The EAS Nike, with her sisters Aurora, Orion, Athena, Pegasus and Antares, is, in the view of her sponsors, the first of a new generation of warships. Very Powerful, fast (7 g of acceleration), maneuverable, heavily armed and very well protected, she has a reduced crew complement in respect to the old EA ships standards thanks to an high degree of automation. Very expensive, it is the first ship of the line in Earthforce with a fully operational gravitic drive system, totally of human design, and roughly equivalent in the layout to the one of the Primus class cruisers.

Classified as Battle Cruiser, operationally the Nike is a more specialized, less flexible unit than the Warlock, extremely fast and powerful, with a strong emphasis on fleet operations and ship to ship engagements.

The NIke is powered by three gravitic enhanced fusion reactors of new design (Power output classified), has a flight line of 24 thunderbolts, and a sensor suite that is said to be the most advanced and effective ever embarked on an Earth Alliance ship.
The hull is a compact, slender design, literally shaped around the internal systems. The protection and the damage tolerance are particularly taken care of, with a thick armor of the same Carbonat VI-A or VIII-A used on the Warlocks, and a well designed internal compartimentation with 18 armored bulkheads and 2 intermediate armored decks. The structure is particularly robust and simple.
The weapon system is powerful and innovative, even if complex and articulated; the main antiship weapons are a couple of Mk VI Heavy Particles cannons and a battery of 32 heavy antiship missiles with 8 launching tubes with autoloaders. The antiship firepower is furtherly enhanced by the installation of six General Electric GAD 16-U Q-Spoiling lasers: these weapons, while limitated in terms of the damage they can inflict with a single shot, have an excellent piercing power and a very high rate of fire: a Nike, with all its Q-laser firing, can hit the target with more than 70 shots each second, and so in a few moments the cumulative damage of hundreds of perforations through the hull can easily cripple or destroy a target. For the short range combat, are available four M111 heavy pulse twin turrets and two Railgun turrets. A well distributed battery of antifighter/interceptor light pulse systems completes the combat suite.

Powerful weapons and heavy protection, matched with high speed and manoeuverability make this ship well able to hold the line and to go against every other known warship of the younger races.

The main sponsors of this ship were The Commander in Chief of the Staff of the Earthforce Navy, Admiral Michael T.Kane, and the R.Admiral Daryl Cellini, Chief of the Earth Force Naval Intelligence, which, in an interview with the ISN, questioning the cost and need of the Nike class cruisers, declared:

"The critics of this new class of ship say that it's too expensive for our needs, particularly now that we are part of the ISA, but my point of view is different. We must not ignore history. I am a veteran of the Minbari War, a survivor of the Line, and I was on the front line during the Drakh attack of 2266. Twice I have seen mankind on the verge of extinction. Twice I have seen mankind survive thanks to a miracle. More than twice I've seen my people whipped away by an overwhelming enemy...throwing themselves in the raging fire of war, in the face of death, against all odds, with only their bravery and the belief of being the only barrier between the mankind and the night. I swore then, and I swear here and now, that this will never happen again. Everybody that claims that the Nike is too expensive for our real needs has my personal contempt. The dead are looking at him. It is their voice that shouts, breaking the silence and the oblivion. We are not looking for retribution, but it is our duty to protect our people, against every menace, known and unknown. It is our duty to forge and hold the sharpest sword we can, if and when we will be made to stand another time on the bridge."

Nike Battlecruisers in action!
This is a short essay proposed by R.Adm. Daryl Cellini, CICEFNI,
to give an quick balance of the performances of the Nike Battlecruiser
during their operational use until the present year, 2280

Today, ten years and a war after the inception in service of the Nike Cruisers, it is not out of significance to trace a summary of their overall performances, and a balance of their tactical use.
I wanted to write these few words because, in a certain measure, I feel myself as the "spiritual Father" of this class of ships, that was conceived and outlined by the EFNI Technical Department following the specifications and in accordance with the requirements of the EFNI Operations Division, of which I was Director when the Nike was outlined.

At this point, maybe it is not useless a small view of the situation when the Nike was conceived, and the needs, the initial ones and the latter ones that gave to this unit hers definitive shape.

The first steps in the design of the Nike were made just after the end of the Civil War: in that period a series of technical innovations were available, in first the Gravitic technology, that was yet partially available in the mid 2250's in terms of gravitic enhanced fusion reactors and gravitic enhanced plasma engines, like the ones used on the Warlocks, and that saw the availability of artificial gravity environments thanks to the technologies given by the ISA in the wake of the Civil war and of the participation of Earth Alliance to the ISA.

These emerging technologies allowed to design the very first true gravimetric drive of human design, the Waverider system.

The lessons learned in the years spanning from the Minbari war to the 2261 teached us that a gravitic driven ship had significant advantages in terms of strategic and, if well designed, tactical mobility.
To summarize: a gravitic driven ship, during cruise navigation either in the normal space and in the Hyperspace, consumes only the fusion fuel needed to produce the small amount of thrust strictly needed for the navigation - usually a few percentage points of one G, while she does not need to use propellant mass. This means much more endurance, range, and, eventually, speed, if the gravimetric drive is used with more power in hyperspace, than hers newtonian equivalent.

Almost equally important, a powerful gravimetric drive, pulled at full power in addiction to equally powerful newtonians engines, allows to develop impressive levels of acceleration, with consequently high tactical speed and maneuverability.
In that period, the ships available to the Earth Alliance Navy were the effective and multimission capable Omega destroyers, the not so numerous Nova Dreadnoughts, more than a few Hyperion Cruisers, and the first Warlock Heavy destroyers.

