|This article, Triton-class destroyer, was written by StoneGhost. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "Tough ol' girl's got some life in her yet."
- ―Captain John Bradley, commander of HMS Watchman, during the Battle of Acheron
The Triton-class destroyer was a heavy warship class in service with the Allegiance Navy during the Swarm War. it was the staple of the Allegiance's naval anti-armour capabilities as well as a fast and powerful warship. Introduced in 2585, the class was a leap forward in terms of ship design, the class influenced the design for every Allegiance warship for the next two hundred years as well as helping to establish Allegiance Naval power. The pinnacle of design and technology at the time of her conception, the Triton-class served with distinction for over two hundred years from the very first to the very last battle.
The Triton-class was designed by Frasier Fleet Industries to fill the role of a fast, mobile ship-destroyer. it was capable of intercepting and destroying the majority of enemy warships. It had another role of supporting larger warships in battle, such as the Ares-class battleship and Athena-class cruiser. Its primarily offensive armament gave it a high kill/death ratio against other warships, specifically smaller ones such as frigates. It was able to receive a large amount of punishment thanks to powerful shields and thick armour, and provided a swift weapons platform for destroying enemy ships. It was capable of rivalling most ships in its class and also larger ships such as capital ships. All of these factors made it one of the most powerful Allegiance ships for her tonnage as well as a sought after command. Often these ships were accompanied by smaller vessels such as the Apollo-class frigate and Aurora-class frigate. It could also function as a rapid power projection platform, able to quickly deploy to trouble areas and subdue conflict with its presence, or at the very least, maintain the situation until the arrival of larger, more powerful vessels.
Externally, the Triton-class was fairly standard for Allegiance ship design. She featured a long, narrow prow, supporting the main Heavy Particle Cannons. These were grouped into three groups of two, with cannons firing alternately. The prow was broken up into two sections, the larger upper one, housing four cannons, and the smaller lower one, with two cannons. Along this lower prow were six heavy missile tubes.
Aft of the prow, the ship was bulked out into the main hull. This section housed the vital ship's systems. Port and starboard of the main hull were two 'arms' which jutted out, and allowed space for the six Heavy ship cannons. The arms stretched aft and provided a platform for the sixteen Heavy Particle Cannon turrets, eight on each side, four above and four below.
Below these was the opening for the hangar, flanked on either side by the deployment bays. These provided shelter and protection for the exposed hangar. On the inside of these deployment sections were numerous hangars, containing Sabre Dropships or ground vehicles. Like all openings these were protected by powerful blast doors as well as energy shielding holding in the atmosphere.
To the rear of the vessel were the engines. These were mounted in two pillar-like formations and provided the immense thrust necessary to push the ship through space.
External bulkheads throughout the ship operated on failsafes and helped to keep the ship intact during heavy firefights.
The CIC, or Combat Information Centre, also known as the Command Centre, was the nerve centre of the ship, responsible for commanding and controlling the vessel. It was located very close to the core of the vessel, in the most protected area from enemy fire. It served as both the CIC and the Bridge as the vessel was both steered and combat action commands issued from here.
The Triton-class's CIC was a fairly sized room located deep in the interior of the midship section of the vessel. From the bridge, the destroyer's tactical and navigational operations were monitored and directed. The CIC was a large, two-level complex with four automatic bulkhead exits, which were closed during action stations alerts.
The CIC consisted of many stations arranged in a concentric layout around a central command area. Here there was a single primary battle holoprojector, which showed in real time events unfolding on the battlefield, as well as detailed information on the vessels and objects shown (damage taken, crew, complement, standing orders etc). Alongside this were three secondary and numerous tertiary holo-displays, in addition to several HPHDs (Multi Purpose Holographic Displays). Several large, flat holographic displays about a 2 metres long and 1.5m high were projected from the top of the peripheral stations. This gave the officers stationed there an additional large display, and also allowed the commander to easily see the station's information from his post.
Command and Control
The CIC was divided into several stations, the most imperative being Command and Control. The Command and Control station was the primary station within CIC, used by the Commanding and Executive Officers aboard the vessel. The centre comprised a large communications and a roughly hexagonal "information management" holo-table, with a retractable information display tower bearing a number of MPHD screens suspended above it. There were no chairs; the command staff were always standing.
Here, the ship's commander and Executive officer were on station, observing and plotting battle tactics, viewing holo-charts, and giving commands to others in CIC. Above the Command and Control Station was a cluster of holographic monitors displaying additional secondary information. This console descended from a cylindrical ceiling recess when required. From the Command and Control Station, the commander had a 360 degree view of the CIC. The console contained multiple sensor displays but also included other navigation and tactical information available to the commander and others at a glance. The displays were capable of showing a wide range on information including countdowns, sensor readings relayed from the sensor console, and vessel management information, such as the vessel's spatial orientation (pitch, yaw & roll).
