|Hull||Trinium Turbide (850% refinement)|
Artegon Shieldware HD 2x
6× large-duty M12 engines Recall Systems
|FTL drive||Gammetan Hyperdrive|
The Heir-class Battlecruiser, shortened to Heir-class or just Heir, is a battlecruiser developed by Mechal Production Industries for Gammeta's naval forces as its first primarily anti-air vessel. It entered service on January 8, 2013.
It was designed as a response to a military investigation launched in 2011, which, amongst other things, observed a lack of anti-craft capabilities in its naval forces. Its development began in early 2012 as part of request for proposals 2-VL. Selection of the best design was to happen in October, and the winning design would be finished some time in late 2013 or early 2014. The Liberalism war in August 2012, while not directly involving the Gammetans, resulted in a large increase in military budget, and the development time was cut by a third; the winning proposal was now to be selected on September 29, for completion by January 8, 2013.
As the specification required advances in anti-craft technology, MPI set a target to have the beam weapons prototyped by the selection deadline. However, only the weapon was being developed in-house; MPI also needed to contract companies to design secondary systems, especially targetting, and have them prototype their purpose-built systems by the deadline. AG-F, the typical company for vessel secondary systems, was selected to develop the targeting systems. Other contracts were signed prior to the selection date, too: AG-F for the sensor and computer systems, Enthusia Industrial Estates for navigation and power, and Geo Computing Industries for the communication system. In addition, prior to the selection, MPI had the ship dimensions and layout completed, whereas many of their rivals struggled to develop both a new, effective anti-craft system alongside other aspects needed for the military to consider their design feasible.
This, the fact that the VL-2 was closely related in design to MPI's existing Lohaul Battleship Mk I design, and the relatively low cost of the anti-craft system, resulted in the military selecting the Heir-class as winner of the competition.
Developments post-selection included finishing prototyped features – especially the layout – hull and shield systems, engines, and other weapon systems.
RFP 2-VL called for a significant advancement in medium- and/or large-duty anti-air capabilities – the Heir-class hoped to provide this in the form of MPI's first in-house weapons development project: The Blink weapon. This new development is a relatively small beam weapon that fires a short-duration beam, prioritizing accuracy at long ranges, the main purpose of which is to take out craft before they can release their payload on the ship. The weapons are optimized to take out or incapacitate relatively technologically-advanced craft in one hit, but each cannon has a fairly low rate of fire, averaging 3–4 shots per minute. The ship has 33 rotatable turrets around its hull, each housing a single Blink cannon.
Additional weapons include seven medium MG-class Gatalon Photon Cannons, to deal with small naval vessels and provide secondary support against craft, and large Greyall Protus Productions missile launchers to deal with larger targets.
The shields are Artegon's step up from those provided for the Lohaul, providing an increased amount of protection at a reduced power cost. However, they cost more to produce: as a trade-off, the class' Trinium Turbide armor plating is less refined (and thus less effective) and less thick. However, this has the advantage of making the ship fairly lighter, meaning more efficient sub-light engines.
For propulsion, the ship uses six of Recall Systems' M12 large-duty engines. The slim and long profile of the ships makes thrust vectoring a lot more effective than most other models. All engines can vector at least 35°, some being capable of reaching 66°. Maneuvering thrusters are also placed around the ship, and can also perform thrust vectoring. An experimental gyroscope using a large network of connected containers that house substances capable of changing weight based on conditions put upon them was being considered in development, but was never implemented due to cost and time limitations.
The ship has very little storage for transporting military assets or housing additional personnel, and quick quick entry/exit systems on the ship were on a low priority for MPI. Nevertheless, the interior layout lends itself to quickly getting around the ship with a generous amount of fast, automated transport systems in the ship as well as a good corridor and subsystem layout, increasing the effectiveness of damage control crew.