The Nova Evolution Advanced Dreadnought
The Nova-E, as the Sabre Frigates and the Poseidon heavy carriers *(see note 1), was one of the programs springed from the lessons of the Dilgar War, and cancelled in the 2235-2245 decade.
The Nova Dreadnoughts was essential in the victory against the Dilgars, and the lessons learned and the new technologies developed or acquired allowed significant improvements.
The Admiralty, as well known, wanted a fleet centered on a force of about 800 Novas as main battle units (the 4000 Ships Navy and the Nova programs), and tried to conclude the reorganisation and reshaping of the fleet in the aftermath of the Dilgar war.
The evolved variant of the Nova Dreadnought was a design capable to match innovation and simpleness, and, in itself, a masterpiece of industrial engineering.
She was conceived, in fact, not as a new ship, but as a project that could be both applied as a retrofit on the yet produced Novas and as a new production series.
What this design did was to apply to the classic Nova the improvements in the weapon system obtained through the pulse technology; this had two benefits: in first the antiship firepower was overall maintained, while the antifighter and Interceptor/point defence was strongly improved, and second, the lower mass of the weapon system was exploited to increase the armour. Even the power grid was improved, with redundant circuits and improved reactors.
The layout is the same of the Nova, the frame of the hull is the same, as the same were the production facilities and the building yards: the structure of the Nova was so simple and sturdy and performed so well that, honestly, was difficult to envision cost effective modifications.**(see note 2)
The Engine block used the same improved Beagle-Bryant BB9U-FF of the Sabre, that were made available even as conversion kits by the Beagle-Bryant & General electric consortium, as an upgrade of the older engine blocks of the series G and K (were maintained a part commonnality of more than 92%), that allowed a better acceleration and improved the manoeuverability
The weapon system was more complex and articulated in respect to the standard Novas: the main antiship artillery are eight heavy pulse bolters, four turret placed besides the bow hammer, and four more spinally installed around the engine Block: these weapons fired plasma pulses of about the same power of the HLPA 1000 of the Nova, but with a vastly superior rate of fire, so the power discharged on a target in a given timeframe was similar, and, even if the "volley effect" of the Novas was lost, the combat performances remained overall unchanged. The fourteen hull mounted turrets were removed: the broadsides were replaced by twelve medium calibre bolters, the single barrell model of the main bolters of the Sabre, very capable in both antiship, antifighter and interceptor roles, that while with a lesser power of the single bolt in respect to the LPA 1000, still maintained an excellent penetration.
In the bow, besides the hangar bay, were placed two of the newly developed compact spinal lasers, well suited, thanks to their high penetration and exceptional accuracy, for the long range fighting: the large propellant tanks of the Nova were well enough to act as heath sinks to manage the cooling needs of the weapons, and the performances were significantly better in respect to the particle accelerators employed until then. On the flanks of the hull, the two side turrets were replaced by a battery of four heavy railguns: the war teached to the Earth Alliance (and to the Dilgars) that these supposed "primitive" weapons were instead one of the deadliest systems in the short range fightings, and the Admiralty had a backfire of enthusiasm for this technology: even in this case the weapons employed were the same of the Sabre Frigates, a new model that set the standard for the cathegory. Even in this case, an excellent design, that had even the advantage of being a low cost activity (at least when used as a retrofit), was burned by the policy change of the 2235. In this case, the hammer blow, in industrial terms, was not due to the loss of investments as it was for the Sabre, but interested the whole Nova program: were available two production plants, one in the Wolf 359 orbit, with two assembly yards, and one in the Earth orbit, with four yards: this impressive production structure was capable to crank out more than 400 Novas from the 2225 to the 2235, 40 ships each year: when it was economically ammortized, and the Novas begun to be proposed at significantly lower prices than before, the yards were simply closed: was maintained just a repair and overhaul capability. *(see note 1)
This choice was paid during the Minbari war: after six months was acknowledged that the Nova Dreadnoughts were the only available ships capable to fight against the Minbari warcruisers, but the whole production machine, the trained workers, the production system was destroyed, and was needed to restart it from zero. The Nova yards were capable to produce only 63 Dreadnoughts during the war, and, must be said, 48 during the last six months of conflict. Too late, obviously.
