'Astra inclinant, sed non obligant'Name of Ship:
The INS Roanoke Type:
Ares-Class Light Carrier
Developed by Boeing Aerospace Industries, the Ares-Class light carrier is a small but fast and maneuverable carrier. The Ares-Class is a lightweight next-generation warship designed from the ground up to facilitate MAS combat. Unlike older vessels, which are designed to deliver high intensity firepower from relatively stationary positions, the Ares-class is designed to skirt through smaller engagements and project power where needed, and is often suited to smaller task forces rather than line combat duty. The Ares possesses both an oversized reactor and thrusters for its size, and its comparatively stripped down armor makes it a capable quick reaction vessel.
Its lighter armor does not however mean it is a fragile ship. Featuring dozens of redundancies and functionally independent systems, the Ares is a difficult ship to kill, capable of sustaining major damage and limping back to base with as little as a single engine pod and 25% structural integrity. As a result, this ship is favored by special operations units and small task forces for its small profile and robust nature.
Cramped and uncomfortable, the Ares-class is often simultaneously loved and hated by its crew. Its hallways are narrow and filled with systems and terminals, and aside from a small canteen it does not by design offer any shared living spaces. As a result, crews onboard Ares-class carriers often end up converting parts of the ship into their own personal spaces. The ship itself provides small amenities for its officers, affording most officers small-but private quarters, and a small lounge for recreation.
The heart of the Ares-Class is its Phobos Fusion Reactor. With deuterium tankage for eight months, tied to an efficient mag-grav sweep system, the Phobos can sustain The Ares-class for up to fifteen months of minimal activity before fuel reserves will run low. Aft of the reactor section and the tankage is the ships battery of Impellor drives, rated for 3.5G of continuous acceleration. The drive section can also deploy solar panels to provide additional power when in range of a star.
Nestled between the Impellor drive and the Reactor is the ship's Kearnsky-Fuchida Warp drive. By bridging two points in space the drive can rapidly move the Ares-class up to 100 light years, cutting the travel time to a few hours. While this typically requires significant charging, the Ares-class features a jump delay of 36 hours- much faster than the fleet norm, which is currently 42 for most cruisers and battleships. The Ares also features a 'Rapid-Jump' ability, allowing it to make up to 3 shorter 30 LY jumps repeatedly, with as little as an hour between jumps. Using this ability is typically reserved for tactical or emergency situations, as it risks damaging both the drive and reactor.
The largest space on the Ares-class carrier is easily its central hangar. Built primarily for MAS, but capable of supporting VTOL style aerospace craft, the Ares flight decks open up via wide ventral hangar doors along the spine of the ship, allowing multiple craft to take off at once. Specialized energy shields prevent atmosphere from venting out of the ship whenever the hangar doors open.
Sitting ahead of the engine and reactor, and off-centered is the bridge and CIC, a tall structure, reinforced with armor and support struts. The CIC itself is multilevel, and has metal blast shields lowered over the glass during combat.
In order to fulfill its requisition order, the Ares-Class, while designed to work as a QRF unit to support fleet actions, the Ares-class is only moderately armed. The most important aspect of the Ares-class is its ability to quickly project power in the form of strike craft.
Mounted along the dorsal line the ship and powered by its own reactor and capacitor system, the Ares-class mounts a 'Ship-Buster' 350mm Rail Cannon System. This rail cannon fires 3 high velocity projectiles in quick succession. The first two projectiles fired are solid depleted uranium slugs, and is typically followed by a nuclear warhead cased in a tungsten shell. The initial slugs are capable of punching clean through the shield (and often times the hull) of most cruiser sized ships in known space, allowing for the nuclear warhead to impact on the softened, unshielded hull of the opposing ship. Its relative limited ammunition, and the requirement of draining almost all non-combat essential systems means that the 'Ship-Buster' must be used judiciously, or risk the destruction of the ship at an inopportune time.
Instead, the primary armament for the Ares-class is a pair of twin-barreled Plasma Pulse Cannons mounted near the aft above and below the ship engines. These plasma cannons make short work of most smaller vessels, overload shields, and ward off close range attackers, but can also be a threat to larger capital ships. Unlike traditional Mass-driver cannons, the Ares' plasma cannons are considerably more accurate and powerful, but draw more heavily on the ship's power capacitors.
Supplementing the main guns, the Ares also mounts 16 120mm Mass Driver turrets mirrored above and below the ship for close in defense against smaller ships as well as point defense against enemy MAS and munitions, though the sheer number of shells can also pose a threat to larger cruiser type ships as well. Working as a point defense system as well as an anti-ship system, these turrets can switch out ammunition types even mid combat, from armor melting superheated iridium flak, to even ship piercing hybrid-plasma-kinetic shells.
Two front mounted Rapier Missile Tubes carry 20 anti capital missiles each, with a secondary magazine located in the hold holding another 60. These missiles are remote piloted by operators in the CiC, but can revert to on-board guiding if they are jammed. Configurable for a variety of targets, these missiles are also the primary means of attacking a surface target the Ares-class has. The Ares also features 16 smaller missile systems, installed on each of the aforementioned Mass driver turrets- these missile launchers are 12-racked launcher systems that can deploy a variety of smaller missiles, such as the popular Claymore or Longsword missiles, for anti-fighter/MAS purposes.
Along with the aforementioned rail cannons, the ship mounts about a quarter meter of Durralex Nano-plasteel armour plate, reinforced with Cobblestone Reaction ceramic ablative plate. ECW defence includes several dedicated ECM defence nodes, located on top of the bridge and observation deck. Finally, a powerful reflex shield generators allows the ship to deflect conventional and plasma attacks.
Like all ships of her size and construction, the greatest threats come from bigger, meaner capital ships, concentrated attack by destroyers or close range 'skin dancing' attacks by Strike craft. An Ares separated from its MAS support is a commander's worst nightmare, and the best defense for the carrier is its speed and its own strike craft complement.
Small and cramped compared to most carrier type ships, every square inch onboard the Ares-class is valuable. The Ares-class carrier sports the storage bays for a single squadron of 12 MAS, along with additional space for a single transport shuttle, a pair of augmented Naginata scout fighters, and 3 SRR (Search-Rescue-Repair) craft. Even with this capacity, space is often limited, and it isn't uncommon to for craft and MAS to mount themselves to one of the 4 'ready' decks on the underside of the Ares when security is relaxed to afford its crew more space.
With many of the ship's systems automated, the ships company runs to a small 250 across all ranks and specializations, including a dedicated security detachment. Attached to each Ares-class carrier a MAS squadron. The combined airwing has a compliment of about 80 crew, including pilots, support pilots, and maintenance crews, and the attached marine platoon numbers 40.
The ships computer systems are managed by Eva, a gestalt LV 3 Virtual intelligence. Not true AI, she instead is an exceptionable personable interface program designed to ease crew interactions with the ships systems, function as a organizer and statistician, and provide ready advice and information for the command crew. Capable of independent management of many of the ships defensive systems and day-to-day management of the ships immediate Battlespace, she is designed to both take, interpret and redistribute orders.
Mass: 30,000 metric tons
Crew Complement: 2
Jump Range: 100 light years
Jump delay: 36 hours
Endurance: 8 months