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|Procurement Plan:||22 CRX-12a Destroyers||at 2,216 MCr||48,760 MCr|
|132 Lochaber Axe Attack Fighters||at 41 MCr||5,513 MCr|
|TOTAL PROCUREMENT COST||54,274 MCr|
At the very heart of the design brief is the need for a specialised ship. If the Navy wanted a ship to do everything, but nothing particularly well, they'd wander down to LSP and order another two dozen Midu Agashaams. The request is for a capable commerce raider, not a multirole ship.
Before designing the ship, we conducted a study into the operational mission requirements for a commerce raider. Our findings are summarised here.
Mission Statement: The purpose of a commerce raider is to disrupt the enemy's logistical processes, and to force the reassignment of as many enemy combat units as possible away from the main battle areas.
An ideal commerce raider would tie up many times its own value in enemy combat assets assigned to patrol, sweep and escort missions. It would never enter combat with any heavy naval unit, but would present sufficient perceived danger to a lightly armed or lightly escorted freighter to force the enemy to expend considerable effort in countermeasures. It would project this threat over a wide area and for an extended period without requiring replenishment. For the majority of the time the enemy would be unaware of its exact location, and would be aware of its continued existance only through the list of targets destroyed.
ANRA Technologies present the Commerce Raider (Concept) 12a, provisionally titled the St George class destroyer. The hull is larger than AuricTech's baseline, at 4,000 displacement tons, but it should be noted that despite the greater capabilities allowed by this larger hull the finished ship costs less than half of AuricTech's design.
The ship has been designed around a thorough analysis of the priorities above. While this ship would make a poor fleet destroyer, it makes for an excellent commerce raider, extremely versatile within its specified mission. A wide range of tactical options are open to the commander, preventing the ship from becoming predictable, and allowing it to cope with almost any situation.
While not a fleet combat vessel, the CRX-12a is well armed. The choice of a dual spinal mount is unconventioanl, although not unheard of before. This decision was eventually reached as a compromise between the advantages offered by the PAW (long range, and disabling EMP damage against merchant computers) and the Meson Gun (one-shot-kills at short range since few merchants or close escorts carry meson screens).
Secondary weapons comprise a pair of heavy laser barbettes, with the combat range of the PAW, but much greater penetrative abilities. A pair of missile bays provide a heavy one-shot punch, should an enemy destroyer manage to force an engagement. The bays have generous magazines holding fifty rounds for each, although normally only 30% of the loadout would comprise detlaser missiles, with 10% sensor drones, and 60% disposable mine deployment vehicles.
Protective measures are limited to those likely to be useful against a small warship or merchant. A dozen sandcaster turrets are matched by a dozen half-size point-defence turrets, each containing three 64-MJ URFLEX (Ultra Rapid Fire Laser Emitter - X-Ray) arrays. Manually controlled and short ranged, these provide a potent shield against missile attack, as well as proving brutally effective against merchant craft up close. Hull armour is limited in order to keep the ship's mass low and manoevrability high, although it is effective against most weapons carried by merchants (and, in fact, anything up to about 1,500 tons).
A small meson screen is also carried, to insure against the chance that a 'real' warship is encountered.
A major design decision was the choice of HEPlaR drives rather than T-Plates. The advantage of T-Plates, namely the ability to operate in one system for extended periods without refuelling, is negated by the requirement to stay mobile and harrass shipping over a wide area. The CRX-12a will need to peform refuelling frequently anyway for the jump drive, and will be able to replenish its reaction mass during these stops. During normal operations, the ship will be conducting J1 and J2 jumps within an operating area, so a portion of the jump fuel can be assigned as reaction mass.
HEPlaR is also vastly cheaper than T-Plates, and accounts for most of the cost savings in the design.
Important to survivability, most ship systems (including the spinal mount!) are protected by multiple redundancy. Double-size mechanical and electrical workshops allow self repair, including fabrication or modification of spare parts. A sickbay allows wounded to be treated aboard the ship, or stored in cryoberths if required.
