by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
Image by Rob Morgenstern
Tou Salaam class Border Fleet long duration picket cruiser
- Design : Tirolian Navy Design Bureau, Border Fleet section.
- Builders: Various yards throughout the Tirolian Empire.
Name and disposition:
These ships were built at numerous locations throughout the Robotech Mercantile Empire and entered service from 1865 through 2002. Only one version was ever produced. The exact number of constructed units cannot be given due to the loss of records in the Invid invasion of Tirol and the destruction of the final remnants of the Tirolian fleet over Earth. However, an estimated guess puts their number at 25,500 units.
At this time, no known vessel of this class remains operational or even intact.
- Ships' crew (200 Tirolians, 350 Zentraedi),
- Air Group (400 Zentraedi),
- Troops (500 Tirolians, 700 Zentraedi),
- Life support limits are for a full combat complement and about 3000 Zentraedi sized supernumeraries (1,000,000 micronians or 4700 Zentraedi total). Approx. four times this number can be carried for a limited period of time, but with undue stresses on the life support systems.
- Length: 2121 m over all.
- Height: 326 m over all.
- Width : 510 m over all.
- Mass : 46,300,000 metric tons operational (typical).
- Fuel mass: 19,000,000 metric tons maximum (typical).
- Main power system: Zorrelev-1143-Trafla protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace cluster. The powerplant of a Tou Salaam class vessel can nominally deliver up to 45.7 Petawatts of power, and can operate for 75 minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates auto-shutdown.
- Maneuvering Thrusters (48) : fusion-plasma reaction thruster clusters with steerable nozzles. Twenty-four smaller thrusters are mounted on the hull dorsal in front of the superstructure, larger thrusters are mounted around the engine bays (eight), eight halfway from superstructure to bow, eight more are mounted ventrally and the final eight are mounted around the nose section.
- Reaction-mass Thrusters (12) : Six Varrelev Wastron-8 fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer mounted in two horizontal rows of three in the port and starboard engine pods, two more are mounted facing forward in the same pods, to serve as braking and maneuver thrusters. Four Wastron-24 fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer are installed as secondary engines and mounted on the extreme corners of the engine pods aft.
- Anti-gravity System (1) : 94 Rastraz anti-gravity pods.
- Space Fold (1) : Nolfantom-proldarlev 933 spacefold. This system generates a hull-conformal fold.
- Planetary Capabilities: The Tou Salaam class has atmospheric capabilities through its reaction engines and anti-gravity systems. The hull has sufficient structural strength to make a cold landing, but several sensor antennae will need to fold inside the hull first to avoid crushing them. The ship will float in an ocean, but only the upper ingress/egress ports will open above the waterline, which greatly hampers access to the ship.
Endurance and mobility limits:
- The dry stores endurance is 48 months maximum; after that, the ships of this class need to restock. Water stores are recycled almost totally. If fewer or no auxiliary vessels are carried, the freed hangar space can be used to store additional consumables.
- The mecha consumables supplies (mainly missiles) were extensive for the number of mecha carried, and could sustain continuous combat operations for over 20 days. The ship-launched missile magazines sufficed for three large battles or five or more smaller skirmishes.
- The Reflex furnace could function for about 35 years at normal usage levels before an energizer rebuild is necessary.
- At full power, the main propulsion systems can nominally produce up to 1.28 Teranewtons of thrust at a minimal reaction mass efficiency profile, or as little as 25.3 Giganewtons of thrust at a maximum efficiency setting. At lower power levels, these thrusts are commensurately smaller.
- At full power, the Tou Salaam's can nominally achieve a maximum delta-v of 365 kps at the cruising acceleration of 0.1 gees, a maximum delta-v of 74 kps at the battle acceleration of 1.0 gees, and a delta-v of at most 22.1 kps at the flank acceleration of 2.8 gees. At lower power levels, these ranges are commensurately smaller.
- The fold systems were not navigationally guaranteed for any single jump beyond 10 kiloparsecs. If longer voyages were required, the ship had to conduct multiple fold jumps.