Adjacent to the Command and Control Centre on the port side of CIC was the Communications Center. Here, all communications to and from fighters and other ships were monitored, directed or relayed. In coordination with the Tactical Station, the Communications officer could also verify transponders that register as friendly, and alert the Tactical Officer or commander of any signals without transponders or recognised enemy transponders. The Communications Officer had a link to the mainframe computer, where a library of Allegiance recognition information resided.
Situated in the far port side of CIC was the Damage Control station. Usually unmanned, it contained the Damage Control computers, which connected to thousands of sensors throughout the exterior and interior of the ship. A large display against the wall of the station showed damage through a holographic display that showed the extent and location of damage on the ship, and could display multiple views of both the Triton's interior and exterior. A commander could order a Damage Control officer to perform many actions to repair or mitigate the effects of an enemy attack through the controls here, including the venting of compartments, coordination of damage control teams and the like. The station worked in tandem with numerous other damage control stations situated around the ship, the main one being the Aft Damage Control room, which contained similar controls to aid in repairs, control of fires and such in the event that the CIC's damage control was knocked offline or CIC staff were incapacitated.
The navigation station, not essential enough to be constantly manned, was a station that handled both long and short range navigational data. However, most of its functions could be operated by other stations.
The Triton-class moved through space relatively unneeding of visual coordinate telemetry. Though numerous visual sensor devices were available to the helmsmen and could be shown on his station, there were no windows, no viewscreens to see into space for helm control. Navigation was managed by spatial coordinates based on sensor and other information. The helm crew members drive the vessel through a series of intuitive controls and based on commands from the Executive officer or commanding officer. The helmsman often linked neurally to the ship's control interface, allowing him or her to flawlessly direct the ship's actions.
From this station, FTL courses were executed. Not routinely manned, the Tactical station plotted the course and transmitted the coordinates to other vessels, while the actual execution was operated from the FTL station by the Tac Officer. The station contained a large amount of sensory information pertaining to long range FTL travel not displayed by the Tac station. The station shared a direct link to both the Navigation and Tactical Stations. Like all bridge positions the station was assisted by an AI.
The Officer of the Watch, or Tactical Officer, was arguably the busiest officer in the Triton-class's CIC. Assisted by an AI, he or she was tasked with the monitoring of sensors and coordinating various command and control functionality. The Tactical Officer was required to relay changes in status and keep the commander updated continuously during the fluid events of battle, in which they were assisted considerably by advanced computer systems and the several advanced AI on the bridge during a combat situation. The Tactical officer was typically the first to know that an attack was imminent and either he or an AI would address the vessel by the public address system to go to battle stations through Condition One or Two alerts. From here the AI was typically issuing general crew orders to the rest of the vessel, from where it had quickest access to information. Orders commonly issued by the AI were to individual crew members to report to their posts, starfighters to launch, and other ship-board actions. The AI could know where every crew member was simultaneously, removing the need for the Tac Officer to divert his attention and use his console to locate a crew member.
While the Helm officers controlled the ship's movement, it was the Tactical officer that plotted FTL courses. The Tactical officer of the ship provided destination coordinates to the vessel's helm, through a link between their two stations. They relied heavily on their AI to provide other accompanying vessels of combat information and FTL coordinates, where the multiple ship AIs would share information and adjust various conditions on their vessels accordingly. This was not the only, but one of the most important, links between allied vessels.
Nearby the Tactical Station was a tactical board and table where the commander could meet with several officers and crew at once for advanced battle or strategy conferences. The Tactical Station was frequently manned by other specialists and officers that assist the Watch Officer in addition to its AI.
The Weapons control station was a position located to the far starboard of the bridge, and manned by two or three officers as well as a remotely linked AI. Together they were responsible for the vessel's offensive and defensive weaponry, the AI being a vital asset to target acquisition, gun/target designation and actual targeting and firing. One single AI could operate the entire vessel's weaponry, ensuring a cohesive and uniform firing pattern and meaning that nothing could slip through due to multiple targeting systems, or multiple gunner crew members. The officers at the weapon station were nonetheless essential in power regulation, shielding control and combat sensor monitoring, in addition to the weapon control crews assisting each weapon in battle. In the event of the station being destroyed, the remote AI could continue to fire the ship's weapons unhindered, with the assistance of the gunners at each weapon and the secondary fire control stations throughout the ship, such as the Auxiliary Fire Control station located in engineering.
Engineering and Environment
The engineering and Environment station was similar in function to main engineering, and in theory acted as engineering's representative position on the bridge. However in practice, it was often unmanned, usually where the senior technical officer on board would be stationed when he was in the CIC. Closely linked to Damage control, the two stations shared information, relevant to each other's function, as well as information sharing with engineering and the tactical station. However, unlike Damage control the Engineering/Environment station was not solely designed for use in combat; routine things such as atmospheric and environmental regulation, and other non-combat aspects of the ship could be controlled from here, though obviously some functions such as the sealing off of breached or compromised sections or the venting of atmosphere, and other such actions, were more closely related to combat situations.
The vessel's power core was located deep within the Triton's midsection. It was a large, semi-spherical chamber with the extractor core in the centre, from which the power was drawn. The core was linked almost directly to both the four main guns and the shield generators, being the most energy intensive systems on board. The generator was located a few hundred meters aft of the command centre, both sharing the least vulnerable location in the ship. The reactor was 123.8m across, 145.7m high, and took the form of a semi-spherical chamber with the generator core in the centre and struts forking symmetrically in.
Engineering was located towards the rear of the ship, situated between the rear thrusters and the power core. It handled the maintenance, hardware and power aspects of the ship, arguably the most important location after the CIC, and was as a result just as heavily guarded. From here, crew and AI could more closely monitor the ship's systems that was possible on the bridge, and could in conjunction with the command crew execute actions to improve the ship's battle performance or ensure its survival. The Auxiliary Fire Control station was located in engineering, allowing the ship's weapons to be operated from this location. Indeed, the entire ship could be controlled from engineering if need be, though at the cost of operational efficiency. The Aft Damage Control room was also located in engineering.
Cargo and Complement
The ship's cargo bay was located on the ship's underside, inside the large exterior hangar area. The back of the hangar area housed the vehicle storage, primary cargo bays and many support vehicles and dropships. The two large flat sections on either side housed the fighter bays, which quickly released many fighters safely into the battlefield. The vessel could store an additional 200,000m2, or 11,500 metric tons, of cargo. The troop accommodation was within the main hull towards the rear, contrary to crew quarters which were located in the midsection and lower half of the vessel.
The Triton-class destroyer had a large armament geared towards defeating enemy cruisers and other warships. Mounted on the prow was its main armament of six Strategic Instruments DDP-278 Linear Particle Cannons, powerful and long range anti-armour energy weapons. The cannons each had an individual output of 50,000,000 Terajoules, 23,100 times the power of standard MAC rounds and enough to destroy many ships with just a salvo or two. As for the rate of fire, power was not the issue, but rather cooling. The weapons, unlike MACs, were prone to overheating. A single cannon could fire seven times before needing to pause to cool, but it could pause at any time in between. After a full firing sequence, the cannon would remain inoperable for three minutes at least before the barrel was cool enough to allow another firing sequence. The group of six cannons were arranged in 'fire groups' of three groups of two, each cannon firing alternately. In this way, a fire group could fire 14 shots before needing to pause. The three groups could together fire 42 shots before needing to pause, although they could extend this by leaving slightly longer periods of time between each shot. They had a range of around 360,000,000km, or approximately 20 light minutes. The weapon's faster-than-light nature meant that they had no chance of missing their target, even over astronomical ranges. The Triton-class' heavy frontal armament was an excellent example of it being geared towards offensive actions.
On the port and starboard bows each were two rows of four turrets, 16 in all. These were MG9 Heavy Particle Cannon turrets, designed to blast through ship battleplate in broadside and long range. They excelled in large fleet engagements where they beat larger but less numerous cannons, with the ability to fire on many more targets and suppress them. They fired in a fashion much like a semi-automatic weapon, one shot, then a period of 4 seconds to cool. The cannons were far less powerful than the main guns, though made up for this with their numbers. They had a power output of around 1,250,000 terajoules per blast, which was 40 times smaller than the main cannons. Their primary purpose was as heavy turreted weapons able to engage ships at both long and short range, especially those out of the main cannon's field of fire. The turrets were the primary engagement weapons after the internally-mounted stationary forward weaponry, and had two tracking modes. The first, precise, long-range tracking mode, the turrets could hit a target five meters wide at a range of four light minutes (107,925,285 kilometres). During close-range combat and fleet engagements, the turrets could rotate fully in under six seconds with their fast-tracking mode, able to hit the majority of slow and fast-moving vessels.
In addition, the ship's prow featured ten heavy missile tubes of varying sizes. The six smaller tubes fired a vide range of missiles, including anti-fighter fragmentation missiles and armour-piercing high explosive. However, they were most commonly used for the ACS/M-151 Decimator nuclear anti-armour missile. This powerful but variable armament gave the Triton-class a unique and powerful weapon with short, medium and mid-long ranges.
The Triton-class' frontal armament was supported by 14 M119 Heavy Naval Cannons. These heavy 900mm cannons, although a widely outdated armament, contributed to the class' heavy frontal armament, and were especially useful for engaging armour once the Particle Cannons had defeated any shielding. They were a relatively short range weapon, still used alongside the Particle Cannons for their variability. The cannons could be loaded with several ammunition types, while the variability of Particle Cannons was restricted to the power of the blast, which could be selected from anything up to 100%. As a result, the cannons could quickly be changed from anti armour rounds to high fragmentation proximity shells almost instantly, in order to suit the threat faced, whereas the prow Particle Cannons were nowhere near as adaptable.
