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ship's crest

Class:
Antaeus Class multi-mission expeditionary cruiser (SCN)

Builder:
Williams-Leong Military Systems, San Angeles

Estimated Construction Cost:
Approximately 9.2 billion USD per unit

Keel Laid:
Antaeus SCN-214 – 2040

Launched:
Antaeus SCN-214 – 2041

Commissioned:
Antaeus SCN-214 – 2041

Dimensions:
Length: 205.0m (672.6 feet)
Beam: 52.0m (170.6 feet)
Height: 42.0m (137.8 feet)

Submerged Displacement:
25,016 tonnes

Hull Composition:
Double layered semi-organic pliant self-regenerating 3rd Generation Bioskin covering a titanium double hull, supported by a reinforced composite-64 and steel frame

Bioskin details:
Anechoic, genetic hullskin developed as an acoustics countermeasure. The genetically-engineered material - a living organism by any other definition - covers the exterior of the hull as two layers, each approximately three and a half inches thick. Both layers are highly tensile, densely composed structures which absorb and distort active acoustic signals such as sonar pings, thereby drastically reducing the effectiveness of sonar equipment directed at the vessel.
Secondly, the bioskin attenuates sounds emitted from the submarine - especially from engine machinery. This substantially reduces the passive sonar visibility of the submarine, rendering it effectively stealth to passive detection at extended ranges.

Thirdly, the bioskin possesses self-regenerating properties that enable it to seal any external breaches to the pressure hull. Being a third-generation skin, the enhanced genetic properties allow a rate of regeneration which can completely seal a compromising hull-breach up to 50 feet wide in just less than 30 minutes, allowing the internal compartments to be isolated, sealed and then siphoned of water to allow extensive internal repairs to otherwise crippling damage without the need for a drydock or harbour facility.
The genetic composition of the hull skin is one of the most classified and tightly controlled secrets in the UEO Navy's bioengineering corps. The degree of effectiveness of the technology is unparalleled by any other navy in the world, and it is reported that the technology has helped in reducing the sonar signature of UEO submarines by up to 85 or 90 percent

 

Crush Depth:
Greater than 10,000 feet.

Propulsion:
1 Lockheed Naval Systems Tokamak fusion reactor powering 4 aqua-return propulsion drives

Speed:
Maximum: 150 knots
Standard Cruising: 110 knots

Computer System:
Linux Integrated Optics/Neural information network, (Designation C-N/O2039B “Lion-II”)

Computer Specifics
The Antaeus class possesses one of the most advanced combat information suites on any warship in the world, courtesy of the highly advanced “Lion-II” series neural computer network. It represents the cutting edge of modern, conventional information technology, and is capable of processing an almost unparalleled amount of information.

The system was not born natively of the Antaeus project itself, but rather is the direct result of the DSX project which concluded at the end of 2040. Shortly after the UEO pressed the Atlantis class DSVs in to service, much of the technology that was developed for the class was then made available to other fleet projects. Developed simultaneously with the AHAI project that resulted in the “ANNIE” artificial intelligence found aboard the larger DSVs, the Lion series shares many common technology bases, not the least of which is its complete reliance on synthetic neural wiring which is gradually beginning to replace the fibre optic bundles otherwise found throughout the fleet.

The Antaeus is the first of a new generation of UEO warships born of the Atlantis class DSVs, and while the technologies involve remain highly secret and tightly controlled, it is likely that this form of computer network will become commonplace throughout the UEO navy.

 

Sensors:
Internal: Hypersonar; active and passive sensor suites
Effective Range: Approximately 140 nautical miles
External: Three Wireless Sea Protection and Reconnaissance Satellites (WSPRS)
typically with one each deployed at the bow and stern, and one more roving the ship’s defence perimeter.
Effective Range: 300 nautical miles

Hypersonar technology relies on a combination of 'traditional' acoustic monitoring equipment such as active and passive sonar, and laser-based range finding, it stands for Hypersonic Navigation and Ranging; as the name implies, it uses faster-than-sound technology to detect shipping, map terrain and aid in navigation. The Antaeus class mounts a total of 6 parabolic hypersonar arrays mounted bow, stern, midships dorsal and ventral across the submarine providing it with 360 degree sonar coverage on all of her axes.
Operating passively, hypersonar sensors are able to work in conjunction with the ship's computer to use repeated, low-band particle beams to build up a 3D picture of the environment while an integrated passive array intelligently detects and identifies acoustic signatures within that environment. This is the preferred method of operation, as it maintains complete stealth capability for the submarine while still providing at least a marginal picture of the environment around the vessel - while there is no guarantee that a submarine will be detected by the passive components of the array, the laser array ensures that even if targets cannot be identified, they will be detected, ranged and targeted. Only next-generation active camouflage systems employed by Macronesian vessels have the capacity to evade passive hypersonar entirely.

