“Having the classes of ships explained to me was a blur until I was actually taken into orbit and saw them in the shipyard. I had absolutely no reality on the size of them- even the smallest were monsters when seen in a fleet!
The SpaceCruisers, described as ‘instant war’ ,were too big to take in even when confronted with them. They were the size of large asteroids or small planets and they were armed to the teeth with weaponry. They even had dozens of lesser ships jammed into them and prepared for deployment. They could take down a rebellion within the GAGA with ease. Even in the fearsome El Noor galaxy, it seemed like we could not lose when I saw the size of the Easty-Westy shipyard. This was only one, mid-size shipyard belonging to my new employers. Scattered alongside the military monstrosities there were hundreds of thousands of private ships in a range of sizes as well. I felt awed and terrified to be a part of this galactic war machine we called the GAF.”
Virginia Carraway Stark
List of Ships, Classes and Sub-Classes, in the Galactic Armed Forces
Taken from GAF HQ Records
Compiled by Anthony Stark, with Technical Assistance from Jorge Stuart
Interplanetary/stellar craft are divided into two main categories in the GAGA:
a) Commissioned Ships, whose role is solely that of galactic defense, being owned by the Galactic Armed Forces, its authorised agents etc. Commissioned ships are forbidden from transporting commercial goods for profit as well as private citizens on non-GAGA related business.
b) Non-Commissioned Ships, whose roles are primarily that of population and product movement, as well as protection of these ships, the assets contained within, and the routes traveled by these ships. Whereas Commissioned Ships are limited in their scope to military and peacekeeping duties, Non-Commissioned Ships may be enlisted for military service at any time by a GAGA Council general order.
Within the list of Commissioned Ships, there are 8 different models:
1) SpaceCarrier– analagous to our Aircraft Carriers, SpaceCarriers are interstellar cities of war. Inside them, they carry several of the other models of ships in varying combinations. SpaceCarrier engineers can refit an internal dock to accommodate a vast array of different sets of ships, so as to refine the deployment of GAF assets and forces for any given situation.
On board, SpaceCarriers are filled with up to tens of thousands of soldiers, support staff, engineers, scientists, and other personnel. Their accommodations are spartan but comfortable, with the majority of interior space utilized for weaponry, engines, battery storage and attack force deployable ships. SpaceCarriers are designed for space travel only and are unable to land on or enter into planetary orbit. The nature of their high-powered, highly responsive engines rend deep holes and tears in iono- and tropospheres of planets and asteroids. As such, all deep space vessels are prohibited from entering high atmosphere orbits by the GAGA- even in war.
As these ships are designed for deployment and defense along the x,y and z axes, they look more like a three dimensional version of their nautical forebears than a Galaxy class starship from Star Trek. There is very little pleasing to the eye about them, save for a certain grim, industrialized beauty of an immense artificial creation humming about its duties at full power. They have up to two dozen access ports and deployment arenas, and are capable of extending three arms of mobile hatches where up to forty-eight Jump Jets designed for inter-border combat may be deployed at once.
Shields are extensive and extend to the near orbit of the SpaceCarrier, giving Jump Jets and other ships up to ten seconds of protection before they enter the fray. Weapons on the SpaceCarrier are designed almost exclusively for Conventional Space combat, and consist of lazer cannons, conventional ordnance, ion bombs and blasters, and electromagnetic burst resounder (EMBR) beams. SpaceCarriers, when dropped out of orbit, usually deploy a few Battle Cruisers and rely upon their specialized HyperSpace monitoring equipment to protect the area from Hypermarines and other HyperSpace weapons and ordnance.
The sight of several of the GAF’s SpaceCarriers popping out of Hyperdrive and into orbit around a planet is an intimidating one indeed- and often quenches the fires of war before a single Battle Cruiser is deployed.
2) Trans-Atmospheric Assault Ships or TAA ships: These ships, usually stocked in complimentary fashion and deployed in pairs, are the largest and most heavily laden of the GAF’s invasionary assault ships. They are crassly referred to as TAA TAAs by GAF soldiers, as their arcaded, saucer like engineering is designed for non-invasive entry into nearly all planetary atmospheres and give the twin ships an evocative appearance.
