Dropship Vehicle in Milky Way | World Anvil


Dropships are small-to-medium sized aerospace craft that are primarily used to transport troops and materiel from space to surface while under enemy fire. They are operated by every FTL-capable society, and many pre-FTL societies in different forms. The predecessors of dropships were typically helicopters or other forms of VTOL aircraft, used to transport terrestrial troops from a base to a landing zone. Spaceborne dropships tend to come in two sizes. The typical dropship ranges between 15-40 metres long, carrying several squads or a platoon of soldiers for fast deployment. Landers, on the other hand, are much larger, slower, and more vulnerable. They are typically over 40 metres long, sometimes as large as 100 metres. Their role is to quickly transport heavy vehicles to a planet's surface, such as tanks, walkers, artillery, or even other dropships.

While dropships are much slower and less maneuverable than strike craft, some of them mount their own weaponry to provide fire support to troops they deploy. These are sometimes referred to as gunships, but in most galactic military doctrines, nearly every dropship is armed with some form of weapon. As such, the term gunship tends to refer to dropships that have been significantly modified or refitted to provide local, longer-term fire support instead of transporting troops.

Most transport ships carry dropships and landers, but some warships also carry dropships. These are typically crewed by marines, who are soldiers specialised in close-quarters and zero-g combat. The purpose of these dropships is to be able to board disabled or detained ships, either for policing friendly space or capturing an enemy ship or station.
15-40m (dropship)
40-100m (lander)
Complement / Crew


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