Art Diary #12 - Tanit Class Destroyer

Tanit Class Destroyer

Accepted 25th century military nomenclature defines destroyer classes by three criteria: (1) Are dedicated military vessels, (2) Capable of independent interplanetary transit, and (3) Possess a lack of human crew, instead being crewed entirely by artificial intelligence.

Utilization of an A.I. crew means that such vessels need not obey normal biological acceleration limitations, and similarly allow for extremely extended mission parameters including long duration remote picket duty. Finally, while a few polities allow for full A.I. citizenship, most do not, and consider such vessels more expendable than would be a warship with a human crew.

By tradition, destroyer classes are typically named after war gods, and the Tanit Class Destroyer is no exception, being named after the Carthaginian goddess of war.

The Tanit Class Destroyer, first built by Union corporate shipyards in 2398, has since gone through six major design revisions, first in 2404, then later in 2412, 2430, 2454, 2456, and most recently in 2466 with the addition of two additional A.I. backup pilot pods.

Considered to be highly reliable, cheap, and effective, the Tanit Class Destroyer continues to be the most common destroyer class in the solar system today, though newer classes coming out of Alliance (notably the Wu Qi long-range scout destroyer and the Li Jing assault destroyer classes) and Southern Bloc (the Oxóssi Class) shipyards are proving superior in performance, if not yet in cost or reliability.

Armed with a complement of three dual HED Lance turrets and either fourteen tactical nuclear launch tubes with no reload capacity, or alternatively as an automated scout carrier capable of launching up to eight medium-range Kabutowari Class combat drones, each armed with a single HED Lance, the Tanit Class Destroyer is flexible, fast, and highly effective.

Where feasible, destroyer-class warships have multiple A.I. crew, partially for purpose of instantaneous backups in case of mechanical failure or battle damage, but also as a means of minimizing the effect of potential glitches due to combat or accreted psychological errors, an important safety feature when talking about a warship capable of single-handedly nuking the population of some of the smaller colonies.

Although there are several protocols used depending on the policy of the various polities' navies, the most common is to have three primary A.I.'s who essentially vote on every single micro-action. In the event of a three-way tie or one of the three primaries going offline, two "alternates" - backup A.I. - can step in as well. There is, even, specific protocols dictating a procedure for "offlining" an A.I. module whom the other A.I.'s have determined has glitched - the equivalent of summary execution.