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A followup or extension of this question: Was the tugboat ever part of a WWII battle group? Was there ever a ship in a modern navy specially equipped or converted so that it could keep pace with battle groups and assist damaged vessels? For example by evacuation of crew, providing spec trained personnel, power, water pressure and foam for firefighting, towing, etc…
For example after the Forrestal fire a destroyer approached the carrier and used its onboard fire hoses to quench fires on the larger vessels flight deck. Were there ships intended specifically for this role?
I'm fairly sure this has never happened. Ships capable of carrying specialised repair crew and equipment certainly exist, under such names as tenders, repair ships, depot ships and mobile bases, but they lack the speed to accompany a battle fleet. Creating such a fast repair ship, and giving it adequate defensive armament to prevent it being a complete liability in battle would be extremely expensive, and its usefulness would be limited.
It can only help one or two ships at a time, and many ships may be damaged in a battle. Also, naval vessels don't go around in groups of constant composition. Their groups are frequently split up, joined in different configurations, and generally used in unexpected ways. It thus makes more sense to give all of them some intrinsic damage-control capability, and allow ad-hoc co-operation when it is needed.
Addendum: the deliberate design of combat ships with very limited damage-control capability is a recent innovation, in the Littoral Combat Ship family, and many commentators think it's a serious error.
Every combat vessel has an assigned damage control role as well as internally a damage control division of specialised crew (at least on vessels large enough to warrant one), and every crew member has at least basic damage control training and usually first aid training as well.
This has been the case for a very long time, though it often wasn't drilled very frequently and the abilities of most crew members tended to be rudimentary. After the Forrestal and Enterprise fires the US Navy started to take this a lot more seriously and greatly increased its emphasis on such training, raising standards significantly.
As to tugs, pretty much any ship can act as a tug in an emergency, and destroyers and cruisers are frequently used as such in case of accidents.
Not to my knowledge. John Dallman has already pointed out reasons for this, I wanted to add another one.
One of the issues you would face with dedicated "damage control vessels" is this:
Any ship so heavily damaged that its own crew and equipment are insufficient to control the damage and in need of help is, very likely, also very unsafe to approach by another vessel. It might be no longer under controlled steering, it might be on fire (with accompanying danger of explosion), it might be listing heavily and / or in danger of sinking.
Approaching another vessel on the high seas in a way that allows transfer of crew is not a trivial task between two fully functional vessels. Planning to do so with one vessel by design being in a very dire situation, and counting on the assisting vessel being nearby, and the approach actually working, would be wildly optimistic.
You quoted the fire on USS Forrestal, and how USS Rupertus approached the stricken carrier to assist with the firefighting. You should also note that this action was called "an act of magnificent seamanship" by Rear Admiral Lanham, because bringing your ship so close to a stricken vessel is by no means something to be taken for granted.
If a nearby ship is in a position to render assistance, it will (attempt to) do so -- and the ships already in a battle group, especially the smaller ones (destroyers and cruisers), are already sufficiently equipped.
As far as I know no damage control ship comes even close to matching the speed of a carrier battle group. That would mean tugboats that can do over 30 kts. No tugboat in the world can do that. They have the horsepower alright, but they use that power to pull ships. Not for speed.
It wouldn't make any sense building a tugboat that can do +30kts to keep up with a battle fleet. That ship would be hugely expensive. A far easier and much cheaper solution is to construct naval ships that can assist other ships. For example, that's how destroyers are designed.
For example after the Forrestal fire a destroyer approached the carrier and used its onboard fire hoses to quench fires…
That's correct, many naval ships have enough resources build in to be able to help other ships. The bigger ones can even tow large ships. They have been build to assist other ships, but they haven't been designed as specialized damage control ships.
The navy can do most of the assist work in the battle zone, and tow a damaged cruiser or carrier out of harms way with naval ships. Once the damaged ship is in safer waters, a tugboat can take over.
New World Order - OOB thread
Mexico was hit just as badly by the Shift as its northern neighbor, not to mention the rest of the world. But in a sense, the rampant corruption of Mexico left it in a better position to reconsolidate itself after the mysterious event which demolished both government and military. And the most dominant power among the new factions was, undoubtedly, that of the Mexican drug cartels. Already vastly organized, well-armed, and effectively holding territory, the drug lords launched their bid to take Mexico for themselves. Among their chief rivals were communists, neofascists, and even new Amerindian movements. Over the course of eight years, the Cartel conquered their opponents, even as all sides in the conflict began to take advantage of now-abandoned factories and equipment, slowly evolving the war to control Mexico from a street battle of AK-47s writ large, to what was even becoming modern combined-arms mechanized warfare.
