―Motto adopted by the ship's crew in reference to their five-year mission. (Latin: Venturing into the storm.)
The UNSC Theseus (hull classification symbol: CA-727) is one of the earliest commissioned heavy cruisers of the Autumn-class. Beginning construction over Mars in September 2552 under the management of Reyes-McLees Shipyards, the Theseus was to be part of a line of modernized cruisers equipped with advanced specifications influenced by the retrofits of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn and destined to serve in fleets intended for the defense of Earth. With the Covenant'sinvasion of Sol, most of Reyes-McLees' shipyards over Mars would be destroyed crippling the corporation indefinitely, also causing significant damage to Autumn-class vessels that were still under construction.
After the end of the war, SinoViet Heavy Machinery took over construction of the Theseus, towing it to their shipyards in orbit over Titan. Under SinoViet, the Theseus quickly met newly set construction deadlines by the UNSC, and finally underwent successful trials in February 2554.
Following its commissioning, the Theseus led a small task force commanded by Captain Lucas Foster assigned to investigating encrypted ONI distress signals originating from the Eta Leporis Exclusion Zone that had been intercepted by a prowler within the system.
After analyzing the retrofits done to the Pillar of Autumn in 2552, UNSC High Command placed an order for a new class of cruiser modeled after the Autumn. Reyes-McLees Shipyards, who oversaw the retrofits for the Autumn, was awarded the contract for the new cruiser line in September 2552. Although Reyes-McLees jumped at the opportunity to take on the contract, their industrial capacity had been drastically depleted, with nearly all of their shipyards outside the Sol system destroyed or abandoned. This would only be the beginning of their problems, as financial instability and infighting over the design of the ship ran rampart within the corporation's leadership.
After a month of delays, Reyes-McLees Shipyards finally began construction of the new line of cruisers over Mars in October 2552. Despite receiving a contract for ten new cruisers, difficulties with manpower, shipyard availability, and material acquisition only allowed four cruisers to be laid down, with the other six delayed until construction was finished. The issues faced by Reyes-McLees only got worse when the Covenant arrived in the Sol system on October 20. With construction so early and the Battle of Earth deteriorating by the minute, Reyes-McLees could do little to accelerate the completion of the cruisers. As pressure mounted up all around the Sol system, Reyes-McLees abandoned the project on October 23, leaving their workers to fend for themselves both in orbit and on the planet while some corporate leaders hid in shelters or planned to flee the system.
The Covenant soon turned their attention to Mars, attacking Mare Erythraeum on October 24 and targeting vulnerable orbital stations, including most of Reyes-McLees' shipyards. Two of the cruisers were destroyed in the attack, with the remaining two, including the Theseus, suffering extensive damage to their superstructure. The Theseus continued to drift in space around Mars for another two months, but would eventually be towed back into a stable orbit by UNSC tugs without incident. With Reyes-McLees in shambles, many corporations took the opportunity to pounce at their weakened state. In January 2553, SinoViet Heavy Machinery announced that they would be taking on the UNSC's contract for a modernized cruiser line, and would continue to base it off the design of the Halcyon-class light cruiser. Outraged, Reyes-McLees filed legal action, an ill-advised decision that ultimately cost Reyes-McLees everything they had left, forcing them to file for bankruptcy later that year; ending their half-century monopoly.
With Reyes-McLees out of the way, SinoViet immediately began operations to construct ten new cruisers for the Navy to be in service by 2554. SinoViet towed the Theseus from Mars to their shipyards at Titan, which had been spared from the Covenant's siege of the system. When reviewing the damage done to the Theseus, they proclaimed that it was beyond repair, and announced that they would completely reconstruct the ship. Any vital components added to the ship were removed, and the rest of the superstructure was recycled later use. Unlike the other early designs of the cruiser line that used recycled Halcyon hulls, the Theseus would be completely rebuilt from the ground up, intending it to be a template for future cruisers of the same line. Early in its construction under SinoViet, many of its executives nominated the Theseus to be the lead ship for the cruiser line, naming it Theseus-class, but that was eventually shut down when Navy representatives suggested that the line be named the Autumn-class instead. Stating that it would be a propaganda victory to name a modernized cruiser line after the same legendary ship that paved the way for humanity's survival.
