"Tyranny ends where our cannon shot begins." -- Federation Navy recruiting poster.
The Federation possess a world-class navy, being tasked with sealane protection, power projection, nuclear deterrence, coastal defense, and diplomatic "flag showing" missions by Mount Shavano. Due to the relative isolation of Laurasia, and lack of hostile neighbors, the Federation Navy and not the Federation Army is the primary branch of the Federation military.
Organizationally, the Navy maintains four primary defensive fleets and two or more others at any given time.
The Home Fleet, or 1st Fleet, is headquartered in Harbor Grove and deployed at the major ports of the Laurasian continent proper. It exists to keep a Mahanian concentration of naval power ready to deploy against any serious threat. During peacetime, the primary mission is training, and all capital ships are rotated through to maintain a high level of readiness. If the 1st Fleet were deployed abroad, it would take on the name Mobile Fleet.
The Guard Fleet, or 2nd Fleet, is deployed at the forward base in the Rilshkanii Archipelago, several hundred miles southeast of the southern entrance to the Interior Seaway, and the most remote part of the Federation proper. This fleet is tasked with protecting the southern entrance to the all-important Interior Seaway
The Shield Fleet, or 3rd Fleet, is deployed at remote Quemoy Island in the thousands of miles of ocean west of the Laurasian Western Seaboard. It exists to protect the west coast and its shipping and cities from a safe distance.
The Patrol Fleet, or 4th Fleet, is based in St. Athan and patrols the area between the eastern seaboard and the Kraven Reich. While not the most economically critical area, it is the most volatile.
The Interior Fleet, or 5th Fleet, patrols the Interior Seaway. It is tasked with commerce protection, shore patrol, and supporting the coast guard. It contains only light units.
The Deep Sea Fleet, or 6th Fleet, is an administrative command rather than a single combat formation. It controls all small-scale long range deployments to protect sealanes and also all nuclear deterrence patrols. The Deep Sea Fleet is critically important, since it commands 90+% of Federation submarines and nuclear weapons.
Expeditionary Fleets are formed on an as-needed basis to project power, usually as detachments from the Home Fleet, serving as "firemen" for crises or as diplomatic muscle. Usually they include one or two carriers.
The Federation Navy uses the following classification system for ship types:
An aircraft carrier is a warship entirely dedicated to the operation of air power, and will never be found operating without escorts. The FN divides carriers into three sub-types:
Fleet Carriers (CV) are capital carriers, intended to project all-purpose power and control the surrounding area. Federation fleet carriers typically carry an airgroup of 90-100 aircraft, have a speed of 30-35 knots, and a displacement on the order of 100,000 tons. The Federation fleet carriers are considered the backbone of the navy's ability to win control of areas and attack land-based targets.
Light Carriers (CVL) are mid-sized carriers, which are not considered capital ships but are still able to project balanced air groups. Note that while the distinction in the official definition is of mission, in practice it is usually by size. The Federation operates no light carriers, but uses this designation to describe foreign ships.
Escort Carriers (CVE) are carriers specialized for a specific role, usually anti-submarine or close support of amphibious operations, rather than carrying a balanced airgroup. Federation doctrine holds any such carriers be small, and large specialized carriers operated by other navies would probably be considered CV or CVL by the FN. The Federation currently operates no escort carriers, but uses this designation to describe foreign ships.
All types of carriers use the designation -N to indicate nuclear power, and -H to indicate helicopter carriers. All FN carriers are nuclear, none operate primarily helicopter groups
Battleships (BB) are capital ships who are designed to stand in a line of battle. The Federation does not operate any, but retains the designation to describe foreign units.
Battlecruisers (BC or BCG) are capital surface warships that are not intended to stand in the battleline. The Federation does not operate any, but retains the designation to describe foreign units. Note that foreign "missile battleships" would be designated BCG by the FN.
Frigates are defined as ships designed for extended solo cruises; they are used either to exercise sea control or to fill out carrier escort groups. Frigates operating outside of the screens of carriers or larger surface combatants are referred to as "Cruisers"; in the FN this is a mission designation and not a ship type. All Federation frigates carry small groups of F-121 Dragonslayer fighters, although this is not considered a feature of the Frigate type worldwide.
Gun Frigates (FF) are frigates whose primary armaments are artillery, rather than missiles or aircraft. The Federation does not operate any, but uses this designation to classify foreign ships.
Missile Frigates (FFG) are frigates whose primary armaments are missiles. This is the heaviest surface combatant class operated by the FN, and the most common variant of frigate.
Air Defense Frigates (FFA) are frigates with specialized anti-aircraft and/or anti-missile equipment. Since it is relatively rare for them to be deployed on their own, outside of carrier screens or flotillas of several frigates, some purists argue they should be designated destroyers. However, all Federation ships of this type are built on variants of frigate hulls, and are designated FFAN for that reason. Likely, any foreign ships of similar capability would be classed as DDA.
