OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: A new line of long-range strike vessels for use by the Empire of the Hand.
- Image Source: Link
- Canon Link: N/A
- Restricted Missions: N/A
- Primary Source: N/A
- Manufacturer: The Empire of The Hand
- Model: Long-Range Support Craft
- Affiliation: The Empire of the Hand
- Production: Minor
- Material: AR-0B, Quadanium Steel, Duralium/Lanthanide composite, Mirrfield, Dallorian Insulation, Agrinium Insulation, Glassteel, Heavy Sensor Suite
- Classification: Heavy Cruiser
- Length: 680 meters
- Width: 230 meters
- Height: 265 meters
- Armament: Extreme
- Defenses: Low
- Hangar: N/A
- Maneuverability Rating: Low
- Speed Rating: Average
- Hyperdrive Class: Average (2)
The outer shell of the Longbow-Class is a reliable skin of Quadanium Steel, the trademark metal of Imperial designs. The sturdy armor provides excellent defense against both energy and projectile attacks, the present armor is light however and does not match up to other Heavy Cruisers. To this end, many improvements had to be innovated in order to create a sturdy hull.
Firstly, the Durasteel plating is made of several hexagonal plates that are assembled into larger, rectangle patterns throughout the entire body of the vessel. These plates are carefully overlapped in alternating patterns to create a slightly flexible, yet firm skin that displaces kinetic energy across a greater area at one time. This allows the ship to better absorb projectile rounds upon impact by allowing the hull to bend inwards without risking a breach as each plate acts as a support for the next. From a far, the pattern looks flat, just as any other armor, but upon closer inspection, the ridges of the armor become more clear; though one would have to be nearly standing on the hull to see such.
Secondly, underlying this layer of steel is a layer of Durallium/Lanthanide composite. This acts as a secondary defense against hull breaches, forcing projectiles and energy currents to pass through this thin but hard and nonconductive layer of defense. While too thin to defend against a hit all its own, this layer is capable of, but not guaranteed to stop, a projectile or energy current already dispersed by the primary armor.
The Longbow-Class Heavy Cruisers are decidedly light armored, an issue toiled over by the Hand's freelance engineers day and night. It was insurmountable, it seemed, until the search for The Rebirth ended and the entire wealth of operational data from the vessels long life was revealed to them. Among the mounds of data they discovered designs for a module that can be designed into the armor plating of the vessel, providing damage protection without significantly altering the superstructure.
The AR-0B design incorporates several energy field generators built under the surface of the first layer of quadanium steel hull armor. These generators create an ablative energy shield that covers the second layer of Duralium/Lanthanide composite, deflecting energy and physical damage away from the second layer of protection. This upgrade allows the manufacturer to keep the armor lighter while providing enormous benefits to the overall survivability of the vessel.
With the benefits this module provides, the Longbow can deflect stray flak fire and most impacts from small meteorites with increased deflection of direct capital weapon hits from the internal workings of the cruiser. Ion fire, however, remains mostly unhindered by the presence of the additional energy field and does little to defend against it.
Only physical damage is significantly reduced.
The Longbow-Class is a glass cannon of sorts. It would be inaccurate to say that the gun was built into the ship, it's far more accurate to say that the ship was built around the gun. The engineers themselves would tell you as much. The coilgun, nicknamed "The Arrow" by the engineers tasked with developing it, is essentially a 540-meter long cannon that accounts for most of the ship's length. In order to protect the weapon, it has been rested between two "wings" of hull armor that protect it and keep it connected to the rest of the mechanism. These same "wings" double as storage bays for the extremely heavy ammunition the cannon utilizes.
Stationed in the back of the vessel is an enormous solar ionization reactor that is built underneath the protruding heavy sensor housing on the top of the rear-end of the vessel. This reactor powers both all the major modules of the vessel (engines, computers, etc) as well as the coil gun itself. In order to charge and fire the gun effectively, huge swaths of power must be leached from other primary systems; absorbing most of the reactors power potential. With all primary systems activated, fully charging a firing the weapon can take up to a full minute. However, by simply powering down a system such as primary engines the vessel can reach maximum charge in five-second bursts with an additional load time of two seconds; allowing the vessel to put a round down range every seven seconds.
