Baleen class Heavy Tanker

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Baleen class Heavy Tanker
Distant Fringe Logo.gif
Type: TF Heavy Tanker
Category BCS
Size 40,000 Tons
Hull Configuration Cone Hull
Streamlining Partially Streamlined Hull
Tech Level TL–11
Computer Model/4
Jump J-2
Maneuver 2 G
Hardpoints 400
Staterooms 0
Crew 222
    Officers 45
    Enlisted 177
High/Mid Passengers 0
Cargo 300 Tons
Tankage 22,200 Tons
Fuel tank 0 Tons
Origin Distant Fringe
End of Service Still in active service.
Cost MCr18,685.440 (base)
MCr14,948.352 (qty)
Architect fee Ade Stewart
Quick Ship Profile Not applicable
Blueprint Yes.
Illustration Yes
Also see Tanker
Canon Published, fan design
Era 1105
Reference Fan: Ade Stewart
Starships are designed with the Classic Traveller format, using High Guard.

The Baleen class Heavy Tanker is a mercantile fueling starship.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

A generic class of civilian vessel, the Heavy Tanker is a large commercial hydrogen fuel transporter commonly encountered throughout the Distant Fringe region. It is classified as a Tanker and is constructed as a conventional design, although in all respects it qualifies as a long-range vessel. Similar designs have been in use from the time the Distant Fringe was first settled.

Image Repository[edit]

  1. A massive Baleen class Heavy Tanker.
    J2 40000dT Heavy Tanker.jpg

General Description & Deck Plans[edit]

The Baleen class is a partially streamlined cone with a mean diameter of 50 meters and a length of around 260 meters. Some sections are narrower and some are wider, giving it a total enclosed volume of approximately 540,000 cubic meters. Huge fuel tanks form the majority of the interior of the ship. The main tanks are subdivided into smaller interlinked cells containing baffles, compressors, and pumping equipment, and are separated by service decks. The engineering section is located aft, within the core of the vessel, while the bridge and accessible sections of the vessel such as the crew quarters and the cargo hold are located forward. Transfer shafts, offset from one another to reduce the risks associated with accidents or damage, link the various decks together.

J2 40000dT Heavy Tanker Plan.jpg
A basic deck plan of the vessel indicating the general layout and positioning of major elements.

Basic Ship Characteristics[edit]

Following the Imperial Navy and IISS Universal Ship Profile and data, additional information is presented in the format shown here. The small craft factor indicates the number of squadrons (...of ten subcraft) carried on the ship. Tonnage on the universal ship profile is shown in kilotons (...thousands of tons) where necessary. [1]

Basic Ship Characteristics [2]
No. Category Remarks
1. Tonnage / Hull The Heavy Tanker is constructed using a 40,000 dTon hull built in a generally conical configuration. The hull is fully streamlined, giving good atmospheric performance that is further enhanced by its onboard gravitic systems.
  • Individual sections of the ship are divided by bulkhead walls.
  • There are multiple airlocks located around the vessel.
  • The configuration of the hull prevents surface landings without the use of a hull cradle to support the vessel.
2. Crew Total Crew Complement: 222
  • x20 Command, x56 Engineering, x25 Gunnery, and x120 Service, of which 3 double up as flight crew for the subcraft as necessary. In addition, the vessel carries x1 Medical and x2 Passenger Stewards.


There are 150 Staterooms.

There are 20 Low Berths. These are tended by the vessel's medic.

Accessible areas of the hull are fitted with grav plates and inertial compensators and have full life support and environmental systems.

