UEO Reverence class Battlecruiser
Above: crest of the UEO Commonwealth, a Reverence class Battlecruiser commissioned in 2042.
Below: Plans of the original Flight-1 Reverence class with 'clipper' bow
Reverence Class Fleet Carrier/Battlecruiser (CVBN)
Estimated Construction Cost:
Approximately 12 Billion USD per unit
Reverence CVBN-96 – 2037
Reverence CVBN-96 – 2039
Reverence CVBN-96 – 2039
Length: 280.0m (918 feet)
Beam: 92.4m (303 feet)
Height: 47.9 (157 feet)
Triple layered semi-organic pliant self-regenerating 3rd Generation Bioskin covering a Reactive-Armour plated titanium double hull supported by a reinforced composite steel frame
Anechoic, genetic hullskin developed as an acoustics countermeasure, with additional protection from light to medium weapons fire. The genetically-engineered material - a living organism by any other definition - covers the exterior of the hull as three layers, each approximately 4 inches thick at their most heavily-developed surfaces. Over the length of the submarine, this gives the Reverence a layer of protection some 12-inches thick in the most heavily protected areas of the ship, on top of reactive armour plating. The bioskin 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 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 more mature genetic properties allow a rate of regeneration which can completely seal a compromising hull-breach up to 80 feet wide in just less than 20 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 anywhere up to 85 or 90 percent.
The reactive armour of the Reverence class was developed as a countermeasure to plasma laser and Subduction weaponry. Composed of six layers of composite materials (the exact details of which remain classified) the armour is designed to absorb the heat of laser weapons, and in extreme cases; shatter and then expand to form a callous-like protective crystaline shell that becomes incredibly durable against directed energy weapons.
The indigenously-reactive nature of the layered composites make the armour an extremely effective countermeasure against Macronesian subduction weaponry widely deployed on heavy cruiser hulls. Subduction weapons - which use particle decelerating technology - cut through complex materials by breaking them apart at the molecular level. When this electro-chemical reaction occurs, the reactive armour found on the hull of the Reverence class forms a 'slurry' which - when mixed with the other composites of the armour - rapidly re-solidifies, and absorbs the energy of the attack, thus protecting the hull beneath.
Greater than 10,000 feet
2 General Dynamics Systems Taurus fusion reactors powering 5 double Aqua-return propulsion drives
Maximum: 153 knots
Standard Cruising: 130 knots
IBM-XA Integrated Optical Neural Network
The absolute cutting-edge of computer technology as of 2040, the IBM-X series Neural-Optical computer core was developed as a predecessor to the most sophisticated command and control system ever derived for a ship of war. Designed specifically as a test bed for advanced Deep Submergence technologies deployed aboard the Atlantis class DSX submarines, the 10-series core was never intended for full scale deployment on a ship, and was meant only as a stop-gap solution to test technology that was not yet fully operational or even completely understood.
Originally, the Reverence class were to be installed with the IBM-VIIIC series of Neural cores which followed on from the highly successful design of the VII-series deployed aboard the older Defiance class ships. No one in the UEO corps of engineers actually expected that the IBM-X would be so effective, and it was quickly contracted for full scale deployment as an alternative to the VIII series.
The IBM-X marks a revolutionary step in computer development, as it completely does away with synthetic wiring systems found in earlier generation computers. It is the first core to make use solely of genetically-engineered nerves; in essence, there is no limit to how fast the core is capable of processing information - only a limit to how quickly the operator can interpret it. The computer core memory banks have a capacity in the area of nearly 4 petabytes 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 140 nautical miles
3 Deployed WSKRS satellites
3 Deployed WSPRS satellites
Maximum Effective Range : Approximately 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 Reverence class mounts a total of 8 parabolic hypersonar arrays mounted bow, stern, midships dorsal and ventral hull.
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.
The Reverence class by itself is capable of using active hypersonar without ever revealing its own location through the use of 3 external, wireless roaving satellites called WSKRS (Wireless Sea Knowledge Retrieval Satellites) and further, more detailed tactical information from a group of 3 enhanced WSPRS (Wireless Sea Protection and Reconnaisance Satellites)
Each satellite is equipped with a series of active and passive hypersonars that can create a mobile, dynamic sensor screen for the mother-sub. Each WSKR or WSPR is remotely controlled from the mother submarine and can relay the information back to the ship. Each satellite has an effective operating range of up to 20 miles. Sufficed to say that the tactical advantage that this ability affords the UEO fleet is substantial.
