|This article, Avenger-class Heavy Destroyer (Ajax 013), was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The Avenger-class Heavy Destroyer is a class of USR ship. The Avenger-class is the successor to the powerful CPV-class heavy destroyer, and like its predecessor, is a fearsome ship. It is of the few dedicated ships of war used by the Swords of Sanghelios.
The Avenger mixes a variety of expensive and rare technologies into a somewhat compact package, combining high speed, armour, powerful weapons and a high complement capable of performing blistering, high-speed orbital attacks and occupation duties.
During the late fifties, the fledgling Republic began to shift focus from securing its borders, to securing the future of its military. Many ships had been destroyed or crippled, and many more were becoming grossly outdated compared to the new vessels introduced by the UNSC and the Storm Covenant. In an effort to bring the Republic back to the forefront of military power, they enlisted numerous shipwrights to improve existing vessels. The Merchant Guild of Aulris issued a number of designs, and their plans to refit existing CPV-class Heavy Destroyers were approved. Many damaged vessels were quickly rushed back into service, upgraded to the new Avenger-class standard. Within five months, the Republic navy received the first four Avengers for service.
Rushed into service by the Republic with experienced crews, the first Avengers were put at the forefront of the Republic's effort to stamp out insurgency by various rebel Kadions, warlords and other enemies. The first Avengers proved their worth at the battle of Quikost, where raiders belonging to the Servants of Abiding Truth attacked the Republic-aligned Merchants of Quikost, and found their fleet of warships hammered into submission by a squadron of warships lead by the USR Avenger, which accounted for destroying two ships and crippling another.
After this, the Republic began to manufacture Avenger-Class Destroyers, some of the first warships manufactured since the schism. Sent to frontline fleets, these ships proved to be some of the Republic's greatest assets, punching holes through the defences of the enemy and landing armies in the midst of battles. These include a great many battles which have gone down in legend, such as the USR Avenger's assault on the Temple of Abiding Truth, ramming its way through the defending Servants, knocking out their aerial defences then deploying the first Republic troops to set foot on the state of Ontom.
In '62 a Covenant Remnant force attacked the human colony of Black Rock, intending to kill or enslave the inhabitants. The only ship in range to intercept them was an Avenger-class, the USR Just Warrior. Rushing headlong into a force of 5 SDV-class Heavy Corvettes and a single assault carrier, it destroyed or otherwise crippled the corvettes during a blistering run, using its high speed, incredible endurance and heavy armament to pummel them, while its ground compliment vacated and moved to defend the colony. With only the carrier left, the Just Warrior was otherwise crippled. Its shielding was offline, its weapons were disabled and it didn't have enough fighters to go against the carrier. In an act of desperation, the shipmaster ordered the reactors to be overloaded, and their engines move to full burn. Ramming the enemy ship at full speed, they overloaded their reactors, destroying it, and the assault carrier, a ship twice their length and four times their tonnage. When the Republic learned of this, the shipmaster was awarded the Tri-Star, the highest award any Republic warrior could be awarded, while every member of his crew received the Star of Urs medal. The UNSC also honoured the crew's sacrifice by awarding them its highest honour, the Colonial Cross. The actions of the USR Just Warrior and her crew went significant ways to mend relations between the Republic and the UNSC.
The USR Demon was a darkly famed Avenger-class. Named in honour of the Sangheili's most respected foe, the Spartans, it was utilised by 'The Arbiter's Blade', Kasr 'Revsar. Augmented with stealth technology, including energy signature masking tech and active camouflage, the USR Demon was involved in many clandestine actions, such as the hunting of the Storm Covenant terrorist known as the Chirugeon, which lead to them uncovering his monstrous actions on the colony of Rise, the battle of Hesduros, the mission to hunt down and eliminate the remaining leaders of the Servants of Abiding Truth and the violent actions in the 'Bloody Verge', a protracted campaign against a confederation of pirates, slavers and rebels.
The Republic is the primary user of the Avenger-class Heavy Destroyer, having hundreds of these ships in service. These warships have also found their way into the hands of allies of the Republic, such as King-Yar families associated with the Sangheili, and allied Jiralhanae packs, notably the Tyraxus Tribe. It was also found in the hands of their enemies. These ships were sometimes stolen or captured by rogue Sangheili Kaidons, Covenant Remnants, or the Storm Covenant.
