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Vengeance-class destroyer
Class overview
Class

guided missile destroyer (DDG)

Manufacturer

Harland and Wolff. Barrow

Preceded by

Halberd-class destroyer
Gorgon-class heavy destroyer
Heracles-class destroyer
Paris-class heavy frigate
Hope-class destroyer

Succeeded by

Warrior-class destroyer
Vanguard-class destroyer

Built

2543- 2550; 2553- 2572

General characteristics
Length

581.4m

Mass

861,150 metric tons

Engine/power plant

three linked Mark X FURY deuterium fusion reactors

Slipspace Drive

Mark 29 translight engine

Shielding system

none

Hull
  • RADAR absorbant, plasma-refractive coating
  • 1800mm titanium/ceramic armour plating
  • plasma-resistant anti-spall carbon nanofibre backing
Countermeasures

3 × AN/SLE-311 decoy launcher (after 2561)

Armament
Complement
Crew
  • 292 naval personnel (37 officers, 355 enlisted)
  • 20 flight technicians and flight crew
Usage
Era(s)

Human-Covenant War

Role(s)
  • escort and protection of larger vessels
  • extended patrol and rapid response duties
  • direct combat with hostile vessels
In service

2543- 2626

Affiliation

United Nations Space Command Navy

  [Source]

The Vengeance-class destroyer was a class of guided missile destroyers that served in the UNSC Navy from 2544 onwards. The Vengeance-class was designed to replace or supplement several classes of destroyers already in UNSC service, most of which were both worn out from exhaustive service and outdated in design. The class incorporated many lessons hard learned by the UNSC during the Human-Covenant War, in which Covenant warships thoroughly outmatched Humanity's finest vessels at every encounter. Innovative design features included three full sized fusion reactors, extensive automation to reduce crew requirements, redesigned magnetic accelerator cannons and a significantly expanded armament. The Vengeance-class's design also incorporated some of the more cost-effective 'stealth' measures incorporated by the highly successful Nyx-class prowler, including a reduced RADAR cross-section and low-observable reactor exhaust. The class was an attempt to design, as far as was possible, a UNSC ship class that could engage the Covenant on more favourable terms. Although built in small numbers, the success of these design features heavily influenced the subsequent refit of vessels such as UNSC Pillar of Autumn. Twenty five examples of the class were built, of which nine remained active following the Battle of Earth. Production was restarted in 2553, following which it gradually replaced all existing destroyer classes during the Remnant War.

At the time of their introduction, the Vengeance-class was the most advanced space combatant in UNSC service, and provided the backbone of the UNSC Navy's strength during the Remnant War. The class itself was finally retired during the postwar period, but its influential design proved the basis for subsequent designs, such as the Warrior-class destroyer.

History

Design and building

The Vengeance-class destroyer was designed to address the chronic problem of age amongst serving UNSC destroyers. The UNSC Navy operated a large number of outdated destroyers, the majority of which were worn-out after longer and harder service lives than they were designed for. The Navy's surviving destroyers were worn out after seeing hard use without any significant refit, and only hasty, ad-hoc repair. The Vengeance-class destroyer would supplement or replace existing destroyers wherever possible, reducing the UNSC's maintenance requirements and increasing the fleet's effectiveness in combat against the Covenant. It was envisaged that the Vengeance-class would replace the large number of destroyers or heavy frigates in service, including the Halberd-class destroyer, Gorgon-class heavy destroyer, Heracles-class destroyer and Paris-class heavy frigate. Replacing a large number of elderly classes would both reduce logistical and technical burden on the UNSC and potentially reduce hull losses to enemy action.

It soon became apparent that the expense of completely replacing the Navy's fleet of destroyers, even staggered over more than a decade, posed too large a challenge both economically and practically for the UNSC. Instead a far smaller number of new Vengeance-class destroyers would be produced to supplement continued production of the cheaper and more numerous Pioneer-class destroyer. The Vengeance-class would provide the UNSC Navy with a high capability space combatant, while the Pioneer-class would provide the bulk of the Navy's destroyer strength. Wherever possible, elderly destroyers would be decommissioned and scrapped as newly built vessels became available. In reality, diminishing shipyard capacity as inner colonies were lost, coupled with unsustainable hull losses in combat against the Covenant, meant that older destroyers were kept in service until they were physically unable to be maintained. Production of the Vengeance-class took place above Barrow between 2540 and 2550, with the first example of the class, UNSC Vengeance, being commissioned on May 16, 2544. Far from the originally planned 190 vessels, the funding and shipyard space allocated allowed for just 25 over ten years to be constructed.

