Designed and developed near exclusively by the natives of the water world of Oris, the Riptide-class Picket combines speed and versatility into one deadly package. Like a lot of Laro Order vessels, it trades heavy firepower for speed and defensive strength. Intended as a deterrent against smugglers and pirates, the Riptide’s unparalleled speed allows it to overtake even the fastest of capital ships.
The Riptide carries a diverse array of weapons to assist it in its patrol and customs duties. This weapons package is meant to discourage and/or subdue ships smaller than the Riptide. To ensure that fleeing vessels can’t escape it, the Riptide is also equipped with tractor beams and carries a squadron of Triphibian Fighters. The fighters are meant strictly to slow down smaller ships, such as freighters and other transports, so the Riptide can snag them with a tractor beam. Fifty assault troopers are stationed on each vessel for boarding operations.
As it was developed by a race that lives almost entirely underwater, the Riptide carries with it one special feature nearly unheard of in conventional vessels outside of the Laro Order: it is a triphibian. The Riptide is able to operate in space, atmosphere, or underwater with little difficulty. It is one of the largest vessels capable of such an action and can reach speeds of 300 knots underwater.
The reason for such an eccentric decision is because the Orisians prefer ships that can not only protect them in space but also under the water where it could help repel an invasion. Although energy weapons aren’t effective underwater, the Riptide’s launchers are designed so they can be easily converted into torpedo tubes.
Since it has to be able to withstand the crushing depths of the deep, the Riptide also sports a higher than average armor rating for a ship of its size and class. However, its energy shields are weaker than a comparable vessel. It was decided that since the Riptide would be operating underwater where energy shields would be useless, and that it was meant for chasing smaller vessels in space, the weaker shields would not be an issue. If it happened that a Riptide ran into something it couldn’t handle, it would have to rely upon its superior speed to save it.
Not a dedicated warship, the Riptide is nonetheless a formidable ship within its chosen duties. It has also seen limited use as a scouting vessel thanks to its great speed.