"Main cannon, firing!"
-Captain Nicolau Cibran
The Woglinde-class super-capital ship is a large warship serving in the Free Planets Defense Force. One of the most powerful ships in the Alliance Navy, it is known for its unusual shape and tremendous firepower. They are somewhat rare in the Alliance fleet, and only a few are assigned to each fleet in the Star Fleet. Woglinde-class ships are traditionally named after famous commanders or heroes of the Alliance, although the class leader and initial prototypes named after the Rhinemaidens from Richard Wagner's Ring of Nibelung opera cycle, which itself has also provided names for other Alliance equipment.
The Woglinde-class super-capital ship came about as a result of several factors, including the aging of Sorean-built Peacemaker-class dreadnoughts, the maturation of Alliance technology, the need for a test bed for technologies designed for inclusion in the Daybreak-class mobile fortress, and the development and construction of similar super-capital ships by the Alliance's neighbors. Operation of the Peacemaker- and Kulishuna-class had given the Alliance valuable experience in the operation of super-capital ships, and engineers now felt they were up to the task of designing a "true" super-capital ship. The new design was intended as a one-off testbed, to demonstrate both overall design principles as well as serve as a test platform for technologies designed for the Daybreak-class fortress.
Work on the new class started around the new Multi-Purpose Phase Cannon (MPPC) weapon system, and the energy system needed to power the device. Initial tests showed that no fewer than eight main reactors would be needed to power the weapon in its basic settings, which represented more power than was generated by an entire Kulishuna-class super capital ship. Factoring in the additional power needed for shields, main engines, and secondary weapons, the engineers settled on a plant of twelve reactors with a number of secondary reactors, and these formed the basis of the new design. This necessitated an overall size that would be more similar to the Peacemaker-class than Kulishuna-class, further increasing the scale of the design.
Work on the design took approximately four months, as the new Woglinde-class pioneered many new technologies and design methods. Shortly after the prototype Woglinde entered service, the design was considered sound enough to enter larger-scale production, and orders for several dozen more were received, eventually increasing to several hundred to provide anchoring warships for Star Fleet field formations.
Even by starship standards, the Woglinde-class has a very unusual design, being far taller and wider than it is long. The design can be best described as vaguely kite-shaped, with a central arrowhead-shaped section containing the main cannon, the command bridge protruding above, and a long, narrow support fin running directly down. This odd design was chosen relatively late in the design process, and was designed to emphasize the ship's primary MPPC and shield generators. The MPPC was placed at the center of the ship, normally protected by a retractable lens cover, while the two primary shield generators were mounted on either side in the supporting "kite spars."
The engineering plant was also unusually designed, in that it partitioned the main reactors throughout the ship, with eight main reactors being located in the bottom kite spar close to the majority of the main battery and secondary shield generators. The remaining four reactors are housed in pairs in the horizontal kite spars, providing power to the main shield generators, upper crew and bridge module, and supplementary power to the main cannon.
The main bridge, admiral's bridge, fire control center, and other major crew modules are housed in the topmost area of the ship. The forward-most kilometer of this section, housing most of the command areas can be jettisoned in an emergency and is actually itself a fully-functional starship, complete with its own FTL drives, weapon systems, and backup reactor. This feature was originally added to protect the crew in the event of a malfunction during testing, but was retained to allow the section to act as a more capable lifeboat in the event of an emergency, being able to move under its own power and rescue the rest of the ship's crew either via transporter or by picking up any other launched lifepods.
The armament of the Woglinde-class has increased significantly over time. Initially, the prototype vessel was armed only with relatively rudimentary weapons aside from the primary MPPC, but after the hull proved suitable for mass production, the armament was quickly increased to make the class competitive with other warships of similar size.
In addition to the centrally-mounted Multi-Purpose Phase Cannon, the Woglinde-class prototype was originally armed with four "Kusanagi" refractive laser cannon systems, 48 heavy neutron cannons, 256 missile launchers, and 64 CIWS systems putting it barely above the Rio Grande-class battleship in terms of primary battery firepower, and significantly under-armed in terms of secondary and tertiary firepower. To rearm the class for frontline combat, the armament was more than tripled, with the production-model main battery consisting of twelve Kusanagi systems and 384 heavy neutron cannons in addition to the same Multi-Purpose Phase Cannon. The new Kusanagi systems were added primarily along the ventral kite spar and above the bridge to improve firing arcs and overall firepower, while most of the new neutron cannons were mounted along the ventral kite spar with some added on either of the lateral kite spars, all firing forward.
