The Hutt Cartel
- Jul 8, 2015
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More than any other institution in Hutt Space, the Cartel Navy shows how the organization blurs the lines between legitimate interstellar power, and criminal cabal. Unlike powers with a formal military, the Cartel does not host academies, mandatory training courses, and most certainly does not enforce insignificant rules such as a dress code. Instead, members of the Cartel Navy are recruited from the smuggling, pirate, private military, and other space-based organizations that come under its sphere of influence. They are typically seasoned spacers and are paid quite handsomely for their services in what would be officer roles in other navies. What would be the enlisted members run the gamut from kids fresh off the farm to veteran spacers who worked their way into the Cartel's employ along with their Captains.
The main goals of the Cartel Navy are the defense of Hutt assets, the economic undermining of competitors, and increasing the economic might of the Cartel. The last of these roles is the largest, as the Cartel's ships act as a vast merchantmen armada, shipping goods to and from the borders of Hutt Space. The merchantmen aspect also acts as go between for the various smuggling rings under or affiliated with the Cartel, providing safe drop-off points for illegal merchandise, and also bringing that merchandise to smugglers for them to ship into systems beyond Hutt control.
In the role of an engine of economic undermining it can be seen as a massive pirate fleet, preying on ships to weaken independents, and rivals while at the same time increasing its own wealth with the goods captured. The only rule against this hunting is that it cannot occur in Hutt Space itself without permission from the higher ranks of the Cartel, making Hutt Space look comparatively attractive to traders and shipping organizations than the systems raided by the Hutts. In its defensive role, the Cartel Navy safeguards systems controlled against other pirate threats, and especially against the might of the Imperium on its northern border which represents the biggest threat to Hutt gains.
The ships of the Cartel Navy are divided into two different groups for this purpose. The more formal Cartel Defense Fleet, which holds the largest ships and is directly answerable to the Grandee Lorda, is tasked with safeguarding Hutt Space and assets from invasion. The CDF is considered to be the more senior branch of the navy, and holds the vast majority of actual military grade equipment, but is only a quarter the size of the Imperial Navy. The Raider/Merchantmen Fleets of the Kajidics are less formal, and feature less military hardware, as well as smaller vessels. The ship's they use are more likely to be converted civilian designs, or outdated military vessels retrofitted for service. They are focused more on the commercial and pirate activities associated with the Cartel's Naval Forces.