The Avenger-class, like most Sangheili warships, is multi-purpose. Its purpose in battle is twofold. It escorts larger warships, usually carriers, protecting them from hunter-killers and roving warships, and punches holes in enemy defences. In possession of an overabundance of guns and armour, it can withstand tremendous damage and deal incredibly punishment to those ships in its path. It goes ahead of carriers, cutting straight through defending ships and neutralising orbital defences and then launching a blistering, high-speed assault, for which there is usually little protection, paving the way for carriers to bring more reinforcements.
Due to its capabilities and self-sufficient nature, these ships can also be used as a long distance patrol vessel, scouring distant sectors and responding to threats on its borders. A single Avenger carries enough guns and starfighters to take on raider squadrons, and enough warriors to defeat a raiding party on the ground.
Its predecessor was a dedicated warship, meant only for the destruction of its enemies, something the Prophets considered distasteful. However, the Avenger is popular with its crews, supporting offensives with brute force firepower, and fierce attacks. Such reversals are common in the post-Prophet landscape, where free of their lies the Sangheili can make their own decisions.
While based on the CPV-class Destroyer, a great many elements of it have been changed and updated. It is faster, more heavily armed, and better defended than its predecessor.
Hull and Armour
The Avenger is based on a heavy duty frame. The ship's superstructure utilises a heavy metal alloy, chemically altered at the molecular level to increase strength and giving it a degree of flex, so as to not restrict the agility of the ship. The superstructure itself is hollow but arranged in honeycomb frames. This is coated in layers of carbon nanotube, increasing its resistance against direct impact.
Built over this is the pressure hull, using lightweight alloys to create a buffer against the crew and the vacuum. This pressure hull maintains internal pressure and environmental settings, and has specialised layers of coating, protecting the crew against radiation. It is riddled with ancillaries carrying a liquid material under pressure. As soon as the pressure eases, such as when it flows into a hull break, it begins to foam into a hardened material, blocking hull breaches.
The outer hull is made up layer upon layer-upon-layer of heavy duty plating, created from a mixture of high strength alloys, laminated plating and ceramic inserts. Each layer is applied and blessed by a priest of the Path to Ascension and bonded to the next layer. This armour gives it substantial protection from direct fire. When struck by kinetic munitions, it delaminates, absorbing the impact across the hull. When struck by energy weapons, the hull begins to ablate, distorting the beam or plasma bolt through the particulate dust. The armour is centralised around the major sections, shielding it front frontal and broadside fire, though the underside is vulnerable.
The hull has a design differing from the Covenant norm. It has a spherical main hull, containing the energy projector, crew complement, the bridge and the primary reactor. It is embedded in a needle-shaped hull, the main hull in the eye. This contains the majority of point defence, pulse laser and plasma cannon batteries, while the rear carries the launch bays.
Lastly, the rear has two booms, each built around a self contained reactor and propulsion system. They also contain a substantial amount of manoeuvring engines, and several point defence batteries.
The Avenger-class, like all Covenant warships, is fitted with shield emitters. These shielding emitters are positioned across the entire ship, allowing it to resist direct attack from enemy weapons. This shielding system uses captured plasma, held inside a magnetic field contoured to the ship. This plasma increases exponentially in density upon impact. This disperses the kinetic or thermal energy of the impact, allowing it to stop chemically propelled munitions such as cannon shells or missiles, electromagnetically fired slugs or energy weapons such as lasers and plasma beams. The increased energy of the weapon impact requires increased density which requires increased power, up until the point the power supply can no longer maintain the shields, and the shields fail. The shielding emitters will begin to recharge several moments after being disabled but may take up to thirty seconds to redeploy the shield, and even longer to reach full charge. The shields are also vulnerable to electromagnetic effects, especially from nuclear weapons, which drain the power of the shields significantly.
The ship's main power source is a large pinch fusion reactor in the central hull. This reactor uses high power magnets to collide deuterium and tritium, creating a powerful fusion reaction, the energy produced is harnessed to provide power for the ship. The main reactor is larger than average for a ship of this size and is reinforced with a great many exotic technologies, not widely available. This allows it to run for longer and at higher tolerances, giving the ship an astounding power supply, even in the heat of combat. What makes this reactor even more powerful is the fact it is dedicated purely to the life support, shielding and weapon systems, since the engines are running on separate reactors. The coolant system consists of a vast sheath of tiny electrical lasers, powered by the reactor itself. The LASERs are arranged in opposite directions, creating a Doppler effect. As excited atoms and molecules enter the cooling sheath, they gain photons from the laser they are moving away from, via the Doppler effect. These atoms then slow to a crawl, due to the cancelling effects of the gained photons and are subsequently chilled. As the reactor continues to heat up, due to thermodynamics, the heat will move from a place of high temperature to a place of low temperature, constantly cooling the reactor until equilibrium is made. The main reactor is fed from sealed liquid fuel tanks providing deuterium and tritium. The reactor, in turn, charges the emergency generators, storing plasma from the engine which can be converted into electrical energy should the main reactor fail, or in the event of a 'cold start' for the reactor.