- The maximum sustained atmospheric speed is Mach 4. The maximum hover time on the anti-gravity systems is limited only by the protoculture supplies and maintenance requirements.
- Including regular refits, the hull is designed to have an anticipated lifetime of 640 years.
- Makral Deim 773 (12) : The main anti-ship weapons are 12 heavy particle cannon. They are built as a large turret with two barrels projecting from the front, but as with the smaller Zentraedi cannons, the beam is generated between the barrels. Eight of these weapons are mounted facing forward; four in the bow section, two on the forward superstructure, two on the ventral surface and four on the aft ventral and dorsal edges of the main engines. The power supply to these cannons is a new design, and incorporates an accumulation system that can store sufficient power for 8 full power salvos. The accumulators can replenish at effectively six full power salvos per minute. The beam has an effective range of 300,000 km and a full power discharge of 2.5 Terajoules, equivalent to 500 tons of TNT. Although the cannon could be fired at lower power settings (and commensurate increases in the rate of fire) the highest power setting was typical in combat.
- Makral Mossil 918 particle cannon (48) : For centuries this combined particle beam and laser weapon has been the standard medium cannon armament on Zentraedi vessels. Two different beam weapons (variable frequency laser and particle beam cannon) are provided on one mount so that the discharge medium can be chosen as the optimum for the local target and environment conditions. Both weapons have the same yield at the muzzle. The laser can be fired in a low power mode directly before the particle beam fires, this setting is typically used to burn a vacuum path for the particles through an atmosphere. Because of the slow recharge time of the larger weapons, and the flexibility inherent in the double mount, this cannon turret is the weapon system most often utilized on board Zentraedi vessels.
For ground support, it is the only effective weapon as the other systems are to heavy to be used around own troops.
As with most Zentraedi beam weapon systems, the cannon has an effective range of 300,000 km. Each full-intensity shot has a yield of 1000 MJ, and the cannons can cycle through their firing sequence once every three seconds. Twenty-four of these cannons are located forward and in the forward side on the engine pods, the remaining twenty-four cover the five other planes.
- Deuawhaug Rasar 89 (24) : A Reloadable Silo Launch System (RSLS), or as it is better known, a torpedo tube, capable of firing large anti-ship and ground bombardment torpedos. The tubes can reload in 3.6 seconds, and have a 40 round magazine close-by. Twelve of these launchers are mounted horizontally in the nose, mounted behind the main cannons.
The missiles used are the SSA-1 Sniper (Lojredbeth Deuawhaugh) and the SSA-2 Scrapper (Letkes Deuawhaug) missiles. The former is a nuclear missile with a 326 kT reaction warhead, the latter is a conventional tipped missile with a warhead of 2.3 metric tons.
Both missiles are optimized for anti-ship strikes in deep space, but can be used in orbital bombardment modes or in an atmosphere.
- Touwhaug Rasar 481 (36) : A missile launcher mounted in a pop-up turret, firing anti-mecha/missile missiles, though the projectiles can guide on point-blank enemy ships. When the missiles are released they are already on their intercept vectors, or very close to them. Each turret has a reload time of 3.6 seconds and a magazine with a 100 round capacity. They are mounted for spherical coverage.
The missile system used is the SAA-1 Granite (Gliquoun Touwhaug), a weapon with a conventional blast fragmentation warhead of 278 kg and an atmospheric range of 112 km at a speed of Mach 7.5.
- The Tou Salaam, by dint of its use as an exploration and early-warning vessel, carried extensive sensors including medium sensitivity hyperspace sensors and highly sensitive EM scanners.
Air group and mecha complement (typical for Border Fleet, 1995):
The Tou Salaam has a general layout based on the Thuverl Salan heavy cruiser. The hull has the same triangular shape when viewed from above, with an elongated nose flaring into two reaction engine clusters and a superstructure on the aft hull. The general look and feel of the hull structure is completely different though, with angular surface structures rather than the carapace-like armor plates of the older design. Seen by a Terran from the outside, the Tou Salaam is a slightly thinner Thuverl Salan with a distinct 'Macross' look to its outer surfaces.
