Red Thunder

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Editor’s Note: Red Thunder was designed by Joseph Meager. The deck plans were recovered from an internet archive and are presented here with an eye to preserving an excellent set of deck plans.  We have been unable to discover if a write up on the Red Thunder ever existed so the following write up is presented by the FE editors as background for a ship class with the Red Thunder being the most notorious to be built in the series.

The Red Thunder series is a HS4 privateer classed starship designed and built under contract for the Streel Corporation. In some way it has a lot in common with the corvette class ship, also designed and built under contract for Streel. The design philosophy for its offensive armament is for extended operation without need for resupply since the ship has no expendable munitions.

The Red Thunder class was originally designed during Laco’s War.  However, before any ship of this class could be commissioned the war ended which resulted in a redesign for a privateer that could be deployed on scouting missions. Five ships were delivered to the Streel Corporation with the Prodigal Sun being the most famous, having scouted the New Streel star system for the company.  Subsequently, ships were built to order for other customers with the stipulation that Streel receive a royalty on their war fighting IP used in the original design.  This resulted in few sales after the first five because customers disliked paying the royalty on items not included in the redesign.  However, it is rumored that some obscure CFM merchants sell the original war fighting design along with guides detailing how to implement many of the original Streel design capabilities.

 The ship boasts a lot of redundant computer capacity with a lander module like that of the Eleanor Moraes Class in place of a masking screen. The lander module increases the structural integrity of the ship (28 HP) but if the module is missing the ship cannot take as much punishment (22 HP).

Decks 1-4 and 7-8 all have sub decks that are the same size as the deck above them. A sub deck is little more than a crawl space interlaced with power runs, air ducts, plumbing connections and so on. A sub deck is accessed via an air tight floor hatch located near the elevator. Movement is slowed to ½ walking.

A somewhat unique feature of the ship is the fact that there are 3 separate mainframe computers. The original computer was sufficient to run the ship as a corporate gunship but when Laco’s War ended and the ships were repurposed for other missions, two more mainframes were added to support a med bay, laboratory, and probe control. These added computers are cross-linked with each other but standalone from the main computer. Some ships of this class may have had cross-links connecting the added computers to the main computer but this is not standard.

Another interesting feature to this class of ship is the holo theater which was originally intended to be used to brief company sized groups of corporate mercenaries for up-coming operations. During the redesign of the class, there were numerous plans to eliminate this feature but somehow it remained. It’s been popular with deep space exploration crews and continues to be used for operational briefings. However, since it represents a significant amount of deck space, it also becomes a secondary storage hold with the walls lined with stacks of supplies and consumables.

The lander module is designed to be a base of operations while exploring a new planet. It has four different computers but none of these have the computational power of the ship’s main computer.  The landing module comes equipped with an explorer and a jet copter. The jet copter has a folding tail and rotor for ease of storage and requires 1 hour to deploy but the explorer can be deployed in 10 minutes.

Knight Hawks Statistics

The ship itself is slightly larger than a standard HS 4 vessel.  The lander, by itself is about the same size as a HS 3 ship.  It has the same volume as an Assault Scout.  The KH statistics for the two parts of the ship along with their costs are given below.


HS: 4    HP: 22  DCR: 32

ADF: 4 MR: 4 (without Lander Module)

ADF: 3 MR: 2 (with Lander Module)

Engines: 2 Atomic, Class A

Weapons:  LC  LB

Defenses:  RH

Life Support CapacityPrimary: 20     Backup: 20

Accommodations: 1 First Class (captain), 12 Journey (crew)

ComputerLevel: 4      FP: 146

Programs: Drive 4 (32), Life Support 1 (2), Alarm 2 (2), Computer Lockout 4 (8), Damage Control 2 (4), Astrogation 4 (24), Camera 1 (1), Skin Sensors 1 (1), Laser Cannon 1 (3), Laser Battery 1 (4), Atmoprobe Guidance 3 (9), Robot Management 4 (16), Information Storage 4 (16), Analysis 4 (8), Computer Security 4 (16)

Other Equipment: Standard Starship astrogation suite, videocom radio+ second viewing screen, subspace radio, intercom w/3 master panels and 40 standard panels, Radar, Energy Sensors, Camera System, 7 Escape Pods, 2 atmoprobes, 4 Laboratories (2= medbay, 1 physics, 1 astro), 2 workpods

Cost: 1,949,650 cr.


HS: 3    HP: 6   DCR: N/A

ADF: 0 MR: 0

Engines: Chemical- landing only

Life Support CapacityPrimary: 6       Backup: 6

Accommodations: 6 Journey class

ComputerLevel:  3     FP: 52

Programs: Life Support 1 (2), Alarm 1 (1), Analysis 3 (9), Information Storage 4 (16), Computer Security 3 (8), Robot Management 4 (16)

Other Equipment: Videocom radio, Intercom w/ 1 master and 15 regular panels, radar, Laboratory, Type 3 Generator/reactor, Jetcoper, Explorer

Cost: 469,200 cr.