|HYPERION-N E.F.N.I. VARIANT|
The Hyperion has been the workhorse of the E.A. since his inception, in 2218 (Hyperion alpha), and has been the most important operational warship of the EFNI Naval service until the late 2260's.
The Efni Naval Service, even if numerically small, has always had some particular requirenments for the ships he uses: first of all, given the typical operations involving the Service, that are mainly reconnaissance, armed reconnaissance, quick strike, deep incursion and support to Special Forces operations, the units employed by the EFNI are always chosen with autonomous hyperspace Jump capability, a landing bay able to support shuttles, strongly improved sensors and communications, and, when possible, improved propulsion and enhanced maneuverability.
In the period of the Dilgar war and through the Minbari war, the backbone of the EFNI Naval Service were the Hyperion cruisers and the Artemis Beta frigates, with a small (8-12 units, depending upon the period) force of improved Nova Dreadnought.
The EFNI Naval service, and, BTW, the whole Operations Division, performed very well during all his history, and scored great successes against the Dilgars. As well known, it shared the bitter destiny of large part of the E.A. Navy during the Minbari War: in fact, it was barely able to conduct his institutional duties until the last months of the war, even if suffering heavy losses, but it was almos totally destroyed in the attempt to face the Minbari assault against the outpost of Io, and lose his two last survived units in the Battle of the Line.
After the Earth-Minbari War, took place the rebuilding of the EFNI Naval Service: in this case too the units of election were the Nova DN for support and strike activities, and the Hyperion for reconnaissance and general purpose activities. While the Novas ( Nova-N class Strike Dreadnought ) had improved sensors and some upgrades or modifications in the weapon system and in the design, but were left mainly at the state, the 34 new Hyperions of the EFNI were brand new ships, based on a design developed by the EFNI Technical Division, the Hyperion-N (This was the first large program of design and building directly managed by the EFNI, and with good outcomes).
The EFNI choose the basic Hyperion Theta (Midwinter) hull for his configuration flexibility and structural sturdyness, directly supplied by Karmatech, and upgraded with a thick spaced layer of CARBONAT-III armor, and the structural frame was strengthened to allow the exploitation of the higher thrust of the new engines, with a new main spinal beam spaceframe of pultruded plasteel-carbon nanotube composite.
Systems and equipment were totally different from the classic ship. The assembly of these ships and the reactors/engines system design and integration was carried on by the Colosseum Ship Design, traditional supplier of the EFNI, while the subsystems (weapons, sensors, electronic warfare) were directly purchased and provided by the EFNI. The original Midwinter had the typical maneuverability (poor) and acceleration (2.57g) of the E.A. ships of his era, and this was the first area of intervention: the Beagle-Bryant BB5N plasma engines were not employed: instead, the engine block was based upon three Lockheed-General Electric I-67GE100 plasma engines with three Westinghose Vulcan III fusion reactors: this installation alone provided about to double the power availability. The I-67 engines are equipped with stream deflection plates, and this, in conjunction with the improved plasma thrusters maneuvering system (a typical Colosseum Designs peculiarity), allowed an overall maneuverability close to the Artemis frigates and the Olympus corvettes *. The linear acceleration was an impressive 3.91g's: this was at the origin of the nickname of the EFNI Hyperions in the E.A.Navy: "Racing Hyperions".
Obviously, even the fuel/propellant system was upgraded, and beyond the large internal tank of liquid xenon in the forward hull, were added six more large tanks attached to the engine block, that hold more liquid Xenon and, coaxially, the smaller fuel tanks of the liquid deuterium and boron slush used for the fusion reactors feeding.
The improvements went well beyond this fundamental step: the hangar bay was modified, and so the Hyperion-N is able to operate, beyond the standard six Starfury wing, four Lockheed-Coronado C27N space assault shuttles, or four Hades-N atmospheric assault shuttles, employed to support Special Forces operations. The weapon system was also improved and upgraded.
The powerful four-barrel Westinghouse-Karmatech M25 plasma cannon is retained, and on both sides of the hull are installed two turret mounted Raytheon DELTA heavy particle beam cannons, the ancestors of the OMEGA particle-pulse cannons: the DELTA turrets were available at low cost, being a pre-series production, replaced by the OMEGA turrets in the full scale production and, while not pulse/interceptor capable, have a beam power almost equal to the first series of the OMEGA cannons, and near triple in respect to the particle beams of the standard Hyperion Midwinter: this installation was possible thanks to the large power availability granted by the new reactors, that allowed the furter installation of three twin plasma pulse turrets, the Westinghouse M152, a good weapon, powerful and effective, with an high rate of fire, interceptor capable and with an excellent penetration, even if unlucky in terms of commercial success. The point defence is integrated by four Walther-Raytheon WRK1005 particle-pulse turrets, and the Interceptor system/energy web is the MK-2 grid, standard equipment of the Omega Destroyers. All the plasma/pulse weapons, except for the four barrel heavy plasma cannon, are interceptor capable. An O.T.O.Melara TG4 railgun twin turret was installed under the forward hull ( the EFNI has always been a strong sponsor of these simple and extremely effective weapons), and gives, at a small price, an high degree of short range antiship killing power. The standard installation of four missile launching tubes, with 12 missiles, is retained, but the tubes are able to launch the Sandia "Shillelagh" anti-ship missiles.
