Galactic Security Files – Cyclone
History of the Cyclone Battlecruiser
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.
He who understands how to use both large and small forces will be victorious.
~Sun Tzu, The Art Of War, Offensive Strategy- Passages 25 & 26
The first Cyclone class platform was designed to bridge the gap between the Cruiser and Battleship platforms. Its goals were noble- to combine the nimbleness of a cruiser with most of the firepower available to a battleship. This would allow far more battlegroups to be formed, lending heavy firepower to the more agile frigate task forces than was previously available to them, and freeing up the Fleet’s Tempest and Typhoons for other duties.
To meet this daunting task, the Cyclone had to follow Minmatar design principles to the T- "lots of guns" and very fast. To this end, the Cyclones boast some of the latest technology- endo-fernite structures (lighter but tougher than the original Fernite used in the Rifter class), ferro-mexahydronium armour plating to cover the structure, and then the latest in available shielding units, rumoured to have been "liberated" from the Caldari Navy. Added onto this were 8 of the most powerful plasma thrusters that could be strapped onto anything smaller than a battleship, vented through 32 force shaping cones, each mounted on independent gyroscopically stabilized gimbals, allowing for unprecedented maneuverability in a ship of this size.
To round out the design precepts of the Minmatari, the ship had to carry massive amounts of armaments, and it does. The Cyclone class vessels virtually bristle with weaponry, which is no surprise; given that it is a Minmatari vessel. As with most Minmatar fleet ships, the majority of the firepower is contained within crude, yet highly effective, projectile cannons favoured by the Minmatar, however, the Cyclone is not limited to just unguided weapons, she also mounts formidable missile systems.
All of this speed and firepower comes at a steep price, however- when fully fitted most versions of the Cyclone battle cruisers are rather weak defensively. To counter this shortfall, the designers have attempted to increase the effectiveness of the shield generation systems, so that they recoup their strength quicker; however, to date this has not always proven a satisfactory arrangement, leading to serious shortcomings when fighting against vessels of similar or larger sizes from other nations.
The most current version of the Cyclone is the Cyclone Mk. II-A. This is something of a misnomer, however, as the Cyclone Mk. I "series" was merely the prototypes of the class. The Cyclone Mk. II never saw deployment, as several critical problems were found before they could ship to the fleet, mostly during their shakedown voyages. While never fully disclosed, the nature of the problem seems to have revolved around the fasteners and tie-in systems used to join the various sections of the ship together, and to incorporate the electronics. Once these flaws were discovered (reputedly caused by using substandard parts) and corrected, the ships were designated the Mk. II-A series, and have so far performed admirably in their service.
Three major variants for the Cyclone Mk. II-A are known to exist- the Mk. II-A 1 through 3. The number denotes the manufacturer of the ship, and small differences for each variant. The Mk. II-A 1s are manufactured by Thukker Mix, and combine high speed with strong levels of firepower, these ships are commonly configured for knife fighting at close ranges. Mk. II-A 2s are produced by Boundless Creation Industries, and exemplify the Brutor tribe’s fascination with packing as much firepower into the vessel, at the expense of speed and protection, and these variants are commonly loaded down with high velocity artillery cannons and long ranged missiles, embracing the concept that the best defense is withering firepower. The last major variant is produced by Core Complexion, and incorporates the advanced warfare modules which all battlecruiser class ships are capable of, but relatively few mount. The Core Complexion variants sacrifice a small amount of firepower and speed for the capability, but the trade-offs they make can be quite telling in the hands of a very capable and cunning commander, who has access to better data and can better maneuver his fleet to counter-act potential pushes by his foes.
The Cyclones in service today serve many purposes and roles, ranging from anti-Cruiser duties, command platforms, supporting frigate squadrons, and as escorts for Tempest and Typhoon battlegroups. While still fighting to gain acceptance outside of the Minmatar Republic, the Cyclone class ships are formidable and never to be taken lightly.