The Alaska-class fast battleship class was built for deep-penetration reconnaissance and counter-logistics missions for the Battle Fleet. A combination of factors gave the class a reputation for being “built to go into danger.” Deployed just before the Time Of The Five Emperors and revised during the Hegemony era, the Alaska-class would remain in service for years, only being replaced by the Guernsey-class fast battleship late in the Hegemony era.
The role of the “fast battleship” class always seemed to require compromises, and the Alaska-class initially seemed to have the fewest compromises. Until it was discovered that it had made no compromises.
At 65,000 tons fully loaded, the 500m-long hull of the Alaska-class was built around six triple turrets mounting 9cm positron beam cannons. This weapons loadout would give the class both incredible range and massive “shock” damage against most targets. Backing this up is sixteen 700mm missile tubes, firing the Mk-28-ModB (and later ModC and ModD) missiles with large magazines and a 410m spinal metaspace cannon with a 45cm aperture, allowing it to do more damage per hit than the Resolute-class battleship.
The class mounts heavy active point defense, reflecting the need to deal with Alpha Rho-class escort battleships with their heavy missile loads. Backing up the heavy point defense is fourteen Rodeo-class missile decoys and an extensive jamming array based around the AN/SG(N)-51 jammer system with six “spike” jammers. Passive defenses are evenly balanced, with the class being the first hull during the Imperial era to use battle chrome armor, with the Hegemony refitting the class with molecularly-collapsed battle chrome armor when the technology came into existence. Shields were considered fairly “light” by battleship standards, but against most threats the class was heavily shielded.
Along with a full ECM suite, the ship mounts enhanced stealth systems with a high-grade military hypersink for IR damping and hull modifications to make it harder for active sensors to track the ship. Like the Renown-class, the Alaska-class mounts a triple extension VLBI array that gives the class an effective 850/1600/2450 meter aperture size, allowing extremely long detection ranges against even stealthed ships. The ship has high acceleration, with 350G acceleration prior to Hegmony-era refits that would give the ship 365G acceleration. With four drive rings, the Alaska-class can do 6 LY/day in slipspace, with a Hegemony refit giving it a 6.5LY/day speed.
Like all capital ships, the Alaska-class carries a “light” marine battalion, with a company-sized powered armor “morgue” in the Imperial era (a full battalion “morgue” would be installed in the Hegemony era). For support in long-duration missions, the ship is fully capable of atmospheric fuel scooping and material printing (with quantum fabricators and harvesting drones installed in the Hegemony era).
The Alaska-class also carries full fleet command facilities, including quarters and a fleet bridge for senior staff. The class had three major revisions, the first being the replacement of the earlier AN/SG(N)-49 with the AN/SG(N)-51 ECM array. The second was the conversion of earlier versions of the ship to the new Hegemony standard with antimatter reactors and quantum fabricators. The third and final revision, prior to the deployment of the Guernsey-class was revisions to the armor systems on the ship.
Like the Renown-class, the Alaska-class was built near the end of the Alpha Wars and saw most of its combat deployment during the Time of the Five Emperors. The class would earn a reputation as a “pocket dreadnought” because of the heavy weapons load and significant defenses against long-range attacks.
This class would remain in service through the Hegemony era, even as the Guernsey-class would replace it. It would remain in second-line service even then, only being fully retired and reclaimed as the Azores-class began to replace the Guernsey-class.
The only major variation on the hull was the Essex-class fast escort tender, which would remove most of the positron beam cannons and all of the missile launcher to replace them with semi-external racks for sixteen Viper-class ACVs. A small 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.
Dimensions: 500 m x 45 m x 40 m
Mass: 65,000 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 VI-VIII)
4x Slipspace rings (6 LY/day, Flights I-V, 6.5 LY/day Flights VI-VIII)
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, 410m accelerator tunnel with a 45cm discharge aperture.
18×9 cm positron beam cannons in triple turrets (two dorsal, two ventral, one port, one starboard.
16x700mm missile tubes with gravity launchers, four arrays of four 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.
14x Rodeo-class missile decoys, 14xMirrorball-class sensor decoys (dispensers ventral and dorsal).
Point Defense: 22 40mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.
28 20mm xaser cannons with double-bounce gravity mirrors in independent casemate mounts.
10x150mm counter-missile launchers, mounted in pairs in the bow, port, starboard, dorsal, and ventral.
Shields: Standard Hegemony Navigational Shields
Combat Shield Generators-175% capacity bow, 150% capacity dorsal, ventral, port and starboard, 100% capacity stern. (All Flights)
Armor: Battle Chrome, 9 cm maximum (Imperium Era)
Collapsed Battle Chrome, 9 cm maximum (Hegemony Era)
2xPinnance, 4xCutter, 18xType 2 Recon Drones, 8xType 3 Recon Drones (Imperium Era)
2xPinnance, 4xCutters, 8xHarvesters, 20xType 2 Recon Drones, 10xType 3 Recon Drones (Hegemony Era)
Here’s where one of the interesting dicatomies of the Imperial Navy comes up, and the Alaska-class is now where ships are built exclusively for Battle Fleet and its mission of being the “heavy fist” of the Empire..
Trade Is Life is an unofficial motto for the Imperium, and keeping the life-blood of the Empire flowing is important. The reverse is true-even with printer (and later fabricator) technology, a core portion of Imperial doctrine was the denial of logistic assets to an opponent. In Imperial naval doctrine, this mission was what the fast battleship class was built for-able to destroy most light escorts and transports, while evade heavier escorting ships. This would force enemies- especially the Alphas-to either risk massive logistic losses or commit capital ships to defending convoys.
The Alaska-class was built for that mission-having battlecruiser acceleration, but battleship weapons and defenses. Debates about if the Alaska-class was a better ship than the Resolute-class battleship continued for years. The one biggest issue of this class was the sheer cost of the ships-you could build 2.75 Resolute-class battleships for one Alaska-class fast battleship. With the end of the Alpha threat just prior to the Time Of The Five Emperors, numbers of the Alaska-class hulls were being reduced and placed into reserve.
The chaos of what happened after the Time of the Five Emperors brought the Alaska-class back to the forefront. Many remnants of the rebel navies had battlecruisers and a few older battleships. The speed, firepower, and point defense of the Alaska-class made them critical for engaging remnant forces and destroying them. After most of the rebel forces were destroyed, numbers would be reduced again but as much as previously.
Like all Imperial capital ships, the Alaska-class carries full fleet facilities, with capabilities up to a task group or small fleet. The enlarged Marine complement also serves to provide planetary security and boarding parties as needed (a “light” marine battalion). The class almost never is sent in alone but is often a part of a task force of two to four Alaska-class ships, four to eight heavy cruisers, six to twelve light cruisers, and smaller ships and support ships based upon needs.
Only rarely is this ship-along with the Resolute-class battleship-deployed in the Ghost Fleet caches, and only the largest of the caches. The class would be replaced in Imperial service by the Guernsey-class fast battleship, entering into second-line service. The class would remain in operation until the deployment of the Azores-class fast battleship.