By September 2553, most of the superstructure and hull were completed, construction of the ship remained on schedule, which was planned to be completed by February 2554. In February, most of the interior sections were completed, officially bringing an end to the construction of the Theseus. Construction of her sister ship, the UNSC Euclid's Anvil also finished in the same time frame. After Valentine's Day, SinoViet announced that both the Theseus and Euclid's Anvil would be commissioned together over Luna toward of the end of March.
Commissioning and Trials
Vice Admiral Spurgeon: "A ship like this needs a good captain. Someone the crew knows they can depend on during a crisis. You saw for yourself how well it performs. Yet your face tells me you're not convinced."
Captain Foster: "My entire naval career, we've been on the run or had to pull off some kind of miracle to win a battle. Now we're the ones on top. This galaxy isn't how I remember it two years ago; more dangerous than its ever been."
Vice Admiral Spurgeon: "That's why we need people like you."
The final phase of construction began on February 15, with the Theseus leaving SinoViet dry dock for trials around the gravity well of Saturn. The trial was conducted by a skeleton crew of Navy crewmen and engineers stress testing the ship's endurance, maneuvering, and simulated combat performance. As expected, the ship passed all tests proficiently and returned to Titan dock on February 18. The second phase of trials began on February 20, with the arrival of Vice Admiral Allison Spurgeon who was in the running to take command of the Theseus. Accompanying her was Commander Lucas Foster and Günther, who would be the ship's primary artificial intelligence, along with a handful of other Navy personnel.
Still operating under a skeleton crew, Günther was interfaced with the ship and took the Theseus back into space for a routine shakedown of the ship's vital systems. Günther analyzed the ship's weapons, running thousands of simulations and calculations for the ship's magnetic accelerator cannon, archer missile pods, and auxiliaryweaponsystems. The engine room and reactors were also successfully running as expected and were given the green light for interstellar travel.
The next day, engineers finalized their work on the interior of the ship, just in time for the arrival of the first wave of crewmen joining the Theseus. With a portion of the crew now on-board, the ship was ready to be delivered to the Navy. Using calculations from the day before, Günther plotted a course to Mars to test the ship's slipspace engine. While in transit to Mars, Vice Admiral Spurgeon received word that she was to be appointed as the Navy's Deputy Chief of Naval Operations recommended by Terrence Hood himself. Knowing that the Theseus would need a new captain, she nominated Commander Foster as well as a full Captain commission. The Theseus would arrive at Mars and remain docked over the colony as the rest of the crew arrived and the manifest was finalized. Unfortunately due to the Navy's manpower issues experienced with the end of the war, the Theseus could only crew 677 sailors and engineers, about eighty-five percent of the ship's effective capacity.
The Theseus arrived over Lunar orbit on March 27 alongside its sister ship, the Euclid's Anvil to await commissioning. On March 30, the commissioning ceremony for the Theseus and Euclid's Anvil began, with the crews aboard the NDS William Anders overlooking both ships. The ceremony ended with UEG President Ruth Charet serving as the principal speaker, wishing luck to the crews of the Theseus and Euclid's Anvil on their mission to defend humanity.
Theseus firing a M83 DUP.
"Damn! If only we had these things twenty years ago."
―Weapons officer after seeing the Theseus in action.
The Theseus features a state-of-the-art armament that lives up to the testament of humanity's reinvigorated military capabilities needed in the post-war climate. The cruiser's main weapon, the Mark IX, Heavy Coil is a scaled-up improved variant of the Mark II, Light Coil gun featured on the Pillar of Autumn. The Mark IX features a varied number of specialized slug rounds designed for most encounters. Working together with the ship's Saffell-Hartz auxiliary reactors and improved capacitors, the Theseus is able to recharge and fire its MAC faster than its predecessor cruiser classes. This turns the Theseus into an extremely threatening warship, capable of engaging targets twice its size, up to and including a DDS-class heavy carrier.
