The Kruger P-52 Merlin was released today. It is a one-person snub-fighter designed to be carried by a larger ship, so it lacks any cargo space or the “quantum drive” necessary for long-distance travel. It comes stock with a centerline T-19-Tigerstriek-P gatling cannon (at size 2, it’s a size smaller than the Aegis Avenger’s gatling nosegun), two Behring M3A Laser Cannons, twin primary engines, and 12 maneuvering thrusters. All the weapons are on fixed mounts.
Some will already have the Merlin in their hangars:
Backers who own the Constellation Andromeda and the Constellation Aquila can fly their Merlins today! Additionally, pilots who have a Constellation Phoenix, 890 Jump, Idris or Carrack in their fleets will be awarded a loaner Merlin in place of their parasite ships that are still in development.
Others can now purchase it as a standalone ship for 20 USD. At that price it’s the cheapest ship in the store, beating out the previous budget ship, the Aurora MR, by five dollars. However, the Merlin only comes with the SelfLand hangar and 3 months insurance, as opposed to lifetime insurance. Additionally, players purchasing the Merlin need to already have a game package to be able to use it.
Friend of the site Scott Manley has a video of the Merlin in use.
Why would you jump into this instead of a bigger ship like an Anvil F7C Hornet? A main advantage in the final game might be the versatility of being carried in the bay of another ship, allowing a crew member to work crew stations on the big ship or fly out and dogfight in the little one, rather than be stuck as a dedicated escort. Its current default weaponry is nothing to write home about, but the little sucker is agile as all get-out. It might be good for scouting ahead eventually (the announcement suggests it can “offer support in combat situations as well as reconnaissance”), depending on how all that is worked out, but for now the racetrack is probably where it will see the most use.
The Merlin announcement concludes with a reminder to readers that they are not required to buy every new ship offered. It’s possible that many already know this, as in Reverse the ‘Verse 54 they mention that only 1842 Starliners were sold in the last sale. Imperial News Network did some analysis based on the facts that Starliners cost 400 USD, and only 390,000 USD more than average was pledged during the duration of the sale. From these figures, it was determined that only about 1000 Starliners were purchased with new pledges and the rest were bought by melting other ships.
The Merlin isn’t the only thing in Star Citizen news that was published today. Another weekly FPS update was published, as well as an update on progress in moving Star Citizen to the Wwise audio engine, and a video of an everyday moment in the life of Chris Roberts. Finally, Alpha 1.1.5 was pushed from the PTU to the public servers.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Ramon Rakow.