A generous cargo bay allows a large quantity of consumeables to be carried, as well as allowing for the capture of cargo from enemy vessels.
A large frozen watch is carried to provide prize crews for captured vessels, as well as replacements for any casualties suffered.
While fighters have limited utility against warships, the heavy weapons carried by Attack Fighters are very useful against lightly armoured merchantmen and close escorts. Six Lochaber Axe Class Attack Fighters are carried in docking rings, each armed with a 700-Mj X-Ray laser capable of routinely causing critical damage in craft below 1,000 tons displacement. These fighters allow a scattered convoy to be chased down while the Destroyer deals with the convoy's escorts, as well as their important reconaissance role.
The fighters are also capable of acting as spotters, allowing the destroyer to hide in an ocean or gas giant and deliver accurate meson fire onto unsuspecting targets. Alteratively, the flight can be fitted with DMDV's and rapidly deliver 72 mines into a shipping lane, without requiring the destroyer to engage itself. Their value for feints and deception is limited only by the imagination of the ship's captain.
A pair of armed 25-ton boarding gigs are also carried, allowing the platoon of embarked troops to board and capture, as well as the transfer aboard of captured supplies and personnel. Such prisoners would usually be transported in coldsleep, eliminating the need for guards and food, although a small brig facility is available. Note also the positioning of the ship's docking umbilical, which places the boarded ship right over the HEPlaR exhausts.
The carriage of MIRACL X-Ray Laser mines, preloaded three to a DMDV, allows for disruption of traffic through mining of common refuelling areas. Even if a mine is discovered before it can damage anything, the enemy will have to commit resources to sweeping the area, and any nearby areas which might also be mined. It is worth remembering that the perceived threat posed by mines is much more valuable than their actual potential to damage shipping.
The ship carries a top-line sensor suite, as well as an EM-Masking system, and a jammer capable of blocking radio calls for help. Sensor drones are also carried, and may be launched through the missile barbettes or from the hangar.
In addition, the six embarked fighters play an important role in scouting. Their small size allows them to go undetected where the destroyer would stand out, and their sensor arrays, while inferior to the destroyer's, are still better than most merchants carry.
CRX-12a (St George)-Class Destroyer
|Displacement: 4,000 tons||Hull Armor: 200|
|Length: 175.18 meters||Volume: 56,000 m3|
|Price: 2.22 GCr (before bulk discounts)||Target Size: M|
|Configuration:Streamlined Wedge (4:2:1)||Tech Level: 15|
|Mass (Loaded/Unloaded): 36,454.6 / 31,725.2|
|TL-15 1.6 GJ Particle Accelerator (Loc:0-Arcs:0;444.444
TL-15 1.6 GJ Meson Gun (Loc:0-Arcs:0;444.444 MW;5 crew)
TL-15 400-MJ Laser Barbette (Loc:0-Arcs:0;22.2 MW;No crew)
TL-15 64-MJ Triple Laser Turrets (Loc:0-Arcs:0;33.5 MW;1 crew)
TL-15 Missile Bays (Loc:0;0 MW;0 Crew)
3 Autoloaded Launchers each
15xDetlaser missiles each
5xSensor drones each
30xDisposable Mine Deployment Vehicles each
|TL-15 Sand Caster (Loc:0-Arcs:0;1 MW;1 crew)|
TL-15 Meson Screen Generator (PV=150; 7 MW; 1 Crew)
|5x||TL-15 (6 Diff Mods; 10 hex; Msl 10 hex; 1.86 MW; 1 crew)|
|1.6-GJ Particle Accelerator
|1.6 GJ Meson Gun
|400-MJ Laser Barbette
|64-MJ Triple Laser Turret
3 Hit Rolls
|24xShip's Troops||51xFrozen Watch|
|DD St George|
|A:16 P:8  J:16 Msk||(S P) J:4 G:6|