Arch Enemy Class
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Introduction

The Arch Enemy class battleship was first envisioned in the early 4100s as a domestic candidate for replacement of the Wraith class, export variant, produced by the Taurus Corporation. The requirements for the class called for a full power warship, well able to support operations abroad, and the Arch Enemy class of craft were the first true capital ships to be produced by the Rigel Industrial Alliance (RIA) between 4205 and 4300. A total of eighteen were ordered but only ten were produced.

An eleventh Arch Enemy class, modified for clandestine operations, called the ONI Beneath Notice is rumored to exist.

Among the first wholly domestic designs, the combat doctrines of the Star Kingdom of Rigel are readily apparent. It is a stand-off weapons platform with reliance on active defenses (such as CIWS batteries) at the expense of passive defenses (such as armour and shields). The Arch Enemy class has served in several conflicts. It is typically a flagship, particularly in Relievist fleets, as it's C2 and emphasis on firepower are considered second to none in the Star Armada.

The present Star Armada ASR recognizes seven craft: the STAR Arch Enemy, STAR Sin and Sacrifice, STAR Doomsday Machine, STAR Wages of Sin, STAR Burning Angel, STAR We Will Rise, and STAR End of the Line (in chronological order of production). The remaining three craft, the STAR Nemesis, STAR Pilgrim, and STAR Ravenous are held in ready reserve status, orbiting Rigel Prime with skeleton crews for routine maintenance and readiness evaluations. At any moment they can be called to ASR status.

During the STAR Modernization Project in 4460 all but one of the Arch Enemy class battleships (the Nemesis) were stricken from the ASR for numerous safety violations and obsolete systems. Each vessel was subjected to a two decade overhaul process which saw completion in 4487 after significant delays due to funding and manufacturing issues. The battleships emerged from drydock superficially unchanged: their various systems operated on the same principles as before but more efficiently. Refined astrogation systems saw jump deviations statistically halved and updated fire controls increased accuracies and ranges.

Design

Armour

For a modern battleship the Arch Enemy class is relatively lightly armoured. The deck plan is unique for it's artificial gravity system: a series of rotating cylinders protected by a thick outer hull. The command bunker buried in the aft of the craft just ahead of the engines and reactors is the only deck to feature non-centrifugal artifical gravity. The outer hull plating consists of a metamaterial called cocerachrome corunide. This material was engineered in response to the demand by the Barons of Rigel for a domestic plating which could also see export.

At it's thickest, this armor plating is 215cm deep and 32cm at it's thinnest, dependent upon systems protected.

Between this armour and an inner layer of structural materials is a reactive titanofluid ballast. Sensor meshes on the underside of the outer plating react to attacks and activate the myriad magnetorheological (MR) properties of the titanofluid. This fluidic armor is adaptive. Any activity on the armour of the Arch Enemy which evokes a response from the titanofluid ballast is known as an MR Event. Officers in the command bunker and at various posts throughout the craft are alerted to MR Events as they occur.

The internal structure of the hull - the frame and bulkheads - all consist of flexible, strong materials known as sinimids. The outer circumference of the rotating sections within the hull are plated with cocerachrome corunide in the event that they should become exposed to hazards for any reason, but the rest of the superstructure is composed of sinimids. Aetherium is the primary insulating element throughout the craft: between bulkheads, between the hull and the structure, and surrounding most crew areas. This metamaterial is also a last line of defense against fast-moving projectiles as well as waste heat from energy weapons and can safely absorb most forms of radiation.

Armament

The Arch Enemy was designed under the philosophy that a strong offense is the best defense. As such, it is very heavily armed.

Featuring more than one hundred weapon hardpoints and numerous systems for redundancy, the Arch Enemy is well equipped to hit above it's mass and deal with many different targets of varying masses at once. Most prominent are it's four main gun turrets, each massing some 2,250,000 tons, consisting of three neutron cannons (massing 500,000 tons per weapon). Manufactured by the Experimental Weapons Division of the RIA, the weapon's barrels are 100 meters long; 80 meters of which are exposed. Smoothbore liners are made of a classified metamaterial which reflects neutron radiation. By the time the neutrons leave the barrel, they have been shunted into a 400cm wide coherent beam.

