One of the mainstays of the Terran Imperium Space Navy is the 'Terran Gunship', or the Humpback-class attack shuttle, which has proven itself as a multi-role vessel and vital element of the Terran military.
About this creation
The Humpback-class shuttle was originally on the design books as a general utility shuttle. The design was set to go into production by the Terran Imperium about the third year of the Earth/Cargonian war. However, already at that time the Imperium was preparing its plans for secede from the Human Federation, and the design was put on hold indefinitely.
In the year following the Terran Imperiumís declaration of independence, General Montgomery Hawthorn was nearly killed during an attack on an Imperium military outpost. He was in transit between his flagship and the station when Federation forces suddenly arrived. The shuttle he was aboard was a type of general utility shuttle.
General Hawthorn was thus inspired to push for the creation of an attack shuttle, to replace all shuttle craft in potential combat zones, or even for use in combat. Since the designers needed to work fast to meet the Generalís demands, they began with examining the Humpback-class. The first thing they did was upgrade the power core, in fact, they gave it dual power cores. Next, they slapped on some useful weapons. And that was about the extent of the modifications.
The saving grace of this new hybrid shuttle was the fact that the Humpback was such a smart design to begin with; it was versatile in both space and atmosphere, reliable and rugged. So, to slap on a couple of weapons pods made for a small, but delightful attack shuttle/gunship. The class name was kept, and the shuttle design went into production.
Now, the Humpback-class is one of the most common ships on the front lines as it can be used for ground support, space combat, and even in a pinch, as a fighter. The Humpback-class attack shuttle has just enough room in its bay to tightly squeeze in a four-man squad of soldiers for rapid deployment of special-ops teams. But, mostly the shuttle is used for ground support, capital ship support, or for ferrying VIPs and valuable cargo around the home system of the Terran Imperium.
General Hawthorn prepares to board his shuttle, and gives some last minute orders to his aide while he is away. To the far right several honor guard marines stand-by, and to the far left, a technician examines one of the shuttle's boosters.
This underside shot shows the hatch for the shuttle's small hold, and the light chin cannon.