Asp Explorer

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Asp Explorer
Asp.gif
Maximum gross mass 150t
Empty mass 30t
Payload 120t
Main thruster accel 22g
Retro thruster accel 7g
Gun mountings 2
Missiles 1
Crew 2
Hyperdrive ranges Class 2: 8.00
Class 3: 18.00
Class 4: 32.00
Standard drive Class 3
Fuel scoop Yes

Overview

The first built Asps were military vessels, the most common of which was the Mk II. Fitted with self destruct mechanisms if they fell into the wrong hands, the Mk II was rarely seen in private hands.

Years later, a public version, known as the Explorer was released. It was large and fast, enabling the vessel to keep up in dogfights with smaller, nimbler craft, while it was big enough to hold several shield generators and large weapons. On the downside, there was only a single missile pylon and the retro thrusters were inadequately sized. Additionally, the Asp Explorer required a second crew member, which, more often that not, turned out to be a disadvantage.

When equipped with a Class 3 military drive, the Asp was ideal for courier/passenger runs and most assassination contracts. Only being able to fit a single missile could be a disadvantage to the more adventurous combateer, particularly if they were to do a lot of classified recon or bombing missions, as they would need to keep a pylon free for a nuclear missile.

Current models are built by the Core Industrial Corporation in several Federation and Independent systems.

Notable Features

A quirk of the design of the main and astrogation consoles - the ship's systems designed almost as if they were for a much larger ship - has meant the ship has never been certified for single-crew operations. This largely goes back to the primary customer for the ship - the military, which due to the kinds of situations they put this kind of craft in, always carry two crew in this class of ship. The low powered retro thruster was largely a trade-off to be able to fit a larger main thruster. Generally, Asp pilots will flip the craft and use the main thruster to decelerate the ship, and only use the proper retro thruster for manoevring.

Suggested Equipment

  • Class 3 Military Drive
  • 4MW Beam Laser with Cooling Booster
  • Shield Generators with Energy Booster, 5 or more (decide by desired cargo capacity
  • Standard equipment like Autopilot, Naval ECM, etc. - whatever you like

This will give you enough range to get anywhere you need to go, enough punch to destroy most opponents within seconds, enough resilience to withstand most attacks, and still leave you enough room for trading or taking on passengers.

Fiction

Famous Asp commanders include James Winston.

Verdict

Overall, the Asp is an excellent ship, and in the eyes of many pilots the best there is for freelance work, as long as you rely on lasers instead of missiles. It combines very good engine performance with a sizable internal capacity in a sleek hull. You won't even have to compromise on the equipment and still have enough room for fuel and cargo. No other ship of its size is anywhere near as fast.

The Asp's small frontal cross-section means that, if a dogfight degenerates into a joust, the Asp is very hard to hit.