Named after a particularly deadly form of fast-attack longship used by the Vikings, the Snekkja lives up to its namesake’s reputation as a fast and deadly combatant. As the most common capital ship in the Varangian Guard fleet, the Snekkja has become somewhat of an icon of the company. Her design is simple, elegant, and deadly as hell, which has earned the respect of every enemy that has tangled with one to date.
The Snekkja is small for a destroyer, at least when compared to most nation’s and merc firm’s fleets. At only 330 meters (1,066’) in length the Snekkja is smaller than many frigates. This is by design, however, as the vessel was built from the ground-up for speed and maneuverability unmatched by most destroyer-class vessels. While her size is well below IATR classifications for a destroyer, her weapons systems, armour, and general combat capabilities put her firmly in that distinction. Unlike the fast-and-loose games played with classifications at the battlecruiser/battleship end of the scale, there is no need to “tweak” the specs on a destroyer.
Beginning with the bow and working back down the length of the ship, the Snekkja is blatantly a ship-killer with an excessive number of spinal mounts. In the bow, two heavy APPC spinals flank a heavy AP lancer, and built into each wing are another heavy APPC, and an unprecedented weapon on a mercenary warship of the size- a super-heavy AP lancer tucked in close to the hull to allow for the required reactors for such a potent weapon. Six dual heavy APPC turrets- three dorsal, three ventral- provide primary directional firepower, while six quad heavy AP lancer turrets add nasty long-range punch to the array.
Like most mercenary companies, Varangian Guard prefers to go heavy on the energy weapons and light on missiles and other ammunition-dependent systems, largely to save costs. While most of the larger merc firms have their own munitions factories and can burp out thousands of missiles from industrial nanovats by the hour, the nanites and programming matrices still cost a great deal. Åsa Larsdotter, CEO and Commander-in-Chief of Varangian Guard, is no fool, however, and knows full well to balance cost with battlefield adaptability. Thus, the Snekkja carries twelve adaptable modular missile bays capable of carrying anything from massive swarms of naval SRMs to twelve APMs (though they would never admit to possessing anti-planetary missiles).
As with all Varangian Guard vessels, the Snekkja is a flying brick, a solid block of armour with just enough space carved out for engines, weapons and crew quarters. While this description is often used in hyperbole to describe other vessels, it is quite literal truth in the case of the Snekkja. A cross section of the vessel would reveal solid armoured hull with a single crew deck deep in the core. This armour is a classified atomically-bonded carbon-turine hybrid battleplate that is reputed to have an energy shield laminate layer WITHIN the armour’s composite itself. This passive shielding is not emitted by shield generators, but is some form of EM field created by an interweave of unknown material within the armour itself. Dozens of industrial espionage specialists have met the business end of a pulse pistol trying to steal the secret to this new armour form.
As for the crew deck itself, while there aren’t many rooms- as the Snekkja is not a troop carrier, nor does it carry a fighter compliment of its own- the quarters are spacious and well-appointed. Ironically, the 24th century Snekkja actually has a smaller crew compliment than its Dark Age/Medieval namesake. The vessel uses multiple Class IV AIs under the direct control of a Class VI to create one of the most intense automations of a warship outside of the Teek. The Snekkja carries a compliment of five officers and twenty three crew, though there are enough troop bunks for counter-boarders to carry an additional 30 marines.
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