The Federation Class Battlestar
The concept of the Battle-Carrier has been an old one in sci-fi tropes, and the Battlestar is the Cosmic culmination of that dream. The Federation class Battlestar mounts the armor and firepower of a battleship, which is extensive and impressive considering the power of Cosmic Era weaponry. It also has the ability to deploy fighters like an aircraft carrier. Unlike the traditional aircraft carrier, the Battlestar isn't launching and retrieving fixed wing aircraft, it is instead disgorging flight capable mecha, power armors, and variable frame aerospace fighters. These vehicles are not reliant on aerodynamic lift for flight, and the majority are fitted with a-pods, allowing them to hover and flit about like helicopters or hummingbirds. This ends the need for the Battlestar to have large open decks for launching and retrieving craft. It can literally open the hangar doors and the mecha can jump out, and rely entirely on their own thrust potential. The same goes for the flight capable power armors. The variable aerospace fighters can flit off under their own power, but it is advantageous for the Battlestar to shoot these craft into battle via launch rails. They are retrieved like anything else, coming in under their own power before being mag-locked into place.
The Federation class has extensive armor, including armor belts that are meters thick in places, plus technological advancements such as energized plate, which is much more resistant to energy weapons, and kleinshe field generators. The Battlestar mounts a number of Higgs Particle Cannons, with the largest producing 15 megaton yields (limited by the Tycho Conventions of Gravitronic Weaponry) but the majority closer to the 300-500 kiloton range. These weapons make exchanges with a Battlestar terrifying for enemy ship commanders. The ship also has a large number of missile systems, drone launchers, enhanced ECM and ECCM suites, and as previously mentioned, the ability to launch over 100 flight capable mecha and fighters.
The Federation class has a very major drawback, the ship is expensive to build and to maintain. Despite the size and economic might of the Atlantic Federation, their naval budget is stressed supporting 12 of these ships, and potentially losing one is considered an unaccepable risk.
The Federation class has yet to see serious ship on ship action, and instead are seen as diplomatic tools.
The Dream of Yamato
The Pacific Rim Coalition lacks the centralization required for the massive military spending demonstrated by the Eurasian Alliance, or Atlantic Federation, despite being a technological leader in the Cosmic Era. The island nation of Nippon has agitated against this, but has not been able to force support for building large ships for the PRC Spacey. Nippon argues that large mobile warships comparable to the Federation Battlestar could check the advance of the ACPS, and could have turned the tables in the Annexation of Korea.
The Dream of Yamato is the Nipponese plan to build their own battlestar that is not just contemporary to the Federation class, but vastly superior. While being only slightly larger, the Yamato would have superior power generation, more potent shields, and better armor protection, but would raise the stakes by mounting a super graviton cannon (an accelerated Higgs Particle cannon with a 50+ megaton yield) along with 10 megaton and 15 megaton HPCs. The Yamato would also have missile bays to launch their own 'Gates of Guf' austerhagen warheads. The Yamato would trade mecha carrying ability for some of these features, and would only be able to deploy 70 mecha or variable frame aerospace fighters, but these would be PRC sourced fighters, which are generally superior to the Federation's aerospace assets.
The Dream of Yamato is not just a pipe dream, it is actually a project in the works, with several design firms working to produce the schematics for the ship. The Emperor is making extensive use of dream tanks and research accelerators to make sure that the Yamato will be worthy of the holy name of the home islands, and to be secure enough to transport the Emperor himself should he wish it.
The Yamato has/will have two significant flaws; it will be enormously expensive to build, and there are plans for one of it. The cost will be offset by it being built over time, but the other is a strategic problem. If the Federation can't afford to lose one of it's dozen battlestars, the loss of the Yamato would be a staggering blow to Nippon, possibly one causing the ritual suicide of the Emperor and the collapse of the corporations behind it's construction. Plus, if Yamato were lost in action, it would likely mean that the defense of the home island would be left in the hands of the gods.
And the kamikaze.
