Questarian Fleet, Questarian Navy, The Fleet
|Founded||1667, Royal Navy'|
|Chief of Staff Maritime||Andrew Michael Tovey|
|Percent of GDP||1.65%|
- 1 History
- 2 The Fleet today
- 3 Current role
- 4 Command, control and organisation
- 5 Titles and naming
- 6 Ranks and insignia
- 7 See also
The Fleet today
See also: List of active Questarian naval ships
- Large fleet units – amphibious and carriers
The Fleet's large surface combatants consist of five aircraft carriers, two of which can launch conventional aircraft by catapult. In addition, there are three commando carriers, which can deploy marines from helicopters. Two more aircraft carriers are due to enter service in 2026 and 2028, replacing the two large flat-top carriers Indomitable and Indefatigable. The two smaller carriers, Centaur and Unicorn, will remain in service until 2025, and their replacements are currently being planned and designed. These two smaller carriers can carry out anti submarine warfare roles, or they can be fitted with full complements of Sea Heron aircraft. In wartime, commando carriers can be equipped with helicopters for anti submarine duties.Longbow fighter-interceptors and Cormorant fixed-wing bombers: the two smaller Centaur class warships and the HGS Hood carry Sea Heron jets, launched from a ski jump. Although all aircraft can carry long-range anti-air missiles and anti-shipping missiles, the Sea Herons are subsonic and carry smaller payloads. Questarian aircraft carriers are designed to lead battlegroups in open sea battle, or to escort convoys in times of war. Questarian carriers often run 'Template:Wiktionary' missions as well as assist in humanitarian duties, especially in Alqosia and Rochehaut. Four Questarian carriers were called into action for the invasion of Karaman in 2013.
Helicopter amphibious and anti-submarine capability is provided by one Glorious-class commando carrier and two Implacable-class commando carriers. While these can form the headquarters of a small battlegroup, their duties are usually relegated to supporting landing or transport operations, showing the flag, and humanitarian missions. Combined, the commando carriers can deploy by boat and helicopter a full Brigade of marines; traditional landing ships can also disembark a further Brigade. Implacable class vessels can also substitute as anti submarine warfare carriers if necessary.
- Major surface combatants – destroyers and frigates
There are currently four classes of surface combatants in the fleet; the Type 92-class destroyer, the County-class frigate, and its remodel, the Town class. The Canopus-class frigates are due to be decommissioned in 2020. In total there are 10 destroyers and 27 frigates in the Questarian Fleet.
The main duty of destroyers is protection of fleet capital ships, such as aircraft carriers and commando carriers with the Sea Dart missile, which with the Mod 3 upgrade has a range of 80 nautical miles. The Type-92 class also has facilities allowing it to command a small battlegroup. The general-purpose role is fulfilled by Frigates, which have a more balanced range of systems. The County-class frigates are equipped with a 32-cell Sea Wolf vertical-launch system, providing point defence for themselves or capital ships; the Town-class rebuild sacrificed some anti-submarine capacity, but its Sea Wolf missiles were replaced with a 21-cell vertical-launch system for Sea Dart, giving it greater air defence capability.
All surface combatants are equipped with a 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun, 8 ASHARM missile launchers and one Antelope anti-submarine helicopter. Between 2006-2012, all destroyers and frigates were upgraded to the Type 997 radar, which included an upgrade in electronic countermeasures. Despite receiving these upgrades, the Canopus-class were refitted into a more clearly defined anti-submarine role, as a way of balancing its smaller missile payload but larger helicopter hangar. Each ship in the class now carries two Antelope helicopters equipped for anti-submarine warfare, and have their sonar systems upgraded to modern standards.
- Landing ships
The Questarian Fleet employs landing platform dock type vessels to deploy a further Brigade of Commandos. There are five vessels in total, between two classes; three River class and two older Wilassia class. At present, at least one of these ships is part of the Commerce Protection Squadron, and Commandos based on this vessel provide around the clock security for merchant shipping. There are an additional four Pearl Sea class landing ships. These roll-on/roll-off ships entered service in the late 1970s, and can carry 12 tanks and 30 large vehicles, or 26 ISO containers. One ship is based in the Southern Fleet.
