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New Ship: the Corvette

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New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Maldorian   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:48 am

Maldorian
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I was thinking for a long time about a ship for the Honorverse.
The main problem is, that there is not a specialized ship to transport boarding crews to incomming merchant ships for investigation.

That is why I thought of the corvette.

Characteristics:

- no hyperdrive
- a shuttle bay at the rear or two at each broadside (only small shuttle crafts)
- fusion powered
- two destroyer grad Graser in each broadside to cover boarding operations
- armor planting strong enough to resist laser cluster
- laser cluster for missle defense (counter missles take to much space, so, none of them)
- one or two superdreadnought graser at the front and some missles from the Ferret LAC´s

I don´t know if the boarding crew should be part of the main crew to operate the vessel or independent like the marines. I think there should be one to two dozen boarding specialists.

The job of these vessels would be to intercept incomming ships, scan them and send boarding crews to prove their cargo and that far away of the habitated planet or orbital facilities.

In the case of an enemy intruder you can use it like an oversized LAC, well, it is a oversized LAC.

One point is, that thes ships are for the local security forces to save manticorian people and to increase the relatianship to the planets. Maybe they will be supervised by manticorians till they know the procedre and can be trusted.

I think there should be three visions of the vessel.

1. The high end variant for manticore itself and her closest allies (the one´s who have access to all the manty toys)

2. A downgraded vision for Talbott and Silesia. Easier to maintain, easier to learn how to handle them and of course, no loss if someone sell the blueprints to the solarians (or someone else). Maybe they could be build in Talbott and Silesia.

3. A solarian variant. I think manticore could ask the Maya sector in secret to build them for them and deliver them to liberated systems in the shell to give them a basic protection.

What do you think about my idea? any holes in the concept?
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by locarno24   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:18 am

locarno24
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:26 am

I guess it depends on the situation. For inspecting merchant traffic approaching a specific point (a planet, a wormhole terminus, a major station, etc) then On Basilisk Station implies that a 'proper' pinnace does the job

It has a wedge, allowing decent 'local' speeds and it has weapons good enough to threaten merchant ships that have no sidewalls and are too slow on the helm to roll ship defensively.

They're distinctly less capable than even an LAC, but then pointing even a few destroyer-class energy weapons at a merchant ship is probably overkill (note that 'crippling fire' to cover a boarding operation on a merchantman is perfectly possible with a standard point defence cluster - you see this happen in Shadow of Sagnami), and a full pinnace is able to go out and meet a ship a reasonable distance out without needing a ship to 'carry' them, like a cutter would.

Building a patrol-sized system defence warship - either an oversized LAC, or a non-hyper-capable frigate, depending on your point of view - might be useful for 'back end of nowhere' systems; an LAC-sized ship either doesn't carry enough crew for boarding and customs enforcement, or if it does it probably doesn't carry enough guns to threaten a bigger pirate.

Building a ship big enough to pack in both the firepower of an LAC (but only an LAC) and a cutter and boarding party, rather than the hyper generator, big magazine and a second 'big gun' of the Nat Turner class, sounds doable on first impression.

I don't think it's especially useful for anyone able to field their own LACs and customs pinnaces en masse, though, so I can't see 'big navies' being that bothered.
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Somtaaw   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:09 am

Somtaaw
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Location: Canada

This appears mostly like a solution waiting for a major problem, but to address some of your points in a loose order of good to WTF.


The oversized shuttlebays (and crew capacity) make lots of sense, similar to the PNS Tepes which was a battlecruiser with SD sized shuttlebays. A custom ship may have a somewhat aggressive merchy (OBS Havenite ship insulting Cardones, who then pleasantly says he'll fire into them if they don't back off) that sending an unarmed cutter (which has no wedge) isn't sufficient. And among other things, boarding shuttles & all-up navy pinnaces ARE designed to put boarding crews on ships in flight (from Basilisk station text, when Honor was chasing the Q-ship and regretting sending all 3 pinnaces to Basilisk to suppress the native uprising).

