Athena (WarShip class)
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Safe Thrust||1 g|
|Top Thrust||1.5 g|
|KF Drive Integrity||12|
|Armament|| 64x NL55s|
30x White Shark Launchers
|Armor||895 tons of standard armor|
|Crew|| 50 - officers|
120 - enlisted/non-rated
120 – gunners
222 - bay personnel
300 - first class passengers
|Grav Decks||2 x 225m diameter|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||100/100|
The Athena-class cruiser was a concept originally developed by the Terran Alliance. Beginning in the 2170s the Alliance became concerned that separatists would either seek to establish their own colonies or strike at Alliance colonies in acts of nuclear terrorism. The Alliance government was concerned enough that it issued enormous grants to the defense industries of a number of leading Terran nation-states, industries that had been rendered largely moribund by that point.
The various industries involved in the development of the Athena had virtually no practical experience of deep space warfare, and the resulting design concept was the result of a range of simulations, brainstorming, and experience of orbital space battles conducted during the Second Cold War. The final design was for a ship designed to provide support for Alliance troops invading separatist colonies, and for conducting space-to-space nuclear warfare. Equipped with potent batteries of lasers for such tasks as surface bombardment, anti-shipping missions and providing anti-fighter coverage, the Athena design also incorporated heavy capital missile batteries in the nose and stern and a number of autocannon batteries. While the autocannons were most likely added as an afterthought, they could be used both for high-speed closing engagements and for engaging targets such as satellites and stations that were largely immobile. The Athena design featured stern-heavy weaponry, a feature that later designs such as the McKenna shared, indicating that the Athena was intended to hover over a battlefield at the threshold between the atmosphere and space, with her nose pointing away from the planet.
The Athena never entered service with the Terran Alliance, and the design remained unused for many years. The future founder and Director-General of the Terran Hegemony, James McKenna, discovered the plans for the Athena while he was enrolled at Annapolis Academy. McKenna developed an infatuation that incorporated the core concepts of the Athena and which became the combat JumpShip. When the various interstellar nations around the Hegemony began developing armed JumpShip designs the Hegemony revisited the Athena design and went on to develop the famous Aegis-class heavy cruiser. The Athena design returned to obscurity, only to be revisited by the Magistracy of Canopus in the closing stages of the Age of War.
The Magistracy was in a position to build a version of the Athena more faithful to the original design, and the resulting Athena-class cruiser was the first WarShip to be produced domestically by the Canopians. Although the Magistracy had to improvise in some areas, those improvisations were made only as a concession to the availability of various components locally, and the class would continue to display its ancient origins through such features as the large bays for drop shuttles it possessed, and the lack of K-F booms and docking collars. The corporation within the Magistracy responsible for developing the Athena from a design into a functioning WarShip class was the Athena Corporation, founded in the twenty-sixth century and tasked with the "Athena Project". The Athena Corporation began with a combined engineering firm and think tank located in the Canopus IV system and successfully launched the first Athena-class WarShip, the MCS Athena in 2569. Only one more Athena would be produced prior to the Reunification War, the MCS Kossandra Centrella.
In contrast with many WarShips the Athena featured roomy and well-appointed quarters for all of its personnel, not just a select number of officers, as well as similar quarters for any passengers being transported. All of these quarters were encompassed within the two large rotating gravity decks, and the Athena was a popular choice amongst upper-echelon officers looking for a flagship.
Weapons and Capabilities
The Athena suffered from relatively slow acceleration but was protected by almost nine hundred tons of standard armor, distributed with a slight bias towards the nose and stern of each cruiser. Banks of eight NL55s were mounted in each arc except the nose, with the stern mounting twice as many as any other arc. Each Athena also mounted two banks of two NAC/30 in the nose and stern, whilst three pairs of White Shark missile launchers were mounted in each of the fore left, fore right, aft left, aft right and stern arcs. Each pair of White Shark launchers was supplied with a score of missiles.
While the Athena had originally been envisioned as transporting a pair of large drop shuttles and two squadrons of smaller shuttles, the Magistracy redesigned the bays to accommodate a little more than twenty standard small craft-sized vessels; in practice, the Canopians assigned eighteen aerospace fighters and four shuttles to each Athena, giving every cruiser a moderate fighter screen and enough independent transport to serve the marine contingent stationed aboard.
The first new Athena to be launched after the devastation of the Reunification War was produced in the mid-twenty-eighth century, following the construction of the Diamond Garter Fleet Yards, which were in turn completed in 2725. That first WarShip was named the MCS Kossandra Centrella, just as one of the pre-Reunification War Athenas had shared its name with the founding Magestrix of the Magistracy, and would serve as the flagship of the ranking officer of the Canopian navy.
- Bay 1: 22 Small Craft - 5 Doors, 4 Motorized Infantry Platoons
- Bay 2: 26,317 tons of Cargo - 2 Doors
The Record Sheet for the Athena-class cruisers is found in Field Report 2765: Periphery.
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 10, "Infrastructural Integrity"
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 31-32, "Athena (Cruiser)"
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 5, "Strategic Update"
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 4, "WarShips of the Territorial States"
- Strategic Operations, p. 14, "Naval Factor"