EARTHFORCE TROOP TRANSPORT
Craft: Earthforce Troop Transport
Type: Troop trannsportation spacecraft
Skill: Capital ship piloting: Troop Transport
-Emergency Evac: 10,000+/1 week (more if cargo is dumped, including gunships)
Crew Skill: Astrogation 3D, Capital ship gunnery 3D+2, Capital ship piloting 4D, Sensors 3D, Starship gunnery 3D+2
Passengers: N/A (see troops)
Cargo Capacity: 10,000 metric tons
Consumables: 4 weeks
Cost: Not available for sale
Hyperspace Jump Engines: No
Nav Computer: Yes (+1D Astrogation)
AUXILIARY CRAFT CAPACITY:
-6 Earthforce GROPOS Gunships (locked down for transportation)
2 Plasma Pulse Discharge Cannons
Location: Mounted fore/aft of hull
Fire Arc: Front
Crew: 2 (2)
Skill: Capital starship gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Rate Of Fire: 2
2 40mm Pulse Cannons
Location: Mounted in midddle/aft hull
Fire Arc: 8 turrets
Crew: 1 (2)
Skill: Starship gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Rate Of Fire: 3
Location: Mounted along hull
Fire Arc: 4 turrets
Crew: 1 (2)
Skill: Starship gunnery
Fire Control: 3D
Rate Of Fire: 4
The Earthforce troop transport was a type of military transport used by the Earthforce Marine Corps, capable of both atmospheric manoeuvring and limited space travel.
In 2259, five Earthforce troop transports and one Nova class dreadnought arrived at Babylon 5. They were transporting 25,000 marines from the 356th Infantry Division to the planet Akdor for Operation Sudden Death.
Behind the Scenes
The transport was designed by Steve Burg, based somewhat on the Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft. The intent was for the design to have only a limited range in space.
I tried making the gunship up to certain criteria. For one, figuring out its rough size when it was shown on screen next to the Nova dreadnought, taking into account foreground and background for size and visual displacement (it's still a rough guess, and I may have been somewhat generous).
For another, working in that this ship was probably meant to transport not only troops but all their hardware and support gear as well. What it comes down to is that these ships are meant to be cargo and personnel transport craft that pack everyone and everything as tightly as possible, like in a sardine can. Rather fitting for the military, especially considering that this craft has no gravity. Other transport craft, even when packing their freight tightly, may have more free room to move around in than an Earthforce Troop Transport.
Another factor taken into consideration is the number of troops being trabsported. When I made stats for the other Earthforce ships (i.e. Omega destroyer, Nova dreadnought, Hyperion cruiser, etc.), I did so with the idea that, while similar in length to a Victory or Imperial Star Destroyer (though much less in width), their relative technology levels, while still powerful, may have been somewhat less advanced in many ragards, therefor needing larger machines to achieve many of the same functions that would take up more space. Combined with the effects of lacking artificial gravity, operating in zero-g, and using rotating sections that simulate gravity but take up even more space for operation, and all in all, these ships seemed like they would not have been able to transport large amounts of troops AND their rtespective gear and vehicles, as a Star Destroyer would. What troops they have listed would be used for defense of the ship against boarding actions, and committing boarding actions themselves, but little else. The ships themselves would be devoted to space combat, having no ability to enter atmosphere.
That said, it would seem that Earthforce ships are much more specific in their role and purpose. Therefor, it would stand that a devoted troop transport craft would cut corners here and there to fit as much as possible in its hull and cargo hold to get a fighting force of troops and their gear to their next mission on other worlds. It is possible that any GROPOS Gunships would even be disassembled for the trip in order to save a lot of space, only to be assembled for battle once the transport has landed on a planet (and as flimsy as those gunships looked, who's to say otherwise?). The numbers given for troops above, while taking into account what is said about other Earthforce ships, represents that five of these troop transports effectively trabsported the whole 25,000 troops being sent to fight at Akdor for Operation Sudden Death. The Nova dreadnought they traveled with could have been used as an escort to guarentee their reaching Akdor since they lack heavy weapons, while also being used to transport officers in charge of the troops and the operation, as well as using whatever cargo and hangar space it could spare for more gear to be used by the GROPOS in the transports. The Nova could have also supplied its jump engines, as the transports are not big enough to have their own.
Speaking of gravity, it should be noted that such crapmed spaces in zero-g would definitely get on people's nerves and be a sure cause for agitation among the troops during long-haul troop movements. This would have been a very good reason to allow the troops shore leave on babylon 5 during the episode "GROPOS".
Also worth mentioning if interested fasn reading this have not figured it out yet, "GROPOS" stands for "ground pounders", a common term for Earth Alliance Earthforce marines in babylon 5. Troops stationed aboard Earthforce militarty spacecraft will almost always be GROPOS, and ships such as this Troop Trasport and the Earthforce GROPOS Gunship will almost always be used by GROPOS (though other variants may exits for other military branches such as the Earthforce Army if applicable).
The Star Wars ships used for comparisons in size and carrying capacity for this write up were probably the Strike Cruiser and Star Galleon in the Star Wars Imperial Sourcebook. Noticeably the Star Galleon, as it is much smaller than other Imperial capital ships, yet it has much more cargo capacity and relative space for passengers and troops.
Status: Active (as of 2260)
Class: Military transport
Jump Capable: No