Mineral class Cutter

In the course of the Third Frontier War (979 to 986) the Imperial armed forces developed a requirement for improvements in the standard assault boat for opposed planetary landings. The then current model had been developed in peacetime over 150 years previous, and the war was demonstrating some of its faults. Ling Standard Products developed the contract-winning design, and its Modular Cutter was put into production in 988 - too late for that war, but just in time for the next, the Solomani Rim War (990 to 1002).

The LSP Mineral class Modular Cutter (now an IDP) is a single frame ship with modular inserts for use in a wide variety of tasks. Some were part of the original concept, while others were developed in the course of time for additional military or civilian uses. Each module is circular in cross-section, with a dorsal channel for the strut connecting the cutter’s bridge with its engine section. Modules are readily removed and replaced, and do not interfere with the ship’s streamlining.

The modular cutter is essentially an alloy cylinder thirty meters in length and six meters in diameter. The nose is hemispherical and simple manufacturing techniques are used throughout. The widespread use of the LSP modular cutter by both Imperial and subsector armed forces has made a number of them available as surplus, and many are still found in service throughout the Imperium. Such units are occasionally found at prices (and qualities) as low as MCr2.5.

Performance of the cutter is affected by its load. Normally accelerations of up to 4G can be achieved (with new or well-maintained manoeuvre drives). By operating the cutter without a module, the boat is reduced in weight; operating under such conditions, it can easily make 6G. Such use is not recommended however, as the single structural strut connecting the bridge and drives is not strong enough to withstand such abuse for long.


Modular Cutter, Type QT, TL 15, MCr17.06


45/113, Disp=50, Config=1SL, Armor=40G, Unloaded=430tons, Loaded=850tons


3/6, Fusion=700Mw, Duration=12


5/10, M-Drive=4, No J-Drive, Vacuum=3,400kph, Top=1,000kph, Cruise=750kph, NOE=190kph, Agility=3




PassiveEMS=Interplanetary, ActiveEMS=Planetary, ActObjScan=Diff, ActObjPin=Diff, PasEngScan=Rout


Hardpoint=1, DefDM=+7


Computer=2 x3, Panel=HoloLink x76, Special=HUD


BasicEnv, BasicLS, ExtendLS, GravPlates, InertialComp, Comfort=0.22


Crew=2 (Bridge/Engineer=1, Command=1), Seat=Adequate x2




Cargo=405kliters, Fuel=100kliters, ObjSize=Small, EMLevel=Faint



  • Passenger Module: Contains passenger seats for 60 personnel. MCr2.0

  • Cargo Module: Contains cargo space for 340kliters, plus 10 passenger seats. MCr1.0

  • Passenger/Cargo Module: A simple concept, this module has perhaps seen the most widespread use; it converts the cutter to a standard civilian model. The seating (four abrest) accomodates 24; when the seats are removed, cargo in standard containers can total 340kliters. While passengers enter and leave through the entry hatch (forward, at the airlock to port) cargo (especially large items) is off-loaded by detaching the module and sliding the containers out the module ends. MCr3.0

  • Fuel Skimmer: Intended to dive into gas giants and skim their hydrogen gas for fuel. It may be used to dip water from oceans as well. Carries 380kliters of fuel. MCr2.0

  • Zero-G Mining Module: Marking a major effort to sell cutters to asteroid prospecting concerns, the Zero-G Mining module provides a major bay for the containment of ore samples, plus a waldo arm for manipulation, controlled from a separate pressurised control section. Complete with living quarters for two, the module provides a cheap, effective prospecting vehicle. MCr3.5

  • ATV Cradle: Carries one ATV in a streamlined and shielded cradle; upon landing, the exterior shutters of the cradle retract and allow the ATV to be placed on a world surface. MCr1.2 (excluding ATV)

  • Pressurised Shelter: An independent living quarters module for eight persons, complete with galley, power supply, environmental recyclers, and sanitary facilities. This shelter is commonly used to produce advanced site bases; it can be used to increase living quarters and total troop complement onboard. MCr4.5

  • Assault Boat Module: Contains basic positions for 16 troops in two sections, each with a bottom mounted door. Upon landing, power spades scoop out emergency entrenchments; the troops jump down into the hasty foxholes and the cutter with module immediately moves out of the battle area. MCr2.5

  • Weapons Pod: A self-powered, independent weapons mount. Typically, this module is deposited in orbit and provides fire support for ground troops. Equipped with a computer Model/1 for fire control and a triple laser turret. MCr8.0

  • Fighter Frame: This framework module contains attachments to hold four 6-ton fighters. Unlike the other modules, the fighter framework module is not streamlined and a cutter mounted with the framework cannot enter an atmosphere. MCr2.0 (excluding fighters)

This craft originally appeared in GDW's magazine JTAS #5
Picture by William H. Keith, Jr