Used actively, hypersonar becomes a double edged, but ultimately infallible sword - First sweeping the area with a high-sensitivity laser array to gather preliminary data, the ship's computer then isolates targets of opportunity which are then battered with a series of uni-directional audio pings, the system literally bounces sound waves off specific solid objects in the water repeatedly and reflects them back to the array, with each ping building up an incredibly detailed picture of the target in real time. The only drawback to this system is that the target being 'illuminated' will also have access to the same information - active acoustics work both ways.

Nonetheless, the system is a marked improvement over first-generation active sonar technology used throughout the later part of the 20th century where a single ping could be detected by any submarine in the area. The new directed-array used in hypersonars will limit the 'saturation' of the ping to one specific vector, thus maintaining the submarine's stealth against any other target in the area. Only a sophisticated inter-ship battle network (Such as the encrypted, globe-spanning communications system used by the UEO military) would be able to make use of another ship's sensor information in real time, and forces which do possess such communications ability are very rare; most certainly, the Battlenet has been one of the UEO's major advantages over the Macronesian navy's own (and significantly less advanced) command and control network.
Combining active hypersonar on a single ship with such a network between a taskforce would enable an entire battlegroup to receive real-time and incredibly detailed target information without revealing their locations.

The Antaeus class cruisers unlike the Defiance before them possess these same systems; while sonar technology has reached its current technological peak as of 2040, the vessel’s real advantage is in its ability to process the information at a considerably more rapid rate due to its computer systems. This enables the Antaeus to keep a constant and extremely precise stream of data which can then be disseminated to other units in its taskforce in real time; something which was previously unfeasible due to the limited processing power of warship computers.

 

Armament:
10 x 21-inch RAFIT (Rapid Firing, Independently Targeting) torpedo batteries
2 x SLR-84 “Stingray” Long Range Pulse Laser Cannons
2 x SLR-82 “Wraith” Long Range Laser Cannons
Dorsal module containing 32 x 28-inch VLS silos, capable of being armed with Raytheon Pathfinder III and IV Hypersonic Cruise Missiles (Nuclear or Conventional payloads)

Defensive Systems:
Mark IX and X Intercept Torpedoes
ECM Packages and Noise Makers

Designed as a multi-mission cruiser, the Antaeus possesses a diverse and variable payload of armaments which make it one of the most adaptable warships presently in UEO service. Being only the second vessel since Atlantis to make use of RAFIT torpedo batteries (essentially a ‘gattling torpedo tube’) it is capable of matching the firepower of virtually any Alliance cruiser in service. While the ten RAFIT batteries form the core of its offensive and defensive armament (capable of firing either standard plasma torpedoes or intercept countermeasures) the Antaeus’s secondary weapons systems are modular.

While its four long range laser mounts provide adequate close-range defence (being more than capable of countering fast-moving subfighters and in some cases, torpedoes) these weapons are by no means fixed; the Antaeus is capable of carrying virtually any weapons system in the place of these lasers from short range, rapid firing pulse cannons through to – if the mission for some reason required it – subfighter SGA-14/A Hades railguns.
Usually – often due to the Antaeus’s long range missions where it finds itself without support – the laser weaponry is not altered, as it provides a standard of self-defence against fast moving craft that it otherwise would not possess.

The final aspect of Antaeus’s armament is a modular mission-specific compartment which is located on the dorsal hull of the submarine. This module, some fifteen meters long, can be fitted with one of several different systems. These systems include a 32-rack VLS missile module, a dedicated Special Warfare compartment for the delivery and support of Navy Special Forces, additional (highly sensitive and classified) sonar and sensor suites, or even a small secondary EVA bay for additional shuttle and speeder deployment. In some missions, the Antaeus may even carry an information warfare suite for the purposes of Intelligence gathering operations.

