Thuverl Salan class Heavy Cruiser
Note: While Zentraedi ships have been assigned Terran naval/space type designators, it must be stressed that their size and armaments placed them in a class of their own, matched only by contemporary Tirolian and modern Terran construction of like designations. As such, their designations must be viewed as indicators of intent and use rather than absolute strength. In addition, the proper translation of the Zentraedi vessel designations into English was never completely agreed upon; for instance, some texts call the Thuverl Salan-class heavy cruiser a 'troop cruiser' or 'multi-purpose warship'.
These ships were built at numerous locations throughout the Robotech Mercantile Empire and entered service from 1560 through 2010 in at least three consecutive versions, with the first two versions having very small production runs and surviving units upgraded to the final version as they came in for refits. 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 1,276,500 units.
Of this number, approx. 150,000 were destroyed prior to 2010. The Imperial Fleet contained approx. 350,000 Thuverl Salan cruisers, all sharing in the "infection" of that fleet. Of the remaining Tirolian-controlled ships 620,000 were part of the Grand Fleet. After the Zentraedi Holocaust, an estimated 185,000 Thuverl Salan-class cruisers remained intact or salvageable. Most of these failed or were decommissioned due to protoculture depletion prior to 2020.
(Note: only the types carried by the last version are mentioned. All older versions of the Thuverl Salan were refitted with these systems).
NOTE: Zentraedi starships mounted a large percentage of their armament forward, for maximum attack capability. Other areas of the ships mounted correspondingly less weapon systems.
Note: a very few ships had half of their Nousjadeul-Ger and Regult mecha hangars replaced with hangars for a same number of Quaedluun-Rau mecha. There were plans to do this on all ships, but lack of resources delayed this indefinitely.
The Thuverl Salan class was the most numerous Zentraedi capital ship class, in addition to one of the most modern. Designed for ease of production as well as for combat effectiveness, the class was produced in enormous numbers, only exceeded in quantity by the ubiquitous Tou Redir scout frigate.
The basic hull shape of the Thuverl Salan was that of a bulged wedge, with a superstructure rising from amidships and continuing to the rear. The engines were mounted in the aft sides of the hull, protruding underneath the hull proper in long blisters. In the ventral hull, between the engines and under the superstructure, was a large dual hatch leading to the auxiliary craft hangars. A large retractable sensor fin jutted backwards near the hangar, other fins were mounted on the main hull and the engines. The foremost portion of the bow incorporated a unique stabilized EM sensor platform, providing the instruments mounted there with a vibration-free foundation. Larger sensor blisters were mounted behind the sensor pad. The outer hull was formed of two halves, an upper and a lower one, and a groove between them ran most of the length of the ship.
The armament was diverse and effective. The heaviest cannons carried were three large particle cannons, mounted in three turrets, superfiring in the forward incline of the superstructure. This ensured the heaviest possible salvo with the minimum exposed silhouette in standard Zentraedi combat attitudes. The more commonly used medium particle batteries were mostly concentrated forward as well, large clusters of the retractable turrets bearing on the forward arc on and around the sensor pad, and forward of the two reaction engines. The heavy torpedo tubes were also forward, firing from the groove between the dorsal and ventral main hull. As usual, the defensive missile turrets were mounted for spherical coverage.
The Thuverl Salan class also used the design philosophy used on the Queadol Magdomilla force flagships and the Nupetiet-Vergnitzs fleet flagships in that they carried a sizeable troop contingent as well as anti-ship weapons and aerospace mecha, although all Zentraedi infantry and cavalry mecha were capable of serving as space combat mecha, and typically half of the infantry troops carried had received space combat training.
Internally, the Thuverl Salan class had nine main deck levels. The top four decks were in the superstructure, and contained mainly the crew and troop quarters. The main hull contained five more decks, with the main ship functions such as engineering and the fold drive. There were mecha hangars on the fifth deck, with four semi-circular discharge hatches directly forward of the superstructure, on the eight deck, where the power armors and most of the infantry mecha were stored, and on the ninth deck, which served as as the flight deck for the Gnerl mecha and also as the embarkation area for the auxiliary vessels. The standard fit for the Thuverl Salan class included the large Quel Quallie EW/assault craft, orbital transports for the infantry and for general use, space in-flight refuelling mecha tankers and small personnel shuttles. The command center was located on the seventh deck (the central main hull deck level), directly forward in the pressure hull, behind the sensor pad.
After the Ci'Va disaster, the Tirolian Empire was in what amounted to a full scale war with the Ci'Vonian survivors and their 'infected' Zentraedi allies. Much of the fleet had defected, and the remaining forces were too small for anything but a defensive stance, quite apart from the impossibility of finding the Disciples' new bases. Due to the nature of the threat, the remaining Zentraedi no longer had a technological advantage. Hence the Masters felt that production of large numbers of improved Zentraedi ships was one of their first priorities. The Thuverl Salan design was a direct result of this, designed with the firepower to take on most classes of ships captured by the Disciples. The class was also meant to be produced on an unprecedented scale, and its design was suited for massive production runs as well as for a long production lifecycle, as volume and mass had been reserved at the outset for the inevitable updates and refits that would be carried out during a designs' lifetime.
In all these traits the Thuverl Salan class excelled, and as the years went by the shipyards spread over the Tirolian Mercantile Empire produced higher and higher number of Thuverl Salan vessels. Relatively few updates were made on the basic ship, another tribute to the design teams. In action, the Thuverl Salan cruisers proved to be quite effective, completely outclassing any smaller ship such as the Tou Redir, and having the upper hand when going against older Zentraedi designs such as were used by the Disciples of Zor.
Like the larger combat ships in the Zentraedi fleets, the Thuverl Salan class doubled as a troop transport. A total of 2000 infantry and cavalry troops was a standard allotment for this class, giving it a substantial raiding force when deployed as single vessels, and made it a valuable addition to transport and landing capacity when used in a planetary invasion. About half the infantry troops were cross-trained as space combat pilots, and they so outnumbered their Gnerl fighter mecha colleagues that the Regult pod was assumed by the Terran forces to be the mecha of choice in space combat, when, in fact, it was not.
By the time of the First Robotech War, the Thuverl Salan ships were the backbone of any Zentraedi fleet, and they were therefore also prominently involved in the earlier battles in the Sol system. The first encounter of Terran forces with a Thuverl Salan was mere minutes after the initial Zentraedi defold in the solar system, when an advanced force of these cruisers took on the orbital fleet to clear the way for the main Zentraedi body and fleet train. The Zentraedi lost one Thuverl Salan and another one was severely damaged, but few ships of the Orbital fleet survived this encounter, and the Zentraedi vanguard broke through their ranks with ease. Further combat in the solar system saw the destruction of nine other Thuverl Salan ships, though it must be noted that the Zentraedi were not trying to destroy the SDF-1, but to capture it relatively intact.
At the time of the Zentraedi Holocaust, more than three quarters of all Thuverl Salan cruisers ever built were present in the solar system, the class on both sides together numbering almost a million ships. After the Holocaust, relatively few Thuverl Salan class vessels remained operational, in the solar system or spread throughout the Empire, and those that did soon lost power due to protoculture depletion. The Earth forces commisioned 29 surviving Thuverl Salan cruisers in the RDF Zentraedi fleet and later captured twelve more, but those were all drained of protoculture and stored in solar orbit around 2019. Those ships were wrecked by the Invid during their invasion.
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Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker