Rambler Class Fleet Carrier
The main Federation Fleet Carrier. It was later replaced by the Fisher class battlecarrier and the Cerberus Class Dreadnought/System Control Ship. Nevertheless, the greater simplicity and reliability of the Rambler Class ensured that several remained in service in less developed Inner Sphere worlds until as late as the Consolidation Age. Some Rambler class vessels, heavily modified and converted into mobile habitats, may still be found among the less traveled byways of the Inner Sphere to the present day.

Before being supplanted by the System Control Ship, the fleet carrier served the Federation primarily as a transport and launch ship for fighters and troops. The F.D.F. Reserve redeployed some of these vessels as troop carriers during the Solar Civil War, because of its large troop and flight facilities.

For defense the Rambler Class was heavily dependent on its exoatmospheric fighters; however the ships could defend themselves if the need arose, with 42 heavy defense laser turrets, 11 particle accelerators, 8 multi-barrel gauss gun turrets and various small laser turrets for point defense. Because of its low defensive armament, it was vulnerable and clumsy in battle operations , which led it to be phased out in favour of the Fisher class battlecarrier.

Their 2nd generation antimatter/matter engines gave it a top sublight speed of 55%. With a crew of 2190, including full troop capacity and flight capacity, cryonic facilities, and a dual multibiome biosphere/life support system, they were able to sustain operations for up to 65 years, making them useful as a colonial defense vessel.

With the dismantling of the Federation, some Rambler class ships were equipped with Conversion drives and converted to exploration and scientific vessels, because of their large space and command centers. The remainder were mothballed, stripped of weapons and sold to nomad clades, or scrapped.

A replica of the original FDF Rambler can be seen at the Ceres Museum of Historical Space Flight.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Grant Thomas

Initially published on 11 April 2001.