  • There are internal monitoring and security systems throughout the vessel. Sections of the ship can be isolated in the event of an emergency.
  • There are multiple Emergency Lockers.
3. Performance The vessel mounts a DeVoss-type Jump-2 drive, a Maneuver-1 drive, and a Power Plant-2, giving performance of Jump-2, 1-G acceleration, and producing 800 Energy Points. The ship has an agility rating of 1 and an emergency agility of 2. The internal fuel tankage is sufficient for one Jump-2 and gives the power plant 4 weeks duration.
  • The engineering section has a main control room.
    • Ladders, gantries and platforms give access to the machinery.
  • The jump drive utilizes a hull grid.
  • The jump drive is fitted with a jump governor.
4. Electronics Adjacent to the bridge is a Model/4 Computer: the vessel has a backup Model/4 Computer.
5. Hardpoints x400 hardpoints.
  • The listed battery groupings are considered standard for the class. Alternative battery groupings may be designated for specific routes.
  • There are 160 unused hardpoints and 160 dTons are set aside for fire control.
6. Armament The normal weapons fit-out for a Heavy Tanker is:
7. Defenses The hull is unarmored.
  • x100 triple Sandcaster turrets, grouped into ten batteries each of 10 linked turrets
  • The vessel is not fitted with screens or other passive defensive systems.
8. Craft Flight Section

The subcraft are housed in dedicated hangers located at strategic points around the vessel: the hangers can be sealed and have a total volume of 195 dTons.

9. Fuel Treatment The vessel has internal fuel tankage of 8,800 dTons.

Commercial fuel tankage amounts to 22,200 dTons.

The vessel is designed to be capable of skimming and refining fuel from wilderness sources.

10. Cost The basic cost of the vessel, complete with its complement of subcraft, is MCr18,685.440.
  • If multiple examples of the design are ordered all of the ships in the production run qualify for a 20% discount, which reduces the price per unit to MCr14,948.352.
  • The vessel and its subcraft are standard designs. Detailed architectural plans are widely available and no design fee is chargeable.
11. Construction Time 184 weeks (46 months) as standard.
  • Build times can be reduced by mass production and the efficiencies such processes generate, by increased financing, and by allotting additional yard resources and facilities to the construction contract.
12. Comments Standard cargo capacity amounts to 300 dTons.
  • The cargo hold can be sealed and has independent life support and environmental systems.
  • Sections of the hold may be isolated if desired and can be provided with specialized environmental conditions, typically refrigeration.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

The design is representative and a large number of variants exist, particularly with regard to the allotted weapons systems, onboard electronics, and the fit out of internal spaces. Heavy Tankers are designed to skim fuel from gas giant worlds and transport it back to a commercial market, using the onboard refining plant to process and purify the product en route.

Baleen class ships are Gas Traders. They may work with orbital port facilities such as the Harbor class Station.

Distant Fringe Vessels[edit]

The Distant Fringe is said to be a far spinward-rimward area inhabited by colonists and refugees originating on Terra. The region is extremely isolated, separated from the rest of Charted Space by vast, almost uncrossable rifts that were once broached by a system of calibration Points and the use of tankers. Those few academics within Charted Space who have found references to the Distant Fringe regard it as little more than a tall tale. Likewise, many of the inhabitants of the Distant Fringe believe the existence of Charted Space to be mythical.[3]

Vessels originating within the Distant Fringe are very rarely encountered outside of the region. However, misjumps do occur and anomalies with bizarre spacetime and Jumpspace effects exist: as such, craft of this type are not entirely unknown within Charted Space.[4]

Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities[edit]

A number of companies manufacture ships equivalent to the Baleen class. They vary in hull shape and internal layout but all share the same basic design and all have very similar capabilities and performance characteristics. They are nicknamed "Fuglies".

While fuel lighters are well built and capable vessels, the various classes see hard service and receive relatively low levels of maintenance. They are driven hard by their owners and commanders, exhausting their crews and further increasing the hazards. The engineering decks, in particular, linked by a single transfer shaft and entirely surrounded by fuel tanks, are considered a death-trap.

  • Each variant class is named by the company that produces it: these organizations generally draw on traditional naming protocols. It is not uncommon for a historical class name to be reused.
  • Individual vessels within a class are issued specific serial numbers and transponder codes but traditionally are named by their owners. This is considered a serious affair and a ship with a frivolous name is considered "unlucky".

Selected Variant Types & Classes[edit]

Merchant Vessel - Bigcraft - Fuel Tanker:

Merchant Vessel - Tanker:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
  1. Timothy B. Brown. Fighting Ships (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 10.
  2. Timothy B. Brown. Fighting Ships (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 10.
  3. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  4. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak