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design by Ulf Schreiber
Its impressive 20 cm of enhanced BSD armour, the unique frog leg upside down grappling technology, the EM Masking and the ability to survive atmospheric dives of the docked ship the shuttle is completely streamlined - make the Progress a relatively safe ride if the opponents main armament has been properly disabled.
The grappling apparatus, consisting of magnetic feet attached to two legs extending to over 50 m of length is positioned on top of the shuttle, as seen from the pilot and the gunner. Docking is therefore done somewhat upside down. This has the advantage that the pilot can actually see the docking process after removing an armoured visor coverage over the cockpit, if the multiple redundant sensor vision is fading due to surface hits. Another advantage is that the boarding crew can push themselves with their feet towards the dockee when leaving through the cargo hatches.
After grappling the up to 40 men in battlesuit (adequate seating, effectively cramped taking into account the battlesuits) can leave the already decompressed passenger room either through 2 small cargo hatches on the sides of the ship or through one of the 3 air locks available for the boarding crew. Superior fire support for the boarding crew is guaranteed by the 80 MJ short range meson turret on the top side of the Progress.
The drawback of the design is that it is extremely stretched: No medical support for the boarding crew, a very short vision (best sensor is 3 Hex PEMS, so it has to rely on external support to even find the target) no dedicated sensor operator (all the secondary sensors are only fallbacks and to be operated only exclusive to all other sensors of the same class), being highly underpowered (usually even the lights in the passenger room turn off when the EMS jammer is activated during the final approach), missing CG capability (indeed very uncommon for a streamlined hull, but aimed at a defensive role, the Progress can afford to depend on orbital facilities) and, most of all, being very short legged: due to the enormous mass of the 20 cm thick armour coverage and the extremely high volume consumption of the streamlined grappling apparatus, internal fuel is only sufficient for 17 G-turns – that much can be burnt in less than 90 minutes - and even the two pairs of nearly unarmoured (50 points) 15 dt drop tanks which are available for 1.13 MCred (EMM version) or 0.08 MCred (unstealthed budget version) each (first pair: 10 turns at 5 G, second pair: 14 turns at 5 G) are only of small help against this disadvantage. As a last resort Progress shuttles usually carry an emergency G-turn in an unused compartment of the meson turret. Also, the reactor has only fuel for one month of full power operation (not that the HEPlaR, which makes up for about 95% of potential power consumption, could operate at full power that long).
Progress-Class Assault Shuttle
|Displacement: 100/160 tons (with/without drop tanks)||Hull Armor: 660|
|Length: 27,76 meters||Volume: 1400,000/2240,000 m3|
|Price: 78.820354 MCr (without drop tanks)||Target Size: S|
|Configuration:Streamlined Cylinder||Tech Level: 15|
|Mass (Loaded/Unloaded): 2843,9818 / 2821,0756|
|80 MJ Meson Gun||0,125:45||0,25:28||0,5:15||1:7|
Drop tanks: (4 pieces at 15 dt each)
|Masked (EMM) drop tanks:||Price (one piece): 1.129135 MCr|
|Unstealthed budget drop tanks:||Price (one piece): 0.079135 MCr|
|Drop tank hull armor:||50|
|First pair:||Acceleration 5.5 G (limited by security circuitry to 5 G)|
|Duration: 10 G-turns|
|Second pair:||Acceleration 5,7 G (limited by security circuitry to 5 G)|
|Duration: 14 G-turns|
|D20||Surface Hits||Internal Explosions||Systems|
|1||1: Air Lock, 2-5: Antenna||Elec||PP-3H|
|4,5||1-2: EMM-Rad||1-6: Elec, 7: Qtrs, 8-20: Hold||LS-1H|
|6,7||External Grapple||External Grapple||ELS-1H|
|8,9||1-5: Antenna [1-20: drop tanks 2a/b]||Qtrs||EMM-1H|
|10||1-2: Air Lock[1-20: drop tank 1a]||1-12: Meson, 13-20: Hold||Meson-1H|
|11||Air Lock [1-20: drop tank 1b]||1-6: Eng, 7-20:Hold||Grapple-4H|
|12,13||External Grapple||External Grapple||All others: (1h)|
|14,15||1-7: Small Hatch||Hold|
|16,17||External Grapple||External Grapple|
|(Antennae are widely distributed because they are mainly additional systems for redundancy)|