Kawazaki Ki-68 Shiun-class lander
|Role||Heavy-lift transport aerospacecraft|
|National origin||New Greater Empire|
|Manufacturer||Kawazaki Aerospace Engineering|
The Kawazaki Ki-68 Shiun-class lander, often referred to simply as the Shiun-class lander, is a multipurpose heavy-lift military utility aerospacecraft manufactured in the New Greater Empire by Kawazaki Aerospace Engineering. The Shiun-class is designed to move ground troops, cargo, or vehicles between orbit and planetary surfaces, and even includes a short-range Ferran Drive.
The success of the Shiun-class design led Kawazaki Aerospace to develop the partially derivative Ki-87 Egusa-class shuttle, a smaller design meant for light strategic and VIP transport.
The Shiun-class lander is a rugged transport aerospacecraft designed to ferry troops and materiel from orbital transports to surface combat zones, or to move similar cargo throughout individual systems. It is capable of both strategic and tactical transportation, and is heavily protected with layered composite titanium plate armour to withstand frontline combat conditions. Fully capable of VTOL operations through thrust-vectoring, the iconic tri-winged design provides stability and lift during in-atmosphere flight. When landing, the Shiun-class's wings fold upwards to save space in landing areas, and all landings and takeoffs are done in VTOL. The aerospacecraft is fully pressurised to enable space travel.
Despite its small size, the Shiun-class is equipped with a short-range Ferran Drive, enabling it to carry out FTL jumps within star systems. However, it lacks the power to make longer-ranged jumps, and relies on larger vessels to carry it between systems and sectors. This capability enables the Shiun-class to be used to reinforce Imperial forces anywhere within a given star system, and move materiel and personnel throughout the system with ease. Some Imperial military commanders are known to use the Shiun-class as a VIP shuttle in the absence of an Egusa-class shuttle.
The crew of the Shiun-class can be between 2 to 6 personnel, including a pilot, co-pilot, communications officer, a loadmaster, and 2 gunners to operate the landing craft's weapons systems. One or both of the gunners is also typically a flight engineer. The Shiun-class is heavily armed for a transport craft, equipped with four 30mm automatic cannons and two six-tube missile launchers. During in-atmosphere operations, machine guns can also be mounted on the doors and the front ramp. However, despite its heavy armament and capability for tactical airlifting operations, the Shiun-class is foremost a strategic transport. It is large and lacks maneuverability, limiting its usefulness in heavy frontline combat conditions.
A large cargo bay allows the Shiun-class to carry between 54 to 75 troops depending on the configuration of the cargo bay. Troops sit on drop-down seats along the walls of the cargo compartment, or on additional benches which can be installed. Other than personnel, cargo pallets and vehicles can also be loaded into the Shiun-class's cargo bay. The cargo bay has two side doors and a main front ramp. Electromagnetic clamps in the floor of the cargo bay help to keep cargo secure during rough flights.
- Crew: 2 - 6 (Pilot, Copilot, Communications Officer, Loadmaster, 2 Gunners)
- Length: 38 m
- Powerplant: 1 × Kakurega 7997 Small Vessel Fusion Reactor (Second Revision)
- Propulsion: Kawazaki MiHo-276 Ion Drive Array
- Ferran Drive: Arakawa Type-68 (Class 5) "Planet Hopper" Short-Range Ferran Drive
- Max atmospheric speed: 1,000 km/h
- 4 × 30mm Automatic Cannons
- 2 × 6-tube missile launchers
- Ability to mount machine guns on doors and ramps
- 54 - 75 troops
- 1-4 combat walkers (depends on type)
- 1-2 MBT
- Up to 6 light vehicles (i.e. utility trucks)