While the ‘Hopper’ design has been the primary Marine transport for years, it lacked in two specific areas, i.e. warp capability and the ability to move a single large number of troops. While accomplished in the mid-range transport mode and an excellent ‘hot drop’ vehicle, it lacked the expandability to do more.
Enter the Firefly. Taking a page from the Hopper, the Firefly is a craft that can be mated to one of many multi-function pods carried in an under-slung fashion as apposed to mounted on the rear. Unlike the Hopper, it is a fully warp-capable ship, although its range is limited and it sacrifices weapon systems for extra shielding and survivability in a hot combat zone. The first two pods designed for use with the Firefly were the dynamic entry pod and the full platoon transport.
The dynamic entry pod is basically a large, portable airlock, with room for 25 armed marines. The front of the pod is mounted with a circular laser drill similar to the type used for heavy asteroid mining and tunneling by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. The idea is that the Firefly hard-docks the pod, which adheres to the hull of an enemy ship, and the laser drill opens a circular hole in the hull of approximately six feet in diameter, allowing the Marines access to the target through the forward hatchway. Once the pod is attached, the Firefly is free to detach and clear the combat zone until the Marines call for retrieval, if required.
The platoon transport is actually two pods in one. Carrying the needed seating to carry 53 marines and all of their personal equipment, the transport pod also packs all of the communications and command gear of a field command base. Once on the ground in the target zone, at which point the Firefly can remain attached for quick retrieval or detach for other missions, the transport pod can be quickly reconfigured to serve as a temporary forward operations base.
The Pilot Retrieval/Med Evac pod has two uses, retrieval of a downed pilot(s) in a hot zone with onboard med facilitys to treat for exposure and other similar problems that tend to crop up with pilot ejections (emergency beam outs). As a secondary use, the pod can be used as a medevac/ambulance for both standard operations and Marine retrieval.
Finally, the double Argo pod is in response to the Argo ATV’s popularity with Marine recon squads. Just wide enough, it can carry two fully-packed Argo buggies, and their crew, ready to be deploy the moment it touches dirt.
Capable of up to one full week’s independent operations, although durability depends on distances and speeds travelled. Estimated minimum operational period of 15 hours (including a full stint at maximum warp). Short-to medium-range warp vessel capable of carrying a maximum of three personnel. On board sections are the cockpit, pod management recess and engines. On board standard replicator unit. No transporter.
Dynamic entry pod:
Capable of 18 hours of operation and only used in short-range missions. Approximately 30% of the pod’s internal volume is taken up by breaching machinery. Pod is equipped with emergency rations estimated to last one day and minimal equipment storage, as most of the gear used by the boarding party will be carried by the troops for the short amount of time required. No communications, sensory or other capabilities. No replicator. No transporter.
Capable of 18 hours of operation and only used in short-range missions. This pod is equipped with emergency rations estimated to last two days for six personnel. Equipment storage for repair and maintenance of Argos. Minimum weapons storage facilities – two phaser rifles, two handheld phasers – and no communications, sensory or other capabilities. No replicator. No transporter.
Pilot retrieval/Med evac pod:
Capable of 36 hours of full operation, a possible 48 if retrieval activities are kept to a minimum. Emergency medbay with berths for up to 12 personnel. Ample medical supply storage space. Emergency rations estimated to last 16 people one day. On board standard replicator. Transporters as outlined in original submission.
Capable of 36-48 hours of operation and used for a full range of missions. Carries a maximum of 54 Marines with moderate storage space for equipment. Adequate storage space for personnel weaponry in crates. Minimum storage space for larger weaponry. Retractable bunks for 30. Equipped with four medical kits. Two on board standard replicators. One transporter with three pads. Communicators but no sensory or other capabilities.
Deployable HQ pod:
Capable of 48-60 hours of operation, a possible full week when deployed on a planetary surface. Carries 3-5 personnel. No storage space or personnel weaponry. On board standard replicator. One transporter. Medium-range command and control capabilities.
The Firefly is composed of a command section with warp drive and one of a number of mission-specific pod attachments.
|Cruising Speed||Warp 1.5|
|Maximum Speed||Warp 2.7|
|Emergency Speed||Warp 3 (for 4 hours)|
|Shielding System||Light Shielding System|
|Defensive Systems||Ablative Armour|