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40px-Terminal.png This article, Endeavour-class merchant cruiser, was written by Lieutenant Davis. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.
40px-Writer_share.png This article, Endeavour-class merchant cruiser, was written by Lieutenant Davis, but may be used freely by other users even without the author's explicit permission.
Class overview
Name:

Endeavour-class

Builders

Multiple

Operators

Multiple

Subclasses

Various

General characteristics
Type

Merchant Cruiser

Length

550 meters

Width

175 meters

Height/depth

130 meters

Mass

3 million metric tons (Standard configuration)

Slipspace Drive

Series IV CODEN/SFTE

Hull

40cm of Titanium-A battle plate

Armament
Crew
  • 45 officers and enlisted
  • 40 marines
Passengers

Up to five hundred troops and associated equipment

Additional information
Era(s)
Role(s)
  • Cargo
  • Troop Transport
  • Colony Ship
  • Auxiliary Combat Ship
[Source]


During the chaos of the Human-Covenant War, supplies often became scare on the dozens of warzones raging throughout Human space at any moment. Before the war, the majority of cargo hauling was performed by the UNSC's commercial fleet, a mixture of small manned and unmanned freight haulers to transport civilian goods across the colonies. When the war with the Covenant began and UNSC forces became bogged down in prolonged ground engagements, the commercial fleet proved inadequate to provide support. A majority of these ships were either intercepted by pirates or destroyed outright by the Covenant, the rest decided to stay far away from the frontlines. This forces the UNSC to utilize warships such as the Charon or Phoenix-class ships as supply vessels, removing them from combat or ground support operations, which proved costly in the long run. The UNSC rapidly needed a solution and commissioned several design teams to come up with one. Several designs were submitted in late 2534, and the winner was a large, well armed, modular space frame ED-MC-1 (Experimental Design-Merchant Cruiser-Design 1), officially designated as the Endeavour-class merchant cruiser.

Subclasses

Due to the modular nature of the Endeavour-class, numerous shipwrights were able to rapidly design and manufacture innumerable variants of the ship, ranging from mining vessels, escort carriers, command ships, and even passenger liners, with different companies producing their own competing designs.

Dead Sea-class Mining Freighter

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Class overview
Name:

Dead Sea-class mining freighter

Builders

Diadel Systems

Operators

Various mining companies

General characteristics
Type

Mining freighter

Mass
  • 1.65 million metric tons (light load)
  • 3.3 million metric tons (maximum load)
Engine unit(s)
Slipspace Drive

Series IV CODEN/SFTE

Hull

55 centimetres of ceramo-aluminium plating

Navigation system

Traxus' UNA-uplinked navigation computer

Armament
Crew

65 civilians

Cargo capacity

Up to 1.65 million tons of cargo

Additional information
Era(s)

Human-Covenant War

Role(s)

Mining freighter

[Source]

Among the more specialised variants, Diadel Systems' Dead Sea-class freighter was an armed civilian vessel intended for use in asteroid fields and planetary mining sites. Marketed to appeal to interstellar mining corporations, many of which had their larger vessels retooled for the war effort, Diadel's model was designed with the mentality of making a quick buck. As a result, it was unveiled only months after the Endeavour became available for purchase, and briefly became a common sight across human space.

Despite rumours of the ship being underdeveloped, the Dead Sea was well-suited to the needs of the mining industry. While most mining vessels have thick plating to resist asteroid impacts and survive atmospheric re-entry, it left them slow to manoeuvre. Instead, the Dead Sea adopted an 'all or nothing' approach to armour, with important areas being protected by the maximum plating thickness while the rest of its superstructure featured none at all. At many points on the superstructure, the raw framework was left exposed to space, which allowed it to shed almost half of the mass as the Endeavour-class without any sacrifice in durability. This reduction in weight was further enhanced with two extremely-powerful fusion drives supplemented by smaller pairs mounted all over its hull, which ensured it to could fly gracefully between asteroids and planetary fragments. With minimal modifications, these were also suitable for atmospheric use. The frame was rated for the installation of heavy-duty cabling and electromagnets, so that anything too big to be carried within its three modestly-sized cargo-bays can be towed alongside it. Such loads vary from survey buoys to crippled ships to large asteroids and had the equipment to supply some energy from their own reactors to partially power the towed ship. While too small to satisfy the demands of most mining sites, all Dead Sea freighters have a small refinement plant installed for limited purification of valuable materials.

While everything stated so far was typical among mining craft, there were a number of base systems which sparked concerns that the Dead Sea could be easily retrofitted into a pirate raider - a side-effect from its conversion from a warship. Four large antennae were installed at the front, able to decode multiple frequencies simultaneously, good for maintaining communications with the forward base and listening in on merchant communications. Highly sensitive spectrometers, seismic scanners, and infrared sensors with electronic telescopes were mounted on turreted platforms to determine the composition of asteroids and locate ideal planetcracking locations, and were thought to be easily retooled to determine what cargo a given ship was carrying. However, that paled in comparison to its armament. A typical Dead Sea freighter had a minimum of nine railguns or coilguns that fired explosive shells on a delayed timer, which impact a prospective site before ripping up the ground from beneath. Due to criticism from the public, Diadel had to install a rotation lock onto their turret bases to prevent them from tracking fast-moving targets such as when the freighter itself was moving at high speeds. Unfortunately, the initial plans for installing a Magnetic Acceleration Cannon also garnered disapproval from the public, and as a result, only a handful of licensed corporations and individuals were able to secretly request this particular feature. Both of these systems made it a credible threat to large, lumbering superfreighters and cruiseliners. The only other weapon systems these ships could have installed natively were the M37 Suppressor naval coilguns or Mark 2488 Onagers, as their turret bases were compatible with those used by the railguns and scanner mounts.

While nominally a mining craft, the Dead Sea has also been adopted by fetchers as an improvised salvaging craft, who found that it could adequately suited to their needs. Even despite being outclassed by the base Endeavour-class, they saw occasional use as ad hoc escort solutions by some corporations in desperate need of protection. In emergency situations, the UNSC Navy placed some of these ships under their command and had them retrofitted for picket duties, with limited success.

Ambiorix-class escort carrier

Class overview
Name:

Ambiorix-class escort carrier

Builders

Arverni Naval Construction Company

Operators

Various

General characteristics
Type

Escort Carrier

Length

550 meters

Width

175 meters

Height/depth

130 meters

Mass

3.2 million metric tons

Slipspace Drive

Series IV CODEN/SFTE

Hull

40 cm of Titanium-A battle plate

Armament
Complement
Crew
  • 90 officers and enlisted
  • 40 marines
Minimum crew

60 officers and enlisted

Additional information
Era(s)
  • Human-Covenant War
  • Post-War
Role(s)
  • Single-ship deployment
  • Support and Interdiction
  • Escort
[Source]

Ships of the Line

Name Hull Classification Symbol Class Commissioned Destroyed Notes
MSV Vanguard Dead Sea Currently captained by Silvia Sauvage, retrofitted as a pirate raider.
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