The Seibertronians have made a large amount of headway in technoformatting the Jovian moon of Ganymede into their new technological home, aka New Seibertron. The Seibertronians are friendly with the Atlantic Federation, as well as the formerly Chinese Five Metal Dragons operating out of Ceres in the asteroid belt. They only have a handful of ship classes in service, like the 2 kilometer long Arche class cruiser (a multi-purpose craft that has been used as everything from a science and exploration vessel to an assault ship) or the more nimble but decidedly more fragile Corona shuttles. As the number of human ships in space increased, the Seibertronians invested in building a small number of dedicated warships, culminating in the Decimator.
The Decimator is a larger version of the Arche, but with a reinforced hull, larger engines, and more powerful reactors. Technologically, the Seibertronians have lagged behind the Federation, as they are less capable in exploring arcanotechnology than humans, so the armor and weaponry of the Decimator is much less powerful than the higgs beam weapons and black hole bombs being deployed by the Terran factions. The main firepower for the Decimator comes in the form of eight linear rail guns, each firing 400kg projectiles at hypersonic velocity. Backup firepower for the ship comes from banks of particle cannons, and heavy missile launchers. The ship doesn't have integral mecha bays but as it's crew consists of sentient robots, it can and does have the ability to launch robot marines, who can equip themselves with a variety of tools and weapons.
Until the launch of the Federation class Battlestar, the Decimator was considered a front line warship, but the battlestar has changed ship building in the Cosmic Era the same way the HMS Dreadnought did when it was launched in the 19th century. There are already Seibertronian engineers working on the replacement for the Decimator class battleship, though there is a pitched debate between a refit Decimator II class that upguns the ship while integrating superior tech, and outright building a new warship from the bolts up.
There are 7 Decimators in service to New Seibertron, but at any given time, 4 or 5 of these ships are grounded on New Seibertron. There is nothing wrong with them, the Seibertronian councils just see no need to have their warships gallivanting around the Solar System for no good reason. The councils are somewhat privy to what is going on with Iapetus, and don't want their neighbors to be fully aware of how much firepower they can deploy should they feel threatened.
The USS General George Washington
Formerly the AFS Kearsarge, the USS General George Washington is a Titan II class carrier that is more museum piece that combatant. At over a century old, the ship served in the Atlantic Federation's AmeroZone Fleet. It was captured after being badly damaged in an ambush near Steamboat Springs Colorado, and fell into the hands of Amerikka Command. The Federation wrote the ship off as destroyed and continued their campaign, but more as a gesture of public relations and less as actual combat. The loss of the Kearsarge and a handful of other ships and their hardware was a blow to the AmeroCommand saw a major restructuring of that staff. The abandoned hull of the Kearsarge was repaired by Amerikka Command, and the ship was made air worthy again.
The fighter bays were replaced with multiple gun emplacements, and the ship was equipped with a shroud generator, static smoke launchers, and other anti-tech technologies. The armor and firepower of the ship remain substandard. While well armored for it's time, the ship would not last in a stand up battle with a modern ship. It can easily resist most mecha and aerospace weapons, it can be easily damaged by modern medium and heavy grade weaponry, while something like a megaton range Higgs cannon would annihilate the ship completely. It's firepower is likewise hampered. Despite replacing the hangars with magazines and weapons bays, it is still sub-naval grade weapons, and the banks of lasers, autocannon turrets, and missile batteries tax the power system, and have no coordinated targeting system.
The USS George Washington is currently deployed to the service of the South African United Republics, and has only survived the brushwars in Africa by being considered an antique, and avoiding actual combat. Most of the time, the ship is used for logistics, diplomatic meetings, and to serve as a link in the Silk Road communications network. The Federation has long since compromised this data channel, but few things of interest or importance pass through it. It's almost as if Amerikka Command knows it's bugged.
The HMS Andromache
The Atlantic Federation has a plan to constantly have one new warship under construction at any given time, and as the newest ship is launched, the oldest ship (of the same general ship type) is retired. Most of these ships are sent to reserves, mothballed at sites such as the Dominion Annex, Maw Fleet Reserve, or Juno Station on Callisto, or are sent to scrap. A handful escape this fate and are repurposed and sold to other nations. This almost never happens in the case of capital warships, but the Atlantic Federation has enjoyed a strong relationship with New Themyscira, and has in the past repeatedly come to the aid of the island nation, as well as granting it favorable status.
