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Harbinger Prototype Battleship

Less than a week after the failed attempt to push the Camino Star Empire into war with the Novus Initium Republic, Head Advisor Forneido of the Royal Lykan Empire decided it was time to design a new battleship for the Royal Navy. This was in response to ships like those from the Republic and the Empire that could stay on the battlefield longer due to systems that can either boost their shields (Republic and soon the United Vitam State) or use and armor repairer system (Republic and Empire). With the lack of such systems on their ships, the Royal Navy was at a severe disadvantage and was taking losses heavier than their enemies. The Advanced Research and Development Department (answerable only to Forneido to keep the development secret) decided to look at the salvaged Imperial ship technology from over 50 years ago to see if the armor repairer systems were salvageable among the wreckage. A working unit was found and the developers managed to reverse engineer the system. After a few weeks of testing, the new armor repairer unit was deemed successful and ready for implementation for the new battleship design.

In order to cut the development costs, two existing Thrasher battleships were brought in and dismantled. In order for the new armor repairer system to work in full effect, the new design had to have fewer panel lines and larger armor plates to make it easier for the new system to repair. The hull was also enlarged to be the same length as the Republic’s Paladin Battleship for multiple reasons ranging from more storage capacity for the ammo to increased space for additional reactors due to the power needs of the armor repairer system. The enlarged size also lent itself to having a more psychological effect on the Kingdom’s enemies such as the State and the Empire as their battleships are smaller. The armor was also increased from 1200mm thick rolled tungsten plates to 2400mm plates making the Harbinger a very tough nut to crack.

The increased size allowed the ship to be fitted with some addition firepower to increase the threat of such a vessel on the battlefield. Among the anti-battleship guns, the Harbinger utilizes 18 1200mm dual artillery cannons for long-range assaults and 18 425mm dual autocannons for close to medium attacks compared to the Thrasher’s 12 guns each. For anti-cruiser weapons, the Harbinger fields 32 800mm quad-barrel artillery cannons compared to the Thrasher’s 20 guns of this same type. It was still deemed that the need of autocannons against such targets was still unneeded as the artillery cannons should be able to destroy targets before they get close enough. For anti-destroyer combat, the Harbinger is still equipped with 28 280mm twin artillery cannons for use against long range targets and packs 44 125mm twin gatling autocannons much like the Thrasher for close range targets. The Harbinger is also still equipped with two 800mm heavy artillery cannons but these weapons are forward firing only.

One major weakness in the Thrasher’s design was the exposed engine array that was susceptible to enemy fire, of which Forneido was well aware in the first battle with the Republic. This weakness was addressed in the Harbinger’s design by recessing the main engines into the hull, protecting them with armor plates from all angles except from above or behind the ship. However, even the engines can be repaired with the armor repairer system making them just as tough to destroy as the rest of the ship. There are four engines within the main body and one within each of the battleship gun pods on the end of the wings to help the ship turn due to the increased mass of the vessel.

One experimental piece of equipment was also added to the Harbinger: The “Reeler” Jump Drive System. Unlike conventional jump drives, the Reeler uses an emitter to fire a beam that has passed through the ship’s supply of jump crystals towards the direction of a “receiver,” a communications system that doubles as the “connection” point to the wormhole being generated by the Harbinger. In a way, it is a portable version of a star gate, only in this case the ship is drawn in by the wormhole thanks to the “receiver” system. Since the “receiver” is much like a homing device and amplifies the wormhole that is generated, the range of the jump is farther that the usual jump drive range, almost doubling the range of the jump. This allows the crystals on board to not get used up (a huge issue within the Kingdom with the recent loss of Salire Purpura crystal mines due to the war) which means they can be used constantly. The only problem is that there has to be a “receiver” system at the other end for the Harbinger to transmit to. Otherwise, the jump drive won’t work at all and the ship is not equipped with a standard jump drive due to the shortage of jump crystals that remain. Nevertheless, the equipment is still experimental and was not tested in real-world situations until near the end of the war. The emitter for the system is located in the center of the ship pointing towards the bow behind metal plates.

The Harbinger was completed by August 30, 5433 A.D. and underwent final tests to ensure everything was operational. However, instead of it being used against enemies of the Kingdom, it was used by Forneido to bring an end to the current Lykan government after a religious revelation occurred explaining the misinterpretations of the Lykan faith. This revelation would bring an end to the Kingdom and sow the seeds of the new Holy Lykan Republic. The Harbinger prototype would be used to develop the new Harbinger-class Battleships for the Holy Lykan Navy. The only changes made were the removal of the “Reeler” Jump Drive System and the lack of any Salire Purpura crystals as the Kingdom exhausted them all in their attempt to invade the Lumen System prior to the war's end.

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