Class: Frigate-class Carrier
Operators: TOG Navy
Mass: 872,008 tons
Cost: 3,244,470,230 talents
Right Engine Rating (17,000)
Center Engine Rating (16,000)
Left Engine Rating (17,000)
50 30/5 (F)
50 30/5 (L)
50 30/5 (L)
50 30/5 (R)
50 30/5 (R)
10 30/5 (A)
Fighters: 360 at 300 tons (1 Wing)
Small Craft: 6 at 1,000 tons
Cargo: 5,000 tons
Extras: Thrust Option
Introduced by TOG in 6786, the Xerxes frigate-class carrier is a nimble vessel with additional engine power to make her more maneuverable than most other frigate-sized vessels. With its triple Tri-Flex supercharged engines, the Xerxes can keep up with the fastest ships in the TOG fleet. Transporting a full wing of 360 fighters, the Xerxes-class is known for its ability to get into a battle zone, launch its fighter wing, and then get out under protection of its escorts. This vessel also excels at returning to the combat zone to recover its fighters.
The Xerxes-class is considered a cramped ship whose fighter wing and support personnel must be packed in tightly. This makes the class unpopular with fighter pilots.
The Xerxes mounts intermediate offensive/defensive laser weaponry, but ships of the class still need extensive escort strength to stay in a battle area for any length of time. Many weapon variations have been tried, but most have only added problems to flight operations rather than improving the ship's fighting ability.
Xerxes-class vessels operate either as part of a full TOG Carrier Group or as part of their own light carrier squadron. They have also served as base ships for extended-duty garrisons in far-flung systems of the Empire. In such cases, an individual Xerxes-class carrier plus one or two destroyers are stationed semi-permanently in one system, with fighters from the wing patrolling the area and marines from all ships setting up a surface base on one of the system's more habitable worlds.
The Xerxes-class was designed to be an efficient fighter-launch platform. Though the design succeeds, the price was that the 2,000 crewmen and pilots for whom the Xerxes was designed find it unlivable for any extended time period. This has not prevented the TOG High Command from sending numerous Xerxes-class frigate carriers on just such long missions.
As a short-haul unit of a TOG battle group, however, the Xerxes-class operates remarkably well. Containing the traditional double launch-and-recovery-tube arrangement, the Xerxes has recorded some of the fastest scramble times in the history of the TOG Imperial Navy. Many Xerxes-class commanders like to boast that they can launch and then recover all their fighters in the time it takes larger carriers to prepare for launch.
The Xerxes is rated for a full wing of 360 fighters, which can be any type, including the biggest 300-ton variations. Noted for their arrogance toward ship and support crews, TOG fighter pilots loathe serving on carriers like the Xerxes because it puts them in such close proximity with the rest of the ship's complement. Normal fighter-pilot amenities, such as the private quarters and separate mess facilities of larger fleet carriers, are nonexistent. Members of many fighter wings consider assignment to a Xerxes ship to be a form of punishment (which it sometimes is).
The laser armament is effective to intermediate range, though the ship needs support by escorting vessels in any engagement. Five standard 50-gun 30/5 bays are emplaced, one on the ship's fore and two on each side. The aft section is defended weakly by a single 10-gun 30/5 bay. Standard frigate turret systems are emplaced throughout the hull. The ship carries no missile system.
The Xerxes-class can also use its improved triple Tri-Flex supercharged engines for its defense. With the maneuverability and increased acceleration, Xerxes ships can usually escape from any situation they cannot handle. Most Xerxes commanders also have operational plans that allow them to use their fighter wings in the ship's defense. TOG fighter wing commanders are, however, normally hesitant about playing a defensive role for their mothership, because they believe they will always find a landing on some carrier somewhere in the battle area. Six small craft of 1,000 tons are also carried in the hangar area. These ships usually include planetary assault/scout craft, ship's boats, and FTL couriers for ships on extended duty.
Xerxes-class ships usually operate with Imperial fleets on the offensive in Commonwealth space. They are part of light carrier squadrons of ten or fewer vessels and also part of carrier groups for specific missions. In addition, the class performs many extended-duty assignments in garrison systems around the Empire. Normally escorted by at least two destroyers, these missions can continue for up to five standard years until a relief ship arrives or the garrison station is canceled.
The Xerxes-class is underpowered for a frigate. Frigates range between 50,001 and 75,000 PF (Leviathan pp. 36); rated at 50,000 PF, the Xerxes would be more properly classified as a destroyer.
To correct this issue, simply upgrade the central engine from a 16k PF unit to a 17k PF unit. This is supported in the canon text with the description: "triple Tri-Flex supercharged engines", implying that they are a triple-mount of identical engines.
It is possible that this is due to a typo that was not corrected in subsequent publications.
The Tonnage and Cost of this vessel (and virtually all other Leviathans) is erroneous and does not conform to the construction rules of the original rule book. The presumably correct tonnage is 855,529 tons with 3 x 17,000 PF engines and standard launch-and-recovery-tube arrangement
"Double launch-and-recovery-tubes" would require an additional 60L/30R Bays @ 300x5tn each = 135,000tn, for 990,529tn total.
Crew should be 1,968 + Marines and Passengers.