The AFS Intrepid was the oldest battleship in the fleet, the last of the Ascension class armored cruisers. It was being taken out of service to make way for the launch of the AFS Excaliber, a Federation class Battlestar. Rather than sending the perfectly sound, but obsolete ship to scrap or mothballs, it was refit and sold to New Themyscira for a fraction of it's value. Rechristened Her Majesty's Ship Andromache, after a legendary queen of the Amazons, the ship is now part of the island nation's vanguard facing the EUdAS.
The Andromache has been downgraded to cruiser classification, but it mounts four Trinity Higgs particle cannons, each packing a 200 kiloton yield. The hull has been retrofit with missile canisters, and batteries of lasers. The ship has a small crew, and relatively short range, but has cutting edge communications and targeting technology, allowing it to function perfectly as a short range defensive ship. It is easily superior to any ships currently fielded by the EUdAS fleet, and should the Andromache engage in serious combat, it is expected to be able to hold it's own until the arrival of more Amazon ships, or a deployment from Federation Caribbean Fleet assets.
Some Themyscirans dislike the Andromache, seeing it as a Federation handout, and that their government has sold out to the Federation, rather than stick to their principles.
The Land of Many Dragons
The Asian Co Prosperity Sphere has very few warships, especially after the defection of the Five Metal Dragons. In terms of contemporary battleships, the August Emperor of Jade commands none. The most powerful ship in the ACPS fleet is the Tianlong class light cruiser, of which the Emperor commands five. With the Metal Dragons taking roughly half of the fleet in their defection, the Emperor has commanded the commencement of a new shipbuilding initiative.
The crown jewel of this new program is the Jiaolong Project, which aims to build the emperor a battlestar. While the ACPS could arm the ship with contemporary weaponry, they have lost a major piece of their technology infrastructure, and are scrambling to recover the schematics and tech needed for large spaceframes, heavy engines, and mobile power plants. The project is currently nothing more than concept art and a mad list of shadowrunning ops.
Conversely, the Five Metal Dragons have a half dozen Decimators of Seibertronian make, which they purchased as an investment for when the Emperor gets back off of the Earth and decides to start trouble. Like the Seibertronians, these ships are not sent on patrols and tours around the solar system, three are stationed at Gushen Xing (Ceres) one each follows the two main belt mining fleets. Fleet one is crawling through the asteroid belt in a clockwise direction from Ceres, while Fleet Two is moving counter clockwise. In both instances, the Decimator is an active part of the mining operation, and provides logistical support to the other ships in the operation as well as providing the human mining crews a large ship to rest on, and a sense of security.
Belgrano and Bolivar
The Estatos Unitos de America del Sur (United States of South America, or EUdAS) has a token handful of spaceships, almost all of them purchased secondhand rather than home built. They do have two functional battleships, both of which are naval vessels, unable to leave the water. The Belgrano is a surface battleship and mounts rail guns and smart missile launchers. The Bolivar is an Alliance built submersible, and has only smart missile and torpedo launchers.
The Third Falklands War proved the glaring weakness of the EUdAS spacey because the EuroZone was able to secure the islands with a destroyer squadron and the compliments of marines and light mecha the ships carried were enough to defeat the EUdAS expeditionary force.
The Kingdoms of Scandinavia
Long considered a satellite of the Atlantic Federation, the Kingdoms of Scandinavia have a long and close history with the Federation. The nation is considered neutral, but houses significant Federation military and psi-ops investments, including a fair number of clandestine cold weather research facilities, such as the now defunct NEBEL archive, Niffleheim Research Center, and various installations that do non-Federation approved research, but use Federation money as funding. The Kingdoms don't have any space assets, but the Federation is in talks with the Kingdoms to sell them a number of ships that are about to be retired from their fleet to bolster the Kingdom. Unlike New Themyscira, with the EUdAS knocking on their door, few people aside from a handful of extremists like Armas bother the frozen peninsula. The government is large disinterested in purchasing the AFS Dauntless or the AFS Calypso, as they are far below the tech level available in the Kingdom. The Federation fleet command visibly puckered when the Kingdoms countered that if they were going to purchase a second line fleet ship, they would wait for the AFS Federation to be retired, and then they would take that battlestar, refit it, and put it back into their service as the KSS Ragnarok. The Federation was reluctant to even discuss retiring a Federation class battlestar, and the namesake of the class, and then selling it?
