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Type: Falchion II-class Frigate
Chassis: Naval Vessel (Large, Template B)
Tonnage: 2400 tons
Engine/Trans Fusion 626.5
Cruise MP: 5
Maximum MP: 8
Heat Sinks 32 32
Fuel - 0
Turrets (2) 6
Armor (BAR 10) 206 13
Fore 32 25
Fore R/L 32 25
Aft R/L 32 25
Aft 32 21
Turrets (2) 32 30
Weapons and Ammo Loc Mass
Arrow IV Missile, 2 Autocannon/2 T1 27
2 LRM-15, 2 Autocannon/2 T2 26
LRT-10 F 5
Large Laser, LRM-5 FR 7
Large Laser, LRM-5 FL 7
Large Laser, LRM-5 AR 7
Large Laser, LRM-5 AL 7
LRT-10 A 5
Ammo (Arrow IV) 50 Bo 10
Ammo (AC/2) 900 Bo 20
Ammo (LRM-15) 64 Bo 8
Ammo (LRM-5) 120 Bo 5
Ammo (LRT-10) 120 Bo 10
CASE Bo 0.5
Crew: 14 officers, 39 enlisted/nonrated, 32 gunners, 10 bay personnel
259 tons standard 2 doors (aft right/aft left)
100 tons 2 light vehicle bays 1 door (rear)
Notes: Features Tech Rating D armored chassis, engine and armor, advanced fire control (9.5 tons), communication
equipment (7 tons), field kitchen (3 tons), helipad (500 tons), 3 jump infantry bays (18 tons), 17 lifeboats (maritime, 17 tons), MASH with 3 extra theaters (6.5 tons), 4 second-class quarters (28 tons).
Battle Value: 4969
The Rapier Patrol Destroyer is highly regarded as a great success by the traditional wet navy of the AFFS. Able to be transported aboard a Mammoth-class Dropship, the Rapier could be employed in an offensive role with an invasion force. This made it one of the few large blue-water naval vessels with that kind of transportability.
By 3085 the AFFS had decided to procure a smaller, cheaper and easier to transport vessel that could fill many of the same roles. With Mammoth-class dropships expensive and in short supply, the AFFS sought a blue-water naval vessel that could be transported using the considerably more common Mule-class dropship.
The Falchion II-class Frigate was the final product of those efforts. An earlier Falchion frigate weighing 4,500 tons made it to the prototyping phase but was eventually deemed too heavy and only two test hulls were built before production was fully turned to the more compact Falchion II.
The Falchion II-class Frigate is designed for deep water and near-shore operations. Its long-range weaponry, centered around two turrets on the forward deck allows it to engage surface, submersible and air targets with relative ease. Some of the design’s critics point to a lack of sheer knock-down firepower like that found aboard the Rapier. The design’s supporters note that the tactical preference for the Falchion is to be able to fire first, outside of an opponent’s effective firing range. This is particularly evident in the anti-aircraft and beach supporting fire roles. At sea many of a Falchion’s opponents are lighter and more fragile vessels and vehicles that are prone to sinking if disabled or breached.
Mimicking the larger Rapier, the Falchion II can transport a full jump infantry company and has an aft helideck and light vehicle hangar for two VTOLs. The frigate can launch small airborne operations. When multiple Falchion IIs travel together, entire battalions of air mobile jump infantry can appear from the sea, a direction many military forces tend to ignore.
The frigate itself can be carried in the lower deck of a Mule-class dropship inside a rolling track-mobile drydock with a crane system that can load and unload the vessel. From its rolling drydock the Falchion II can be submerged in a body of water and then launched in as little as five hours after landing. When a Mule is carrying the Falchion II, it loses approximately 5,000 tons of its cargo space. The frigate takes up the entire lower deck and some upper desk space is lost through other modifications needed to hold the vessel and all of its loading equipment. The frigate’s crew and jump infantry marines must be transported aboard a separate vessel.
Some of the Falchion II’s advocates cite its cost as one of its primary advantages. With a price tag comparable to some BattleMechs, the Falchion II can be procured in large numbers. With the potential to deploy a larger number of Falchion II’s, the vessel’s ability to truly dominate the oceans becomes clear.
The first Falchion II-class frigates were launched in 3088 and the AFFS began deploying full flotillas of them, often pairing them with one or two Rapier Patrol Destroyers for the additional firepower. Although most of the hulls were sent to primarily defensive assignments alongside March Militias, a few naval squadrons of Rapiers and Falchion IIs have been created and assigned permanent dropship support. These squadrons are intended to accompany the first wave of invasion forces against worlds with any appreciable ocean defenses.
The AFFS has also begun to export the vessels. The Lyran Alliance is negotiating the terms of a large bulk contract, while the Free Worlds League already received over a dozen hulls just before the Federated Suns found itself at war with that nation. However as tensions rose over the League’s support of ULTRA, the Federated Suns has halted military exports to that realm. Many of the ship’s original designers were pleasantly surprised to discover a robust market among mercenary units. Several mercenary leaders saw the Falchion II as their first realistic chance to possess a blue water navy that can be transported on the back of a jumpship and at an affordable price. This has given several mercenary units a capability previously thought unfeasible.
In the most shocking twist of the Falchion II’s development, the frigate is appearing on Draconis Combine worlds. The Ministry of Intelligence has since been unable to locate one of the project’s design engineers, giving rise to a popular public theory that he defected. But whatever the source of the leak, the Combine appears to have the frigate design and is producing hulls that are appearing on worlds throughout the Draconis Combine.
Credit for the Falchion II-class Frigate’s name and TRO specifications go to DarthMetool, a member of the classicbattletech.com’s forum community. I created the accompanying information.