The positive outcome of this effort was that, after the war, the Omega destroyers, based upon the Nova design, tooling and assembly lines, were ready to be mass produced after just a few months after the end of the conflict, and the rythm was impressive: 24 Omegas (and 38 Novas) in 2249, 46 (and 28 Novas) in 2250, and 64 destroyers/year from the 2250: in the 2260, the year in which begun the Shadow War, were enlisted in service more than 700 Omegas and more than 120 Novas, an impressive fighting force, whose power, all in all, could have had a significant weight in the impending confrontation that took part in thos years, and could have been a potent instrument of stability and safety in the whole area.
* NOTE 1
- The enormous investments in terms of research and development,
production facilities and yards made by the Rockedyne
Shipbuilding Venture, a joint venture that included even
industrial colosses like Lockheed, Mitchell, Max-Thrust LTD,
Westinghouse, Dell, General Electric, started from the Nova
Dreadnought, but were aimed to develop a whole new family of
ships, based upon common modules and a basic hull frame: the
modularity and the straight lines of the Nova were studied to
allow the use of large part of the same production facilities
even for different classes of ships, envisioned before, during or
just after the Dilgar War: among these were included the Poseidon
heavy carrier and the Nova-X (or Nova Cruiser), for which was
developed the technology of the UNIBLOCKTM
bearings and Shaft system that allowed to include in a warship
design a large rotating section for simulated gravity
environment: the technical problem was to build a bearing system
virtually maintenance free for fifty years, capable to work
regardless accelerations in the order of many g's, shocks and
direct hits of heavy weapons: the project worked, and the
UNIBLOCK was even more sturdy than expected, but, regardless the
pressures of the Admiralty, the new political climate went
against the whole program. Were built only the prototype of the
Poseidon and a series of six Nova-X experimental battle cruisers,
and this allowed to keep alive (but nothing more) the consortium.
After the Minbari war, as said above, the industrial structure of the Rocketdyne Venture was revived, the Poseidon went in production (but in relatively small numbers) while the UNIBLOCK and the basic design of the Nova-X Battle Cruiser, with new weapons, more powerful engines and an improved armour became the most successful Earth Alliance Warship ever, the Omega Destroyer.
** NOTE 2 - The basic hull structure of the Nova is still used as it is for the rear section of the Warlocks, between the engine block and the nain hull; the whole hull structural frame of the Warlock uses some subcomponents that are or the same of the Nova/Omega family, or produced with the same production line: the fact that the whole design and the technologies employed are still valid (and, in fact, at an excellency level) more than fifty years after their construction is a testament of the validity of the original program.
Class: Nova Evolution
Type: Heavy Battleship
Length: 1,460 meters
Mass: 36.5 million metric tons Acceleration: 2.71 G
Fighters: 36*Locheed-Mitchell SA 26-A Aurora Starfury
Other: 2* Lockheed-Coronado C27N space shuttle, 2* Lockheed-Mitchell "Kestrel" transatmospheric shuttle.
4*Westinghouse "Vulcan-III" Fusion Reactors.
4*Beagle-Bryant BB9-U-FF fast feeding plasma engines.
2*Lockheed-Mitchell M56-E9 Jump Vortex Generators.
8*Westinghouse B-1 heavy pulse bolters (four turret mounted, four spinal mounted).*
2*Marconi-Selenia "Javelin Mk.1" spinal lasers.**
2*Westinghouse HPM-2-X pulse mortars
12*Westinghouse M100/1 plasma pulse bolters, in single turrets.***
4*O.T.O.Melara 256/180 RG32 twin railgun turret.****
17*Raytheon "Cerberus" interceptor/pulse cannon quadruple plants.*****
8.5 to 12.5 meter armored hull, Aegis-E Multi-layer composite armour, spaced armour (Central block and engineering section), double hull, armoured internal bulkheads. 21*Interceptor Mk.I -E Defense Grid Energy Projectors, Mk.1-E E-Web.
Notes on the weapons:
|Weapon||Power/energy||Calibre||Rate of Fire||Piercing power|
Heavy Pulse Bolters
|200 Terawatts/75 Terajoule_bolt||5 meters||160 bolts/minute||40 meters steel|
|260 Terawatts||1 meter||up to 5 * 1"discharges/minute||45 meters steel|
|135 Terawatts,45 terajoules/bolt||4 meters, barrell 8 meters||180 bolts/minute/barrel||30 meters steel|
|****||RG32 railgun||0.7 terajoules||256*152 mm||110 Rounds/minute/barrel||65 meters steel|
|4 Terajoules||0.7 meters, barrell 1.2 meters||650 bolts/minute||4 meters steel.|
The NOVA-E Advanced Dreadnought - 2235