It will be a while before ship talks come up again, which is fine with the Kingdoms.
The South African United Republics, Free India, and others
These nations do not have capital warships, if they do have combat capable spaceships they are destroyers and frigates. Both nations listed do have a presence in space, but they are closer associated with the Silk Road and unregistered, unregulated shipping, and such, so there are no major trade routes to protect, no megahaulers to protect, and no offworld colonies to protect. Free India has the massive Kashmir Orbital Annex but the space slum doesn't have anything protecting it other than conscripted ships, annex defenses, and the fact that it is a floating junk zone and most large ships wont come near it.
The Hidden Masters, the boogeymen of the Cosmic Era, with all the ancient Imbrian tech, and their secret moon bases, have no battleships. They have a smattering of highly advanced light cruisers, destroyers, and such, but these ships number in the single digit, and are scattered across the entire solar system, making them more rare than the secret installations they cruise between. For the most part, when the Anunnaki have the need for capital ships, they borrow them. This isn't covert ops and hijacking ships, or anything like that, it's all intelligence agencies and political favors. Should there be a problem with someone getting to close to finding a Jovian installation (so many little Jovian moons) it is a small matter to schedule a Federation Battlestar group to pass through the area. Hidden from the battlestar, the massive ship and its escorts run everyone else out of the neighborhood.
Why go through the trouble and expense of owning a boat when you can borrow your neighbor's anytime?
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? Responses (5)
If they can't be risked in combat,the BattleStars are not as useful as they seem.
Yup. That's the conundrum. They are only used when there is low risk.
It's all about having a fleet-in-being vs decisive battle. It comes down to the doctrine at the time when they need to be deployed.
It's a little hard for me to imagine ships being so precipitously expensive to operate while still being constructible, but I suppose it could happen. Perhaps if most of the expense is in energy costs.
The ships are built with extensive automation, as well as labor multiplying devices like construction mecha, and hardsuits designed for industrial purposes, plus labor robots. The cost of the ships is a combination of the materials they are made out of, especially the arcanotech parts like higgs cannons, caryatid core computers, dimensional engines, and the levitation engines, and the training of the crews and the mecha and vehicles they carry.
We are already at this point ourselves with things like the big nuclear powered aircraft carriers, and the monstrously expensive B-2 stealth bomber. They are very powerful and effective weapons but the amount of money and resources tied up in them, along with how long it wold take to replace them, make them strategically fragile. If a foe was to destroy a Nimitz class aircraft carrier, there's $12 billion dollars worth of boat gone, plus the cost of it's 100+ aircraft, plus the 6000+ crewmen aboard the ship. In one strike, as many personnel could be lost as have been lost in the entirety of the 14 years the US has been in Afghanistan. Then, with the ship gone, it would take 2 years to build it's replacement, plus many of the aircraft that it carried are no longer in production. Thus the Nimitz is a powerful weapon, but it is not used lightly, and it is not sent into highly dangerous situations.
The same would be said of the battleships of the Cosmic Era, they are powerful and dangerous, but no one has been willing to commit to a serious warship on warship engagement, yet. Thus far, when there is potential for confrontation, it is done through skirmishes of lighter ships, or the side at a disadvantage disengages rather than engages.
This has been a benefit to the Atlantic Federation as their battleship fleet is the largest, meaning that in the potentiality of a conflict, they have 12 battlestars at their beck and call, and putting 2-3 of them in a squadron deters pretty much everyone else, for the time being. Eventually someone is going to challenge the line, or isn't going to back down, and the Cosmic Era will see what happens when the big guns come out and play.
Mmmm. Have loved space-battleships since I was kneehigh to a grasshopper.
Argo and Arcadia/Yammato Represent!