UEO Defiance class Strike Cruiser
Defiance class Strike Cruiser (CASN)
Marine Dynamics Ltd.
Estimated Construction Cost:
Approximately 7.9 billion USD per unit
Defiance CASN-161 – 2029
Defiance CASN-161 – 2030
Defiance CASN-161 – 2031
Length: 205.0m (410.10 feet)
Beam: 53.0m (173.9 feet)
Height: 40.0m (131.2 feet)
Double layered semi-organic pliant self-regenerating 3rd Generation Bioskin covering a titanium double hull supported by a reinforced composite steel frame
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.
Greater than 10,000 feet.
1 Lockheed Naval Systems Tokamak fusion reactor powering 6 aqua-return propulsion drives
Maximum: 134 knots
Standard Cruising: 100 knots
IBM VII-B Neural Network
The IBM-VII series neural cores have been in operation aboard UEO submarines since the early 2030's. The VII-B installed aboard Defiance class cruisers has been deployed since 2035, and replaced the VII-A originally installed during the class's earliest production run. Operating with a fully-integrated Linux-based OS developed specifically to the class's specifactions, the system is believed to be up to 10 times more effective than the latest generation fiber-optic systems used in the civilian market, and many times faster.
The information systems are wired throughout the ship in bundled bio-gel conduits. Each 'bundle' consists of several thousand 'strands' of artificially manufactured 'nerve' wiring that is stimulated and insulated by the gel within the conduits. The computer core memory banks have a capacity in the area of nearly 1 petabyte of information storage (1 Petabyte equals approximately 1 million gigabytes)
Neural network technology is controlled by the UEO's bioengineering corps; a division of the Military Science Bureau.
Internal: Hypersonar; active and passive sensor suites
Effective Range: Approximately 110 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 Defiance class mounts a total of 5 parabolic hypersonar arrays mounted bow, stern, midships dorsal and ventral across the submarine providing it with 360 degree sonar coverage on all of its axis.
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 targetted. 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 draw back 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 posess 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.
16 21-inch torpedo tubes (mounted bows)
6 SLR-83 "Avenger" Long Range Plasma Pulse Particle Lasers (mounted bows, amidships)
10 Pathfinder III Hypersonic Cruise Missile VLS tubes (nuclear or conventional payload) (mounted amidships)
Mark IX and X Intercept Torpedoes
ECM Packages and Noise Makers
The armament of the Defiance class was derived heavily from the older seaQuest class DSV, with certain aspects of the loadout being emphasised or drawn back accordingly. The sixteen 21-inch torpedo tubes are rapid, self-loading batteries which can be fired, flooded, drained, reloaded and fired again in approximately 5 seconds. They are capable of delivering every UEO torpedo model developed since 2019 with current armaments including the Marks 87, 88, 91 and 92 variable-charge plasma torpedoes and the Mark IX and X Intercept-countermeasure torpedoes.
All the torpedo batteries of the Defiance are mounted on or around the bow in a series of cluster-batteries on the port, starboard and ventral hulls.
The ship's magazines can be stocked with a total of 160 torpedo warheads.
While the presence of the VLS (Vertical Launch System) means that missiles can be fired independant of the torpedo tubes, the 21-inch tube still remains capable of delivering a series of hypersonic cruise missiles for long-range strike capability against surface, land and even airborne targets.
A set of 10 Vertical Launch Tubes are arranged just aft of the Defiance's command decks on the Dorsal hull; each tube is an internally-loading launcher capable of firing up to 4 missiles at a time. While capable of firing any number of missiles presently in service to the UEO, the standard missile armament of the Defiance is the Pathfinder III hypersonic cruise missile with an effective range of 2000 nautical miles, armed with either conventional or nuclear payloads. As of 2040, the Defiance is the only ship in the UEO fleet capable of delivering these missiles, effectively making it the core of the UEO Navy's "Boomer" fleet.
Note: While the Reverence class Battlecruiser and Atlantis class DSVs are armed with the same weapons, their roles as a fleet command ships and subfighter carriers combined with low production rate make them far too valuable to serve solely as dedicated SSBNs.)
The laser armament is a relatively new feature of the class, having been installed in a series of refits in the late 2030s as an answer to fast-moving, mobile Alliance subfighter units. The 6 SLR-83 "Avenger" Pulse Laser Cannons are mounted in a radial pattern from bow through to midships, and are employed as a fleet defence system to engage and destroy subfighters before they can endanger heavy or flag units such as the Reverence or Poseidon class carriers. The system has been used to limited effectiveness in subsequent engagements during the UEO-Macronesian war, which continues to make the Subfighter the fleet's premiere anti-fighter defensive force.
Negligible; primary air locks can support 2 externally-docked shuttles amidships, and secondary airlocks forward of the bridge provide rescue capacity.
240 (Includes 60 officers and 180 crew)
Development history and class background...
Large, heavily armed and highly advanced, in the contest of sub-surface attack cruisers, the Defiance lives up to her name. In her weight class – she has no equal anywhere in the world.
The Defiance was one of two stages of a naval expansion program the UEO enacted in 2028 to counter for the massive growth of the Macronesian fleet. The two parts of the expansion – the cruiser type “Defiance” class and the “Poseidon” carriers were a badly-needed answer to the problem.
Initial design plans for the Defiance called for what was expected to be a scaled-down version of the lone seaQuest class DSV, but UEO Naval Command quickly realised that the seaQuest's technology was becoming outdated and they did not have the time nor the resources to complete the required research needed to bring seaQuest's design to a modern standard. Instead, the UEO moved to a more ‘conventional' design as they had done with their previous Defender attack submarines and created a new hull that could be easily adapted for any one of multiple configurations. (As exemplified by the later Poseidon carrier)
Drawing on technologies that had not yet been officially announced to the world (namely, the preliminary work of the DSV-II program – a program that would eventually come to be known as the DSX) the UEO set about in creating a cruiser-class submarine that could defeat any current or conceivable attack submarine from Macronesia.
The closest thing the Alliance had to match this design as of 2036 was the Tempest class Heavy Cruiser which was armed with twelve 21-inch Torpedo Tubes and 8 particle-decelerating Subduction cannons. While argued to be on par with the armament carried by the Defiance , the Tempest could still not even come close to competing with the Defiance's staggeringly sucessful ability to make use of information and intelligence warfare or its massively sophisticated sonar and fire control systems. (The UEO has long made an effort to maintain an advantage in military computer systems and network technologies.)
The Defiance is favoured by many UEO fleet commanders for its ability to lurk at the perimeter of a Carrier's battlegroup, using its sophisticated sonar systems to detect and coordinate strikes on hostile units as far away as 100 nautical miles with pinpoint accuracy and precision.
As of 2040, 42 of these vessels existed in the UEO fleet with more being built in shipyards across the United Earth Oceans. (In comparison, just over 50 Tempest class ships are confirmed to be active in the Alliance.) The Defiance's weaknesses in combat however became apparent in May of 2041 when the UEO Pacific Fleet was forced in to a close-quarters battle against the Macronesian Alliance off the coast of Hawaii in the First Battle for Naval Station Saratoga - High speed Alliance Subfighter units were able to break through the UEO's cruiser line, harrassing the cruisers with light supression fire while the much heavier Alliance squadrons of Tempest and Octavian cruisers came to close where their heavy Subduction weaponry could be used to devastating effect at close range.
Of the fifty submarines the UEO fleet lost during the battle, nine were Defiance class cruisers; among their number, the Hornet, Freedom, Rommel, Des Moines, Exeter, Stronghold, Devonshire, Zuikaku and Defiance herself.