The combat potential of the coilgun far exceeds that of a standard rail weapon or hypervelocity cannon. While lacking the rapid fire capability of hypervelocity guns and the condensed size of rail guns, the Longbow's coilgun is capable of firing a projectile that dwarfs the projectiles of the alternatives both in physical size and technological achievement.
Using an automated loading system located at the back of the ship, in front of the engines, the cannon is first loaded with a 2,000-ton Tunqstoid projectile embedded with an ion projector similar to what is found in Corellia's Ion Wall. This projector sends fluctuating Ion signals to the surface of the projectile upon remote activation (handled by an onboard computer laced into the firing matrix). The projectile is fired by being attracted to a magnetic coil, which is quickly turned off and a second coil turned on. This process is repeated in a matter of microseconds, each magnetic coil laced into the barrel turning on and abruptly off as the projectile passes through at shocking speeds. In order to increase efficiency, mag-lev guides are used to speed the projectile along the barrel.
Upon exit of the weapon's barrel, the Tunqstoid projectile is traveling approximately 15,000 kilometers a second. At these speeds, most capital ships would be hard-pressed to evade at standard space-combat ranges and the sheer size + momentum of the projectile is enough to completely shatter entire sections of a ship. Thanks to the ion field cast around the projectile, it is also able to collapse ray shields with relative ease as the ion field disrupts the energy and the projectile's sheer mass breaks through. It is not impossible, and is quite probable, to see these projectiles simply punch through military grade shields and completely collapse standard civilian shields.
A terrifying feat of this weapon is its ability to shatter Star Destroyers down the middle and create terran impact craters that are several miles in radius. The ultimate long-range and bombardment weapon in the projectile category. It is not without its downsides, however. The weapon is only capable of firing in a straight line in front of the vessel, making direct combat an extremely risky if not impossible venture. It is a risky business boasting a weapon that requires the entire vessel to turn, but a very rewarding one.
The vessel sacrifices the defense capability of other ships in its class but makes up for it with its coilgun and the sensors to make it deadly accurate. The tower extruding from the back end of the vessel is a dedicated sensors hub with a small control station hidden within and not the bridge as many first assume. The sensors on the ship are based heavily off of the ancient MRX-BR Pacifier suites, which were capable of counting the number of leaves on individual trees from a position in orbit. When combined with advanced targeting computers, this warship is capable of pinpointing hull weak points on enemy vessels, acquiring important module locations on said ships, predicting the movements of enemy weapons based on electronic readouts and making precision strikes on enemies in ground side installations.
These sensors, however powerful, do come with a weakness of their own. While powerful, the sensors have a short range that makes it difficult to do much else than locate an enemies position if the enemy is far away. While in orbit it would have no issue using its sensors across an entire planet, but it would have difficulty picking out weak spots of a vessel on the other side of the next planet. To counter this, feeds from satelites, probes or other ships would have to be used if positioned on the far edges of combat.
- Mirrfield + Tunqstoid
Every window within the vessel, even those of glassteel, are overlayed with a mirrfield layer that is capable of completely blacking out on one side with the press of a button. During boarding actions, this allows defense teams to observe enemies on the far side of a glassteel window without the opponent being able to see their own movements. To further aid to the security of the ship during boarding actions, heavy tunqstoid doors have been installed at all major junctures and maintenance ways. These doors are too dense to destroy without causing major hull breaches, killing the borders.
- Extreme range potential, capable of firing well out of the effective range of most modern capital weapons
- Extremely high damage output from main cannon, capable of shattering capital ships and their shields
- Sensors capable of pinpointing leaves from orbit and small weakness on ships from the edges of a system
- Thick armor, despite its lightness.
- Incapable of effectively engaging in close combat with other capital ships
- Is unable to fire main battery at full potential with all primary systems (shields, engines, etc) engaged. Requires deactivation of at least one.
- Requires distance from combat to remain operationally useful and cannot carry its own defensive fighter compliment.
- Limited individual operational capacity
Due to its configuration as being more gun than a ship, the Longbow-Class has a light crew compliment as opposed to most galactic standards. The sensors array total12 miscellaneous crew 300, gunners 28 and 200 engineers. This totals out to a full crew compliment being only 540, nearly 200 less than the Acclamator and nearly 400 less than the Victory I Star Destroyer. It does, however, boast a year of consumables and four flak/quadlaser cannons on both Port and Starboard sides.
Edited by Lucien E. Irridius, 09 June 2018 - 09:01 AM.