- Auxiliary ships
- Mine countermeasure, patrol and survey vessels
Questers is one of six countries to operate nuclear attack submarines, which have been in service since 1969.
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the naval air force of the Questarian Fleet. The Fleet Air Arm consists of aircraft and helicopters based on airfields and on aircraft carriers, and is also divided between operational squadrons and Operational Conversion Units (OCU), which function as the reserve of the Fleet Air Arm. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates 294 fixed wing aircraft.
- Fixed-wing carrier aircraft
The two Hood class aircraft carriers each operate one squadron of Longbow F4 interceptors and one squadron of Cormorant S3 bombers. These aircraft act as the fleet's main strike planes, defending carrier battlegroups from attack by enemy aircraft, and delivering low-level missile attacks on hostile ships and installations; with Cormorants equipped with Sea Sabre missiles, a carrier has am official striking range of 475 nautical miles. Equipped with Sky Flash Extended Range missiles, the Longbow can attack enemy aircraft 370 nautical miles away from the battlegroup. In total, there are four squadrons of Longbows and four of Cormorants; two are active on carriers, and two are Operational Conversion Units; in times of war, the squadrons attached to carriers would take these aircraft as they are in better condition, being used less, and the reserve squadron would fly out to carriers as needed. The Cormorant has a secondary mid-air refueling capacity. In total there are 59 Cormorants and 54 Longbows in naval service, including OCUs.
Both large carriers also have one squadron of Mallard AEW1 aircraft. Each carrier usually operates two aircraft, which are stored on deck unless there is a storm. These were refitted with the Questarian Green Mallard radar, which can detect bomber-sized targets at 225 nautical miles. Each Mallard squadron has one Operational Conversion Unit. Questers purchased 12 of these aircraft from Morieux in 2005.
The two smaller carriers, Victorious and Formidable, both operate Sea Heron FRS3 short-take off and vertical landing aircraft. Sea Herons are sometimes referred to as Shar. There are currently 53 Sea Heron aircraft in two active squadrons and two Operational Conversion Units. In addition, they operate Gannet AEW5 airborne early warning aircraft. These were refitted with new radars in 1997 and are due to be retired in 2017. There are 5 Gannet aircraft remaining in two active squadrons.
- Fixed wing shore-based aircraft
Fixed wing aircraft based on shore installations are used for a variety of purposes, including maritime patrol, strike, mid-air refueling and transport. The Karaman Strait is protected by Haslane-Dowding Hector SRE1 supersonic strike aircraft, which can be armed with Sea Sabre missiles. These aircraft co-operate with Longmarine Lysander MRA4 patrol aircraft and Flying Forces Longmarine Lance planes, equipped with Hercules missiles, to protect the seas nearby Questers. There are currently 45 Hector aircraft in three squadrons. Lysander aircraft perform the maritime patrol and search role, which includes anti submarine warfare; there are currently 22 aircraft in three squadrons.
For support, the Navy operates twelve Amtrav Ardent tanker aircraft in one squadron, and 16 Haslane Harrington transport aircraft in two squadrons. The purpose of shore-based aircraft, both combat, patrol and support, is to assist the sea-based Fleet Air Arm in clearing friendly waters of enemy aircraft. Naval aircraft often co-operate on joint-service missions with the Army air forces. In addition, the Navy operates 16 Longmarine Lear jet training aircraft in two trainer squadrons. Principal non-jet training takes places centrally at the National Flying Training Centre, which also trains pilots for the state airline, FlyQuesters.
Republican Marine Commandos
The Republican Marine Commandos are the marine infantry arm of the Questarian Navy, established in 1790 as the Royal Marines and later reclassified in 1961 as Royal Marine Commandos, they are considered a crack force. There are currently three operating commandos, which are approximately the size of a small brigade. In addition to these Commandos, Naval Commandos serve onboard Questarian warships as marines. These marines receive proportionately higher funding than the Army and are all volunteers. The Naval special forces unit is known as the Special Boat Service. Based in Beaufort, it is reported as having three active squadrons.