The Lightning-class Sloop is a fast, multi-purpose vessel akin to the Corellian Corvette. It can be configured in a multitude of ways to suit different purposes ranging from fleet escort, raider pursuit, frontier picket, and troop transport to scientific research, fast courier duty, rapid cargo transit, and passenger liner. In practice, it's a very flexible, rugged design, and has found use in fields far from its original purpose. The Caspian Navy uses many of these in an armed and armored configuration for their purposes, while FineLine Spaceways utilizes a few as luxury liners for corporate contracts. Unfortunately, a few Lightnings have ended up in the hands of pirates over the years, managing reasonably successful careers as commerce raiders.
- This is the vessel formerly known as the DSV or Deep Space Vehicle. This latest interpretation is far more technically and aesthetically correct.
Despite its mercantile origin, the hull of the the Lightning-class has found use in a variety of roles, often of a more truly militaristic nature than the original. Examples include:
- Type G (Patrol Sloop): Adds four auto-loading VOWL tubes in limited traverse mounts, each with up to 32 ready missiles and anti-blast magazines. The vessel also incorporates significant avionics enhancements to allow it to function in a CDU Navy battle formation (including specialized missile fire control sensors and combat networking systems for coordinating 'layered defense'). An auxiliary bridge was added to allow the vessel to fight on even if the main bridge was disabled, and ships of this class usually carry two L-202 shuttlecraft. Cargo capacity is reduced to 300 metric tonnes Also referred to as the Orca-class, in honor of the first such craft adopted into CDU Navy service. Type G/Orcas are used for commerce escort, picket, and patrol duties, with the designation SPG.
- Type L (Fast Assault Sloop): Carries a Company-sized Quick Reaction Force of 120 Marines, plus supporting elements, with docking cradles for 6 L-202 Hellhawk combat shuttles, and a cluster of multi-purpose drop tubes (capable of deploying drop capsules, boarding pods, deadfall munitions, and decoys). This ship boasts mil-spec sensors, auxiliary bridge and applique kits of ablative armor. Cargo is reduced to 600 metric tonnes. These ships are noted for their spartan conditions. Also referred to as the Leyden-class, in honor of the first such ship in its series in the CDU Navy. Also referred to (tongue in cheek) as the "Dead Marine-class" as ships of this class tend to be named after CDU Marines (or occasionally those of the Barren Sector Fleet) who met a suitably heroic end. Theoretically, retired Marines who have won high honors might also have their names given to ships of this type. Type L/Leyden-class use the designation LPD in CDU Navy service.
- Type P (Revenue Cutter)
- Type Q (Covert Reconnaissance Sloop)
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