The secondary battery of the original class leader was nonexistent in normal classification terms, but was quickly developed for the production variant. A series of 780 light neutron cannons were added around the hull in various locations to ensure complete coverage, while a series of ion cannons were added to give flexible firepower for capture operations. A relatively light battery of long-range rail-guns was also added to the ventral kite spar, since the ship's unusual geometry made mounting additional units a complicated affair that was eventually deemed not worth the cost and engineering effort.
The originally-designed tertiary battery was composed of nothing more than a small CIWS battery and a moderately-sized missile battery, which like the rest of the armament was deemed insufficient. The CIWS battery was massively expanded to 1,024 units with heavier anti-fighter units also being added. The missile battery was strengthened for the initial production run by increasing missile storage to 1,600 tubes grouped in clusters of eight. While not part of the original production design, subsequent ships would later be constructed with a battery of lighter, shorter-ranged concussion missiles to supplement their firepower, while existing ships were later retrofitted with these systems during overhauls.
Due to the slim hull form, gravity-well generators could not be fitted with the stronger weapons complement, and were considered in any event to be unnecessary for a ship operating with a support squadron that would include such capabilities anyway. A tractor beam system and the associated tractor beam-based weapon systems were also fitted, and the Woglinde-class has used these systems to great effect during the Cambrian Civil War, being the only ships large enough and powerful enough to counter the Cambrian's largest space creatures in close combat.
Defensively, the Woglinde-class is every bit as strong as its armament. The class' potent defenses include a three-layer shield system and some 50 meters of composite armor, capable of warding off all but the most powerful attack with little or no decrease in strength.
Included in the testbed systems were a pair of SDHM-02 shield generators, improved versions of the SDHM-01 shield generators mounted aboard the Kulishuna-class, allowing the new super-capital ship to withstand enormous punishment in battle. Due to the increased hull size, both of the SDHM-02 emitters were mounted within the hull in the lateral kite spars rather than externally in orbiters as in the Kulishuna-class. These two main emitters are supplemented by a network of standard emitters mounted throughout the hull to improve redundancy as well as assist in shield regeneration. Later production models added a set of SDHMF-04 fortress shield generators to allow the class to project a shield around friendly vessels for additional protection as well as the Firewall system for additional layers of protection. Finally, the class recently received a set of prototype "firechargers" designed to facilitate the rapid regeneration of shields in battle by reducing variances in shield frequencies that occur due to enemy fire, vastly improving regeneration efficiency.
The initial Woglinde-class was designed with the current 20 meter layer of Arzorium-Alium plating as well as the electric reactive armor, but the rest of the armor layers are recent additions for the class. Active Trans-Phase armor only recently reached energy efficiency levels necessary for wide-scale adoption but has now been adopted fleet-wide, as has nano-composite armor, which until recently was not efficient enough to have a noticeable effect on large starship hulls and was limited to thinner ground vehicle hulls. The final stealth layer is considered a passive stealth system and not capable of preventing detection against active sensors, but can decrease the ship's overall sensor profile enough to make the vessel more difficult to detect and resolve on passive sensors.
Due to the high degree of automation and the advanced design of the Woglinde-class, ships of the class have relatively small complements relative to their size. Normal complement is 7,500 officers and enlisted men with a standard garrison of 500 Marine Corps personnel aboard. Despite the large size of the ship, the internal habitable volume is relatively small, with most space taken up by onboard systems, and more than half of the crew space is located in the upper kite spar, clustered around the command area. Aside from main engineering in the central hull, and maintenance corridors throughout the ship, there is little need for the crew to visit any other area of the ship, since most spaces are self-sufficient.
Like all Alliance warships, crew quarters themselves are held in a separate area posited in subspace, which frees up space in the main hull and provides additional comfort for the crew. It is this massive space that allows Alliance warships to accommodate far more people than they appear capable of holding, allowing for more efficient evacuation and battlefield rescue missions, since additional personnel do not clutter the main decks of the ship while in combat. The crew section is self-sustaining, with onboard hydroponics farms to supply food in addition to standard replicators for a wider variety of equipment and consumables.
