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Capital Ships (and navy classifications)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 10:13 am    Post subject: Capital Ships (and navy classifications) Reply with quote

Naval terminology for vessel types was based on function, not size, and the size could vary widely depending on technology. At that, the function often changed over time. Sometimes the name of an obsolete function was borrowed to describe a new function. The following is a short history, based mostly on English/American practice. In other languages different names with different shades of meaning occur, and fashions change (like replacing the Dutch sloop with the French corvette. some navies use numerical catagories like the 6 English "rates" or the French 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class cruisers. And this is not even taking into account Vilani Naval traditions.
And there are new names. From submarines we get "hunter-killers and "boomers." "Arsenal ships" and "Sea Control Ships" are proposed new classes of ship. There is a whole range of Air Force adjectives like "attack," "strike," "stategic," "air superiority," "air domination" (that's new, for the F22) or even the old "pursuit."

Also, the use of certain names in media tend to become mainstream. For example, the F16 was known to its pilots as the "Viper" from Battlestar Galactica. Star Wars call their capital ships "destroyers," and five hundred years from now that is more likely to be remembered than the Fletcher class tin can. Deathstar might even be the new word for "dreadnaught." All in all, I think you can justify just about any name class you want.

Now, the boring history lesson.

Sloops, Corvettes, and Destroyer Escorts
A Sloop is a fast sail boat with one mast and triangular sails, but in Naval usage it refers to a small ship (400-1000 tons), usually square rigged. It was usually to small for a Captain and only had a Commander in charge. Corvette was the French word for the same ship. In the middle of the 19th century steam replaced sail, and the larger sloops (1000-2000 tons) became "Corvettes" or even "Armored Corvettes" in most Navies. Around WWI small ships were commissioned to escort merchant ships. These were called "escorts" "sloop escorts" or "corvette escorts." The US Navy eventually settled on "destroyer escort" (although they kinda tend to "Frigate") while the rest of the world uses "corvette."
So this class of ship went from being an 400 ton independent patrol ship to a 4000 ton herder of merchantmen.

At the end of the age of sail Frigates were three-masted, square rigged, 1000-2000 ton warships with one gun deck. This made them faster and more maneuverable than the ships-of-the-line, which had two or three gun decks. In fact some of the biggest Frigates were "razzees" made by cutting off the upper decks from a ship-of-the line. The American Constitution class were just as big, better armed, and set the standard for the next fifty years. When steam power came in Frigates first had paddle wheels, then screws, and they grew to 3500 tons. The term fell out of use for a long time, replaced by Cruisers, but in the 1960s a class of big guided-missile destroyers were briefly called "Frigates" before being reclassified as "Cruisers." Since WWII "Frigate" has been used by most Navies to describe a Destroyer-class vessel with a dedicated ASW mission.
So Frigates went from being the 1000 ton far-ranging eyes and ears of the fleet and commerce raiders, the ideal berth for a man of ambition, to part of the main battle fleet and held tight to screen a particular threat.

The wonder-weapon of the late 19th century was the Whitehead self-propelled torpedo. High speed boats could dash in on battleships to fast for the main battery to target them and release the torpedo before the rapid fire guns could engage them. To prevent these attacks a class of small (600-1000 ton) fast ships armed with rapid fire guns were built: the Torpedo Boat Destroyers. Ironically, these ships proved to be better at making torpedo attacks than torpedo boats, so the boats were retired and every fleet bought Destroyers. Destroyers gradually absorbed anti submarine and anti-aircraft missions and grew to 2000 tons in WWII and today are 9000 tons multi-mission ships. In the US Navy today, the difference between a cruiser and a detroyer is barely a hairbreadth.
Well, Destroyers started out as 600 ton ships screening the battlefleet from a very specific threat, and they are now much 9000 ton ships shielding the fleet from all threats.

In the early steam era sloops, corvettes, and frigates were considered "cruising ships" because they were intended to cruise around patrol areas. By the late 19th century, these classes were generally replaced by different types of "cruiser." The Scout Cruiser was a fast, lightly armed and unarmored vessel of about 1700 tons., the Protected Cruiser was about 3500 tons and the Armored cruiser nearly a battleship at 7000 tons.
During WWI cruisers were divided into heavy cruisers (14000 T) and light cruisers (7000 T). By WWII heavy cruisers were17000 tons (with 200 mm guns) and light cruisers 12000 tons (with 120-150 mm guns). By late in the war, American cruisers were primarily anti-aircraft platforms and eventually became missile platforms with advanced radar used to escort carrier battle groups. By contrast, post-WWII Soviet Cruisers became their primary ship-to-ship platform, using cruise missiles.
So cruisers started as 1500 ton "lone wolfs" patrolling the seas and protecting shipping. They have ended up as 15000 ton parts of the main battlefleet under the watchful eye of an Admiral.

Battleships, Dreadnaughts and Battle Cruisers
The Ship-of-the line was a sailing vessel of about 2500-3500 tons, with multiple gun decks. In the middle of the 19th century large ships were given steam power, and armor, and these "armored ships" got up to 6000 tons. Eventually, they grew to over 10,000 tons with mixed batteries (say 150mm, 230mm, and 300mm) of high explosive shells guns, the first "battleships." In the early 20th century a new generation of large (20-30,000 ton), fast, battleships with a main battery of all big (300mm+) guns that simplified fire control. These "Dreadnaughts" obsoleted all other battleships. By WWII battleship had grown to 40-60,000 tons with a main battery of 400mm or more but it was used to screen carrier groups or to support amphibious attacks. Since WWII, only the United States has had battleships in commission.
The in the Dreadnaught era, the British designed (and lots of people emulated) Battlecruisers that were as big as or bigger than battleships and as well armed as battleships but with light armor and high speed. They were supposed to blind an enemy fleet by destroying the enemy's cruiser screen, but they were easily destroyed when they tried to fight real battleships. The Hood is famous, but the same thing happened over and over at Jutland.
These started as 3000 ton main-force ships, defining a nations fleet. They gradually got more and more powerful (up to 60,000 tons), but eventually were superceded by aircraft carriers and vanished from economic pressure.


