Argonaut Class Patrol Corvette
The Argonaut Class Patrol Corvette is a combat spacecraft formerly operated by the TASA Space Corps. It was the predecessor to the Amazon Class Long Range Patrol Corvette. The Argonaut Class Corvette lacked the operational range of its successor, and was only capable of missions in a single planetary system. Though the two ships are of similar size, lower thrust efficiencies of the Argonaut's generation of ships resulted in a much larger propellant mass ratio, and the Argonaut's standard propulsion module makes up two thirds of the ship's hull space. The smaller mission module of the Argonaut also lacks the spinal railgun that serves as the defining characteristic of the Amazon Class. This was due in part to the Argonaut Class' shorter operational range, which requires less subsistence gear than the Amazon Class for it's standard crew compliment of 18. The ship also lacks the Theseus Ship module interchangeability of later TASA ships, making it less versatile than later ships. Essentially only the drive module could be exchanged with relative ease, and the lack of other interchangeability contributed to its rapid obsolescence. A key feature of the Argonaut Class Patrol Corvette is the trilateral symmetry in its design, giving it a distinct silhouette when viewed obliquely. The Argonaut class has three weapons pods and three main thrusters. Since the drive module is considerably wider than the mission module, several sensors and communications relays are mounted on a retractable boom to transmit and receive to points beyond the ship's aft. This feature was carried over to the later Hermes Class High-Thrust Utility Corvette to overcome that class' massive drive module. The primary drive radiators are a trio of the rigid pseudo-wing type found on most first generation TASA Spacecraft. Because the radiators jut out far from the craft's fuselage, two of the radiators are hinged to partially fold out of the way of the ship's docking collar. Fan-style radiators serve as emergency backup radiators, however their proximity to the external reaction mass tank mounting points, so any such tanks must be jettisoned before deploying the fan radiators. The Argonaut Class was phased out of TASA service over the course of the System Wide War. Once the Argonaut Class Corvette became obsolete, its duties were split between the new Amazon Class and the Actaeon Class Missile Corvette which was developed from the Argonaut's chassis. Argonaut Class ships that were not cannibalized to build Actaeons were sold as exports to other nations and organizations, often serving as orbital cutters or skirmishers. These export models have seen various upgrades and modifications, both by TASA and by the purchasers. These modifications included upgraded sensors packages, improved defensive armaments, and most notably a more efficient drive module which drastically reduced the ship's overall size.