A starship designed to lure corsairs by giving the appearance of a weak, poorly-armed merchant ship, but having sufficient combat power to defeat them.

These ships can be a valuable element in anti-pirate forces of many planetary and subsector governments throughout known space. Companies may also purchase Q-ships for use in areas where local governments either cannot or will not control piracy; they find the expense of Q-ships a bargain when a raider which has preyed upon a profitable trade route is finally hunted down.

Most Q-ships range from 200 to 800 tons, matching the range of common merchant ships and freighters. They are even built using the same hull designs, simply adding armour and weaponry. Typically, they mount the maximum number of turrets for the hull size. Any turrets over and above the usual number on a merchant ship are in the form of "pop" turrets. These are similar to the pop turrets found on xboat tenders .

The designs tend to trade cargo space for improved drives and a good computer. Since boarding actions are common, Q-ships normally carry a squad of marines or security personnel trained in such operations. Small craft carried by Q-ships are specially equipped for troop transport.

(CHALLENGE-25, 1112)

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