Last edited by Muffy on Wed Aug 07, 2002 2:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2002 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

posted on 3DO forums 11-23-2001 06:47 AM
  1. The average power output for a size5 power plant would have to be 15000-17500.
  2. Based on current engine thrust outputs, see below, the size 6 engines should have between 3800 and 4200 thrust.
  3. Efficiency would be improved over the size5 engines to a range of 80%-90%
  4. A reasonable guess is they're making a "GunBoat"/"Corvette" that would have a DragFactor of approx 30.0
Data on current engines: The size one engine class has an average thrust of 770; size two ~ 1200; size three ~ 2150; size four ~ 2720; size five ~ 3500

Manufacturers: Those being OPL for the Octavians; Cromforge for the Quantars; and TP systems for the Solrains...Aristo Conglomerated based at Hyperial aren't advanced enough to produce a size 6 engine. (though i'm sure Excalibur might roleplay why. *g*)
  1. OPL industries would probably name it's new 82% efficiency, 4200k thrust output, engine the "Propulsor mkII"
    (power drain would be 5122k; mass would most likely be 13000; Cost might be 666kcr)
  2. TP Systems' would bank on it's renowned "Errant" engine with 85% efficiency & 4000k output to ensure a middle ground in market sales (ie. the majority)
    (power drain would be 4706k; mass would most likely be 12500; Cost might be 575kcr)
  3. Cromforge would undoubtably christen it's 88% efficiency, 3800k output, engine the "Messiah"
    (power drain would be 4318k; mass would most likely be 12000; Cost might be 750kcr)
Now before you go off on me about the low engine power drains, let's look at what a "GunShip" would mount. Four size3 gunslots no doubt. (hitmen drain 2550k power/per second; novas drain 6400k power/per second...not mentioning ECMs)

Prototype Display: Say we stuff a 17500k size5 pp into a gunship; Add two Propulsor mkII's (drain=10244k/sec); Add a Doorbell radar (drain=250k/sec); Maybe add an ECM (drain~2000k/sec); Add a Makk shield (drain=183k/sec); Finally stuff in a deepol and four hitmen (drain=10000k/sec)'d have a power "surplus" of

-5177k pwr/sec
(As for Novas? You would just BARELY be able to fire all four at zero thrust if you also had a wraith ECM onboard...and yer Deepol capacitor would be screaming in pain)

Maximum Velocity: Using Baadf00d's little proggie i found that with ~30.0 drag the cruise velocity would be 529v and the MaxV with AB would be 603v (FF/AB = 1044v??)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2002 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

interestingly enough, while searching for size comparisons i found a nice site devoted to pirates (of all things) here:
It's a cute site with an astonishing amount of depth to it
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2002 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

got a ship idea for yall to ponder over...


Level 40

powerplant: 2 s5
engine(s): 4 s4
radar: s4
ecm: s2
sheilds: s2
capacitor: s2

modx: 4-5 (questioning myself on this one)

weapons systems: 5 s2 (there is a reason)

missile systems: 4

cargo: 850
armor:12000+(120000? again, there be a reason)
pitch: 36 degrees per second, so it would turn once in 10 seconds
yaw: 30 degrees per second, 12 seconds a turn
roll: 17, not sure why, just low roll
drag: did the math, came out to 22 with 4 s3, so changed to 4 s4 engines, 12800 total thrust, devide that by 400, comes out... 32
speed: 400~

ok, this would be the quan version of a frigate, the qaun version, is in all basicaness, a mining scow, remember the 5 guns? lets say they converge on a point 50-100 meters from the cockpit, that way it wouldnt become the battle tank in space... its only real defence would be the one s2 cannon facing forward, and the four missiles

since its level 40, it makes since that it would be better then its counter part, the cargo tow, it would be the first quadro engine design, so, it should be fast, but, hey, its not, drags high, so, it *should* have better accel then tow... maybe, the 850 cargo would be intended for mining on the qaun version, but could be used for cargo haulling *watches frigates come in for fm, carrying 850 units of required commods*

since it has such low turn rates, it should have a high armor, the tow has 72000 armor, and a near capital class ship otta have more

now, modx, it is slow... after burner burns four times as fast as a pheonix, so, it otta have at least some modx (missile fodder)

the radar seems to make since for a large ship, the two powerplants would be more for power flaws (4 dreams, power drain of 21.3kk electricity, 16k output on s5 pp, do math)

price would be... high... 25m+, afterall, it is large, would take alotta resources to build, and of coarse, the designers cut

so, what do you think? should i go jump off a cliff for such a bad design? or great? btw, this is only the qaun version, could be used for 'fact retreaval or mining, but not much a combat vessel


now, off to the game, please ask any questions, i need them!!! :smile:

TL1moss, out
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Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 155
Location: Indianapolis

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nifty thoughts, Moss, but that isnt a Frigate. A frigate is an escort vessel, not a mining scow. What you designed is a mining scow.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indepth MegaTraveller stuff

[ This Message was edited by: MajorFreak on 2002-03-12 01:47 ]
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2002 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Renegade Legion: Leviathan discussion
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Chief WO4
Chief WO4

Joined: 09 Feb 2002
Posts: 473
Location: Tripoint

PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sure was a fun topic
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