How many people are needed to operate a Javelin class destroyer?

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Today I want to discuss the crew size of the Javelin Destroyer in Star Citizen. It’s one of their biggest Ships and one that needs the most people to operate.

The Javelin Bridge

Two things ahead: The ship is still in development so the numbers are subject to change and the ship was never intended to be operated by one player or a group of two to five. It should be a ship for organisations.

But nonetheless I think that the crew size is to small to operate a ship like this if you would use the Javelin in the real world. A spaceship in the real world would have one big difference to one in Star Citizen: It exists if the crew wants or not. You can’t just log all people out and the ship despawns.

That means that we need shifts for the positions. I would say we use a three shift system one shift is for working, the next for sleeping and the third is free time (to sleep a little bit more if wanted). Each shift will be 8 hours long so we come to 24 hours in total.

The Holotable

Now we need to check which positions don’t need to be changed with the shifts:

  • The Captain because we only need one. His main duty is to manage the ship and communicate with the higher Command chain.
  • The Logistics Officer, because his main work is when the ship docked to an Station or landed.

But there are other positions that need to shift. Let’s start at the bridge:

  • the OOD or officer on deck. He has the command on the bridge while the captain isn’t there.
  • The pilot
  • A co-pilot to control Shields, Energy and others in the head of the Battle
  • A communication officer
  • One or two Radar operators (Lets go with one because our ship is so advanced)

That are 5 people always needed to operate the javelin. But the Bridge seems to be bigger than for five people. But I think the size of the ship is planned for a war situation, when the Captain and all there OOD’s stand there around the Hologram and try to find the best next step, sprint to a console to get more data or talk to the operative, just to sprint back and discuss a little bit more.

The different stations

In the back you can see two more stations, which I guess will be on the other side of the room too so we have a total of 6 Stations plus standing Desk for the OOD / Captain (The terminal on the little gallery). But I guess that the Stations in the Back are for the two remote Turrets and the two Missile Bays so were back to 2 Stations and OOD.

One of them is the Pilot, that’s obvious. And the other one is well I guess the rest: Communications, Radar and co-pilot. Okay maybe you can operate the Radar from the holotable so we take that.

One The Bride we now have:

  • The OOD
  • The Pilot
  • The co-pilot with way to much work
  • A Radar Officer
  • Four Weapons Operator

We got a total of 8 People per shift and 24 in total.

Now to the turrets: The rest of them are manned. 11 manned turrets to be precise. So we need 11 people per shift to operate them. So we got 33 in total.

The turrets of the Javelin

Next point would be in the ship core. The Javelin has interchangeable Rooms, which gives it a wide variety of uses. We can use it for exploration, research (yes I thinks that are different things) transport attack / defence or just for living.

For the sake of this argument I think that the ship has Quarters for all people, a medical bay, cargo area to transport ammunition and food for a long military journey and no special research room or cartography. This ship operates in the known area of space with no intension in science.

We need people to operate the medical bay at this size of the ship I would guess 2 per shift will do the job.

No let’s go the engineering Section: The ship is huge. I would say we go with 3 persons per shift. Then we can have 1 person at the engineering section to watch the ship systems and two people checking them at there positions.

Last but not least: the flight deck. The Javelin can transport another ship, but I guess that the Hangar will not fit a ship bigger than for 2 or 3 people. So we need 3 additional Pilots and one Flight officer per shift. So we have 6 People for the there. (We can give the pilots free time until they needed we don’t need them ready all the time)

Now we have a total of 24 Officers for the bridge and 54 crewmen for the Decks. With the captain and the logistics Officer have we 80 people overall. And that is exactly the number CIG came up with. What surprised me a little bit to be honest. I thought to shoot way over their estimations.

But I am not finished!

I have not count the Soldiers that this ship transports. In my opinion it should have at least 2 Soldiers for each shift and deck to prevent the ship from getting entered and to keep the order. With 5 Decks we have a total of 30 Guards. Additional I would add 20 more Soldiers for offensive actions like entering another ship.

With this Infantry addition we’ll come to 130 Persons. If we would swap some rooms for other special things then they would probably need persons to operate them so this wouldn’t help.

But on the other side interested me too: how small can we make the crew to operate this ship.

Let’s start by throwing the shift system out of the airlock. We are all friends and always online at the same time around 2 to 4 in the Morning so we don’t need that.

We are also a very small group so we don’t need a dedicated captain. That title will be held by the pilot, who will also do the co-pilots work. The weapons will be operated by AI in the computer system and the radar operator as long as he can sprint from his station to the weapons control.

Logistics are only needed when docked so that does not need a dedicated person and when we have a Scotty among us, he can repair the ship alone. Medical duty is always the one not hurt and the flight deck is only used as shuttle bay to leave the ship so we don’t need to have it operate able all the time.

To sum it up we would need 3 people and the luck not to get entered.

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