However that oversized (or multiple) shuttlebays also mean the Corvette doesn't require major weapons of it's own outside of PDLC's for personal defense. Pinnace lasers are FAR better suited for threatening a merchy, which means you'd load the Corvette with standard (broadside) missile tubes, possibly upsized to battlecruiser grade. That gives the corvette enough teeth to server as a hyper-limit patrol boat as well as customs, since the pinnaces are still the major close-range beam threat that won't completely destroy the target.


And as per above, they don't need broadside energy mounts at all, and missile tubes are far more useful for anti-piracy patrolling the hyperlimit perimeter while also being vaguely useful for a wormhole custom boat, since the pinnaces would provide any major energy fire needed. That makes the pathetic destroyer broadside lasers, and especially the SD graser spinal mount completely irrelevant, either it's an actual merchant ship in which case pinnaces lasers are better, or it's a full up warship even if you have a Shrike bow-wall or SD grade sidewalls, you're so close those passive defenses can't stop an energy beam coming through. This also removes the need for PDLC-proof armor plating, this corvette would be standing off while it sends a cutter over, possibly with a pinnace or two hovering nearby. The corvette itself is rarely going to be in danger, especially if there's a pinnace or two already in position to threaten the 'merchy', much like Hexapuma at Montana was in virtually zero danger while they sent the pinnace over to the Marianne.


Maldorian wrote:I don´t know if the boarding crew should be part of the main crew to operate the vessel or independent like the marines. I think there should be one to two dozen boarding specialists.

The job of these vessels would be to intercept incomming ships, scan them and send boarding crews to prove their cargo and that far away of the habitated planet or orbital facilities.


Crew-wise, for customs work you still need Naval types in every inspection party because as per Basilisk Station, Marines aren't fully knowledgable about hiding contraband aboard ship so you have 1-2 junior officers per customs party plus a contingent of naval ratings, and at least 2-3 Marines as escort/security.


Thinking about it, each corvette's actually going to need nearly identical crew capacity as the Courageous class cruisers because we saw the numbers Honor detached during OBS specifically. The Courageous class has 200 crew to start with, and Honor detached Lt Venizelos along with 35 ratings and 1 junior officer plus both her pinnaces to provide round the clock customs & inspection parties at the Terminus itself. Plus at Basilisk itself, Honor detached another Commander Stromboli + Ensign Tremaine, another 40-some ratings, and 15 'specialists' suggested by McBryde (60-some total) to crew 3 pinnaces and 2 boarding shuttles round-the clock in 3 watches which gives us a pretty good feel for how many people make up an inspection group, not counting the 3 Marines that accompanied Tremaine when he nailed Mondragon for smuggling the pelts (is 3 Marines customary for ALL inspection parties, or was that simply how many happened to accompany Tremaine/Harknesses group on Mondragon because it was Manticoran and not Andermani/Havenite?)


Either way, what Honor detached to support Reynauld at the Terminus works out to loosely 17 naval ratings per pinnance + Venizelos or the junior officer, and what Honor detached to Basilisk (not counting the unspecified NPA assistance) works out to about 12 Naval types per small craft (plus a few Marines and apparently 1 SBA). You're not going to be able to really cut down on those numbers without sacrificing how well you can inspect, but you can save crew size because Honor's Fearless was capable of continuing to operate despite detached almost 50% of her crew and fought the Q-ship while undermanned... so the Corvette crew should NOT be independent, their main job would be crewing the corvette and the inspection duty will simply be whoever is "on watch" at the time they need to deploy a cutter/boarding shuttle and possibly a couple pinnaces for the intimidation factor (as the 2 pinnaces at Reynaulds Terminus operated like that... one docked while the other hovered pointedly reminding the merchy to follow the rules).


----
Maldorian wrote:In the case of an enemy intruder you can use it like an oversized LAC, well, it is a oversized LAC.

One point is, that thes ships are for the local security forces to save manticorian people and to increase the relatianship to the planets. Maybe they will be supervised by manticorians till they know the procedre and can be trusted.


