Operators: TOG Navy
Mass: 491,256 tons
Cost: 2,580,281,512 talents
Right Engine Rating (15,000)
Center Engine Rating (15,000)
Left Engine Rating (15,000)
25 37.5/30 (L)
25 37.5/30 (R)
25 37.5/25 (F)
25 37.5/15 (A)
Type C Missile System (1 Shot at 100 Points)
Fighters: 24 at 300 tons (One Flight)
Small Craft: 6 at 1,000 tons
Cargo: 8,000 tons
Extras: Thrust Option, Anti-Grav Drives, Streamlining
"Small, fast, and full of fight", was the way Imperial commanders described the Morkanium after its first confrontation with a Renegade frigate in 6809 near the Taryn system in Yoventrov County. Though outweighed in the fight, the Morkanium kept moving, scoring repeated hits on the enemy frigate at long range, then scampering away before the larger ship could bring its broadsides to bear. The battle lasted until the Renegade frigate was nearly helpless from concentrated damage to its left aft section. With its FTL drive destroyed, the frigate was forced to continue the now-uneven fight, while constantly leaking parts from the damaged engines. Finally, the Morkanium delivered the coup de grace. Arcing in on a swift fly-by, it unleashed its entire missile load. Multiple explosions rocked the Renegade frigate as its systems began to self-destruct. Within minutes of the initial bulkhead collapse, the ship's spine cracked and also collapsed. So swift was the ship's final destruction that the crew was unable to launch a single lifeboat.
Following this glowing report of the Morkanium's first battle, production began at full speed. Considered a bargain at under three billion talents, the versatile destroyer has performed almost every kind of duty. When serving as part of a battleship squadron, it usually acts as an advance scout or courier, giving the squadron commander more flexibility than the accompanying escort ships. The destroyer also serves extensively as part of the numerous system-defense squadrons. Its quick response time and ample firepower provide an excellent defense versus Renegade hit-and-run attacks.
The Morkanium performs its various missions with élan. Though lacking a spinal mount, it carries four bays of the longest-range lasers available. A Morkanium's commander may sometimes miss the penetrating power of a main gun, but the vessel's laser weapons provide excellent overall defense and firepower. Its ability to defend itself well also gives the ship a wider tactical range, for the Morkanium need not rely on other ships to cover its fore and aft quarters. It can seek targets on its own and has the firepower to engage them.
The Morkanium's triple-mounted Valor III engines provide such abundant power that commanders boast that they often have more than they can use, a rarity in modern warfare. Commanders also like the fact that the Morkanium's cargo holds are large, giving the craft extra staying power on longer patrols or missions behind Commonwealth lines. Though the average duty patrol of a capital ship is only one or two months, the Morkanium can last up to five months, with only minor rationing. Passenger space is limited, but comfortable. On long military missions, these staterooms can be converted to additional storage areas.
The Morkanium's weapon systems are designed for maximum firepower at all ranges. Though the ship's lack of a spinal mount originally caused some concern, all four laser bays use 37.5 lasers, giving the Morkanium a sting at longer ranges. Though the bays contain only 25 lasers apiece, these pose a serious threat against ships of equal or smaller class. It is at shorter ranges that the Morkanium becomes vulnerable, and so it tries to maintain its distance in combat. The missile system, which the first Morkanium used to such effect, provides an excellent punch. The lack of reloads means the commander must carefully choose his shot, but that shot will be devastating to all but the largest capital ships.
The Morkanium carries four squadrons of fighters, the maximum for a destroyer. These fighters, unlike their Commonwealth counterparts, are used to engage enemies at extreme range. Launched early, the fighters streak toward the enemy, targeting their missiles at maximum range. If possible, they return to the mothership to reload their missiles. If pursuit is too close, they engage the Renegades under cover of the laser bays. Heavier types of fighters with numerous hard points are favored for duty on Morkaniums. A standard fighter complement consists of two Gladius squadrons, one Spiculum squadron, and another squadron of either Spiculums or Onagris.
Like most destroyers, the Morkanium is capable of atmospheric flight. Equipped with both anti-grav generators and streamlining, the ship can lead the assault on ground targets, providing the covering fire necessary for marine carriers to deliver their cargo. These "pathmaker" runs are a favorite of Morkanium crews. Entering atmosphere at high speed provides a thrilling ride, even with the compensators.
The Morkanium is one of the most commonly deployed destroyers in the TOG Imperial Navy, whether in front-line Battleship Squadrons or a system-defense role.
The Morkanium-class destroyer is underpowered; its three 15k engines produce 45,000 PF, but the PF required to power its increased thrust and bay lasers is 53,250.
To correct this problem, it is recommended that the Thrust Option be removed; this will free 15,000 PF (so that 38,250 are required to power all laser bays), which would then fit with the text which states that "...commanders boast that they often have more than they can use."
It should be noted that the canon description's text does not explicitly mention the improved thrust rating, and every reference to "swiftness" therein can be performed equally well with standard-grade (4) thrust.