(RP) ATIS 'UT-class' Mobile Fleet Utility Platform
A more recent development by Aquarian Imperial Draughtsmen to augment the existing ARK-class Support ships already in service with the Fleet. While ARK-class vessels are capable of heavy-duty towing operations with large capital ships using kinetic tethers, the Navy recognised the need for a significantly more powerful utility ship for salvage, recovery and utility operations within the Fleet with an emphasis on more powerful impulse thrusters and the ability to operate with forward units in a variety of combat-focused support roles; such typically unsuited for the ARK-class.
The UT-class design was developed to address this requirement. The Imperial Navy requirement was for a large, sub-capital class, utility ship able to manipulate the largest space-borne structures; including the Supercapital RT-class Dreadnought and EV-class Supercarrier, without assistance. The design also called for an internal Utility Bay able to equip the Navy's Gravimetric Gyro; a system thus far only equipped on the aforementioned Supercapital vessels. Creating a vessel with sufficient durability for salvage operations while maintaining the power facilities to operate a Gravimetric Gyro was a major challenge for the Imperial Navy Institute for Research and Development.
The result was a platform with significantly more mass than the ARK-class it was intended to augment, but of comparable size. However, the increased mass was considered beneficial for salvage and towing operations.
The primary feature of the UT-class is the dual, bow-mounted gravimetric/magneto clamps, or 'The Jaws' as referred to by their crews. These are capable of using powerful gravimetric locks to bond with the surface of essentially any physical object within the scope of the platform's ability to effectively manipulate. Furthermore, the actuators are capable of breaking up space debris such as ship carcasses or asteroids into smaller, more manageable pieces for disassembly and salvage. Each Actuator platform is equipped with a Macro Assembler Array - a cluster of powerful plasma beams capable of splitting molecular structures on a macro scale; typically used for resource salvage operations. Additionally, as with the ARK-class, UT-class is equipped with nano-assemblers for atomic-level fabrication and manipulation of salvaged material within the armoured superstructure. This allows the platform to fabricate specific supplies such as Hydrogen/Helium Plasma Fuel for starship drives, solid-state projectiles for MA/FIMD weapon systems and a variety of replacement components for essentially any ship system in service with the Imperial Navy, short of the most complex and restricted technologies.
UT-class has extremely powerful lateral impulse drives specifically developed for towing massive objects. The primary lateral drives are able to provide similar levels of thrust to both forward and rear - allowing for rapid acceleration and de-acceleration during towing, without a second tug being connected to the payload. In addition, the ship has prominent multi-directional impulse thrusters for precise, yet powerful omnidirectional manoeuvring with large payloads; underscoring the intention of the Platform for salvage and towing operations.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the UT-class is the facility for a Gravimetric Gyro; located within the midships superstructure. As such, the UT-class is the smallest (in terms of dimensions and mass) ship in the Fleet to be able to carry the Gravimetric Gyro, it is also significantly faster and more versatile for deployment than the existing GG-equipped Supercapital class vessels. The inclusion of this facility allows the UT-class to fill a critical role within the Imperial Fleet: the ability to effectively block JDA/FTL transit within a large area of space with a small, mobile platform.
Furthermore, the Gravimetric Gyro allows the UT-class to project gravity fields external to the ship's mass field. A unique ability shared with the RT and EV-class Supercapital ships; it allows the vessel to influence massive objects without requiring physical contact. While power requirements for a purely gravimetric towing system are unfeasible with current technological restrictions, the Gravimetric Gyro adds additional stability to the platform's strong Magneto/Gravimetric clamps and allows the craft to operate within high-gravity environments such as close orbit of a planet; an ability useful for its primary role as a salvage and utility vessel.