M77 Heavy Composite Penetrator - The M77 HCP is the primary round used, composed of various heavy elements in concentric layers encased by a titanium alloy shell. The slug exhibits superior penetrating abilities when compared to older slugs used by other cruisers during the Human-Covenant War.
XM77SP Barrier Penetrator - An experimental special purpose slug, the XM77SP features a heavily magnetized metal alloy casing designed for overloading a target's shield systems. Testing is still undergoing, but is expected to enter service with other Autumn-class cruisers by 2555.
M83 Depleted Uranium Penetrator - Nicknamed the "Duper" by some Theseus crewmen, the DUP fires a ferrous depleted uranium slug that can cause devastating damage to both titanium and nanolaminate hulls as well as starting fires on affected decks. Due to the incendiary effects of the DUP, the slug is not recommended against shielded targets, only being used once the enemy's shields have been depleted.
M55 General Purpose Penetrator - The M55 GPP, as the name states, is a slug that can be used various situations. Composed of tungsten carbide, the GPP is designed to spread out its force once it reaches point of impact, creating a ripple effect that shatters a target's hull and superstructure. While not very effective against shielded targets, the GPP is exceptional when used to disable a ship without destroying it.
M58 Light Fragmentary Penetrator - The LFP is a carry-over from the Pillar of Autumn, firing three slugs made of lighter materials at high velocities to disrupt and/or bypass a target's shields. Against large targets, the LFP is also used to disable weapons systems and other hardpoints in quick succession.
Mark 644 Planetary Delivery System - Unlike the others, the PDS is a low-velocity slug specialized for quick deliveries carrying supplies and equipment for use in either battlefield or humanitarian situations. The PDS is also equipped with thrusters to slow its descent while in atmosphere with an accompanying low-opening parachute for landing safely with its payload intact.
The Theseus' secondary ship-to-ship armament features four Mark 40 Spitfire naval coilguns situated of the sides of the vessel. Acting in a general fire support role that follows the firing of the ship's MAC, the Spitfires feature fast tracking dual turrets that fire high-velocity slugs. The ammunition belts used for the Spitfires features an arrangement of tungsten, depleted uranium, and high-explosive rounds for use in anti-ship role. The high-explosive rounds can also be swapped out for experimental ultra-magnetic composite slugs that can be used to chip away at energy shields. The coilguns are very effective against Covenant targets, allowing the Theseus to continue putting pressure on the target's shields while the MAC recharges. The Theseus is also equipped with thirty-two M58 Archer missiles pods, holding a total of 768 missiles being used for both anti-ship and anti-fighter roles. While Archer missiles were shown to be an often ineffective and obsolete weapon system in the Human-Covenant War, their swarm firing still poses dangerous risks to any unshielded target they come across. In appropriate situations, both Spitfire coilguns and Archer missiles can be used for planetary ground support, decimating entire positions over large areas, and are especially effective against heavily fortified locations.
The Theseus also has complement of five SSM-947 Shiva nuclear missiles with a yield of thirty megatons each. However, these missiles can instead be outfitted with MIRV specifications, allowing a single missile to deliver several independent warheads with a yield equivalent to 150 megatons in vacuum conditions. Ignoring how effective Covenant point defense networks would be, the delivery of independently targeted Shiva warheads has the potential of disabling dozens of ships of a small battle group, allowing the Theseus the engage foes even when outnumbered. This has not yet been tested.