 

EVA Assets:
The Antaeus has a single hangar deck which can operate and maintain up to 18 sub craft of varying types, including fighters, bombers, maintenance, survey and transport vessels. It does not carry combat craft as part of its standard complement, but may be assigned a squadron of fighters should a mission require it.

Crew Complement:
240 (Includes 30 officers, 170 crew and 40 marines)

Development history and class background...
The Antaeus class cruiser is the first of a new generation of UEO fleet submarines. Designed as a multi-mission cruiser capable of operating independently and distantly from other battlegroups and taskforces, it is the UEO’s answer to the narrowing technological margin with the Macronesian Alliance.

Design began and continued rapidly throughout 2039. With the UEO unable to compete with the massive industrial output of Macronesia, many commanders asked for a vessel that was capable of dealing with multiple missions with a minimal of support from other units. One such class of vessel was already being developed in the form of the ultra-massive Atlantis class DSVs, but these ships were too expensive and too few in number to adequately fill the fleet’s need for this type of vessel.

The design concept called for a medium-weight cruiser that would utilize next generation technologies being developed by the UEO’s various subcontractors. (At the time, the project leads of Antaeus were unaware that these same subcontractors were designing the systems for the larger Atlantis) These technologies included improved sensor and information warfare suites, advanced weapons and targeting systems, support for the fleet’s next-generation “Raptor” class subfighter and a new computer system capable of providing task groups with real-time updates on theatre operations.

The project advanced quickly, with technologies being delivered – in many cases – ahead of time. (Although it came at an increasingly bloated budget) Each vessel of the Antaeus class was to cost an even 8.0 billion dollars each, but with the core technologies being ready before the actual design, the project began to run over-time. Due to the fleet’s urgent need for on-time delivery of the first three vessels, the cost blew out to 9.2 billion per submarine, and scrutiny from defence analysts and political appropriations committees meant that the Antaeus diverted much attention from the secret DSV projects.

In 2040, the construction cost of the two Atlantis class DSVs alone had exceeded 73 billion dollars, and this did not account for that which was expended on a cancelled third vessel of the class, and the Odyssey class being constructed in San Francisco. With such massive defence expenditure, the UEO economy was looking at recession, and for a brief time, the Antaeus project looked as it would face cancellation after only three vessels. The contractor responsible for the ship’s construction – Williams-Leong Military Systems – had previously developed the Titan class for the UEO during the 2020s, but had invested so much of its energies and resources in to the Antaeus that the cancellation of the program would have also driven the company in to bankruptcy. In October 2040, in the face of mounting military and corporate pressures, the UEO Security Council voted narrowly to allow the project to continue under close supervision for a further six months; the class’s future rested on Williams-Leong’s ability to deliver the first three vessels on time, and at a total cost of no more than 28 billion dollars.
One month later, Macronesia declared war.

In the face of the losses the UEO fleet began to take throughout the last months of 2040 and the early days of 2041, the Antaeus project’s continuation seemed assured. Despite this, the first three vessels of the class were completed on May 3rd, 2041 – three weeks ahead of the Security Council’s dead line, and half a billion dollars under the allocated budget. A further 17 vessels were ordered, and construction would progress at an initial rate of three a year, to be completed with the as-yet-unnamed CSN-233 in 2046.
UEO Antaeus CSN-214 was commissioned in June 2041 under the command of Captain Michelle Ramsgate, and was immediately deployed to the western Pacific to assist the operations of the UEO 5th fleet. Her two sisterships, the UEO Endurance CSN-215 under the command of Captain Richard Blackwood and UEO Endeavour CSN-216 under Captain Marcus Lawrence would follow just under a month later.

The Saint Patrick, Sagittarius, Spartan and Bonaparte are all scheduled to be commissioned throughout 2042 and early 2043.

 

 

Copyright 2006-2009 James Ward. All reference pertaining to "seaQuest DSV" and "seaQuest 2032" are copyrights of Universal/Amblin enterainment and no claim is made to these titles. Atlantis DSV and all related themes are copyright of James Ward and associated writers.

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