|This article, Scáthach-class Command Prowler, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "If the Navy deploys the Scáthach-class, then you know something has gone wrong. They're instruments of last resort."
- ―Vice Admiral Kellan Monroe
The Scáthach-class Command Prowler is a heavy classification of Prowler, a modification of the Obsidian-class Heavy Prowler, and is specially modified to be utilised as a command vessel. With only three in existence, they are one of the rarest UNSC vessels, next to one-off Titan-class Dreadnought. They were built as mobile command bases, should existing positions be compromised. One was built and tailored for ONI's director and staff, one for UNSC High Command and a third as a standby, should either of those be compromised.
Its greatest weapon is its stealth features, allowing it to avoid detection and successfully avoid contact. However, push comes to shove, it has the necessary armament to take the fight to the enemy. For mid to short range conflict, it packs 6 Archer pods, each carrying 24 missiles. While nothing impressive, its enough to disable or destroy smaller threats, and deter larger ones. For self-defence, it packs 7 phalanx stations, to protect it from fighter constellations and missile threats.
For ship-to-ship combat, it has 17 XEV11-Fibreak Nonlinear Pulse Cannons. Rare and powerful weapons, unseen outside of prowlers, the Fibreak Pulse Cannon is precise and deadly, being capable of rapidly adjusting its power output, allowing it to disable a station with an electromagnetic pulse, or punch holes through a frigate. The beams burn hot, allowing them to rapidly fire in a hail of white-hot energy, but as they fire, the magnetic sheaths begin to deform and accuracy drops.
As a holdover from the strike role of its predecessor, the Obsidian-class, it carries 12 missiles. These are carried in shielded silos mounted along the upper deck of the ship. These silos can carry either the RSM-103 Wayfarer, or the RSM-107 Vagrant. The Wayfarer is a long-range missile, utilising advanced sensors, stealth features, and decoy protection. The missile can autonomously guide itself, or utilise telemetry provided by the ship or forward observers. The Wayfarer's greatest advantage is its variable payload. It can be fitted with a variety of different nuclear warheads. The most common is the W700 Avenger, a dialable warhead capable of yields between 20 and 90 Megatons. The Avenger is specially engineered for detonation in deep space. It can also be fitted with the electromagnetic pulse warhead, W705 Vengeance, or the insidious W11 Revenge warheads, which causes little damage, but uses a Neutron warhead to kill personnel exclusively. Lastly, it can carry a W709 Retribution, a warhead engineered to target ground positions in a devastating nuclear attack. The Vagrant is functionally identical to the Wayfarer, but changes its long-range motor for a slipspace drive. While cost prohibitive, it can attack from outside of a star system. These missiles are purely defensive.
In addition to the other defensive armament, it packs two mine dispensers. These allow it to deposit M612 Tactical Mines. These mines are both sensor-invisible, and highly aggressive, using short burn motors and passive sensors. Once it picks out a target, it accelerates towards them, then detonates the nuclear charge held within. Most are fitted with the W700 Avenger, but some variants are fitted with the M705 Vengeance EMP warhead that lets it disable ships. Using it's stealth features, the Scáthach can deploy these mines in secrecy.
Sensors and Electronics
The ship features a wide range of electronic warfare gear including short-range slipspace scrambler, radio scramblers, active cancellation pods, counter guidance systems and warfare direction systems. It also features a deep scan, high power Synthetic Array RADAR that is mounted in a linear fashion along the keel of the ship that is used for observing ground positions The ship is shaped much like an arrowhead with two egg-shaped engine pods. The hull is on one part, smooth plating and on the other angular shrouds, reducing its chances of detection. It is possible for the ship to go into 'silent running' where it simply lies still, drifts or goes into a stable orbit, with all systems focused on stealth and keep the engines, slipspace drive and defence weapons on standby, with little else being powered, par life support. While 'silent running' it can quietly observe the enemy or lie in wait for days on end.
The augment its sensor array it has a Magnetic Array. This array detects magnetic anomalies caused by ships, through long-range electric and electromagnetic field detection arrays of great sensitivity and uses this to home in on them. The Magnetic Array is incredibly accurate and has a long range of 400,000 kilometres and is highly resistant to jamming methods, detection and interference. On top of that, stealth systems, such as RADAR resistance and optical camouflage, don't affect its capabilities.
In its electronic warfare role, it carries not only the standard electronic warfare systems of UNSC warships, but it also mounts PAVE RAPTOR and PAVE PALADIN electronic warfare systems. The PAVE RAPTOR is capable of intercepting RADAR and intercepting MASER transmissions, deciphering them, and then tracking the source and jamming it through low-detectable narrowband jamming or wide area jamming, at the cost of stealth. It has the added functionality of being able to feed false information to any of the above sensor or communication systems, further confusing enemy forces or perform active cancellation, sending out directed, well timed signals on the correct wavelength to 'cancel' enemy RADAR, Radio or MASER signatures, resulting in a 'silence'. The second pod is an Electronic Protection system, the PAVE PALADIN that interferes with enemy attempts to intercept and jam communication and detection systems by producing narrow beam 'burnouts' that confuse and jam enemy attempts to jam them. Along with that, it uses a CPU driven decryption system that protects against attempts to intercept communication systems or boost cyber warfare attacks by the shipboard A.I.
Each features a super-chilled server room that functions both as a command system and War Net node, allowing it to handle a massive amount of ongoing and outgoing communication. This also allows a network of A.I.s to operate within the ship. It features advanced command and control features, intended to facilitate commanding vast number from within the ship. Sizeable portions of the crew are also dedicated to the electronic and cyber warfare stations of the ship, to ensure it is never detected or compromised. The ship is equipped with a number of luxurious rooms for the stationing of command staff and a well-equipped conference room, locked inside a protected Faraday cage, allowing it to be protected against all manners of intrusion, be they electromagnetic or cyber.
The vessel is virtually invisible to both the naked eye and the scanning systems of nearly every faction. It is coated in ablative stealth systems and stealth paint, rendering it RADAR absorbent and near invisible to RADAR, reducing its cross-section to something closer to flotsam or jetsam found in space. Matte black paint and active camouflage systems render it invisible to the naked eye also, meaning even when ships are normally visible against suns or planets, it remains invisible. Thanks to heat and radiation sinks as well it is incapable of giving off Cherenkov radiation or heat signatures, meaning it cannot be detected leaving slipspace. These, however, are a double-edged sword and depending on how active the ship is these sinks must be dumped, giving off massive heat and radiation signatures or the crew will be cooked or irradiated or both, while still alive. The ship can operate for a few days under full silence without having to dump its sinks or a few hours under full motion. The Slipspace engine dumps into a separate radiation and heat sink, meaning it can be charged or left charged without fear of it killing the crew and left charged during an operation for a speedy exit.
The Scáthach functions as a command and control vessel for the UNSC, to be utilised in times of war. The ships are activated in the event of vital command and control functions being compromised, such as Bravo-6 in Sydney, on Earth, or ONI's Elysium Station, in orbit over Arcturus. In these events, vital command staff and UNSC/ONI leadership are transferred to a Scáthach-class, for the continuation of command functions. These function as mobile command ships, capable of commanding their respective command features from slipspace or real space, while maintaining absolute invisibility.
Ships of the line
- UNSC Cydonia
- UNSC Parangosky
- UNSC Witchcraft