The final component of its ship-to-ship capabilities, the Theseus features a network of six M66 Sentry autocannons. These coilguns are dual-purpose, able to take part in anti-ship engagements, as well as point-defense roles to target and eliminate boarding craft, missiles, and plasma weaponry. The Sentry autcannons work in tandem with the ship's M910 Rampart point defense network, featuring an array of six fast-tracking batteries situated throughout the ship, providing full coverage of the ship from all angles. With this, the Sentry and Rampart networks provide a screen that makes short work of any approaching hostile craft or weapons.
Armor and Hull
The armored hull of the Theseus features a layered array of advanced battleplating centered around mitigating the devastating effects of plasma weaponry. This arrangement was of paramount importance to the UNSC, as they required a ship that was capable of surviving multiple hits from energy-based weapons. During its construction, SinoViet worked closely with ONI's Materials Group in implementing better plasma-resistant armor plating, who would provide the Theseus with 2-2.5 meters of Titanium-A3 plating, which was far more resistant to energy weapons, also featuring advanced dissipating properties to decrease the damage done to the ship. Despite its greater resistance and dissipating properties, Titanium-A3 plating could still be easily destroyed under concentrated fire from plasma torpedoes and plasma cannons; and was useless against a direct hit from energy projectors.
Attempting to alleviate some concerns, SinoViet also introduced a fifty centimeter thick layer of superconductive Vanadium carbide, providing greater anti-plasma capabilities to prevent plasma impacts from breaching the interior of the ship. SinoViet also made sure not to neglect anti-ballistic armor, adding an additional layer of twenty-five centimeters underneath the Vanadium plating. Made of a composite material, this layer provided excellent protection against kinetic and ballistic based weaponry, with some limited anti-plasma protection. This layer was also outfitted with miniaturized shock dampeners meant to remedy kinetic energy transferring through the ship after impact.
Following the events that occurred on Mazovia in 2554, the Theseus was sent to dry dock over Earth in 2555 to undergo a major refit. Part of this refit introduced sections of ablative armor plates placed over the Titanium-A3 plating. The Theseus was outfitted with more than one hundred of these plates strategically placed over vital areas of the ship which add fifty centimeters of additional armor. Designated LUNARIS by ONI Materials Group, most of the properties of the armor remain highly classified; however declassified sections state that LUNARIS is partly composed of Boron carbide and Titanium carbide nanofibers. LUNARIS armor displays extremely resistant anti-plasma characteristics which presents a considerable leap in human anti-plasma technology in the post-war.
Engines and Reactors
Aft section of the Theseus displaying the ship's fourteen fusion drives
Analysis of the Pillar of Autumn's cooling systems revealed strange inconsistencies that were over-engineered during the ship's refit for Operation: RED FLAG. The idea of using a "laser-induced optical slurry of ions chilled to near-absolute zero" was seen as unnecessary and inefficient compared to the alternative. Instead, the Theseus uses a combination of advanced radiators and that work with the ship's vanadium plating to cycle heat out of the ship and into the vacuum of space. The ship's main reactors are cooled using a liquid helium system that remains below 4.7 Kelvin. In addition to this, the reactor also includes the addition of Liquid nitrogen that will allow the ship to continue operating, albeit limited if the ship's liquid helium cooling system fails. Reintroducing liquid helium to the reactor allows a more simple and compact design that's more efficient but consumes vastly more energy, leading to the addition of the Saffell-Hartz auxiliary drives to power other systems of the ship. To ensure the system remains active, the helium is constantly circulated between the reactors, passing through the reactor core before being re-cooled to keep it below its critical state. When in combat, the Theseus also deploys a number of magnetized radiators and heat sinks that disperse excess heat and ferrofluid particles into the vacuum to cool and use magnetic fields to recollect the particles to be reintroduced to the ship's cooling system. During this the ferrofluids are able to regain their ferromagnetism by reducing its temperature below its Curie point. This system is especially risky, as the magnetic fields can be disrupted, as any unexpected jolt will lose the captured particles.