See now this is just making the ship cover too many roles. If it's going to be customs work, as above it's got an absolutely huge crew simply to cover all the small craft she'll be launching... in essence a "customs corvette" is an undersized CLAC, instead of launching LAC's she's just launching pinnaces. So she 'might' also get pressed into service as a Marine/Army troop transport as her pinnaces serve just fine docking (and threatening) merchies as easily as they'd provide close-air support for army/marine ground action. Admiral 'Clusterbomb' McQueen on Haven, or the 2 pinnaces bombing and strafing the natives on Basilisk prove that, the same pinnances that just a week before were inspecting merchies in Basilisk orbit turned around and bombed the drugged-up Stilties off the map.


The high crew count is almost required to properly serve as a form of customs boat, but the second you're trying to throw it into combat against anything except maybe literally stumbling over a pirate lying doggo, it's a horribly inefficient ship and it won't matter what it's armed with, it's going to die to even a tincan destroyer because you haven't given it any meaningful defenses.


Maldorian wrote:I think there should be three visions of the vessel.
1. The high end variant for manticore itself and her closest allies (the one´s who have access to all the manty toys)

2. A downgraded vision for Talbott and Silesia. Easier to maintain, easier to learn how to handle them and of course, no loss if someone sell the blueprints to the solarians (or someone else). Maybe they could be build in Talbott and Silesia.


Talbott & Silesia ARE Manticore now, if they only got an export version that's essentially saying they're second-class citizens, which will rapidly cause resentment and with enough time, you wind up with a Mesa + Seccies situation. If Manticore uses a corvette (micro-CLAC launching pinnaces instead of LACs) for customs, they'd use ONE design for Manticore Junction + Terminii, Silesia, and Talbott combined.

Maldorian wrote:3. A solarian variant. I think manticore could ask the Maya sector in secret to build them for them and deliver them to liberated systems in the shell to give them a basic protection.

What do you think about my idea? any holes in the concept?


Even though they're friendly to Maya, you're including wayy too much Manticoran tech into the design for Maya to be building it, they're friendly with one another but Maya never really did sign on to fight Mesa, so unlike Haven + Manticore (or Manticore + Andermani), I can't quite see Manticore handing over the keys like that. That's also why while Manticore offered to send Mycroft platforms to cover Mayan & Erewhon systems they were also sending the crew to operate and maintain it, NOT giving those designs so Maya & Erewhon could build their own (aka not completely trusted).



---

to re-sum my adjustments, other than this mostly seeming like a solution in search of a problem, the customs role does need an update design with how lean & manpower efficient Manticoran/Republican ships are these days, and Rolands clearly aren't upto the task.

-Courageous level crews (200-ish) and boarding parties + security are drawn from whoever is on-duty rather than having non-integrated crew that basically sit around being bored (or training) when nothing's around to do.

-keep the oversized shuttlebays, heavy on PINNACES & boarding shuttles. No cutters at all, those are much too short-legged and cannot keep up with a ship that's under active impeller drive. Pinnances are also the only source for direct energy fire, because the corvette's energy weapons would be too powerful for merchants or too close to risk rolling down from behind her wedge.

-any organic weapons on the corvette should be missiles, not lasers. Pirates are going to run away long before you enter beam range, which means you need missile reach, while sending a corvette against anything more serious is basically shooting the crew yourself

-any armor is pointless, see above 2 comments, the corvette will be so close to potential fire no sidewall (or armor) could possibly prevent it being damaged, while most pirates are destroyers/cruiser which are lightly armored (if at all) themselves making it an even fight.

-one design for everywhere, and possibly even remove using any Alliance tech:
-this ship wouldn't need Alliancce-grade compensators. It's going to spend most of it's time near a wormhole terminus, or near the hyperlimit waiting for a known convoy to arrive, with some hyperlimit anti-piracy sweeps so she doesn't NEED to be Shrike or Roland fast.

-don't need FTL grav-pulse, this isn't a scout ship and unless it's sweeping a hyperlimit perimeter it's not going to be sending many reports back to the planet. Plus you dont need your own gravpulse to read what's transmitted TO you, you just need to know how to read the directional pulses.

