DESTROYERS

INTRODUCTION TO DESTROYERS

Destroyers are a broad category of varying sized warships, used primarily as attack and patrol vessels along hostile boarders. Destroyers are specifically designed to engage enemy vessels of any configuration and maintain fire to disable or destroy an enemy force. Most destroyers are used in conjunction with other vessels and are capable of engaging other destroyers and capital ships. Destroyers have a number of specialized onboard combat systems, including Command-and-Control systems, Combat Information Centers, specialized deep space sensors and crew support systems. Destroyers also function as fast response vessels in and near established space lanes, responding to pirate attacks and providing heavy support for Merchant Marine patrols near member planets. None the less, Destroyers present a unique drawback to Federation planners. While all destroyers have moderately sized science research capabilities, most of these facilities are significantly smaller than on another starship. Destroyer’s redundancy systems often take up large amounts of internal space, contributing to small crew quarters and lighter recreational facilities. To keep Destroyers stealthy, many have excellent passive sensor equipment, allowing them to detect even minute tachyon particle movement from cloaked vessels. Unfortunately, this specialized sensor ability also means that more powerful, active scanning systems are not installed, giving Destroyers a significant disadvantage in exploration situations. Destroyers do not usually mount troops, although several designs do have boarding parties for Maritime Patrol inspections. Destroyers also have smaller shuttle bays and smaller cargo bays. Most Destroyers are home ported at a front line star base or outpost, allowing them to refurbish their stores often. Destroyers remain a mainstay of Federation and Klingon defense, due mostly to their inexpensive and combat ability. Two destroyers can often be built for the same resource cost as a single cruisers. Destroyers are also designed to be easily repaired and upgraded, with changes to their design often being made in the field.

 

 

DESTROYER-ESCORTS

Destroyer-Escorts are specifically designed to escort convoys and other large groups of ships traveling at low to medium warp. Destroyer-Escorts use significantly more sensitive and varied sensor equipment, often allowing them to act as primary back-up vessels for scientific expeditions near hostile boarders. Destroyer-Escorts also support large marine and rescue contingents, as well as large medical bays. Destroyer-Escorts do not have the Command and Control systems associated with other escort vessels, but do have larger support craft contingents, often having more shuttles and pilots. Although rarely needed during their standard patrols, these extended abilities give Destroyer-Escorts a unique niche.

 

 

DESTROYER-LEADER

 Like other leader classified vessels, Destroyer Leaders are capable of coordinating a squadron of destroyers, often of the same class, in a coordinated attack pattern. Most Destroyer Leaders sacrifice comfort for internal command-and-control systems, with smaller crew quarters and smaller recreational facilities. Many Destroyer Leaders have larger computer systems, stronger shields and in some cases stronger weapon loads. Although useful during combat, these overpowered systems can prove very difficult to maintain in front line units. In recent years, the Klingons had found that many of the Destroyer Leader vessels that are damaged during combat, must travel great distances for repairs. Many front line repair station and MRF do not normally carry supplies for these systems. Destroyer Leaders also consume more  fuel on average than other “Leader” classified vessels. None the less, the coordination abilities of most Destroyer Leaders far outweigh the disadvantages. In recent years, the Gorn and Cardassian Union have begun to add Destroyer Leader vessels to their front line combat units. Destroyer Leaders are very expensive to build, due to the large number of specialized systems. Much of the onboard equipment must be custom built to accommodate the unique overall mission profile. This also reduces construction time significantly, with many Destroyer Leaders taking as long to construct as a typical heavy cruiser.

 

FAST DESTROYER

Like other “Fast” vessels, Fast Destroyers are designed to conduct one of two specialized speed functions; maneuverability or speed. Most Fast Destroyers are extremely maneuverable, making them difficult targets to hit during combat. High speed Fast Destroyers often have overpowered drive systems that are costly and difficult to maintain, but give planners a useful fire support platform that can maintain a highly mobile profile during both military and non-military situations.

 

 

HEAVY DESTROYER

The Heavy Destroyer is designed to provide significantly more firepower for destroyer units, often have equivalent combat capabilities to that of a Cruiser or Dreadnought. More maneuverable than Dreadnoughts and roomier than Heavy Cruisers, Heavy Destroyers are used primarily as focal points for destroyer squadrons and as destroyer-escorts for Battleships and other large combat vessels. Heavy Destroyers do not have the large science base of a comparable Heavy Cruiser, but do retain the excellent sensor systems and other unique systems found on cruiser class vessels. Heavy Destroyers larger size and extended patrol capability do prohibit mass production, but their combat contribution is undeniable.

 

INTERCEPTOR

A primarily Federation classification, these unique Destroyers as designed to quickly intercept pirate units and engage a superior number of small to medium class vessels. Many are simply a cross between a Fast Destroyer and PT Destroyer, taking the best and worst of both designs. Interceptors have very large engineering sections to allow for the larger warp drives needed. Interceptors often use photon torpedoes or mega-phasers as their primary weapon, allowing them to cripple a single target quickly and continue pursuit if necessary. During times of war, Interceptors are used with Fast Cruisers and Fast Frigates to support fast response missions, and are often the first vessels to arrive at a trouble spot. Most Federation Interceptors are used near space lanes, since their speed and maneuverability allow them to engage pirate vessels and commerce raiders. Interceptors are surprisingly expensive in build and maintain. Their small cargo bays also require frequent re-supply.

