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The Lyrans are human-sized cats that bear a distinct similarity to Terran lynxes in both appearance and temperament. Bitter enemies of the Kzintis (tigermen eight feet tall), the Lyrans are staunch allies of the Klingons and enemies of the Hydrans as well. Like Kzintis, Lyrans are carnivores known to eat their captives on rare occasions. The Federation assigned each Lyran ship-type a "reporting name" to keep them separate. Lyrans are organized as a feudal society. Twenty-one counties each have a squadron of ships led by a heavy cruiser; four dukes have dreadnoughts to lead the four fleets, while the king-emperor commanded from the capital.
The Lyrans quickly found the small escort frigates originally assigned to their carriers to be too small for fleet combat as a single enemy volley could destroy them, leaving the carrier itself open to attack. (Pre-war plans had envisioned carriers staying far behind fleet battles, which proved impractical.) The Lyrans had a built-in solution in that an escort frigate could be converted into an escort war destroyer by replacing the center section. This was very efficient as the center section was the same for most war destroyer variants and the specialized mission equipment of the escort frigate was undisturbed by replacing the ship's center section. It was known to the Federation as the Alleycat-E and was eventually refitted. The Aztek panels on the outer surfaces represent efforts to reduce the electronic signature of the refitted Alleycat-E and match it to the original Alleycat-E so the enemy could not tell the difference.
The ship is available in a variety of materials. Ships are unpainted, use standard flight stands available from many sources, and, while designed for gaming, make fine display pieces.