The Meantán-class Landing Boat, Tank, or Meantán-class LBT for short, is a large landing craft designed and produced by Silverport Dockyards Limited as the answer to the quest for a roughly corvette-sized tank-landing and vehicle-landing ship by the SDF-Navy and the navies of two friendly nations. It is usable in its primary military function as a landing boat, as a disaster relief vessel and as a demilitarized RoRo-ferry, amongst other things.
The term Meantán refers to the Paridae family of small birds.
The Meantán-class LBT is a classical monohull design with a sharp bow, circumventing the problems of speed, range and power, which the smaller, but no less capable Tuirlingeoir-class LBT has. Designed for beach landings, the Meantán-class LBT can carry up to ten Main Battle Tanks and 340 soldiers, plus supplies, or 600 tons of cargo or any configuration of that mass and size on the 630 square-metres vehicle deck spanning the entirety of the vessel.
Loading and unloading are done via bow doors, which also hide a ramp to be lowered onto the beach, via the rear doors, which enable the Meantán-class LBT to also deploy amphibious assault vehicles, smaller landing craft or small dinghies, or via the long sliding hatch on top of the vehicle deck. The Meantán-class LBT is designed for RoRo-Operations. Additionally, the vehicle deck can be modified partially or completely to act as an enlarged vehicle repair workshop, as a field hospital or in a multitude of other functions directly at the shore, circumventing the need for the establishment of other such facilities immediately.
The Meantán-class LBT is able to house a staff and command of a landing force, enabling it to conduct operations without the need for an amphibious force flagship nearby, if need should arise.
The Meantán-class LBT is one of SDY's vessels using the propulsion arrangement called Integrated Electric Propulsion, being powered by two Diesel Generators, which each provide 3 Megawatts, which power everything on the ship, lowering the costs for maintaining and acquiring these vessels as this also reduces the amount of gearboxes needed for bringing power from the engines to the propellers to zero.
This also has the advantage of enabling the Meantán-class LBT to be equipped with two azimuth-thrusters or engine pods, where the propellers are fitted onto pods, which can turn horizontally, making a rudder effectively unnecessary and making the vessel far more maneuvreable, enabling the Meantán-class LBT to, for example, dock by itself without the assistance of tugboats. The electrical engines used to power the propellers are in these pods, which can easily be replaced and maintained.
With these systems, the Meantán-class LBT can reach a maximum speed of 20 knots at a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.
The Meantán-class Landing Boat, Tank is equipped with an powerful radar suite. The core of it is the proven and capable Nuacht N-12 Mark II Air/Surface Search Radar, a multi function radar capable of acting as air search radar and as a surface search radar, capable of detecting and, in cooperation with the weapons systems, eliminate threats of these kinds against the vessel and its cargo. The N-12 is one of the most-used radars of SDY and has been proven on multiple occasions.
Supplementing the N-12's capabilities are a N-38 Fire Control Radar, used for tracking the paths of the own ammunition for corrections and aiming, as well as a N-4 Navigation Radar needed to find the way.
All of these radars are connected to the bridge and other systems by the Type 900 Datalink.
The Meantán-class LBT is equipped with an extensive weapons suite, capable of defending itself – we still recommend escorts – and landing troops, as well as providing direct and indirect fire support to them.
Core of the defensive capabilities of the Meantán-class LBT are the two CIWS, one on the forecastle, the other one on the quarterdeck, providing maximum coverage against incoming missiles and venturing hedgehoppers. The two systems, both Ceantar C-84 Mark II, can either be controlled manually or set on automatic fire, which we would recommend since the C-84 is equipped with its own targeting radar and fire control mechanisms.
The main gun, a double-barrel Túirín T-12 Mark II, 76mm L\50, positioned in front of the superstructure, is capable of acting as an additional auxiliary anti-aircraft gun, but its main mission is the direct fire support of the landing troops, lobbing 76mm shells over a distance of up to 27.5 kilometres, depending on the shells.
Another weapon for the support of landing troops are the two Feadán Fe-21 Mark III MLRS, basically the same MLRS as used on Gabha Blacksmith's Saighdeoir-MRLS, a launcher for dumbfire missiles, capable of firing thirty 122mm artillery rockets at any given target, providing they are shorter then 3.1 metres and the target is within range. While the T-12 has its own little firing control radar, it is, just like the Fe-21, connected to the onboard N-38 Firing Control Radar via the Type 900 Datalink.
Additionally, the Meantán-class LBT is equipped with two Remote Weapon Stations at the bow, capable of handling everything from heavy machine guns to automatic grenade launchers while being remote controlled.
The Meantán-class LBT also has four balconies as well, positions on the superstructure designed for mounting heavy weapons, which can be used as additional weapon positions for fire support. Two of these balconies are large enough and support enough weight to carry light artillery pieces.
Ever since the first contingent of troops was moved to a distant shore there was one question plaguing naval engineers, strategists and generals: How do I move my troops onto shore quickly, without much loss in operative capability and safely?
Ever since that first contingent, the ways to actually do so evolved.
In 2012, after the fateful Battle of Marley Bay, part of the Halfblakistani Intervention, the SDF-Navy began to search for a new Landing Boat to replace the ageing fleet of freighters used as part of the Auxiliary Freighter Group with something more practical.
One of the results of that thought process was the Meantán-class LBT, a ship large enough to count as such and to still being called a boat by SDY-custom.
Somewhere along the lines of the development process, two friendly nations jumped aboard the development process, influencing the design and capabilities of the vessels heavily. This resulted in the navies of these two nations and the SDF-Navy testing the same prototype to the fullest, the Meantán being in other Waters at the time of the Bolcán Island Storm, thus unable to help like their brothers did.
The SDF-Navy plans to build and maintain a group of six Meantán-class LBTs, replacing the Auxiliary Freighter Group with these vessels, forming the Mobile Amphibious Squadron.