-don't need DDM/MDM missiles either, pirates don't have those and you won't be getting sent out against obvious threats (multiple unscheduled ships)
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Theemile   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:40 am

Theemile
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Posts: 4126
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: All over the Place - Now Serving Dublin, OH

Maldorian wrote:I was thinking for a long time about a ship for the Honorverse.
The main problem is, that there is not a specialized ship to transport boarding crews to incomming merchant ships for investigation.

That is why I thought of the corvette.

Characteristics:

- no hyperdrive
- a shuttle bay at the rear or two at each broadside (only small shuttle crafts)
- fusion powered
- two destroyer grad Graser in each broadside to cover boarding operations
- armor planting strong enough to resist laser cluster
- laser cluster for missle defense (counter missles take to much space, so, none of them)
- one or two superdreadnought graser at the front and some missles from the Ferret LAC´s

I don´t know if the boarding crew should be part of the main crew to operate the vessel or independent like the marines. I think there should be one to two dozen boarding specialists.

The job of these vessels would be to intercept incomming ships, scan them and send boarding crews to prove their cargo and that far away of the habitated planet or orbital facilities.

In the case of an enemy intruder you can use it like an oversized LAC, well, it is a oversized LAC.

One point is, that thes ships are for the local security forces to save manticorian people and to increase the relatianship to the planets. Maybe they will be supervised by manticorians till they know the procedre and can be trusted.

I think there should be three visions of the vessel.

1. The high end variant for manticore itself and her closest allies (the one´s who have access to all the manty toys)

2. A downgraded vision for Talbott and Silesia. Easier to maintain, easier to learn how to handle them and of course, no loss if someone sell the blueprints to the solarians (or someone else). Maybe they could be build in Talbott and Silesia.

3. A solarian variant. I think manticore could ask the Maya sector in secret to build them for them and deliver them to liberated systems in the shell to give them a basic protection.

What do you think about my idea? any holes in the concept?



Traditionally, Corvettes already exist as a class in The Honorverse. Like your suggestion, they are ships without hyperdrives, usually a Destroyer hull, without Hyper drives. They were common in older times ( see Manticore Ascendent novels), and used by poor navies now, or in Situations where a hyper combatant is not allowed ( A manticorian corporation in the Schuler system used 2 for local defense, because of a Silesian law against private armed starships.)

David's word on the subject is no major navy will build one. For about 5-10% more cost, you get a hyper combatant, which is much more usable- even in local defense, they can jump from 1 side of the hyperlimit to the other side instantly. Long term costs are about the same, so it is inefficient for a navy.

For more information, look in the pearls for HAC (HEAVY ATTACK CRAFT).
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Relax   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:42 pm

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Zero need for this as:
1) Missile pods full of MDM is the REAL hammer
2) Shuttle crews tied to defensive net and EVERYONE in system knows it.
3) Said defensive net has MDM missiles: Need one say more?
_________
Tally Ho!
Relax
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:07 pm

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Theemile wrote:Traditionally, Corvettes already exist as a class in The Honorverse. Like your suggestion, they are ships without hyperdrives, usually a Destroyer hull, without Hyper drives. They were common in older times ( see Manticore Ascendent novels), and used by poor navies now, or in Situations where a hyper combatant is not allowed ( A manticorian corporation in the Schuler system used 2 for local defense, because of a Silesian law against private armed starships.)

David's word on the subject is no major navy will build one. For about 5-10% more cost, you get a hyper combatant, which is much more usable- even in local defense, they can jump from 1 side of the hyperlimit to the other side instantly. Long term costs are about the same, so it is inefficient for a navy.

For more information, look in the pearls for HAC (HEAVY ATTACK CRAFT).

