The Sword class frigate is intended to serve as a balanced escort to capital ships as well as heavier escorts. It possesses numerous point defence weapons and a powerful array of forward-pointing anti-starship weapons.
The Sword class is a versatile escort, intended to fill the role of close-in defence escort and provides limited anti-starship capabilities. It is not meant to replace any existing designs.
The Sword class is intended to be an anti-starfighter or anti-missile defence escort but also has the ability to fight vessels of its size. When used in coordinated groups or squadrons, Sword frigates can threaten and defeat larger warships, though likely at the cost of severe damage or destruction to one or more vessels.
They also make great convoy escorts.
The Sword frigate is a rectangular shaped warship with two long islands running down its ventral and dorsal length. It has reinforced Nerimium armor plates on its sides. There is a small shuttle bay on the starboard side. There are three engines located at the rear of the warship.
The main anti-starship weapons are all forward-facing and the ship is lined with heavy penetrating vulcans for anti-starfighter defence.
Noting the lack of a dedicated anti-starfighter escort in the Nepleslian Space Navy, NAM engineers designed and built a frigate-sized vessel to fulfill that role. However, it became clear that if the frigates were expected to be accompanying capital warships and heavier escorts, they would also need to have the ability to threaten enemy warships.
Planning began in earlyYE 32 and the first batch of two prototypes were soon delivered for flight testing. Despite some teething issues, core systems were deemed to perform to specification and that the vessel was, overall, quite sturdy. The second batch of three prototypes were delivered in mid YE 33 with the full spectrum of systems and were used as testing grounds for systems integration and combat simulation. One concern from computerized testing, which was confirmed with the destruction of Prototype 2C as a target for live weapons, was the poor amount of structural reinforcement to withstand powerful hits from anti-starship weapons. To compensate a third batch of prototypes were made with thicker bulkheads, redundant supports and beams and the thick armor plating around the flanks of the ship.
These late additions to the design were to prevent the penetration of the ship's magazine, containing the Curbstomper missiles, or the engine compartment by enemy weaponry. Due to the small size of the ship, there is only one central magazine from which ammunition for the heavy vulcans and the missile systems must be drawn. Its loss would cripple the ship's ability to remain in the battle, assuming it had not been destroyed by the simultaneous explosion of all of remaining warheads in the magazine. Likewise, the need to protect the engine compartment was two fold. Without the engines to give the Sword its great speed, the frigate would be an easy target for larger, more powerful warships. Secondly, it was added for aesthetic reasons and symmetry.
In late YE 33, the Sword class was ready for full scale production.
Crew: 48 operators are recommended, 28 are required.
Maximum Capacity: There are accommodations for 50 people. About 200 people can fit aboard in an emergency, but the ship would be extremely cramped and most occupants would have to use hammocks or sleep in the passageways.
Length: 120 meters (394 feet)
Width: 30 meters (98 feet)
Height: 34 meters (111 feet), at highest point of bridge; 28 meters (92 feet) without
Decks: 8 (2.2 meters each)
Continuum Distortion Drive: 14,000c
Hyperspace Fold Drive: .5ly/h
Sublight Engines: .32c
Range: 8 months
Lifespan: 20+ years
Refit Cycle: 2 years
See Damage Rating for an explanation of the damage system.
The Sword has 4 decks running the length of the ship in addition to another deck in the ventral and dorsal islands. There are also a separate deck for the ship's bridge. Each deck has a port and starboard Nepleslian Standard Starship Hallway. There is a NAM Standard Airtight Door every twenty meters. These can be activated remotely or manually, though they will not open if one or both sides is open to a vacuum.
The Armory is located in the middle of the ship's main body.
It contains numerous small arms for use against boarders, including shotguns and rifles.
There are additional weapons lockers located in Engineering, on the Bridge and the Forward Armament Deck, near the ship's magazine. Those contain a smaller number of pistols and shotguns as well as ammunition for the weapons stored.
The ship's bridge is located atop the ventral island and is accessible via two elevators or vertical shafts with metal rung ladders. A bridge of 6 plus 4 in the CIC is required to operate peak efficiency. The ship's sensor suite is located next to the CIC. During combat, durandium shutters cover the bridge's viewports to prevent a lucky strike crippling the ship's command. Life Support Systems controls are located on the bridge and require the Ship Captain's permission to alter.
The Captain's suite is located in the middle of the ventral island. This room is the Captain's private quarters. Though the Captain is able to work from within, most ship captains prefer not to separate themselves from the crew.
Cargo holds are located in the fore and aft sections of the dorsal island. Each hold is able to store a Large SSCC. These are filled with extra rations, armaments, spare parts and an odd assortment of other items.
Crew cabins are located in the middle of the ventral island. Enlisted ranks live four to a cabin, NCOs two, and officers receive their own cabin. Due to the small size of the ship, each cabin is fairly small and does not allow much space for personal items or privacy.
Crew recreation is located in the aft of the ventral island. There is a gym, lounge, mess hall and a small theatre room. Given its ability to perform long range missions, consideration was given to making sure the crew did not die of boredom.
Engineering is located in the aft of the ship and is protected by multiple layers of nerimium and durandium armor plating. A crew of six engineers is required to operate at peak efficiency. The section houses the ship's engine room, fusion generators and hyperspace tap. The Drei AI core and Life Support System controls are also located in this section of the ship.
Maintenance conduits run throughout the ship, between the interior bulkheads and the durandium frame. They are generally very tight and require small to medium sized personnel to enter in light clothing. Due to the lack of efficient air circulation, it is also very hot and muggy.
The Medical Center is located in the center of the ship's body. Has six beds for patients and an adjacent operating room. It is stocked to cope with most battle injuries as well as non-battle related injuries. Usually attended by the ship's doctor and one or two medics.
Passageways run the length of the ship whilst elevators and vertical shafts bisect them every 40 meters, allowing for movement between upper and lower decks.
Houses two Na-S/Sh-01 Zachitnik-class Shuttle and has room for two more. Since the ship lacks a Marine contingent, the shuttles are generally used to take on supplies or shuttle crew to and from the ship.
The Wardroom is located in the aft of the ventral island. It is only open to officers and their guests. Ship's officers are responsible for keeping the Wardroom stocked. The majority of the ship's alcohol is located in the Wardroom, making it a favorite target for stealthy enlisted crewmembers.
Utilized to power secondary systems and provide for the plasma drives.
Auxiliary power generation only kicks in if both the main and secondary systems are offline. While it does not produce nearly as much power as the larger power generators, the auxiliary system is at least enough to keep life support, computer systems and one other system going at minimal power.
The Sword utilizes a Drei computer core with one redundant backup.
In the event of power or system failure, the Sword's auxiliary fusion generators are designed to provide power to life support and medical. It is also capable of powering communications and passive sensor system. The generators cannot, however, provide enough power to support weapons system without sacrificing life support or other critical areas.
The Sword features a series of air purification systems, atmospheric scrubbers and recycling equipment as well as a waste collection system. It also includes water purification, recycling and creation to extend the amount of time it can go without resupply. Owing to space limits, there is no redundant back up.
The Sword utilizes the CPS shield suite to cover all the bases in terms of shield technology.