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Azhanti High Lightning

I'm curently working on a refit of a AHL used as a school ship by one of the imperial naval acadademies for midshipmen training. Kind of space equivalent of the french Jeanne-d'arc. I intend to replace the fighters squadrons by a single squadron of modular cutters. Possibly with a couple of spare modules. I'll also downsize the marine detail to free some place for the midshipmen's quarters and classroom.

The mission profile of the ship would be a 6 month cruise, each year, carrying a hundred midshipmen on a sector-wide (maybe domain-wide, I'll have to check what's possible to cover in half a year) trip. Half of the midshipmen would be running watches, under supervision of the crew, while the other half would be having lectures from a dozen of insctructors of the acadademy who boarded with them. System visited would includes large naval bases, depot and exercice range (every time it's possible the ship will take part in exercice with active units of both imperial and local fleets). Diplomatic and protocol visits will also be made to both imperial and client systems, involving extensive parties with officials, nobles, diplomats, high-ranking officers and so on. Both aground and aboard (officer and gentlemen, remember?). And, last but not least, the course will also be laid on world of historical, scientific or cultural signifiance.

By the way, I almost forgot, I'm posting this topic because I'm looking for GURPS stats for the azhanti (both fleet intruder and frontier cruiser refit). Does someone have it? Or know where to find it?

Originally posted by Hans Vermeylen:
I intend to replace the fighters squadrons by a single squadron of modular cutters.
I'm not sure I'd replace the fighters with cutters: For one thing cutters wont fit down the launch tubes. As the fighters are housed in 2 areas (IIRC) I'd halve the number of fighters and reclaim the space for onboard teaching facilities.

Also, the RF-128/2 (Rampart Light Fighter) is a 2-seat variant of the standard RF-128. Its normally used as a squadron leader, but unarmed it would make a good trainer. So I'd replace the remaining fighters with unarmed RF-128/2s ... perhaps with low power targetting lasers for war game practice.

Regards PLST
What you need is a TF128. Take the 2 seat version and fit it with two sets of holographic controls for full training capacity. I think the two seat version is used for training in its normal form but this may be more for squadron training than basic/advanced flight training.
Yeah leave the fighters its part of the training. I too have capital training ships in my campaign.

The launch tubes change would not be possible being their directly linked to the spinal mount. See the deckplans at far futures.

I'm well aware the cutter won't fit the fighters launch tubes. Neither will they fit the hangars. But what I've in mind is a major refit. Removing the spinal mount and replacing the two 10 dTon fighters with a single 50 dTon one.

Of course, 2 seats fighters are great for pilot training, but the ship I've in mind is intended for deck officer training. So fighters won't do the job. Besides I want to keep in line with the Jeanne d'Arc. And she's an helicopter carrier. So, my school-Azhanti will be a cutter carrier.

Anyway, thanks for the stats.
It's usually pretty much said that you cannot remove the spinal mount. To do so is such a major job that it would be easier to build a new ship instead. Remember spinal mount also provides, and is surrounded by, the main supporting structural frame for the entire ship.
When the Azhanti fleet intruders have been refitted as frontier cruiser, the meson spinal mount was replaced by a p-beam one. In my humble opinion, it should be possible and not much more difficult to replace it by a launch tube of similar radius (the p-beam gun is 4,5 m radius, while a cutter is 3,5 m radius). And the structural frame of a launch tube should be as good at supporting the ship than the one of a beam weapon.
Oh yes, right, you're actually keeping the weapon tube itself, not removing the weapon completely. Sorry I misread the post.
I would consider all of the spinal components together for refit purposes.
That gives you 1000t for the two fighter launch tubes and 2000t for the spinal meson gun (which, by the way, you've got the wrong way round - the AHLs were originally fitted with PAWs, these were replaced with meson guns - according to supplement 5 ;) ).
That's 3000t to play with.
A launch tube for 50t ships is standard on Imperial Carriers, so no problems building one - 1250t.
Spinal meson J gun (built into the old launch tubes perhaps?) - 1000t.
You've still got 750t left to play with ;)
Originally posted by Hans Vermeylen:
The mission profile of the ship would be a 6 month cruise, each year, carrying a hundred midshipmen on a sector-wide (maybe domain-wide, I'll have to check what's possible to cover in half a year) trip.
Theoretically you can do one jump per week. Realistically the PTB would probably plan for one jump every 10 days on the average. That's 18 jumps. Deduct a couple for major layovers (Sector capital, that sort of places). Call it 16 jumps. IIRC the Azhantis are jump-5, so that would make it possible to go 40 parsecs away and back again. If you instead circle and weave back and forth, you should be able to visit most of the subsectors in one sector (though probably not all of them). A domain-wide tour would not be possible (although, of course, if the trip starts somewhere close to where the domain's four sectors meet, it could visit all four).

