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 Dauntless Class Light Aircraft Carrier

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PostSubject: Dauntless Class Light Aircraft Carrier    Thu 15 Jul - 14:37

In general, military leaders did not agree with their government leaders but did not control finances. The Hardenburghian Navy, with virtually all of their navy becoming obsolete with the introduction of new materials and new weapon systems, wanted to construct a new super carrier class. As well, the Ramillies class carriers were simply getting old and refitting them would not be cost effective. The Defence department concluded after a prolonged and expensive review that it was best set to build an extensive set of Escort carriers , which , after the super carriers that the Hardenburghian navy did still possess had left a given area , could provide aerial cover. One project was for a conventionally powered carrier which was much smaller than a fleet carrier and would be a minimalist design. While the carrier would have only a fraction of the capabilities of the larger carriers, it would be far less expensive to build. This vessel was selected by the president as a replacement for the decommissioning large carriers. The Navy generally did not like the concept but were overruled and the project went forward. The class did have one major advantage over super carriers for the navy that they were much quicker to build than super carriers. It was first planned that thirty of these carriers would be built with the program being later cut down to twenty nine vessels in order to finance the rebuilding of existing carriers to new standards. Later, the program was cut to twenty carriers with the change of political leadership in favor of funding the next call of super carriers, which later became the Ranger class carrier. The name "Avenger" (CVE-140) was selected for the new escort carrier class with the two other carriers being named "Corsair" (CVE-141) and "Dauntless" (CVE-142) after famous World War fighter classes.

Even though the Navy preferred super carriers over the lighter Avenger class, the escort carriers were employed heavily. In many ways, they worked far harder than the super carriers. Roles performed by the escort carriers included those that a super carrier was seen as not needed and too large. These roles included escorting task forces, supporting of amphibious operations, and for anti-submarine hunting groups. With combined with fighters from amphibious carriers, the ships could preform admirably in the support of amphibious operations. Their shallower draft also means that they can support operations closer to shore in many cases. In the roles of task force escort and submarine hunting, the escort carrier performed in a similar role to the Sea Control Ships which were proposed in the later part of the Twentieth Century. The reason was because they could be built in smaller yards and could be built much quicker. While called an escort carrier, the Avenger class completely outclasses the escort carriers of World War Two. It is much faster, carriers a larger air wing, and is far larger. In size, it is larger than a World War II fleet carrier.

When the ships were first built, power was provided by four gas turbine engines which provide about twice as much power as earlier gas turbine engines. The four gas turbine engines also provided more power than the engines of the old Ramillies class fleet carriers. The propulsion used electric drive and two podded propellers like most vessels being built around the same time. Top speed of the escort carrier was almost thirty knots at full power. These were later replaced by fusion turbines which provided even greater power and speed increased to around thirty-two knots. Virtually all gas turbine powered vessels had their old engines replaced by fusion turbines with the introduction of viable small fusion engines. In addition to increasing the speed of the vessel, the new engines also gave the ships unlimited range and allowed the conversion of fuel tankage for other purposes. In the case of the Avenger, several of the fuel tanks were converted to improve the ability of the escort carrier to withstand damage. The Avenger class was one of the first carriers built using the new composites and alloys. A secondary advantage of the material was that the ships no longer had the corrosion problems of previous steel vessels and the crew required for deck maintenance was reduced. While not a true stealth ship, the Avenger class escort carrier was designed with a reduced radar cross signature so that it would be harder to detect than it would be otherwise.

The sensor suit is very limited and there have been several proposals to upgrade the radar systems to more modern standards. The radar system carried is the SPS-88 carried on the Avenger frigates. In most cases, the radar carried on the carrier was adequate to controlling the escort carrier's air group and usually a destroyer was assigned to provide better air coverage. Like most carriers, the main weaponry of the Avenger are its aircraft. A total of forty-two aircraft could be carried. This included two squadrons of fighters / attack aircraft and eighteen support craft. The first fighters carried were the VTOL versions of the Joint Strike Fighter. These were replaced by the FV-38 Panther II in later service. The older fighter was retained instead of replacing them with the FV-45 Sea Hawk because it would mean a reduction in the number of fighters carried. There was some consideration given to the eventual replacement of the Panther with Manta-Ray but these were considered too valuable in the roles that they performed. Unlike previous carriers, the Avenger class does not have catapults or arresting gear and can only carry VTOL aircraft. The escort carrier does have a bow ski-jump ramp to enable the easier take-off of aircraft.
For self defense, the carrier is only lightly armed but still is considered capable of self protection. Originally, two eight cell tactical type Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems were planned. One was planned to be mounted on either side of the ship. These were replaced by Mk 55 medium range vertical launch systems while the escort carrier was still being built. They could carry a much larger payload than the launchers which they replaced. The ship also carried two Vulcan Phalanx CIWS mounts and two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) missile launchers. Two were mounted forward of the main superstructure and two are mounted aft towards the fantail. The mounts were replaced in refits with combination mounts which combine a powerful but compact rail gun with short range missile launchers. No ant-submarine weapons are carried but the carrier is fitted with towed decoys.
While the ships were built for minimum construction cost, they were also designed for reduced operational cost as well. One way this is done is to carry impressive automation to reduce crew requirements. One major weakness in the escort carriers is that they have no flagship facilities even though they have been often required to preform as flagships. The ship has space for a small number of marines and there had been consideration given to replacing the marine spaces with command and control facilities. This was never done and later in service a number of flying power armors were embarked in addition to aircraft. Due to a lack in number of Semper Pi with jet packs, SAMAS power armors were often substituted.

Model Type: Avenger class Escort Carrier 

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Light Aircraft Carrier 

Crew: Ships Crew: 425 (45 Officers and 380 Enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]) Air Wing: 261 (85 Pilots, 16 flight deck officers, 160 enlisted) 

Troops:100 (40 pilots for SAMAS / Semper Phi power Armor, 60 soldiers in body armor)
Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:[b]
6 EVS-84A Anti-Submarine Warfare
4 EVE-84A Electronics Warfare
24 FV-38 Panther II VSTOL Fighter
8 Utility Tilt Rotors

[b]Other Spec

Elevators (2): 250 each
Hanger Doors (2): 250 each
Flight Deck: 2,500
Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (4, Sides): 200 each
Mk 55 Eight Cell Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2): Heavy Defense Rail Guns (4): 50 each
FChaff Launchers (4, Superstructure): 10 each
SPS-88 Active Phased Array Radar System: 160
Bridge / Command Tower: 1,500
Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area): 80
Main Body: 6,800
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Dauntless Class Light Aircraft Carrier

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