Developed in 2285 to replace the aging, nearly century-old Michigan-class destroyer, the Kiowa has become the mainstay of the North American Union navy. Designed to be capable of performing as an escort ship as part of a battleship group, or as a solo patrol ship with well-rounded capabilities, the Kiowa has proven to be quite effective.
More info to come after the writer AND artist both recover from their respective comas....
Wow, four really big spinal mount cannons in the nose, five big twin-barrel turrets along the top, five smaller turrets along one side, another turret on the side of the nose, and I think I see more weapons in the back- that ship sure has got a lot of firepower. XD I really like the hatches for smaller craft along the side, and the starfighter launcher on the side of the destroyer!! There is no reason you can have a launching strip on the "side" of a ship when there is really no "up" in space other than what you arbitrarily define as "up". It is neat to see a design where the little ships don't launch oriented to be "right-side up" to the big ship.
What kind of weapons does this ship carry? Are the big cannons lasers of some sort, and does it have other stuff like big kinetic weapons and missiles? Oh, and lovely work!
There is some talk about the weapons systems earlier in the comments of this ship. they are all energy type weapons or (AP - Anti Proton) in the turrets and main spinals and a few square "Gauss" type mass drivers or Kinetic kill in the spinal mount if you want to hit them with something hard and fast. I will see if i can't get Breandan, the owner and writer of Dark nova to explain some of it. If he has some time.
Yeah, I checked back in the comments and found some details on the ship. I had figured the turrets and round muzzles were energy weapons, and that the square muzzles were some manner of mass driver. You really doesn't see that many square energy guns, lol. That would be cool, I'd love to have some more details on this destroyer, if Breandan has the time to explain them, of course!
I was wondering, though, what materials and steps you use to draw something like this? I saw some pencil sketches among your WiP uploads, so I was guessing that you started with a rough pencil sketch, refined it into a nice pen drawing, and then colored it in with markers- using the brownish paper to push out the values where you used a lighter marker. A lot of people use digital these days, it is cool to see spaceships drawn in the traditional methods.
The Michigan-class this replaced is one of the best representatives of the many antiquated vessels still flying in the North American Union navy. Due to budget constraints, the NAU can't just replace hundreds of thousands of warships, ranging from corvettes to dreadnoughts, so they upgrade existing ships as much as possible. The Michigan is nearly a century old, first launching in 2232, and there are nearly 80,000 of them in service- the largest quantity of any capital ship in the NAU Navy- making the Destroyer class the most expensive to replace. So, the design for the Kiowa was a bureaucratic nightmare as they had to 1) maintain the same number of ships in service, as downsizing in dangerous times with hostile nations and races everywhere is a bad idea, 2) keep the costs low so as not to crash the economy by overtaxation to fund the replacements, and 3) produce a vessel that was significantly more capable than the one it was replacing. Even after 33 years of slowly phasing the Michigans out and replacing them with Kiowas, they still make up less than 40% of the destroyer-class vessels fielded by the NAU.
The downsides of the vessel are the persistent antiquated design concepts of flying bridges- which cost the NAU dearly during the Freeman War- and a blockier design profile that builds up significantly greater tachyon radiation in hyperspace than more streamlined vessels. The upsides are firepower, pure and simple. The weapons loadout on this particular ship are two super-heavy particle projection cannon (PPC) spinal mounts, two heavy AP lancer spinals, two heavy Mass Accelerator Cannon (MAC) spinal mounts, fourteen heavy PPC turrets, eleven medium PPC turrets, twenty light PPC turrets, two long-range missile (LRM) bays, two ship-to-ship missile (SSM) bays, two anti-ship missile (ASM) silos, and a substantial amount of Electronic and Network Warfare Operations (ENWO) gear (ECM/ECCM, stealth, etc.) Lemme explain what each of those weapon systems are.
Particle projection weapons comprise the bulk of commonplace weaponry of the 24th century. They use magnetic acceleration to project self-contained packets of protons cocooned within an EM field that lasts for a few tenths of a second. Upon impact, the field disperses and releases the charged particles into the target with tremendous force. Particle projection weapons have significantly higher levels of kinetic impact from the larger packet of hypervelocity charged particles. Whereas a particle beam is like being hit with a light-speed pencil, a particle projection weapon is like being hit by a twenty kilo boulder hurled at a tenth that speed. Needless to say, it knocks the target back and has much greater explosive, radiant and thermal damage. If the weapon is a particle projection rifle or larger, the damage has an area affect, doing damage to everything within a one meter diameter for small arms, and then radiating outward with damage being reduced per every meter outward. Naval weapons like these have AoEs in hundreds of meters to kilometers when used against a planetary surface. A single shot from one of the spinal PPCs would hit dirtside with a yield comparable to a four gigaton nuclear weapon being detonated, with a blast radius of nearly 60km. Needless to say, orbital bombardments are deadly as hell.
