Macronesian Tempest class Heavy Cruiser
Tempest Class Heavy Cruiser (HCSN)
Estimated Construction Cost:
Approximately 6.1 Billion USD per unit
Approximately 28,000 tonnes
Unknown. Speculation based on Alliance ship building techniques implies a double Titanium hull with composite armour/sound attenuating external plates.
Subsequent engagements have revealed that the hull is unusually strong, prompting suspicion that it may also contain composite armour materials.
Estimated greater than 10,000 feet
1 Deon Intl. fusion reactor (Mark IV-A) powering four large, aqua-return propulsion drives
Top speed unknown, but observed at speeds of 80 knots.
Deon Systems fiber optic network. (Class XII-A)
Internal: Hypersonar; active and passive sensor suites
Effective Range : Approximately 170 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 Tempest class follows a pattern of design established by the preceding Aleus and its associated sub-types; mounting a single large parabolic hypersonar array on the bow, with two arrays mounted astern on the port and starboard, providing nearly total coverage. In addition to this, the Tempest class mounts a further dorsal array which contains substantial satellite command and control systems. The specifics of these systems isn't well known, and are suspected to be constantly subjected to upgrades and improvements as refit cycles permit. The Tempest's systems are significantly less advanced than present UEO military-specification sonar, but otherwise work on the same principles.
Operating passively, hypersonar sensors use broad-spectrum laser sensors 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.
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 - 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.
12 auto-loading 24" torpedo tubes
8 medium-range "Minotaur" class Subduction Cannons (bow, midships)
Intercept Torpedoes (deployed from 6 independant tubes along the port and starboard sides)
ECM Packages and Noise Makers
The Tempest is one of the most heavily-gunned dedicated attack cruisers in service to the Macronesian Navy, only recently surpassed by the newer Octavian class that began to appear in 2041. It doubles the torpedo armament of the Aleus class carrier, and adds a battery of eight heavy subduction cannons, designed to rip through ship plating and armour with equal effectiveness, regardless of size, weight or protection. Unlike previous classes of warship in the Alliance, the Tempest mounts larger 24-inch torpedo tubes, capable of firing heavier, more powerful classes of torpedo developed later in the 2030s. Typical Tempest tactics will see the ship bombard its opponent at long range with a constant fusillade of torpedoes (an ability afforded to it by having independant intercept-dedicated defensive tubes) while the vessel closes to short range, and finishes with its Subduction armament. The Tempest is also the first Alliance submarine to mount these destructive energy weapons at a capital-ship scale, with previous versions of the weapon being small, fighter-deployed versions useful in fighter combat, or torpedo warheads (also fighter deployed) which could be used against larger targets.
None. Airlocks can support up to four externally-docked shuttles.
Development history and class background...
One of two new vessels to be built for the Alliance during the 2030s, the Tempest class heavy cruiser is also one of the most heavily armed vessels in the Macronesian fleet, and as of 2040, was second only in size to the Honorious class fleet carrier. Development on the class began as early as 2030, with the first keels being laid down in 2036, half a dozen at a time. The construction of the Tempest class was unique, in that it was the first and only time that the Alliance had been forced to develop a class of warship to counter something in service to the UEO - the Defiance class strike cruiser.
To that end, the Tempest could rightly be considered the main threat faced by the UEO's standing cruiser fleet, and while not as technologically advanced as the Defiance (despite being some six years newer) it should nonetheless be noted that to date, nothing short of a Reverence class battlecruiser or Atlantis class DSV has successfully sunk one of these vessels. (Perhaps with one, notable exception being the ANS Dechaineaux which crossed the Nycarian border in 2037, never to return.)
The Tempest class is armed with sixteen 24-inch torpedo tubes, the heaviest deployed on an Alliance submarine, and later the standard for the Adraeleus and Octavian classes, but this does not constitute its best strength. At long range, the Defiance is widely considered to have an advantage, largely due to its advanced fire control systems and long-range sensors, enabling it to out-fight the Tempest in a protracted torpedo duel. Where the Tempest draws its best hand is in its unprecedented armament of "Minotaur" subduction cannons. Until 2036, subduction was an unperfected, and often unstable weapon. The weapon - a particle decelerating device capable of destroying covalent molecular bonds on atomic structures - was only ever deployed as either small, fighter-based energy weapons for use against other subfighters, or in larger, fighter-deployed torpedoes designed to destroy hardened targets. Indeed, larger versions still exist in the form of missile and bomb-deployed warheads used strategically as weapons of mass destruction.
The Tempest was the first vessel to be equipped with tactical-scaled versions of this weapon for use against capital ships, and in this role, it excels. While the Tempest's formidable torpedo armament is useful in keeping an enemy on a back foot, it can then use this to close with its opponent and open fire at close range with its Minotaur cannons. To date, the UEO has yet to be able to completely defeat the weapon system, and it cuts through armour and hull plating with equal (and frightening) effectiveness, rendering any kind of physical defence almost useless. While the latest generation of reactive armour has proved of some limited use, an even-slightly protracted battering by these weapons can gut the largest of capital ship within minutes, as its hull literally begins to disintegrate and collapse under its own weight.
As of 2041, newer vessels on both sides have meant that the Tempest no longer has the same 'gravitas' on the field of naval warfare, but with over 50 built and in service to the Macronesian fleet, it remains one of the most important pieces in Alliance naval strategy, and will continue to serve as such for the forseeable future. Many of the systems in use aboard the cruiser have since been developed further by Macronesia, and exist in 'upgraded' forms on the newer, heavier Octavian class which entered service roughly half way through 2041. After that time, Octavians began to take center-stage in Alliance cruiser squadrons, but while they are still few in number, the Tempest is used as the principle escort for the newer ships.
The Tempest class is likely named after Shakespeare's epyonomous play. Vessels of the class built during 2036 and 2037 took on many of the names of characters in this work, with some confirmed vessels known as Prospero, Miranda, Trinculo, Ariel and of course Tempest herself. How long this pattern of naming lasted is not entirely clear, and at least some of the class were named after more significant subjects within the Macronesian Alliance. (As exemplified by Dechaineaux)