The Hope-class Hospital Ship is the result of a request for prototype development by the Hexoloan Navy, asking for a hospital ship to treat soldiers wounded in military operations. As a hospital ship, in compliance with the Hague Conventions of 1907, the Ships are marked as such, delivered painted in white with the red crystal painted on it, and completely unarmed.
As such, attacking a Hope-class Hospital Ship is a war crime in accordance with the Hague Conventions.
Based on the hull of the Aframax-sized tanker of the Pattern 256, and powered by two diesel engines of the same type as used on the Pattern 256, the Hope-class Hospital Ship is a large Ship, sitting safely in the water. It's reinforced double-hull and a special bow, which allows the Hope-class Hospital Ship to move into icy waters, guarantee the safety of the passengers.
The tanks used to hold crude oil were replaced by decks upon decks of hospital facilities, storerooms and berthing for the nurses and doctors.
The Hope-class Hospital Ship is fitted with ten operating theatres, fully equipped with state of the art medical technology, a facility with eight hundred beds, radiological services, an extensive medical laboratory, a pharmacy with a cooling unit, an optometry lab, a CT-scanner, a dentist and a morgue. In non-medical facilities, the Hope-class Hospital Ship comes with a water distillation plant, two plants for oxygen production, and storerooms to carry supplies in food for a month.
In addition to that, the Hope-class Hospital Ship has a large helicopter landing deck, which can carry up to three medium-sized helicopters and handle patients coming in that way. Another option for patients to arrive is via other ships, including dinghies, which can be lifted aboard via two cranes rated for a maximum of fifteen tons, one on either side of the aft of the vessel.
The Hope-class Hospital Ship carries a multi-purpose radar, capable of acting as a navigation radar and as an air search radar, as well as a civilian sonar to see underwater obstacles. For finding the way, the vessel is equipped with a GPS-Receiver. If necessary, a radio beacon declaring the vessel as a hospital ship and protected under the Hague Conventions can be activated.
As a Hospital Ship in compliance with the Hague Conventions, the Hope-class Hospital Ship is completely unarmed and we recommend leaving it that way. However, for self-defence, the Hope-class Hospital Ship carries a battery of dispensers for chaffs and flares.
Despite being based on an oiler's hull, there are little to no problems with moving patients from one tract to the other, mainly due to the design being basically gutted so that only the hull and structural components remained, before being refilled for the purpose with all the necessary components and decks.
Engines and crew quarters are placed astern, while command and control facilities are in the superstructure, as well as a room for the tools for light maintenance on incoming helicopters, which in no way is capable of replacing a fully fledged hangar and air crew. Quarters for an onboard security team are within the superstructure as well.
Berthing for the medical staff is beneath the hospital wings, which are directly below the main deck, for easier access to the medical wings for incoming patients. It is not comfortable berthing, in fact, there is the option for bunk beds, capsule berthing and hammocks, but it does its job. A few rooms for rest and relaxation are provided as well as a large galley, both for patients and crew. The main storages are below that, but smaller storerooms, especially for medical supplies, are all over the medical wings.
Elevators, a large one for cargo and four smaller ones for up to two stretchers, are installed onboard, the latter evenly spaced out to connect all decks with each other. Staircases are provided as well.
The Hope-class Hospital Vessel also carries a specialized type of lifeboat, the Type 156 Lifeboat of Bád Industries, which is capable of taking aboard patients on stretchers quite easily.
Injury and the need for treatment always went hand in hand with armed conflict and disaster – modern times did not really change that. To that end, the sporadic treatment given to injured people aboard vessels of ages long past has given way to organized treatment on ships modified and adapted for the task, protected by international right and law.
Veritable mobile hospitals now cruise on the seas, being able to move to areas affected by war and disaster with relative ease – one of the first purpose-build designs, however, is the Hope-class Hospital Vessel, build on request of the Navy of Hexolo, but also offered to everyone willing to and wishing for a vessel of that kind: A hospital on sea.
At first, SDY thought about designing a new vessel from keel-up, but soon came to the realization, that it would be better adapt a design and build that from keel-up as a vessel dedicated to the task – due to concerns about size and displacement, the choice was made to adapt the Pattern 256, one of SDY's own designs and a tanker. With the work being done by Yard 15, the SDF-Navy took a keen interest in the project as well as the Medical Faculty of the University of Wembury, who assisted in planning the hospital wings.
In May 2017, the first vessel was laid down.