttle/DropShip class. For other uses, see Saturn.
Saturn Patrol Ship
Production information
Manufacturer Dramm-Chance Interstellar Technologies, Jupiter[1]
Production Year 2243[2]
Use Patrol Vessel
Search & Rescue
Training Ship
Type Military Spheroid
Tech Base Inner Sphere (Primitive)
Technical specifications
Mass 1,200 tons
Structural Integrity 15
Length 18 meters
Width 18 meters
Height 22 meters
Drive System Fusion
Safe Thrust 5
Max Thrust 8
Fuel (tons) 150 tons
Fuel (days) 4.52 days
Armor 33 tons Primitive Armor
Crew 30
  • 2 officers
  • 6 enlisted/non-rated
  • 5 gunners
  • 2 bay personnel
  • 15 marines[1]
Escape Pods/Life Boats None[1]
Heat Sinks 28 Standard[1]
BV (1.0) ???
BV (2.0) 1,359<ref name="MUL:Sat">

Created in the early days of the Terran Alliance's Colonization period, the Saturn-class Patrol Ship was one of the earliest forms of Military "DropShip" ever produced. Technically, it is a DropShuttle and not a DropShip; see Notes below.


First launched in 2243, the Saturn was originally intended for deep space combat ship designed to act as an escort vessel for vulnerable colonization ships to ward off space debris and provide rescue services. As the Terran Alliance's colonization efforts expanded the nation, so did its problems of keeping the peace and as the ship's weaponry soon turned warding off pirates.

The ship was built in the thousands, serving as the backbone of the Alliance's space military. The ship played a significant role during the Outer Reaches Rebellion. However, after the Alliance cut ties with its colonies when its political leadership announced the Alliance's Demarcation Declaration, Saturns found outside of the Alliance's smaller holdings would soon disappear due to lack of logistics from Terra. Those that remained continued served throughout the twenty-third century. As newer and more technologically advanced DropShips came on the scene, the now outdated Saturns would be sold off as military surplus or assigned as training vessels until they were removed from service by the end of the twenty-third century.[1]

Armament & Capacities[edit]

As one of the earliest DropShuttles made, the ship was constructed using what would be later referred to as Primitive Technology. The Saturn was considered an effective vessel in its service lifetime. It was fitted out with the latest weapons and capabilities that no civilian vessel could match at the time. Its fusion powered engines could push what was considered to be a large vessel at the time, moving at 4 gravities towards its objective. The ship's hull was protected by 33 tons of Primitive Armor, giving good armor protection with most armor focused on the nose of the craft.

The ship's weaponry is evenly spread among its weapon arcs. Featuring the (then) newest kind of anti-ship weapons available, the prototype of the Class-5 Autocannon was the primary weapon. Each of the arcs was armed with single Proto-AC/5 and a quad of Machine Guns which served as point defense. The autocannon's ammo bins carried 15 reloads for the cannon, while every Machine Gun Bay had 200 reloads.

For boarding actions, the Saturn would dock with a vessel and dispatch its complement of Marines.[1]

Saturns had a single cargo bay with a 43.5-ton cargo capacity for spare parts and supplies. The cargo was accessed through its 2 bay doors.[1]

Design Notes[edit]

Design Quirks:


  • The original Saturn cannot possibly have been a DropShip in the technical sense because the Docking Collar technology that defines DropShips and (modern) JumpShips did not exist until some 230 years later. Instead, the Saturn would have been a DropShuttle, carried internally in a DropShuttle Bay featured on many primitive JumpShips and WarShips of the time. DropShuttle and DropShip technologies are incompatible; it is unknown if any Saturns that may have existed into the Docking Collar age were converted into DropShips. The MUL lists the Saturn class as a DropShip, which arguably suggests at least some were converted, but the MUL does not seem to differentiate between DropShuttles and DropShips. For the purpose of this article and the categories it is sorted into, it is assumed that a DropShip conversion existed.
  • The image used for the Saturn was originally used for Vulture-class DropShip, establishing at least a strong visual similarity between these vessels. (The Experimental Technical Readout series of PDFs often reused preexisting artwork to save production costs).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 5, pp. 14, 31: "Saturn Patrol Ship"
  2. Master Unit List's Profile of Saturn Patrol Ship - Includes Introduction Year, BV