The two secondary reactors are much smaller pinch fusion reactors, placed directly in front of the repulsor engine clusters. Fed from individual fuel tanks, these twin reactors are dedicated solely to powering the engine systems. In the event that one fails, the other can be used to provide power to both engine clusters, at a cost of reduced power output. They can also be used to supercharge the primary reactor during combat, again at the cost of speed.
The propulsion system is made up of two clusters of engines of six, each tied to one of the secondary reactors. These engine clusters consist of one large repulsor engine to provide forward motion, with two smaller engines for manoeuvring. It is also fitted with numerous smaller repulsor engines to provide it manoeuvring in zero-gravity and atmospheric environments. These repulsor engines are powered by negative matter. This negative matter is contained in a zero-gravity fuel tank, then introduced into the drive, whereupon it touches the contact point, and the reaction between negative and positive matter results in high-speed repulsion, with the negative matter being expelled, generating thrust. These engines are efficient, though it must return to dedicated fuelling stations to refill the fuel.
It is also fitted with four anti-gravitational systems, allowing it to maintain altitude without thrust in-atmosphere. These are positioned on each boom, and just under the mid-section. These are used during invasion and occupation, allowing it to maintain altitude for deploying troops and bombarding the surface.
For faster-than-light travel, it utilises the tried and tested Type-67 Slipspace drive. Reliable and accurate, it allows the ship to navigate slipspace at high speeds and perform in-atmosphere jump-ins and jump-outs. This drive is in a separate carriage to the rear of the craft and utilises technology used by the Sangheili for centuries. The drive can take up to three minutes to charge up for a slipspace jump but once in slipstream space, the ship relies on its Repulsor engines.
The Avenger is bristling with weaponry, allowing it to project substantial amounts of fire-power in a 360-degree sphere around itself. These include deadly plasma cannons for anti-ship fire, pulse lasers for precision beam strikes, batteries of point defence cannons and a single energy projector. Its ordnance is leant to multi-role purposes, being capable of striking starships or ground targets.
The plasma cannons represent the main armament on the ship. The plasma cannons are arranged in broadside batteries of three, and several turret mounts on the dorsal and ventral surfaces. The cannons are operated by a crew, and aimed manually through the targeting systems, while the turrets are operated by the controlling weapon officer on the vessel. In both cases, the weapons have three firing modes. The first is dumb 'unguided' bolt, where the plasma bolt is fired in a straight line, with no guidance. This setting is especially effective against static targets, such as space stations and ground positions. The second is the 'guided' bolt. Using the plasma guidance systems, the bolt can be directed to track a moving target, or even hit a target without a direct line of sight. The bolts are vulnerable to electronic interference and can be redirected to miss their target, or even rebound on the firing platform. Bolts can also be switched from guided to unguided, usually useful for firing all cannons forward in the opening salvo of a battle. The last in the most energy intensive. The cannon forms a single magnetic tunnel between it and its target, and floods itself with plasma, creating a high-velocity cutting beam, capable of cutting smaller warships in two, but this is also vulnerable to countermeasures. The plasma cannon operates by using plasma directly from the main reactor, which is stored in nearby reservoirs. When the gun fires, plasma is magnetically coaxed from the reservoir into the gun, before being focused and heated. Once it reaches correct temperature and density, which takes a few seconds, the magnetic fields of the cannon change, lobbing the bolt out of the gun at hyper-velocity speeds. Each cannon possesses its own magnetic guidance system, guiding the weapon through magnetic fields controlled by antennae on the ship. At increasing distances, response and control begin to wane, until they hit a maximum effective range. The turret mounts, each carrying two cannons can fire on both broadside and forward angles.
The Avenger also has four Heavy Plasma Cannons, one of the few ships in the Republic Navy to carry these devastating weapons. Substantially larger than standard plasma cannons, much of their technology is actually modelled on human electromagnetic weaponry. These plasma cannons are fixed, facing forward and using huge magnetic coils. Capable of firing a quick salvo of plasma bolts, these bolts cannot be guided, but can achieve high velocities. Such is the effect of these magnetic coils, any plasma bolts travelling forward of the ship and trapped in its magnetic field will also be accelerated to higher velocities. These plasma cannons can fire a quick salvo of three shots, usually decimating any ship foolish enough to be in its way.
