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Guppy Budget Exploration Vessel

design by Kyle Platte

Nebula Award Entry

In compliance with the ³Nebula-8² program to advance the rate of exploration in the Wilds, Consolidated-Amalgamated has introduced two new subsidized designs ­ the 100dt Guppy class and it's larger cousin the 200dt Mudskipper class.

Both vessels are based on common existing designs to help them ³blend-in² with local space traffic. This also allows for easy procurement of parts and servicing: both designs maintain over 50% compatibility with the designs they originated from. The two ships have a modular design internally, allowing existing systems to be swapped out and replaced with different packages or upgraded to the ownerıs tastes. Consolidated-Amalgamated has a wide variety of upgrades available for these ships. The two vessels are made with as many identical parts as possible (including the entire electronics package) to simplify production and maintenance of a large fleet. The frames of both models have been reinforced to grant additional longevity to the ships or to allow the installation of more powerful engines. Due to the overwhelming demand, both of these designs come equipped with ground support weapons as part of their basic equipment. However, these ships are not recommended as dedicated fire-support platforms as they lack the protection of an AFV and the agility of an air-superiority fighter.

The Guppy is based around the venerable MkXII Scout/Courier design. Using only TL-12 parts, the Guppy is designed as a low-cost, low maintenance vessel for exploration and transport. The Guppy is designed with an extremely fast turnaround time in-system: it can scoop its full tanks in less than half an hour and purify enough for a jump in just over three hours. If trouble shows up, it had better do so quickly... Although not designed as a gunship, itıs three turret sockets also allow the vessel to pack an unexpected punch in a firefight. When not needed for weapons, the turret sockets can hold additional cargo or fuel in pods now available.

The Guppy is a simple exploratory/transport vessel. It is designed to be manufactured in large quantities or with limited resources. The ship is a no-frills design: captains looking for a dedicated combat vessel, yacht or blockade runner should consider extensive modifications or a dedicated warship for their needs. The Guppy's primary goals are the exploration of the Wilds (with discretion) and fostering of interstellar communications. These ships are frequently subsidized by local governments with reduced costs, free upgrades or low-interest loans to promote the revival of space travel.

The ship is capable of taking a 4 man team ­ in some discomfort ­ and their gear to a destination. If such transport is common, Consolidated-Amalgamated recommends adding an additional stateroom in the cargo hold. Although Guppys are new ships, they are usually given a "dent & scratch" treatment that cosmetically alters them to appear more like existing ships in the Wilds. The enormous fuel scoops of the Guppy prevent them from effectively mimicing the Scout class vessels.

Guppy Budget Exploration Vessel

General Data

Displacement: 100 tons Hull Armor: 14
Length: 35 meters Volume: 1400 m3
Price: 41.74 MCr Target Size: S
Configuration: Wedge SL Tech Level: 12
Mass (Loaded/Unloaded): 1055.96 / 796

Engineering Data

Power Plant: 148 Mw Fusion Plant (1 year duration). .503 Mw surplus
Jump Performance: 2
Jump Fuel: ?? m3
G-Rating: 2-G Contra Grav Lifters
G-Turns: 40 (88 with jump fuel)
Maint: 21


Computer: 2x TL-12 Model St, 1x TL-12 model Fb
Commo: 300,000 km radio, 1000 AU maser
Avionics: TL-10+ avionics
Sensors: PEMS fixed array 90,000 km (3 range bands), AEMS 120,000 km (4 range bands)
Controls: ??


Offensive 3 turret socket hardpoints fitted, 8-tube Nail vertical missile launcher. (See RCEG pg 106)
Defensive: See above
Master Fire Directors: None


Life Support: Extended
Grav Compensation: 3Gs
Crew: 4 (2xManeuver, 1xElectronics, 1xEngineering)
Crew Accommodations: 4 small staterooms
Passenger Accomadation: 1 large stateroom
Other Facilities: None
Cargo: 198 m3 1 Large Cargo Hatch
Small Craft and Launch Facilities: Air Raft Hanger
Air Locks: 1


Fuel scoops can collect 1120kl/hour, filling the shipıs tanks in 26 minutes. The fuel purifier can refine 200m3 every 6 hours. Full tanks can be purified in 14.5 hours hours.

The Nail launcher can accept any of the family of Nail missiles although th ship has no fire-control system installed. Instead, the missiles are fired remotely and guided in with independent laser designators. It takes 30 minutes to reload the missile tubes and can be done internally from the cargo bay.

The frame of the Guppy is designed to support 3-G's of stress.

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