AP lancers are the anti-proton version of a particle beam, requiring more power to produce anti-hydrogen from which to strip the antimatter particles, but resulting in far more damage upon impact. Like a particle beam weapon, An AP lancer uses a focused EM field tube to contain a stream of charged particles that travels from the emitter to the target at near-luminal velocities (i.e. .999999% of the speed of light). As the charged particles have some mass- minute though it may be- traveling at hypervelocity speeds, they cause significant kinetic impact on the target. This can knock the target back, depending on the size of the pulse and the target it strikes. Additionally, the charged particles release explosive energy upon impact, causing thermal, radiant and explosive damage. As if that wasn't enough, the antimatter nature of the charged particles annihilates when it contacts normal matter particles, adding the matter/antimatter conversion to energy explosive force to the impact of the weapon. While these effects are only a fraction of that seen in anti-proton particle projection weapons (APPCs), lancers have an ace up their sleeve that only lasers can duplicate: burn-through. The concentrated punch of the stream of particles in such a tightly focused group- even if only for a brief pulse- can overwhelm a shield's defenses when focused on a single point. As with lasers, particle beam weapons are zero time of flight weapons and cannot be detected by conventional sensors within their effective range- roughly two light seconds- due to their luminal velocities. They virtually strike the target the instant they are fired in close quarters, and fast enough to minimize evasion at longer ranges. Outside of their effective range, however, non-spacial sensors can detect the incoming fire quickly enough for the AI of the target to evade by rolling or vectoring out of the line of fire.
MAC guns are a powerful form of Gauss weaponry. Gauss weapons use magnetic or gravitic energy to accelerate a projectile to super-mach or high sub-luminal speeds. This hypervelocity projectile is difficult to trace back to its source due to a low energy signature, and is often used as a sniper weapon. In the case of naval weaponry, MAC guns are antiquated, comparably weak, and obsolete. However, certain alien races- namely the Capellans and Naradi- put far too much emphasis on shields and not enough on armour, making them vulnerable to mass driver weapons. Due to the energy-absorbing/redirecting nature of their shields, there is a chance that a projectile will not disperse its kinetic energy into the shield and instead punch through and into the hull. Terran ships have several meters thick of armoured skins, using atomically-bonded hyperdense materials that require nuclear disruption to degrade, making MAC guns a poor choice. Other races, however, disdain armour as the province of "primitive" races. As Thor from Stargate SG1 phrased it- "The Asgard have tried to stop them. You have demonstrated their weakness may be found from a less sophisticated approach. We are no longer capable of such thinking. The Asgard would never invent a weapon that propels small weights of iron and carbon alloys by igniting a powder of potassium nitrate charcoal and sulfur." Sometimes, brute force works.
Short Range Missiles are the most common missiles found due to their combination of low cost and small size. SRMs come in three classifications- Heavy Weapons, Vehicular and Naval. The Heavy Weapons variants are the ordnance loads found in man-portable missile launchers and powered armor. Vehicular SRMs are designed for fighters, vehicles, and small craft. These are significantly larger and more potent than the man-portable versions, and are designed to be used against vehicles and smaller vessels. Naval SRMs are the largest of the SRM family, but still far smaller than any other naval missile. These are loaded into ships’ missile batteries as close-quarters anti-fighter or massive-volley attack weapons.
Long Range Missiles- as the name implies- are larger than SRMs and have far greater range. They also carry larger warheads, allowing them to do significantly greater damage. Like SRMs, LRMs come in Heavy Weapons, Vehicular and Naval varieties as well. LRMs are used in very much the same way in each of those categories as their SRM counterparts, but due to their larger size the batteries generally can carry less of them. LRMs are far faster than SRMs, giving them greater effective range, making them most effective as an offensive weapon as opposed to largely defensive SRMs.
Ship-to-Ship Missiles come in two varieties, Vehicular and Naval. SSMs are designed to damage vessels of all sizes, though Naval-class SSMs are designed to combat capital ships more than the Vehicular ones. Unfortunately, small craft and fighters cannot carry Naval versions easily, as they are nearly as large as most fighters. SSMs can carry any number of warheads available, but the standard load is a 110lb antimatter charge with an effective yield of 2 gigatons.
