The CS-47 Wombat is the UNN’s primary means of transporting heavy payloads, including cargo, armored vehicles, and even prefabricated structures. Fully loaded, the Wombat can carry up to a hundred tons on top of its own considerable weight, all while retaining its vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.
The UNN Beachhead program called for a heavy lift vehicle that would be orbit-capable under its own power, with a target payload of one hundred tons, deployable via a new class of planetary assault carrier. The Wombat was the winner of the contract, meeting and exceeding some of the requirements.
With a height of over eight meters and a length just shy of twenty, the CS-47 is the largest aircraft fielded by the UNN. Despite its mass, its four hydrogen engines generate enough thrust for the craft to take off and land vertically even under higher than Earth-standard gravitational conditions. These engines are five meters tall in their own right, and come equipped with atmospheric intakes that can help to both cool the motors and generate extra thrust where the environmental conditions allow for it. The engines can swivel 180-degrees to provide maximum maneuverability.
The Wombat drops into the atmosphere of a planet belly-first, employing a combination of its powerful engines and aerobraking via its bulky chassis to shed velocity before a landing. Its is equipped with six impact-absorbing skids that allow it to land on even soft ground such as mud, sand, snow, and regolith.
Often described as a flying brick, the Wombat gets its name from its blocky, angular shape, somewhat resembling the animal of its namesake when viewed from above. The name also carries connotations of sturdiness and reliability, which the craft certainly embodies. Its sheer size affords it a certain level of protection, and the extensive heat tiles that line the underside of its chassis double as very effective plasma-resistant armor. While the lander is armed only with defensive countermeasures such as flares, and Naval doctrine does not permit it to be deployed to unsecured landing zones, it remains resistant to small arms fire and even enemy anti-air.
The primary role of the CS-47 is delivering heavy armor to the surface of a planet during a ground assault. Its large payload capacity allows it to transport all UNN vehicles excluding the Yagda, with a seventy-ton Kodiak MBT being the largest. The spacious bay runs all the way through the ship, with the cockpit area being raised above it. This bay is equipped with rails that mate with their counterparts in the garage of an assault carrier, allowing vehicles and payloads to slide inside and lock into place seamlessly. Large cargo pallets and even flat-packed prefab buildings can be delivered in the same manner, notably Cupcake CIWS turrets and modular FOB components. The walls of the bay are lined with seats for vehicle crews, with optional configurations that allow for the transport of 96 Marines, or 16 combat-ready fireteams.
Loading is carried out via a pressurized dock at the rear of the craft, which is designed to mate with the corresponding airlocks in the garage of a carrier. Up to twenty-five Wombats can dock side by side and top to bottom, allowing the simultaneous transfer of the same number of vehicles. Able to land with their payload and return in as little as fifteen minutes, a squadron of CS-47s can deliver a full armored battalion of 150 vehicles in around ninety minutes. When not in use, the Wombats remain docked at the stern gate of the assault carrier, enclosed within a protective door that shields them from debris and enemy fire.
While the craft has gained a reputation for being reliable and nigh impervious to damage, the complicated engines require a great deal of maintenance per flight hour when compared to other aircraft in the fleet, and its fuel consumption is considerable. Nevertheless, the CS-47 Wombat has become the Navy’s primary bridge between land and space.