|Build cost:||575 RU|
|Build time:||53 sec|
|Maximum speed:||110 m/s|
|Turning rate:||30.0 deg/s|
|Squadron firepower:||181.69 HP/s|
|weapon type||count||RPM||damage||individual firepower||total firepower|
(FFI) vK.IX/a.IC Ion Frigate
Entered into mass production twenty five years ago, this unit is rapidly showing age when compared to Blaze frigates. Constructed in an era of smaller and simpler weapons systems, the /a.IC mounts a medium-sized beam weapon based on the Sajuuk-Cor system and taking advantage of the excellent design of the Mark IX frigate chassis. It compared quite favorably to the old Sajuuk-cor, sporting improved armor, light point defense, better redundant secondary systems, and improved mobility.
Unfortunately the Sajuuk-Cor is a design that is significantly over a century old. Modern heavy ion artillery units are not frigate chassis wrapped around a single beam cannon, but instead a frigate chassis cut down until all extraneous systems are removed save an oversized mothership-class superheavy beam. The Blaze beam system has significantly longer range and higher intensity at almost exactly the same rate of fire, allowing UNH ion frigate squadrons to deliver withering fire from behind their main battle line whilst /a.IC must enter cruiser beam cannon range to retaliate. Where the introduction of the point defense guns complements the medium coilgun turret on the assault frigate variant, here the point defense guns consume precious internal space, crew, and power for frequently little real effect on the battle. Often strikecraft breakthroughs involve whole attack bomber wings punching through an escort screen to volley heavy energy cannon fire on single targets. Against that kind of rapid attack the light point defense guns offer little response, and in a capital ship slugging match they are worthless. It is expected that an answer to the Blaze beam frigate will reach mass production soon addressing these shortfalls as best as possible by scaling up the beam cannon and targeting sensors until the Confederate fleets have an answer to the UNH's modern, superior design.
Though its beam is antiquated, this model has a good service record for its limited lifespan and at closer range is quite deadly. The ship is best engaged like any other ion frigate - at point blank range with turreted frigates, at standoff range with large craft, and with wings of bombers and interceptors.