In the end, though, the Cartel won out, due to their greater wealth and solidarity, whereas their enemies, who eventually consolidated in opposition to them, were split along so many ideological lines. The undisputed leader of the Cartel came to power during the war, a Señor Matteo Alacrán. And his ambitions were not limited to Mexico alone, but the world at large. Quite behind technologically to many other nations which would inevitably be opposed to his new nation, a shrewd series of maneuvers helped modernize Mexico.
Ironically enough, the largest symbol of corruption from Old Mexico, the drug cartels, began to reverse much of the inherent corruption of the previous democratic government - improving the economy, education, and other important issues. Indeed, now that the Cartels were legitimate, they were finding themselves forced to work to legal ends. using their same brutal efficiency which kept them afloat in the pre-Shift world. One thing that remained, though, was the 'illegal' drug industry, which was now legal and state-controlled. However, the citizens of the new Mexican Empire were still very much banned from using hard drugs, as a stoned, brain-dead population could not create a great nation. The Cartels had much experience in bringing down their competition, so, ironically, their own drug-control efforts were by far much more effective than that of the pre-Shift United States' War on Drugs.
One of the first major actions taken was directly involved with the state control of the illegal drug industry. One of the more obvious conflicts that would brew in the wake of the collapse of the government and military, would be France. In the years following the Shift, the Muslim problem exploded into open warfare, leaving much of Southern France solidly in the hands of radical Muslims, with the Northern parts of France - the Northeast, most especially - in direct opposition to them. Appealing to their historical trading partner, Alacran struck a deal with the French - in exchange for their technical expertise and modern export weapons, Mexico would flood Muslim France with massive quantities of inexpensive hard drugs, to inflict massive deterioration and strife in the Wahabbist ranks. Not to mention make a tidy profit off of it in the process.
The economic impact of the drug trade was an undeniably large boost to the Mexican economy, especially when re-invested in other parts of society. Quite literally, drug money built schools and homes for hundreds of thousands of poor Mexicans. Drug money provided subsidies for businesses, creating jobs and economic growth. And Mexico didn't like its monopoly on the drug trade infringed upon - the coast of Colombia is severely patrolled, with simple orders to destroy anything coming out of there, as with the collapse of government, Colombia fell to their own drug lords in record speed, with ongoing resistance by Marxist guerillas still, who are actively being supported by the Mexican Empire, despite their total clash of views, they provide a useful tool.
The other major event which affected Mexico and the world would be the invention of the drug, colliquolly known as "Nuke" - the first drug which provides, literally, a "Safe" high. Nuke has no destructive side-effects from its use. Its effects are a phenomonal temporary increase in brain activity, along with a massive quantity of serotonin being created and transmitted to the brain. Thus, one literally thinks and reacts better, all while sustaining a mind-blowing level of pleasure and giddiness. However, Nuke is extremely addictive. It's been observed that one's cravings only recur after 24 hours, thus making it easily 'concealable' in a social manner, as opposed to the stereotypical addict who "needs a hit just to get out of bed".
With the total state control of production and distribution of "Nuke", the one-way flow of wealth has further improved the Mexican economy, having turned around in the thirty-four years since the Shift, into being a very respectable world power. Of course, their nature has drawn a large deal of hatred from some nations, but not yet from anyone who can challenge them, whereas the Mexicans have a degree of global reach. An insulting slang name for the Mexican "Republic" is simply calling the nation "Opium".
The new Mexican "Republic" encompasses all of Old Mexico, save for the southeastern portion, including the Yucatan Peninsula, due to ferocious guerilla resistance by the Amerindian-dominated population, it was decided that bleeding the Empire's armies there was worthless for the time being, with already approximately 86.5% of the Mexican population, and the majority of the land, under solid Cartel control.
The Mexican Republic has improved on their local military production capebilities, much of it with well-paid French help. Their military is well-experienced, due to its earlier civil war, and many officers are well-versed in not only guerilla tactics, but also modern mobile warfare, having experienced both of those, and everything in between. The military is, for the most part, a mixed force between volunteers and conscripts, depending on the service. The military which resulted is a world-class power, at least in the post-Shift sense of the term. It would be capeble of posing a credible threat to the pre-Shift United States military, to give one a frame of reference to visualize this in, although there could only be one clear victor between them, and it wouldn't be the Mexicans. The Mexicans also specialize in the covert supplying of many dissident forces in other countries, heavily using this as a tool to keep potential rivals off-balance. And they're willing to supply modern equipment to anyone. for a price.
