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The Oa-Class Battlecruiser

Saturday, Jun 6, 2020
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This article was featured in Issue #2 of the Atlantic Bulletin

Vekllei’s defensive military posture has, in doctrine and arms development, limited its ability to meaningfully project power outside of the Atlantic. As an island nation with a large and multifaceted naval armada, the Oa-Class Battlecruiser is the heart of her armed forces, as the flagship of her fleets.

Where U.S. doctrine places carriers offensively in the structure of its ship-groups, the Vekllei Navy is considerably more Soviet in its employ of carriers as primarily defensive air-bases to exercise sovereignty over her far-flung territories and island possessions. Oa-class Battlecruisers are notable as hybrid carrier-battleships, and feature a diagonal jetway with capacity for carrier-type naval jets (almost indistinguishable in the illustration above) and a variety of VTOL aircraft, which are common by the 2050s.

First built in the 2050s by the sprawling National Naval Arsenal (located on Vekllei’s Far East coast, close to the foundries that pour her iron), 12 Oa-Class Battlecruisers are in service in the 2070s. They carry heavy fission reactors built by bureau monopoly General Reactor, supplemented by a gas-turbine generator, as is standard on all Vekllei-built nuclear vessels. Her unusual serpentine funnel is characteristic of Vekllei’s navy, and is a distinguishing feature of their naval design language.

Her hulking superstructure and massive 15-inch fore guns recall the capital battleships of yesteryear, but she is a thoroughly modern battlecruiser with contemporary armament and electrics for combat and fleet administration. Named after Vekllei’s National flower, these Battlecruisers are the third-largest vessels in the navy and are multifunctional by design, often operated as strategic and operational platforms to support Vekllei’s large defensive armadas that patrol the North Atlantic.

She is armed with two triple-barrelled 15-inch shore guns that can be loaded with a variety of shells including nuclear payloads, silos for guided missiles, and specialised guns and missile platforms for anti-ship, submarine and satellite warfare. Her powerful communications array and sensors are positioned 80 meters above the surface for the benefit of radar and subsurface monitoring. She can also support up to 12 standard carrier jets at one time, or 16 individual helijets/VTOL craft.

Vekllei has larger battlecruisers (the so-called super-battlecruisers match her height and are nearly twice her length) and much larger carriers, but the displacement of the vessel was never a priority. Vekllei’s naval architecture prioritises mobility and capability in their capital ships, and so the Oa-class vessels represent many intersecting vertices of Vekllei’s naval doctrine.

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