Air Frigates (FFV) are frigates carrying dedicated air groups (note that unless it also has significant surface-surface capability, etc, it would be a carrier and not a frigate). This type is very rare outside of the FN, but due to the small space requirements of the F-121 was found to be practical. Since the airgroup of 16-24 is heavily skewed towards air superiority they are usually deployed in areas where air cover is required but fleet carriers not needed or not available, either on solo patrols or as part of multi-ship frigate squadrons. This type is almost never deployed with the carrier groups, as it would be superfluous.
Destroyers (DD) are ocean-going surface warships intended to destroy asymmetric threats to larger warships, especially carriers or capital surface combatants. The Federation has traditionally relied on large, multi-role destroyers rather than specialized ships, and unlike some navies has not designated destroyers as offensive surface weapons since the late 40s (i.e. no nighttime torpedo attacks on enemy formations in Federation doctrine; they still expect this type to carry significant surface-surface missile ability to defend their charges against surface attacks).
Destroyer subtypes include: DDG (missile), DDA (anti-missile and/or anti-air), and DDE (anti-submarine).
Attack Submarines (SS) are submarines intended to attack other submarines and/or surface ships, with a primary armament of torpedoes and possibly missiles.
Missile Submarines (SSG) are any submarines carrying vertical launch tubes but not nuclear missiles; generally they are intended to engage land targets or make long range attacks on enemy surface formations (although many nations operate attack subs with vertical missile tubes; these ships would be formally designated SSG or SSGN by the FN but treated as attack subs). The Federation operates no ships of this type, believing that the horizontal-launch missiles of their SSNs can handle quick strikes and prolonged bombardment should be carried out by surface forces.
Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSB) are submarines carrying ICBMs. They exercise the role of strategic deterrence, dispersing assets to make them impossible for any enemy to destroy before a sufficient second strike can be launched.
*All significant Federation Navy combat ships are nuclear powered.
*The Federation Navy tends to have small crew complements, as cutting-edge technology and lavish budgets have led to ubiquitous and excellent automation systems.
*The Federation Navy relies heavily on her technological edge; "quality over quantity" is inherent in her philosophy. This applies to electronics, stealth systems, munitions, and aircraft.
*The quality over quantity approach is also evident in the FN's overfunded and rigorous training programs.
*The FN has extensive experience in irregular war and small fleet actions; however, it has not participated in a "total war" since the 1940s.
This is not an exhaustive list, just an overview of some of the more important types of weapons.
Defiance Missile System: First introduced in the early 70s, this missile and the associated launch system (now on the 4th version) is the Federation Navy's primary ship-killer. The Defiance IV is a sub-sonic, long range, sea-skimming SSM with a "pop-up" terminal attack profile. It is marginally smaller than most competing systems, resulting in a smaller warhead but allowing more launchers per ship, which the FN believes will allow more hits by saturating opposing defenses. The D4 also accepts a somewhat reduced warhead in exchange for superior ECCM capability.
Lynx Missile System: Introduced alongside the Defiance[i] as the [i]Lynx-A, the Lynx-E is the standard SAM system of the FN. Like the Defiance program, it is smaller than its competitors but has superior ECCM and accuracy.
Hydra Close in Weapons System: The standard last-resort anti missile system of the Federation. It is quite effective as an integrated system with FN fire control, with a very high success rate against Defiance cruise missiles in fleet exercises. The primary weakness is considered to be against saturation attacks.
Predator Torpedo: The standard issue "heavy" torpedo of the Federation Navy, carried by submarines for use against submarine or surface targets. High performance and reliable but expensive, it can use any of several guidance options.
Chimera Torpedo: The standard issue "light" torpedo of the Federation Navy, carried by surface and air units for use against submarines. Improvements over previous versions include better ability to attack very deep or very fast targets.
HN-94 Sea Serpent: A versatile naval helicopter, filling all required missions for the FN. Several variants exist.
F-121 Dragonslayer: The standard unmanned ("drone") fighter of all FM branches, operable by onboard computer or remote control. Navalized, VTOL, EW, and search variants are commonly used by the FN. The aircraft is quite small, since it does not require a pilot, and the VTOL variant can be deployed on any ship capable of operating helicopters.
Notes on Federation Ship Classes
The line of Federation carriers beginning with the Avalon class and concluding with the modern Atropos are in many ways each unique, with each ship, except the recent Naval Expansion Program units having been built with several more years of experience and technological progress then their predecessor. The breaks in designated classes represent significant steps forward in design. However, they all share some common characteristics.
