Warships of the MagellanicEmpire

The Terran Magellanic Empire maintains many different types of spacegoing vessels to fulfil a diverse range of functions. Amongst these aremany vessels with the primary purpose of waging war. These warships arefound in either the Imperial Magellanic Navy or the Imperial MagellanicScout Corp.

The Imperial Magellanic Navy

The Imperial decree which established the Imperial Navy in 2214T hasthis to say on the role of the Navy: "The Magellanic Division of the ImperialTerran Navy is charged with defending the borders and interests of TheMagellanic Territories of the Terran Empire as directed by the Emperoror Empress or his or her duly appointed representative; and rendering suchassistance to the civil administration of the said Territories as shallbe required of it, without endangering its primary role of defence of therealm". The decree also prohibits current serving or reserve military personnelfrom holding the positions of either Seneschal of Defence or Deputy Seneschalof Defence for the Navy, thus establishing the principle of civilian controlof the Navy.

Administratively the Navy is organised into named stations (such asthe Rift Station) and the central bureaus (such as the Construction andDesign Bureau). Each station is responsible for the day to day administrationof the naval assets in itís four subsectors, such as training, payroll,recruiting, maintenance of vessels, control of naval bases etc. The variouscentral bureaus are responsible for long term planning and control.

Tactically the Navy is divided into numbered squadrons (with the exceptionof the named King Charles III Squadron). These squadrons are consist ofa number of homogenous main force ships (ships of the line or frigates)and their supporting vessels. The King Charles III Squadron is an exceptionto this, consisting of a heterogenous mix of main force ships and supportingvessels. In peacetime these squadrons are allocated to a station or tothe Grand Fleet, which controls their deployment. In peace each stationwill have one or two regular squadrons and between one to five Diadochisquadrons allocated to it. The Grand Fleet acts as a central reserve tomeet emergencies; and usually consists of two regular squadrons (one ofwhich will be the King Charles III Squadron) and three to five Diadochisquadrons.

In wartime each station produces a numbered Fleet. These fleets arenot tied to the station, but can be deployed independently as required.Squadrons are attached to the fleets and the fleets then control the deploymentof them. The stations continue to have a small number of squadrons attachedto maintain a presence and meet crisisís. These will generally be lowertech second line Diadochi units, as the first line units are deployed towar fronts (however there are exceptions, it would be hard to envisionthe Mwoah March Station without at least one first line squadron).


Currently the navy maintains three types of squadrons: line squadronsbased around ships of the line; frigate squadrons based around frigates;and particular service squadrons which are temporary units formed for aspecific mission and comprise such ships as are required to achieve thatmission. Currently the Navy has eight line squadrons, three frigate squadrons,one particular service squadron, and the King Charles III Squadron (whichis best regarded as a combined line and frigate squadron). The particularservice squadron is the Querad Squadron, which controls the ships basedin the Querad Union according to the Treaty of Hakkon. The Querad Squadronis not a permanent formation and draws it personnel from the regular squadronson a temporary basis.

Carriers are an exception to the above rule, in that they are not organisedinto squadrons but task forces. Each carrier task force generally comprisesone carrier (occasionally two) and a small number of escorting corvettes.The Navy currently has one carrier task force.

The Imperial Magellanic Scout Corp

The IMSC was established by Viceroy Robert III in 1331T from the remnantsof the old Imperial Terran Scout Service which had remained in the Cloudafter the collapse of the wormhole at Breakout. The IMSC became an organof the Magellanic Empire from its very inception in 2127T and was indeedinstrumental in shaping the circumstances which lead to its creation. Theprimary roles of the IMSC are to maintain communications between the worldsof the Empire and to explore new territory. To fulfil these roles the IMSCmaintains a large fleet of space faring vessels ranging from 10 ton lifeboats to 12,000 ton ships of the line.

All the vessels of the IMSC are placed under the control of the ScoutFleet of the Operations Office. The Scout Fleet is responsible for theadministration of all IMSC vessels. Scout vessels may be crewed by personnelnot assigned to the Scout Fleet, but the vessels themselves still belongto the Scout Fleet even when assigned to support another branch.

