The Maighdean-class Cruiser Proposal was a series of proposals for the young SDF-Navy as a part of the 1922 Naval Armament Program. The Maighdean-class, which was supposed to have three units, was supposed to be the centres of the fleet, not the Rhiannon-class Light Cruisers. The Cailleach-class Light Cruisers were their replacements, work on them starting before the Maighdean-class Cruiser was officially ended. As names, the three vessels were supposed to be called SDFS Maighdean, SDFS Bruinneall and SDFS Cailín, the Maiden, the Fair Maiden and the Girl, respectively.
Due to budget constraints, lacks in building experience and a lack of suitable yards led to them being cancelled.
In the 2010s, the name was reused for the Maighdean-class Missile Cruisers.
The Lutetiian Navy constructed nine larger and heavier armed cruisers, the Fulmine-class Battlecruisers, as a reaction to the first news of Proposal I. By 1929, all nine vessels were commissioned.
Proposal I came into being around 1923 or 1924,
Proposal featured a flush deck and a rather conservative armament, with six single 203mm guns and four 135mm guns, with heavy torpedo armament and reconnaissance planes, but no heavier anti-air armament. As, by the time, the Decolonization Wars had already started and the first lessons were drawn out of the Jawiyun-War of 1921, the design was abandoned by 1926, as it featured no heavy anti-aircraft armament, guns in single-positions and had a number of other drawbacks.
However, advantages, which would characterize the Maighdean-class Cruiser Proposals and which would influence subsequent warships built in the Free Lands, were the flush deck, which not only saved weight and thus increased speed, but also allowed the longitudinal members of the hull to be continuous, making her more stable. The armour was integrated into the hull, making both one and the same.
Their armour, however, was thin to safe weight so that the vessel would not be too deep in the water, with only a belt armour of 55mm.
They were planned to carry two Seaplanes of an unspecified type. If they would have been in service by the time of the introduction of the Shane Airworks Débheathach, it stands to reason, that this would have been fitted, although only one fit into the hangar.
Proposal II was developed from 1925 onwards, a knee-jerk reaction as news of the Fulmine-class Battlecruisers hit the Free Lands and its young Navy: They completely outgunned Proposal I. So, Proposal II came into being, larger, heavier armed, with five twin turrets, substantial Anti-Aircraft Armament, a gigantic bridge, which rivaled that of battleships and far too much weight for the hull, making her unstable. In addition, the main artillery was not capable of engaging in AA-combat. However, unlike Proposal I, the armour was almost double the thickness, with the main belt armour being 100mm thick and integrated into the Main Hull, while the deck was flush.
Proposal II could launch and operate two aircraft at the same time, but she did not have a hangar. The catapults were located behind the bridge tower and in front of the two rear turrets.
A Proposal II-B did not leave the sketch board: Three turrets were arranged in main line, which the remaining two were flanking turrets. It was planned to remove the catapults to make space for that, as well as to use dual purpose guns as main artillery. The sketch was buried in the archives.
Proposal III was begun in 1931, with the aim to get a ship laid down in 1934. At the same time, the project was grasping at the last straws, the plans for the Cailleach-class Light Cruisers being in the process of receiving the finishing touches by the time work on Proposal III began.
Proposal III was, yet again, a new reaction to old problems: The lack of reconnaissance. So, the intended flagships of the Fleet were relegated to an auxiliary role, that of a heavily armed and armoured Seaplane Tender and command ship. Basically, in modern terms, Proposal III was to be the node in a battlescape network. The Proposal III was planned to have a total of ten seaplanes aboard, with two catapults and a large hangar aft of the massive bridge tower, while the four turrets with two 203mm guns each were concentrated at the bow, with Number One and Number Four Turrets on deck level, while Number Two and Number Three Turrets had superfiring positions.
The heavy heavy anti-aircraft armament was due to the Decolonization Wars and their lessons, which were heard even in foreign navies.
However, with the failing of the Shane Airworks Débheathach in mind, it stands to reason, that the Proposal III cruisers would have been equipped with Shane Airworks Piongain, small Seaplane Fighters.
Proposal III was abandoned in 1933, replaced by the Cailleach-class Light Cruisers.