Onboard these ships, a variety of different assets may be deployed. Up to four batallions of soldiers in amphibious deployment vehicles suitable for any terrain including submarine, volcanic, arctic or chemical may be sent out. Tanks, transports, hovercarriers, weapons, ordnance and other supplies of war are contained within, pre-packaged and ready for easy assembly. A TAA ship can turn an empty plain into a fully-functioning GAF base housing up to four thousand soldiers within three hours. TAA ships also carry a fully stocked array of interstellar and sub-atmospheric weaponry that can destroy Jump Jets, saucers, EM cloaked ships and more. They carry Sub Ether communication disruptors as well as broadcast communication overrides. A pair of ships carry between them enough men, machinery, weapons and support staff to overtake an area the size of Washington state.
These ships are the first sign of a GAF landing force, as they set up the infrastructure needed on the ground by Command HQ. Their appearance in the skies is universally regarded as “a sign that It is shortly about to hit the fan”- Wodin Whatthehel.
3)Invasionary Deployment Ships or I.Ds: Along with the TAA TAAs, the deployment of IDs is generally a sign that a planet is about to feel the full force of GAF fury. Ids are streamlined transport vehicles that drop out of interplanetary orbit from SpaceCarriers and into the atmosphere. They deploy up to ninety nine Jump Jets each, which are fully loaded and ready for battle. Conditions onboard are cramped for the pilots and support staff, and it is a particular sort of limbo when an ID is kept in holding during sudden interplanetary negotiations. Jump Jets are hung in interlocking pattern, their particular lower shielding coatings on top and bottom forming an Escher-like mosaic of dizzying proportions. Pilots are held in their Jump harnesses, suspended by their plane’s left wing, and are moved into the cockpits remotely by a control panel on the bridge of the ID. Once the first call for deployment onboard the SpaceCarrier is made, Pilots hang in harness until deployed- making for a very long and uncomfortable suspension in many cases. This system has been proven to be the fastest in deploying Jump Jets, with ninety-nine ships deployable in under twelve seconds by this eternal readiness method. ID ships have atmospheric shielding that protects them from all but a direct blast from EMBR cannon. This shield extends for three seconds flight time beyond the ship.
4) Landing Attack Deployment Ships LADs or LADDies: These inter-atmosphere deployment ships are designed for deploying ground attack forces with supplementary equipment. They are heavy ships packed to the gills with personnel and machinery. Even engines have been largely scaled back, and only basic navigational equipment and atmospheric shielding is included. These ships are dropped out of SpaceCarriers when the battle on the surface heats up. LADDies use gravitational inertia to largely ‘drop to their target, breaking with thrusters and gently landing onsite’- or so says the Wrought Industries Manual on LADs.
In reality, the targeting programming varies with ordnance and interference in the atmosphere of battle and actual landing sites can vary by up to twelve to fifteen km. Landing thrusters can easily become clogged and inefficient with smoke and debris, leaving the soldiers and equipment inside to hit the ground ignominiously.
A single LAD can increase GAF force size by two battalions complete with armament and transport vehicles. These octagonal shaped discs open at all eight ends allowing the military assets to pour out and onto the battlefield… or close to it.
5) Hypermarines: These vehicles are shaped similar to aquatic submarines, and much like their Old Earth counterparts, Hypermarines spend most of their time invisible to conventional ships. These ships bend HyperSpace around themselves with their innovative Ionic Screw engines. As a result, they are able to move under the carpet of Conventional Space-Time, independent of the Hyperdrive Shipping Lanes approved of and used by most ships.
Hypermarines are powered by the Ionic Screw drive, created by Dr. David Weir, and Australian physicist who lived in the early days of human interaction with the Telamer. His creation is a controversial device that, while it provides unrestricted access to the between area of space, causes flux in both space-time and human organisms using the device. Constant exposure to the torsion flux quotient or Tor of this drive causes cellular instability, mental degradation and illness, as well as sudden fits of illness. These symptoms are very similar to those caused by exposure to several sources of radiation, and it has not been fully investigated whether the Ionic Screw Drive is responsible for the health effects or the radiation that arbitrarily proliferates the HyperSpace dimensions.
As a result, soldiers are assessed for resistance to these effects before and during their tours onboard Hypermarines. Although some individuals are resistant to these problems, most are not- the resistant individuals usually wind up spending most of their careers onboard Hypermarines as a result of the dearth of experienced officers and crew.
