Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The DCSF and HCN

The standard ship of the line for both the DCS Fleet and the Heran Confederate Navy is the Khro Bral class destroyer. Gone are today's carrier groups: instead, destroyers operate independently along orbital and deep-space patrol lines, not unlike cold war-era fast attack submarines. These vessels have an atmospheric displacement of over 140 000 tons and typically measure 410m (length, excluding fore-and-aft sensor antennae), 56m (beam), and 72m (spatial draught), with a compliment of 430 men.

Power is provided by four muon-catalyzed fusion plants mounted along the four point x-axis of the ships latter third, with the primary engineering bay stationed centrally along the ship's spine. Ship equipment is mounted along the vertical bulkheads, with gravity provided via constant 1 gravity acceleration, with combat maneuvers conducted utilizing 0-g harnesses. Sensor detection is accomplished via two large clustered arrays located fore and aft, consisting of radiation monitoring devices, specifically tuned to detect EM and thermal differentiation from cosmic background radiation, Helial and planetary sources. This requires that the ship's skin be both protective from radiation, while also affording fast heat dissipation and sinking from internal sources such as life-support and engineering.

Offensive armament consists of twelve super-conducting Gauss quench guns housed in three armament pods along the ship's central spine. Each pod contains four coilguns (two port, two starboard), used to fire various anti-ship and OPB (orbital planetary bombardment) munitions. While the spin-up times for the CG's do not exceed the reloading times (roughly 20-30 seconds), the high thermal radiation means that each volley results in an active radiation signature detectable over significant distances.

Offensive anti-ship ordnance include magnetically-propelled heavy torpedos consisting of medium-yield fission warheads encased in a ferrous cobalt-alloy shell and controlled via a twelve-point reaction control system which works in concert with a terminal phase chemical propellant. Astrogation is accomplished during the target-acquisition phase through communications relays with the mother-ship, and in the terminal phase through onboard EM sensor suites. OPB munitions consist of densely packed clusters of tungsten rods measuring 5 meters in length, which enter the atmosphere and impact with effects similar to a small-yield nuclear warhead due to thermal kinetic energy resulting from re-entry friction and orbital velocities of at least 9 km/sec.

Defensive measures include: magnetically-launched, self propelled electronic countermeasures capable of outputting interfering EM and thermal radiation; a close-in weapon system consisting of high-energy ion pulse canons and ferrous particle "sand-casters" mounted along the ship's dorsal and ventral spine; and heat-dissipating ablative armour.

Other naval vessels include orbital and system patrol frigates (armed with ion cannons), missile frigates (standard armament includes low-and-medium yield nuclear warheads and conventional CIWS anti-torpedo warheads), Sub-Orbital marine drop (SOMaD) ships, and marine insertion pods (MIPs) used for ship boarding.

Destroyers and frigates are manufactured by consortiums of companies, including planetary interests and the five inter-planetary corporations and their subsidiary agencies. For a present-day example, see the vast number of companies involved in the construction of a single American aircraft carrier. Many of these sub-companies fall under the rubric of the five largest conglomerates, but it is by no means a pentopoly; however companies--such as the interplanetary Sparta Industries based on Hera--also have mining and other first-level interests like today's Halliburton, and unlike defense conglomerates such as Northrop Grumman. Smaller ships are made internally within the major corporations, and also include trading ships, cruise liners, and intra-atmosphere craft including helicopters and airplanes.

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