The United Systems of the Federation began using cruisers in their fleet two months before the nation was established during the First Interstellar War. Cruisers provide heavier firepower than their destroyers, a fact that proved vital near the end of the war. The cruiser that fulfills that role currently in the Federation Navy is the Naifu-Class Cruiser. Based on the Tanken and named after the old Japanese word for “knife,” the hull of the Naifu is elongated to a total length of 584 meters. The sections that hold the ammunition for the weapons have been extended by 150% and allow for additional weapons to be mounted to the hull such as destroyer-grade turrets. The base of the engine pylons has been widened and reinforced to allow the mounting of a twin PITGED system on each side of the cruiser. These drive units give the vessel the gravitons needed for thrust through the six engine nozzles due to the vessel’s mass. They also provide the artificial gravity on board, power the ship’s Fold Drive, and energize the nano-laminate armor. The Naifu is also equipped with 4 quad missile launchers mounted above and below on each side of the base of the engine pylons. These launchers generally hold missiles used for medium- to long-range engagements and the Naifu will have up to 384 missiles on board for those launchers. The missiles’ flight range is up to 100 kilometers. Against destroyers and frigates, the Naifu comes equipped with 12 triple-barrel 1460-millimeter artillery cannons. 2 are mounted on the bow, 4 are mounted both port and starboard, and 2 on the aft. These turrets are more sophisticated than the projectile turrets used by the United Earth Colonies prior to the First Interstellar War, able to fire larger rounds at a greater rate of fire with high precision. Each 1460mm turret can be preloaded with up to 24 rounds before needing to reload and they can be reloaded up to 16 times before the ship runs out of ammo. Generally, Naifu captains will limit the number of turrets firing at targets in an engagement to stretch their ammo supply before being forced to retreat or rely on their other weapons systems, and this pertains to all the Naifu’s artillery turrets. Against other cruisers, the Naifu is equipped with 8 twin 1850-millimeter artillery cannons mounted 4 above and below in the center of the ship. These turrets fire higher caliber rounds than the 1460mm turrets and were designed to engage larger more heavily armored opponents. They move slower than the smaller turrets, but they can be used against smaller targets at long-range. Each 1850mm turret can be preloaded with up to 20 rounds before needing to reload and they can be reloaded up to 15 times before the ship runs out of ammo. For close-range engagement, the Naifu is equipped with 4 sets of 16-tube light missile launchers with 2 mounted on each side of the vessel’s forward hull. The missiles are short-range able to hit a target 45 kilometers away. They are capable of firing 5 missiles per tube before being depleted. For point defense against missiles and possibly small craft, the Naifu is equipped with 76 twin 275-millimeter autocannons mounted in key areas on the hull. These guns can continue to fire nonstop for up to 12 minutes before their ammo supply is depleted. However, they only fire once the tracking systems identify viable targets and will usually fire in spurts rather than nonstop to stretch the ammo supply as well. The small craft bay (discussed below), ammo storage bay, and supplies are in the forward section of the ship. Engineering, the Combat-and-Control Center, graviton engines, the Fold Drive, and auxiliary systems are found in the center of the ship. Crew compliment is 285 with accommodations and amenities are in the rear of the vessel along with the escape pods. This low number in crew based on its size is thanks to automation handled in several areas of the vessel.
As mentioned earlier, the Naifu has two twin PITGED units, 4 in total, mounted on each side of the ship. These are the main sublight drive units of the ship and are based on the current engine design introduced 20 years ago by the Columna Lumen Development Center and later handled by Gallonigher Industries. The twin PITGED drives are based on the Mark II version of the engines which allow the ship to generate gravitons for thrust by manipulating space-time around the vessel. These gravitons are ejected through the six main thrust engine nozzles located in the “wings” as the ship’s main propulsion. They also provide the artificial gravity on board, power the ship’s Fold Drive, and energize the nano-laminate armor. Located in the ship’s mid-section is the Fold Drive system, the ship’s main faster-than-light (FTL) drive. While originally salvaged from the wrecks of Liekan and Dexigalian ships, the Federation-built Fold Drive is more optimized to be powered by the vessel’s PITGED drives providing continuous power unlike their Liekan and Dexigalian counterparts that must stop for a time to recharge. The subspace manifold coils are located under armor plating on each side of the PITGED units to optimize the subspace field used to protect the ship during transit. The speed of the drive is 1 Light-year every 6 minutes, allowing ships to travel between star systems within minutes or hours. However, unless on patrol to other systems or reassigned to a different fleet, a Naifu will rarely leave the star system it is assigned to and will usually use the Fold Drive to reach other locations within the same star system or nearby in a hurry. Multiple thrusters and the properties of the PITGED unit also make the Naifu highly maneuverable despite the ship’s size and mass.
A small craft bay is mounted in the front of the vessel located between the forward cannons. Originally meant for shuttles to load and unload supplies and personnel, the bay has been remodeled to also house a small number of Kunai fighters. Up to 8 craft can be stored on the Tanken but the bay is neither pressurized nor under gravity. This means pilots and crew will always have to wear space suits and flight suits while in the bay.
The Naifu Cruisers are not found in the same abundance of numbers as the Tanken where the destroyers outnumber the cruisers 4 to 1. However, the Naifu functions as a command vessel for small fleets of 4 to 8 Tanken destroyers. While the minimum rank to command a Tanken is Captain, the minimum rank to command a Naifu is Commodore or higher.
The Combat-and-Control Center pictured below is located deep in the heart of the ship between the engine wings and is well-protected from exterior attacks. It is a three-level room with the center being the lowest known as the Command Pit. The Commanding and Executive Officers sit in the command pit and monitor the events unfolding around the ship both internally and externally from the three-dimensional holographic display system mounted on both the floor and from the ceiling. Most important stations dedication to the usual operations of the ship are located on the second level known as the Operation Level. Subsystems and those that assist in the main operations of the ship are located on the top level called the Oversight Level. Each level is only 1 meter higher or lower than the rest. An observation room for VIP's both civilian and military is also found on the third level behind a one-way glass, though this glass can be made two-way at the discretion of the observers. A damage control screen is located opposite of the observation room to display damaged areas of the ship for those in the Command Pit to monitor.