Earthforce Olympus class Corvette (Babylon Five):

This ship class was one of the oldest ship classes still in service with the Earth Alliance at the time of the Earth vs Minbari war and even at that time, the class was showing its age and plans were being made to retire the ship. This was not to be. During that war, the ship were important because they carried most of the fighters that supported the Roosevelt Cruisers. In previous wars the ships fought with distinction including in the war against the Dilgar. Their initial design called for a ship that was easy to construct, carried the same amount of fighters as a Heavy Cruiser, and could defend itself well, plus have a reasonable range. The Olympus Corvettes were all of this, and more: they were invaluable for escort duties, where a Heavy Cruiser would have been wasted. Literally hundreds of these tough ships were build, and till the Earth-Minbari war they served with distinction. During that conflict it became clear that the Olympus class was becoming outdated. None of the Corvettes to engage a Minbari vessel survived.... This led to the Olympus class ships to be reassigned to duties like hauling fuel and freight (munitions and supply) around, in which they were quite good.

After the conflict was over the remaining corvettes were slowly phased out of service. A few were bought by civilian firms, and it was found that these ships were rather useful for hauling freight around, without needing extensive modifications. A few of these ships fell in pirate hands, but with most of their weapons stripped these were no match for more modern Earth Force ships.

After the Earth Alliance recovered from the civil war it had been embroiled in, it needed new ships to make up for the combat losses that had been sustained. The Olympus came to the rescue, and a few hundred updated Olympus class ships have since been build. They are mostly used for patrols and escort duty, freeing the larger capital ships for more important duties. It is this updated design that is presented here. Although it is unadvisable to use these ships to take on true warships, they are very capable against low to medium powered threats like the raiders that have sprung up again after the last war.

These ships are too small to carry jump engines and must be escorted by a ship with jump engines to travel from system to system. This role was filled by the Earthforce Roosevelt class Heavy Cruiser for the most part. The ship is propelled by four Ion engines. The engines output is less than the engines on the Roosevelt class heavy cruiser and the ships are a bit slower than most modern starships. The ships needs to be refueled multiple times for long range missions.

Most of the ships weaponry are devoted to point defense. The ship has eight light double pulse cannons of a similar design to those carried on the Roosevelt for its main armament. These cannons are located on the corners on the front of the ship, and on the beginnings of the engine cowlings. This gives them a excellent field of fire, but compared to more modern mounts they lack power and range.

The ship also has two railgun turrets mounted on the top and bottom of its hull, but these are almost antiques by modern standards, and can only be used for close in defense. The last bit of armament are two missile clusters, holding a total of forty long range missiles. Unfortunately these cannot be reloaded in flight, so even this punch is limited. purely for defense the ship has an interceptor grid that is less powerful than later models. The interceptor grid fires low powered energy beams to intercept incoming fire and uses electromagnetic fields to disperse energy that is fired at the ships. The interceptor grid also employs a system designed to decoy incoming missiles. The systems is more effective against plasma cannons and pulse cannons (Actually another style of plasma cannon - does not work as efficiently on weapon systems that simply fire in pulses) than the system is on other energy weapons. The system quickly get overloaded though and cannot operate continuously and is not as effective as the shields on Minbari and Centauri ships.

At the time of construction of the Olympus class carrier, the Earth Alliance had not planned on any internal gravity for starships and the Olympus has no internal gravity. This limits the length of time the ships crew can serve on the carrier. While the crew is required to spend a period of exercise to reduce muscle loss, the ships crew is normally rotated to ground stations after about four months of service. The ship is more cramped than the later ship classes.

The ship carries 6 fighters and the fighters were normally were used to protect ships with less fighters. The ship carries up to a hundred marines on board.

Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the Corvette's velocity and distance traveled:

Model: Earthforce Olympus MKIII
Class: Corvette
Crew: 87 (6 Officers and 81 Enlisted)
Troops: 100 marines

Vehicle Compliment:

6SA-23E Aurora Starfuries.
1Standard Shuttle

M.D.C. by Location:

Medium Pulse Cannons (8):400 each
Double Railgun Turrets (2) :300
Missile Racks (2):100 each
[1] Main Body:15,000
[2] Bridge:2,200
[3] Ion Fusion Engines (4):1,000 each
[4] Interceptor Grids (6):1,000 per side

