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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Post IMS Virginia Dreadnought

IMS Virginia Dreadnought (Others in class – Yamato, Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, Tennessee, New Ironsides, Warrior, Prince of Wales, Hood, Washington, Kirov)

Type: Dreadnought

Displacement: Streamlined, 5000 tons

Cost: MCr 2896 before discounts and without small craft

Drives: All drives Z, giving it Jump-2, Maneuver-2 and Power-2.

Fuel: 1040 tons

Armament:

50 triple turrets
48 triple PAWS, 8 batteries of 6 turrets
2 triple sandcasters, 2 batteries of 1 turret

25 100 ton bays
20 PAWS bays (9 PAWS each), 5 batteries of 4 bays
5 ASM bays (3 ASM racks each), 5 batteries of 1 bay

Fittings: 67 staterooms; 1 double sized command stateroom; 120 low berths; 424 tons cargo; 200 ton small craft bay.

Electronics: Computer 7 with fiber optic backup; Aegis system w/Model-5

106 crew:

Captain 1
XO 1
Computer 1
Navigation 2
Medical 1
Communications 1
Ratings 4
Chief Engineer 1
Second Engineer 1
Engineer PO 2
Engineers 3
Chief Gunnery 1
Gunners 75
Marine Officers 1
Marines 26
Total 122

The Virginia class Dreadnought is the most powerful starship in Known Space and forms the core of the Commonwealth’s battlefleet. It is also the last Commonwealth warship to be limited to Jump-2 and 2-Gs acceleration.

Due to the Commonwealth’s decision to transition the fleet to Jump-4 and 4-G acceleration, the Virginias are now too slow for modern naval doctrine. Due to their considerable cost and firepower, as well as the fact that there is no replacement currently planned, the Virginias remain in the Commonwealth battle line.

Originally, the Virginias were to be replaced by the projected BB-4 class of 5000 ton Jump-4 dreadnoughts. Since deployment of the BB-4 was dependent on development of drives capable of producing Jump-4 and 4-G acceleration, the replacement would not be ready for another decade.

Meanwhile, the Navy rushed the smaller Jump-4 capable 3000 ton Royal Oak class light battleships into service, to provide the new carriers and assault ships with appropriate escorts. To stretch available funds, the Navy decided to retire the expensive Virginias early and rely on the Royal Oaks to fill the gap for a decade. As the new Royal Oaks came online, the Navy began transferring the Virginias to colonial and reserve fleets.

Unfortunately, ten years of development work failed to produce a deployable Jump-4 drive for the BB-4 class. The only BB-4 prototype, the Monitor, was nearly lost when its Jump drives overloaded on its initial jump and exploded, killing most of the ship’s Engineering section. And her new maneuver drives nearly “shook the ship to pieces” at more than 2-G acceleration. Futile tinkering by Navy engineers failed to resolve the problem and finally, to someone’s credit, the class was cancelled.

After the failure of the Monitor program, the Commonwealth Navy found itself with a problem – it had no replacement for the Virginias. The Royal Oaks were excellent warships, but each mounted less than half the firepower of a Virginia. Worse, precious shipyard space was being used mostly for the Indefatigable and Tarawa class ships. This slowed procurement of the Royal Oak class.

The Navy’s solution was to return the Virginias to service until a suitable replacement could be deployed. Meanwhile, naval strategic doctrine was hastily revised (or “ret-conned” as some younger officers derisively sneered).

Variants

Illustrious -- To improve the strategic mobility of the Virginia class, the Navy has doubled the fuel tankage of IMS Illustrious so that it can make 2 consecutive Jump-2s. Navy contractors gutted 8 PAWS bays and 2 ASM bays, replacing them with fuel tanks. Currently, Illustrious is undergoing strategic evaluation studies (i.e., wargames) with IMS Monitor, the ill-fated prototype of the BB-4 class. Like Illustrious, Monitor has sufficient fuel for 2 consecutive Jump-2s. The two ships comprise BatRon (BATtleship squadRON) 12. The purpose of the exercise is to determine if the extra Jump-2 capability is useful enough to offset the loss of about 25% of the ship's firepower. Critics claim that the refit combines the worst features of the Virginia and Monitor classes -- slow strategic speed and lighter armament.

New Jersey -- As noted above, the Navy began demobilizing the Virginias before the BB-4 program failed. Once ship, IMS New Jersey, was modified to test a Marine concept known as the "Arsenal ship", a heavy fire support ship that would support Marine landings with devastating firepower. The refit replaced New Jersey's PAWS and ASM batteries with missile racks. New Jersey has 25 100-ton missile bays, 48 triple missile turrets and 2 triple sandcaster turrets. A full missile strike from New Jersey consists of 369 missiles (!). Marine staff officers estimate that a single strike could effectively destroy a heavy armored brigade. New Jersey's cargo capacity has been reduced to 239 tons; 185 tons of cargo space have been allocated to missile reloads (about 1/2 ton per launcher, or 10 extra reloads). This means that New Jersey can fire nearly 4800 missiles before having to resupply. The Marines are apparently very pleased with New Jersey's capabilities, but some senior Naval officers advocate returning New Jersey to the battle line. Since there are no funds to return her to her original condition, she'd presumably retain her current missile armament.

Last edited by tbeard1999; June 27th, 2007 at 03:20 PM..
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