All these ships were still capable of good performances, but the Hyperions were clearly at the end of their growth potential, and in many fields were not more up to the task. This was a significant problem for the EFNI naval service, that in that period was based upon a few improved Nova-N Dreadnoughts - excellent units, but few in number and better suited for antiship engagement thatn for deep intrusion and reconnaissance, and Hyperion-N improved cruisers.
The Hyperion N's had not too much in common with the standard hyperions of the Navy: an Hyperion N has almost twice the acceleration, four times the range, an enormous edge in terms of maneuverability and a significant edge in terms of firepower and armor in respect to the standard Hyperions: but, even with all these improvements, was clear that a new design exploiting all the technical innovations of those years could have allowed a quantum leap in terms of operational capabilities.

Range and speed are of paramount relevance for the EFNI Naval service, and the possibility to match these two performances with good firepower and an heavy armor was the dream of the EFNI naval service. So, our Technical Department designed a ship that, in a hull with dimensions similar to the ones of the Hyperions, could use all these new technologies at their best.

The design went on well, mostly because the first experimental Waverider gravimetric drives performed flawlessly from the beginning: the rest of the equipment and of the armament was the direct outcome of the Battlemaster/Warlock project, with the single exception of the lightweight, high Rate of Fire Q-spoiling lasers, that were chosen because they packed a very high piercing power with light weight and small mass and dimensions.

Unluckily, the very first Nike cruisers came out of the production lines with the Drakh War raging wit all its devastations, in a moment in which the Earth Alliance economy was in a deep chrisis, and the Nike seemed too much expensive and specialized, in a moment in which the whole humanity was still bracing against its extinction.

But, at the end, what has shown the Nike to be capable of, in these ten years of service, both in the EFNI Naval Service and in the Navy? Well, a lot of things.

Today, the Nike Cruiser is the fastest, most ranged and nimblest ship of the Earth Alliance. She is well capable to outrun and outmaneuvre almost all the capital ships of the races we have made contact with - except the ancient ones, of course - and she packs a good punch, with a very good and well shaped protection: in fact, she has all the attributes of the "Cruiser" concept at level of excellence: just to give an example, a Nike can easily outrun and outmaneuvre a Sharlin or a Shargoti warcruiser, let alone a Drakh heavy cruiser, has more than enough firepower to cripple almost all the standard capital ships in a matter of seconds, and may God have mercy of whatever finds itself at the business end of hers Heavy Particle Cannons.

The Nikes have participated with relentless efficiency to the second half of the Drakh war, and until now the Drakhs have shown to have nothing barely capable to hold their own against one of these ships in combat: our battlecruisers have been instrumental in countless fightings in forcing the Drakhs to fight even in the less favourable circumstances: their superior speed and maneuverability allowed them to pursue and force the fight with the Drakh units, and the alien ships had neither the firepower to whip away the heavily armored and well protected Nikes, nor the passive defence to survive their firepower.

Actually, even if relatively few in number, the Nike Cruisers make up for one of the essential tactical and strategic assets of our Navy: thanks to the Nikes, finally, we have a core of pursuit units that allow us to force the combat at our will, carry on long range strategic offensive, and disrupt with maneuvered attacks an enemy formation, just before our other units can engage them: this tactical capability of being the fast maneuvre element of a fleet or of a task force is precious even in intercepting and disrupting enemy tactical wings and flank attcks, and in the strategic pursuit of a fleeing enemy force - this last task is well helped by the excellent sensor suite of the Nikes.

Honestly, I don't think that is needed a further dissertation to allow to understand how well these ships can perform for the missions of the EFNI Naval Service: range and speed alone, with the excellent sensors, would have been well enough to make of them a formidable reconnaissance unit: the addictional benefits of firepower and the capability to shrug off even an hard punishment, and reply with deadly effectiveness, is the realization of a hope for our crews - and a nightmare for our enemies.

Taken into account what said above, not only I, but almost all the observers and the technical experts, can easily agree on the fact that, even if the Nikes will never be the backbone of a fleet due to their cost and to their limits in terms of polyvalence, indeed they have shown to be a class of ships that fills perfectly that gap of capabilities that has always been the weak spot of our forces: to force a fight in favourable circumstances, and to outmaneuvre and flank an enemy formation during a fleet engagement.


Class: Nike
Type: Battle Cruiser
Length: 1,680.6 meters
Mass: 36.5 million metric tons
Acceleration: 7.02 G
Crew: 225
Troop: None
Fighters: 24 Mitchell-Hyundane SA 26-A Thunderbolt Starfury.

3*Westinghouse "Event Horizon" Gravitic Enhanced Fusion Reactors.
1*Lockheed-Mitchell GWR-1 "Waverider" Gravitic Drive.
3*Lockheed-General Electric I-110LGE400 gravitic enhanced plasma engines.
2*Lockheed-Mitchell M105 Jump Vortex generators.

2*Earthforce Arsenals
Mk VI-A Heavy Particle G.O.D. cannons.
6*General Electric Q-Spoiling Hard-Ray
Lasers GAD 16 U "Terminator".
M 111 Heavy Phased Pulse Cannon turrets.
127/762 Heavy railgun turrets.
WRX 1028 Light Pulse particle Cannon Turrets.
"Blue Phoenix" Missiles. 8*bow mounted launching tubes with autoloaders.

12 to 22 meter armored hull
CARBONAT VI-A (Multi-layer composite armour), Unspecified anti-neutron ablative armour. Nanotechnological layer.
24*Interceptor Mk. III Defense Grid Energy Projectors.


E.A.S. ORION BATTLE CRUISER - Enlisted in the E.F.N.I. - Enhanced EGAD sensor suite





NIKE - THE MODEL In this page is presented the first miniature kit for an EFNI design - the Nike Class Battlecruiser - Mastered by Chris Yu - with images and links to Mr. Yu site.



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