November 26th 2014
The top 500 iconic images from the last thousand years of traveling the stars.
#167: The Calm Before the Storm
Date: 2933-05-28 SET
Photographer: Taia Wallen, Major
One of only a handful of images of Corin that the Marines have released, the photographer, then Lance Corporal Taia Wallen, had just completed an intensive six-hour zero-g boarding training exercise when she came across this flight of Gladiators waiting on the launchpad. The squadron was in the process of transferring to a Marine vessel headed for an undisclosed combat zone.
While many cite the grain and contrast as contributing to the immediacy of the moment, the pilots are the truly striking aspect of this picture. There is a serenity as they wait to launch into what we can imagine is certain danger. It serves as a testament to the focus and training of the men and women who serve in the UEE Marines.
The Gladiator is proof that a small ship can pack a big punch. Designed to operate against capital ships and installations, the Gladiator is the UEE’s premiere strike craft. Star Citizen’s world is full of capital ships, from frigates like the Idris to massive carriers like the Bengal… and we want to give you a way to blow them up. With the ability to conduct bombing runs with a manned turret on its back, a skilled Gladiator crew should be able to prove that David can defeat Goliath! Trading some speed and maneuverability for upgrade space, the Gladiator can also be customized for peacetime roles like explorer or support roles such as command-and-control platform.
The Gladiator was concepted by David Hobbins, who also designed the Javelin and updated the Constellation. It has been in active development at Foundry 42 recently, and is currently on-track to be the next Hangar-ready ship. We expect to make the Gladiator flight ready between Arena Commander 1.0 and 2.0; while it is a multi-crew ship (with a manned turret/RIO seat), it does not feature room to walk around. Since each crewman is locked to their seat, we will be able to put it into service earlier than the Retaliator or Constellation.
The Gladiator was inspired by the carrier-based dive and torpedo bombers of World War II such as the TBF Avenger and the SBD Dauntless. It was initially created for Squadron 42, where you will fly it in defense of the United Empire of Earth, but will also be fully fly- and mod-able in Star Citizen’s persistent universe. We are envisioning two-person Gladiator teams working together to take on large freighters and capital ships together; your partner can man the turret to keep interceptors off you as you focus on dodging flak and completing a torpedo run!
The T3A Gladiator is the UEE Navy’s primary carrier-based bomber. Gladiator squadrons are typically divided by specialty: a carrier may have both a Gladiator torpedo squadron and a Gladiator dive bomber squadron. A back seat is occupied by a tail gunner who also acts as radio operator.
Though a heavy-hitting bomber, the Gladiator has proven easy to modify and thus has become commonplace in the civilian market. The bomb bay can easily be converted for light transport. Many pilots choose to replace the rear turret’s laser cannon with a tractor beam, making it an ideal craft for light salvage missions.
NO! Remember: we are offering these pledge ships to help fund Star Citizen’s development and because of player demand. All of these ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game. The design goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches. Every sale supports expanding Star Citizen’s overall development, but none are required to gain full enjoyment from the game.