- Right Engine Rating (53,000)
- Center Engine Rating (53,000)
- Left Engine Rating (53,000}
- Type (Location)
- E Spinal Mount (F)
- 100 37.5/25 (R)
- 100 37.5/25 (L)
- 100 37.5/5 (F)
- 100 37.5/5 (A)
- 50 30/5 (R)
- 50 30/5 (L)
- Type D Missile System (3 Shots at 100 Points)
- E Spinal Mount (F)
Fighters: 84 at 300 tons (Reinforced Group)
Small Craft: 12 at 1,000 tons
Cargo: 70,000 tons
Extras: Anti-Grav Drives, Thrust Option
With TOG's Blitzkrieg-like attacks into Bannor County beginning in 6791, the Renegade commanders decided to commission a new battleship class to help fend off the TOG advances. Many of their capital ships were showing the effects of age.
The new battleship would emphasize speed, a feature lacking in most TOG vessels of this class. It would also support massive long-range firepower at the expense of short-range bays. More important, the ship would carry more than 72 fighters, the TOG standard.
Thus was born the Iron Duke Class, a pocket battleship, putting a priority on speed instead of weapons. The first keel was laid down in 6792, and the new ship immediately went into active duty.
The first ship of the class, the Bidwell, proved to be a smashing success. During TOG's drive through the Bannor County worlds of Shetti, Thunder, Hove, and Feywarren, the Bidwell destroyed two older TOG battleships of the Ultor Class (now obsolete and decommissioned). The Bidwell had the advantage of speed over the slower TOG battleships of the same weight class and enough firepower to cripple them with repeated passes at long range.
The Royal Navy has also taken a strong liking to the ship, with several thousand Iron Dukes now in its own ranks. The KessRith call the ship "Fek-Tar," which loosely translates as "solid punch/kick." Having contributed the design for the massive Hista E spinal mount, the KessRith have more than 1,000 Iron Dukes in their fleets.
The firepower of the Iron Duke Class is impressive, to say the least. The most powerful main gun in the entire Renegade Legion fleet, the KessRith-designed Hista 400, is the core. The weapon has its own fire-control system that can act independently of the Combat Information Center in case of emergencies, though targeting the weapon when in this mode is somewhat limited.
In addition to its massive spinal mount, the Iron Duke supports two bays of 100 Rathie Armories 37.5/25 lasers. After three direct hits, many destroyers have little armor left, even at long ranges.
The Iron Duke's fore and aft are protected by the smaller Hodge Industrial Laser Concepts 37.5/5s arrayed in bays of 100. The weakest area of ship's defense are the laser bays dedicated to close-range anti-fighter roles, just beyond the range of the turrets. For this purpose, the class has only two bays of 50 Hodge 30/5 lasers, which are weak and of limited utility.
The Iron Duke's speed separates it from other battleships that patrol and raid on the TOG/Commonwealth border. Diverting power from the Regaulta engines for thrust allows the ship to move quickly in and out of battle. Also, because its weapons are geared to long-range combat, the Iron Duke can maintain a distance from standard frigates and cruisers.
The Battle of New Dogger Bank took place on November 6, 6801, at a small, uninhabited star system dubbed DGR-19003 in Gilpin County. It was a massive battle by modem standards, with over 14 battle squadrons directly or indirectly involved on either side. While both sides left the field with bloodied noses, the Iron Duke Class proved itself.
With ten Iron Dukes leading the Renegade 1214th and 3099th Battleship Groups, all but three survived the five-day battle and remain operational. They accounted for the destruction of nearly six times their mass, some of the most impressive figures from the battle.
New Dogger Bank showed that massive ship confrontations would not alter the course of the war. It also indicated that a battleship is best suited for defensive operations and that deep-penetration raids are not its forte. After this battle, both sides reevaluated their ships' dispositions, consigning more Iron Dukes to a system-defense role.