The primary propulsion system and powerplant for the Theseus is driven by two Starfire-V deuteriumfusion drives (DFR) built by Boglin Fields. The Starfire-V is a massive improvement over its predecessor that was used on the Pillar of Autumn, featuring more efficient cooling systems and better deuterium plasma recycling that allow the Theseus to boost the reactors by over 400% the normal output. Supporting this are four P9/L-HFR secondary helium fusion drives (HFR) from Naoto Technologies. The output of these engines make the Theseus and other Autumn-class vessels some of the fastest cruisers in the Navy, along with a combination of hundreds of vectoring thrusters, this gives the Theseus greater maneuverability to react quickly during close engagements.
With advancements in slipspace travel following the end of the war, Kawanishi Engineering was contracted by the UNSC to develop a modernized Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine to be used for the Autumn-class. Studying the slipspace engines from derelict Covenant ships in orbit over Earth, Kawanishi designed a faster, more accurate engine but was not yet up to par with Covenant specification. As delays began to threatened the development of the new engine, Kawanishi Engineering received assistance from ONI's Materials Group and Watershed Division, who provided information regarding the application of engineering data taken from Forerunner technology to the new slipspace drive. Applying the data to the engine allowed the drive to reach even faster velocities and transitioning from subspace far more accurate than any other UNSC cruiser at the time. The result was the Series 2554 LUDEN, which features a brand new field generator that implements both human and Covenant technology using enhancements recovered from Forerunner databases. Testing of this engine revealed that when travelling through slipspace corridors, such as the Agrobelt, the ship can transition from Cascade to Mazovia almost instantaneously within one hundred and forty-two kilometers from the intended exit point. Jumps that usually took entire months to half a year to complete were cut down to days and weeks. This presented a massive leap in human slipspace technology, having 7,000 times the accuracy of most other UNSC ships that often transited out millions of kilometers away from its intended spot.
Kept in the safest areas of the ship, the Theseus also comes equipped with an backup slipspace drive, known as an Emergency Slipspace Transition System (ESTS). Low-powered and pre-charged, the "mini"-SFTE is only to be used in emergency situations or if the primary slipspace drive is disabled or removed from the ship. Even with humanity's post-war advancements, the miniaturization of accurate slipspace drives remains decades away, leaving the ESTS an unreliable and potentially dangerous contingency. While in transit, the size of the ESTS drive greatly increases the risk of suffering a Slip Termination, Preventable (STP) failure. Concerns about the ESTS drive have been brought up on multiple occasions by the Theseus' engineering crew, claiming that even when not active, the ESTS interacts and possibly interferes with the ship's LUDEN drive, risking the lives of the crew on-board. Investigations of the ESTS drive's interference with the LUDEN drive are still ongoing.
"Bastards at Misriah refused to share their data with us. We could petition the UNSC to make them release it, 'For the betterment of humanity and all that yadda, yadda bullshit'... but we'd just be wasting our time. Screw 'em, we'll do it our way. The folks at Saffell-Hartz offered their expertise, I think we'll take them up on that."
―SinoViet shipbuilder's audio journal, August 2553
The installment of the Autumn-class's shield systems has been a complicated and frustrating process. Though companies like Aerofabrique SA managed to successfully install shield systems on some Strident-class heavy frigates, recreating the same system with the larger UNSC ships has proven to be difficult in achieving. Seeking assistance in this matter, SinoViet contacted Misriah Armory regarding technical data and specifications on reverse engineered Covenant spacecraft shield technology for use on human vessels equivalent to and larger than UNSC cruiser tonnage. To the surprise of many, Misriah refused the sharing of data with SinoViet, and promptly requested that the matter be dropped indefinitely. Unknown to SinoViet leadership at the time, Misriah remained tight-lipped about their spacecraft shielding technology as they were directly involved in the research and development for the shields of the highly classified UNSC Infinity. In order to cool tensions between the corporations and prevent potential leaks of the Infinity, ONI Materials Group stepped in to assist SinoViet.
