Today I'm revealing a new class of capital ships for both The Coalition and FCA factions. You may have seen them pictured in some of the previous news, but now they are ready (maybe the textures just need some more work) to be shown.
These ships are designed to transport, launch and support (by repairing, rearming and so on) all the fighters of the respective warring fronts.
In our universe, fighters aren't capable to travel for long distances or to make long-range jumps, so they need transportation. When bigger capital ships can't be called in, then the dropships are the only way to insert fighters into the battle areas.
Of course you can expect these vessels to be the backbone of any mission, as their displacement is strategic to bring in reinforcements; in terms of gameplay these ships allow early capture of strategic points (like any other capital ship, but these ones can be used much earlier), to gain rank points each time allied fighters are rearmed/repaired and also to serve as a mobile respawn point for fighters.
Both ships offer similar weaponry; they mostly differ (design apart) for the layout of the weapons slots or the displacement of the landing pads. The other main difference is that the FCA's version is slightly lighter and somewhat more agile than Coaliton's counterpart.
These ships can be quite annoying against enemy fighters, not much for their relatively limited direct fire AA capabilities (and of course for the probable presence of fighters in the immediate vicinity), but mainly because they can be literally filled with homing missiles. Pilots will learn it soon as they will experiment warhead lock-ons while entering their range. While dealing with them, it becomes imperative, before than anything else, to try disabling its launchers or to attack from the areas that aren't directly covered by missiles.
It is armed with a couple of level two flak turrets, and a pair of missile launchers in the front wingtips. The fighters take off through the frontal hangar and land on the two opposite pads located in the center of the ship, one upside and the other on the lower end. The ship's design is rather symmetrical so that the upside and the downside are equally armored and pilots won't have to struggle where to land. It's dimensions are 256 x 145 x 60 meters.
The anti-figther armament is the same of the Bullfrog, while missile launchers are located vertically, one on the front upside, and the other one in the “belly” of the lower hull. Again the fighters are launched through the frontal hangar, while have to land in one of the two pads facing the rear upwards end.
This ship is slightly longer than the Coalion class, with its 263m; the maximum height is 62 meters, while it's thinner, namely by 20 meters less than the Bullfrog.
A little update about the stations I was speaking about in the previous news, here you can have a WIP picture.
Finally, I'm glad to say that this October, thursday 8th and friday 9th, there will be the second edition of the Italian Videogame Developers Conference, in the main hall of IULM University in Milan. You can find some more information in this thread Forums.aureasection.com, in the press & links section.