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40px-Terminal.png This article, London-class light cruiser, was written by Sev40. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.
40px-Writer_share.png This article, London-class light cruiser, was written by Sev40, but may be used freely by other users even without the author's explicit permission.
Unsc lewis and clark ffg 65 by steven5424-d9o8dje Pictured: The UNSC Lewis and Clarke, refitted to the Block II specifications
Class overview
Name:

London-class light cruiser

Builders

SinoViet Heavy Machinery

Operators

UNSC Navy

Preceded by

Halcyon-class light cruiser

Succeeded by
Built

2536 - 2552

In service

September 9, 2537 - present

General characteristics
Type

Light cruiser

Length

1,000.23 metres (3,281.59 ft)

Width

332.61 metres (1,091.24 ft)

Height/depth

321.33 (1,054.23 ft)

Mass

7.60 million metric metric tons

Engine unit(s)
Hull

125-187.5 centimetres of Titanium-A1 battleplate

Navigation system

UNA-uplinked navigation computer

Armament
Complement

GA-TL1 Longswords (6)

Crew

838 sailors

Additional information
Era(s)
Role(s)
  • Escort
  • Rapid response
[Source]
"Missiles are ineffective: repeat, missiles are being safely destroyed at range."
"The Bismarck has been disabled. Oh god, those cruisers are just tearing through us!"
―Intercepted Insurrectionist chatter, regarding the effectiveness of the London-class in combat.

The London-class light cruiser (hull classification symbol: CL) is a light model of cruiser utilised by the UNSC Navy during and after the Human-Covenant War. Designed by SinoViet Heavy Machinery to create a line of larger vessels which could be readily-constructed at any SinoViet-operated drydock, the London-class is an incredibly-agile warship that specialises in fending off smaller opponents. Although suffering from weak armour, low endurance and a considerable lack of resilience for a ship of its size, the London's rapid-fire arsenal ensures it can fulfil the role of heavy escort adequately.

Whereas most cruisers of the Great War were durable, heavily-armed and capable of conducting missions independent of the fleet, the London-class instead relied on SinoViet's trademarked approach to shipbuilding. Using components that have been adapted from older models of warships, the London-class is capable of being constructed faster than any other cruiser of its time while also offering a degree of modularity that would have otherwise required a more intelligent design. This novel technique also made upgrading a straight-forward matter, with entire segments of the hull being swapped over with technologically-superior variations in record time.

The London-class cruiser was first introduced in 2535, around the time when the Outer Colonies had been all-but-destroyed by the Covenant onslaught. Their production would only steadily increase, mostly due to the fact that replacing the horrific losses of frigates and destroyers was considered a higher priority and the production of these cruisers would take resources away from their output. However, the UNSC Admiralty believed there were some serious issues with its quality that did not justify their continued construction. Nevertheless, the class served with distinction throughout the war, stemming the loss of more valuable command ships despite failing to turn the tide. Few London-class cruisers remained by the end of the war, with the class being swiftly replaced by the more prestigious Triton-class light cruiser.

Development

The project that would eventually birth the London-class light cruiser was inspired by a 2525 study into the short-lived line of Halcyon-class light cruisers, the smallest capital ship in the entire UNSC fleet at that point. Originally intended as a command ship, this Reyes-McLees Corporation product was quietly retooled as a lightly-armed escort that could carry a Marine Expeditionary Unit and an air wing for screening purposes. Surprising no-one, the study concluded that the Halcyon-class' lack of air defence weapons, its slow speed and proven resilience under enemy fire meant that it would serve better as a ship of the line rather than being relegated to protecting carrier groups. While this would be instrumental in fostering support in the UNSC Navy to refit these vessels to great effect, the paper identified that this reassignment would remove the 'hard' complement of their screening elements. It stressed that the lack of a sufficiently well-armoured asset would leave UNSC fleets vulnerable during sustained engagements. Despite this gruel prediction, the UNSC Admiralty disregarded its recommendations in this field, and instead voted for increased production of Mako-class corvettes and Stalwart-class light frigates.

It was only in 2533, almost a decade after being originally examined, that the UNSC would finally recognise the issues with their decision. Both space fighters released from carriers and air defence escorts proved to be an inadequate means to protect UNSC fleets from enemy space fighters and plasma torpedoes, as they were easily disposed of by Covenant forces. As a result, the UNSC awarded a contract to SinoViet Heavy Machinery to design and build a new classification of light cruisers.

Role

Unlike most models of cruisers, the London-class is designed to be operated in coordinated battlegroups, lending their firepower in support of warships large and small. Although they lack dedicated anti-fighter missiles, their high numbers of point-defence guns are capable of efficiently shooting down hostile munitions and suppressing strikecraft. This makes it an effective screening vessel, and where it truly shines is sweeping away smaller warships to allow its flagship to be fearless in engaging the toughest opponent available. Even its MAC excels in this role, as what the F2DA2R4/MACs lack in stopping power it makes up for in its impressive firerate, and its multiple torpedo tubes are enhanced slightly by electromagnetic slingshots to accelerate them to a speed high enough to catch frigate targets. With all that said, the London is no slouch when it comes to fighting ships its own tonnage and up. The torpedoes' kinetic-explosive warhead has been simulated to be particularly devastating to Marathon-class cruisers, and its four heaviest naval coilguns can bring deliver strategic shots to maximise damage to larger opponents.

However, the London can make for an effective patrol ship. While most UNSC strategists consider its endurance to be limiting, the sheer size of these cruisers means that they still have greater range than most destroyers. Their sensor package is sufficient to scan large areas of potentially-hostile space, although their standard communications are too weak for early-warning duties and must be upgraded prior to patrol. A small hangar, rated for carrying a single squadron of GA-TL1 Longswords, is fitted onto the port side and are usually deployed to investigate anomalies that could endanger the cruiser. The London, unlike smaller ships, can carry a maximum of four SSD1 slipstream space probes, which grants it the ability to detect incoming fleets minutes, even hours before they arrive. The only setback is that its lack of stealth technologies and active sensors renders it easy to detect by attacking fleets, and history has shown that a number of cruisers have met their end this way.

Ships of the Line

Name Hull Classification Symbol Commissioned Destroyed Notes

UNSC London

CL-01

September 9, 2537 August 8, 2542 Lead ship of the class, destroyed during the Fall of Alluvion.

UNSC Lewis and Clarke

CL-65

April 12, 2539

N/A

Trivia

Gallery

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