Banner Omnifrigate History:
For nearly a century, the Banner of Galactic Peace built and serviced hundreds of different frigate styles for various uses. While this allowed the Banner to manufacture vessels intended for specific purposes, the end result was a maintenance nightmare. Frequently, multiple damaged ships of similar role would find themselves unable to exchange hardware to get even one operational. This effectively forced commanders to pull all from service, greatly reducing the combat effectiveness of the local fleet.
Thus when McCracken Inc. unveiled its line of Omnifrigates produced at the newly-acquired Hades Shipyards, the Banner Galactic Navy took great interest. MI had designed the Omnifrigate as a sturdy chassis capable of mounting four different modular bulkheads on its flanks. With a brief refit aboard a carrier, an Omnifrigate could be repurposed from a drone carrier to a missile platform, or a freighter to an engineering vessel. Best of all, because all hardware was standard between omnifrigates, damaged ships could easily scavenge hardware from other vessels.
In a short period of time, MI’s sales skyrocketed and the Hades Shipyard became the primary supplier of all frigate class vessels in the Banner Galactic Navy. McCracken Inc. soon became such a key player in the Banner’s military that its president made a successful bid to join the royal political caste of the Banner of Galactic Peace.
The Omnifrigate wasn’t without its problems however. Soon, combat trials revealed structural weaknesses in the vessel’s design. While the support-style loadouts remained unparalleled in their usefulness, the ship proved incapable of holding its own when refitted with bulkheads designed for straight-up combat. As a result, the Banner scrapped the Ion and Flak Omnifrigates and instead reverted to dedicated vessels for those purposes. Presently, even though all Omnifrigates are equipped with 90mm projectile cannons, the only Omnifrigates that see extensive use in space combat zones are the missle and drone varieties. But even these serve more as support vessels, using their weaponry at range while hoping opponents don’t close to point blank distances.
Since the entire design philosophy of the Omnifrigate revolves around modularity, it should come as no surprise that the number of Omnifrigate variants is staggering. The most common are listed below:
Marine Frigates possess four pods with seven-man squads in each. These vessels are sometimes used in ship-to-ship boarding operations, but are often deployed planetside. Because the individual pods can detach from the Omnifrigate, a single vessel can litter the landscape with field bases. Though each pod is equipped with some form of additionally weaponry, this is primarily used to defend field bases on hostile worlds rather than bolster space skirmish capabilities. Typically a ground-based Armored Personnel Carrier is included in each Marine pod as well, further enhancing the ground a squad can cover.
Medical frigates can similarly dispatch their four pods, but with the purpose of providing surgical care to a battlezone or triage to a disaster relief zone. Each pod has a surgical team, complete with equipment and staff. In theory, medical frigates are staffed with over twenty medical practitioners, but in practice most fleet commanders replace one or two of the medical pods with cargo pods stockpiled with medical supplies. While this reduces the surgical throughput of the frigate, this configuration allows field operation for a much longer period of time.
Missile frigates boast a total of eight missile turrets, making them a fearsome rear-line support unit. Because these ships occasionally find themselves flanked by opponents, each bulkhead can also release mag pulse mines to prevent such skillful maneuvers. Because mines dropped in the middle of combat essentially serve as slow-moving missiles, the frigate must deploy these mines in advance to prevent the enemy from sniping them. When deployed planetside, missile bulkheads often serve as Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) sites.
The role of drone frigates varies greatly depending on the drone used. For example, lightly armed Mephit drones are used for long-distance reconnaissance missions, whereas the fearsome Hellion drones can be expected in a combat theater. However, a far greater variety of drones exist than can be described in this tech readout. Usually, drone frigates store one drone in each pod, but some drones are small enough to allow up to two or even four drones in a single drone bay.
Ten years into the production run of the Omnifrigate, , McCracken Inc. unveiled the engineering frigate. This official release essentially mirrored the hodgepodge arrangement field commanders had already cobbled together to perform salvage and repair operations. Two of the bulkheads are essentially marine pods, repurposed for engineering teams, a third is typically a drone bay with repair vehicles (either manned or unmanned as the team sees fit), and the last pod serves as cargo space for replacement hardware.
Hauler frigates are essentially small-scale transporters designed to move goods between ships or systems. Their cargo pods are used for freight and are usually the foundation for any engineer hoping to create a new, custom bulkhead.
The most commonly used frigate type is what marines refer to as “mongrel frigates.” These are frigates that combine bulkheads from various sources to serve a niche role. Sometimes a marine frigate will trade two of its bulkheads for cargo pods stocked with food and resources to allow for longer tours. Or a remote garrison frigate will have a marine detachment for boarding, plus also a drone, missile, and cargo bulkhead for recon, attack, and storage, respectively. The combinations are limited only by the imaginations and resources of the commanders that deploy them, and for that reason, the Omnifrigate is the principle workhorse in the BGN fleet.