Lake class Surveillance Vessel
|Lake class Surveillance Vessel|
|Type: QS System Surveillance Ship|
|Cargo||0.57 or more Tons|
|Passengers||0 High/Med 6 Low|
|Size||Varies (sample 9,789) Tons|
The Lake class system surveillance vessels provide covert "trip-wire" surveillance of the Principality of Caledon's frontiers.
These vessels are designed for stealth, both electromagnetic and visual. They are buffered asteroids; great pains are taken to camouflage any man-made features on the surface of the asteroids, and to suppress any inadvertent electromagnetic emissions, so as to give the observer the impression they are merely a piece of floating space rock, if they notice it at all.
512 are currently in commission. They spend 60-day rotations watching the void areas on the periphery of the Principality. A typical mission involves:
- . Jumping into a non-system area
- . "Going Dark" - turning off all non-hyperdirectional electromagnetic radiation, such as radios.
- . Deploying one of the vessel's attached "Courier" ships. See "Couriers", below.
- . Watching for signs of vessels jumping into the parsec for the next 60+ days.
- . If vessels are detected, observe and classify
- . If the vessels are deemed potentially hostile to the Principality, send a message to one of the vessel's attached courier ships, who will enact a jump to a pre-programmed nearby Caledonian navy facility.
- . When relieved - usually after 60 days - jump back to base.
The surveillance ship will endeavor to remain undetected - usually successfully - and on station, to continue observing the area. If detected - this happens very rarely - they jump for their base rather than standing and fighting.
Each Lake class ship has integral hangar space for three Courier ships - generally 100-200 ton vessels capable of jumping back to the home base. These vessels will usually rotate 2-7 day shifts as the "alert" courier. This involves moving under Manuever power to a point far from the surveillance "mother" ship, programming a jump back to a designated Caledonian naval station.
If the mother ship's sensors detect an incursion, and the staff classifies the incursion as a threat to the Principality - anything from Reavers and pirates to a hostile fleet - the mother ship signals the alert courier with a hyperdirectional laser link, downloading the surveillance ship skipper's situation report without alerting anyone. On completion, the courier launches its jump and disappears, giving the invaders' fleet only a jump flash to indicate anyone knows about them, far from the site of the actual surveillance ship.
Life on a "Lake Boat"
Crews for surveillance ships are selected for their psychological stability and ability to keep their minds occupied and on task for long deployments. Officers and Warrant Officers are selected for coolness and steadiness under stress; the decision to jump out of a parsec or stay on station to continue observing can be a difficult one.
Surveillance ship duty involves long deployments - 60 days, usually twice a year, with occasional extensions (they don't leave station until relieved or until supplies run very low; sometimes relief is late); Lake-class ships carry a year's worth of food and supplies on every deployment, just in case. To make up for this, Lake Class ships offer some amenities to the crew:
- The best food allowance in the Navy (along with excellent crew athletic and exercise facilities to ward off the effect of the food)
- Surveillance ships are roomy; officers, warrants and ratings all have private staterooms; junior enlisted crew have doubles. Much extra room is allotted to recreation space
- While fraternization between the sexes is prohibited in the Caledonian Navy, fraternization among surveillance ship crew members that are not in each others' chains of command while on patrol, provided it doesn't affect operational effectiveness enough for anyone to notice (including in terms of any family life while not on patrol) usually earns a blind eye. This is a prized perk, especially among crewman who've served on sloops, with their equally-long but much less relaxed deployments, and larger ships with more regimented schedules.
Many long lonely deployments punctuated by moments of pure terror.
Tonnage varies widely, but generally <10,000tons
In addition to the usual crew, the complement of sensor operators is relatively quite large.
Jump 2, 1G Maneuver Drive, Power Plant 5
Extensive sensors, especially passive jump-detection sensors.
No offensive armament.
Defensive and passive armament; dampers, lasers and sandcasters. The weaponry is focused on buying time to allow the vessel to "jump home" if discovered.
Hangars for three 200-ton couriers.
Fuel for two Jump 2.
Varies with size
SV-J8215F2-371100-85000-0 MCr. 6382.625 Size: 9,789 tons Bearing 9 51 Crew: 89 Batteries 9 51 TL: 12 Cargo: 0.57 ton Closet Low: 6 Fuel: 4,405.05 tons EP: 489.45 Agility: 1 Shipboard Security Detail: 10
Craft: 3 x 200T Couriers
Fuel Treatment: Backups: Substitutions: Architect's Fee: MCr 63.826 Cost in Quantity: MCr 5,106.1