09/08/2017 at 07:01 #25863Jafar IroncladParticipant
Chief Engineer’s Report
Acting Ensign Jafar Ironclad
TSN Sabre CL-R-061
To: Fleet Captain Xavier, CO, TSN Sabre.
CC: Captains Jemel, Fish, and Verok; Command Staff, 2nd Fleet, 4th Light Division.
After an initial series of simulations and missions with the newly-commissioned division flagship, the Ares-class Light Cruiser TSN Sabre, my team has amassed an actionable amount of diagnostic data which has proven instrumental in evaluating this class’ capabilities, both in theory and in practice. After reviewing this data within the engineering team assigned to Sabre, as well as combat performance data from its class predecessor in the division, I have compiled this report to assess the Ares class’ present combat capabilities. In addition, I draw on my prior experience in civilian guard vessel engineering and command, as well as some external connections with the Xinmi, to offer some capable upgrades, as well as requisitions for the materials necessary to make the modifications.
Should these modifications perform as projected in combat, the small amount of labor and imports required would result in a significant upgrade in the Ares class direct combat capabilities at acceptable losses to energy efficiency and ease of piloting. Particularly in the hands of a seasoned crew well studied in Delta 1 maneuver tactics, my hope is that we can bring Sabre’s combat footprint in line with the other vessels in the Division, and present these to TSN Command for overall rollout to other Ares-class vessels in service.
Before delving into further detail, I feel it appropriate to call up the performance of the division’s previous Ares-class light cruiser, the TSN Phoenix. In reviewing the vessel’s combat records and footage from its previous battles, and after interviewing Lt. Nhaima for her additional experience and insights as Helm officer of the vessel, I feel that Phoenix’s operational history is a vital benchmark with which we can measure Sabre’s performance.
At the time preceding the Battle of Euphini, Phoenix boasted the Ares class’ unique weapons configuration of two secondary beams complementing a proprietary Superheavy Umbilical Ion-Composite Intramolecular Displacement Emitter beam. This weapon had been recently introduced into frontline TSN service as a tool designed to crack heavily-fortified targets, such as space stations and the very heavy vessels typical to Skarran and Torgoth deployments. With the weapon fresh out of prototyping, armament crews reported deficiencies with effective range, which in practice forced Lt. Nhaima to bring the vessel to point blank range in order to unload Phoenix’s full weapons potential on target. In a Delta 2 exchange, this tended to allow multiple enemy support vessels to train their weapons on the Phoenix; with only an standard defensive shield configuration protecting the vessel in situations where the enemy often boasted superior numbers, Phoenix CO van Leigh (now retired) often had to choose between sacrificing overall battle impact or suffering significant hull damage in an exchange of fire.
To substantiate my report and to benchmark Sabre’s own performance, Lt. Nhaima was kind enough to provide me calculations compiled over time showing the Phoenix’s damage output compared to other vessels of the fleet under specific firing parameters. Note that some discrepancy between theory and practice exists; that being said, I still find the metrics useful comparing the Ares’ class performance to that of other light cruisers in the fleet. See Attachment A for the calculations and my own findings. Key points:
-In the instances where the Phoenix was able to complete a Delta 2 engagement successfully with a target without involving torpedoes or allied support, post-battle statistical analysis found that the ship’s damage output, even combined with the use of the Superheavy beam, was still lower than the established beam damage output of the Artemis-class light cruiser, and significantly lower than that of the TSN Viper, a vessel which also enjoys heavily reinforced forward shields for brawling.
-With the Superheavy Beam out of play in a given exchange, Phoenix’s damage output was approximately half that of Artemis; decisively low in a vital engagement.
-While Phoenix’s weapons configuration suggested a reliance on Delta 1 passes, striking whenever the Superheavy beam is charged and then disengaging to recover shields and beam charge for another pass, both practice and theory show only a slight improvement in overall damage output compared to similar tactics by its fellow cruisers.
By Lt. Nhaima’s account, Phoenix’s bridge officers filed reports detailing the vessel’s main weapon performance problems, as well as requests for refit to address them, which Division Command logged, processed, and enqueued for fulfillment. Before the requested retrofits could be made, Phoenix was called to urgent action alongside Viper, Horizon, and Lancer in Euphini, where it was destroyed by hostile fire, though fortunately with minimal loss of TSN crew life. While the circumstances of Phoenix’s loss are not in scope for this report, suffice it to say I am very much inclined to improve Sabre’s capabilities such that she becomes less likely to meet a similar fate.
Upon initial encounters with hostiles, the combat crews of the newly commissioned TSN Sabre have reported similar deficiencies with her armaments. I have met with Chief Petty Officer Sigmund Fowler (department supervisor of the ship’s digital and SIGWAR systems) and Warrant Officer Artyn Dorset (crew chief of the ship’s Superheavy and secondary beam weapons, formerly of the same station aboard TSN Phoenix) to gather pertinent technical data and hypothesize on corrective refits.
