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The Archimededes-class Destroyer was part of the next-generation UNSC warships, developed with many new features that previously gave Covenant forces a tremendous advantage in spaceborne warfare, such as energy shields and superior slipspace drives. It took advantage of improved reactors to provide the power needed to supply such systems. They were often used to escort other more lightly armed ships such as carriers, and can bring a large amount of firepower to the battlefield for it's size and cost.
The Archimedes-class Destroyer has very little in the way of single-ship fighters, as it is used primarily purely for naval warfare. It holds only a small complement of marines and pelicans to transport them.
8 Type-2 D77H-TCI Pelican Dropships: These pelican dropships allow for safer transport of UNSC forces to groundside battles. Often launched in low orbit, these then fly to the battlefield, relying on other aircraft deployed by other UNSC warships to provide assistance aerial escort.
- 200 Marines: These are for offensive ground operations, such as assaults (or counterassaults) on enemy positions. Often deployed by pelican dropships, these form the backbone of UNSC offensive ground operations
- 60 Orbital Drop Shock Troopers: These are launched from HEVs from inside the ship's hangar bay, and are used for operations deemed to dangerous for conventional marines.
- Crewmen: These run day-to-day operations of the ship. This includes technicians, cyro-bay operations staff, corpsmen and pilots.
- Officers: The commanding crew of the bridge. The majority can be found present on the bridge, with the exception of long slipspace journeys, in which case they can be found in the cyro-bay in cyro-sleep. These are responsible for a certain area of the ship. (With the exception of the Captain and/or Executive Officer, which are responsible for the whole ship).
The Archimedes-class Destroyer is primarily for ship-to-ship combat, and is often at the front of most fleets, trading fire with their enemy counterparts. Many have referred to being "frigates, just with more firepower", and not without good reason. Only slightly larger than most UNSC Frigates, they have nearly double the firepower of frigates, and have significantly thicker hulls, although they are lacking in single or double occupant vehicles, instead relying on other ships in the battlegroup to provide those types of craft.
Resembling the typical UNSC warship, going for length over width, it maintains a blocky-design, as opposed to the curved, bulbous sections seen in Covenant warships.
Archimedes-class Destroyers carry the following armament:
- 1 Heavy Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, which can fire one heavy round per charge. It can fire one shot every twenty seconds, and must combine fire with other ships to destroy larger Covenant warships.
- 2 Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, which can fire one round per charge each. Each cannon can be charged and fired separately. One cannon can fire one shot every 12 seconds.
- 60 Archer Missile Pods, which carry 40 missiles per pod, making a total of 2400 missiles.
- 3 Shiva-class Nuclear Missiles, which function as heavy ordnance.
The first Archimedes-class Destroyer, the UNSC Archimedes was first built by Dark Space Shipyards in 2578. Placed in the Fourth Fleet, it quickly proved it's worth on combat actions against the Covenant, holding their own against their Covenant counterparts. It was the first UNSC warship that was equipped with energy shields that was produced in large numbers, as other shielded UNSC ships (i.e. Cruisers, Carriers, Battlecruisers, Battleships, Supercarriers, Dreadnaughts) were highly costly to produce compared to smaller ships.
In 2579, production of the Archimedes-class was ramped up. Reyes=Mclees Shipyards was given permission to produce the Archimedes-class as well. By early 2580, the Archimedes-class was in extensive use throughout the UNSC Fleet.
In late 2580, many Archimedes-class Destroyers were present during the Battle of Devout Wrath. They were used to great success, dealing many Covenant casualties while suffering a significantly lower casualty rate than their unshielded counterparts.