As part of its role in maintaining communications within the Empire,the IMSC has the responsibility for keep the spacelanes free of piracyand lawlessness. The Patrol Service of the Communications Office is theIMSC branch which fulfils this function. To achieve this mission, the PatrolService is assigned a large number of warships. Most of these are smallerescort ships ranging from 200 ton sloops to 1,200 ton corvettes, but theservice does have at its disposal a small number of larger ships up tofrigate size. The Patrol Service can (and does) call upon the Navy to supportits operations if required. During wartime the Patrol Service is placedunder the operational control of the Navy and is generally heavily reinforcedby IMSC, Imperial Navy and Diadochi ships. The Communications Office alsooperates the Imperial Courier Service which transports mail and Imperialgoods and personnel throughout the Empire. The Imperial Courier Servicealso has at its disposal many ships. Generally these will be smaller 100ton to 300 ton couriers.

The Survey Office and the Exploration Office also have at their disposala large number of diverse ships. These range from 100 ton scouts to 12,000ton ships of the line. In peacetime these ships will carry out their normalnon-military duties of exploration and mapping, but in wartime their regularduties are scaled down and their ships made available to the Patrol Serviceand the Navy.


Ships of the line are large ships designed to defeat other ships in battle.They are divided into three "rates" (1st to 3rd) depending on their sizeand armament. First rateís are armed with a spinal neutral particle acceleratoror spinal meson accelerator; whilst the second and third rates are armedwith missile bays.Smaller ships designed primarily for strike and scouting. They are builtaround a main armament of missile bays and are capable of limited use inthe line of battle. Like Ships of the line they are divided into rates(4th and 5th) depending on size and armament. These ships are often employedas commerce raiders during wartime.Carriers are large ships (about the size of a 2nd or 3rd rate) designedto carry fighters into battle. Their primary armament are their fighters,but they also carry a large number of missile and energy weapons to providefire support for surface forces. Their armament also usually includes asingle neutral particle accelerator for use against vacuum worlds. Carriersthemselves make poor combat ships due to the trade offs required to carrya useful number of fighters, but their compliment of fighters, large sizeand good endurance make them excellent deep penetration raiders and supportships for surface forces.Large escorts which screen the line of battle. Corvettes are classifiedas 6th rate ships. Corvettes are mostly armed with missiles but lack thestaying power of a frigate. They are capable of limited strike and scoutingroles, but can not stand in the line of battle. In battle they are employedto counter enemy small craft, cover the reserve and to finish off crippledvessels.Smaller escorts designed for patrol duties. Sloops are considered to beof the 7th rate. Their small size and limited armament make them unsuitablefor employment in battle. These ships make up the backbone of the IMSCísPatrol Service, but are rare in the Navy during peacetime.
  • Couriers and Scouts
  • These are the smallest warships (100 tons to 200 tons), but one of themost vital. Their role is to maintain communications by carrying messagesand vital freight and personnel. Built around the largest jump drive available,armed strictly for self defence and usually unescorted, their usual responseto enemy ships will be a hasty jump out of system.These are non-jump capable space craft designed for combat roles. Theirprimary roles are firstly to provide interface support for surface forces,and secondly to engage enemy small craft in space combat. Almost invariablytheir primary and often sole weapon is a single missile mount.These unglamorous but high value ships are designed to carry equipmentand personnel between worlds. They are generally large (8,000 tons to 20,000tons) and capable of making planet fall. Slow, poorly armed and armoured,they require escorts to stand up to enemy warships.

    Home | Prometheus Rising | Greater Magellanic Cloud | Library Data | Software | Vehicles | Weapons

    Copyright Andrea Vallance© 1998-2001, Last updated 16th February 2001

    Hosted by the Traveller Downport

    Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. 
    Portions of this material are Copyright ©1977-2001 Far FutureEnterprises.