The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser, known as the Pompey-class in the Imperial Navy of Vionna-Frankenlisch, is a class of Guided Missile Cruisers developed for the SDF-Navy and soon also adopted by the Imperial Navy, as a request for proposal resulted in a vessel rather similar to the required specifications. Being the first in a long line of cooperations between SDY and the Imperial Navy, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is built for operating alone and with other ships, either as a flagship for a task force or as an escort for other vessels, equipped for combating targets above, on and below the seas.
The term maighdean means maiden. The name Pompey comes from Emperor Pompey, an ancient Roman Emperor.
The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is a monohull-design, classical, but easily cutting the waves with a bulbous bow, sitting stable in the water. Displacing thirteen thousand tons of water, the vessel of 205.3 metres length and with a beam of 19 metres have a maximum draft of 10.6 metres. The vessel is built with a reduced radar-signature in mind, but is not a fully-dedicated stealth vessel.
Powered by two capable and proven Ga-17 Nuclear Reactors, each producing 75 Megawatts of energy, the maximum speed of the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is set to 36.2 knots or 67 kilometres per hour. The vessel is only limited by its endurance, which lasts for thirty days before resupplies are needed, with its full crew complement of 610 people (40 officers, 306 sailors, an optional admiral's staff of 64 people and two companies of naval infantry with up to 200 troops) onboard.
Said naval infantry can be deployed either by helicopter, see below for details, or by three collapseable dinghies or six rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs for short), for which provisions to carry and deploy are provided. As these are located behind a hull plate, which can be opened, these installations do not compromise the stealth features of the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser.
The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser's propulsion is powered by the electricity of the nuclear reactors, driving two electrical engines on one shaft each, which allows for ease of maintenance, reduction of costs and space savings. This allows for a maximum speed of 36.2 knots, or 67 kilometres per hour. Due to the nuclear reactors, this speed can be employed continuously, sea state permitting. At the end of both shafts, propellers with controllable pitch allow for maximum energy efficiency. For navigating in small spaces, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with a set of electrically driven bow-thrusters.
The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is armoured with Kevlar Splinter Plating over critical areas, for example the nuclear reactors.
Electronic Warfare and Decoys
The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with an extensive suite for Electronic Warfare, enabling the vessel to conduct operations in employing Electronic Countermeasures itself to confuse enemy sensors, to protect itself and the task force from such measures with Electronic Protection, or Electronic Counter-Countermeasures, and support own forces with equipment to detect, intercept and analyse radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of threat recognition or planning.
Data gathered by these latter measures, as well as all other data gathered by the extensive sensor suite described below, is both used onboard, distributed by a Type 900 Datalink described below as well, and amongst the other vessels of the fleet by an Artio Battlescape Network Mark V, one of the most modern battlescape network systems in the world, capable of duplex communication via direct line of sight or by satellite or by radio transmission, each with a set of advantages and disadvantages one has to consider: For example, the direct line of sight communication requires the vessels to be relatively close to each other, around forty kilometres is the tested maximum, transceivers being perfectly aligned to each other, with the distinctive advantage, that the sharing of data can only be disrupted by putting things between the two vessels and said communication being nearly impossible to listen in to. The Mark V is capable of switching all three modes by basically switching a button, with the direct line of sight communication system always being ready to send and receive.
In case the Electronic Countermeasures fail, it never hurts to have not one, but two backups, one of which is the extensive weapon's suite described below, the other being decoy launchers.
For the defence against torpedoes, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with two kinds of countermeasures, one belonging to the Variable Depth Sonar described below, the other being a separate system. This system launches sonar decoys much akin to the ones used by submarines to confuse enemy torpedoes to thinking, that the decoy is the better target and instead attack that.
For the defence against missiles, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser carries a Multi-Ammunition Softkill System with decoys operating on all relevant wavelengths to confuse modern, sensor-guided missiles, while two launchers for chaff and flares are supposed to confuse less advanced and heat-seeking ammunition.
Sensors and Processing Systems
To perform its many missions, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser has a wide variety of sensors at its disposal, chiefly amongst them being radar and sonar systems, which are connected with each other via a Type 900 Datalink, a ship-wide system for duplex communication to share target information and data collected by the sensors, as well as the data transmitted by a Battlescape Network like the Artio. Said data then can be used to effectively and easily fight an enemy, on the water, above the water and under the water.
The core of the radar suite are two 3D Air Search Radars, one being a Nuacht N-22 Mark III Air Surveillance and Control Radar Array, four arrays with a detection range of 463 nautical miles and the capability to track up to 900 targets, including targets in low Earth orbits, namely satellites and ballistic missiles. The other is a new Nuacht N-111 Mark VI, the result of a long and drawn out development process to produce a 3D Air Search Radar with a range of 450 kilometres tracking up to 1,000 targets and use a database to match the returning radar-signature to an aircraft, be it a drone or not, or another flying object all while collecting data about heading, speed, altitude and transponder codes. On that note, the N-111 gives the code UFO to any unidentified flying object, which makes updating the database at any opportunity a must.
The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser also carries two Nuacht N-13 Mark III Multi-Function Radars, which are capable of acting as both air search, surface search, navigation and fire control radars, depending on what the situation demands.