Joining the Materials Group was a young spacecraft technology company, Saffell-Hartz, that had formed from employees that broke away from Halifax Spacewerx in 2548. Saffell-Hartz, who had already provided the Autumn-class with their auxiliary reactors, offered to use their expertise on reverse engineering Covenant technology in developing an array of shield generators to be placed on the Autumn-class. While using a similar method seen on Covenant ships that involved one or two generators that fully encapsulated the ship in an energy field, Saffell-Hartz developed a technique they described as Overlapping Dispersal Fields (ODF), which involved the installment of numerous shield generators around the exteriors of the ship. This method created an overlapping field from multiple shield systems that linked together into one "bubble". ODFs had the advantage that if one of more generators failed or were destroyed, the remaining generators would continue to operate, and allowed its barrier to remain functional. A downside to this however, is that the section without a working generator is left vulnerable, allowing kinetic or plasma weaponry to bypass the shields and impact the hull.
The first iteration of the Saffell-Hartz ODFs were deployed on the Theseus and other Autumn-class cruisers in October 2553. Despite initial testing that was marginally successful, the first-generation ODFs began experiencing malfunctions and power issues. For in-explainable reasons, the ODFs malfunctioned at random intervals, and had the tendency of fluctuating the ship's power plants before the generator itself failed. This proved to be an extremely dangerous side effect that could greatly inhibit the cruiser's combat effectiveness. At first, Saffell-Hartz chalked it up to their auxiliary power plants being not reaching the needed capacity. They replaced their reactors with improved variants, and while they improved the efficiency of other systems of the ship, they still did not address the issues with the ODFs. Fearing that the defective ODFs could potentially delay the commissioning of the Pillar of Autumn II, SinoViet removed the ODFs, requesting Saffell-Hartz to go back to the drawing board.
Eighteen ODFs were installed throughout the exterior of the Theseus.
Theseus and other Autumn cruisers would be commissioned without shielding systems, much to the disappointment of the Navy. Fortunately, this was only a temporary setback as Saffell-Hartz designed a new model that reduced its power requirements by half. This was achieved by introducing eighteen field emitters inside the generator as opposed to only four. This dispersed the required energy needs, increasing efficiency and optimal output without putting a strain on the ship's reactors. The generators were ready to be installed as early as August 2554, with the Euclid's Anvil, Pillar of Autumn II, and Theseus being the first cruisers to have them installed during their 2555 refits.
Task Force Heth
Theseus with Magnitogorsk (left) and Rigel's Rest (right).
Task Force Heth (TF-H, TF-8) was formed shortly after the commissioning of the Theseus on April 1, 2554, and has only been established as a temporary navy formation to investigate the Eta Leporis system. Escorted by two Charon-class light frigates, the UNSC Magnitogorsk and UNSC Rigel's Rest; these ships and the Theseus make up the entirety of the formation. The escorts carry additional Marine and ODST detachments that supplement the Theseus' already large Marine and Army complement, bringing the task force's total available ground forces up to nearly 3,000 personnel. Aside from its usual armament, the Magnitogorsk and Rigel's Rest have been outfitted with Hyperion nuclear delivery systems that have been proven to be very effective against smaller Covenant ships. Combined together, the task force is a very formidable force in both ground and space combat, along with most of their crews being very experienced in handling Covenant encounters. While the mission was believed to be a short one, Naval Command made sure to heavily outfit the task force as much as possible as skepticism remains a major point in the post-war climate.
Strike Group J20
Crew and Complement
When first deploying, manpower issues that affected the Navy left the Theseus with only 677 sailors to man its systems out of a total of 800 needed for optimal efficiency. After its 2555 refit, the Theseus received a full crew manifest allowing the ship to run at its intended efficiency. This comprises of 728 crewmen and engineers to maintain and operate the ship's systems and instruments, and seventy-two junior and senior officers to supervise them. The ship also had 430 naval flight crew and flight technicians responsible for maintaining the ship's aerial and spatial vehicles. This brought the ship's permanent crew up to 1,230 personnel.