The sensor suite is vastly different from the Hyperion system: the hyperspace navigation system is the GAW-12 of the Omega, with an improved quantic interference inertial platform** that gave to these ship an unprecedented hyperspace navigation capability, and an extremely accurate jump point opening, with a S.E.P.*** of less than 250 meters. The main sensor system is the powerful AEGIS Mk.42-E3 phased array radar, later employed (E-7 variant) on the Poseidon carriers, integrated by the A.M.S. XGL-1 long range LIDAR, specifically developed by the EFNI, and by the Pilkington/A.M.S. IRIG-5 Optical/Infra-red long range search and track system. A gravitational wave detector, directly developed by the EFNI Technical Division, is installed.
The Electronic Intelligence an the Electronic Warfare system (Configuration and equipements classified) are exceptionally capable, and the communication suite is based on the RAG 600 Multiband/Tachyon system of the Omegas, but vastly modified, and integrated by EFNI prorietary systems. This sensor, communication and E.W. array was, at the time of his inception, vastly superior (And a lot more expensive) than the Integrated system of the Omegas, and, with the continuous upgrades, was a top-level system well into the the mid 2260's.
The "Racing Hyperions" of the EFNI performed very well during all their service: the electronic and intelligence systems were well able to allow excellent performances in the Reconnaissance, ELINT and Special Operations in hostile space, while, when needed, the conspicuous firepower and the improved protection, combined with a surprising speed and nimbleness, made of these ships a dangerous and deadly adversary in a space fighting****.
Their last large-scale use was in the Drakh Battle of the Line, 2266, while they continued to operate against the Drakhs until the operations of 2270, (See EFNI Essential Chronology, 2270) when they were employed in reconnaissance and special operations ("Green Knife" mission), but not in the front line engagements, during the battles of the operation "Sudden Nemesis ".
The Hyperions of the EFNI are actually mothballed and replaced by the Lupo-N frigates, more capables and effectives, but the legacy of the technologies developed for these special purpose ships can be found and remarked by a good observer in all the new designs of E.A. Warships.
*(4.4 g's of linear acceleration for Olympus and
**(That actually is the standard equipment of the Earthforce warships, either of new construction and upgraded)
***(S.E.P. = Spherical Error Probability)
****In 2252, for example, during the operation "Crystal Sword" (See also "Essential Chronology", year 2252) ,conduced by the EFNI against Drazi-supported piracy activity, two Hyperion-N of the EFNI faced a formation of 5 Sunhawk assault gunships and 8 Sky Serpent heavy fighters, in the system of Lalande 136, and were able to whip away the adversary force in a fierce fight that ended after less than 9 minutes, with the loss of just one Starfury (pilot ejected and survived). Must be considered that the training standard of the pirate crew and, particularly, fighter pilots is generally medium to low, while the tactical training of the E.F.N.I. Operation Division personnel, pilots and ship crews included, is "Top level", due to the small dimensions and the "special forces" structure of this E.F.N.I. branch.
The Hyperion-N's showed themselves vastly superiors in terms of sensors and speed, and superiors in terms of armor and firepower, particularly at the short ranges, to the few G'Quan cruisers utilized by the Psi-Corps paramilitary structure during the "telepath war" of 2264(See also "Essential Chronology", year 2264).
Class: Hyperion N (Midwinter EFNI Variant)
Type: Reconnaissance/Deep Strike Cruiser
Length: 1,188 meters
Mass: 11.5 million metric tons
Acceleration: 3.91 G
Troop: up to 180
Fighters: 6*Mitchell-Hyundane SA 23-G/N Aurora Starfury,or 6*Mitchell SA-25-N Badger Starfury.
Other: 4* Lockheed-Coronado C27N space assault shuttle, or 4*Hades-N atmospheric assault shuttles.
3*Westinghouse "Vulcan-III" Fusion Reactors.
3*General Electric I-67GE100 fast feeding plasma engines.
2*Lockheed-Mitchell M47-A3 Jump Vortex Generators.
1*Westinghouse-Karmatech M25 four-barrel plasma cannon.
2*Raytheon DELTA heavy particle cannons.
3*Westinghouse M152 plasma pulse turrets.
1*O.T.O.Melara 203/200 TG4 railgun turret.
4*Walther-Raytheon WRK 1005 light particle beam/pulse cannon turrets.
12*Sandia "Shillelagh" Missiles. (Four launching tubes with automatic reload system)
6 to 8.5 meter armored hull, CARBONAT-III Multi-layer composite armour, anti-neutron ablative armour.
12*Interceptor Mk. II Defense Grid Energy Projectors, Mk.2 Energy Web.
E.A.S. SIBYL - HYPERION-N CRUISER