CharacteristicsEditThe F/B-1 Trill is a heavily armed and heavily armored "fighter-bomber," although it is closer to a bomber than a fighter, its speed and maneuverability suffering by modern standards. Much of this is due to its size, and especially to its prodigious wingspan, which increases the surface area of its hardpoints' power cells, minimizing the need for the radiator panels favored on smaller craft. Since this makes the Trill a larger target, the wings are also thickly armored, further limiting its acceleration.
For defending itself against other starships given these drawbacks, the Trill houses a front turret which mounts a fast-tracking, short-range double-blaster cannon for use against starfighters, and a rear turret with a heavier, single laser cannon for a greater range of pursuers.
The main armament of the Trill consists of four modular hardpoints and eight variable-yield bomb bays. Each hardpoint is designed to accept anything from a heavy laser cannon or heavy ion cannon to missile launchers. Each bomb bay can be outfitted for a different type of bomb, with a capacity for either 20 proton torpedo warheads, 30 concussion warheads, 20 cluster bombs, 20 intruder missiles, 16 sonic charges, or a number of more exotic ordinances. The bays are designed to deliver munitions vertically against ground targets, or capital ships overflown by the Trill, but the bays can be adapted for ship-to-ship firing, at the cost of half to one-third munition capacity.
Supplementing the Trill's firepower are heavy shields which, in addition to the thick armor, make it a formidable craft against cruisers and small capital ships.
The Trill was originally designed as the XB-1 by VMEW's V-1 team shortly after the deployment of the first Vevs. Recognizing the Vev's inability to withstand sustained fighting against the targets it was designed to destroy as a "cruiser-buster," the V-1 team sought to design a proper bomber for more deliberate strikes. The XB-1 underwent numerous revisions and configuration adjustments throughout the RLF/Imperial war, though it became secondary to the redesign of the Vev. It was only late in the war, after returning to the project, that the V-1 team completed a final prototype, prominently featuring improvements pioneered on the Vev 2.
These improvements lead to an increase in the Trill's size, however, and it only barely qualified at all as a fighter-bomber, its wingspan giving it the dimensions of a small cruiser. However, its low mass relative to those dimensions, as well as its minimal crew requirements, permitted VMEW to encourage its adoption as a cheaper alternative to heavier craft, while still retaining similar firepower, and performance comparable to older starfighters.
The size of the Trill meant that its logistical requirements for production were high. VMEW fabricated a series of production models for testing, anticipating that full production would be outsourced to Ikest Industries, but the bomber was beyond the manufacturing capacity of the small shipyard. This small number of F/B-1 became the RLF's only bomber squadron, and due to their high value, they were rarely deployed to the high-risk heavy combat operations for which they were designed. They were also overqualified, or suited poorly, to the low-intensity strikes for which the RLF favored its smaller craft. Resultingly, they were seldom seen.
It wasn't until the emergence of the People's Galactic Alliance and the lucrative defense contracts it offered to VMEW that mass-production of the F/B-1 Trill became a possibility, and the program became a component of VMEW's planned expansion into shipbuilding. The F/B-1 Trill was prepared for mass-production.
The People's Galactic AllianceEdit
The F/B-1's career as a bomber was met with more misfortune during the days of the PGA when the LPC-7 Hermit-Class Light Cruiser, upon which the V-1 team had collaborated, premiered. Heralded as VMEW's "first" starship to roll out of its newly christened shipyards, the "Hermit" not only boasted greater firepower than the Trill, but greater speed, and heavier armor and shields. It lacked the fighter-bomber's maneuverability, but it was much better suited to the PGA's need for a heavy patrol cruiser for the trade-lane security provided by the newly established People's Galactic Alliance Forces.
Production of the Trill eventually commenced, but the PGA, projecting no requirements for a craft best suited to open warfare, ordered only a few squadrons' worth. Production eventually escalated during the War with the Revenant, but the infrequency of space battles with the Revenant Armada and their low intensity ensured that the Trill remained marginalized, and again never saw use in open combat.
Most F/B-1 Trills have been relegated to drydock, remaining in reserve. The wealth of sensitive military hardware component to its construction means that they are unlikely to be decommissioned for some time, though they are also unlikely to see use.