AJAX CLASS | AIRCRAFT CARRIER
Width: 65 meters
Draft: 12 meters
Displacement: 46,926 tons
The Ajax-class was designed in concert with the Achilles – even going as far as to directly lift the island and several other systems from the design. Unlike the Achilles though, the Ajax was designed for lower-level operations and sails along with a smaller carrier action group.
The Ajax-class fulfils the plentiful roles that an Achilles might be considered too large or financially valuable to cover, ranging from convoy escort to regional picket, light assault platform and even on several occasions amid the Administratum Regional Navy, light-strike carrier. The versatility and sheer weight of defensive fire offered by the Ajax allows it to punch above both it's price and weight class as a light carrier.
The Ajax-class CVLN retains many traits of the larger Achilles-class Aircraft Carriers. Among these are the bulbous nose, stabilisation system and the two stabilisation fins. The general structure of the stern was kept – however there was a degree of redesign required to fit the stern to a dual-shaft arrangement, with the primary/secondary rudder system replaced by a pair of synchronised rudders
Watertight compartments, insulation, routing, back-up control systems and a blast and fragmentation retaining superstructure provides a high level of survivability against missile attacks and fire hazards. An unintended benefit from the level of protection each compartment contains is that in the event of a chemical or biological attack the compartments can be made airtight with a limited life-span oxygen replenishment system to help improve survivability until rescue.
The hull has a dual layered composition with large heavy steel plates, measuring several inches thick as well as multiple layers of Kevlar that spans the majority of the hull and thickens around the base of the tower to protect the reactors and other vital components. The Ajax is also equipped with a double-bottom for added protection against both torpedoes or unintentional incidents. In the event of an Electro Magnetic Pulse (or EMP) the ships vital areas, namely the reactor and the CIC, are protected with electro-absorbing mesh woven into the walls and the adjoining doors. This, when tested, allows the ship to remain remotely functional after a strike and is able to power its CATOBAR systems to continue in a lessened combat role. This is less of an issue for the ski-jump fitted carriers, but still applies to the rest of the ships systems.
The majority of systems used aboard the Ajax are either modified from an existing system or designed for the sole purpose of being used aboard the Achilles and carried onwards to her baby-sister.
The ship is equipped with a Belfrasian modified version of SEWACO (SEnsor, Weapon control And COmmand system) for use with its VLCs and CIWS to better allow them to work together in protecting the ship and proving the ability to route and assign targets to the necessary weapon system to limit the amount of input needed at the multi-function consoles on the Tower.
The tower has an 'Integrated bridge and navigation system' installed, which consists of multi-function consoles capable of displaying functions such as Sensor references, electrical chart display and information systems (or ECDIS) as well as their designated purpose. Should a console be damaged, a neighbouring console can access that ones functions and preform them to a limited degree until a new console can be fitted. Each ship usually carries five to ten spare consoles that are assembled over the hardpoint.
The tower of the Ajax-class is open designed, meaning the top deck with bow and aft viewing windows are essentially one large room. This integrated bridge is host to an integrated navigation system that encompasses the steering and control equipment ring-laser based Marine Inertial Navigation System (MINS), two data distribution units and a complete set of navigational sensors and meteorlogical equipment. This deck, and the decks below, are linked with a redundant Ethernet system that interconnects the multi-function consoles and sensors for internal use.
The communications system is coupled with a high capacity digital communications switchboard, which interconnects the voice and data communications channels. The system helps provide internal room-to-room communications or an open conference line for ship wide broadcasts. External communications accesses various radio or short-wave channels and land based networks. Standard external communications include Link 11, Link 16, Link 22, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) and JSAT tactical data links, allowing interoperability with the fleet or any allied forces. In addition internet and intranet ports are available in each quarters and are available to closed-circuit consoles to ensure the onboard secure system isn't compromised by internet connection. The Ajax's default internet connection is rated at 29 mbps download. In extreme weather situations or in the event of damage the quality may reduce to 11 mbps for safety measures.
The majority of systems aboard the Ajax are 'open designed', meaning that they are programmed to run on the same operating system. This, along with the hard connections between all of the on-board systems means that duties from each console can be rerouted to a secondary console if the first is damaged or put out of action by other means. Managing all this are two consoles on the bridge. In addition to this, the data lines are shielded and armoured and have in-built rerouting drives if data lines are severed in battle. In the event that the Tower is destroyed, functions like engine control and CATOBAR systems can be rerouted directly to the engine room and the flightmasters booth on the port side of the flightdeck.
The Ajax is riddled with sensors, cameras, air and watertight doors and one of the most advanced damage control systems onboard a Triumvirate designed ship. The ADCS combines these to reduce response time in life and ship threatening events and reduce the number of crewmembers needed for an efficient damage control. Depending where the damage or what kind it is, the ships ADCS can deploy a foam spray to quell fires. The interior of the ship is remarkably modular with each compartment being self contained. These compartments can be manually or automatically sealed off from the rest of the ship or, if its below the waterline, flooded with seawater. This flooding action is intended to aid in fighting fires or in the event of an imminent explosion to dampen the blast by using the water to absorb the concussion effect and the water pressure reinforcing the walls against the explosion itself.