The Mexican Army is the land force of the Empire, and it is easily the most mature branch of them all, having been the chief service in the post-Shift Civil War. Made up of both volunteers and conscripts, it offers room for advancement for those who are willing to put in the effort, and thus is an attractive choice. Conscripts serve a 3-year term, which can be extended in wartime, and are afterwards placed in the "Trained Reserve", ensuring there is a large pool of trained manpower to draw upon if it comes to a large-scale war. The Army totals in over 800,000 soldiers, and thousands of vehicles. By its sheer size and modern nature, it is among one of the most dangerous militaries in the post-Shift world.
The Mexican Navy is another "mixed service" of volunteers and conscripts. The Navy is a largely French-influenced fleet, but built to Mexican needs. Due to the enormous expense of a full-up aircraft carrier, the largest warships in the Mexican Navy are "Aviation Cruisers" - missile cruisers with a flat rear deck, in order to accommodate S/VTOL aircraft, such as a Harrier/JSF analogue and helicopters. These are the most cost-efficient comprimise that could be designed, to provide air power at sea. Many of the duties performed thus far by the Navy have been anti-piracy patrols, blockading of nations that cannot effectively respond or protest, that Mexico does not like, and escort of freighters - in most cases, escort of drug freighters, who may be attacked by nations who are opposed to the drug trade. A Mexican warship accompanying a Mexican-flagged freighter tends to ward off many of these attempts. The Navy has seven CA/Vs in service, with two more under construction, currently, and operates a fleet of approximately 140 vessels.
The Air Force is the only all-volunteer service in the Mexican Military, as aircraft are regarded as too valuable to trust to conscripts. Its makeup has been influenced strongly by its use in the Civil War, where many of the aircraft used were more WW2-styled close-air-support, rather than dedicated to aerial domination. This has resulted in, post-modernization, a unique force concentrated on combined-arms service with the Army. This is far away from the pre-Shift United States' belief of how the Air Force won wars by itself with "Shock and Awe". Readily obvious even to a layperson in military matters, was that "Shock and Awe" could only work on an underequipped, technologically inferior foe by the application of huge amounts of highly expensive weapons. The main goals of the Mexican Air Force are to support the Army in both the direct ground-attack role, and to defend it from the threat of other air forces, along with maintaining superiority and security over Mexican airspace. The FAIM has over 100,000 personnel, maintaining over 1200 aircraft, a large proportion of which are ground-attack aircraft.
The Mexican Marines are somewhat modeled off of the American Marine force, being the most elite of shock troops among the conventional military, being an all-volunteer force, trained brutally by anyone's standards. Well-equipped for any terrain, and deployable to nearly anywhere in the world from their LHDs, the Marines are the spearpoint of Mexican global power, with doctrine being that Marines would secure an area to deploy units of the heavier Army. The Mexican Marines number approximately 84,000 men, deployable from 4 separate LHDs. These are a good deal different from both the LHDs of the Coalition States or the old United States, which were effectively small aircraft carriers - These are smaller vessels, without as much air power deployable from them, in exchange for a larger landing craft capacity. Its weapons are more geared to its own defense, rather than any form of attack.
The Coast Guard is often used as a "training" service to provide skilled sailors to the Navy, and patrol the coasts, performing the jobs of any other Coast Guard. Ranks in the Coast Guard are approximately equal to one grade lower than that of their Navy counterparts, and such is observed when transferring between the two services. This has led to some Navy jokes about how new enlistees in the Coast Guard are "lower than the dirt itself", among other, more rude phrases. The Coast Guard has 24,000 personnel, and has a fleet of 34 larger vessels, and over 700 craft classified as boats.
This avatar change was not of my own free will.