Completing the radar suite are two dedicated fire control radars, Nuacht N-38 Mark IIs, which are used to track the fire of the own guns and missiles and leading the latter to their targets and adjusting the former.
For detecting and eventually combating enemy submarines, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with a bow-mounted sonar and a Variable Depth Sonar, a Nuacht N-81 Mark II. The latter is capable of detecting targets at a distance of up to 150 kilometres with an accuracy of less then 100 metres at this range, all while operating in very rough seas. It can be used for both active and passive surveillance at the same time, and analyses received signals, keeping apart, if it is a torpedo, a submarine or a whale. The N-81 also features a torpedo alert system. Towed on a single line, the N-81 provides surveillance 360 degrees around the vessel.
Important to note as well are the Radar Warning Receivers scattered around the vessel, providing early warning in case of a radar, for example of an anti-ship missile, locking onto the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser.
The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with a medium drone catapult, which can be extended from its storage space to launch a medium-sized drone, as well as the appropriate recovery system. For command and control of these drones, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with a drone control room, which is capable of taken over control of drones from other vessels and surface installations as well.
At the same time, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is capable of carrying two medium-sized helicopters, but the flight deck not is not rated for the operation of vectored thrust VTOLs. These helicopters are maintained in the same hangar as the drones.
The Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with a large weapons suite to perform a variety of combat missions as outlined above.
Core of its abilities and firepower are the twenty-eight Feadán Fe-12 Mark II VLS-modules, each having eight shafts for missiles of every kind and size, some of which can be double-packed, triple-packed or even quad-packed, depending on type and size of the missile in question. The shafts can be loaded with all manner of hot-launching missiles, from short-range point defence missiles to long-range cruiser missiles, anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine missiles. With a total of 224 shafts, there is more then enough room for missiles for any kind of mission.
As an additional offensive capability, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser is equipped with a bow-mounted Gabha G-91 Mark IV gun, the largest gun currently on any vessel in SDY's catalogue. While firing rocket-assisted ammunition, the G-91 has a range of up to 150 kilometres. The Pompey-Subclass replaces this gun with a 203mm gun.
The rest of the cruiser's armament is mostly defensive in nature, with four Ceantar C-44 Mark II 40mm AA-guns, although that is a bit of a misnomer. The C-44 Mark II, designed to be controlled by an external fire-control system, either automatically or by a human operator, is more of a multi-purpose weapon, capable of successfully engaging all manner of air and surface-targets, including small ones like Anti-Ship Missiles.
Dedicated to defence are the six Ceantar C-84 Mark II 30mm CIWS and Ceantar C-78 Mark II 23-cell RAMs, one being an automatic CIWS with its own little targeting radar, which basically needs to be bolted to the ship and supplied with power and ammunition to function, the other being a rolling-airframe missile system, dedicated to air-defence against aircraft and ammunition, loaded with small missiles designed to shower the enemy missile or aircraft with shrapnel.
For submarine hunting, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser carries two Gráinneog G-321 Mark II Hedgehogs, which use the Tormán Mark I Shell: Rocket-launched into the air at a range of up to seven to ten kilometres, into the general direction of the enemy submarine. The Tormán Mark I carries a small torpedo, which is a small, passive acoustic homing weapon optimized for attacking submarines. Each delivers a 20 kg warhead onto the target, one surely causing problems, but several causing the submarine to sink.
Additionally, the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser carries four balconies, positions on the superstructure, which can be used as positions for heavy-weapons teams or for additional CIWS, sensors, launchers for chaff and flares or simply left free for recreation of the crew, depending on the preferences of the user.
The SDF-Navy is classically a cruiser-navy - from the venerable light cruiser SDFS Rhiannon and her five sisters, who have namesakes to this day, to other vessels, the SDF-Navy always had cruisers by one name or the other. But as time and technology progressed, so did the cruisers, so that by 2000 the SDF-Navy was looking for vessels, that could fill the roles projected for cruisers: Leading of other vessels, protection of own vessels, combat against targets above and below the sea, far away from the own shores.
This concept was, in part, a result of the SDF-Navy's plans from a long time ago, then further developed into more general war plans by the 2000s - and became, nowadays, a classification the SDF-Navy uses consistently. With the relations to Lutetii normalizing, there would be little need to ships specifically designed to counter Lutetiian vessels. Regardless, the Navy approached the shipyards and construction bureaus of the Free Lands, which were experienced in building and developing watships, with a request for proposal, which turned to be the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser in time and after several adjustments.
The final design, although finished by SDY, is a combination of several designs, especially concerning the arrangement of the superstructure. The hull, though, is SDY. In 2017, as the Imperial Navy of Vionna-Frankenlisch sought for a new cruiser design, SDY offered them a peak at the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser, which was surprisingly close to the design the Imperial Navy had in mind. From there, it didn't take long for them to join the development.
The only major difference between the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser as the SDF-Navy has them and the vessels of the Imperial Navy is the refitting of the latter with 203 millimetre guns instead of the 135 millimetre gun of the Maighdean-class Missile Cruiser.