Art Diary #9 - More Ships of Earth

Oya Class Super-Dreadnought

Built upon radically different design principles than the mainstay super-dreadnoughts of the fleets of The Eastern Federation, Union, and State, the Oya Class Super-Dreadnought of the Southern Bloc is named after the Nigerian orisha of winds, lightning, and violent storms, death and rebirth.

Twin rotating habitat rings are able to reorient along their vertical axis, with the primary central bulkhead featuring a massive fighter and drone bay port flanked by ten tactical nuclear launchers and an array of smaller point defense HED lance batteries.

The youngest of the five largest poltiies on Earth, the Southern Bloc has had to proceed cautiously into a crowded solar system, all the while carefully laying the groundwork for the ascendance that it sees as its birthright.

The Oya Class Super-Dreadnought represents these aspirations; while smaller and less maneuverable than the standard super-dreadnought classes used by its competitors, the Oya maintains 32% higher fighter and drone hangar tonnage, along with 68% greater tactical nuclear missile stocks, both factors allowing it to punch unusually hard and for an unusually long time compared to other ships of its type.

Following the Sino-Russian War of 2105 and the subsequent annexation of Pakistan by what would become The Eastern Federation in 2140, India, alarmed that it would soon become the next target, began to reach out to other polities on the political and military periphery of China. A collection of national polities including India, Turkey, Kenya, Tanzania, parts of West Africa, and South Africa began to be informally known as "the Southern Bloc", as they tended to provide a unified front against territorial and commercial incursions by both Union and the Eastern Federation. At last, in 2353 the informal coalition became a formal political entity.

Militarily, the Southern Bloc favors a bold, powerful approach. To this end it has prioritized the construction of a series of powerful dreadnoughts and super-dreadnoughts, which represent the highest ratio of tonnage of this class of vessel of any polity in the solar system; while the Southern Bloc does employ destroyers and frigates, these are seen in a far less prestigious light.

Eshu Class Dreadnought

The Eshu Class Dreadnought was actually designed after the Oya Class Super-Dreadnought, but built first due to cost issues with the much larger super-dreadnought.

Similar to the Oya Class, the Eshu - named after the Yoruba god of the crossroads - is relatively small for a dreadnought but with a proportionately higher load of fighters and drones. Also similar to other dreadnought designs from other polities, the Eshu favors HED lances over tactical nuclear warheads, and is intended to be thrown more readily into battle with extremely heavy forward armor.

The Eshu is somewhat vulnerable to being flanked, however, and relies on a destroyer screen to intercept more distant threats, and its own formidable drone capacity combined with supplementary HED lance batteries for close-in point defense to defend itself. Still, its casualty projections are far higher than the Oya Class, a fact that makes the Eshu class a popular posting for those craving frontline combat experience.

Notably, the Eshu's single habitat ring is, unlike those of the Oya, fixed in place to take maximum advantage of the heavy forward bulkhead.

Oxóssi Class Destroyer

While the Southern Bloc has chosen to prioritize dreadnought and super-dreadnought construction over A.I. piloted destroyers, there are some roles - notably long-term deep space pickets, defensive screens of larger ship classes, and expendable flight missions that are not suitable for human-piloted ships.

To fill this need, the Oxóssi Class Destroyer (pronounced Oh-sho-see) was developed based on the standard Southern Bloc vertical axis model with drone ports inset into the hull resulting in a highly compact design that fields 26 drone ports compared to the more common 32, but with an overall mass 60% of the standard destroyer class, making the Oxóssi faster and more maneuverable than most peers of its class.

Helios Class Combat Frigate

Frigates represent a broad-ranging classification characterized by their lack of rotational habitats despite having a human crew, relatively small size, and generalized functionality.

The Helios Class Combat Frigate was originally commissioned by one of Union's military contractors in 2422, and despite its age, it remains in service today in extremely large numbers as a mainline combat frigate used by polities all over the solar system. Heavily armored and minimally crewed, it is common as a patrol vessel and assault ship for raids, especially for polities that cannot afford to field destroyers.

Cyclops Class Frigate

In 2451 the Kalaxi Consortium of Ceres purchased the rights to repurchase and refurbish Helios Class Combat Frigates that were being retired from service.

In the name of "de-militarizing" the design, the armor plating was removed, as were most of the primary weapon ports, though the weapon port mountings remained, a fact that pirates from Concordia have notoriously taken advantage of by re-mounting black market HED lances.

Naming the new design the Cyclops Class Frigate for its single forward facing hemispherical dust shield, the frigate has proliferated as a popular cheap frigate sold, re-sold, re-furbished, re-built, modified, altered, and otherwise utilized in dozens of roles its original designers never intended. It it currently the most common frigate class in production.