BVS-2 Main Battle Tank - The premier Main Battle Tank in the Mexican Army, this ranks among the largest and nastiest vehicles in modern use. Originally derived from a modified LeClerc chassis, the BVS-2 is a whole new breed of nasty. Weighing in at 70 tons, with a three-man crew, the BVS-2 is proof of the phrase, "You get what you pay for". With the ETC tank gun technology still not yet fully realized by the French or Mexicans at the time of the vehicle's construction, the BVS-2 is armed with an autoloading 140mm smoothbore gun/missile system, capable of firing APFSDS-DU, HEAT, HEAP, Canister, and the MAL-3 long-range guided top-down attack missile (LR-TDAM). The coaxial gun is a 12.7mm machinegun, and the cupola RWS is also 12.7mm. Defenses for this well-made monster include the latest in laminated composite armor - "Rouen", as the particular French-designed ceramic is known - along with a solid backing of Depleted Uranium, far thicker than that of the 2006-era Abrams. Active defenses include the latest in anti-HEAT and KE-penetrator ERA, and the Abejorro anti-missile system. Equipped with complete datalink network systems. Slightly shorter than the Abrams in height, but wider.
BVS-1 Main Battle Tank - No longer taking the title of being the primary armored unit in the Mexican Army, the BVS-1 remains in many secondary roles, equipping many units still. The BVS-1 is basically an uprated LeClerc, a design that has proven its worth in France against the Muslims, and, lately, the forces of The Caliphate. Among the upgrades are the lengthening of the 120mm cannon to L60, rather than the original L52. The co-axial weapon is still the 12.7mm of the original LeClerc, though the cupola gun has also been upgraded to a 12.7mm RWS mount. The latest versions of the BVS-1 also have the same armor inserts as the BVS-2, if in more limited of quantities. The active defensive systems are also basically the same. Despite its datedness, the MAX-1, and the older upgraded LeClercs still in French service, are extremely lethal tanks that can still hold their own on a modern battlefield.
BRS-3 Coyote Light Tank - The rapidly-deployable counterpart to the BVS- series heavy tanks, the Coyote is completely air-deployable, though it obviously sacrifices the heavy armor that hallmarks other Mexican vehicles, having only the armor package to defeat smaller anti-tank missiles and lighter autocannons. Armed with a fully-automatic 76mm cannon, the Coyote can lay down a quick barrage that can mission-kill larger main battle tanks, or be used in an artillery role, due to the elevations its main gun is capable of. Its other armament consists of a 7.62mm coaxial gun, and a heavy MILAN 2-pack of missiles, and it incorporates the Abejorro system as well.
BPS-2 Tortuga Infantry Fighting Vehicle - A heavier vehicle than the Coalition States' "Perkins" IFV, the Tortuga is built off of a modified, lengthened LeClerc-type chassis, placing the engine in the forward compartment, and replacing the 120mm gun with a 57mm autocannon and a heavy MILAN missile three-pack, allowing for room for a squad of infantry to ride in complete protection against all but the heaviest antitank weapons. This heavy IFV has basically the same armor and active defensive package as the BVS-1 still, giving it the ability to fight on the front lines in mechanized combat once it has disgorged its load of infantry.
MPS-3 Aztec Armored Personnel Carrier - Remarkably similar to the Coalition States' "McMaster" by coincidence, the Aztec has many of the same capabilities, and is used in many of the same alternative roles. This vehicle is too light to support the heavy armor that characterizes many other Mexican vehicles, only being able to resist 12.7mm fire, so it rather heavily employs slat/cage armor and active defenses to ward off attacks by anti-tank missiles.
LAV-5 Zorro Light Armored Vehicle - Designed for rapid response, infantry transport and support, and a variety of other roles, the Zorro is a 6x6 wheeled platform which usually supports a 25mm autocannon and heavy MILAN 2-pack, though sports other configurations, all the way up to a low-pressure 105mm gun. However, this vehicle is wider and has a lower center of gravity than the average LAV, making it resistant to the chronic flipping problems that plague the Stryker and related vehicles.
AAS-3 Flecha Air Defense Vehicle - Based off of the same chassis as the BRS-3, this vehicle is armed with a single 20mm gatling gun and a four-pack antiaircraft missile system, integrated with an air-search radar. Even a small net of these vehicles can secure the safety of a Mexican Army formation, making attack against them a dicey proposition for the pilots of any air strike.
AVS-10 Self-Propelled Artillery - Also based off of the BRS-3 chassis, this creates a highly mobile 155mm gun platform. Capable of firing on the move
AVR-15 MRLS - Based on a large wheeled chassis, this is a typical MRLS vehicle, armed with a large battery of submunition-scattering missiles, bringing down "Steel Rain" on the enemy.