16 Mk. 1 RAFIT (RApid Firing, Independently Targeting) Six-Tubed 21-inch Torpedo Batteries (mounted bows, midships)
6 SLR-81 "Banshee" Long Range Plasma Pulse Particle Lasers (mounted bows & midships)
4 SLR-82 "Wraith" Long Range Plasma Particle Lasers (mounted bows & midships)
12 Pathfinder III Hypersonic Cruise Missile VLS tubes (nuclear or conventional payload) (mounted midships)
Mark IX and X Intercept Torpedoes
ECM Packages and Noise Makers
The Reverence class boasts an armament that is almost unrivalled in the UEO or Macronesian fleets. For its size, many argue that the vessel is under-armed to be considered a "Battle Cruiser", but the capabilities of its weapon systems far outweigh any shortcomings of "gun weight".
Like the Defiance class, the Reverence is armed with 16 torpedo batteries; but the similarities end there. The rapid-loading system of the Battlecruiser gives each of the sixteen batteries a total of 6 torpedo tubes per weapon assembly for a total of 96 torpedo tubes(!) But, not all these tubes can be fired at once. The system - named "RAFIT" (Rapid Firing, Independantly Targetting) - is best described as a 'rotary launcher'; as one tube reloads, the next rotates in to position and fires. This 'battery' system allows the Reverence to sustain a heavy and nearly undefendable rate of fire- something seldom done in practice due to a need to conserve torpedo ammunition. In the event that all 96 tubes are fired in a single attack, it is known as an "Alpha Strike" and is generally used as a last-resort tactic. RAFIT tubes can also fire the Mark IX and X Intercept/Countermeasure torpedo.
In addition to its formidable torpedo armament, the Reverence is armed with a total of 10 particle lasers; the SLR-81 Banshee and SLR-82 Wraith laser cannons have a range of some 1700 meters at maximum effectiveness, dropping off in intensity and power at ranges beyond that up to a maximum of 3000 meters. On firing, each laser cannon has a yield of approximately 2 gigawatts and an energy recycle time of two to three seconds. (To put this in to a practical context, the average coal-burning power station only produces 1 gigawatt of power every 60 minutes...)
The laser armament is used primarily as a close-range support weapon; blasting through heavy defences or enemy formations in close-quarter capital ship duels that the Macronesian Alliance favour in large scale fleet engagements.
While not as effective in this role, the laser cannons can also be used as an anti-fighter screen, but fast-moving fighters are difficult to track with sonar, and only skilled gunners have been able to use the laser armament in this way effectively. (The Defiance class cruiser remains the staple anti-fighter fleet defence unit due to its advanced warfare sensor and control systems.)
A set of 12 Vertical Launch Tubes are arranged just fore of the Reverence'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 is the Pathfinder III hypersonic cruise missile with an effective range of 2000 nautical miles, capable of being armed with either conventional or nuclear payloads.
Up to 60 sub-craft of varying types. Arrangements vary from vessel to vessel, but typically:
24 Raptor Sub Fighters
14 Spectre Sub Fighters
12 Stormhawk “Firestorm” Heavy Bombers
4 Sea-Launch Submersible Shuttles
2 Deep Sea Recovery Vehicles (DSRV) (“Pick Ups”)
4 Sea Speeder multi-purpose mini subs
The Reverence serves the UEO as a full-scale fleet carrier, operating an entire strike wing of Subfighters. Typically, each carrier in the fleet will carry one full wing (4 or 5 squadrons, each of 12 fighters) with several 'spare' subcraft to accomodate for attrition. The majority of fleet carriers still operate large numbers of Spectre-II class subfighters as the core of their EVA force as the Raptor and Stormhawk series of subfighters are still coming in to full service with the fleet. Front-line units are given priority with squadron assignment, and generally receive the bulk of SF-37 and SF-38 Raptor deliveries before any other unit or base in the Navy.
Approximately 700 (Includes ship's crew, Marine contingent and EVA/Subfighter corps)
Development history and class background...
Above and Below: A comparison of the design evolution of the Reverence class Battlecruiser. The top images show the class as concepted in 2035, and the bottom images show the class as completed. (Flight 1 Configuration)
Bigger and more heavily armed than the seaQuest DSV, and carrying enough subfighters to single-handedly take Melbourne from Macronesia, the aptly-named Reverence class Battlecruiser is the one of the most revered, powerful, inspiring and dangerous ships to roam the world's oceans.
