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Roberts Space Industries ®






August 19th 2016

The Terrapin
Tried and Tested


Presenting the Anvil Aerospace U4A-3 Terrapin-class Scanning/Exploration Ship. The Terrapin was developed near the end of the 28th century to serve as the first ship in the Empire’s defensive restructuring of the Navy. The Terrapin’s watchword is protection, with extensive shield systems and armor layers designed to provide the maximum possible defense for pilot and crew. While it lacks the maneuverability of a dedicated fighter, it does maintain an advanced, hard-hitting array of weapons intended to keep the most fearsome Vanduul raider at bay.

Terrapin have seen extensive service with the Navy over the last 150 years, cementing a reputation as a support ship par excellence. The design has been put into service as everything from a standard APC to (most effectively) a long-range explorer. Terrapin often serve as combat search-and-rescue ships, a role they came into after testing proved their ability to perform precise combat pickups while under heavy enemy ground fire.

Since its introduction, the Terrapin spaceframe has become increasingly popular among civilian explorers. Surplus U4A-3 hulls are routinely available on the open market, making it a favored explorer ship among military veterans who opt to continue flying after their service, many of them having already come to know it’s reliability, ease of repair and never-say-die attitude. The Terrapin has an all-around reputation as a ship that can get travel beyond the most distant jump point… and bring you back safely to civilization.


The standard Terrapin explorer is rated for a crew of two, a pilot and a scanner operator (though one can easily fill both positions in most situations.) Terrapin captains often refer to themselves as ‘drivers’ rather than pilots, a nod to the ship’s similarity to a flying tank. An S4 utility mount atop the ship allows for a diverse set of roles. A dish-type scanner is the most commonly installed, as it directly benefits most of the Terrapin’s popular rules (including exploratory scanning, search and rescue tracking and in some cases spaceborne warning and control when outfitted as an armored command ship.)

Where most spacecraft designs increase the size of their engines to travel faster, farther or more nimbly, the Terrapin takes the exact opposite approach. Here, an enhanced power plant is used to allow the design as much armor and shielding as possible. The extensive armor lattice should be visible to anyone within range of a Terrapin: ablative sheets three-layers deep protect the top and bottom of the hull, with additional, thick exterior bulkheads to each side.

While most famed for its exploits discovering new worlds and rescuing soldiers under fire, the Terrapin is also a fighting ship. The extensive armor combined with the S5 remote turret mount in the nose has given it a reputation as a ‘flying tank.’ Addition Size 2 laser cannons are also fully configurable. The Terrapin does not usually mount expendable weapons (ballistics or larger missiles) because it is designed to remain self-sufficient without resupply for extended periods of time.

Are you interested in learning more about the Terrapin? We have reproduced a vintage United Empire of Earth test pilot manual below. These manuals were created during its initial Naval review period, and they provide extensive details on both the ship’s capabilities and the different missions it is oriented to perform. Specifications and a detailed holoviewer model of the Terrapin can also be found below.

Visit the Terrapin

Discover the Anvil Terrapin

Learn more about the Terrapin with this vintage UEE flight manual.

Read the brochure




From a game design perspective, we view the new Terrapin as the first bespoke explorer ship. Much like the Prospector is the initial dedicated mining ship, the Terrapin will be a starting point for anyone pursuing a purely exploratory career. As noted above, the ‘tank-like’ nature of the ship should allow it to be flown by drivers who are more interested in staying alive to reach new worlds rather than engaging in aerodynamic dogfights.

Still have a burning question about the Terrapin? We will conduct two Q&A sessions regarding the Terrapin on Wednesday and Friday. Please post your Terrapin design questions to this thread. We will select the best questions we can answer and post them in Q&A articles.

Technical Overview






Outfitted with long-range scanners and encased in heavy armor and oversized shields, the U4A-3 Terrapin can face potentially hazardous circumstances with confidence, making it the ultimate combat scout and reconnaissance vehicle, at least according to Anvil.













Cargo Capacity


SCM Speed

210 m/s

Afterburner Speed

1,205 m/s

Min Crew


Max Crew



Pitch Max

75.0 deg/s

Yaw Max

75.0 deg/s

Roll Max

100.0 deg/s

X-Axis Acceleration

51.9 m/s/s

Y-Axis Acceleration

65.7 m/s/s

Z-Axis Acceleration

58.1 m/s/s





Power Plants


Shield Generators


Fuel Intakes

Fuel Tanks

Quantum Drives

Jump Modules

Quantum Fuel Tanks


Main Thrusters

Maneuvering Thrusters





Utility Items

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Cam view

View angle


Render type

Concept sale

About the Sale

The Terrapin is being offered for the first time as a limited concept sale. This means that the ship design meets our specifications, but it is not yet ready to display in your Hangar, fight in Arena Commander or fly in the Alpha. The sale includes Lifetime Insurance on the ship hull and a pair of decorative items for your Hangar. A future patch will add a Terrapin poster and then once the in-game model is finished you will also be given an in-game Terrapin mini ship model! In the future, the ship price will increase and the offer will not include Life Time Insurance or these extras.

If you’d like to add one to your fleet, they’re available in the pledge store until September 5 2016. You can also view a detail of the Terrapin in the Holo Viewer in the Tech Overview of the ship page.


Remember: we are offering this pledge ship to help fund Star Citizen’s development. The funding generated by sales such as this is what allows us to include deeper, non-combat oriented features in the Star Citizen world. Concept ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game.
Additionally, please note that the Terrapin will be entering the ship pipeline now, it will ultimately be released after other concept ships have been completed. All decorative ‘flare’ items will also be available to acquire in the finished game world. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches.


In honor of Gamescom 2016 and our focus on exploring procedural planets, we are bringing back a host of exploration and exploration support ships for a limited time! From the nimble ORIGIN 315p to the complex Anvil Carrack, a whole host of explorers (and even a rover!) are available now. These ships and packages will be available until Monday, August 29th.

Ground Vehicle Pack - Packs
$55.00 USD
In stock more info Add to cart

We’re also making a set of Dragonfly ‘space motorcycle’ posters available… and you won’t even have to search an abandoned Starfarer! Show the galaxy you’re a Citizen to be reckoned with by displaying Drake’s tough-as-nails space motorcycle, the Dragonfly, in both available colors. Drake for life! Each full-color poster is printed on thick, glossy stock and measures 23 inches by 34 inches. Price includes worldwide shipping, posters will be shipped together rolled in a sturdy cardboard tube.

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