UnderWing class Hospital Ship
|UnderWing class Hospital Ship|
|Type: NH Hospital Ship|
|Hull Configuration||Slab Hull|
|Fuel tank||185 Tons|
|Construction Time||12 Months|
|Quick Ship Profile||NH-JS42|
|Universal Ship Profile||NH-C9824S-L|
|Also see||Hospital Ship|
|Canon||Unpublished, fan design|
|Design System||Mongoose 2nd|
|You have not been injured until you have been treated UnderWing.|
An UnderWing is designed to give medical comfort while facing the realities of war. Some have said the design’s security features are a recognition of just how willing some people are to commit war crimes. On a more positive aspect, this ship class’s 10 medical bays give doctors the ability to treat up to 50 soldiers at once, with 100 additional barracks to be able to provide rest to weary soldiers during an evacuation of squadrons or small companies out of war zones.
The hull is streamlined and designed both for in-space rescues and sudden descents into the atmosphere of a war torn planet. An UnderWing excels in providing medical facilities on demand relatively anywhere on a planet’s surface. The medical bay is opened to the cargo areas to allow for quick access to the rows of stored medical supplies. There are two rear cargo bay doors, one on each side of the central rear airlock that double as ramps to wheel patients directly into the medical bays, or quickly restock the cargo bays. Separate airlock iris doors keep the crew quarters separate from the open medical bay, allowing for medics to rest comfortably and make use of the common areas outside their double occupancy staterooms.
The isolated laboratory is also available to study new symptoms, to stay on top of any new tricks from the enemy. Though mostly used for testing blood samples, the lab can be used as a clean room to study microbiological samples, and features biosafety-grade entrances. A full ton of cargo space in the rear of the lab stores ample lab supplies, particularly neutralizing and decontamination agents.
The life sensors are used in conjunction with the regular sensors to detect where troops and the injured may be during search and rescue operations. In the event of the power plant malfunctioning or running out of fuel, the solar panels and batteries keep essential power available, primarily to keep the medical bays and the grav lifts operational. Though there are no weapons on board, the radiation shielding and crystalliron armour on the hull helps the ship survive in some of the harshest of war conditions.
While some have questioned the architect’s original design putting the barracks on the top deck, many have found that it does provide a buffer for aerial assaults, with some UnderWings’ top decks being completely destroyed before the medics on the bottom deck noticed. Likewise, isolating the crew area and bridge from the medical bays has been a useful defense against pirates who pretend to have wounded, then attempt to seize the UnderWing upon docking.
The grav lifts have proven to be the most interesting addition to the ship, providing quick and smooth transportation within the ship from the bottom deck's medical bays to the top deck's barracks by simply reversing the gravity in the shaft. While normally a gentle ride, there was one instance during one particularly heavy siege that became legend. After the Sparrow's Nest had picked up a company of soldiers but before it could lift off, the enemy started bombing the UnderWing. The captain ordered the top deck evacuated quickly, so no injuries were sustained. Unfortunately, the bombs breached and wrecked the ship's top deck, after which several drop pods of soldiers landed to board. Once the Sparrow's mechanic realized there was a hull breach and enemy soldiers on the top deck, he reversed gravity on the lift and increased its level, basically shooting a fountain of soldiers onto the top deck to engage the enemy. The stunned enemy was quickly overwhelmed. Stories of the lift spewing soldiers onto the battlefield (the remnants of UnderWing's top deck) in "never ending" volume (soldiers continued to be shot into the air through the entire battle because the mechanic could not quickly turn the gravity back down, it was a great temporary vantage point, and there were just that many soldiers to deploy), were spread by survivors of both sides.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull||Tonnage: 900 tons (standard). 12,600 cubic meters. Streamlined Slab Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: 1 Captain, 1 Astrogator, 10 Medics, 3 Engineers, 1 Mechanic, 1 Scientist, 1 Officer. Pilot and Sensor Operator provided by software.|
|3.||Performance||Acceleration: 4-G maneuver drive installed.
|5.||Hardpoints||9 hardpoints, unused.|
|8.||Craft||None. Vacc suits required for EVA (extra-vehicle activity). Rescue Balls for crew escape normally carried.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is not equipped with a fuel purification plant or fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr350 (no architect's fees, as they were considered fully amortized by the end of the Civil War). MCr315 in quantity.|
|11.||Construction Time||12 months standard, 9 in quantity.|
|12.||Remarks||A hospital ship designed to handle evacuations and injuries in a typical planetary war zone.|
While the Third Imperium originally built the UnderWing as a mobile field hospital, they found it was extremely useful as an extraction vessel for soldiers. Due to stray bombs, intentional bombs, and even friendly fire, most UnderWings wind up with structural damage leading to their decommissioning, subsequently used for many years until either they are destroyed or repairs require changing the basic layout of the ship. Some have been abandoned on warzone planets, either found by scavengers and repaired, or used by rebuilding locals as a hospital facility until it completely fell apart.
While ten medical bays may seem like ample room to help the wounded, many times the crew have needed to set up makeshift triage and even surgical facilities under the shade of the large cargo bay door and wings. Equipment to set up such an expanded field hospital is standard cargo on an UnderWing. Many veterans of planetary battles gauge how bad the fighting was in their area on whether you were treated inside the ship, evacuated, or patched up under the shade of an UnderWing. A common saying is, “you haven’t been injured in a war zone until you have been treated underwing”, leading to the nickname that has replaced the architect’s long forgotten original name for this ship class.
Some UnderWings have been decommissioned by the military, being commonly bought by humanitarian organizations to provide medical care to far reaching planets. With its Jump 2 capability, many of these humanitarian ships are welcome relief to minors or starting colonists who have not fully established their own medical facilities. Most refurbishments tend to modify the rarely used barracks, but leave the medical bays intact.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Though many ships are named after avian creatures and their homes, some are also named after famous healers throughout history. The instigator behind this stems from one famous UnderWing that was named “The Nightingale” which was confused to be named after the terran wartime healer of Florence Nightingale, but was later confirmed to actually be named after the terran bird. Its service inspired many other later ships to be named after various doctors and nurses.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type NH class Hospital Ship
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|This ship was designed using Mongoose 2nd ship design rules.|