The FN prioritizes efficient air operations and a large air group over all other concerns. As a result, FN carriers have average speed and reduced armor compared to competing designs (of course, all supercarriers are incredibly tough) in return for being able to carry more aircraft and launch strikes more quickly. FN doctrine holds that more defensive aircraft will ultimately reduce hits more than armor will reduce the effect of hits, and on the whole will produce superior survivability.
The "extra" aircraft over competing carriers are generally used to bulk up a carrier wing's electronic warfare capability. The FN believes that the side that lands their strike first will win any clash of naval forces, and places great emphasis on detecting enemy forces before being detected.
FN doctrine does not consider air wings to be an integral part of a carrier, but rather mixes and matches squadrons and carriers as suits logistical and mission needs. FN carriers generally operate as four ship divisions, that having been determined to be the most that can exploit common airspace effectively at one time, but these are not permanent formations and carriers are routinely cycled between divisions.
The submarines of the Defiance, Regicide, and Masada classes represent the Federation Navy's nuclear deterrent. They are designed, collectively, to keep safely hidden at sea a number of nuclear weapons to burn from the face of the earth any attacker that might launch a successful first strike against Federation silo and air based assests.
The design of Federation boomers is fairly typical of the breed internationally. All classes carry twenty-four launch tubes for navalized Reciprocity missiles, a high number but it makes it more cost efficient to put missiles to sea but does not compromise hull strength. The ships place emphasis on stealth rather than speed or extreme cruising depth to avoid detection. They do carry on-board torpedo tubes for self defense if attacked.
The captain of a SSBN on a deterrence patrol has extreme latitude to determine his route. The headquarters of the Deep Sea Fleet often has only a vague idea where its missile submarines are. This is to prevent possible infiltrators from determining the location of those submarines and making them vulnerable to a first strike.
The Timnath Serah and her sisters and predecessors are the pride of the Federation Navy. The FN was forced to choose a very large, very long range platform due to the sheer extent of the surrounding oceans, but a virtue was made of necessity and Mount Shavano's attack subs turn their large size and large price tags into excellent capability.
The ships are optimized first for eliminating enemy submarines, second for eliminating enemy surface ships, and only a distant third for land bombardment. The ships are kept up to date with the very latest sensors, are extremely quiet, and are capable of very high underwater "sprint" speed, but they carry no vertical launch tubes and very little magazine space is devoted to horizontal (torpedo tube) launched missiles. While submarines can be and are used to raid land targets, sustained bombardments are assigned to surface or air forces in FN doctrine.
The Retribution and her successors and variants are sometimes described as the backbone of Federation naval power. Certainly, they are the workhorses. FN frigates are designed for long range patrols, singly or in small squadrons, to exercise control of the sea, protecting Federation shipping and representing Federation interests. While deployed on such missions, they take on the additional designation of "cruiser".
The typical Federation frigate is about the size of a 1930s "treaty cruiser", nuclear powered, of average speed, and possess a single multi-purpose, high accuracy, rapid fire 5" gun, 8 to 12 Defiance IV missiles (Defiance IIIs on some older unrefitted ships of the Interior Fleet), a significant battery of Lynx-E SAMs, 2 to 4 Hydra CIWS, and, in accordance with FN "strike first" doctrine, hangar and pad space for 4 to 6 helicopters or F-121 chasis drones to maximize search ability. As with other classes, the FN prefer larger, more capable units rather than more smallers units; in the frigate case, the extra size and expense is generally invested in the expanded air group. As is typical with cruisers worldwide, armor is limited to splinter protection.
Many different variants for more specialized missions exist. Some are presented below.
The Behemoth is the Federation Navy's response to the ubiqtuous "Superdreadnought" type ship, used by among other nations the Ralkovian Empire which fought a brief war with the Federation in recent decades, triggering the Naval Expansion Program. Superdreadnoughts approach the size and expense of supercarriers, but carry heavy armor, and missile and sometimes gun armaments. The FN is concerned about the ability of Retribution type ships, although not the carrier arm, to handle SDs of potential enemies.
The FN believes that no warship can survive more than a few hits from heavy anti-ship missiles, and nor can they decoy or destroy enough missiles to avoid those hits once a certain point of saturation of their defenses is reached. The Behemoth is designed around a sufficient battery of Defiance IVs to kill a heavily armored 100,000 ton target at normal combat ranges with a very high success rate. Other design goals include maximizing the probability of detecting the enemy soon enough to destroy him before he can counter attack, and accomplishing all of this while still being able to carry out typical cruiser missions.
The Behemoth is built with a special hull and superstructure design, intended to minimze the ship's radar signature, meaning she is not a true Retribution variant. She does carry the 5" gun, SAMs, and CIWS typical of the type in FN service, and a further expanded airgroup of F-121NVEs designed to extended the ship's sensor range. As she is intended to strike first, armor is not improved over a standard cruiser.
