Thurman Industries CE series of armed merchantmen has proven to be quite popular with the Freetrader community due to their excellent blend of cargo capacity, speed, maneuverability and adaptability. As a design group, they remain the most popular light Freetrader vessels in the Terran sphere, and have even become popular among the Sarza, Naradi and even Dunbaren Freetraders and merchants. The CE line began with the CE T3100 Sparrowhawk as the smallest and cheapest of the bunch, and runs all the way to the luxurious and quite sizeable CE T4500 Antares at the other end of the size and cargo capacity scale. Falling neatly between them in size, price and accomodations is the CE T7020 Goshawk.
When the Thurman Industries designers were looking for a way to expand the cargo capacity of the Sparrowhawk class, they kept running into complications. Putting it simply, the design was so perfectly balanced between speed, maneuverability and cargo capacity for its size that any substantial modifications caused severe degradations in overall performance. Rather than force the issue, they chose to design a new vessel from the ground-up to fill the niche for a larger light Freetrader vessel.
During the development phase of the Goshawk, a Serog horde fleet rampaged through the Achilles sector of Freespace. In typical Serog fashion, they went berserk, attacking any vessels they came across and attempting to seize the crews to take as sacrifices to feed the spider-like creatures on their homeworld that they worship as physical manifestations of the Devourer, one of their Gods. Roland DuMont, a senior executive for Thurman, was aboard a luxury liner that was attacked by the Serog. Being a Core World liner, the vessel had only disruptor weaponry for defense, which proved next to useless against the waves of Serog raiders.
During the attack, a heavily-modified Phoenix-class Freetrader (which is as potent in combat as many privateers) came to the aid of the beleaguered passenger liner in a rather dramatic dogfight that made quite an impression on DuMont. Watching a single well-armed Freetrader vessel hold dozens of Serog ships at bay- and destroying nearly a dozen more- long enough for a PMSC mercenary rapid-response fleet to come to the rescue hammered the point home to DuMont- there is no such thing as too much firepower.
As a result, when he returned to Thurmanís HQ, he successfully pushed for an overhaul of the design for the Goshawk (and all subsequent Thurman Industries vessel designs) to allow for maximum firepower for the vesselís frame. The Goshawk sports two medium dual-PPC turrets, one dorsal and one ventral, to provide for omnidirectional firepower. Four retractable light dual PPC turrets, two dorsal and two ventral, provide additional directional and defensive firepower, and have turret tracking speeds so fast that they act as point-defense cannons against incoming missiles. The big punch, however, are two mil-spec medium AP lancer spinal mount cannons flanking the bridge, the heaviest firepower a vessel can carry before it crosses the IATR (International Arms Trade Restriction) treaty boundaries into the class of privateer.
Armour is not lacking on the Goshawk, either. She has a thick skin, one to one-and-a-half meter thick atomically-bonded turine plating, with additional reinforcements in the centerline hull to protect the crew quarters and other non-cargo areas. Shields are standard class III civilian models, but the hardware sockets in the Goshawk allow for easy plug-and-go installation of up to class II mil-spec shield generators without requiring additional modifications (i.e., no additional structure point cost).
Cargo space is another significant upgrade from the Sparrowhawk. Despite only being half-again the size (230í hull length vs. 160í for the Sparrowhawk), the Goshawk has nearly twice the cargo capacity at 95,000 square feet of cargo space. Additionally, unlike the Sparrowhark, the Goshawk has double-stacked coffin-cabin passenger quarters for four, and far more spacious and comfortable crew quarters with individual latrines for the crew as opposed to a single shared one. With significant adaptability, the interior layout and cargo space can be modified to suit the needs of a variety of clients.
All in all, the Goshawk has proven to be the most popular of the CE line, due to its good balance between the larger and more expensive Antares and smaller Sparrowhawk. Freetraders, privateers and those with a desire for a well-armed personal yacht all find the Goshawk to be just the right fit for their plans.
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