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"Yea, verily! Though I may face the valley of the shadow of death, I'm not afraid, because I'm watched over by ten great fuck-off cannons, each waiting to drop some serious lead onto our arachnid friends!"

~ then-Captain Natalya Volskaya.

Introduction

The Baikonur-class battlecruiser is an airborne warship in the service of the Mecharussian Armed Forces. For most of its long service life, it has been the spearhead of the Aerofleet's battle formations, armed with ten heavy 405-millimetre Gauss artillery cannons, fifty missile launch bays, four powerful laser cannons and dotted with many close-in weapon systems. The Baikonur-II, developed in 2154 AC as a stopgap until more powerful ships could be introduced to counter the Actium-class dreadnought, replaced the obsolete mass drivers with superheavy ion cannons, fitted with powerful energy shields to supplement its armour plating and resonant-ender warp drives. By the outbreak of World War IV, most Baikonurs had been upgraded to this standard, and 20 more were built for export to MechIntern states (the UDAP would receive nine, the UEM would be given ten and the Cazadores would receive one to use as a mobile headquarters).

In both canons and despite extensive upgrades, the Baikonur-class is entirely supplanted in the role of frontline spatial combat by the much larger and more capable Berijev-class star cruiser and Badanov-class battleship, both of which are introduced to counter their Sidh equivalents. However, the Baikonur remains a component of the Starfleet, and has been observed in action as late as the Tindalos Offensive.

Most Baikonurs operating in these eras have, however, again been retrofitted and reclassified, some as superheavy landing ships, others as escort carriers for aerospace fighter wings. General Yulia Trotskaya notably used a group of Baikonurs as massive bomber aircraft during the Battle of Kolgan's Landing in the First Helleon Campaign. Even in the age of cross-dimensional warfare and city-sized star dreadnoughts, the legendary Baikonur still remains a synonym for Mechanocratic wrath: the sight of its shadow darkening the earth below it fills the enemies of the Ideology with dread, and its allies with joy.

Notable appearances

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