|This article, UNSC Invincible (War of Vengeance), was written by Specops306 and The All-knowing Sith'ari. Please do not edit this fiction without the writers' permission.|
The UNSC Invincible was the lead ship of the Invincible-class Battleships. Although she was based on the hull of the Human-Covenant War-era Stalingrad-class Carrier, all similarities stopped there, as she was not a carrier, but the first of the guided missile-carrying arsenal ships.
At 1500 metres long, UNSC Invincible was rivalled only by supercarriers in terms of size. She showcased various radical design changes that departed dramatically from orthodox UNSC warship design. Though she appeared to be a conventional ship from the outside, the design included a hollow core that ran for nearly thirty percent of the ship's length, capable of carrying up to five hundred missile pods. While massively enhancing the ships' first strike capabilities, the hollow-core design reduced the ship's hull strength compared to other warships, and the need to mount doors through which to flush the pods forced the designers to sacrifice the aft chase weapons and defences, as well as requiring a new engine layout.
Hull and superstructure
Invincible was equipped with five metres of Titanium-A battleplate, reinforced with incredibly strong and heat resistant MITHRIL ceramic armour. She also carried an electromagnetic armour layer under her main armour to defeat plasma torpedoes. In addition, she also stored the water used as reaction mass in engines in solid ice form just underneath the hull, totally surrounding the crew section. The ice served as a vast thermal sink against plasma and energy weapons, protecting the ship far better than any form of metal armour. During the Battle of Exultant Piety, she took multiple plasma torpedo hits that would have crippled a conventional ship of similar size, but kept on fighting.
Invincible carried five hundred Mark XIV Missile Pods, each containing thirty missiles of various types, for a total of fifteen thousand missiles.
During combat, Invincible would present her broadside to the enemy in order to fire the greatest number of missiles at the target at once. Her complement of missiles consisted of SIM-332 Azrael Shaped-Charge Nuclear Missiles and RIM-441 Neith Anti-Ship Missiles, all of which were equipped with shield-breaching EMP generators. The Azrael missiles would punch holes in the target's hull, and the Neith missiles would explode near the holes, propelling a series of tungsten rods and shrapnel through the holes and into the weaker decks and bulkheads of the ship, ripping them apart.
Invincible was also equipped with fifty THUNDERBOLT-10 Nuclear-Propelled Plasma Turrets, with twenty mounted on each broadside and ten as bow chase armaments. She was not equipped with a Magnetic Accelerator Cannon.
Invincible carried fifty launchers for AIM 445 Thanatos Interceptor Missiles, as well as twenty AMC-P151 Decoy launchers to draw plasma torpedoes away from the ship.
First concieved in 2545, the ship represented a major departure from the orthodox UNSC warship design that had held sway for nearly fifty years. Most of the design changes were influenced by the horrific casualties conventionally-built warships had already suffered against the Covenant. She was developed at the Reyes-McLees Shipyards in orbit of Mars in conjunction with the first of the Retribution-class Battlecruisers, the Retribution.
While most Admirals were supportive of some design changes such as the change in location of fuel tanks, the removal of the MAC gun in favour of missiles had many up in arms over the change: It seemed obvious that the removal of the MAC gun would deny a warship the only weapon the UNSC had that was poweful enough to beat down Covenant shields, and it had been proven time and again on the battlefield that Archer Missiles were next to useless against shielded ships. Thus, more and more resources were diverted away from the construction of Invincible and Retribution in favour of building more traditional ships, and eventually all construction was stopped indefinitely.
However, the demonstration of the effectiveness of the shield-breaching RIM-442 Anubis EMP missile at the Battle of Minorca led a few Admirals to believe that there could be some virtue in the "missile school", and after a great deal of backroom arguing, construction of Invincible and Retribution resumed, on the understanding that each missile pod would contain one Anubis missile that would breach the target's shields, while at the same time guiding the Archer Missiles in.
However, the Slipspace drives on each ship had barely been completed before the Battle of Earth began in late 2552. Despite being driven off by Earth's orbital defence grid, the surviving CCS-class Battlecruisers of Regret's fleet closed in on the Martian shipyards and fired a parting salvo of plasma before retreating into Slipspace. The two ships were undamaged, but the yards were too damaged to continue their construction, and so they were moved to the shipyards at Alpha Centauri to continue their refitting. This proved to be a sensible decision, as the Martian yards were one of the Covenant's first targets when Truth's fleet arrived a few weeks later.
Construction of Invincible slowed yet again after the war's end as the UNSC desperately rebuilt its fleet. The arsenal ships were given lower priority as lighter frigates and destroyers equipped with the latest missiles were put into service in the War of Vengeance and proved themselves to be superior combatants than their war-era cousins.
However, as the UNSCDF and the Sangheili Armed Forces planned Operation: FURY - a strike on strategic Blood Covenant targets in reprisal for Terrence Hood's assassination, they recognised the need for a heavily armed and armoured ship to carry out the deed, given the vast number of Blood Covenant warships in the first target system, Exultant Piety. Invincible and Retribution were rapildy completed, and after promising trials and shakedown cruises, the two were sent into the Exultant Piety system.
The Battle of Exultant Piety was Invincible and Retribution's baptism by fire, and they performed superbly. Protected by a screen of frigates and destroyers, but still outnumbered six to one, both ships utterly destroyed a combined Jiralhanae and Kig-yar fleet in orbit of the planet with no casualties. The war-era Covenant tactic of trying to shoot down the Anubis EMP missile before it reached deployment range was rendered useless by the fact that every missile now carried an EMP generator. Invincible suffered severe hull damage from Covenant plasma, but the ice layer performed its job well and there were no crew deaths. Invincible's firepower demostration was perhaps the only reason that the New Covenant did not attack the UNSC/Sangheili alliance fleet in the system during the Battle of Expansive Judgement and commit the alliance to a war it could not win.
Invincible's actions prompted the construction of dozens of new battleships, and she continued to serve the UNSC Navy well during the subjugation Blood Covenant at the Battles of Undefeated Glory, Wondrous Enlightenment, and Glorious Fraternity, Operation: LAMENTATION their intervention in the Balaho Civil War, and the war with the Governors of Contrition in 2566.
- "Invincible! Such name for a human warship! Let us show them the consequences of their presumption!"
- ―A Jiralhanae Fleet Master just before the destruction of his flagship and entire fleet at the Battle of Expansive Judgement
- "You know, ironically, HMS Invincible was a dreadnought that blew up at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Another HMS Invincible was an aircraft carrier that was sunk within hours of the Frieden declaring war on the UN. This Invincible is something of an anomaly."
- ―Rear Admiral Michael Pomare, UNSC Navy