Type: Warp-capable frigate
Polity: Compact of Humanity in Assembly
Captain(s): Hideki Okada, Linda Havak
The Challenger was a Zephyr-class frigate that became the first warp-capable ship of the line in 429 IE. Originally a standard frigate, it was a modified variant of a previous Olympus Mons-class iteration. After the Polygamy Wars ended, the Navy began retiring the Zephyrs in favor of developing new classes of starship. Rather than build a new class of ship to test the Alcubierre drive, the service pulled the Challenger out of mothballs once the Alcubierre made to successful warp flights, the first from Jupiter to Trantor (two light-years), the second from Earth to Farigha (fifty-five light-years with a planned stop at Dakota.)
The Alcubierre‘s captain and engineer, Hideki Okada and Peter Lancaster respectively, returned to service to finish work on the Challenger, put her through trials, and take her on her first two combat missions, both against the Realm.
Her first mission involved a retaliatory strike against a Gelt colony in response to the seizure of Amargosa. The Diplomatic Corps then pressed the ship into service to carry Athena Jovann, a special envoy from Metis, to Hanar, formerly Gilead. There, Metis brokered a deal with the regime for assistance in retaking Amargosa, which would include Gelt soldiers from Hanar’s fledgling military. During the lead-up to liberation, Suicide, JT Austin, Mitusko Yamato, and Connor Duffy joined the crew. The Challenger used its warp drive to stealthily approach Amargosa and launch a squadron of Falcon assault shuttles which dropped Marine orbital skydivers, then landed Navy Special Forces platoons. After the operation, Duffy remained with the crew off and on, with occasional studies at MIT, as Lancaster wanted to “grow more warp specialists.”
After the liberation, Okada moved to the warp program, reporting to Rear Admiral Quentin Austin. Linda Havak took command. Her crew included Duffy and, for a couple of short tours, Davra Andraste.
As of 434, the Challenger under Havak’s command became the Navy’s model for modifying Zephyr-class ships for warp capability. Additionally, the Navy integrated warp drive into the newer Germanicus-class-derived ships.
Beyond Amargosa, Storming Amargosa, Checkmate