Anti-Ship Missiles are part of planetary defense grids, orbital defense platforms, and larger naval vessels’ arsenals. These missiles are designed to do significant damage to capital ships, and can often devastate smaller vessels in a single shot. Unlike SSM and smaller missiles, ASMs are so large that they require silos instead of batteries. Likewise, they cannot be carried by small craft or fighters due to their size and relative bulk. Like SSMs, ASMs can carry any available warhead, but the standard payload is a 550lb antimatter charge with an effective yield of 10 gigatons. Used against a planet, this would have a blast radius of over 150km and destroy any non-hardened structures within 50km of ground zero unless shielded.
Okay, did some totally pointless calculations on the difference in energy deposited in target by the kinetic impact of the antiprotons fired from an AP Lancer and the annihilation energy. Assuming I did not make any silly errors-
The mass of a proton is 1.67262158 × 10-27 kilograms, and antiprotons apparently have the same mass as a proton. The antiprotons from an AP Lancer travel at 99.999% C, which is 299,792,000 m/s according to my graphing calculator. 299,792,458m/s*.999999=299,792,000 m/s The speed of light, C, is 299,792,458 m/s, we'll need it for our calculations.
The relativistic equation for kinetic energy is Ek=M*C2(1/sqrt(1-V2/C2)-1). So, Ek= (1.67262158x10-27kg.)(299,792,458m/s)2((1/sqrt(1-(299,792,000m/s)2/(299,792,458m/s)2)-1) Ek=8.58143x10-8 joules. Which is a bit higher than the operating energy per proton of the CERN Super Proton Synchrotron accelerator in 1976, 6.4×10−8 J.
If we totally convert a proton (or antiproton) into energy, by E=MC2- E= (1.67262158x10-27)(299792458m/s)2 E=1.50328x10-10 Joules.
But, when an antiproton annihilates with a proton, both are converted into energy, so the total energy released by one such annihilation will be twice this- about 3x10-10 joules.
(8.58143x10-8 J)/(3x10-10J)= about 285
So, the sheer kinetic energy of an antiproton at 99.9999% C is 285 times the energy released by it annihilating with a proton in the target ship's hull, assuming I made no silly math errors and understand how to use my calculator.
This was all purely for fun. I am not responsible for any damages to your starship resulting from using this calculation. XD
the kinetic impact happens a nanosecond before the annihilation occurs, as the matter and antimatter collide before mutual annihilation, so BOTH effects happen almost simultaneously. And for APPCs, the packet of anti-protons is a tightly-packed dense packet ranging from a kilo to a tonne, depending on the weapon type
Thanks a million, Breandan!! You sure put a lot of effort into working out the specifications of the ships and weapons used in Dark Nova- excellent stuff!!
Now I am wondering how much deadlier antiparticle annihilation actually makes the AP Lancers. At 87% C, an object- be it a grain of dust, a single proton, or a huge spaceship- has equivalent kinetic energy to how much its rest mass would be worth if converted totally into energy by E=MC2. And, at higher speeds, the kinetic energy gets greater and greater due to relativistic mass increase, so from 90%C-99%C will involve a much greater increase in energy than, say, 80%C-90%C. It is kind of hard to imagine how particle beams work because relativity makes it all screwy, even an electron appears massive at near C velocities. An antiproton traveling at 99.9999% C will be carrying so much energy, the energy released by annihilation only adds insult to injury- so you are right that the impact will account for most of the damage an AP Lancer causes to a target.
I might calculate the kinetic energy of a proton traveling 99.999% C later just for fun, these sorts of calculations always end up with a satisfying killer death boom.
Thanks, I will ask Breandan to explain some of the tech on the ships when I see him next.
For my artwork. My materials are the medium value heavy weight paper (its almost card stock) called "Desert storm" from a supplier called Kelly paper. I start a light sketch with a Straedtler 2H pencil. After the sketch I straighten it out with a ruler and use a "Sakura PIGMA micron 005" pen to ink it. Adding tweaks and more detail where needed. Erase all the pencil work after the inking with a normal cheap pink eraser. Then I marker it in with a mix of Tria and Prisma color markers, normally in a selection of Warm grey, Cool grey and French Grey. Then added some Prisma color pencil white and Verithin white to add highlights, and finally white paint pen, or Gouache for the white, since a pencil can never get That crisp of a white on this colored paper. Also if needed I will add some white digitally. As far as the general angle and dimension of the vessels, I can see it like that in my head and transfer it to paper with no real problem... its hard to explain that part. It is what people always ask me. I just draw it like I see it in my head...
Thanks, Jepray!! I was just curious about the materials you use- the visualization or "structural imagination" skills have to come with practice. Part of it is just drawing something so often that you begin to have an innate understanding of how things are constructed, both real and imaginary. That is something I work on. Pens and markers don't help an artist with that. The most important drawing tool is the human brain!!
I can see why you get those questions, though, you have mad spaceship design skills. XD
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More