The ship's complement of fighter craft are housed throughout the ship, with the SF/B-110 Spartanian complement being housed in a set of fast-launch drop bays, allowing the entire complement to be sortied in less than ten seconds once prepared for launch. The mobile units are instead housed in a set of more traditional launch bays and are catapulted into battle to provide a boost of initial speed to prevent hostile fire from shooting them down. The transport shuttles are also stored in these bays, which are large enough to house a small frigate internally when empty.
With such a large complement of weapons and defenses, it is unsurprising that the Woglinde-class has energy requirements similar to a small star for normal operations. The original design called for twelve S6P reactors, and it was this engineering plant in conjunction with the MPPC that would prove the basis of the eventual design. The engineering plant would be significantly modified before the class was completed, however, eventually adding a power transfer unit for a Zohar Emulator to power the main cannon as well as up-rated S7P reactors for greater power output. It was this change that would eventually allow the Woglinde-class to support additional weapons and shields, since these alterations provided a significant amount of surplus energy not originally accounted for in the first design schemes.
Despite including a power transfer unit in all ships of the Woglinde-class, at the time the ship entered mass production there were only twelve Zohar Emulators and a single Zohar within the Alliance, and the power transfer unit was intended primarily as a backup emergency power source to be equipped with a Zohar Emulator only when needed and left empty and unused most of the time. However, a breakthrough in the production of Zohar Emulators eventually allowed every ship to be equipped with an Emulator, vastly increasing power output per ship and allowing all systems to be run at full power simultaneously. This capability in fact required a redesign of the ship's energy distribution system, which was not accustomed to carrying such high loads for the extended periods of time allowed by the Emulator power source. The installation also removed the need for refueling, since the Emulator is in theory capable of powering the ship indefinitely independent of any other power source, although for redundancy the other systems are still maintained. The Emulator is also the only power source capable of firing the MPPC in its phase cannon setting; without an Emulator or the original Zohar, it is limited to firing in weaker modes. Although the power transfer unit is capable of mounting either a Zohar Emulator or the original Zohar, the original Zohar has never been mounted aboard a Woglinde-class vessel, and has throughout its lifetime only been mounted in laboratory test instruments and the power transfer unit of a mobile fortress.
While much of the rest of the ship incorporates new technology, the main engines are decidedly conservative in this regard, staying with the tested SPH-221H plasma reaction thruster from Palamedes Engine Works. No secondary engines were mounted due to the number of primary engines, although the large engine cowling that had traditionally been a hallmark of Alliance ship design was also dispensed with. Although the twelve SPH-221H thrusters provide "only" double the thrust of the much smaller Kulishuna-class, more efficient space-time driver coils allow the Woglinde-class' mass to be decreased further, reducing this handicap somewhat.
Like other starships, maneuvering is accomplished through a mix of thrusters and internal gyroscoopes to provide both counter-force as well as rotational force to allow the ship to change vector. Unsurprisingly for a ship so large, maneuverability is not spectacular, but is considered respectable given the ship's tonnage. The battery of forward thrusters are capable of fully arresting the ship's forward momentum in a relatively short amount of time, allowing full-stop maneuvers to be carried out quickly in the event they are needed.
As a fleet flagship, the Woglinde-class is equipped with a robust computer system allowing it to send, receive, and process huge quantities of data at any given time. The addition of a network fire control module allows the class to link with other ships to establish a more reliable firing solution, as well as coordinate fire fleet-wide for maximum effectiveness. The powerful Apeiron R3500 computer network allows the class to generate a potent firewall on its own, and when networked together can increase the efficiency of a fleet's firewalls significantly.
As a large ship with a high power output, the Woglinde-class is equipped with a quantum wormhole resource transfer system, allowing it to act as a fleet supply point. The ship itself lacks a dedicated resource extraction system like larger fortresses or dedicated engineering ships, but can still harvest resources via tractor beam and transporter, albeit at decreased efficiency compared to a dedicated resource processing system. It is, however, equipped with a small-scale nanotech fabrication array, allowing it to use resources sent either via wormhole or extracted locally to fabricate a number of components either for itself or to support other ships, although it is not capable of constructing entire starships as larger arrays can.
The class is also equipped with a full holographic projection network, allowing holograms to be projected anywhere within the hull, and the immediate vicinity outside the hull. Forcefield emitters give these holograms physical shapes, allowing AI or Encephalon-diving crewmembers to project physical forms at remote locations as necessary, such as in the handling of dangerous materials or for rapid-response situations.
The class is also equipped with a powerful interphasic cloaking device to provide active concealment from enemy scanners.