Ajax class flagship
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The class leader Ajax (795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE))
|Affiliation:||El Facil Revolutionary Government (former)|
Free Planets Alliance (former)
|Type:||Ajax class flagship|
|Purpose:||Flagship (Free Planets Star Fleet)|
|Armament:||30-60 forward neutron beam cannons|
10-79 port cannons
10-79 starboard cannons
24-36 Spartanian fighters
The Ajax-class flagships (Japanese: アイアース 級旗艦) were a class of command battleships of the Free Planets Star Fleet that served during the closing decades of the Alliance–Imperial War. Successors of the Hyperion generation of flagships, they were in service by 780 UC (471 IC / 3580 CE) and remained in service until the collapse of the Free Planets Alliance, continuing on in service to the El Facil Revolutionary Government.
Command battleships had been developed by both the Empire and the Alliance as a result of ballooning fleet sizes, which had increased the size of the normal fleet engagement from the thousands to the high tens and low hundreds of thousands of warships. These leviathan warships were also commonly used to test new technologies and design paradigms before integrating them into the wider fleet. The Ajax-class flagship design had been developed by 780 UC (471 IC / 3580 CE), as a successor to designs of the Hyperion type, which were then relegated to second-line duty. Chief among the design features of the Ajax-class was its modularity, which reduced construction costs and build times while allowing for a host of variants all built on the same general hull design. (Fleet File Collection Vol.4)
By 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE), ships of the Ajax-class were by far the most common flagship class for fleet commanders. Ajax herself served as the supreme flagship of the Free Planets Star Fleet and flagship of the 1st Fleet, commanded by Fleet Admiral Lasalle Lobos. At the Battle of Astarte, all of the present Alliance fleet commanders used flagships of this class, and during the later invasion of Imperial territory, all fleets save the 13th Fleet were led by these ships as well. Multiple ships of this class were lost in both engagements, but many more remained in service among the fleets that escaped as well as the fleets that were not deployed. (LOGH: 'In the Eternal Night', 'The Battle of Amritsar Starzone')
Following the disastrous end of the invasion, these ships served in the Alliance Civil War, primarily on the side of the National Salvation Military Council, which dispatched the 11th Fleet led by the Ajax-class Leonidas II. In the aftermath of the war, Admiral Alexander Bewcock assumed the position of Space Fleet Commander, and his personal flagship, Rio Grande, became the effective supreme flagship of the Star Fleet. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Doria Starzone, And...', 'Victory for Whose Sake?')
Rio Grande led the remaining Star Fleet minus the Yang Fleet into battle against the Empire at the Battle of Rantemario, with unfortunate results, although Rio Grande herself survived. Several of these ships and the squadrons under them were seconded to Admiral Yang Wen-li and served in the Battle of Vermilion. Following this, under the terms of the Treaty of Ba‘alat all such ships were to be decommissioned and scrapped, although many, including late-model units such as Diomedes and Rio Grande escaped this fate. The modified battleship Shiva also escaped, being listed as destroyed during the battle and being used as the flagship of a guerilla squadron under High Admiral Merkatz. (LOGH: 'The Two-Headed Snake: The Battle of Rantemario', 'The Battle of Vermilion (Part One)', 'The Battle of Vermilion (Part Two)', 'The Magician Is Captured')
Rio Grande also led a final Alliance force against Kaiser Reinhard von Lohengramm at the Battle of Marr-Adetta, although this resulted in the destruction of the Alliance fleet, including Rio Grande and Diomedes. The only known survivor of the class after this battle was Shiva, attached to the Yang Fleet and serving as the flagship of Vice Admiral Edwin Fischer, although it would later be sunk at the Battle of the Corridor. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Marr-Adetta Starzone (Part One)', 'The Battle of Marr-Adetta Starzone (Part Two)', 'The Battle of the Corridor: End of the Campaign')
As with all Alliance warships, the Ajax-class was designed for efficiency and ease of mass-production. However, relative to their more common cousins, flagships were commonly used as testbeds for new technologies and doctrines, and most ships differed at least slightly from the baseline design, which itself evolved over the decades as improved technology became available. All ships were built using a modular system, constructed of over 150 modules arranged into three main sections: the forward weapons battery, the central command section, and the engineering block, although some ships omitted the command section. (Fleet File Collection Vol.10)
