by Pieter Thomassen, with
Original Illustration by Sean Newton
Marathon Class Super Dimensional Transport.
Names and disposition:
All ship names are prefaced by "UES", for "United Earth Ship".
| SAT-01 ||UES Marathon ||2025||In service.|
| SAT-02 ||UES Tour-de-France ||2025||In service.|
| SAT-03 ||UES Sprint ||2025||In service.|
| SAT-04 ||UES Triathlon ||2025||In service.|
| SAT-05 ||UES Grand Prix ||2026||In service.|
| SAT-06 ||UES Blue Banner ||2026||In service.|
| SAT-07 ||UES Steeplechase ||2026||In service.|
| SAT-08 ||UES Estafette ||2026||In service.|
| SAT-09 ||UES Indianapolis ||2027||In service.|
| SAT-10 ||UES Elfstedentocht ||2027||In service.|
| SAT-11 ||UES Davis Cup ||2027||In service.|
| SAT-12 ||UES Whitebread ||2027||In service.|
| SAT-13 ||UES Olympics ||2028||In service.|
| SAT-14 ||UES World Cup ||2028||In service.|
| SAT-15 ||UES Superbowl ||2028||In service.|
- Ships' crew (57 men),
- Passengers (up to 650 men),
- Life support limits are for a full complement and about 450 supernumeraries (1150 men total).
- Length: 178.7 m main hull; 164.4 m drive/cargo housing.
- Height: 34.7 m main hull; 56.0 m drive/cargo housing.
- Width : 59.4 m main hull; 55.2 m drive/cargo housing.
- Mass : 124,000 metric tons empty, 152,000 metric tons fully loaded.
- Fuel Mass: 30,000 metric tons, maximum (typical).
- Main power system: RRG Mk20 protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace. The powerplant of the Marathon-class vessel can deliver up to 276 Terawatts of power, and can operate for eighty-three minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates autoshutdown.
- Maneuvering Thrusters (8): Flygmotor T-600 Fusion-Plasma Reaction Thrusters with steerable nozzles forward and aft halfway up the main hull.
- Reaction-mass Thrusters (4): 3 Flygmotor T-800 fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer in the rear of the main hull and 1 Flygmotor T-1000 fusion-plasma reaction thruster with protoculture energizer in the rear of the drive/cargo housing.
- Anti-gravity System (1): 3 RRG Atlas anti-gravity pods.
- Space Fold (1): RRG (Robotech Research Group) Mk10a spacefold. This fold is non-conformal, but the fold radius is relatively small.
- Planetary Capabilities: The Marathon-class has atmospheric capabilities through its reaction thrusters and anti-gravity system. The drive/cargo pod has sufficient structural strength for the ship to use it as a landing foot. Note that the ground underneath should be as firm as possible. The ship will float in an ocean, but the main access ports in the drive/cargo pod will be submerged.
Endurance and mobility limits:
- The dry stores endurance is three months maximum; after that, the Marathon needs to restock. Water stores are recycled almost totally. Due to their frequent rendezvous with larger ships and stations, the Marathons are usually well-stocked with fresh foods.
- The Reflex furnace can function for about 15 years at normal usage levels before an energizer rebuild is necessary. This life expectancy is less than that of the Garfish-class, which has an identical furnace, but the Marathons are easily the hardest-worked ships of the fleet, and carry out more folds than any other vessel.
- At full power, the main propulsion systems can produce up to 3.8 Giganewtons of thrust at a minimal reaction mass efficiency profile, or as little as 109 Meganewtons of thrust at a maximum efficiency setting. At lower power levels, these thrusts are commensurately smaller.
- At full power, the Marathon-class can achieve a maximum delta-v of 260 kps at the cruising acceleration of 0.1 gees, a maximum delta-v of 54 kps at the battle acceleration of 1.0 gees, and a delta-v of at most 15.1 kps at the flank acceleration of 2.5 gees. At lower power levels, these ranges are commensurately smaller.
- The Mk10a fold system has a safe navigational limit of 10 kiloparsecs. Any larger distance requires multiple consecutive fold jumps. This system generates a spherical fold bubble and can transport 5 to 10 subluminal shuttles and a far larger number of fighters with it during a space fold operation.
- The maximum atmospheric speed is Mach 3, if an aerospike is deployed. If the aerospike is not used, the ship is limited to subsonic speeds. The maximum hover time on the anti-gravity systems is limited only by the protoculture supplies and maintenance requirements.
- PL-2a Point Defense turrets (4): mounted on the sides of the hull behind movable panels, these standard REF weapons can fire 56 MJ of particle energy four times per second.
Air group and mecha complement:
- None, although several replacement mecha can usually be found in the cargo compartments or on racks mounted externally on the hull, and pilots can often be found among the passengers.
- The Marathon never received shadow generators or EM masking covers, due to their operational profile.
The Marathon-class is a variant on the Garfish-class scout cruiser. Among the changes are the removal of all weapon systems, but the addition of four point defense cannons, and the replacement of the original (and inadequate) fold drive, the refitting of the troop and internal mecha holds into passenger compartments, and the replacement of the bottom mounted hangar/engine pod with a large cargo/fold drive pod. This pod, which is rather larger than the hangar pod of the Garfish class, is the visually most striking feature of these ships.
The fold system installed in the lower pod takes up 33% of the available space there. The system is, for reasons of stability, placed in the center of the pod, with a large cargo bay both in front of and behind the fold drive. While not as powerful as the system installed in the larger fold-capable vessels, this small fold system is very reliable and still powerful enough to carry five to ten large shuttles with the transport vessel through a fold jump.
The Marathon-class fold transport was conceived at about the same time as the Montgolfier-class tender. Since the Montgolfier-class was to be deployed forward from the base stations, a ship was necessary to shuttle between the factories and the tenders, carrying new supplies and replacement mecha. In addition to these goods and mecha, there would be a number of transfers involving replacement personnel and injured crew to and from the base stations and the front lines. It would be extremely inefficient to use the high-value tenders for this; similarly, ships-of-the-line were needed on the line, and would be wasted on cargo hauling duties. Therefore, the Marathon-class transports were designed and the shipyards on board Space Station Equality started a production run of these vessels.
The entire class was named after famous sporting events or running events of the Olympic games. Blue Banner was the sole exception, being named after the banner traditionally flown from the fastest ship so far to have crossed the North Atlantic. The other events include endurance-, bicycle-, sailing- and car-races, team competitions and also natural-ice long distance skating.
In total, fifteen of these vessels were built. Because of the nature of their mission, the shuttling between known safe space coordinates, these vessels were not armed and they never encountered any hostile ship. They are still in service as general logistics support vessels with the Terran Navy.
See additional design notes.
Return to REF Naval index.
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Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker
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