To that end, I can draw on some prior experience in offering a solution. During my time as a civilian defense contractor for Karliex Enterprises, I oversaw a number of trade overtures made between the Terrans and the Xinmi. One connection I made during civilian service that I maintain to this day was a Xinmi scientist, whose name is above my current classification level to divulge in this level of report; they explained to me during one trade run some of the power distribution methods that fundamentally enable them to power their rapid firing heavy weapons. While not to the level of a native Xinmi shipyard corps, I believe I can apply some of those lessons to rework both the power systems, beam composites, and the apertures of the current Superheavy beam system, resulting in a weapon that derives from a different set of fundamental mechanics to achieve a similar fundamental result with much greater reduction in main reactor power draw. From there, there are two approaches we can proceed with to upgrade the combat systems of the Sabre, based on what tactics we want her to employ.
Regardless of the path we take, the material, labor, and time requirements are largely the same:
-Components needed to assemble a 40 ton Arbiter-type Tokomak engine (Auxiliary power unit for the weapon).
-120 tons shipbuilding composites, plasma conduits, power conduits, and other ancillary materials, allocated in proportions standard to shipbuilding.
-Four Reaction Accelerator chambers, approximately 5 meters in diameter each.
Personnel and hardware requirements are already met despite the recent loss of several Promethean Command shipyards to the recent Caltron raid. We estimate an acquisition and labor period of 2-3 weeks to complete modifications once approved by the Command Staff; the weapon itself would be assembled on station, allowing the refit of Sabre herself to take place off-shift.
Technical documentation and blueprints have already been submitted via channels of higher classification, but the key notes are:
-The weapon will receive its own auxiliary reactor, an Arbiter-type engine often used aboard Scout and Destroyer-class vessels as part of a multiple-reactor redundancy setup. Using the Arbiter for auxiliary power allows the Superheavy weapon to retain its current firepower after other modifications without undue stress to the rest of the ship. Some tonnage sacrifice from carried torpedoes may be necessary to accommodate the reactor.
-Reassembly of the weapon’s mechanical compartments and focusing barrels to convert it into a quad-barrelled emitter, mounted in a cylindrical cooling sleeve capable of some gimbal. Spreading the weapon’s output to four different barrels gains us a slight increase in range due to the smaller caliber and power requirement of the individual beams, and allows the weapon to either fire all four emitters simultaneously or in sequence, depending on the scenario. It should be noted that regardless of modification branch, the overall energy consumption of the weapon will go up per full firing.
-Replacement of the Ion-Composite Intramolecular Displacement system with the four Reaction Accelerator chambers. Reducing the individual barrel caliber while extending the emitter and focusing assemblies allows us to use the smaller and simpler reaction accelerator to give the weapon its punch, and also gives us room to modulate its output via additional power from the ship’s main reactor, otherwise producing similar performance to the original Superheavy weapon. The unused I.C.I.D components can be used as part of a new stationary weapon to supplement Promethean Command’s terminal defenses while the Superheavy beam’s performance is further iterated on.
-Adjust the mounts of the ship’s secondary beams outward to compensate for the increased muzzle radiation from the heavy weapon. This will limit their forward zone of overlap somewhat, but to a degree that matches the arc of the heavy weapon; if both secondary beams can strike a given target, only proximity is needed to follow up with the heavy weapon. This should help “guide” helm officers on target with the superheavy beam.
From here, we have two options for wiring the vessel to accommodate the new Reaction Accelerated Multi-plasma Beam, or the R.A.M. Beam:
-Modification Set A: Continue to route power from the ship’s main reactor into the weapon. Combined with the auxiliary power unit, I project, best case, that this will increase the weapon’s single-volley firepower by 133% while still keeping it within safe operating parameters. This configuration would be excellent for Delta 1-based tactics, even capable of destroying some lesser cruisers in a single pass.
-Modification Set B: Route the same power from the ship’s main reactor to the secondary beam weapons instead, while relying on the Auxiliary Reactor to power the RAM beam. This should bring up the secondary beams’ damage by a considerable margin, potentially as high as 84% each (just below Artemis’ specifications). This will improve the ship’s performance in Delta-2 maneuvers, and allow Sabre to contribute considerable damage even while the RAM is on cool-down or out of firing arc/range; however, Sabre’s best damage performance will be best with all beams on target.
-Calculations indicate the effective sustained damage output of either modification set is nearly equivalent when all beams can be brought to bear on a target for a full RAM beam cycle.
In conclusion, and for the reasons elaborated upon above, I am compelled to voice my strong recommendation that some action be taken to improve her combat potential, particularly in light of its visible role as the division’s new flagship. I also acknowledge the risks involved in performing a non-trivial retrofit in the field, particularly with an untested weapon design concept. I leave it to the authority of the Division Command Staff to determine how best to proceed, and will be prepared to put into action any plan they decree toward improving the combat capabilities of the Sabre, as well as future Ares-class Cruisers brought into 4th Light Division service.
Attachment A: Damage Calculations09/08/2017 at 15:58 #25871DraecoParticipant
//impressively detailed, and a very nice read10/08/2017 at 06:54 #25878MatsiyanParticipant
// Read and enjoyed
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.