Even still, there were still signs that the weapons, which had clearly seen more prominent days, were on the way out. The Triton-class was initially fitted with six 900mm cannons on the sides of the ship, three on each side. However, later models, from around 2630 onwards, replaced these with modified MG9 Heavy Particle Cannons, in non-movable mounts, with their range extended by 30% to allow adequate frontal usage. Earlier ship classes had featured these 900mm cannons in large turrets as their primary turreted antiship armament, however these were largely phased out for the MG9 in the mid-2600s.
Bridging the gap between the larger MG9 turrets and the smaller M252 Point Defence turrets were 30 MD12 Particle Cannon turrets. These weapons were designed to complement the larger and smaller cannons, by supporting them in combat. They could act equally as point defence guns or as powerful anti armour weapons. They were roughly a third as powerful as the MG9 Cannon, though far more numerous and more effective at taking down smaller warships. They had a power of around 415,000 terajoules, and a range of about 50 million kilometres.
Providing a variable but powerful armament were 20 M125 Missile Launchers. The weapons were used as a versatile, powerful weapon able to engage multiple enemy types. Of the Triton's arsenal, these missile launchers were probably the most responsive and variable, able to be changed between high fragmentation antifighter missiles to long range antimatter missiles in a matter of seconds, in accordance with the ever-changing battlefield. They were utilised in two main roles; point defence, using precision or area-damaging missiles to defeat incoming fighters at short and short-medium ranges, and anti-armour, for engaging all smaller warships and many of the larger ones too. In the latter role, the turrets often employed the DECIMATOR Anti Capital Ship Missile, which could easily overpower a cruiser or carrier with thirty to forty hits.
The weapon consisted of an armoured box-like multi tube missile launcher mounted on a fast-tracking turret. Powerful but compact sensors specialised for picking out missile targets were located inside the ship, underneath the armour. To reload, the fully retractable turret would descend down into its stowage space below the vessel's armoured hull, where the empty missile box, acting similarly to a magazine, was swapped out for a fully loaded one. This dramatically increased loading times over more conventional methods and provided protection for the turret and explosive ammunition during their vulnerable reloading cycle. Typically a turret could go from just having fired its last missile to having a full load in under 25 seconds. Inside the ship, there were different types of 'boxes' holding different missiles. These were selected according to the type of enemy the turret was tasked with engaging. The fire control room was located inside the vessel out of harm's way, but control could be transferred to a remote station inside the ship, or given over to an AI or dedicated weapon program which could select targets, fire the weapon and reload it independently.
Point/Area Defence Armament
Augmenting the Triton-class' power were 40 M252 Area/Point Defence Weapon Systems, which could engage starfighters and very quickly destroy them. They offered both point and area defence against starfighters and incoming projectiles, and proved highly effective against larger targets in numbers, such as frigates, destroyers and some cruisers. The weapons were comprised of three DX52 Particle Cannons, arranged in a triple battery. The weapon had a range of 4 million kilometres, and a combined power of 7,500 terajoules, enough to tear through ship armour and vaporise starfighters.
In addition to these were 40 M253 Area/Point Defence Weapon Systems. These were fast-tracking armoured turrets mounting quadruple DP41 Light Particle Cannons. These were extremely effective against incoming ordnance, such as missiles and projectiles. As a secondary function they could engage and destroy fighters, but were not individually capable of posing a threat to vessels larger than frigates. They had a range of 250,000km, and a combined rate of fire of 5,200 shots per minute. Their combined power output was roughly half that of the M252, though in a continuous stream of shots instead of one large blast.
Supplementing these systems were 20 sparsely spread M56 Point Defense Weapon Systems. These acted as the final, smallest tier of defence for the vessel. They were adept at interception of incoming torpedoes, missiles, shells and other projectiles, being destroyed by the M56 before they could reach the ship. They were largely ineffective against fighters and larger vessels and so mainly were reserved for smaller targets.
As a general armament, the Triton-class also mounted 32 dual M421 General Purpose Cannons. These were a variable light armament capable of defensive or offensive fire. They were able to fire a wide range of ammunition types, and could engage both small and large, armoured and unarmoured targets. The M421's primary usage was as a light, short range multirole weapon for warships of many classes. They could engage fighters, close range armour and incoming ordnance equally effectively, though were useless against many larger vessels. They could provide covering fire and suppression for other weapons, either larger and more powerful ones or smaller and more numerous ones. They supported other weapons in combat, by engaging any targets within their range and aiding in point and area defence.
The turrets were comprised of two L120 Freebore Pneumatic Effect Cannons. These were mounted onto a heavily modified Crusader turret, which had the insides gutted and the turret widened to accommodate an extra gun. This was mounted onto a fast-tracking turret with a 360 degree field of fire, and 165 degree elevation.