The second, crucial reason for a newly designed, newly built destroyer class was the overwhelming superiority of Covenant Navy warships compared to their UNSC counterparts.

Human-Covenant War

Post-war service

Post-war, as the UNSC stretched its severely diminished resources between rebuilding its empire and and rebuilding the shattered Defence Force, operable destroyers were kept in service until they were physically unable to be, and ships eventually decommissioned would be cannabalised for parts to keep others running. Production of the Vengeance-class had ceased in 2550, and post-war only nine examples of the class remained in service. Production of the Vengeance-class was restarted in 2553, following which it gradually replaced all existing classes in service as these were retired. The Vengeance-class saw a series of incremental upgrades throughout the remainder of the 26th century, the latter of these, like the Remembrance-class frigate's 2561 refit, featuring Sangheili, Theran and Forerunner-derived technology. The class served with distinction through the postwar period, though towards the beginning of the 27th century was in need of either significant refit or replacement. It was not until 2589, amid ongoing defence spending reductions, that the UNSC began funding development of a new class of destroyer to be designed to replace the elderly Vengeance-class. The class itself was extensively refit from 2594, as the oldest examples of the class were approaching forty years' service. This extended the Vengeance-class destroyer's service an additional twenty years, and staved off the issue of a capability gap, as its replacement, the Warrior-class, was not scheduled to enter service until the mid-2610s.

The Vengeance-class was gradually retired, beginning with the oldest ships, from 2612 onwards, as the new Warrior-class destroyer took its place. The last Vengeance-class, UNSC Victory, was decommissioned in August 2622.

Design features

Armament

Known ships of the line

 Name   Hull Classification Symbol   Commissioned   Notes 
Built 2543- 2550

The following vessels comprised the class's original production of twenty five vessels. Of these, nine survived to serve in the UNSC Navy post-war.

UNSC Vengeance DDG-521 16th May, 2544 First vessel of the Vengeance-class, destroyed at the Battle of Reach
UNSC Sheffield DDG-522 19th July 2544 Fought at Miridem while on trials and not yet commissioned. Later saw action at Tribute; survived the Battle of Earth and participated in Operation: REAR GUARD.
UNSC Majestic DDG-523 2545 ambushed and destroyed three Covenant cruisers simultaneously during the Battle of Reach in a spectacular manoeuvre. Later destroyed.
UNSC Final Effort DDG-524 2545 destroyed during the Fall of Reach
UNSC Hope DDG-525 2546 destroyed
UNSC Make My Day DDG-526 2546 destroyed at the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV
UNSC Starlit Sky DDG-527 2546 Survived the war
UNSC Dragon DDG-528 2547 fought at Adrastos, Fumirole and Earth; survived the war and participated in Operation: REAR GUARD
UNSC Valiant DDG-529 2547 destroyed at the Battle of Reach
UNSC Fateful Journey DDG-530 2547 destroyed at the Battle of Tribute
UNSC From the Dust Returned DDG-531 2548
UNSC Final Charge DDG-532 2548 destroyed at the Battle of Reach
UNSC Courageous DDG-533 2548 Survived the war
UNSC Warsaw DDG-534 March 2549 survived the Fall of New Carthage in November/December 2549, later fought at the Battle of Earth
UNSC Conviction DDG-535 2549 destroyed at the Battle of Earth
UNSC Obliterator DDG-536 2549 destroyed
UNSC Out of the Past DDG-537 2549 destroyed
UNSC The Hammer Falls DDG-538 2550 destroyed above Mars during the Battle of Sol
UNSC Inheritance DDG-539 2550 destroyed
UNSC From the Ruins DDG-540 2550 destroyed
UNSC Payback's a Bitch DDG-541 2550 destroyed
UNSC Full Circle DDG-542 January 2551 destroyed
UNSC Howling Dark DDG-543 March 2551 destroyed
UNSC Destiny's Child DDG-544 July 2551 stationed in the Sol system and first fought at and survived the Battle of Earth. Subsequently fought in the Remnant War, participating in Operations REAR GUARD and LOOSE END
UNSC Selborne DDG-545 August 2551 Last commissioned vessel of the class during the Human-Covenant War. Stationed in the Sol system, along with Destiny's Child, and first fought at and survived the Battle of Earth. Subsequently fought in the Remnant War, participating in Operations REAR GUARD and LOOSE END
Built 2553- 2572

The following vessels were constructed between 2553, when further ships were ordered as shipyard capacity became available, and 2572.

UNSC Daring DDG-691 March 17, 2559
UNSC Victory DDG-1170 March 17, 2572 Last Vengeance-class destroyer in service, decommissioned August 2622 and scrapped the following May