Hypermarines cruise throughout interspace and perform various functions of reconaissance, ordnance deployment and aggression deterrence. They are very similar to Naval Submarines in design and operation, with very cramped quarters and space to minimize the intensity of the Ionic Screw Drive field required for the vehicle. Hypermarines are equipped with highly sensitive hearing devices and hyperradar which allows them to spot Hyperdrive shipping lanes, black bodies that protrude into Hyperspace and Between objects- mysterious creatures, asteroids and other objects native to this largely unexplored section of the universe.
Hypermarines are also chiefly research vessels that are constantly collecting data about the eternally changing landscape of Hyperspace. As one of the most famous Hypermarine officers, V. Borodin, has said, “Hyperspace is the eternal Wonderland- with the mysterious Red Queen lurking around every rise and undulation, waiting to chop off the vessel’s head.”
Hypermarines are susceptible to certain wavefront blasts from Conventional space weapons, causing them to rock in the ripples of the explosion, losing their sensor equipment and occasionally engine thrust. This results in them being trapped in HyperSpace until such time as their engines become operative again.
These interesting vessels are able to deploy conventional weaponry as well as Hyperordnance, which can cause everything from massive explosions to time dilations, condensing and skips in Conventional space-time. Their ordnance deployment can single-handedly change the course of a space battle. As a result, the construction of Hypermarines is strictly controlled by the GAGA. Subversive groups outside the GAGA are able to clandestinely construct these space vehicles on occasion, or buy and cobble together Hypermarines from parts from junkyards. For these reasons, Battle Cruisers are an essential part of any GAF deployment in deep space or near planetary conflict.
6) Battle Cruisers: These deep space ships of classic naval design are the backbone of GAF space defense. They are the only vessels most heavily and specifically equipped with Hyperspace sweeping sensors and Interspace ordnance which can disable Hypermarines from Conventional space as well as destroy them inside Hyperspace. Up to sixteen Battle Cruisers can be transported inside a SpaceCarrier for instantaneous deployment at the site of battle. The rule of fours usually applies to BattleCruiser deployment: four protect a SpaceCarrier from Hyperspatial attack, four travel with Atmospheric Deployment forces to the edge of the Ionosphere, four range beyond the site of active deployment to check for incoming threats and four are left in support positions, easily able to move to any of the other three sites of Cruiser conflict to give weapons or recon support.
Battle Cruisers are equipped to the gills with Hyperspace and Conventional space weapons as well as reconnaissance equipment tuned to both arenas. Their shields are comparable to those of SpaceCruisers. BattleCruisers are relatively slow moving, non-Hyperdrive vehicles, but once onsite, they can double their shields’ radius to protect Jump Jets, Destroyers, LADs, ID s and other vehicles for up to half an hour.
Their crews are dedicated career soldiers who spend their lives learning the constantly updating equipment, software and ordnance onboard their ships. BattleCruisers and their crews are the heroes of deep space battle, and the loss of a Cruiser is both a rarity and cause for deep mourning in the GAF.
7) Destroyers: These ships are weapons-heavy, relatively fast moving ships slightly smaller than BattleCruisers. Up to ten of them can be stored on board a SpaceCarrier. Destroyers are armed to the teeth with various ordnances including EMBR guns, EM weapons, lazer and ion cannons, spacemines both camoflauged and plain, nuclear and conventional explosives. Their gunners are placed at hexagonal Ordnance Dispersal Points along their hulls, maximizing effective firing area while limiting the ship’s target surface. Destroyers can eradicate Jump Jets, space fighters and smaller combat and troop vehicles with relative ease.
Destroyers, like SpaceCarriers, Battle Cruisers and Hypermarines, are limited to deep space and extra-atmospheric activities.
8) Ionospheric Combat Vehicles: These specialized craft are specifically designed to accompany LADs, ID s and other intra-atmospheric craft in asset deployment. Their specialized engines function with relative efficiency in both the outer and inner atmosphere as well as in space. They are the sole protection for craft in the area between deployment from the SpaceCarrier to the inner atmosphere where Jump Jets with their planetary engine dampeners take over defense duties. Ionospheric Combat Vehicles are generally deployed along with the first ships out of the SpaceCarrier. ICVs sit in strategic areas of the upper atmospheric borderland. Here they remain cloaked, lying in wait to fire upon Jump Jets and other inter-planetary craft, missiles and other threats to GAF forces.
b) Non-Commissioned Ship Classes:
1) Frigates: a name maintained from old Naval terminology, GAGA frigates fulfill the same function as their old Naval counterparts. They form a protective force for commercial and private craft analagous to the function of GAF Destroyers. Frigates are similar in construction and are provided a more well-rounded collection of reconnaissance equipment in addition to their array of Hyper and Conventional weapons.
