The Predators are the largest and newest class of destroyer currently in service with Battle Fleet. The first to be rated as suitable for deep space operations, these multi-role ships are capable of supporting the main battle line, close escort and deep space strike. Currently 15 Predators are in service with the final six expected to be commissioned by 2066.
The Lance and Broadsword classes of destroyers had respectively been designed to provide support for the battle line and as independent strike missile strike vessel. Two effectively specialist designs, neither of had come to be regarded as entirely satisfactory and what now wanted was a vessel capable of performing both roles while still remaining small enough and cheap enough to be built in useful qualities.
The genesis design of Predator came from a proposal from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in answer to the P475 specification for a light cruiser strike cruiser. While this project was ultimately abandoned due to the budget cuts of the early 2050s, the mix of a heavy missile throw with a substantial point defence grid was regarded highly interesting.
As the fleet had found from previous experience to simply build a diminutive of the P475 cruiser was unlikely to prove fruitful, so instead emphasize was placed on the missile and point defence aspects of the design at the expense of gun power and operational range.
Layout follows what has become the typical destroyer layout, a three part arrangement with primary armament and command functions concentrated in the forward third of the ship, power rooms and engines aft, with an open centrifuge amidships. The folding centrifuge is the first to be used on a Battle Fleet ship and while initially troublesome in service, makes the Predators the first human destroyer to be able to simulate gravity up to a full 1G.
As the fleet only deep space capable destroyers, the Predators have supplanted the River and Continental Class Light Cruisers in the escort role around Dryad. Freeing up these vessels for deep space patrolling. It has been reported that in this role members of the class have involved in a number of live-fire incidents but details remain classified at time of writing. Among their listed wartime roles is deep space strike, while the fleet has not exactly specified what this means analysts believe the type would be used to strike at enemy supply line several systems out from Earth.
Length: 116 metres
Beam: 69.50 metres
Height: 48 metres
Armament: Four standard missile launchers, standard load twelve slammer missiles. Four Mk IX light plasma cannons in two twin mounts. Six octuple point defence mounts.
Power Plant: Two Mitsubishi VX18 Fusion reactors
Engines: Two ACAE Iolar and one half Iolar engines.
Crew: 6 officers and 43 crew
Endurance: 34 days standard, 58 days max.
In service: 15
Under construction: 6
The Predator class are taken from the Nameless War setting