Each neutron cannon fires a 1 terawatt-second 'flash' over one-tenth of a second.

The turrets are heavily armored and the most delicate systems (particle accelerators and fire controls) are below the surface of the Arch Enemy class' outer hull, offering maximum protection from enemy fire and other hazards. Rotation is handled by an electromagnetic track. Each turret has 100 heavy gauge casters to ride along. The entire turret, housing and weapon assemblies, rotate along this track. A cooling system is integrated into each barrel; the exhaust housing can be found at the muzzles.

A trio of blaster cannon turrets can be found near the fore of the craft and a cluster of rail cannon are aft.

Secondary armaments include: a number of light, medium, and heavy CIWS batteries; missile and rocket bays, pods, racks, and tubes; and several high output chemical laser weapons systems for dealing with low priority and/or small targets.

One of the more deadly armaments of the craft are it's photon cannons, adapted from laserhead technology as employed by Rigellian frigates. These are explosive-pumped lasers. Each ball turret features a single objective and is self-contained, capable of being fired one thousand times before maintenance is required on various internals. The blast chambers of the weapons are heavily armored and insulated. Each time the weapon activates, a one kiloton thermonuclear blast fills the chamber, exciting the lasing medium, and focusing a coherent pulsed beam with a wavelength of only ten nanometers. Ports and vents direct a good deal of the nuclear blast away from the craft as exhaust.

Each of these spherical turrets measures roughly 60 meters in diameter and projects a two meter (200 centimeters) thick beam.

Power & Propulsion

Control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) are utilized for attitude control with maneuvering thrusters being fired only in combat maneuvers or emergency situations. Four of these devices are installed at ideal locations of the deckplan: two fore and two aft. Like their smaller cousins, these CMGs are tied into the main structure of the Arch Enemy class and double as MADAR sensors.

Four HELFIREs can be found on the nose of the craft as reversing engines. These engines are self-contained systems due to their vulnerability to enemy fire; they can be destroyed or disabled without compromising the rest of the battleship. The main energy grid is powered by a number of ICE superfusors in two banks. Reserve superfusors can be found throughout the vessel. Total output of the main generators slightly exceeds 25 terawatts. The reserves can provide an additional 10 terawatts. A number of high temperature superconducting batteries (HTSBs) are found in every section of the ship. A 'trickle' of energy from the reserve reactors keeps them topped off if fully charged. The main reactors can charge them quickly if required. These devices are large, massing 10,000 tons, and can store 100 gigawatts of power.

Primary propulsion is provided by a pair of ICF torches. These engines mass just over 9 million tons and provide 75 billion Newtons of force each, making them the single most massive components in the entire design. Exhaust from these engines burns at 3200 Kelvin, as hot as some stars, and moves at a very high rate of speed. Mirrored electromagnetic nozzles allow the direction of this exhaust with minute refinement to aid attitude control and course correction. The main engines often double as weapons.

Secondary propulsion consists of a large number of HELFIREs dotting the hull of the ship and make up the most basic thrusters.

Construction

Construction of an Arch Enemy class battleship is a kingdom-wide affair. Components and systems are fabricated in a number of star systems though the largest parts are constructed in the Rigel system. Assembly of the superstructure begins even before all of the systems are completed and shipped. The entire process is on a very strict time table: if a single component is delayed or arrives defective it sets progress back several weeks until proper inspections can determine the exact cause(s) of the work stoppage. That said, this sort of issue only appeared twice. The construction of the Arch Enemy class craft presently in existence is notable for it's lack of numerous complications and setbacks.

All but the first two vessels were produced over the planet Manticore. The Arch Enemy and Sin and Sacrifice were assembled over Rigel Prime, however. Shortly after the completion and commissioning of the latter operations were underway to construct a new assembly facility. The Manticore Assembly Complex employed several million citizens of that world and allowed the State Resources Arsenal branch of the RIA to begin production of more ship classes in 4255.