Frigates are the backbone of the GAF Merchant Service.
2) Hyperspace Ordnance Sweepers or HOS, HOSs: these vehicles are analagous to Naval Minesweepers. They are detection ships designed to sweep civilian trade routes for pirates, Hypermarines and other dangers to transport and personnel carriers.
HOSs are technically GAF Commissioned Ships. Howers these vessels are soft-commissioned with simple mandates to protect trade routes from pirates, giving their commanders and crew nearly carte blanche to travel sectors keeping commercial interests safe. They are self-directed unless conflict breaks out in their area, at which time they are called up by the GAF to serve.
HOSs are easily able to sweep Hyper and Conventional space for dummy meteors, black body ordnance, Hypermarine shields and engine signatures as well as other threats to the safe, daily operation of commercial trade in the GAGA.
3) Patrol Boats or PT, PT boats: These ships are routinely named for Stellar phenomena, such as Nova, Flare, Corona, Sunspot etc followed by a commercial call number. PT boats patrol regular space only, looking for pirate craft and traditional threats like travelling space storms, meteor showers etc. PT boats have singular sub-ether communication radios that report a constant stream of scientific and reconnaissance data directly to GAF HQ via a deadman connection. This is a particularity in civilian ship traffic radio communication. Loss of a PT signal results in instant deployment of HOS and Destroyer to the area.
In addition to these two main classes, GAGA space vehicles have a ratings classification system, the A-F Grade system, which is as follows:
A+: this is a mint condition ship made at a GAF approved facility with GAF approved materials, plans and engineers. The cream of any crop of ship, A+ vessels use cutting edge technology and engineering to create the deadliest, safest, most effective ships in the galaxy.
A: these ships have seen either 1000 hours flight time or at least two skirmishes with subsequent passing re-inspections.
B+: made off the line at a GAF approved facility etc to slightly lower standards of materials and technology. A beautiful ship more accessible to planetary defense budgets non-subsidised by the GAF directly. B class standards are a completely different standard than A class, slightly lower but still highly flyable.
B: These are Class A ships that have seen more than 15 years service. Even if never involved in an inspection-required incident, all class A ships lower their rating after this point unless they receive a complete, GAF approved refit.
B-: These ships were made as B+ Class more than 15 years ago and have declined a GAF approved refit.
C+: Made off the line at a GAF approved facility etc to Class C standards. Serviceable, dependable ships. The Mercury of the shipping world. Neither the best quality of materials or technology is utilized, but the resulting ship is still good and useful.
C: This class is a B+ ship more than 15 years old which declines a GAF approved refit.
C-: This class is a C+ class ship more than 15 years old which has declined refit.
D+: These ships are made by non GAF-approved facilities, engineers, materials and companies. Their quality, construction and durability can vary by batch and company, sometimes considerably.
There was once a soft catergory, D, which was a D+ ship that had been inspected and refitted by a non-GAF agency. Due to amazing corruption and accidents, this grade was made illegal by GAGA Order 214-A and all D grade ships were required to be refitted to GAF inspection standards or junked.
D-: These are D+ ships more than 15 years old that decline GAF inspection and the refitting such an inspection requires.
E-: Class A+ ship 45+ years old, declining refitting;
Class B+ ship 30+ years old, declining refitting;
Class C+ ship 15+ years old, declining refitting.
F+: This class is made completely by non-verified or sanctioned facilities, engineers etc from junked parts and write-off parts. Some of these ships can be very good and durable, but on the other hand, some explode spontaneously. It all comes down to the knowledge the buyer has of ship part histories, the engineers and companies involved.
F: These are refit ships from junkyards made from A to C class parts. They are assembled by GAF approved engineers but not at GAF approved facilities.
F-: This class of ship consists of refits and patched-togethers made from dubious, 3rd class sources; D+ grade parts and… other.
The Alphabet classification follows every ship in the GAGA. A Patrol Boat, for example, that was top of the line, would be the PT Nova 160-A+. In sixteen years, it would be the PT Nova 160B.
– Tony Stark, with Technical Advisment from J. Stuart.