Overview: One of the lesser seen ships in the Union the Dauntless class has won much honour and many victories for the UNC but alas is drowned out by the success of the Dart class, while technically a variant the Dauntless is based on the Darts distinctive hull and its only difference is the addition of a forward firing Kinetic Accelerator Cannon. Primarily designed to destroy static orbital defences, System monitors, slow moving vessels and at last planetary targets the Dauntless can enter a system fire a payload to its targets and jump away before the enemy can realise what is happening, due to the fact that once fired the projective from the Dauntless cannot be intercepted is a dangerous matter, the projectile itself is fired at the speed of light. While not instant contact the momentum of this projective (an basic bullet shaped Quantum slug) is enough to break any armour and penetrate to the deepest underground bunker in seconds. It is a fool who thinks himself safe from the guns of a Dauntless…
Armament: The Dauntless class while a long range fire platform mounts descent firepower to defend itself as after all it will be fighting on the frontline if necessary. The Dauntless still retains the 232 Mass Drivers on the Dart hull as well as the 8 Turreted dual plasma cannons. Alas the Dauntless has lost Phase Missile Launchers and Laser Projectors and so only mounts 2 ML and 4 LP. Its prime armament however is the Kinetic Accelerator cannon.
Mass Drivers: Union Mass Drivers use magnetically accelerated slugs to destroy the enemy, these slugs can either be used in one of 3 ways. The first in ultra AP round which will drive straight through most armours due to the velocity of the rounds, making ships vent into space due to thousands of rounds hitting them rapidly. The second is a less penetrative but still very high AP high EX round which explodes after penetration ripping the ship apart from the inside as used on the Draken ships. The third and final is a flak screen shell which detonates at a certain range and explodes into thousands of other bomblets which will also explode into shrapnel, this decimates fighters and ordnance at close range and some Mass Drivers on the ship are always set to this setting, when all are on this the ship is impervious to fighters thanks to the couples SENTINEL CIWS. These weapons also mount Void Cooling and Nano assemblers and so can keep up a rate of fire of around 450 rounds a minute.
Laser Projectors: These weapons are feared for their ability to drain shields quickly and surgically slice a ship apart. Using energy drawn directly from the reactors the Laser projectors are long range precision weapons used to cripple ships and down their shields. Able to project a steady beam for around 5 seconds these hard light lasers are slowly being replaced with Meson lasers in research which are even more powerful. These lasers can also be configured to fire ‘Bolts’ of light which explode violently on impact.
Plasma cannons: using Phantom technology the Plasma cannon uses linear accelerator technology to propel balls of artificial plasma at close range, these guns while close range are devastating and will destroy shields easily and melt armour. Mounted in dorsal mountings of dual gun turrets these Plasma cannons provide the Dart with its close range firepower. These guns also use Void cooling to fire around 35 shots a minute.
Phase Missiles: these missile launchers on the sides of the Dart have been recently upgraded with Phase missile technology, this works by the missile before hitting shields or armour phasing out of synch with this dimension and rematerializing inside the enemy ship causing massive damage and means the missiles can’t be defended against easily. These launchers provide extreme range fire and have Nano assemblers to eliminate the need for resupplying.
Kinetic Accelerator Cannon: channelling energy from the ships two ZPM modules to the cannon allows the Dauntless to accelerate the Quantum slug to the speed of light; this means the energy behind the slug itself is enough to wipe out a big section of a planet. These rounds while effective against large ships cannot hit smaller vessels easily for the Slug even at the speed of light will take hours to cross a system, this slug will not be able to be intercepted by conventional means and so the likelihood of stopping it is slim. With it able to break any defence a trio of these cannons can easily sweep aside system defences.
Defences: The Dauntless like the Dart mounts a Mark 4 Absorption shield which runs on its own separate system so it cannot damage others through power feedback, this shield also cycles constantly through several dimensions at once in an attempt to get some protection from phasic weapons. The ship itself is constructed from a 2ft thick Quantum lattice plate with polytine linings. As well as this a thin layer of Ghostanium is available for stealth missions. Quantum lattice plate is made up from atomically bonded Quantum metal which has a density of around 3x that of any other known substance, this metal is liquid in form but when poured into molten metal of another kind and left to set it becomes virtually unbreakable. Unlike other metals Quantum has no melting point and so will not melt under fire from laser or plasma weapons; it is also highly resistant to kinetic impact damage. The hull is also equipped with Nano assembler repair systems to slowly repair the ship in combat.
The Dauntless class also mounts a SENTINEL CIWS mounted all over the ship. This system is made up from numerous point defences consisting of small laser projectors, cascade cannons and miniature missile launchers. Together these destroy incoming missiles and fighters, on their own SENTINEL is incredibly effective with most enemies attack the Dauntless at range rather than risking their attack craft on suicidal missions. But when the Mass Drivers also switch to flak the Dauntless is all but invincible to attack craft.
Power plant: The Dauntless uses two TPC Zero Point Module AX-5 units to provide overall power, these have been reverse engineered from Nakai technology and make use of their artificial pocket dimension technology. The ZPM works by making an artificial dimension and harvesting the natural vacuum energy produced in such, this is totally harmless as if the ZPM is destroyed the dimension collapses harmlessly. The energy produced is also way above other Union energy technology apart from Singularity generators which are still being understood. The Dauntless also mounts 2 secondary YX2 Fusion Generators as redundant in case of emergencies where the ZPM modules are taken offline, these generators while nowhere near as powerful as the ZPM modules can still power the ship although at a reduced capability and may be unable to fire the KAC if other systems are in use too.
Electronic capabilities: The Dauntless is run by 4 Mark 5 AI systems one for targeting and combat, one for background systems and one for overall control as well as one to oversee the use of the KAC. These AI systems are semi sentient and can hack enemy ships. When a AI gets hacked it immediately either cuts the lines so the enemy cannot access or deletes itself and the intruder with it. The Dauntless is also linked to the Union computer and so can access data when needed; it also is linked to the rest of the fleet in a tight information grid.
Stealth wise the Dauntless constantly runs a very basic sensor stealth field, this field while not effecting light effects spectrum scans and conventional sensors. While not totally making the ship invisible this obscures the ships form and position leading to an increased ratio of missed shots and wrong moves. A full Displacement unit can be installed for true stealth missions if needed.
Crew: The Dauntless carries 950 personnel to run the ship and man the fighters it carries.
Attack craft: The Dauntless mounts 4 launch hangars each able to contain 10 Firestorm Fighters and 2 Eagle Eye bombers for a total of 40 fighters and 8 bombers. These have their own repair and re arm facilities and so the Dauntless can act as a light carrier in times of need though mostly for self-defence.
Speed and engines: The Dauntless like the Dart is very fast able to reach 0.7 light speed on sub light engines and also mounts a Union slipstream drive for FTL capability. Current research and development is underway so the Dauntless can be fitted with Nakai jump technology.