Developed by Core Dynamics, the Federal Dropship is a versatile combat vessel widely used by the Federal Navy. Boasting one large and four medium hardpoints, the vessel can contend even with larger ships such as the Python, while its two military compartments allow the pilot to enhance the ship's defensive profile.
— In-Game Description
The Federal Dropship is a ship manufactured by Core Dynamics for the Federation. Purchasing it requires achieving a Federal Navy rank of Midshipman. The workhorse of the Federal Navy, the Federal Dropship has excellent hardpoint placement, and is known for its ability to remain functioning even when the hull is at very low integrity thanks to its internal module positioning. Although the more expensive Federal military ships offer greater firepower and agility, the Dropship can take a beating and still carry its pilot to victory.
The Federal Dropship is generally available for purchase at Stations controlled by minor factions that are aligned with the Federation. Systems controlled by Federal President Zachary Hudson are guaranteed to have the Dropship on hand, along with other Core Dynamics vessels. Its body shape and design is shared with the Federal Assault Ship and Federal Gunship, sometimes making it difficult to tell them apart at a glance. The Dropship is the cheapest of the three and has the lowest Federal Navy rank requirement.
The Dropship is a very good combat vessel. Featuring one Class 3 hardpoint and four Class 2 hardpoints, it has no trouble dealing with ships lower than its price and can put up a good fight against even higher tier ships like Pythons. Furthermore, the Dropship has above-average armour as well as two Military Compartments, giving it additional bulk. It suffers from weak shielding and has rather poor mobility, so it is difficult to use against nimble ships like the Vulture. Overall, the Dropship is a respectable ship for both a Bounty Hunter or a Pirate, but more likely to be used as a stepping stone on the path to a stronger vessel.
As a trader, the Dropship has 164T of space to haul cargo. This is very good for a medium ship; and is the fifth best of all non-large ships. Combined with its impressive defense, even when unshielded and ability to easily dodge interdictions the Dropship can be a very appealing trade ship. The biggest downside is its very low jump range, especially when fully laden which may make trade options very limited.
As an explorer, the Dropship is notorious as one of the worst ships in the role with a poor jump range of 19.66 LY or so, the second lowest jump range in the game, being only a fraction higher than the Federal Gunship. Needless to say, the Dropship is a subpar, cumbersome choice as an exploration vessel, even after engineering.
The Dropship is an excellent miner. Four medium hardpoints for one of each mining tool, while retaining a large hardpoint for self defense, small size, great cargo space and good defences make the Dropship a fantastic miner and can be a miner's next stepping stone after the Keelback. Its only downsides are its lack of a Fighter Hangar and its limited jump range, which can make reaching specific mining zones a chore.
The weapon hardpoints are located as follows: two side-mounted Class 2 hardpoints in front of the lower wings, two underside Class 2 hardpoints located slightly behind the point at which the front fuselage tapering ends, and one underside Class 3 hardpoint beneath the nose of the ship and slightly forward of the front fuselage tapering. Although all hardpoints have good to excellent fields of fire when fitted with turrets, the side mounted hardpoints benefit the most from turrets.
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- Main article: Outfitting
All ships are highly customisable through the Outfitting menu of Station Services. Listed below is the default load-out for the Federal Dropship.
|Category||Default System||Default Rating||Default Class||Max Class|
|Medium Hardpoint||Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Reactor Bay||Power Plant||E||6||6|
|Frame Shift Drive Housing||Frame Shift Drive||E||5||5|
|Environment Control||Life Support||E||5||5|
|Power Coupling||Power Distributor||E||6||6|
|Fuel Store||Fuel Tank [x16]||C||4||4|
|Internal Compartments||Cargo Rack [x32]||E||5||6|
|Cargo Rack [x16]||E||4||5|
|Cargo Rack [x8]||E||3||4|
|Planetary Approach Suite (H)||I||1||1|
- (L) = Loaned Module
- [x#] = Capacity
- (H) = Requires Elite Dangerous: Horizons, reserved solely for Planetary Approach Suite
- (M) = Military Compartment reserved for Hull Reinforcement Package, Module Reinforcement Package, or Shield Cell Bank
- "Dropship" is a science fiction term for a type of orbit-to-planet military "landing craft", by analogy to those deployed from ships to land.
- "Drop-shipping" is also the practice of transferring goods directly to a customer, among other aspects. This could explain the ship's high cargo capacity and lack of Fighter Hangar.
- The wings on the Dropship are front-swept, which is seen on some aircraft and helps with lift.