Positioned strategically across the hull are numerous pulse laser turrets. Fuelled by hydrogen flouride, the beam weapon has a high power output, but its charge speed negates fast salvos. Against older ship armour, it is deadly, where bombardment can boil away armour. However, against modern ships with ablative armour, it fares significantly better. Instead, pulse lasers are more commonly used for pinpoint fire, knocking out enemy engines, communication systems and weapons, but are also useful for point defence. They are also deadly in orbital bombardment, being capable of knocking out individual targets on the surface with pinpoint accuracy.
The primary point defence weapon for the ship is the short ranged plasma flak cannon. A small weapon, they are usually amassed in batteries and controlled by the ships automated intelligence. These cannons fire a bolt of highly compressed plasma at high rates of fire, with the magnetic sheath failing at predetermined distance, causing a devastating explosion. The plasma cannons are capable of warding off or crippling smaller ships and outright vaporizing fighters by covering itself in a barrier of white-out plasma explosions. These cannons have a limited ranged, but pose a significant threat to starcraft, as they don't require pinpoint accuracy to destroy them. Again, they're also useful for ground bombardment, causing less damage than energy projectors or plasma torpedoes.
The last weapon is the energy projector. A devastating weapon, the energy projector is an extremely large and potent particle beam weapon. The weapon uses an ionized gas, accelerated inside a cylindrical particle accelerator. These are accelerated up to the speed of light and then focused through a series of electromagnets, firing the beam on a target with devastating effect. On impact, the molecular structure of its target is disrupted, breaking apart, allowing the beam to cut through with impunity. In atmospheric environments, the rapid heat at the point of impact would cause tremendous explosions, the resulting force equal to that of nuclear weapon deployments, leaving behind a vast tract of burnt land. This is often used for the purpose of 'glassing', effectively wiping out a population and rendering the planet uninhabitable. Despite this, the beam has multiple power settings and can fire at lower settings for reduced destruction. The Energy Projector has two emitters, one positioned above the gravity lift for orbital bombardment, another positioned on the stem of the ship for eliminating starships.
Electronic and Avionic Systems
The Avenger has a great many electronic systems, of varying levels of complexity. Compared to the older CPV-class, it is much for advanced, with more sensors, new inboard systems and advances in automation.
The principal system behind the Avenger is the Associated Intelligence. While behind the UNSC in A.I. technology, the Covenant, then the Republic, learned much from captured UNSC models and by the time of the Avenger's first deployment, several had been created for the purpose of war. The A.I. is implanted into the ship's main processor, in a cryogenically chilled computer system. The computer system uses the most advanced electronics available, such as liquid state electronics and room temperature superconductors. Possessing immense processing power, this system, formerly the non-sapient supercomputer behind Covenant ships, is boosted tenfold by the introduction of the A.I. and allows it to increase its processing power and speed. The A.I. controls navigation, point defence, power distribution, communication and electronic warfare. While at first feared, A.I.s have earned their place aboard warships.
For its sensors, it carriers high-impulse RADARS. These scan at amazingly fast frequencies, only recently achieved by the UNSC, allowing it to more accurately track ships at long distances. RADARS are positioned So as to give a sphere of coverage around the ship, with no blind spots. This allows it to track starships, starcraft and ordnance around itself, as well as navigate obstacles in space. It possesses numerous clusters of optical sensors, using thermal imaging to track targets at short range. On its bow, it possesses a long distance optical and thermal telescope for picking up then tracking targets. It also possesses a luminary, used to track and discover Forerunner devices, useful in their search for Forerunner installations and relics. Recent refits have added a magnetic anomaly detector, allowing it to detect ships possessing energy shields or energy weapons.
The communication system features a number of highly-agile antennae, capable of communicating across long distances in-system. The dual role antennae features heavy encryption capabilities and can communicate with hundreds of platforms at once. It also has the facility to communicate while in slipspace by virtue of the precision of its slipspace drive. This communications system can assault be used as an electronic warfare platform, affecting the enemies ability to communicate and coordinate by broadcasting wideband jamming. This however broadcasts the ship itself as a large target.
To protect itself against torpedoes fired against it, it possesses an active counter-guidance system. Utilising a high power magnetic device, it can countermand the magnetic control of the launch platform, direct torpedoes away from itself. Of limited effectiveness at short range, at longer ranges it can effectively confuse and guide incoming torpedoes away from itself or make them rebound with devastating effect. It is ineffective against unguided plasma torpedoes and has limited utility against plasma lances.