Ahoy there,
when I'm not pestering Hans at 1 AM about the OB of the guatemalan navy, I'm outsourcing several ship design tasks to him.
This INS Jeanne D'Arc project is one of them (you'll probably see the space mines and minehunter later on that summer, after he's graduated from his real-world naval academy).

IMHO, the spine of the ship and the meson weapon itself are two separate elements. The weapon system is lodged in and around the spine, but can be removed to allow for upgrades, refits, etc... without impairing the ship's structural integrity. I dont't think the Azhanti's in INSS service still have that kind of weaponry.
This should be a major shipyard job, of course, but it is possible.
A MT scenario in Challenge magazine revolved around one of the imperial research station. That station was a shortened AHL hull, with the J-drive, the launch tubes and the spinal weapon removed and replaced with lab space.

I rather like that Jeanne D'arc concept. A training cruise aboard it would be a great campaign backdrop. Maybe around 2006, when the Agidda campaign is over, Hans' PC will have made captain or rear admiral and will command that ship. He will then remember how his old CO Cpt Franssen used to talk about the loneliness of command and how there were 4 ways of doing things in the navy....and maybe then he'll have his own palmtree ;)
I'm not sure the Lightning would be the right ship for this task. They are a bit long in the tooth and there aren't all that many of them left. The few that are left serve important roles as one of the few Jump-5 Capital Ships. (Which makes them fast reacting. Having a Jump-5 Capital ship is important forseveral reasons but they suffer major limitations in making them jump-5. Losing the spinal mount to make room for cutters seems a waste. One other thing while simulators have their place there is nothing like real time in real craft in space. One good thing for training line officers is squadron training. WHat better way, aside from tieing up a significant portion of your fleet, than to train fleet tactics using fighters. Basically they are the same concept only smaller. The Laser Mount would be fixed forward, (as is a Spinal Mount) maneuver is high, like most capital ships, the thing they lack is jump capability and a crew. But in the two seat version the second seat can simulate all the important stuff with the Middie as the pilot.
I think it is a great way to train fleet tactics, ship handling and other vital aspects of space combat, further, with only a minor refit the ship can still be pressed into service as a J-5 Cruiser. (And the storyline of Middies bravely being sent off to battle is both classic and epic.)
Yep. Must agree with Bhoins. I wouldn't say its impossible to replace a spinal mount, for example you could pull it leave the superstructure put in a 50dt launch bay in place of the SM but why???

Use the Wind class or another vessel capable of lauching 50dt ships. Its a lot cheaper and quicker. All that construction takes time.

"There aren't all that many of them left" (Bhoins). There is only one helicopter carrier in the french Navy and still they use it for onboard training. Besides, it's something of a pride for the french navy to use a prestigious ship to train its potential officers. So the Azanthi seems a perfect choice to me.

"The few that are left serve important roles as one of the few Jump-5 Capital Ships" (Bhoins).

As a matter of fact, the Jeanne d'Arc is designed to be used as training ship in peace time, and, with minor refit, as ASW helicopter platform or as a C3 and troop ship in wartime.

Cadets in peacetime, marines in wartime. Both will find cutters more usefull than fighters. Can't a jump-5 ship may be just as usefull with a load of marines than with a big meson gun?

More about the Jeanne d'Arc (sorry it's french) on the French Navy website: http://www.defense.gouv.fr/marine/navires/batiments/jda/

"Fighters are great for line officers training" (paraphrasing various people).