CA-3A "Chubasco" Multirole Fighter - A direct descendent of the original French Rafale design, with some elements of the F-22, the Chubasco is the premier Air Superiority fighter in Mexican service, designed to safeguard Mexican airspace, and clear that of an enemy so more dedicated bomber craft can tactically interdict enemy forces. The two-engined stealth plane is equipped with a similar UIB system as the Quimera, though the bays can carry a larger payload. Similarly, detachable hardpoint pylons are availible for a much heavier payload, at the temporary cost of stealth. The Chubasco also carries an identical 20mm gatling cannon, with an identical magazine size of 320 rounds. Very much the equal of the Coalition States' F-44 'Venom', and a more proven design - the Chubasco's near-identical French sister design has a stunning record in combat against the Muslims who have conquered Southern Europe.
CA-5B "Quimera" Multirole VTOL Fighter/Bomber - The easiest way to imagine this versatile fifth-generation plane is to imagine the drunken mating of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the Saab Gripen. The result is a small, hideously maneuverable stealth delta-winged aircraft, utilizing a single high-thrust engine, with a swiveling thrust nozzle, but also capable of redirecting thrust through small ports on the wings and rotating canards, for maneuvers which no conventional plane can duplicate. Capable of a maximum speed of Mach 2.4, and can carry a wide assortment of weapons systems in its Universal Internal Bays. The Quimera can accommodate a larger payload very easily, with the use of detachable weapons pylons, at the cost of some measure of stealth. Integral to the plane's armament is a 20mm gatling cannon with 320 rounds, mounted in the nose behind a retracting door, to preserve elements of stealth. This is the primary craft used by the Navy, capable of taking off and landing from the rear flight deck of the CAN/Vs, not to mention any other ship with a helicopter deck and hanger. The Quimera is unique in that it is configurable for roles that typically do not come to mind when thinking of a fighter craft, such as AWACS, EW, and the (almost never-used) air-refueling role, using a revolutionary modular technology.
CAU-7A "Neurona" Unmanned Strike Plane - This is the closest thing to "disposable" that air warfare has ever come to - a small, stealthy flying-wing UCAV. It's a devaritive from the French "Neuron" UCAV, designed simply to get into comprimised enemy airspace, and disrupt and destroy enemy troops and equipment on the tactical and theatre-level. These drone aircraft are not designed for air-to-air engagement, though it carries a pair of small air-to-air missiles to dissuade pursuit. Its internal bomb-bays are typically loaded with "semi-smart" cluster weapons, or precision-guided bombs, though other payloads are possible. The AI of these planes has been deemed too "dumb" to properly conduct air-to-air warfare, as has been proven time and time again in simulated dogfights. but being a bomb truck is much easier.
CA-8 "Gallo" Ground-Attack Plane - This plane is eponymous of the Mexican air doctrine, built for close air support against modern enemies. This plane clearly traces its lineage from both the A-10 and SU-25, but redesigned to be faster and more survivable. Powered by two potent jet engines, which push it to over Mach 1.4 when afterburning. The cockpit, engines, and control trunks are all well-armored, meaning that one can pound on the Gallo for its entire attack run, and still not knock it out of the air, short of truely catastrophic damage. "Control Trunks" are armored ducts through the interior of the plane where much of the wiring and controls are piped through, meaning that fire passing through the wings or fuselage is unlikely to sever flight-critical controls. To truely disable this plane, incoming fire must sever both redundant control trunks - and it's unlikely that an attacker will have a chance to shoot it that much. Armed with a very nasty near-clone of the A-10's GAU-8 30mm Vulcan cannon, and then carrying a typical load of "semi-smart" cluster munitions, "semi-smart" rocket pods, and heavy ATGMs such as the Pike missile.
CA-11 "Gaviota" Naval Patrol Aircraft - A twin-turboprop long-range naval patrol aircraft, designed for short take-offs and landings. Nothing particularly special about this craft - drops sonobouys, anti-submarine torpedoes and depth charges. It is also capable of surface attack, with the ability to mount the Exocet and Laval missiles, and comes as standard with a 20mm gatling cannon in the nose, with a 500-round magazine, used for destroying small surface ships.
CA-17 "Águila" Tilt-Rotor Assault Transport - The V-22 Osprey had many problems, and was, for all its supposed advantages, little better than a helicopter in most of its roles, not even designed for front-line deployment. However, this tiltrotor craft remedies much of that. Incorporating much more powerful of engines, it is armored to withstand small-arms fire, and is armed with a chin-mounted twin 12.7mm turret, and several rocket pods, while still able to carry its payload of personnel. Thus it can clear its own landing zone to some extent. Also, the CA-17 is much more user-friendly, not prone to losing control anymore, though it still requires a skilled pilot.
