Christened in the year 2736, the James McCloud was originally commissioned as the home base of Star Fox Team. After only one month in service, the ship was sold to the Cornerian Military and has stayed with them ever since. Ironically, the ship’s current commander is General Fox McCloud.
Designed to the pattern of the earlier “Great Fox,” the James McCloud is a greatly enlarged craft, measuring roughly 650 feet in length and almost 700 feet in wingspan. The craft is designed with capacity for 24 F-328 Arwing II fighters, although there are only 12 fighters permanently on station. The craft is primarily designed to deliver craft to a location and then leave, a small (by Lylatian standards) carrier capable of atmospheric flight. Thus, it has extremely large sublight engines for it’s size, and is well-covered from just about any angle by it’s myriad anti-aircraft cannons. The craft also has a lesser anti-capital role, taking out smaller battleships and cruisers with five main cannons, and with two cruise missile launchers, is also capable of a ground attack role. The enormous rockets deliver either conventional, nuclear, or plasma-based payload, and are four times the length of an Arwing. With a nuclear or plasma payload, one missile can decimate an entire enemy base. Plasma payloads are preferred, but most expensive.
However, the craft’s primary role on a modern battlefield is serving as a mobile command base. The ship has powerful communication arrays that can link up the sensor arrays of every allied ship, fighter, and starcraft in a battle, not only giving a clear picture of the battle, but making the sensors more accurate as well, as an enemy craft or installation gets scanned from multiple angles. Leaders can thus be rest assured in making good decisions…and enemy cloaking and jamming systems become less effective. The system debuted only a month after the Marli war began, and while the bugs are still being worked out (equipping much of the Air Force fleet with proper equipment is difficult,) it is proving to be an increasingly effective tool.
Because the James McCloud’s role is that of a command ship, at stern is a large meeting room, where diplomats, military leaders, and civilian VIPs can meet. Often, the fleet captains will be briefed and debriefed in this room. As well, just aft of the bridge is the Captain’s Suite, currently occupied by General Fox McCloud, and his wife, Krystal. The luxurious suite includes a small walk-out deck, which can be accessed in space by a strong shielding system, keeping atmosphere from leaking out: of course, in a battle, this area is off-limits. The main spar between the bridge and main body houses all crew, and the main body of the craft contains a vast hangar, and multi-level storage deck for craft and missiles.
((It’s not colored all that well, I know.))
James McCloud Starship, art, concept © Jim Prower/James McHenry
James McCloud Character, References © Nintendo