The Expansion-class, sometimes called the Moral-class or the Boondoggle-class, is a class of armed warship that exists out of normal RIS fleet and command structure. With only six such ships in service and no plans to build more they are among the least numerous ships in any fleet. They are the first ships the RIS has built on this scale and thus have no true preceding class. They are each named as a synonym of the word Expansion. All ships of this class are built to the same specifications. The alpha numeric designation for this class is HD-AVLS-01-000X, the first two letters stand for Heavy Dreadnought, the next four letters stand for Anti-matter Powered VASIMR Propelled Laser Armed Shielded Vessel, the next two digits represent how many precending classes of the prior designation have existed, the last two digits refer to how many have been built of that class with the X being replaced by a ship number.
ie: HD-AVLS-01-0001 would be the RS Expansion the first of her class.
All information listed here is based on information gained at the testing and based on simulations of the ship under many conditions that have yet to be tested in reality.
Mass and SizeEdit
The Expansion-class is a cylinder one and a half kilometers in length with a diameter of five-hundred meters at widest and four-hundred meters at each end. Due in part to a super dense hull and a high density fuel as well as multiple redundant parts the ship masses at 2.35 billion metric tons. This makes it among the heaviest ships ever constructed.
Power Plant & FuelEdit
The Expansion-class is powered by twenty-five matter/anti-matter (M/AM) reactors located within the center of the ship and protected by an armored shell. Each reactor is fifty meters in diameter and forty meteres in length. Each is rated to burn sustain a reaction at a combined total of one kilogram of deuterium and anti-deuterium per second. Such a reaction theoretically produces 9E16J of energy, but in reality only 90% of that energy is produced and captured. This incredible level of efficiency is done in part by using the heat to induce fusion as well as by using special neutron absorbing sheets to allow the normally wasted particles to be captured.
Fuel is stored in fifty seperate storage tanks twenty-five hold matter and the other twenty-five anti-matter. Each tank has a volume of 117,500m^3. They all store the fuel by means of compressing it in a crushing field of artaficial gravity that allows for fuel to be stored at five-hundred kilograms per cubic meter.
Sublight Engines and ManueveringEdit
The Expansion-class is accellerated by a pair of engine blocks, one at each end of the ship's length, comprised of one larger engine and two rings of eight engines of half that size. These engines are all of the VASIMR type. Each engine cluster is rated to draw the full output of three reactor clusters or 2.16e17W. The highest rated acceleration of the ship is 83,000m/s^2 and can only be acheived by feeding the engines at maximum rate and maintaining a large amount of power to the artaficial gravity to maintain a steady 0.75g's as felt by the crew. It should be noted that the ship only carries enough propelent to preform such a burn for ten seconds and doing so would mean that all manuevering thrust would come from gas normally used to cool the ships weapons systems.
Maneuvering at full thrust from the eighty main, and two-hundred and fifty-six secondary thrusters the ship can turn end to end in a second though such capability is only needed to counteract firing the lasers at full power in a none standard pattern, or if immediate escape is desired and an engine cluster is damaged.
Should all powered systems fail the ship is still rated to withstand 15g's of acceleration or pressure.
The Expansion-class, like all ships in the RIS fleet that are hyperspace capable, use a classified system to make the jump from normal to hyperspace. The initial jump seems to take a lot of power, but once going faster than light normal mass is resumed. To save power the speeds accelerated to rarely exceed two-thousand times the speed of light, but could potentially be much faster if one ignores the issues this causes with the ships faster than light sensors.
The Expansion-class of vessels has two main sensor towers mounted at the center of the ship on towers one-hundred meters tall. Half way between them and the engines in each dirrect another group of four equally spaced towers rise fifty meters over the ships main hull. The main towers have many sensors including radar, LIDAR, visual detection, ECM, ECCM, and a specialized faster than light sensor suite (the workings of which are classified at this time) all are run by a powerful strategic computer. The smaller towers have less powerful versions of all systems. Lastly each weapons battery has a very small radar, LIDAR, and infarred dettection suite. These systems are all linked to the central computer by an faster than light transmission system thus far only confirmed to be used by the RIS.
The Expansion-class is among the most heavily armed ships to be seen on the battlefield armed with many batteries of high powered lasers. These lasers are arranged into primary and secondary batteries. There are sixty-four main batteries of four lasers each. These main batteries are arranged into eight evenly spaced bands of eight evenly spaced batteries. Each battery is rated at a maximum output of 1GT/s (4.184e18 W) - the per laser rating is 250MT/s (~1.05e18 W) - per second and are rated to fire for five minutes though in testing they can fire for twenty minutes though efficiency drops sharply from a peak of 60% after the rated period and the weapon rapidly degrades from there. Each ring of batteries is fed by a series of capacitors containing enough energy for each battery on that ring to fire for three minutes. These capacitors take about a half hour to recharge out of combat and when depleted each laser can be feed only enough power for a single battery to fire at 11 megatons.
The secondary batteries number two-hundred and fifty-six in total and each battery numbersl ight lasers. These bands are arranged into sixteen bands with sixteen evenly spaced batteries per band, each main band of batteries is flanked by a secondary battery. The secondardy batteries are rated at 2.6KT/s (~1.08e13J) per second - the per laser rating is 0.32KT/s (~1.35e12J) - these batteries are rated to fire for ten minutes though in testing they can fire for nearly an hour. As with the main batteries they opperate at 60% efficiency and drop down to being worthless after exceeding the peak rate of fire.
The Expansion-class has a many layed system of defenses starting with the passive ECM and ECCM systems, then into active ECM and ECCM systems, next are the energy fields, and last is the ships armored hull.
ECM and ECCMEdit
These systems include things such as the stealth coating on the ships hull, heatsinks, anti-spoofing systems, radar chirping, frequency hoping, sidelobe blanking, polarization, radar homing, and many other systems not the least of which is a pair of AI hacking brains that attempt to exploit exposed networks in other vessels while keeping the ship itself safe.
Not yet fully declassified we know little about how the so called energy fields work except that they are a static field of energy and exotic particles that form a seemless bubble out to ten meters from the ships hull. A series of many hundreds of well anchored projectors are layered near the center of the ship and they, along with large heatsinks, are anchored along the ship's energy spine. The military has stated they have a maximum energy dispersal rate of 100GT/s (4.184e20W) this is assumed to be total not per projector. They also state that the system has a breaking point of 10GT (4.184e19 J) for a single attack in one shield sector. The shielding system is known to be energy consuming when at full power and is thought to run at lower power much of the time. It is also known to be a so called double blind system that needs to open to be fired or seen through, it is belived that a section can be opened and closed many times faster than a person can blink.
The hull is protected by a combination of super dense hull plating layered over explosive reactive panels against another dense plate that rests against a layer of gel. Each layer when taken as a whole is known to be five meters thick. The entire armor system comprises five such layers and the upper most layer of each is coated in layer of gel designed to create laser disrupting smoke. The outer layer on a undamaged ship also has a stealth coating designed to absorb radar and LIDAR.