[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the Escort Carrier out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[2] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ships armor. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the ships bridges is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[3] The Destruction of one engine reduces the ships acceleration by one half. Destroying both Ion Engines means that the maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
[4] The Interceptor Grid gives only partial defense against energy weapons and as the system absorbs more damage this percentage of damage will be reduced. The system will absorb up to 1,000 M.D.C. per side. Initially, the system will absorb 80% of damage from plasma weapons and pulse cannons (Actually another style of plasma cannon - does not work at this higher efficiency on other weapon systems that fire in pulses). This is because is it much easier to disperse plasma than an actually energy beam. The system does not absorb damage from rail guns, other projectile weapons, and from missiles. Initially, the ships will also absorb 40% of other styles of energy weapons as well (This includes non plasma style pulse weapons as well). For every 100 M.D.C. that the system absorbs, the system will be reduced in effectiveness by 10% for subsequent strikes (Example: If an Interceptor Grid absorbs 200 M.D.C., the Interceptor Grid will only absorb 60% of plasma damage and 20% of the damage for any other energy weapon when struck next.) The defense grid recovers at the rate of 100 M.D.C. per minute. The missile decoy portion of the system is described separately below.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Space Propulsion: The starship does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The Olympus Class Corvette can reach a top acceleration of 3 G but due to high fuel consumption and extra strain on the engines, the ship will normally travel at 0.5 G for any extended trips. Top acceleration is only meant for emergencies and combat maneuvers.
Because the Carrier is mostly unshielded from the effects of radiation and hypervelocity atomic particles (It is not completely unshielded), the Corvette is not operated at speeds exceeding 20% of the speed of light.
Atmospheric Propulsion: The Olympus Class Corvette cannot operate within an atmosphere. If the ship enters an atmosphere, it will crash.
Stardrive: The ship does not have a jump drive but can use already formed jump points such as those formed by jump gates. While in hyperspace, the ship to reach a maximum of 6.5 lightyears per hour. This means that the Olympus Class Corvette can cover the Galaxy in about 18 month (will need to refuel periodically and these ships were not really designed to travel that far).
Maximum Range: Conditionally unlimited, while the fusion reactor gives power for almost a decade of service, the ships propulsion is limited by the ships reaction mass. The ship can be refueled at ground based facilities, space stations, and other star ships as long as they have the special facilities. The ship can also be refueled by fuel shuttles.
The Corvette carries four months of reaction mass for travel at 0.6 G of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for 1.2 G of acceleration and double the consumption again for every 0.6 G of acceleration. This means the ship will burn the fuel 16 times faster than at 0.6 G of acceleration at maximum speed. The ship will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the ships velocity. If the ships uses more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the ship will be unable to decelerate fully and the ship will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem.. If the ship runs out of fuel then it must be refueled by another vehicle traveling faster or be lost.
If the ship has a large amount of flight operations, the ship is limited to about three months endurance at cruising speed from the fighters using the ships reaction mass.

Statistical Data
Height: 495 feet (148.5 meters)
Length: 1,482 feet (444.6 meters)
Width: 1052.3 feet (315.7 meters)
Weight: 5,100,000 tons (4,600,000 metric tons)
Power System: 4 General Fusion C-200 Fusion Reactors (4 year duration). However, it is recommended that the drive and power system have routine maintenance every 2 years. Also, the ship only carries about a four month supply of reaction mass.
Cargo: 120,000 tons
Cost: 3.4 billion credits to construct

Weapon Systems:

  1. Pulse Cannons (8): These cannons fire rapid fire bursts of super charged Plasma. Similar to heavier pulse cannons but the weapons have a shorter range. The weapons are derived from Centauri systems that the Narns copied but are not as powerful as the original Centauri weapon system was. Weapons are used as both anti-star Fighter and against capital ships. Each mount has a 360 degree rotation and 180 degree arc of fire. Mounts are located on the four front corners of the ship and on the beginnings of the engine cowlings. . Author Note: The source on this weapon system lists the weapons range as 180,000 km. It has been reduces to fit more with Palladium frameworks and the weapon scale
    Mega Damage: 6D6x10 per cannon
    Maximum Effective Range: 7 miles (11 km) in an atmosphere and 7,000 miles (11, 260 km) in space.
    Rate of Fire: twice per melee.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Double Railgun turret (2): Basically turrets with two long range electromagnetic railguns in it. These railguns fire bursts of M.D.C. alloy shards of metal. The mounts are located on raised parts of the upper and lower hull, and they has a 360 degree rotation and 180 degree arc of fire.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 per cannon, for 4D6x10 per double mount.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6.2 miles (10 km) in an atmosphere and 621.8 miles (1,000 km) in space.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 500 bursts
  3. Long Range Missile Racks (2): Each rack consists of twenty launch tubes for LRM`s. Each tube only holds a single missile, and the tubes cannot be reloaded during a mission. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Since star ships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile, when unpowered, is at -25% to be detected.) Long range missiles are all considered smart missiles. Each of these launchers can be targeted and fired at multiple targets.
    Maximum Effective Range: varies with missile type, long range missiles (Powered range is 8 x normal in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage & Properties: Varies with warhead type (Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Heavy fusion does 2D4X100 M.D.C.
    Rate of fire per Rack: One at a time or in volleys of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, or 20 per melee attack. The ship can fire a total volley of 40 missiles in one turn.
    Payload: 20 per rack, for a total of 40 Long Range Missiles.
  4. Missile Decoy System: These systems launches clouds of chaff and electromagnetic decoys around the ship. This system is the final part of the interceptor grid. The decoy cloud will remain around the ship for a period of time unless the ship accelerates, decelerates, or changes course which will take ship out of the chaff cloud within one melee. The system is a series of decoy launchers that are placed around the ship. Even if the main interceptor system is not functional, this system will still operate.
    Mega-Damage: any vehicle flying through take 2D6 M.D.C.
    1. Has a 50% chance of confusing or deflecting missiles from most younger races. This system does not work on missiles from Centauri, Minbari, or other Race with similar or more advance missile systems.
    2. Disguises ships radar signature. This gives a -2 penalty to strike. (Does not work on Centauri, Minbari, and races that are as advanced or more advanced than the Centauri and Minbari)
    As long as the ship does not accelerates, decelerates, or changes course the chaff will take five melees to disburse. If the ship accelerates, decelerates, or changes course, the ship will leave the chaff cloud in one melee.
    Maximum Effective Range: Ship and 1,000 feet (305 m) radius around ship
    Rate of Fire: Once (1) Per Melee.

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Technical information sourced partially from Babylon 5 Technical Manual!

CGI of starship created by Leo Dunin. Picture taken from Guidos Galaxy.

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1999, 2000, & 2013, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.