The BanuDefender ( Banu: oktæ banu; ) is a small two-seat combat ship utilized by the Banu to provide protection and fly alongside the Merchantman. Its design features both Xi'an thrusters, Tevarin shields, and four Singe tachyon cannons. As a result, with a light-weight hull, it allows the ship to be agile and fast. Though cargo space is limited, the Defender features modest accommodations for its crew and provides easy access to components.
Although the shape, hull, and design of the Defender remains consistent across all Defender models, features can be different from different manufacturers. The below features are based on the Human export model manufactured by Jannue Mon-Li.
Dual cockpitː The Defender utilizes the Banu's different style of piloting and co-piloting, where the co-pilot can control the main armament of the ship alongside the pilot in the dual cockpit system of the Defender. If desired, the co-pilot could focus on engineering or other ship matters to free up the pilot's attention. Different from the Human variant, the Defender built for Banu have isolated functions on the pilot seats so responsibilities cannot be shared between pilot and co-pilot. This is because the Banu pilot prefer to specialize in one task, while Human pilots prefer flexibility and an ability to assign functions as needed.
Phalanx shieldː The Tevarin Phalanx shield combined with light oxus composite armor keeps the fighter light and fast, which is ideal for quick maneuvering during combat.
Minimalistic interiorː With its emphasis on combat, the Defender has minimal cargo space and small sleeping quarters. Engines and components are shielded by cascading spinal shutters. Doors and shutters are molded into the walls to create a smooth, seamless aesthetic while still providing operator access.
Extended rangeː The Banu developed the Defender to provide protection and fly alongside the Merchantman, so its design includes a much improved range over other fighters of similar size due to its fuel intakes, dual fuel tanks, large quantum drive, and a powerful, efficient jump drive.
The Defender has an edge in maneuverability over human fighters like the Super Hornet and Sabre, which themselves have edges in durability and armament, respectively. Defenders excel in distracting and confounding would-be attackers, giving their charges (like the Merchantman) the chance to slip away to safety. Their speed and mobility make them good for holding the point position, intercepting threats, and reacting quickly to flanking maneuvers. These traits make the Defender an defender. They present attackers with a dilemma; expend precious time and fuel trying to pin down an agile escort, or try to weather their fire while focusing on the Merchantmen? Since raiders often favor fast, heavily armed, but lightly armored ships, the choice can be a difficult one.
While the Merchantman boasts a cavernous cargo area, it lacks the offensive capabilities to ward off large numbers of attackers. The Defender is designed to defend and escort the Merchantman. The ship has been around since Humanity's first contact with Banu in 2438, it has changed since then. Since the Banu have traded heavily with other species for hundreds of years, the Defenders have a patchwork design that incorporates elements of tech from other cultures. In the latest iteration, the shield were originated from the Tevarin'sPhalanx shield, and the previous Human thrusters were abandoned because Xi'an's design has superior performance. This approach highlights one of the key points of Banu engineering, if the technology works better for the overall design, the Banu will use it.
The name "Defender" is chosen by individual manufacturers that manufacturers Human variant of Defender in an attempt to appeal to the Human market.
The Defender's concept is designed by Jan Urschel (Freelance Conceptist) in collaboration with Paul Jones (Art Director). The concept was designed to introduce an alien interceptor and prototype the look and feel of Banu materials, processes, and controls that will eventually carry over to the larger Merchantman implementation.Jonny Jacevicius (Technical Designer), John Crewe (Lead Technical Designer), and Todd Papy (Design Director) are responsible for the tech design.
Designed as a multi-crew escort fighter/interceptor for the Banu Merchantman
Banu design with cobbled-together parts from other alien races. Should be using Tevarin shields, for example
Longer than the Gladius, but sleeker and has to fit two crew and a small interior.
Larger than the Gladius (16,000 kg) but lightly armoured.
Seats a dedicated pilot and a support seat. The Banu specialise in their roles, so one usually takes on the role of firing the weapons or managing power/shields, while the other concentrates on flying.
1 x Medium
One medium engine which powers four main nozzles, using Xi'an engine technology.
12 x Fixed Thrusters
4 on top, 4 on the sides and 4 on the bottom to cover all angles of movement. Uses fixed thrusters to improve ship agility.
2 x Small
Enough to power all ship systems. It uses one more than most light fighters as it has an interior, additional seat and a larger shield.
4 x Size 2 Weapons (Gimbal – Nose)
2 x S3 Missile Hardpoint (4 x S2 Missiles)
Gimballed weapons on the nose for the co-pilot to more easily control (if co-pilot is controlling weapons) while the pilot is flying. Weapons on the nose have fixed gimbal mounts, fixed mounts. Weapons of larger sizes cannot be equipped.
1 x Medium
Large ship for a light fighter. Uses advanced Tevarin shields as a unique feature of the ship, so these need to be powerful.
Very nimble fighter. More defensive focus is on the advanced Tevarin shields to keep it light and fast.
A list of all components, templates and measurements that the concept artist needs to adhere to.
Enter/exit animation for the seat: New (entering from the rear, might require a new anim to get in and out of the seat).
Enter/exit animation for the ship: None, transport-style entrance via ramp.
Components that need to be accessible behind walls or floor panels, or have the interior built around them:
Power Plants: 2 Small (0.5m x 0.75m x 0.5m)
Shield Generator: 1 Medium (0.5m x 1.5m x 0.5m)
Avionics: 1 Small (0.75m x 0.5m x 0.375m)
Coolers: 2 Small (0.5m x 0.75m x 0.25m)
Gravity Generator: 1 Small (0.5m x 0.5m x 0.5m)
Jump Drive: 1 Small (0.5m x 0.75m x 0.75m)
Life Support: 1 Small (0.5m x 0.5m x 0.25m)
Radar: 1 Small (0.5m x 0.5m x 0.25m)
Components that don't need to be accessed but are somewhere on/inside the ship:
Fuel Tanks: 2 Medium (1.0m x 2.0m x 1.0m)
Basic interior space for a crew of 2 to enter, walk around in, access components and access the cockpits.
No cargo requirements
Separate Cockpits & Ejection
Cockpits need to be doored off from the rest of the interior, so crew aren't exposed to depressurisation when the ramp is opened.
This also prevents the entire interior from depressurising when a crew member ejects from the ship.
Keeping the cockpits separate means each crew member may choose when to eject, rather than being ejected when the other crew member is.
Cockpit View – Suggestion
Banu crew work closely together to merge their specialised roles. It would be nice to keep crew members in view of each other from either cockpit
Ejection Capable Cockpit/Seat
Banu seat needs to be capable of ejecting.
Cockpit needs quick release/open capability.
Clearance for the seat to eject without colliding with the ship.
Support Cockpit & Controls
This cockpit needs to be nearly identical to the pilot's in terms of screen and UI layout.
It needs a joystick for controlling ship weapons. No throttle required.
According to Ben Lesnick (Director of Ship Concepts), the Defender was originally pitched as the "Banu Minuteman" with the idea that it was intended specifically to protect Merchantmen (and larger trade ships) at a moment's notice. The name had ultimately changed because "Minuteman" is such a specifically American historical reference that it wouldn't really make sense for an alien race.