The armament is mounted mostly forward, but in a departure from general Zentraedi and Border Fleet design practices the main battery is capable of spherical coverage, although the forward arcs retain the heaviest concentration of firepower. Four heavy anti-ship and bombardment cannons are mounted directly behind the prow, firing from recessed and covered mounts. Four more cannons are mounted on top of and underneath the main engine exhaust nozzles, and two are mounted in both the forward superstructure and the ventral hull. The medium cannon battery is mounted in the standard Zentraedi manner, with most of the firepower forward and token batteries covering the other arcs. The torpedo batteries are, as in the Thuverl Salan, mounted in the flanks of the nose, while the defensive missile installation gives complete spherical coverage.
Internally, there are two distinctly different sections. The superstructure is sized for micronian operation only, and houses the Tirolian part of the crew. The Zentraedi quarters are located in the hull proper, which is equipped to handle them in their full sizes. The lowermost decks contain the Zentraedi mecha storage hangars and the Gnerl air group launch bays. Tirolian mecha are launched from a medium-height half deck located between superstructure and the main hull. In all, the superstructure counts 20 decks, the main hull 5. There is an additional half deck between the two.
A large command citadel sits atop the superstructure, and it is from
here that the Tirolian officers command their forces. Numerous stake-like
sensor antennae jut from the hull in all directions. Especially the nose,
superstructure, citadel and aft engine pods are densely packed with the
The Tou Salaam is one of the most modern vessels developed by the
Tirolian Mercantile Empire. As a ship built for the semiautonomous Border
Fleets, the Tou Salaam carried a mixed crew of Tirolians and Zentraedi.
In the Border Fleets, the Tou Salaam fulfilled the role of a picket ship,
exploration support vessel and quartermaster vessel.
The Tou Salaam is designed to operate independantly for very extended
periods, though not as far beyond the Imperial borders as the other vessels
of the Border Fleets. Rather than securing space superiority, the Tou Salaam
class was designed to picket systems in strategic locations and of unusual
interest for the Tirolians. Typically, these were systems with natural
resources in accessible locations and systems filling a hole in the
In the first case, the Zentraedi and Tirolian troops were deployed
with an automated factory to a position in range of the required minerals.
Then, while the Zentraedi provided the first ore to the factory and the
Tirolian forces secured the area, the factory would begin making a larger
version of itself, with automated ore collection systems. After the first
phase, the factory complex would expand itself, roaming farther and farther
for the minerals, while both the Tirolian and Zentraedi troops provided
protection for the mining efforts and possible other exploration parties.
After about six months, the planet would sport a defensive fortress and a
production center capable of providing most of the Border Fleet consumables.
Most of the Border Fleet resupply points were made up of such installations.
In the second case, the Tou Salaam would remain in orbit around the
star, possibly deploying its troops should this be possible and
advantageous, using its hyperspace sensor system to its fullest and scanning
for enemies such as the Invid and Disciples of Zor, who had made their own
bases outside the Empire or entered it on raids. Should any be detected, the
contact would than be followed and a battlegroup of the Border Fleets would
investigate and, if possible, backtrack the enemy vessel or fleet. In this
manner, numerous Invid and DoZ bases were discovered and destroyed. The
extremely well stocked supply holds of these ships made multi-year
operations of this type possible, and often the troops and factory equipment
was used in the meantime to create a permanent listening post in the system,
freeing the cruiser to refit, restock and travel to another system to plant
a monitoring station.
As the Tirolian power supplies began to wane, so did the Border Fleets.
Those vessels not destroyed by their power loss or direct enemy action
gradually lost the ability to fold and then to power their life support
systems. A rough estimate assumes that over 12,000 of these vessels are now
lifeless hulks scattered on or near the former Imperial border.
See additional design
Return to Tirolian naval index.
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Content by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
Main Image Reconstruction by Rob Morgenstern taken from Macross:Perfect Memory wreck
HTML by Robert Morgenstern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright © 1999 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker