SEV Torch, originally christened as Sol Fleet Vessel Arrow, is a Mako-class exploratory corvette. The vessel is the result of a deep space exploration project overseen by the Sol Central Government (SCG) and multiple corporate investors, primarily NanoTrasen Inc. and certain Skrellian organizations.
SEV Torch's primary mission, a joint venture by the SCG Expeditionary Corps and NanoTrasen, is to establish the first contact with as-of-yet undiscovered alien species. Secondary objectives include collecting data of scientific significance, surveying unclaimed regions of space for phoron deposits and other resources, and assessing celestial bodies for colonization potential
Designed and constructed at the Hermes Naval Shipyard in the Sol system, the prototype Mako-class corvette SFV Arrow was commissioned in 2543. The prototype's armament consisted of a bluespace artillery cannon, four mass drivers, and two missile pods. Arrow was refitted in 2546 to replace two of the mass drivers with personnel carriers. For propulsion, Arrow utilized four main-engine thrusters and three external quick-propulsion systems. During its time in the SCG Fleet, the prototype Mako-class ship primarily served in scouting and long-range patrol operations. Due to lackluster performance in comparison to other corvette classes, SFV Arrow was decommissioned and placed in orbital drydock after only ten years of service.
The discovery of the phoron star Erebus, in the frontier system of Nyx, renewed interest in phoron research and deep space exploration. In 2556, following a debate with NanoTrasen representatives in the Colonial Assembly, the SCG approved funding for a new and ambitious long-range expedition—soon known as the Torch project. At the insistence of NanoTrasen, one of the project's major contributors, the SCG approved NanoTrasen research personnel to accompany the expedition as passengers aboard the vessel.
After lengthy consideration of cost-effectiveness, operational range, and other factors, SCG engineers selected SFV Arrow for reactivation from the SCG reserve fleet. The Corvette was removed from storage and towed to the Shiva Fleet Shipyard at Mars. Along with losing its name and designation, the vessel was stripped to the bulkheads and rebuilt from the hull up with updated materials and technology. NanoTrasen, now a primary sponsor for the expedition, replaced the ship's old fusion reactor with a new supermatter engine and installed an integrated shipboard artificial intelligence unit. Portions of the vessel, including the old missile pod housings, were refurbished as ad-hoc xenobiology and virology laboratories and the hangar deck was expanded to include the capability for prospecting, small-craft missions, and long-range resupply. The blue space artillery cannon was removed from the ship. The Skrellian corporation Krri'gli, in exchange for priority access to the expedition’s findings, provided the project with a prototype bluespace drive for faster than light travel. Upon completion of construction in 2559, the new vessel was delivered on-schedule and slightly under-cost to SCG Expeditionary Corps headquarters and recommissioned as Sol Expeditionary Vessel Torch.
Torch includes five decks, numbered from top to bottom.
Deck B - Bridge Deck
Deck 1 - Operations Deck
The Operations Deck includes most research and medical facilities.
- Emergency Armory
Deck 2 - Engineering Deck
The Engineering Deck, also known as Maintenance Deck, is a maze of maintenance corridors and a home to Torch's power and life support systems.
- RUST Engine
- Custodial Closet
Deck 3 - Crew Deck
Deck 4 - Hangar Deck
The Hangar Deck includes Torch's external docking ports, as well as internal hangars for small-craft vessels Charon and the GUP. NSV Petrov is docked to the aft.