First introduced in 1989, the Citadel-class air battleship has become a valuable vehicle for purposes of power projection, intelligence operations, covert operations and fire support. Some newer variants of this class are Rm-powered and require magic and magically-powered individuals present to operate its energy and / or weapon systems.
The modern Citadel-class air battleship performs a more expanded role than its predecessors, acting as a mobile aerial military base.
Origins in the Cold War Edit
The first preliminary designs for the Citadel were drafted in the late 1970s and originally envisioned the ACS-1 as an aircraft capable of indefinite high-altitude flight for the purposes of research and, if need be, military applications in launching nuclear warheads and conventional missiles. As plans were refined, however, the Citadel-class was then redesigned with the intent that it would become the successor class to the 'fortress' type aircraft (B-17 Flying Fortress, B-30 Superfortress, B-52 Stratofortress) which had similarly powered magical variants during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Cold War.
However, unlike its predecessors the Citadel was explicitly designed from the beginning to take advantage of the United States's population of Type-II individuals who could channel magic in order to build and operate a mobile air base that would aid the United States Air Force in military interests during the later stages of the Cold War. When the Type-III Awakening Incident began in 1985, production on the prototype was accelerated, with fears that the sudden surge in supernatural abilities would possibly change the face of warfare even more than magic already had. The United States government reasoned that in order to combat potential supernatural parahuman soldiers used by the Soviets, a solution must involve the use of magic on a scale never before seen in the arsenal of the United States Armed Forces.
To that end, the American company Xaikon Heavy Industries was contracted to aid in the design and development of the nation's first aerial battleship, receiving government assistance to greatly expand their facilities and to supply resources to the project.
The first Citadel-class aerial battleship, the USS Citadel was built and put into service in 1989. Though arguably ultimately successful, the prototype suffered severe issues and had to be redesigned multiple times in order to allow the experimental magic-technology systems to be refined to a point where they were functional enough for actual military service.
In addition to experimenting with magi-tec reactors, the originally canceled Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program, which previously developed the conceptual nuclear powered Convair NB-36H, was brought back into service for the Citadel Project and continued testing the feasibility of nuclear reactors powering aircraft, eventually culminating in the successful construction of a second Citadel-class battleship powered by nuclear power. Later Citadel-class aerial battleships produced afterwards utilized conventional non-magical technology such as nuclear fission, and later, fusion reactors.
Citadels were one of the most crucial instruments the United States government and military used to restore control over their territory; the aerial battleships were versatile and well-protected due to their flight altitude, long term deployment and ability to be used as command bases that could coordinate neutralization of remaining parahuman holdouts and re-stabilization of regions affected by the parahuman uprising. Throughout the 1990, the first twelve Citadels contributed greatly to restoring order to major American cities, and were extremely effective in dealing with parahumans, often with their long-range magi-tec cannons and railguns. In tandem with the C-20 Phoenix, these ships proved to be a valuable asset.
Modern Day Edit
Despite the end of the Cold War and their original intended purpose becoming moot, the Citadel-class aerial battleship has found service with the United Liberators Coalition in combating large scale threats, and to a lesser extent, deployment in the United States Air Force and United States Navy.
Fully magically powered variants were later successfully built and operated during early 2000s upon refinement and completion of superior magic-technology integrated systems. As of 2029, both variants are found in service, with magically-powered Citadels being more common in the case of the United Liberator Coalition's arsenal.
Citadels are supplemented and in cases of smaller Liberator chapters, supplanted by ACS-2 Aquila-class stealth command jets, which perform a similar role on a smaller, more covert scale.
There are about 88 Citadels currently in service as of 2029.
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
Differences between magical and standard Citadels Edit
Standard Citadels Edit
- Standard Citadel-class battleships are armed with sixteen electromagnetic dual cannon railgun turrets, eight mounted on the dorsal 'hump' of the ship and eight mounted underneath on its ventral side.
- Power production plants of all standard Citadels use four nuclear reactors. All Citadels built after 2013 use nuclear-fusion reactor technology, while Citadels constructed before utilize nuclear-fission reactors.
Magical Citadels Edit
- Magical Citadel-class battleships utilize, instead of conventional technology, sixteen magi-tec energy cannons, eight mounted on the dorsal side of the ship and eight mounted on its underside.
- Wizard gunners are required in order to operate the weapon systems of these ships, and computer targeting, while possible, is not always reliable.
- Onboard weaponry aside from the main batteries is conventional.
- Powerplants utilize a single Red Matter reactor core that must be attended to and maintained at all times by maintenance personnel who are able to manipulate magic. Failure to do so will result in the vessel losing propulsion and primary power if its magical personnel are incapacitated, killed, or evacuated.
- Magical Citadels have a greater energy output than their standard counterparts, allowing for longer flight time in the air, longer weapon operation and capability to perform more extreme maneuvers due to the high efficiency and power of their experimental magic-technology engines.
- Magical Citadels also have the capability of direct vertical takeoff and landing, unlike their standard counterparts which must use large runways to achieve lift.
Armament and Technical Specifications EditThe ACS designation denotes its purpose as an Airborne Command Station. Citadels are generally used as highly strategic mobile bases to perform effective reconnaissance, stealth deployment, or direct strike operations. Their immense size and weapons capacity means that in most cases, there are very few types of aircraft and weaponry that it is vulnerable against, due to its tendency to be able to soak up massive amounts of damage and keep functioning despite the fact.
