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- "The most superbly average cruiser ever devised by humanity"
- ―Retired UNSC Captain, famously attributing the Ulysses-class.
The Ulysses-class heavy cruiser was a class of heavy cruisers once used by the and during both the Insurrection and the early years of the Human-Covenant War.
Starting production in 2475 to replace the aging Victoria-class armored cruiser, the Ulysses-class heavy cruiser were a common sight amongst UNSC and CMA fleets in the Outer Colonies. The Ulysses capitalized on the advances to weapons and armor pioneered by the Victoria and refined them, resolving many of the technology issues and design weaknesses that it suffered from, having a more cutting-edge interior structure, thicker armor, a larger arsenal, and overall more advanced technology.
Even after the inception of the Hades-class heavy cruiser and Io-class light cruiser, orders for the Ulysses continued, as it offered a middle ground between the aggressively armed Hades-class and the economically appealing Io-class, having more impressive weapons and armor than the Io, but a cheaper price tag than the Hades.
Unfortunately the design was hampered by its relatively slow speeds and its relatively small slipspace drive which limited its ability to travel long distances. However, this did make it appealing as a short-range defensive ship, tasked with protecting colonies as part of colonial defense fleets rather than as part of long-range expeditionary forces that were becoming more and more prevalent as the Insurrection was heating up.
This need for long-range colonial interdiction forces would become the rule of thumb for the Unified Earth Government and by 2510 they were being slowly phased out in favor of the more specialized and long-range Hades-class and Io-class, before being made completely obsolete by the advent of the Marathon-class heavy cruiser and many of them were mothballed. By 2526 the Ulysses were only found protecting less important Outer Colony worlds often as part of colonial defense fleets.
Because of this, when the Human-Covenant War began, the Ulysses found itself on the frontlines on the war protecting the first Outer Colonies to fall to the Covenant. While on paper its arsenal was still formidable, in practice it was very obsolete with many of its onboard systems and equipment being very out of date. During the Battle of Moline, seven Ulysses-class cruisers protected the planet, only to be completely annihilated by the superior Covenant warships.
The remaining Ulysses' were refitted with new technology to bolster the Navy's ranks with many of them serving in Vice Admiraland Rear Admiral Elliot's Battle Group Zulu. Most of them were destroyed over the next several years and by 2535 the class was deemed extinct.
However, between 2540 and 2552, five hulls were recovered by the Frieden Autonomy of Steinhold from abandoned battlefields and ship graveyards. These ships were restored and refitted, their arsenal and systems updated to modern standards, and were renamed the Vernichtung-class cruiser. Now they make up the core of their steadily growing fleet.
Known Ships of the Line
|Name||Hull Classification Symbol||Commissioned||Notes|
|UNSC Ulysses||UA-1||January 3rd, 2475||Lead ship of the class. Mothballed in 2505, recommissioned in 2525 in response to the Human-Covenant War. Destroyed during the Battle of Gastone.|