Gulfstream Air Cushion Cargo Vessel

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Gulfstream Air Cushion Cargo Vessel

Postby Allanea » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:25 am

Gulfstream-class Air Cushion Cargo Vessel
Art by the The Corparation

Length: 209 meters
Beam: 32 meters
Draft (cushion) 3 meters
Draft (off cushion) 6 meters
Cargo deck area (vehicles): 10,000 sq. m.
Propulsion: x2 5MW reactors
Crew: 50
Cargo capacity: 8,000 metric tons
Weight unloaded: 7,000 metric tons
Radar: X-band AESA MFR, S-band AESA VSR
Top speed: 65 knots in surface effect mode, 20 knots regular
Price: 2 billion New Dornalian Dollars
Armament: x32 Cell Mk 51 VLS, x4 57 mm dual-pupose guns, x2 CIWS guns, x2 RAM launchers (not visible on image)
Propulsion: Nuclear electric water-jet, 6 main motors + 4 secondary motors
DPR: 1 trillion (Included free of charge for those purchasing DPR for the Tsunami class.

The capacities listed above do not represent a simultaneous capacity to carry a maximum payload of aircraft, vehicles, cargo, personnel, and landing hovercraft, but rather, maximum capacities in each of those fields.

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Background: Due to the increased need for rapid reaction forces capable of reacing rapidly not only to foreign wars, but also to terrorism incidents, international disasters, and genocide/democide incidents, the Free Kingdom Armed Forces sought out a series of tenders for rapid deployment vessels capable of providing the Free Kingdom with a fast response capability.

What won out was a series of surface-effect (air cushion) ships designed by Allanean Arms. In effect, those ships used the same design principle as hovercraft. At the sides, the sides of the hull extend downwards, playing the role of the ‘skirt’, while rubber skirts extending from the stern and bow (not visible in the artist’s impression) complete the air cushion enclosure. Because of the necessity to escort the system’s capital ships (its aircraft carriers and landing ships), a landing ship was also required to assist them in deploying troops.

The doctrinal thought process behind the ships in the series is simple - sacrifice firepower for speed. While CVNs and their escorts carry more weapons, aircraft, and cargo than SECN and their escorts, the air-cushioned ships will simply be there earlier. In some situations having a small force there in two days is simply preferable to having a large force on location in two weeks. (As an example, a force departing across the Atlantic Ocean would arrive in Africa in 2-3 days).

In the past, the Menelmacari Prefecture of Compassionate Relief, acting in coordination with private rapid delivery companies in Allanea, made use of nuclear-powered hovercraft to resolve the Taros Islands conflict (which arose from the destruction of the water treatment system on the islands) by delivering a payload of portable desalination equipment, which was then hooked up to the islands’ water grid by Allanean military specialists on-site.

In light of this experience, the Gulfstream is a cargo ship companion to the warships in this series - an air-cushion cargo ship capable of delivering up to 8,000 metric tons of weapons, ammunition, food or emergency supplies. However, unlike the Tsunami, on which this ship is clearly based, all weapons elevators, wet decks, and troop facilities have been deleted to simplify construction and maximize cargo space. It does not possess the capability to unload cargo unaided by other ships, although it can certainly do so both at a harbor or at any beach, as long as cranes or unloading equipment are available.

Layout: The Gulfstream class instead has a shape described by some as "a bread box on stilts" due to its catamaran design, a wide hull supported on narrow twin hulls. The catamaran design, coupled with flexible bow and stern seals are used to trap a cushion of air beneath the vessel and allow for speeds in excess of 65 knots. The ship's feature a nuclear electric propulsion scheme with two 5 MW LWNP-derived reactors providing electrical power for both the 6 main motors and the 2 secondary motors, powering six lift fans and four supercavitating propellers. Backup power can be provided by 4 diesel generators however these lack the power needed for the ship to maintain the surface effect. The reactors are located at opposite ends of the ship, the forward reactor is located just aft of the forward gun and the aft is located at the stern.

Rescue operations: The high speed and agility of the CSE-N and other surface effect craft enables them to be used in search and rescue operations at high seas, or to be deployed to respond to emergencies such as earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, etc. at incredible speed. (Consider, in this context, that Free Kingdom Emergency Response Doctrine emphasizes rapid, immediate response as key to large-scale rescue operations).

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OOC: Many thanks go to The Corparation, who did a lot of the research, drew the art, and even contributed some of the content of the writeup.
Last edited by Allanea on Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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