Thales Orbital Defence Orcinus Class PAD Gunboat
Role: Long Range Patrol, Attack & Defence Platform
Armament: sHV17 Goalkeeper 30x155mm CIWS (x2), Raytheon KP22[hm] Pilum Block V (x8), Lockheed Martin Peregrine MR Tactical Nuclear Missile (x2) (optional)
Despite smaller and more advanced defence platforms such as the Tursiops and Delphinapterus being developed, the decades old Orcinus gunboats remain the primary long range patrol and attack craft within IBN fleets.
Two pilots are able to go out on extended patrols for up to two weeks. The cramped accommodation within the rear cabin provide only the most basic amenities, and as a result, Orcinus pilots are colloquially referred to as "Gemini Jockeys". But the two pilots are able to rotate piloting shifts and when in battle, the secondary pilot can act as gunner and sensor officer from the rear terminal.
Most targeting, sensor and jamming systems have been upgraded over time leaving the exterior of most of the frontline units a hodge-podge of sensor blisters and radomes. So although most ships are a good decade older than their pilots, they are still highly capable to take on more advanced enemy craft.
Robust and reliable 2nd generation fusion reactors power the dual main engine nozzles and multiple reaction control thrusters. More efficient power and propulsion systems have since been developed, but the tried and tested technology allows for easy field maintainability in remote forward operating bases.
The dual sHV17 Goalkeepers function adequately in both anti-missile defence, as well as, close quarters ship-to-ship combat. Veteran pilots like nothing more than to hide close to abandoned station complexes when on anti-piracy patrol and surprising enemy ships while they are busy with docking procedures. The Pilum armament is a rudimentary kinetic penetrator, powered by a high maneuverability rocket engine. However, the Block V systems feature the added benefit of the 'Maelstrom' secondary attack function. If the projectile is estimated to miss the target, or there is a a high probability of intercept by CIWS it will take a more erratic flight path to confuse the targeting systems and then the outer shroud will detonate sending a barrage of high velocity small projectiles towards the target. It certainly does not do as much damage as the full penetrator, but it typically is enough to disrupt and disable sensor and defensive systems allowing for further Pilums to be launched in order to eliminate the target...also useful when only wanting to disable an enemy ship to allow for boarding. The Peregrine missile is typically only outfitted when units are likely to meet capital ships, or when operating in a station assault role.