The ship is fitted with an all-purpose environmental system, capable of keeping the internal temperature close what the Sangheili find comfortable (35° Celsius), even during deep space missions, orbital transition and during prolonged reactor use. The life support system feeds a mixture of O2 and N2 mixed similarly to that of Sanghelios' atmosphere. These environmental settings are also perfect for Jiralhanae and Kig-Yar, though Unggoy tend to find them a little too warm. Humans can also tolerate the environment, though they also find it too warm. Gravity is set to the same pull as Sanghelios, utilising shipwide gravitation plating generating gravitational fields.
The bridge is buried deep inside the hull and features a unique three tiered layout. The shipmaster is on the uppermost tier, looking down on the rest. From here he can control the operations of the crew and commands. The next tier down are dedicated to the most important crew, the central station being weapon control. On each side is the engineering and air control officer and to each side of them lie the communications officer and the navigation officer. On the bottom-most tier are numerous other officers, tied to controlling smaller systems on the ship, such as power regulation, electronic warfare, shielding and sensors. All stations have holographic screens and holographic haptic key inputs. The front of the bridge is floor to ceiling holographic screen, showing the view from on-board cameras. In front of the second tier is a circular hologram showing a 360-degree view around the ship. This view shows threats, and close in warships, though the point of view can be changed to show the ship at further distances, show an enemy ship, or a planet.
The Avenger-class carries a large ground compliment, consisting of two field groups, each at a strength of 4000 men. These field groups usually come with large amounts of heavy armour and aerial support, as well as two Scarab-class Vehicles. These forces can either be deployed by the central gravity lift, as long as the ship is flying low enough, or deployed from the numerous launch bays along the central hull, carried by Phantom dropships into battle. It also possesses a pair of assault pod launch bays, capable of rapidly deploying 1000 warriors through single occupant and multiple occupant pods, as well as larger pods to deploy files, or entire lances straight into the heart of battle.
At the rear of the ship are six hangar bays, for deploying squadrons of fighters. It has a compliment of several squadrons of fighters, bombers and strike craft, ideal for both space and air battles. The standard layout consists of:
- 2 squadrons of F-31C Seraph fighters, for short ranged interception
- 2 squadrons of the deadly F/I-101 Tengu fighter for defence against enemy bombers and for attacking enemy vessels
- 1 squadron of I-113 Archangel interdictor craft for striking starships
- 1 squadron of B-112 Jinn bombers for striking ground targets in preparation for a ground invasion
- 1 squadron of A-114 Malakhim strike fighters for assaulting enemy personnel and armour on the ground
- 1 squadron of F-29D Strigon air superiority fighter for engaging and destroying enemy aircraft, and escorting bombers
Vengeance-class Heavy Destroyer
The Vengeance-class is an advanced variant of the Avenger, utilising new advances in automation and electronic warfare. In place of the port and starboard observation decks, it now has two parasite ships, the Adherence-class Drone Corvette, each the size of a light corvette. During regular operations, these ships are part of the Vengeance itself, their weapons powered by the Vengeance's reactors, and are covered by its shielding. However, both these corvettes can be detached, whereupon they perform independent missions, without support from their mothership. Both ships are fully automated and are piloted by a single Associated Intelligence. These corvettes are very fast, nimble and possess advanced sensors, electronic warfare systems, a large number of weapon batteries, a high-power reactor and advanced stealth systems. Thanks to zero crew, the entirety of the interior of the ship is taken up by power systems and electronics, allowing it to be incredibly powerful in spite of its small size.
The drones are exceedingly multipurpose and see a variety of uses. They can be deployed out of combat as scouts, using their limited FTL drives to probe ahead of the ship, or deployed to support their mothership in combat. Despite their surprisingly heavy armament, high agility and stealthy features, they are not primarily designed for combat purposes. They use their extensive electronic warfare systems to wreak havoc on the enemy, jamming their sensors, intercepting their communications, misdirecting them and eliminating their capability to coordinate. They can also increase the coordination of their own mothership and its attending escorts, directing fire accurately and directing communications over long ranges.
The drones can unlatch and dock upon their mothership autonomously, refuel from it, and operate for days without input from the mothership, often lightyears away. Their A.I. isn't hugely sophisticated, but is programmed with tens thousands of attack manoeuvres, electronic warfare attacks and battle formations, self-learning algorithm and can communicate with each other and other warships over long distances using specially-made quantum entanglement communicators.
Ships of the line
- USR Avenger
- USR Redoubtable
- USR Formidable
- USR Honorable Lord
- USR Fortress
- USR Barad-Dur
- USR Angband
- USR Unbreakable
- USR Just Warrior