Some examples of the Triton-class were equipped with a MWX02 GATEKEEPER Mk VI device. This was a scaled-down, reverse engineered iteration of the Forerunner's Halos, intended for small-scale tactical usage instead of large-scale strategic usage. The weapon was primarily used to quickly defeat large Swarm naval forces, thus negating their numerical advantage. However, as with the Forerunner's dealing with the Flood, sometimes the weapon was used for a darker purpose. If necessary, it could be used to wipe out sentient life on a planet, thus preventing the population falling into the hands of the Swarm for their own uses, including reproduction. The usage of such a destructive weapon was controversial, but necessary in the face of a superior and terrifying enemy. The device had a range of around 100 million kilometres, and was issued to one vessel in each battlegroup. Like the Halos, the vessel itself was immune to the weapon's effects, though the device would kill all sentient life within its radius, indiscriminate of their faction, species or affiliation. Allied vessels would encase themselves in a slipspace 'bubble' temporarily to protect themselves from the device's effects, though this process was lengthy and often not accomplishable during battle conditions.
The Triton-class was also equipped with HALO Pod Launchers, which allowed the rapid and covert precision deployment of troops behind enemy lines. In addition, it was equipped with six HURRICANE Pod Launchers which allowed it to quickly and precisely deploy defensive turrets, vehicles, troops and supplies to units on the ground.
For primary protection against enemy fire, the Triton-class was equipped with three Avalon Orbital DWX/S 9012 Shield Generators. These provided a combined protection of 35,000,000,000 terajoules bombardment per second, which was rather low for the power output of the vessel. This shield was an ovular 'bubble' which encapsulated the warship, maximising the power of the shield by minimising surface area. The shield generators were standard Type I Protective Energy Barriers, the most common and all-round type of shield. The shield was split up into six main sectors; forward, aft, port starboard, ventral and dorsal. Each sector was allocated a certain amount of energy corresponding to the amount of fire they were taking. In addition, these sectors themselves were split up into a grid of several thousand individual squares. Power could be redirected from areas under the least attack to those that needed it most, though this of course resulted in another part of the ship becoming more vulnerable. The shields were one of the most energy-intensive components of the vessel's energy requirements, taking up a sizeable percentage of the generator's output.
Unlike the shields of the Sangheili and other races, Allegiance shields were operated by creating layers of energetic distortion containing a high concentration of gravitons around the ship. This was several hundred times stronger than more conventional methods and was far more efficient at dissipating highly focused energy or kinetic impacts. In addition, graviton-based shields were invulnerable to ionised weaponry unlike conventional models.
The primary shield provided extensive protection, but could not prevent smaller sized targets from slipping through. The Triton-class also featured a secondary shielding system to counter this problem, providing close range protection whilst also improving structural integrity. This shield was contoured to the exact shape of the hull, though projected a few molecules underneath it. The field was then extended outwards, increasing the structural integrity by several times. The field was projected by a fourth DWX/S 9012 Generator, which was solely used for this shield. As a result it had resistance of one third that of the main shield, as it was not expected to receive heavy weapon fire in the same way.
The Triton-class also featured a third shield, a Type II Protective Energy Barrier. The type II was an energy field protecting specifically against concussive forces and kinetic energy, thereby supplementing the main shield. To create the field, numerous anticoncussion projectors honeycombed the interior of the ship. When activated, the combined field dramatically improved the integrity of floors, walls, ceilings and other internal surfaces, as well as drastically increasing the strength of external ones. The projector's bubble-shaped magnetic fields created a single cohesive anticoncussion field that absorbed and dispersed kinetic energy and was powerful enough to render blasts, collisions, and other impacts inert. It was also highly effective against the magnetic acceleration weapons used by The Swarm, which were very destructive. The Triton-class featured forty two DSP54 Anti-Concussion Field Projectors, independent field projectors that together made up the defence system.
As the primary armour system used by the Triton-class, the vessel made use of an advanced new technology called ERA or Energy Regenerative Armour. ERA consisted of two layers of armour. The first was an energy-ablative, superconductive nanomaterial layer impregnated with electrical circuits. This layer effectively trapped almost all of the energy from enemy fire, whether that be kinetic, chemical or others. While not providing the perfect defence, its primary function was to feed this energy to the layer below. This was a variable property, energy reactive layer of extremely advanced nanomaterial whose properties changed when exposed to massive energy. In short, the armour became stronger when under fire. This extremely adaptable and useful ability stemmed largely from the Forerunners, who employed a similar technology in their Keyships, renowned for their ability to withstand concentrated, localised fire even without shielding. This technology was only successfully reverse-engineered in 2642.
The secondary layer relied upon the primary layer functioning efficiently for it to operate. As protection was only a secondary function for the primary layer of armour, it did not have an incredible resistance to enemy fire, leaving that to the lower levels. As a result, over time the effectiveness of the first and second layers decreased. The more damage the primary layer took, the less effective the second layer was. Eventually, after heavy and concentrated fire, the effectiveness of these layers was rendered nil. However, units armoured with ERA rarely exposed themselves to so much fire to allow this to happen, only rarely occurring in extended and intensive combat arenas.