CH-5B "Tigre" Attack Helicopter - An evolution of the Eurocopter Tiger program, this attack helicopter is stealthy and deadly, capable of any manner of attack. Typically armed with Pike antitank missiles, "semi-smart" rocket pods, and the AA-20 ASRAAM, along with its chin-mounted 30mm chaingun. Other weapons configurations exist as well, though this one is the standard.
CH-10 "Halcón" Utility Helicopter - For all intents rather identical to the Coalition States' MH-8, this is the evolution of a long line of general-purpose helicopters stretching back to the Huey and Blackhawk. A typical troop-mover, incorporating some stealth elements to make it less obvious of a target. Usually armed with two door-mounted gatling guns, though there are attachable hardpoints for forward-firing weapons.
CH-12 "Albatros" Naval Helicopter - The Navy's multipurpose helicopter, typically tapped for ASW or SAR operations. Capable of deploying sonobuoys, and armed with multiple dipping sonars, each specialized for certain depth ranges, the Albatros is optimal for locating enemy submarines. It is also armed to destroy them, as well, carrying a payload of homing torpedoes and depth charges.
All Mexican surface vessels happen to have a number of railing-mounted 12.7mm gatling guns, allowing them to easily fend off small suicide boats and the like. This is considered rather fun by the crews. This extends to merchant shipping, too - drug freighters may even be more well-armed, though typically concealed.
Veracruz-Class Aviation Cruiser - Supporting the first truely modern Mexican navy has been fairly difficult, with the more pressing needs for the Army and Air Force. With extensive French naval assistance, the Mexican Navy found a well-balanced comprimise design between the competing needs for naval air power, and the ability to defend a battlegroup against attack - a class of vessels known as "Aviation Cruisers", or CAN/Vs. These nuclear-powered vessels, the size of an ex-Soviet Kirov-class missile cruiser, support an air wing of 24 craft, with the typical loadout being 18 Quimeras, and 6 Albatros ASW/utility helicopters. The Veracruz is formidably armed on the offensive, packing a large VLS array of 128 missiles, and a fully-automatic 5" cannon in a forward-mounted turret. In the defensive role, the Veracruz is even better-equipped, having several launchers for RAM-style missiles, and the Protector antimissile system. Since they are not built on the typical aircraft carrier "flattop" design, these vessels were prime candidates to be designed in such a way that would reduce RCS, leaving it looking very sleek and "plated over". Seven of these vessels are in service, with two more under construction in 2040. One of the active vessels, the first of the class, is a designated "Training carrier", built to be more forgiving of pilot errors, and, in the event of a crash, be more resistant to the damage of a jet fighter slamming into the deck or hanger.
Pancho Villa-Class Marine Assault Ship - The Mexican Marine Corps' vessel of choice for deployment, these large vessels are capable of carrying, delivering, and supplying the men of an entire Marine division(?) and their vehicles. Its airgroup consists of a mix of 32 craft, including the Halcón helicopter, Águila tilt-rotor VTOL, and the Quimera fighter, along with most any other type of VTOL or STOL craft within reason. The Pancho Villa is armed with several RAM-style missile launchers, and multiple mounts for the Protector CIWS, but ultimately its defense is in the hands of the protective battlegroup which surrounds it.
Monterrey-Class Destroyer - The nastiest class of conventional warship in the Mexican Navy, the Monterrey's size more accurately places it in the category of a small cruiser. It's designed to be the 'big stick' of any battlegroup, either in defense or on the offense. Offensively, it carries the same 5" automatic cannon as the Veracruz in the same forward location, and a heavy 148-cell VLS array. On the defensive, she serves as the cornerstone of an antimissile network, mounting the most powerful seaborne radar used in Mexican service. Multiple RAM-style launchers and a large number of Protector mounts provide the power to knock missiles out of the sky, even close-in and performing a supersonic dash. The rear deck is capable of servicing 2 Albatros Helicopters - or Quimera fighters, for a surprise! The hull is designed with reduction of RCS in mind, resulting in a ship that lacks the 20th-century look of a bridge tower bristling with antennae. This ship, while smaller than the old United States' Ticonderoga-class, severely outclasses it - but then again, the missiles of 2040 happen to be much smaller, faster, and stealthier than the weapons of the Cold War.
