Ever since the Novus Initium Republic took to exploring the star cluster during the Expansion Era of 4614 A.D. through 4946 A.D., the Republic Navy had to evolve to where there was as little waste produced as possible despite the fact that the Republic had access to a large amount of resources. Whether this was ammo or ships in general, weapons and defense development eventually led to the creation of power laser weapons, defensive energy shields, and nanobot armor repair systems. This occurred after the Republic Senate passed the Resource Conservation, Preservation, and Recycling Bill of 4761 A.D. The bill called for the creation of weapons that did not make waste such as ammo and shell casings as well as missiles that used propellant. This led to the creation of the beam laser weapons that are currently in use. The bill also called for the preservation of existing constructs to protect them against harm whether they were natural or artificial. The energy shields and nanobot armor repair systems were developed for that purpose. Lastly the bill called for the recycling of existing constructs to reduce the need for additional resources. What that means for the military is that when a new ship design is made available, the existing ships are taken to dock, torn down, their materials melted and recycled, and finally modeled into the new ship designs. The process is completely automated to reduce turnaround time. The designs are also modular so that new components can replace existing ones without the whole section or ship being rebuilt. This is why ships can be in service for over a hundred years at a time. The bill also pertains to the civilian sectors such as homes, buildings, technology, and vehicles.
The laser beam weapons come in three different sizes depending on the ships they are usually installed on but are generally dual barrel to offer the maximum amount of damage at a target as well as to consolidate the number of turrets needed. Small beam lasers are only found on destroyers and are also found on cruisers. Medium beam lasers are also found on cruisers alongside the small lasers, but they are also found on battleships. The large beam lasers are only found on battleships. All beam laser turrets share common traits despite their size. They were designed to collapse when not in use, looking like blisters on the hulls. They also use standard beam lenses which produce a visible yellow beam when fired. However, the lenses can be switched on the spot within the turrets to range from radio to gamma for different ranges and level of damages applied depending on the mission parameters. There is also white multispectrum lenses but they are the shortest range and the most lethal of the lenses. They are only used when lethal destructive force is needed. The lasers also have two different settings: beam laser mode and pulse laser mode. The beam laser mode reduces the tracking speed of the guns in exchange for a focused long range shot. However, this is also the slowest of the two modes when it comes to rate of fire due to the blast being fired. The pulse laser mode increases tracking and rate of fire but the range is almost cut in half and is designed more for a point defense system against smaller targets. The beam that is fired is also lightly weaker in order to achieve the higher rate of fire. However, the amount of damage in both modes applied over the same period of time is generally the same when the guns were first test against the same target at different ranges in both modes.
The energy shield system was designed to work as a defensive field against threats both artificial and natural. It also serves as the first line of defense against such threats. The strength of the shield will normally vary on the size of the ship that is using it. The shields are designed to be able to take impacts from various things such as directed energy and projectile weapons as well as small rocks and debris. While the shields can only take so much damage before they fail, there are shield booster modules on board the ship that divert power from the ship’s capacitors to strengthen the shields. However, this may divert some power away from other systems including the weapons depending on what all is running at the time. The same can be said for the nanobot armor repair system. As the name states, nanobots are used to repair armor and hull damage to the ship in the event that the shields fail. The armor serves as the second line of defense and thus is crucial for the survivability of those on board should the armor be completely breached. Because of the small size of the nanobots, there are a massive number of them stored on board but they also require energy via remote wireless transfer in order to function and repair armor and hull damage. While both the shield boosters and nanobots can run at the same time, they take a way a significant amount of power from the capacitors forcing the beam lasers to shut down. Otherwise the capacitors would be completely drained faster than the antimatter reactor can replenish them. Both should only be used if the ship is not in combat and is trying to repair itself.
Lastly, new ships usually have a lifespan of around 100 years before the newest design is introduced. There are two reasons behind this timeframe. The first is the fact that the modules on board are modular and thus can be switched out for the newest systems without much change or refitting. The second is that every part of a recycled ship was at one point a previous ship or more. When a ship is scheduled to be recycled, every component on board is stripped and melted according to what the components are made out of. They are cleaned and strengthened before they are made into solid components again for the new ship. Depending on the size and structure of the ship, new parts and components are also added alongside the recycled ones. On average, a “new” ship may be made of up to 95% recycled materials. The logic behind this was due to mankind’s excessive waste since the 20th century and in order not to repeat the same mistakes the Republic deemed this bill necessary. Thus there is little strip-mining involved on the planets where excavation and resource gathering is being done. The average turnaround time for ships being recycled through the automated system is 1 day for destroyers, 5 days for cruisers, and 10 days for battleships.
Finally, each ship has in storage some Salire Purpura crystals with enough to achieve a single jump. This was meant solely for emergencies when a ship for whatever reason can no longer move on its own or has an emergency where the use of the onboard interplanetary warp drive and local star gates would be deemed too long to get to its destination. The range of the jumps is limited to 12 Light-years in any direction. Once the jump has been completed, the crystals are disintegrated and the ship will have to use conventional means of travel to get to their destination.
The three current generation of hulls were introduced in 5400 A.D. when it came time for the centennial hull upgrade to happen. The contract for the current hulls went to Horribilis Industries who designed a rather ornate set of ships but were no less lethal in their abilities. The Crusader-class Destroyer is the smallest of the three hulls and is the most numerous. It is also the fastest possessing 5 engines on a rather small frame. The ship also possessed 22 small dual beam laser turrets, the most ever placed on a destroyer in the history of the Republic. However, between the power supply, the capacitors, the cargo storage, the crew quarters and stations, and everything else, the sensors and communications equipment could not fit within the hull. To compensate for this, two “spikes” protrude from the back of the craft near the engines. While this does look a bit unsightly and not to mention leave them exposed to attack, the armor of the spikes is just as thick and durable as the rest of the ship. The ship’s armor is made of 400mm layered steel plates making it a rather tough vessel for its size provided the opponents have managed to get past the ship’s shields. Crusaders are assigned to a large variety of roles due to their size and their ability to quickly be deployed to the task they are given. Because of the number of destroyers that are deployed, it was decided that the lowest rank to command a destroyer will be Lieutenant Commander rather than a Captain due to how many there are at that rank versus the higher ranks. Also, because of their numbers, the destroyers are usually known by number than given a proper name. However, the crew if they so choose can give a nickname for the ship as part of an internal lingo for the crew. However, the nickname cannot be used when referring the ship in official communications with higher ranking officers.