The Ajax's flight deck is appreciably smaller than the Achilles. However even with this, its three Catapults, two on the bow and one on the angled runway are still capable of independent aircraft manoeuvres while other duties are under-way aboard the flight deck. The flight deck also is host to an 'optional shunt' line along the reactors coolant vein. In arctic conditions, the optional shunt is activated and the hot coolant fluid passes underneath the flight deck. Both cooling the fluid down from the temperatures and warming up the flight deck. This, and standard anti-ice treatments, are available for combating ice in peacetime or wartime scenarios. It is, however, recommended that in a combat situation only anti-ice treatments are used as the risks that come from a ruptured coolant line if the ship is hit are far to great.
The Catapults aboard the Ajax are Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems (EMALS) which were designed for use aboard the Gerald R. Ford class Supercarrier. The choice to use EMALS was based on several facts and advantages. EMALS controls a launch m ore accurately at greatly velocities without excess weight or construction room needed to generate the steam. A standard steam-based Catapult system requires some 614kg of steam to achieve 95 Megajoules in a launch, whereas the EMALs system doesn't require the steam and achieves a vastly superior 122 Megajoules in a launch. EMALs, in addition, requires less maintenance and manpower and takes up less room and weight then the standard Steam Catapults.
As an alternative to the two bow-based catapult systems the Ajax can be fitted out with a ski ramp in the early stages of construction should the customer request it. This will allow the vessel to utilise VSTOL aircraft and certain other aircraft to a greater degree than otherwise, however it also requires a change in deck-arrangements, as only a single aircraft can take off from the ski-ramp at a time.
Operations below in the Hanger deck are simplified, a machine-shop at the rear of the deck provides repair capabilities to engines or other small parts and a secure ordnance area sits below the Hangerdeck with a small service elevator to bring them up onto the Hangerdeck. Aviation fuel is stored in tanks at the center of the ship and are pumped up to the Hangerdeck in four positions for refuelling or defuelling planes.
Set port and towards the bow of the ship underneath the hangar are the transiting quarters capable of holding over four-hundred infantry and a limited amount of light equipment for a four-month deployment onboard the vessel. These quarters allow for the Ajax to act as a light assault platform should the need come to rise, or act as a forward sea-base in anti-piracy and colonial policing actions. While it might not stretch to a dedicated LHA or LPD's capacity, it is still a well regarded feature of the Ajax.
Propulsion for the Ajax consists of two KE-4 Nuclear reactors and two steam turbines, one to each of the vessels two propellers. Each shaft - refined and improved since the Achilles - is capable of generating 93,124 horsepower, resulting in a combined service maximum of 186,248.137 horsepower between the paired turbines to give the ship a speed of 31.5knots, and while there remains more power within the turbines themselves, Ajax is unable to use the full extent of it due to her dual-shafts.
The two KE-4 reactors sit in a two-reactor complex to reduce size. They differ from their Nimitz cousins in that they're a smaller, more efficient design then the Nimitz AW-4 which could only produce 104mw each. The KE-4, which sits in a two-reactor complex, generates just over 312 megawatts each to result in a 623mw output to generate both the 194mw needed to propell the shafts and the power to run ship-based systems. Controls for both the reactor and the engine can be accessed from the Engine room or the Island using the multi function controls and a passcode.
The Ajax makes use of the AN/SPY-3 radar system for multiple functions, such as horizon search and precision tracking for searching and destroying enemy aircraft. Other then that, it utilises the Mk. 2 Type 7087 Air Search Radar for airspace control, and a modified version of the AN/SPQ-9B for target acquisition for both the SSM ordnance and to help guide CIWS mounted AA missiles toward their target. The Ajax uses the AN/SPN-45 to aid aircraft in landing with AN/SPN-41, SPN-43C and SPN-46 for air traffic control and landing aid.
Search radars aboard the Ajax encompasses the AN/SPS-49(V)5 and AN/SPS-48E, which is a 2-D and 3-d air search radar respectively. Guidance or simple horizon-search radar involves Mk. 105 radars, a modified version of the Mk. 95 seen on the Nimitz and the Mk. 91 NSSM Guidance system for the AA ordnance in the vertical launchers.
The Ajax-class carrier is identical to the Achilles in that it possesses a potent surface attack capability outside that of its airgroup. The Ajax has a strike length Vertical Launch System (VLS) complex built on the Island with three systems aft of the Island and four forward for a total capable deployment of 56 missiles including the Tomahawk, ESSM, the RIM-161 or other missile system capable of fitting inside the VLS cells. Missile reloading of light ordnance like the Tomahawk can be done at sea from the vessels magazine although heavier ordnance reloading would require a munitions ship or the carrier to be docked. The use of vertical-launch modified ASROCs was also intended to provide the carrier with some light ASW capabilities, and serves as the only method of such aboard the Ajax short of her air-complement.
Defence against underwater attack comes in the form of the Udav-1 anti-submarine system. Each Ajax is equipped with two aft-mounted Udav-1s on both port and starboard sides of the vessel. The rocket system is theoretically capable of attacking nearby submarines but is intended to provide a multi layer defense against torpedoes and frogmen. Each system has a total of 50 missiles inc. reloads, resulting in 100 anti-submarine and torpedo kill weapons onboard each Ajax.
The system consists of an ammunition loading device, fire controls and ground support equipment for crew manning each of the weapon systems. In addition, hardlinks between the launchers and the Island exist so they can be operated from the safety of the control deck and the control station at the Udav itself. Aside from that, the Udav-1 consists of the following;