ERA was employed on all Allegiance warship designs from 2651 onwards. While its power requirements were easily met by the huge Zero-Point Generator the Triton-class relied upon for power, it also offered huge advantages when engaging in combat with other spacecraft. It could splinter MAC rounds, shrug off high explosive and armour piercing rounds and harmlessly absorb directed energy weapons. When antimatter and nuclear weapons were used against ERA, the resulting energy increased the impregnability of the armour by several hundred times. However, it was very occasionally possible to overload the armour by concentrated antimatter weapons or directed energy weapons of a colossal scale.
It was only ever used as an addition to more conventional armour technologies, for instance ACE Armour. As ERA was dependent on energy sources and was only effective with strong armour layers underneath, vehicles only capable of mounting ERA or ACE usually chose the latter for its low maintenance and reliability, not to mention its non-existant energy requirements.
Underneath these primary protective layers were more conventional armour materials, which, underneath the removable first two layers, were modular and easily replaced. They were part of an armour technology system called ACE Armour or Advanced Composite Endurance Armour.
The ACE Armour system was several layers of advanced materials, combining to form an incredibly resilient composite. It was capable of surviving devastating and extended hostile fire, and was equally effective against directed energy weapons, ballistics and explosive weapons. The Triton-class employed a modified version to allow it superior protection when facing enemies in naval combat. Fighters and other single ships were armoured with lesser amounts, though still able to take heavy damage before exposing the craft to danger. It also offered huge advantages when engaging in combat with other spacecraft. In large enough amounts, such as on te Triton-class, it could splinter MAC rounds, shrug off high explosive and armour piercing rounds and harmlessly absorb and dissipate directed energy weapons.
The first layer of the composite modular armour helped hold the outer armour together, and allowed some slight flexibility yet superior density to engage various threats. Resin-impregnated carbon nanotube fabric was wrapped around the composite armour to allow the best small arms protection and structural strength. Below the outer layer was the primary defense in the event the energy-ablative armour was penetrated; a single piece poured Ceramic DCP plate.
The Ceramic Plate was sandwiched between two plates of CVT (Chromium Vanadium Tungsten) and Austenitic Steel alloy. The whole assembly then underwent a triaxial-prestressing method in which the preformed, porous ceramic material was soaked in a bath of molten metal, resulting in super-dense material. As the metal cooled, the composite of three plates (one of ceramic, and two of alloy) compressed, increasing both the density and compressibility of the composite dramatically. This process worked at relatively low temperatures and therefore was more economical than most comparative methods. The resulting compound could be molded into complex shapes and offered improved protection at significantly lower weight. This by itself was rather effective but was only secondary to the ablative layers and was superseded by other armour layers beneath.
Below the outer plate were several overlapping Ceramic chevron-shaped panels. These chevrons forced any round that happened to penetrate the outer plate to then penetrate the chevrons at a much higher oblique angle than the outer plate. This increased the armour's effectiveness not only by changing the penetrator's vector, but by increasing the thickness it had to penetrate before reaching the interior and disrupting even tandem warheads and delayed timer high explosive rounds. These chevrons were suspended in an elasticised rubber-like polymer that reduced the shock to the overall plate and transferred much of the impact energy outwards, reducing the stresses on the impact plates and feeding the energy-reactive armour layers. This material also helped break up penetrating HEAT warheads and KE penetrators by causing the chevrons to move around under the force of impact, deforming it and degrading its overall performance. In addition, it provided a reliable defence against HESH rounds, which were still in utilised despite a decline in usage.
Backing the composite materials was a second composite Alloy/Ceramic plate forcing the penetrator to again punch its way through at a different vector, forcing the round to fold or break up before it can defeat the final plate. The whole composite was then sealed in a wrap of carbon nanotube fibres to absorb any remaining spall and attached to the non-modular, base armour of the Triton-class's hull in sections for easy replacement.
The underlying, non-modular base armour for the Triton-class was produced using a process in which sets of inexpensive, thermodynamically compatible ceramic powders (Boron Carbide and Titanium Carbide) were blended with thermoplastic polymer binders, then co-extruded to form a fibre. This fibre composite was first braided then woven into the shape of the desired component. The fabricated component was then stacked and pyrolyzed to remove the polymer binder and hot-pressed to obtain the base preformed ceramic material for final processing.
This preformed ceramic matrix was still somewhat porous, and, though it was extremely hard and rather ductile, it was still rather fragile. The preform was then soaked in a liquid metal alloy bath. The preform absorbed the liquid metal, which then reacted with the ceramic powder to form a new ceramic compound that filled in pore spaces. The result was a plate with a larger internal solid volume, but the exact same external shape and dimensions as the original preform. This method required reaction temperatures of only around 1,300°C, compared to the 2,000°C required for traditional methods to form high melting point covalently-bonded ceramics. Because the final plate maintained the shape of the original porous ceramic, the need for post-process reshaping was removed.