 

 

LIGHT-DESTROYER

Light Destroyers are a unique light craft, pioneered by the Romulans, and still in use among many navies. Unlike other light vessels, Light Destroyers do not have the specialized systems that allow them to compete with their standard cousins. Instead, light destroyers are often used with a standard destroyer or Destroyer Leader to augment their reduced systems. Many Light Destroyers are highly automated, allowing for a smaller crew and less consumables. Light Destroyer design also favors small numbers of heavy weapons, of a larger number of medium or light weapons, with many Light Destroyer designs having only 2 to 4 main beam weapons. In recent years, the introduction of the Photon Torpedo has extended the capabilities of the Light Destroyer. Many are now armed with 1 or more forward torpedoes, with some also mounting aft torpedoes to help defend small groups. Light Destroyers are most often using in moderate sized groups or 3 to 5 ships. Most Light Destroyers operate in packs during both military and non-military missions. Unlike other light designs, which focus on maintaining a capable but reduced secondary mission profile, Light Destroyers must concentrate all their resources during research or exploration mission. To help counter crew fatigue, extensive and comfortable recreational facilities are found aboard most Light Destroyers, rivaling many cruisers and frigates. Even with extensive automation, Light Destroyer crews are often taxed during missions to make up for the reduced systems and light crew. None the less, Light Destroyers can be built in frightening numbers when necessary, and are still capable of active combat and attack during times of conflict. Light Destroyers continue to be a primary focus of the Romulan Empire, with the Klingons also expanding their Light Destroyer fleet.

 

PERIMETER ACTION SHIP

An older designation, Perimeter Action Ships are part of a unique military strategy used against both the Klingons and Romulan during many of the early conflicts. PAS were designed to use stealth and heavy firepower to engage enemy vessels during times of war. Most PAS do not have the extensive crew facilities found on other Destroyer vessels, often being on patrol for no more than 6 month. PAS are smaller than a standard Destroyer, but have similar mass. PAS use even more specialized and stealthy sensor systems, and are designed to be mass produced easily. Most PAS do not have the research capability of a Destroyer, and rarely have shuttle bays, extensive repair facilities or emergency systems. PAS  do mount a large number of redundancy systems, giving them more resilience in battle. Although easy to mass produce, PAS are surprisingly expensive, often costing twice what a standard destroyer costs. This, coupled with their limited exploration capability has kept their numbers reduced. But their heavy firepower and other unique systems continue to create a niche not filled by a standard destroyer.

 

PT/ TORPEDO DESTROYER

Since the early days of ocean going combat vessels, nearly every navy in known space has put into use some form of torpedo or missile firing surface and sub-surface ship. Most military planners realize thein here not strategy associated with high firepower Photon Torpedo combat vessels. Like the Missile Cruiser, the Photon Torpedo Destroyers uses large torpedo bays, and independent fire control systems to deliver a massive volley of fully armed photon torpedoes against a single or multiple targets. This ability to blanket an area with torpedoes have also given the popular destroyers a surprising niche in the science field, where they can launch dozens of specialized probes and sensor drones, while still maintaining contact with each independently. Because each bay (and often, each launch tube) has an independent fire control room, space aboard Photon Torpedo Destroyers is as cramped as on other specialized starship. With the added need for Torpedo casing storage, many Photon Torpedo Destroyers are compared to Cutters in regard to internal space. Despite this drawback, their impressive firepower continues to make Photon Torpedo Destroyers a viable weapon.

 

WAR-DESTROYER

The War Destroyer designation has become extremely popular within the Klingon Empire, and has begun to see expanded construction with the Cardassian and Gorn navies. War Destroyers are used extensively during lengthy campaigns, with the Klingons fielding War Destroyers on extended patrols. War Destroyers are designed to operate for lengthy periods of time independently or in small groups with little or no support. Unlike War Cruisers, War Destroyers exclusively conduct military operations, and are rarely used in a non-attack role. Most War Destroyers have extensive redundancy built into their onboard systems, as well as an extensive ability to repair their on-board systems. War Destroyers rely mostly on heavier torpedoes for their extra punch, and are known for using less sophisticated sensor system to allow for the inclusion of large cargo bays and a full replicator sub-system. War Destroyer firepower is often compared to a heavy cruiser or other large combat vessel. Most firepower is directed to the Port and Starboard sides of the vessel, with torpedoes concentrated fore and aft. Gorn War Destroyers are known for heavy aft firepower to counter the superior Romulan cloaking devices they often encounter. Despite the extensive specialized system found on many War Destroyers, they are relatively inexpensive to construct. Most are equal to Heavy Destroyers in the material requirements, boosting production. Within the Federation, reductions in crew quarters and other research ability is made up by a surprisingly extensive recreational facility, owing to the lengthy missions required by the class. Only a few War Destroyer designs are currently fielded by most governments. War Destroyers, while popular, are still a fairly static design, restricted in their secondary duties. When not actively on an extended mission, most War Destroyers are found in-system to conserve resources.

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