In the event of an emergency, the Theseus has one-hundred and forty Class-3 Heavy Lifeboats to evacuate the ship's crew and flight personnel. Strategically placed in key areas of the ship, the lifeboats are intended to evacuate most if not all Navy personnel from the ship. However, any non-permanent crew aboard the ship evacuating must use alternate escape vehicles, such as Pelicans or Longswords, as the lifeboats are limited in number that prioritize the ship's permanent crew.
Naval Air Wing
Unlike its predecessors, the Autumn-class carries a squadron of F-41C Broadswords that have mostly replaced the bulky and cramped Longswords.
Known as Naval Air Wing Theseus (NAW-T), the cruiser maintains and operates a moderately sized air wing capable of operating in both atmospheric and exoatmospheric conditions. The wing is primarily composed of the Navy variant F-41C Broadsword, operated by Strike Fighter Squadron "Kestrel" (VFA-1137), along with a squadron of F-99 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles operated by the 90th Naval Drone Squadron (VUA-90). Accompanying these fighters was the addition of a squadron of GA-TL1 Longswords which were also operated by SFS "Kestrel". Due to the hangers of the Theseus already being taken up by various other aircraft, the ship only carries four Longswords, as its role has mostly been substituted by the Navy's F-41C variant of the Broadsword multirole strike fighters.
While controlled by the 90th NDS, the cruiser's wing of unmanned vehicles are also able to be controlled by the ship's AI, Günther. In addition to the Wombats, the cruiser also carried of complement of other smaller unmanned vehicles mostly filling out infantry support, reconnaissance, and early warning roles.
Twelve F-41C Broadswords - The primary A/S superiority multirole fighter for the Theseus, the F-41C significantly outperforms the Longsword in spatial engagements. With greater speed, performance, agility, and range, the Broadsword excels at defending the Theseus from enemy fighters such as the Type-31 Seraph.
Four GA-TL1 Longswords - While largely replaced by the Broadsword, the Longsword still provides a number of purposes to be used in both atmospheric and spatial operations. Though not as maneuverable as the F-41C, the Longsword packs a heavy punch with its armament, making it extremely useful in close air support, A/S superiority, interdiction, and bombing roles.
90th Naval Drone Squadron (VUA-90)
Eighteen F-99 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles - While ineffective in exoatmospheric operations, the F-99 UCAV serves to as a support aircraft for the Theseus' Army and Marine forces on the ground. Capable of being remotely operated by the 90th NDS or by the ship's AI, the F-99 can be outfitted to support ground forces with a variety of roles from reconnaissance to close air support.
(VFA designation: Strike Fighter Squadron)
(VUA designation: Unmanned Fighter Squadron)
Theseus also operates the 677th Naval Transport Wing (TRL-677) which maintains and flies the cruiser's D77 Pelican and D96 Albatross troop transport vehicles. The 677th also pilots the Army's complement of UH-144 Falcons that have been deployed to the Theseus for a limited time.
(TRL designation: Tiltjet/Tiltrotor Logistics Support Squadron)
For its mission, the Theseus received a large complement of Marine and Army personnel and military equipment prior to departing the Sol system. As if preparing for a major planetary invasion, the bulk of the embarked ground force aboard the Theseus comprised a battalion of Marines, with prominent rifle companies such as "Dasher" Company and the 14th Force Reconnaissance Company. Supporting them was a company detachment of the 24th Shock Troops Battalion known as "The Bullrunners", numbering six platoons. In addition to Marine personnel, a detachment of the Army's 47th Airborne Division and Echo Company of the Rangers have been assigned to the Task Force. Along with a squad of Army Special Actions operatives.
Fifteen agents of the Office of Naval Intelligence have also been assigned of varying departments within the organization. But the most surprising sight aboard the Theseus is the addition of SPARTAN-IIIGamma Company team Spatha, who unbeknownst to the majority of the crew were sent by the Beta-5 Division assigned to a mission separate from the Theseus.