Following this, the material was condensed using gravitational field manipulation, achieving a 82% smaller material for the same weight. This meant that the material was much more usable and more resistant to enemy attacks. Kinetic and chemical weapons had absolutely no effect on the material. The finished composite was extremely dense, lightweight (comparable to a similar strength material) and was ductile enough to resist severe impact stress, while providing excellent thermal properties and being easy to manufacture and replace when installed in a modular system.
Afterwards, the material was softened, or in some cases (where then material was composed of few or no individual components) liquefied by ion fusers. Then, as the resulting alloy cooled, it was bombarded by charged-particle vibrating waves. This dramatically improved the bonding strength of the molecules and gave the armor incredible resiliency. This again contributed to the sheer impenetrability of ACE Armour.
Underneath this, the Triton-class also mounted an extra layer to allow it better survivability in spatial combat. This was a layer of Titanium carbide, impregnated with latticed neutronium filaments, a microscopic latticework of strands throughout the metal alloy. This was coupled with a layer of boron nitride, which could withstand almost any assault and protected the ship from dangerous radiation emitted from many celestial bodies, as well as the thermal energy generated from the ship’s re-entry into atmosphere. This final dual layer increased the structural integrity of the ship and allowed it to remain intact despite any heavy bombardments or gravitational forces that the ship may be exposed to. It also acted as the base armour of the vessel, its last line of defence before the hull was breached.
For sublight propulsion, the Triton-class employed a tandem engine layout. Standard ion thrusters were used to provide low sublight speeds, as well as sole propulsion in atmosphere. The drives provided a rapid acceleration, which made them useful for slower evasive actions and movement in atmospheric conditions. However, they had a relatively low top speed, of around 12,000kph.
The concept of Ion Drives was nothing new, and most spacefaring vessels employed a similar such system. Propellant gas was passed through an alternating electric field, ionising the gas. It was then expelled out of the engines at near the speed of light. The electric field used was massive in terms of power, meaning higher efficiency and less propellant gas needed. The colossal power for the field came from the near-limitless amounts of energy generated by the zero-point reactor.
For higher sublight speeds, the Triton-class utilised Graviton Drives, which, although were much slower accelerating than ion drives, had a hugely different top speed. Their top speed was near 20% the speed of light, though speeds of more than 5% were rarely used due to the associated relativistic effects. When going at higher speeds, the ion drives were used to quickly accelerate the ship to the drive's maximum speed, where the graviton drives took over for a slower acceleration and higher top speed.
These Graviton Drives used a much more advanced method of propulsion. Using graviton manipulation, they were able to slowly achieve unheard of speeds, though at the expense of fast acceleration.
The Triton-class also possessed numerous anti-gravity engines which allowed it to hover in-atmosphere. These engines were similar, though more advanced, to the ones employed by the Covenant, which were reverse-engineered from Forerunner engines. The ship was not designed for prolonged operations in atmosphere and was required to return to space for 6 hours for every 24 hours of operation. This was due to a design flaw that did not allow the engines to properly radiate excess thermal energy, and was deemed a minor flaw that would be too costly to rectify fleet-wide.
The enormous power requirements for the Triton-class destroyer were met with an equally enormous energy source. Providing power to the vessel was one Strategic Instruments ZPM/A-995 Zero Point Generator, manufactured solely for military usage. Zero-Point generators extracted vacuum energy from a small artificially-created region of slipspace, in order to produce powerful energy from an efficient source. In physics, zero-point energy was the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system may possess and was the energy of the ground state of the system. The generator produced 7.445 x 1025 Watts, or 74,450,000,000 Petawatts, of energy, one Watt being one joule per second.
The generator was located a few hundred meters aft of the command centre, both sharing the least vulnerable location in the ship. The reactor was 123.8m across, 145.7m high, and took the form of a semi-spherical chamber with the generator core in the centre and struts forking symmetrically in.
The vessel had no secondary power facility, and relied on vast energy storage devices to keep the ship even remotely operational in the event of a generator failure. Without this, the ship was completely inoperable. While powered by the energy storage devices, only essential systems could be powered; life support, artificial gravity and sublight/FTL engines taking precedent over shields, weapons and sensors.
The Triton-class possessed a small onboard complement for its size, as it was not needed for the ship's primary functions. In spite of this, the ship carried a Marine or Army detachment of one Company, or 96 men. This was mainly for boarding parties and onboard defence, but, if the situation needed, all 96 men could be transported to a planet's surface for deployment.
The ship's deploying complement of 96 men was in addition to the 400 or so Marines whose purpose was to protect the ship itself from boarding. These troops were rarely if never used during planetary assault missions.