I'm not sure a 5,5 g rampart is handled the same way as a 2 g capital ship. Besides, being on duty on a warship bridge is not much about actually sailing the ship (as far as water naval ships go, I never flew an Azanthi): the officer never get his hands on the steering wheel, a rating do. But much more about managing a team of technical specialists under your orders. Basicaly, there is a NCO aboard able to do every single task. The officer is mostly there to get them working together. And you can't train to that on a two-seats fighter. Ever saw line officers training with speedboats?

Reguarding squadron training, this is very well handled with simulators. Actually you can do Fleetexes (ok basic ones) with just all the officers around a table with paper and pens, you don't even need a single ship (belgian navy is short on money, you know).

No really, as far as my experience goes, you need to train on a bridge to become a line officer. A cockpit won't do.
"I rather like that Jeanne D'arc concept. A training cruise aboard it would be a great campaign backdrop. Maybe around 2006, when the Agidda campaign is over, Hans' PC will have made captain or rear admiral and will command that ship." Good idea Thierry!

I've a couple of ideas. Maybe the campaign could focus on the adventures of Midshipman Potter, a young noble whose parents have been killed by an evil zhodani admiral. The ship would be in charge of an old white bearded rear-admiral. There would be middies from four naval academies on board. All of the competing with the other ones. And the naval admin teacher would be a frutrated commander wanting to give Defense against Zhodani Forces lessons. And the rear-admiral won't let him do, and will keep apointing new teachers for the course, none of them lasting more than a couple of jumps.

"Ensign Potter and Cabin of Secrets"

"Ensign Potter and the Prisonner of Darkmoon"

"Ensign Potter and the Order of the Grey Masks"

Well, maybe not. Won't work.
I like your idea Hans.

The Azhanti is a good choice because:
a. they have been bought and paid for, all you have is conversion costs which would be 1.1x the cost of the new systems, according to the refitting rules in Trillion Credit Squadron;
b. between CT and MT the AHLs are starting to be mothballed again
Arrival Vengeance page 3
...one of five of that class mothballed at Trin since 1114...
so you may as well find a use for them;
c. there are good deck plans that can be used to actually play the game ;)
They are being reactivated for use by the Aslan Patrol, or Trekhyair, between 1120 and 1125. Predates the RQS by quite a bit... ;)

...well, six years - since the Quarantine Service began operation in 1131.
If we ignore FOTSI (Which most people are inclined to do.) The AHL is the only canon J-5 or better capital ship. It is fast reacting. At the time of CT 1107 there are only 19 left. (That includes the four remaining in IISS service.) 4 in Gateway, 4 in the Solomani Sphere, 5 in the Spinward Marches and two in the Imperial Core. THe 4 remaining in IISS service are used as exploratory cruisers and courier vessels. That is a half Cruron in each area. Now the French might be able to dedicate a Capital ship, with a minor refit, to training. After all in reality when was the French Navy actually a factor in any war? The French stopped being a true Naval Power before WWI. They had the USN and the Brits to cover their butts. But be that as it may, aminor refit and it is back in service as an ASW carrier. You are taking the AHL out of military service as a capital ship. ANd if it were needed as a capital ship it would be back in the ways for at least a year to put it back together again. In the Imperium, there is no one else to cover their butts, there is a large quantity of space to be covered. the French Navy's interests are largely limited to the North Eastern Quarter of the Atlantic Ocean. (If that much.) In three of the four areas that the remaining AHLs are located they are all hot spots and not very quiet. Nor are they expected to be quiet. The IN is unlikely to stand down one of its few fast reacting Cruisers when they have so few available. Using one as is, with the Middies in place of Fighter Pilots is another story.

The Honorverse has their Middies spread out over all the ships in the fleet for their Middie Cruise. (As does the USN.) That, to me, makes more sense. The French Navy has very limited resources so I can see them putting the Middies on one ship. (For various reasons.) But in general, the French military hasn't exactly had a stellar performance in action over the past 100 years, so, while it is a pretty concept, wouldn't it be better to take a page from the winner's book? (The Royal Manticoran Navy for example.)I understand that it is a game device so do your Middie cruise on one ship, use an AHL, but don't gut it to do so. The ship is to rare and too valuable to render it uncombat worthy. (And imagine the surprise of the Vargr Corsairs, or Zhodani Squadron that run into it expecting to have to take on a Cruiser only to find it defenseless.