That was my first impression of the class as well. Just use an older destroyer class - gets you almost everything this class would have, plus is hyper capable and is not locked into that role by design.
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Theemile   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:58 pm

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Galactic Sapper wrote:
Theemile wrote:Traditionally, Corvettes already exist as a class in The Honorverse. Like your suggestion, they are ships without hyperdrives, usually a Destroyer hull, without Hyper drives. They were common in older times ( see Manticore Ascendent novels), and used by poor navies now, or in Situations where a hyper combatant is not allowed ( A manticorian corporation in the Schuler system used 2 for local defense, because of a Silesian law against private armed starships.)

David's word on the subject is no major navy will build one. For about 5-10% more cost, you get a hyper combatant, which is much more usable- even in local defense, they can jump from 1 side of the hyperlimit to the other side instantly. Long term costs are about the same, so it is inefficient for a navy.

For more information, look in the pearls for HAC (HEAVY ATTACK CRAFT).

That was my first impression of the class as well. Just use an older destroyer class - gets you almost everything this class would have, plus is hyper capable and is not locked into that role by design.


I have a feeling that the job the OP described is being done by the Kammerling class, with it's large Marine unit and oversized boatbays. Throw in some tractored MDMs to back up it's LERMs and you have the perfect unit to control a hyper emergence space. There is no need to get close enough to worry about pdlcs, a Kammerling can sit at 1 Mkm and send in it's pinnances. Though on the RMN roles as a CL, it's the size of a traditional CA, and that alone will intimidate almost anyone into submission, the rest will be gunned down from a distance beyond which they can respond back.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:40 pm

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The HAC link: http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Harrington/76/1. One other detail: the corvettes in Travis' time were attached to the MPARS, not RMN.

The only thing I'd see a HAC / Corvette good for, compared to an LAC, is endurance. A CT could probably stay out for weeks to a month, unlike an LAC, that would need to return to base much more frequently.

However, since it's not hypercapable, we're talking about a friendly system with a base. Given an LAC's acceleration, I don't see the point in having a corvette instead of multiple LACs. Having more units also allows you to cover more volume. And in the universe where 4-stage system defence missiles exist and are probably spread out inside the hyperlimit, you can hit any target within 10 minutes, if you need to.

And as Galactic_Supper mentioned, for a bit more in price, you can get a hypercapable, multi-role unit (David probably means a DD, not FF).

For customs inspection, you don't often intercept in the middle of nowhere, you just wait until the incoming merchant arrives at its destination. For surprise inspections, I don't see why a LAC wouldn't work.
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:06 pm

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Why not just stick with using the pinnace type ships or even Assault Shuttles?

You don't have to build new designs, though you may have to come up with variants of existing ones. Need more punch? Box launchers- take your pick of doing it with older single drive misses or even CMs. A CM is more than enough to rip a critical chunk out of a merchant ship and an "old" SDM is more than enough to kill merchant ship at significant range.

Send Marines and experienced naval personnel. Heck they have customes enforcement for most systems, just run the schools with apprenticeships to turn out more inspectors and have them qualifed to work in space. At the minimum you want them to be able to deal with doing EVAs and emergencies out in vacume.
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Re: New Ship: the Corvette
Post by Theemile   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:24 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:The HAC link: http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Harrington/76/1. One other detail: the corvettes in Travis' time were attached to the MPARS, not RMN.

The only thing I'd see a HAC / Corvette good for, compared to an LAC, is endurance. A CT could probably stay out for weeks to a month, unlike an LAC, that would need to return to base much more frequently.

However, since it's not hypercapable, we're talking about a friendly system with a base. Given an LAC's acceleration, I don't see the point in having a corvette instead of multiple LACs. Having more units also allows you to cover more volume. And in the universe where 4-stage system defence missiles exist and are probably spread out inside the hyperlimit, you can hit any target within 10 minutes, if you need to.

And as Galactic_Supper mentioned, for a bit more in price, you can get a hypercapable, multi-role unit (David probably means a DD, not FF).

For customs inspection, you don't often intercept in the middle of nowhere, you just wait until the incoming merchant arrives at its destination. For surprise inspections, I don't see why a LAC wouldn't work.



The Corvettes were originally RMN, but were shifted to MPARS in "A Call to Arms" in a political maneuver to apiese the political group trying to create MPARS.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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