Providing close air support and troop movement were twelve D-72 Sabres. They were each capable of carrying a maximum of 16 personnel (twelve seated, four standing). To transport all of the troops down to a planet, each dropship would carry eight soldiers. The dropships were capable of transporting armoured units in atmosphere but not through re-entry, unless they were small enough to be stowed in the troop bay. To deploy larger units, the ship also possessed a single CT-40 Vanguard Heavy Transport, however this could not take every unit down to ground in one trip. The Triton-class would either get another vessel to mount a land offensive or simply enter atmosphere itself and deploy troops that way.
Providing the ship's fighter forces was a squadron of F-56 Raiders. They were capable of both spatial and atmospheric operations, and with even numbers fared well against the Swarm fighters. Unfortunately, the Swarm mainly employed starfighters in massive numbers. From 2641 onwards, when all the Triton-class were refitted and updated, the number was increased to 24 starfighters (2 squadrons). As the Swarm War dragged on, some ships replaced their Raiders for newer fighters such as the F-307 Blackbird as the older fighters were lost in combat. However, some Triton-classes kept their original starfighter classes as replacements for the lost fighters.
Triton-class destroyers generally took between seven and nine months to complete at the Allegiance's primarily-automated shipyards, according to availability of components. With all components present and labour-intensive building, the ship could be built in four months, though placing a great strain on other projects in need of un-automated workers.
The ship was the fastest ship build for its tonnage due to its simple design and construction. It could be built in half the time of a Hera-class carrier, but Apollo-class frigates were smaller and cheaper and therefore were constructed quicker.
The Triton-class was first introduced in 2585, after years of planning and building prototypes. The first ship, HMS Triton, was completed on 22nd August, 2585. At the conclusion of the Swarm War in 2878, some ships of the class were nearing 200 years of service.
These ships, making up the staple of the Allegiance's anti-armour capabilities in space, and supported by large but less numerous ships such as the Ares, Hera and Athena-class, saw combat during every major battle during the Swarm War. They generally fared badly against the Swarm, which employed swarming tactics with starfighters, something the Triton-class was vulnerable to. By 2641 all Triton-classes had their starfighter complement increased to 2 squadrons of Raiders and an increased number of point-defence and CIWS, lessening but not eliminating the class' weakness to large volumes of starfighters.
The class saw action during the first battle of the Swarm War, the Battle of the Antaeus Nebula. It participated in virtually every battle during the Swarm War, including the Battle of Acheron and the Battle of Chiaras.
Battle of the Antaeus Nebula
This was the first battle of the Swarm was and a severe defeat for the outgunned Allegiance warships. The early stage of the battle proved the effectiveness of the Triton-class' devastating prow weaponry, but its severe weaknesses against hordes of fighters and bombers. The battle concluded with losses of two of three Triton-class destroyers for the Allegiance and the loss of six of nine Swarm vessels.
Battle of Acheron
When the Swarm launched an assault on the Allegiance-held world of Acheron, the Allegiance Navy mustered all it could to aid in its defence. As a result, the Triton-class ships present were largely relegated to a support role, due to the large numbers of heavy warships, such as Athena-class cruisers, Ares-class battleships and Hera-class carriers. However, this did not impact on their performance, and they still accounted for more kills than any other class. They were defended from the Swarm starfighters by a defensive screen of Apollo-class frigates and Artemis-class patrol ships, intercepting or holding back starfighters from engaging the more vulnerable warships. Both sides took heavy casualties but the Allegiance prevailed.
Battle of Chiaras
Six hundred and forty three Triton-class destroyers took part in a massive thrust into the Swarm territory of Chiaras, designed to show the aggressors that the Allegiance was a foe not worth engaging. Swarm losses were total but Allegiance losses were grievous. For the first time, Allegiance ships were boarded by Swarm vessels, as soon as this happened, contact was lost. Such vessels were destroyed by the Allegiance after the engagement. Fewer than fifty Triton-class ships survived.
The class's first refit was in 2641-2, when the class was approximately 56 years old (despite production never having ceased). The class gained an expanded array of point defence weapons, upgrades to shields and sensors, and a heavily rearranged hangar allowing for 60% more capacity. All ships were subjected to a full systems and hull diagnostic- every inch of the ship was scanned in depth. This took roughly a month for each ship, after such time repairs were made. The hull's heat/energy-ablative surface was replenished to combat any erosion which may have occurred. The powerplant was also modernised and updated to higher standards.
The majority of individual ships have some other replacements, from barrels of energy weapons to bulkheads to wiring. HMS Triton herself had her observation deck replaced. The class also had its hangar refitted to handle the extra dropships and starfighters. Continual refits throughout the decades ensured this old ship was never outclassed. The class was finally retired in 2892, fourteen years after the end of the Swarm War and two hundred and seven years after the first ship entered service.
Ships of the Line
(Note: This is not a complete list)
- HMS Triton (DD-74026) (Class namesake)
- HMS Transient Grace (DD-212053)
- HMS Watchman (DD-9277)
- HMS Authority of Truth
- HMS Monarchy
- HMS To Darkness All
- HMS Clarity of Peace