The Behemoth is roughly twice the displacement and more than twice the cost of a typical FN frigate, but still only a fraction of the cost of a SD or a CVN. The FN believes they have succeeded in their design goals, and as a result those Behemoths that have entered service are generally assigned to patrol the sea lanes nearest to potential enemies with captial surface warships, for example to the east of Laurasia.
A recent design, FFVs take full advantage of the smaller space requirements and vertical takeoff ability to carry 16-24 F-121NV fighter drones, at the expense of some of their Defiance batteries. They are used when a small but real CAP is of value to the mission.
This type replaces the Defiance batteries of the corresponding line ship with special long-range Lynx-W SAM batteries and a sophisticated fire control system capable of directing those missiles and the fire of nearby ships linked in as well, if desired. They are rarely found outside of escort roles for high value targets.
The Federation Navy's most numerous serious combat ships, the destroyer is optimized for defensive missions, protecting more valuable units from asymmetric threats. A typical unit displaces 6,000 to 9,000 tons, carries a 5" gun similar to the Retribution class, a full battery of Lynx SAMs, 2 to 4 Defiance ship-killers, 2 Hydra CIWS, 2 to 4 torpedo tubes for anti-submarine operations, and 2 to 4 helicopters. They typically can carry F-121s but rarely do.
These ships are generally found in large numbers escorting carrier groups. They are also used to escort frigates or frigate squadrons, civilian shipping, and patrol coasts and harbor entrances. Some specialized variants do exist, but not to the same degree as in frigates. The most common are dedicated ASW platforms, which tend to be small with reduced AA and anti-surface ability.
Ships Currently in Service
Note: Federation Navy are designated by SNS : Shavano Naval Ship
Federation ships traditionally carry the names of ships, battles, heroes, weapons, places, beats, and such of myth, legend, and ancient history, high concept names representing Shavanoan values, and names drawn from Shavanoan history and geography, and the occasional "natural force" name.
This list is not guaranteed to be complete.
Federation Navy CVN roster:
Avalon class carriers, first unit commissioned 1957, last unit entered service 1973, modernized following Ralkovian War.
SNS Saint George
Arminius class carriers, improved Avalon design, modernized to varying degrees. Built from late 1970s through the late 80s.
Brutus class carriers, improved Arminius design, sometimes considered a subclass. Built in early to mid 90s.
Constitution class carriers, built to a new design in the first decade of the new century. The last unit was accelerated as part of the Naval Expansion Program.
SNS Third of August
SNS Ides of March
SNS Impossible Dream
Argo class carriers, built as part of the Naval Expansion Program in response to the Ralkovian War.
SNS Thunder Child
Atropos class carriers, built as part of the second phase of the Naval Expansion Program.
Federation Navy SSBN roster:
Defiance class strategic submarines, the third generation of Federation SSBN; the previous two were fully retired by 2008.
Regicide class strategic submarines, built a new design along with the Constitution class carriers.
Masada class strategic submarines, improved Regicides built as part of the Naval Expansion Program.
SNS Cape Columbia
SNS Teutoburger Wald
SNS Stamford Bridge
Federation Navy SSN roster:
Rex class attack submarines, the third generation of Federation SSNs, developed alongside the Defiance. Many ships of early Marks later upgraded.
SNS La Mancha
SNS Lucius Brutus
SNS Scipio Africanus
Gawain class attack submarines, improved Rex design.
SNS Badon Hill
SNS Star of Liberty
Diamondback class attack submarines, improved Gawain design.
SNS Rebel Yell
SNS Battle Cry
SNS San Angelo
SNS Harbor Grove
Aurora class attack submarines, the new class for the new century as with the carriers and the SSBNs.
SNS Red River
SNS Avalon Hill
SNS Red Rocks
SNS President Reynolds
SNS President Lee
Timnath Serah class attack submarines, the improved Aurora for the Naval Expansion Program.
SNS Timnath Serah
SNS Silver Dawn
SNS Centennial (NOTE: the previous SNS Centennial was lost in a tragic incident off Bellganamos in 2011)
SNS Blood Claw
SNS Wild Wind
SNS Captain Bush
Federation Navy Frigate Roster:
Mainline frigates, various classes including Retribution.
SNS San Isabel
SNS St. Athan
SNS John Little
SNS Robin of Sherwood
SNS Captain Carter
SNS President Ryan
SNS Grey Fox
SNS Lady of the Lake
SNS Bel Riose
SNS Grand River
Behemoth class frigates, a new heavier design to counter capital surface ships.
SNS Reprisal (NOTE: the previous SNS Reprisal, an SSBN, was lost in tragic incident off Bellganamos in 2011)
Assembly class Air Frigates
SNS Great Charter
Air Defense Frigates, various classes