The Reverence was the product of a simple realization in the UEO High Command that they had absolutely nothing that could counter Macronesia's heavy squadrons of Honorious class Fleet Carriers and Tempest class Heavy Cruisers. With the DSVs Atlantis, Aquarius and Odyssey not expected any time before the turn of the decade, and the massive vessels were simply too expensive to build in great numbers. (Not to mention the fact that there are only a handful of harbours in the UEO which are capable of berthing them.)
When UEO Intelligence first presented their information on Macronesia's Honorious class carriers in 2037 when the first of the new carriers was laid down, the navy was presented with a problem; they had nothing that could be ready in time to stand-off with a Honorious and win. In the simplest terms possible, the schoolyard had a new bully, and no one was really prepared to take him on.
Some time prior to the Reverence project during 2035, the UEO had proposed a larger class of capital warship designed to more effectively complement the Defiance class cruiser than earlier SSNs. These plans were originally scrapped as the development of the new "ADSVs" was considered an adequate measure to fill this requirement.
The emerging of the Honorious however very suddenly renewed the need for such a vessel. UEO Command authorized a revised ‘Battlecruiser' project that would eclipse anything previously designed for the fleet, and would make full use of the exact same technology being developed for the newer, larger Deep Submergence Vehicles. Working from the original, abandoned drafts of 2035, the design was rigorously expanded, revised and refined, and by the end of 2037 the first keels were being hurriedly laid. The new Battlecruiser/Carrier – dubbed “CVBN-96” – began to take form, with a projected completion no later than the end of 2039.
Over the next two years, the readied technologies of the DSVs were made available to the Battlecruiser design team and were installed in the rapidly-forming hulls of the ships. The systems included RAFIT torpedo tubes, advanced sensor arrays, engines, reactors, armour designs and computer systems. In January of 2040, not long after the commissioning of Macronesia's own Honorious. Champagne bottles fell down on to the bows of the UEO Reverence CVBN-96, and UEO Constellation CVBN-97 in San Francisco harbour. They would be the first of a planned twelve ships to be completed prior to 2043.
Displacing 60,000 tonnes and armed from stem to stern with more weaponry than the UEO had ever deployed aboard a submarine before, the new Battlecruisers were the finest warships the UEO – or the world – had ever seen. Within weeks, four more were commissioned from shipyards in Newport News and Pearl Harbor, and by the beginning of 2042, all twelve were fully operational; a testament to the industrial assets that were poured in to them. At far less cost than an Atlantis class DSV, and being just as capable in their roles, the Reverence would continue to sit at the centre of UEO Battlefleets for many years – if not decades – to come.
In three major engagements spanning from November 2040 to February 2041, the Reverence held the line in what were three one-sided UEO victories and gave a face to a name most befitting of the UEO's finest submarine class. Despite the victories, time would prove that these new titans were still only mortal, and one of their number – the UEO Kitty Hawk CVBN-105 – was destroyed in the battle for Pearl Harbor in April 2041 after being engaged salvo-for-salvo by a Nycarian Nexus class Battleship.
Another vessel also has a small claim to fame – the UEO Reverence CVBN-96; name-ship of the class. Named after Captain Mark Ainsley's former command, (A Poseidon-class carrier) it is captained by Jonathan Ford; the former Executive Officer of the UEO seaQuest DSV 4600 from the years 2018 to 2036.
Two more hulls were lost in May of 2041 when the UEO lost the Naval base of Pearl Harbor to a Macronesian Invasion. Prior to the evacuation of the UEO fleet, the two hulls were scuttled in their berths as limpet mines placed internally by UEO Marines along their unprotected keels detonated; breaking their backs and opening the vast internal hangars to the sea.
As the war expanded, the UEO authorized the class to be expanded beyond the initial twelve that were ordered from the builder, Deepfire Industries. As a result of this order, the last of the class's initial offering - the UEO Commonwealth - was completed to new specification as the first of the Reverence's "Flight-2" variants. Following the success of the popular Antaeus class cruisers that were beginning to enter service in 2042, Deepfire worked closely with contractors Williams-Leong to bring the new flight of battlecruisers up to improved specification. The number of new hulls to be ordered has not yet been finalized, with orders likely to continue as the older Posedion class are gradually retired from the fleet. (As this is not likely to happen before the war's end, the Reverence will, for the time being, continue to replace the fleet's losses.)
Below, Left: An early artist's concept showing the original design of the Reverence class prior to 2039.
Below, Right: An image of the UEO Ticonderoga in 2041, clearly demonstrating the long lines of the final design as-completed.