Atlatl-Class Frigate - The workhorse of the Mexican fleet, this moderately-sized trimaran frigate design can be used for anything, and usually is. Employing a modular system such as that intended to be deployed on the USN's future LCS, large portions of this frigate can be easily removed and replaced while in port to change roles. There are four distinct modules which assign it a role, though it has limited functions in every category, no matter what module is installed. First is an ASW loadout, giving it multiple sonars, designed for searching in various conditions, including shallow waters, which are a particularly good hiding spot for small diesel submarines. The Atlatl is well-armed for destroying submarines in this configuration, as well, armed with a substantial VLS-cell battery of ASROC-style torpedoes, and a pair of depth-charge mortar systems. The dedicated antiship module arms the Atlatl with a 96-cell offensive VLS array, while the Fleet Defense module gives it an additional search radar, and defensive VLS and RAM, along with 2 additional Protector emplacements. The General-Purpose module gives it a little of everything, allowing adequate performance in all roles. Though, no matter what configuration it is used in, it retains its forward 76mm automatic cannon, twin Protector mounts, and a multipurpose VLS array. The rear deck and hanger services a single Albatros ASW helicopter - or, again, a Quimera VTOL fighter, in the event of some emergency or plan.
Piraña-Class Patrol/Attack Submarine - After several earlier attempts at a submarine design which didn't meet expectations in service, the Mexican Navy finally got their initial wish fulfilled in the Piraña class. Diesel-Electric powered, she lacks the endurance of a nuclear-powered craft, but is subsequently much quieter when it wants to be. Surprisingly efficient, and have on several occasions been caught stalking submarines or battlegroups of the Coalition States - and on other occasions, not been caught at all. They face the typical limitations of a Diesel-Electric boat, and have thus been armed to make up for those deficiencies in some ways. Accompanying her ten torpedo tubes (six fore, four aft) is a 20-cell VLS array, armed with sea-launching, sea-skimming, supersonic-dashing Exocet missiles. This weapon setup is designed so that, if unable to mount a more silent torpedo attack on a hypothetical aircraft carrier in its battlegroup, if caught, it can simultaniously flush its cells to overwhelm the close-in defenses of a target. If forced into this situation, it is not expected that the submarine would escape, making this a weapon of last resort, typically. This may dissuade an enemy from attempting to catch one of these submarines too tightly in its net - allowing a path of retreat is safer than dealing with a cornered enemy. Also includes a periscope-deployable anti-aircraft missile system.
Tiburón-Class Attack Submarine - After much experience with the Piraña class submarine, the Mexican Navy felt confident enough to field a nuclear hunter-killer submarine that fit their needs and experiences. These are roughly equal in projected capability to the Coalition Bull Shark class, carrying the same number of torpedo tubes as its diesel-electric cousin, but packing a larger VLS missile launch capability, designed for multiple roles, including land-attack and anti-helicopter weapons in addition to the obvious anti-shipping missiles. Also has the ability to deliver commando teams via minisubmersible craft. None of these craft are in service yet, however, several will be soon completing construction, with more in various stages of construction.
"Caudillo" Personal Heavy Armor Battlesuit - In the world of infantry combat, where personnel exoskeletons allow for the carrying of more weight in equipment and armor, the Caudillo towers over the rest, in both a figurative and literal sense. This differs from other personal battlesuits in that it qualifies as "Heavy Armor" - the user is, for the most part, safe from being shot at, even from 7.62 NATO-size rounds, or 6.5mm Grendel Bi-Propellent, due to the thick ballistic Kevlar layers and ceramic insert plates. The kind of firepower needed to threaten a soldier in Caudillo armor comes from .50 caliber weapons, or a direct hit with an antiarmor weapon. However, the other benefit of this type of armor is the added weight and power given to the user - the typical "rifleman" in this kind of armor carries a 12.7mm machinegun as his personal weapon, and the automatic rifleman for a squad of heavy armor would be armed with a 20mm cannon. The disadvantages come in taking cover - the user's stature is increased by a full foot, on average, making it more difficult than usual to find cover. EXTREMELY deadly and effective, especially when used in concert with infantry in more conventional battlesuits. The Caudillo's helmet has all the same features as that of its lesser brethern, but is more heavily armored, including a sloped, armored facial design which makes it more resistant to rifle rounds, and offers a terrifying, dehumanizing appearance, leading to the nicknaming of this armor as "Pyramid Head" due to the helmet's shape. A fairly close image