The class leader Ajax was equipped with a primary armament of 30 neutron beam cannons, arranged in two centre columns of eight cannons and two outer columns of seven cannons. This was the base design of the class, although by the middle of the 780 UC (471 IC / 3580 CE) decade, a new module with five rows of eight cannons had become standard and was the new baseline for all later models. While this number became the standard configuration for all following ships, many experimented with using high-power, long-range cannons rather than the medium-range cannons initially favoured, leading to a line of test ships including Quetzalcoatl, Perun, and Palamedes using enlarged and modified cannons for their forward armament. Later-model ships seem to have standardized at least some of these improvements, as Rio Grande, Diomedes, and Achilleus all possessed long-range guns. (My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars; HBSHBL: 'Those Who Defected'; Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
In terms of broadside armament, ships of the class varied from ten to as many as 79 electron beam cannons per side. Early-model ships, such as Pergamonn were armed with only ten guns per side at launch, but during periodic refits and overhauls, additional guns were added. Later-model ships possessed these cannons from the start, and numbers steadily increased, with Rio Grande possessing the heaviest broadside armament of 79 cannons per side, although most mounted a similar number. Most were concentrated on the engine module, above and below the exhaust cowling, and in the command section below the main bridge. Laser-fusion missile launchers further supplemented the armament, housed in at least some variants in retractable racks mounted just aft of the main cannon battery. (Fleet File Collection Vol.4; Fleet File Collection Vol.10; Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
In addition to their cannon and missile armament, ships of the Ajax-class usually carried a complement of Spartanian fighters and an array of shuttles for liaison and transportation duties. As they were not capable of atmospheric operations, like most Alliance ships, shuttles were used to ferry crews and supplies to and from planetary surfaces, and officers between ships for meetings. Some variants, such as the Krishna type dispensed with fighters for unknown reasons, but maintained shuttle facilities. (Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
As with all other Alliance ships, the primary propellant source was pure water, usually stored in cylindrical tanks, although some variants such as Maurya carried alternative arrangements, such as box tanks. Bussard ram fuel scoop systems were carried to increase cruising endurance and range. The characteristic intake ports were red and located on either side of the hull below the bridge section. Stray hydrogen atoms would be funnelled into these ports via large electromagnetic fields and used as fuel for the main engines.(Fleet File Collection Vol.2; Fleet File Collection Vol.9)
The following is a list of known ships of the Ajax-class, arranged alphabetically.
- Achilleus — Later-model warship built with 40 long-range guns. Served as the flagship of the 14th Fleet under Vice Admiral Lionel Morton. Sunk at the Battle of Vermilion in 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE).
- Ajax — Class leader built to the original baseline design, commissioned some time prior to 780 UC (471 IC / 3580 CE), and still in service by 795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE). Served as flagship of the 1st Fleet under Lasalle Lobos. Final disposition unknown.
- Bang-goo — Variant incorporating various improvements, including upgraded warp stabilizers and a larger shuttle hangar. In service by 795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE) under the command of Vice Admiral Ulanhu of the 10th Fleet. Lost during the Battle of Lügen in October 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE). (LOGH: 'The Battle of Amritsar Starzone')
- Cu Chulainn — Special enhanced-manoeuvrability variant with lighter armament and protection. Commissioned in March 782 UC (473 IC / 3582 CE) as flagship of the 3rd Fleet, and sunk at the Battle of Lesing in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE).
- Diomedes — Later-model warship built with 40 long-range guns, of similar design to Achilleus and Rio Grande. Served as the flagship of the 15th Fleet under Vice Admiral Ralph Carlsen. Sunk at the Battle of Marr-Adetta in 800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE).
