The Renown-class would be a controversial replacement for the Hood-class of battle cruisers in the Imperial Navy. Designed and built just before the end of the Alpha threat, the Renown would later serve in both the Imperium and Hegemony-eras of the Empire as a task group command ship, counter-piracy warship, and often the largest hull in operation for Patrol Fleet operations.
Initially designed as a revision of the Hood-class battlecruiser, the Renown-class would instead see several major innovations in both design and construction. The first was the replacement of the double 9cm turrets with triple 6.5 cm turrets, sacrificing long-range firepower for faster and heavier firepower at optimal engagement ranges. The class would also be slightly lighter for missiles, mounting only ten missile tubes over twelve. Fortunately, by the time the Renown-class began deployment, the Mk-28 missile (specifically the Mk-28-ModB version) was entering service.
Point defense is built around eight counter-missile launchers, point defense x-ray lasers in 40mm and 20mm apertures, and ten Rodeo-class missile decoys. The ship also carries a AN/SG(N)-44 jammer array with up to four “spike” jammers for anti-missile engagements. Passive defenses were actually lighter than the Hood-class, with only “cruiser-weight” armor and shields. During the Hegemony era, the ship would have heavier armor installed, but the class would be considered “fragile” against battleship-grade and above opponents.
The class also mounts a full stealth and ECM suite, with a high-grade military hypersink for quick IR dampening. The class also mounts a triple extension VLBI array, giving the ship an effective 600/760/1520 meter array width. This is considered vital for the commerce protection role, as the class can detect potential threats at significant distances under stealth. The class also has a 350G acceleration (360G with Hegemony-era refits) and can operate at 6 LY/day in slipspace with four drive rings.
The Renown-class also carries a “light” marine battalion, with a company-sized powered armor “morgue” in the Imperial era (a full battalion “morgue” would be installed in later versions). The ship also carries standard material printers (later to be replaced with quantum fabricators in the Hegemony era) and is configured for atmospheric “scooping” for refueling.
This class also has full fleet facilities, including quarters and a separate fleet bridget for senior staff. Most of the hull revisions were for minor technical issues, including the replacement of the fusion reactors with antimatter reactors in the Hegemony period. The only major changes to the class was thicker battle steel armor and slight improvements in the Q-coils for higher acceleration.
Built just before the end of the Alpha Wars, the Renown-class would remain in service through the end of the Wars, the Time of the Five Emperors, and finally into Hegemony service. Almost exclusively used by Patrol Fleet during its history, it was well regarded for most of the internal security and anti-piracy missions it performed. Crews regarded the class as nimble but fragile-capital ship weapons were capable of doing significant damage if attacks got past the shields and armor.
Both of these defensive issues would be resolved in the later Indefatigable-class battlecruiser, which would take the “battleship writ small” design concept in terms of armor and weapons.
A number of hulls would be modified for the Ghost Fleet mission during the Hegemony era, namely the removal of the antimatter reactors and replacement with fusion reactors, and secondary modifications to improve long-duration mission operations with the class. Proposals for a full battalion Marine transport on this hull were continually proposed, but were never deployed.
Dimensions: 350 m x 35 m x 30 m
Mass: 45,000 tons (consistent across all flights)
2x Yoyodine Type 48 Gravity Fusion Reactors (Imperium Era, Flight I-V)
2x Yoyodine Type 47 Antimatter Reactors (Hegemony Era, Flight V-VI)
2x Yoyodine Type 47-A Antimatter Reactors (Hegemony Era, Flight VII-VIII)
8x Q-Coils (350 G acceleration Flights I-V, 360 G acceleration Flights V-VIII)
4x Slipspace rings (6 LY/day, all flights)
180 days on stored supplies, fuel scoops (Imperium Era)
180 days of antihydrogen at 90% power, theoretically unlimited material endurance (Hegemony Era)
One Class VII AI, three Class VI AIs, 30 Officers, 50 NCO, 350 Able Spacers, 300 Marines, backup bioshells and cybershells (Imperial Era)
One Class VII AI, three Class VI AIs, three Class V AIs, mixture of uploads and biological crew equaling 500 crew members, 300 Marines, backup bioshells and cybershells (Hegemony Era)
1xMetaspace Cannon, 310m accelerator tunnel with a 40cm discharge aperture.
21×6.5cm positron beam cannons in triple turrets (two dorsal, two ventral, one port, one starboard.
10x700mm missile tubes with gravity launchers, two arrays of five port and starboard.
Stealth Systems: Radar sheath, IR dampener w/high-grade military specification hypersink, hull form.
ECM: AN/SL(G)-82 Electronic Warfare Array, with “spike” and “strobe” jammer options.
AN/SG(N)-44 Electronic Warfare Array with two port and two starboard “spike” arrays.
10x Rodeo-class missile decoys, 10xMirrorball-class sensor decoys (dispensers ventral and dorsal).
Point Defense: 16 40mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.
20 20mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.
8x150mm counter-missile launchers, mounted in a pair in the bow, triple tubes port and starboard.
Shields: Standard Hegemony Navigational Shields
Combat Shield Generators-175% capacity bow, 150% capacity dorsal, ventral, port and starboard, 100% capacity stern. (All Flights)
Armor: Fibersteel, 8.5 cm maximum (Imperium Era)
Battle Steel, 9 cm maximum (Hegemony Era)
2xPinnance, 4xCutter, 14xType 2 Recon Drones, 6xType 3 Recon Drones (Imperium Era)
2xPinnance, 4xCutters, 8xHarvesters, 16xType 2 Recon Drones, 8xType 3 Recon Drones (Hegemony Era)
Here’s where one of the interesting dicatomies of the Imperial Navy comes up, and the Renown-class marks the dividing line between Patrol Fleet and Battle Fleet.
Trade Is Life being an unofficial motto for the Imperium, and keeping the lifeblood of the Empire flowing is important. The Renown-class is built to defend Imperial commerce as a part of Patrol Fleet, while the Alaska-class fast battleship is designed to attack hostile commerce and shipping as a part of Battle Fleet and both designs reflect that mission. The enlarged Marine complement also serves to provide planetary security as needed (a “light” marine battalion) and full fleet facilities for a squadron or task group. It’s not quite the generalist that the Hotspur-class is, and it is rarely deployed without an escort of at least two to four light cruisers and supporting elements, but it is considered a workhorse hull of the Empire and has always reflected this role.
With few exceptions, this is the largest Imperial ship by type in a Ghost Fleet cache, with only the largest of caches having a Alaska-class fast battleship or a Resolute-class battleship. Debates about if this was a good idea or not always foundered on the simple fact that nobody wanted to risk leaving something like a Bismarck-class dreadnought, a Yamato-class super-dreadnought or a Iowa-class monitor outside of proper military supervision.