Okay, Richard. Again, this isn't something I was going to let out of the bag just now -- especially since I deliberately did a little misleading in Shadow when I have my junior officers/middies reflecting on the fact that "nothing smaller" than Hexapuma would ever be able to mount the Mk 16 missile in worthwhile numbers. Still, you guys seem to be arguing your way through some of the same points I worked my way through, so here's the current thinking. Bear in mind that there's still room for change. I'm giving you basically the paper study (what the USN designers used to call the "spring style") for the new class as of a point somewhere before the beginning of Shadow. This is where BuShips thinking was headed at that time and the basic design they proposed at the same time they were calling Hexapuma's class the Saganami-C to get it past the Janacek bottleneck. This design is officially a "destroyer," since that was a class the Janacek Admiralty was willing to authorize for escort and commerce protection, but it was actually bigger than most light cruisers. At the same time, it probably is about the smallest you could build a light escort capable of standing up to modern commerce raiders (as opposed to pirates). BuShips and BuWeaps basically proposed two separate classes; this one, and one about 2/3 this size without MDM capability and with a larger crew (to provide more space for Marines) and longer endurance. Note that both designs applied the Beta-squared technology, and that both of them have the 2-phase bow and stern walls. (Also bear in mind that we still haven't solved the "but the ships must mass more than the official numbers given their dimensions" problem, though Ken Burnside & Co. continue to work on that particular little SNAFU.)
Roland-class DD (Large) design proposal:
Tonnage: 188,560 tons Total Crew: 62 men Chase energy armament: 4 "CA-scale" grasers; 2 each forward & aft Broadside energy armament: 10 DD/CL lasers; 5 each broadside Missile tubes: 12 Mod 9-c CM tubes: 20 PD Laser clusters: 30 Shipkiller Missiles: 240 Mk 16 MDM Counter Missiles: 800 XR Counter missiles Normal Max Acceleration: 590 gravities Military Power Accel: 780 gravities [fixed typo - Ed]
This ship has sufficient control links to control up to 36 Mk 16s and 40 CMs simultaneously. (And, no, I'm not going to tell you how they got that much fire control into her.)
The design's configuration differs radically from previous DD classes. The ship mounts only two chase energy weapons forward and astern; all the rest of the hammerheads' internal volume is taken up with the tightly clustered tubes of 6 Mod 9-c launchers. Magazine space is also highly concentrated, just aft and forward of the forward and after impeller rooms, respectively. The ship accepts "old-style" DD-sized lasers, not grasers and not upscaled lasers, for the energy broadside because those are quite sufficient to deal with a non-Manticoran LAC at energy range and reducing tonnage there helped considerably when they started up-sized magazine space. The Rolands are not intended to fight anything heavier than another DD at energy range, but their missile armament means they can engage anything without MDM-range weapons of its own from outside the other ship's engagement envelope. Note that this ship is over twice the size of Allister McKeon's Troubador from Honor of the Queen but has many times Troubador's combat power.
The smaller companion design (which I'm not going to describe here) is much more conventional in concept. Basically, it's an upscaled Troubador with more missile-defense capability but without any pretension to being able to engage at MDM ranges. This means that it can pack in quite a few more rounds for its shorter-ranged launchers and has a somewhat higher max acceleration rate, and it is designed primarily to engage "normal" pirates and as an anti-LAC screening unit. The drawback is that with the new electronics and everything else, the smaller design costs about 75% as much as the Roland for far less than 3/4 of the larger design's general combat power.
Now this, of course, leaves the interesting question of what the new Manty light cruiser is going to look like, but, well, that would be telling, so
Tum, te, tum, te, tum.