- Right Engine Rating (12,000)
- Center Engine Rating (12,000)
- Left Engine Rating (12,000)
- Typen (Location)
- 50 15/20 (L)
- 50 15/20 (R)
- 50 15/20 (L)
- 50 15/20 (R)
- 25 15/15 (F)
- 25 15/15 (A)
- Type B Missile System (1 Shot at 50 Points)
- 50 15/20 (L)
Fighters: 144 at 300 tons (Two Groups)
Small Craft: 18 at 1,000 tons
Cargo: 5,000 tons
Extras: Anti-Grav Drives, Streamlining
The Hornet was conceived as a means to launch fighters as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. Its initial design achieved both goals. At a cost of slightly more than two billion talents, the Hornet is one of the cheaper capital ships in the Royal Navy. It possesses only moderate speed for its class, and its weapons system lacks both range and power. Opponents of the Hornet stated that the craft was, indeed, an outstanding launch pad, but that it would make a miserable landing pad by the time fighters returned from their mission.
In 6760, six prototypes were dispersed to their combat assignments. Testing went smoothly for all six until 6762, when TOG forces attacked Reidell, in the Dukedom of Alesia, where Hornet VI was stationed.
In the opening stages of the attack, both sides launched their fighters. As the captain of the Hornet watched his Space Gulls and Guardians fade out of range, the warning klaxons sounded the alert. Within seconds, a single TOG destroyer appeared out of T-space. By executing a micro-burn at a slower speed, the destroyer arrived almost on top of the Hornet. Behind enemy lines, the TOG destroyer prepared to deprive Reidell's defenders of their fighter platform. As the Commonwealth destroyer Lemiah changed course to help in the defense, the TOG destroyer leapt to the attack. In a furious exchange, the TOG ship closed to minimum range and began trading shots with the Hornet. By the time the Lemiah could intervene, the fight was over. The TOG ship was limping away, already accelerating for a long retreat through T-space.
When the Procurement Board received reports of the Hornet's successful defense against a ship it was never supposed to beat, they instantly decided in favor of the ship. Within six months, the Hornet was in full production.
The Hornet is literally built around the fighter bays. The huge bays can support the operations of two complete groups of fighters, 144 ships in all. The weapons systems to protect these fighters are 15/20 and 15/15 lasers exclusively. Because the cavernous bays housing the fighters take up much of the room normally allocated for a spinal mount, the Hornet is unable to carry even the smallest crowbar. The ship's main weapon systems are, therefore, the twin bays of 50-gun 15/20 lasers, on the sides. These lasers provide an effective punch at short ranges, but their range is limited to 450 kilometers. This lack of range is the Hornet's main flaw. Though capable of an effective salvo when the enemy is close, these weapons are fired only rarely. They are effective as anti-fighter batteries, but these lasers were never intended to give the Hornet true fighting ability. The front and aft sections of the ship are protected by bays of 25-gun 15/15 lasers. Neither long-ranged nor especially powerful, these weapons are not as effective as the turret defense system.
The single-shot missile system of the Hornet is normally fired at the first sign of trouble. With a range of 750 kilometers, it is the longest-range weapon system on the ship. Designers attempted to upgrade the missiles to a Type C system, but the demands of the fighter bays took up every square meter of space within the destroyer. The system provides the Hornet with a good initial punch, but if an opponent survives the onslaught, the Hornet is in serious trouble.
The Hornet normally carries a wide range of fighters. Though the Cheetah was not available when the craft was originally commissioned, that class of fighter is now its preferred type. Unless a particular mission requires a higher percentage of heavy fighters, the Hornet commonly carries twelve squadrons of light fighters, mostly Cheetahs and Falcons. The remainder of the craft carried are split evenly between heavy and medium fighters. Fluttering Petals and Guardians are common, but Space Gulls still see considerable action aboard Hornets not bound for atmospheric flight.
Since its original deployment, the Hornet's popularity has grown by leaps and bounds. Due to its low cost, several of these ships are currently assigned permanently to battleship squadrons operating in the Alaric March Grand Dukedom. The carrier normally takes the place of one of the destroyers or one of the patrol craft. Should this arrangement prove successful, the policy might well be implemented throughout the county. Those Hornets not assigned to these permanent squadrons are temporarily assigned to worlds currently being contested, including Defiance, Farside, Gotland, and Troy.
The Hornet-class has an illegal amount of Bay Factors; destroyer-class carriers may have a maximum of 1,200 BF dedicated to bay weapons, while the canon Hornet has 1,246.
To correct this issue, remove 10 small craft bays, double the size of the remaining eight small craft bays to 2,000-ton capacity, and add 10,000 tons to the cargo capacity.
The canon text does not mention the small craft bays, so this should not present any canonicity issues.