Weaponry and Defenses Edit
- Citadels are equipped with sixteen heavy electromagnetic dual-railgun batteries, with eight mounted on its ventral side and eight mounted on its dorsal side. Magically-enhanced Citadels possess magical energy cannons mounted in their position instead. In both cases, the weapon batteries in their dormant state are retracted and protected by metal covers, which quickly retract in the event weapon systems are ordered to be fired up.
- Some Citadels are equipped with vertical launch systems to deliver missile salvos.
- For defense, the Citadel relies on its ability to launch its auxiliary craft to intercept incoming threats, as well as four Phalanx Close-In Weapon System interception gun turrets.
- Should the incoming attack fail to be deflected, Citadels are equipped with either a technological electromagnetic energy field generator, or a magical defense barrier, and can additionally sustain heavy damage to its armor plating and remain operating.
Internal layout Edit
- Hangar: Citadels have the capability to hold up to four F-35 Trident-II jet fighters, or alternately two V-25 Valkyrie gunships, enabling this class of aircraft to partially act as an airborne aircraft carrier.
- Some ships are able to dock in flight with the Citadel-class, and are guided into the large hangar at the rear of its fuselage.
- This hangar is connected to the aircraft's two cargo bays, which spread out into the wings and can also act as expanded hangar space to increase the vessel's fighter capacity.
- They have five decks, the largest deck spreading laterally outward into the insides of the wings and two decks into the wing roots, due to the blended flying wing design of the aircraft.
- Onboard facilities include a galley, personal quarters and cabins for crew, an observation deck overlooking its bridge with attached conference rooms, an armory, the commanding officer's personal quarters and office, as well as a gym and laundry and sanitation facilities.
- Depending on the configuration of a given Citadel in question, there may be additional facilities or facilities not present.
- Designed as a military vessel, Citadels have few windows but have several lookout and observation stations throughout the ship in the event of radar and sensor systems failure. The nose-cone forming the aircraft's bow is made of reinforced transparasteel and provides a sweeping view of the ship's surroundings.
- In the event of an emergency, the Citadel-class is equipped with two escape pod bays with downward-firing ejection capsules to evacuate its crew if need be.
Flight Systems Edit
- Power generation is carried out at the heart of the ship in a contained, reinforced chamber that either houses a single magi-tec Rm reactor, or four nuclear fusion / fission reactors. This reactor compartment is reinforced by heavy bulkheads and pressure doors, granting access only to authorized personnel.
- In emergencies, the Citadel-class is capable of ejecting their reactor cores.
- For main propulsion, the Citadel-class relies on four gargantuan fusial-thrust nozzles acting as the ship's primary engines. They are located in nacelles blisters that protude out of the aircraft's stern, with two pods on both starboard and port; one pod being mounted above the wing and one pod mounted underneath.
- Five secondary thrust nozzles are located between the wing rudders on both sides of the ship, giving the Citadel an impressive total count of 14 engines.
- Ventral thruster clusters aid the ship in landing and takeoff, slowing descent speed for landing and assisting liftoff for takeoff.
- Two massive air intakes, one on each side of the ship's bow, feed the four fusial thrust engines while the other ten engines are fed by intake banks in the leading edge of the ship's wings directly ahead of them.
Control Surfaces Edit
- Citadels have nine rudders; eight wing-mounted rudders, four on each wing with two atop and two underneath, and a massive ventral rudder mounted underneath the stern of the ship, with its leading edge trailing from a chine leading to the bow of the ship. Two massive flaperons are present on both wings as well as elevators and airbrake panels, aiding in adjusting the roll and speed of the aircraft as well as assisting in turns and banking maneuvers.
- For landing, seven landing gear clusters, with eight wheels each, deploy from the ship's underside, one from the underside of the bow, two from the amidship undercarriage (one on both port and starboard sides), one from under each fusial-thrust engine pod (both starboard and port), and two additional clusters from the center of both wings (one on both port and starboard). Each wheel is taller than a typical human being, with a diameter of 3 meters. During landing procedure, the five ventral rudders (four wing-mounted ones and the large central rudder) retract, swinging backwards and locking into a stowed-away position to avoid scraping the ground upon touchdown.
- Magical Rm-enhanced Citadels are capable of direct vertical takeoff and landing.
- Flight controls are primarily located at the front of the bridge, and are operated by a pilot, copilot, and flight engineer, the minimal crew necessary to safely pilot an ACS-1. Citadels are capable of maintaining indefinite flight thanks to their reactors, but are capable of takeoff and landing at limited airports, these restrictions due to their sheer size. Citadels are generally painted in light gray. Incapable of stealth, no special coating is applied to even attempt to absorb radar waves.
- The Citadel-class battleship was largely inspired by the Valkyrie bomber from Captain America: The First Avenger, which also used mystical energies as a power source. The original Citadel design had forward windows much like the Valkyrie, but it was deemed too close in appearance and thus changed to a transparent nose-cone.
- The Citadel-class battleship, along with the United Liberators Coalition, is one of the few concepts and designs to be kept and reused from the former Liberators RP. In its previous incarnation, it was the sole ship of its class and was instead powered by another mystical energy source known as the "Orb of Eternity'.