- Epimetheus — Middle-production variant with 40 medium-range guns, of similar design to the Leonidas series. In service by 794 UC (485 IC / 3594 CE), it was chosen by Vice Admiral Willem Holland as his flagship upon taking command of the 11th Fleet. Sunk in February 795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE) at the Third Battle of Tiamat. (HBSHBL: 'A Hundred Billion Stars, One Ambition'; TBT: 'Part One', 'Part Two')
- Krishna — Heavily-modified variant with an extra bank of main cannons for a total of 60 forward guns and no fighter complement. Commissioned in early 784 UC (475 IC / 3584 CE) as the flagship of the 8th Fleet. Sunk in October 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) at the Battle of Amritsar. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Amritsar Starzone'; Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Leonidas — Standard middle-production variant with 40 medium-range guns. Commissioned in 786 UC (477 IC / 3586 CE) at Heinessen, it served as flagship of the 4th Fleet under Vice Admiral Pastolle until being sunk at the Battle of Astarte in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE). (Overture to a New War, Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Leonidas II — Standard middle-production variant with 40 medium-range guns, and sister ship to the Leonidas. Commissioned in June 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) to replace the Epimetheus as flagship of the 11th Fleet under Vice Admiral Legrange, it was irreparably damaged at the Battle of Doria, and written off. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Doria Starzone, And...', Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Maurya — Special independent-operations variant with improved acceleration and fighter facilities. Launched in December 788 UC (479 IC / 3588 CE), and lost in 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE) under Rear Admiral Nguyen Van Huu shortly after the Eighth Battle of Iserlohn. (LOGH: 'Determination and Ambition', Fleet File Collection Vol.7, Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Palamedes — Improved variant of Quetzalcoatl, also designed for long-range combat. In service by 794 UC (485 IC / 3594 CE) with the 9th Fleet, it was damaged in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) at the Battle of Alviss but returned to the Alliance, where it was put in long-term storage. Final disposition unknown. (Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Patoroklos — Standard middle-production variant of similar design to the Leonidas series. Commissioned in 783 UC (474 IC / 3583 CE) at Heinessen as the flagship of the 2nd Fleet, after the fleet was destroyed at Astarte, Patoroklos was inducted as the flagship of the 1st Fleet. Final disposition unknown but presumed destroyed. (Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Pergamonn — Early-production variant of similar design to Ajax, with some minor improvements. Commissioned in 783 UC (474 IC / 3583 CE) as the flagship of the 6th Fleet, and sunk at the Battle of Astarte in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE). (Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Perun — Long-range variant of similar design to Quetzalcoatl and Palamedes. Commissioned in 785 UC (476 IC / 3585 CE) as flagship of the 12th Fleet, it surrendered in the Battle of Bolthorn, and was towed to Odin as an Imperial prize. Final fate unknown due to chaos surrounding the fall of the Goldenbaum dynasty. (Fleet File Collection Vol.6, Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Quetzalcoatl — Variant with an experimental large calibre long-range laser sensor giving its 40 guns a maximum range of 40 light seconds. Commissioned in 784 UC (475 IC / 3584 CE) as flagship of the 7th Fleet. Surrendered after being attacked in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) in the Dverger System. (LOGH: 'Liberation of the Frontier Zone', 'The Battle of Amritsar Starzone', Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia)
- Rio Grande — Later-model warship of similar design to Diomedes and Achilleus. In service by 795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE) as the flagship of the 5th Fleet, and later supreme flagship under Admiral Bewcock. Sunk at the Battle of Marr-Adetta in 800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE). (LOGH: 'The Battle of Marr-Adetta Starzone (Part One)', 'The Battle of Marr-Adetta Starzone (Part Two)', Fleet File Collection Vol.4)
- Rustam — Early-model ship that served under Admiral Bewcock at the Battle of Rantemario. Final disposition unknown. (LOGH: 'The Two-Headed Snake: The Battle of Rantemario')
- Shiva — Special carrier variant using a prototype hull equipped with cranes to launch up to 50 fighters, and armed with 80 cruiser-caliber guns. Converted in 780 UC (471 IC / 3580 CE) as a test ship and later assigned as a training ship, Shiva was called up to frontline service after the Battle of Amritsar, joining the Yang Fleet. Sunk in 800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE) in the Battle of the Corridor by the Black Lancers. (LOGH: 'The Battle of the Corridor: End of the Campaign', Fleet File Collection Vol.10)