Conception and Development Edit
For some naval theorists, the advent of the multi-drive missile (MDM) and the pod-laying warship meant the obsolescence of the battlecruiser classification. Neither capable of delivering the fire volumes the new missile-intensive combat required nor capable of effectively remaining outside the range of enemy missiles, they also didn't have the endurance and resilience ships of the wall had due to their lighter construction.
One solution offered to keep the battlecruiser as a viable warship type was to construct battlecruisers with hollow cores, giving them the capability to deploy missile pods in a manner similar to that of a pod-laying superdreadnought. This concept led to the development of the RMN's Agamemnon-class, the Grayson Space Navy's Raoul Courvosier-II-class and the Blücher-class of the Imperial Andermani Navy. However, the BC(P), as the variant became known, was not entirely satisfactory due to its limited firing endurance. The hollow core also came with a greater than expected cost in the vessel's structural integrity, making BC(P)s somewhat less durable in combat than had been the case with pod-laying superdreadnoughts. (HH11)
A second alternative pursued by the Royal Manticoran Navy resulted in the Nike-class, with the intention of recasting the battlecruiser as a "generalist" warship capable of withstanding the transformed reality of naval combat.
Considerably larger and more massive than any prior Manticoran battlecruiser design, the Nike-class massed around 2.5 million tons (three times the size of the earlier Reliant-class BCs), and also enjoyed higher acceleration than a Reliant thanks to improvements in compensator technology. In contrast to most RMN designs of the time, which saw ship crew sizes decrease due to increased vessel automation and advances in technology, the Nike embarked a larger crew and a larger complement of Marines than most vessels its size. As the design was far more resistant to damage than a pod-laying battlecruiser, this also made the Nikes well suited to the RMN's traditional doctrine of using battlecruisers for general raiding and space control.
Despite being incapable of carrying missile pods internally like their Agamemnon-class contemporaries, and also unable to mount three-staged MDM's, the Nikes were armed with off-bore missile launchers, effectively allowing them to launch a single salvo of missiles from all fifty launchers at once. Their magazine spaces also gave them enough ammunition for forty minutes of sustained engagement, whereas an Agamemmnon would expend its missile load in less than half that time.
Authorized for construction by the Janacek Admiralty as a one-off testbed ship, HMS Nike was almost ready for deployment when Manticore resumed its war against the Republic of Haven. For almost a year it was the only ship of its class in service, but the prototype's combat performance convinced the White Haven Admiralty to go ahead with mass production of the class, with the first new-construction ships entering service around 1921 PD. (HH11)
Known vessels Edit
- HMS Nike (BC-562) – lead ship of the class
- HMS Artemis
- HMS Daedalus
- HMS Horatius
- HMS Jason
- HMS Penelope
- HMS Perseus
- HMS Rigel
- HMS Romulus
- HMS Theseus
- HMS Truculent
- HMS Phantom
- ↑ Capable of off-bore firing.
- David Weber's infodump post about the Nike-class
|Manticoran Starship Classes|
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