Seeker Mk II
Author: Dave
TDB File: Unavailable At This Time
Type: Military Spheroid
Use: Combined Arms Carrier
Technology: Star League
Introduced: 3056
Mass: 3,980 tons

   Length: 91 meters
   Width:  90 meters
   Height: 90 meters

Fuel: 150 tons (900)
Tons Burn/Day: 1.84
Safe Thrust: 5
Maximum Thrust: 8
Heat Sinks: 63 (126) Double
Structural Integrity: 10

   Fore:  15
   Sides: 16
   Aft:   11

Arc   Type   Heat   S  M  L  Extreme
FL    Laser   22    2  2  1     -
FR    Laser   22    2  2  1     -
AL    Laser   22    2  2  1     -
AR    Laser   22    2  2  1     -

Point Defense:
Arcs: F, FR, FL, AR, AL
Type: Laser
Damage: 1 per arc
Heat: 3 per arc

Cargo: 6 tons
   Bay 1: Mech (4) / Vehicle           2 Doors
   Bay 2: Mech (4) / Vehicle           2 Doors
   Bay 3: Cargo/Infantry               3 Doors*

* 2 cargo doors, 1 infantry door

Escape Podes: 0
Life Boats: 9

Crew: 23 (25 with Medical Staff)

Cost: 77,949,400 C-bills
Revenue/Mission: 75,000 C-bills

   4 ER Large Lasers
   4 Large Pulse Lasers
  12 Small Lasers

Notes: The flexible cargo bay system is designed to hold 8 BattleMechs, but these 
clamps will support heavy vehicles as well. Hard-points on the floor that would be 
used to secure 'Mech support equipment may be used to secure vehicles instead. A 
maximum of 800 tons of vehicles/'Mechs can be carried. The actual number of any given 
type is limited by total clamps (24 max) and type per class (8 'Mech, 12 Heavy Vehicle, 
24 Light Vehicle). 1 'Mech clamp=1.5 H Vehicle clamps=3 L vehicle clamps.

     The original Seekers entered production in 2815. The design was meant to 
carry a forward scout battalion on long range excursions into enemy territory. 
This is performed well, and although originally designed to carry 36 light vehicles 
and 9 infantry platoons the bays proved easy to re-engineer. Thus many were modified 
by various Successor State navies over the years. In 3054 the Federated Commonwealth 
produced an updated Seeker that took advantage of advanced technology but was largely 
the same ship internally. During the new Seeker's introduction it was believed that 
both the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation were working on their own 

     Rumor became fact with the use of several new Seeker Mk IIs 
by Marik and Liao forces during the Sarna March invasion of 3057. 
Based on the same basic hull design, the Mk IIs are 280 tons heavier 
and have been redesigned internally to create a flexible-use DropShip 
that is well suited to the task of dropping mercenary forces (with 
their often non-standard unit composition) for planetary raids. 

     The Seeker Mark II has laid to rest the ancient belief that lowest
bidder equals poor results. Proving markedly less expensive than any
DropShip it's size by making use of an innovative flexible bay system 
the designers were penny-wise but not pound foolish. By paying the costs 
for both vehicle and BattleMech niche-clamps and designing a movable 
system to share the same physical bay space, this DropShip is extremely 
flexible in the roles it may serve. While it's primary role would appear 
to be the dropping of small raider forces, it can easily be used for other 
duties as well.

     While redesigning the Seeker Mark II, the best elements of the original 
remained intact. The Quad RanTech Fusion Drive system makes it one of the 
fastest DropShips of it's size. In fact, it can keep pace with many heavy 
fighters and outrun many DropShips of any size. The four independently 
shielded reactors can be powered down and worked on independently without 
requiring the entire drive to be shut down. In an emergency, the ship can 
even operate on a single reactor at reduced velocities.

     Original Seekers had excellent medical facilities and the Mark IIs have 
actually improved on them. The Seeker's spacious (by military DropShip 
standards) personnel quarters have been kept and by redesigning the old 
infantry bays and reducing some of the cargo volume more crew housing has 
been added. There are quarters for two more crewmen and two extra officers 
than required. It is not uncommon for some of these extra facilities to be 
used for additional crew in the form of medical personnel.

     The original's semi-configurable cargo holds have been redesigned for 
maximum flexibility. With wide lifts between them and two smaller cargo holds 
opening into the 'Mech/vehicle area the Seeker Mk II is designed for "on-the-fly" 
configuring. It has adjustable cubicle clamps for either 8 BattleMechs, 12 Heavy 
vehicles, or 24 Light vehicles. All of the niche brackets can be moved, allowing 
a mix and match approach totaling no more than 800 tons or exceeding the maximum 
available clamps (24) or clamps per 'Mech/Vehicle type. Thus if a four 'Mech 
lance massing 280 tons were aboard, up to 6 heavy vehicles or 12 light vehicles 
could be carried as well (but only 520 tons of lift capacity remains).  This 
ability to 'remodel' is believed to be behind three reports of empty Seeker 
Mk IIs being used as follow-up DropShips that arrived solely to carry away 
salvage and wounded.

     Despite boosting the ship's mass a bit, the engineers still had to make cuts 
somewhere for the additional 'Mech carrying capacity and the open holds on levels 
two and three. A fuel tank gave way, reducing total fuel load by a fair amount, and 
the infantry bay was reduced down to three platoons. These facilities were redesigned 
and upgraded to allow for either Jump Troops or standard infantry however. Spare 
cargo capacity was lost as well. If fully loaded, only 6 tons of extra space is left. 
However a careful loadmaster will be able to take advantage of the fact that almost 
never do 'Mech lances consist of four 100 ton machines. The unused mass can be shifted 
to the two empty cargo areas.

     With four large vehicle doors, two for each deck level, whatever forces are on 
board can exit in a hurry. The infantry has their own exit and there are two cargo 
doors as well for the smaller bays. A set of launch tubes can jettison either four 
BattleMechs or a platoon of troopers per cycle for drop missions.

     Combat ability has been upgraded by the use of double heat sinks to allow nearly 
continuos firing in all directions. ER large lasers replaced the PPCs of the FedCom 
version, providing effectively the same firepower in outer space for lower mass and 
cost. Four Large pulse lasers were added for medium range firepower while 12 small 
lasers provide point defense against boarding. The Mark II still shares the directly 
forward and directly aft firing holes that many spheroid designs have. Taking advantage 
of this is difficult however as the ship need only shift it's nose baring by 30 degrees 
to put a target in a forward-right/left or aft-right/left firing arc.

     The speed, increased armor and firepower, and convertible cargo bays of the Mark II 
hint at it's raiding potential, although undoubtedly Marik planners will chalk all of this 
up to tactical flexibility instead. 

     It is believed that many Free Worlds League units will begin to use the versatile
and less expensive Seeker Mk IIs to replace their aging Unions and other mid-weight
DropShips. Whether the Cappellans have their own Mark IIs or are simply having their
forces ferried by Marik ships is unknown at this time. One can easily imagine that
House Liao would be interested in fielding such fine raiding vessels however. Despite
the newness of the design, several are known to already be in the hands of FWL based
mercenary units. The notable number of sightings in such a short period of time leads
to speculation that more than one League / Cappellan shipyard is involved in producing
Seeker Mark IIs. Although a military spec design, one can speculate that the civilian
market will be interested in a version with only vehicle clamps, granting 400 tons more
cargo for the removed 'Mech storage equipment.