The Ferrum Class Drone Base is one of the most titanic ground vehicles ever produced by the UCM. It is only manufactured on the world from which it acquired its name, the industrial powerhouse of Ferrum. Like many UCM vehicles it is a recent development and has only just entered frontline service with the Colonial Armoured Corps.
The Ferrum has a single purpose on the battlefield, to deploy and control Starsprite drone squadrons. A single Ferrum can control a squadron of up to eight drones at any one time, and can replenish the swarm from its voluminous internal hangar should any losses be sustained .
Despite their small size, Starsprite UAV's carry the latest in UCM optical hardware coupled to a compact but lethal payload of UM-110 'Golden Arrow' missiles. While this weapon individually lacks the punch of its larger cousin, it can be employed to lethal effect when a group of drones act in concert. By constantly sharing targeting data, multiple munitions can be brought to bear on vulnerable areas with mechanical precision. Starsprites can also turn their missiles on other loitering aircraft, making them a lethal and ever present threat to almost everything on the battlefield. Since AI's of all kinds are susceptible to hacking on the modern battlefield, the Starsprites are only semi-autonomous and rely on intensely powerful local command signals and human input from the Ferrum itself. This control system is difficult to hack due to its potency, since the Starspirites will effectively ignore all input from weaker sources. However, the downside of such a system is that the Ferrum itself must remain in relatively close proximity its Starsprites, making its presence on the battlefield essential. Like almost all UCM vehicles, the Ferrum can be deployed from the air direct to the frontline, in this case by an Albatross Heavy Dropship.