The first components of an Arch Enemy to be laid down are the Type 30 or Type 33 ICF engines and twin tiers of Type 32 ICE superfusors. The largest portions of the solid hull enclose these components. They are known as Hull Section A, Segment A and Hull Section B, Segment A (often abbreviated A/A and B/A, respectively). Simply moving these massive, multi-million ton sections of armor plate and superstructure into position typically takes twenty-four months. The first eighteen months of this period are spent in transit from the orbits where they are constructed; one of which comes from Anubis.

Just ahead of these hull sections, the command bunker complex is assembled and suspended via tethers and small station-keeping motors. The rest of the hull of the battleship will take shape around this. The various systems installed beyond this point will be brought online procedurally as soon as they are linked to the command bunker's C2 systems. This allows the modular nature of the Arch Enemy to undergo diagnostics in real time as various features are added and enables the shipboard computers to properly integrate the systems without significant post-assembly troubleshooting.

Fire control and weapons systems are among the last components to be added as the battleship does not require these to function and shakedowns often begin before they are installed. In the Star Armada, weapons systems are considered tertiary systems which, due to their destructive potential, mass, and power requirements, operate outside of the safety parameters of the primary and secondary systems. They present an 'unnecessary threat' to the proper installation and testing of vital systems.

Total time elapsed from the beginning of fabrication to final assembly is approximately forty years.

Type History

Type 205 (4205)

The Arch Enemy class, Type 205, was the first version of the class. When constructed it had three fewer reserve reactors and hangar space was much more limited. It featured an electron cannon as a primary armament as opposed to the present neutron cannon. Missile magazine capacity was only half of the modern standard. It's mass was 52 million tons.

Type 302 (4302)

Type 302 represented a leap forward in both killing power and technological prowess. Additional reactors were installed, it's berths and hangars were expanded, the missile complement was enhanced, and neutron cannons replaced the prior type's unsatisfactory electron cannons. The Type 311 was 6 million tons more massive despite more refined hardware.

Type 500 (4460)

Although designed in the late 4450s, the Type 500 is named for the year 4500, when the fleet was projected to have completed overhaul operations on the battleships. Significant improvements to sensor suites and engine systems, as well as redundancy measures, and the addition of disruptor beam weapons increased mass by an additional 2 million tons.

Factfile

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Designation: Arch Enemy class
Class: Battleship
Role: Assault/Fleet Operations
Manufacturer: Rigel Industrial Alliance
Number Produced: 10
First Produced: 4205
Crew:

  • 600 officers
  • 2,400 enlisted
  • 900 flight crew

Hangar:

Powerplants:

  • 5 5 terawatt ICE superfusors (main)
  • 5 2 terawatt ICE superfusors (reserve)

Propulsion:

Weapons: Primary weapons diagram here.

  • 1 double-barrel 400cm, 100 gigawatt blaster cannon turret
  • 1 double-barrel 200cm, 250 gigawatt rail cannon turret
  • 2 single-barrel 200cm, 50 gigawatt blaster cannon turrets
  • 2 twin bank 25cm, 25 gigawatt disruptor beam banks
  • 4 single bank 25cm, 25 gigawatt disruptor beam banks
  • 4 triple-barrel 400cm, 1 terawatt neutron cannon turrets
  • 10 double-barrel 100cm, 125 gigawatt rail cannon turrets
  • 18 single-barrel 200cm, 400 gigawatt photon cannon ball turrets

Missiles:

  • 10 super (150cm) missile tubes w/ variable (100 to 320 kiloton) yield warheads
  • 10 heavy (100cm) missile bays w/ variable (40 to 120 kiloton) yield warheads
  • 25 standard (75cm) missile bays w/ variable (10 to 50 kiloton) yield warheads
  • 25 light (50cm) missile bays w/ variable warheads (high explosive or thermonuclear)
  • 40 large (150mm) rocket racks w/ high explosive warheads
  • 60 medium (100mm) rocket racks w/ high explosive warheads

CIWS:

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Electronics:

Plating:

Shielding:

  • Oscillating electromagnetic fields (source: superfusors)

Dimensions:

  • 300 meters wide
  • 1600 metres long
  • 300 metres tall

Mass: 60,000,000 tons
Operators:

References

Credits

Ship images copyright © 2010 Astro Empires.