Ships operated throughout the Union are classed according to specific mass. Within each class there is a range of design variation so that any ship within a class may be outfitted for specific duty.
All ship sizes are rated in Metric Tons (MT):
- A-class 10-99 MT
- B-class 100-999 MT
- C-class 1,000- 9,999 MT
- D-class 10,000-99,999 MT
- E-class 100,000 – 999,999 MT
- F-class 1,000,000 + MT
A-Class: 10 – 99 MT
This class is generally where small shuttle and security interceptors weigh in. These vessels are typically limited-range, reasonably-fast, and have limited power production capacities. They are far and away the most common vessel in Zone One and often work in close proximity to other larger class vessels or planetary bodies.
Most A-class ships are atmosphere and landing capable.
B-Class: 100 – 999 MT
An order of magnitude larger than the A-class, this class of ship includes commercial carrier vessels that are capable of moderate range passenger operation. With few exceptions, the largest private vessels fall into this class and most emergency transport ships sit at the middle of this class. Some experimental long-range transport vessels (FleetCom’s Sparrowhawk Project) fall into this classification as well.
Almost no B-class keels are landing capable.
C-Class: 1,000 – 9,999 MT
The Sagan Class science vessel is in this size range. A reasonably-light, long-range science vessel with the capability of extended missions, the Sagan Class ships are the backbone of DevCartel’s space and planetary sciences operations.
Top edge of this classification also includes many of the ice-haulers that operate in the Saturn System. Although by volume, ice haulers appear deceptively larger than they are, unloaded they are fairly light vessels.
D-Class: 10,000 – 99,999 MT
In the lower half of this keel-class bracket are the remaining portion of SourceCartel’s ice hauling fleet. Few “icebarges” exceed 15,000 MT empty.
The much larger Hawking Class science vessel is usually fully outfitted to weigh in somewhere around the lower third of this keel class. These ships are much larger than the Sagan Class ships, and as a result are much more resource costly to produce, but they are capable of multi-year missions with an extensive crew compliment.
The Jakob Waltz sits just below the midline of this bracket and although it is technically an ice harvesting vessel, it was designed for an extremely-long-duration charter and as a result includes many elements that added substantially to its mass. These features brought the vessel up to a solid D-class keel.
Early versions of the Multicruiser Class vessels occupy the top edge of this keel class at 95,000 MT.
E-Class: 100,000 – 999,999 MT
The Deepstar Cruiseliner Avalon is the only non-multicruiser vessel in the E-class division, weighing in at 106,650 MT.
The Kitty Hawk is the largest multicruiser ever constructed, and it barely exceeds the 200,000MT line. A typical multicruiser is designed to accommodate a crew roster upward of 800 but the Kitty Hawk has a standard compliment of 1,800.
F-Class: 1,000,000 + MT
This class vessel is occupied by only one ship. The Armstrong (weighing in at 1,427,000 MT).
The only things larger than this vessel are fixed bases and orbital platforms. Most of the LEO stations are in fact smaller than the Armstrong, with only LEO 16, LEO 19, Galileo Station, and the L-2 Shipyard as the only manmade constructs in Zone One that have more mass.
It is unlikely that any additional vessels in this class will ever be built, as construction of the Armstrong was so costly that it nearly drove FleetCartel into bankruptcy.