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The UPF Heavy Cruiser Challenger is presented to Star Frontiers® players by the following people. If you enjoy the site and use the drawings in your game, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send us some mail:
  • Doug Horton, designed the Challenger and wrote the following documentation. He sent his original copies to:
  • Frank W. Patnaude, Jr., who was kind enough to scan the original drawings and email them to:
  • Christopher Smith, who performed cleanup on the graphics and created/maintains this site.
  • Timothy Norris, for keeping a backup of Doug Horton's work in a safe place.

  •  Star Frontiers® is a registered trademark of TSR® Inc. and is used here without permission. If TSR asks me to remove this site, I will comply. So take copies of this information if you want it, because if TSR shuts it down it won't be back.

     We recommend viewing the deckplans in order, using the links provided within the text description on the next page. This will greatly enhance the self-guided tour. However, you can also reach them directly below:

    Two external views of the Challenger are available. You may wish to view them first.

    Hull01.gif is a large, unlabeled view of the Challenger's hull. 688x3015, 31.5K
    Hull02.gif is a smaller diagram of deck locations and important external features of the Challenger. 1023x449, 16K


    By Doug Horton

    The Challenger's history is a long and prestigious one. When it was commissioned almost eighty years ago, it was the flagship of the UPF fleet. It was the largest and most heavily armed warship in the Frontier at that time, measuring just over five hundred meters in length. Built in response to the Sathar threat, it was equipped with the latest in advanced weapons and technical innovations. For fifty four years it helped keep peace in the Frontier, battling pirates and "showing the flag" wherever the Sathar insurgents threatened.

    As the years passed, the maintenance costs for these older ships became prohibitively expensive. The Ion engines these ships were powered by were slow and comparatively clumsy, sometimes even being outrun by mere freighters.

    With the first of the new Battleship class starship, the UPF high command downgraded the Challenger class vessels to Heavy Cruisers and the Challenger and four of its sister ships were decommissioned and placed in mothballed status in orbit around Morgain's World. They were no longer the most powerful warships and were considered too expensive to maintain while better craft were available. Only the UPFS Redoubtable was left in service, assigned to support Task Force Cassidine, where its slow speed wouldn't hamper its defensive role.

    The years passed, and the old cruisers were nearly forgotten. With the recent Sathar attack on Volturnus, the United Planetary Federation realized the threat that the Sathar still represented and put pressure on the UPF Fleet Admiralty to take steps to learn current Sathar fleet strength and learn the location of Sathar outposts. They also needed more resources for the construction of additional warships, if necessary to repel the next Sathar attack, which seems imminent.

    The Admiralty proposed a scouting mission using contracted civilian starships. Many were sent out, but few returned with tangible results. UPF assault scouts were sent in limited numbers as well, but with the loss of the UPFS K'tress'k, the Admiralty reconsidered that plan. What was needed was a ship that could fight off attackers, scout planets' surfaces, and succeed in reporting back with that data. The problem was that every ship that met that criteria was needed for the defense of the Frontier.

    That was when Rear Admiral Bolchak first proposed the refitting of an old heavy cruiser to make it suitable for the task. After a brief debate, it was decided to be the best course of action. The Challenger was chosen as it had the largest hull size and the best structural integrity of the five cruisers.

    After four months of intense work, the Challenger slowly eased out of spacedock. Once little more than a museum piece, it was now one of the most advanced warships of the UPF spacefleet.