"Bandido" Personal Battlesuit - Not as imposing, certainly, as Caudillo Heavy Armor, this battlesuit is by far more common, and certainly very capable. A high-durability military exoskeleton makes up the basic frame, and is then armored down with Kevlar over the entire body, with ceramic plates over high-risk areas. The helmet provides the wearer with head protection against fragments and small rounds, and increases the likelyhood of survival against a glancing blow from a heavier round, though the eyepieces are vulnerable. The helmet also contains squad communications and datalink systems, providing multiple abilities, such as helmet-cam from another user, displaying birds-eye view maps of the combat area, and various other applications, including inbuilt night vision, magnification, and integration with the user's rifle. Both this battlesuit and the Caudillo are fully NBC-compliant, and offer basic amenities, such as protein-caffine-laced water, and, in the case of the larger Caudillo, limited air conditioning - a point which brings up much contention between the users of the two armors, though it's arguably neccessary in the larger armor. Image
FA-3 Battle Rifle - A new assault rifle built to deal with modern battlesuit technology, the FA-3 is a bullpup-styled rifle firing 7.62mm NATO rounds in single-shot, three-round burst, and fully-automatic modes. The larger round has recently come back in vogue with the advent of personal armors which resist lighter rounds such as 5.56mm NATO or 7.62mm WARPAC with ease, and is only vulnerable to purpose-designed small AP rounds such as 5.7mm in-close. Utilizing a similar helical-drum magazine as the Coalition's MW-3A1, a single 'clip' holds 60 rounds, allowing longer periods of sustained fire without reloading - a valuable advantage in combat. A 40mm grenade launcher or 12-gauge shotgun underbarrel is also optional on the weapon, having not changed much since their 20th-century incarnations.
FA-11 Pistol - Basically a copy of the popular Fabrique Nationale Five-seveN, firing 5.7x28mm rounds.
FA-5 PDW - A fairly proven weapon for those who are not expected to be in the thick of things, the Personal Defense Weapon fires a 60-round magazine of 5.7mm armor-piercing rounds on fully automatic or single-shot modes. Not so good anymore against those in personal armor at longer ranges, needing to be in-close to penetrate. Still, it spits a lot of lead out very fast in an emergency.
FAM-6 Medium Machine Gun - This beefy weapon serves in the role of SAW for infantry squads now, firing 7.62mm NATO rounds, easily penetrating most cover in suppressive fire. Certainly effective against battlesuited infantry as well, and capable of dropping unarmored infantry with a single round. Fed from a 200-round box in most situations, though there is an adapter for using helical-drum magazines.
FAM-8 Heavy Machine Gun - A typical 12.7mm HMG, based off of the venerable Ma Deuce, with a number of new alloys assisting in the lightening of the weapon without losing componant strength. Primarily fed by box magazines, or a belt. The use of a box magazine allows the big HMG to be used by a single man without loading issues, though most of the time it is operated in two-man teams for spotting and reloading, still.
FA-8C Heavy Assault Rifle - Very much the same as the standard FAM-8 HMG, except redesigned in the form of a large assault rifle firing the same 12.7mm round from a hefty box magazine. Intended for use by individuals wearing Caudillo heavy personal armor - Rambo has NOTHING on a man in that armor, using this gun!
FAM-10C Assault Cannon - The absolute BIGGEST automatic gun ever carried by an infantryman, the FAM-10C is a 20mm chaingun that serves as in the SAW role for a squad of infantry in Caudillo armor, firing a variety of ammunitions, primarily HE-Frag, HEAP, and HEI-T. Capable of chewing apart even hard cover, or taking out light vehicles, a Heavy Armor squad working in concert with lighter infantry is an irresistable force against other infantry when backed up by one or more of these big guns.
FA-20 Sniper Rifle - The biggest, nastiest tool of the sniper's trade, the FA-20 fires a 20mm blended-metal bullet at high velocities, capable of penetrating any personal armor, and then fragmenting messily inside the target.
FAB-70 LAW - A common, single-use, fire-and-forget antitank weapon using a 100mm tandem-charge HEAT warhead, remarkably similar in design to the M-71 LAW of old US service. Standard doctrine is to fire these in numbers at a target to overwhelm its active defenses, exhaust its ERA in a single area, and then penetrate the armor. Or you can simply aim for the treads.
FAB-80 Multipurpose Missile Launcher - This versatile weapon takes after the Carl Gustav, in the respect that it fires a large variety of missiles for many purposes. Typical ammunitions include wire-guided tandem HEAT warheads, top-down attack missiles, HE-Frag warheads, and thermobaric explosives.
FAB-100 "MILAN" ATGM - This is the biggest, nastiest anti-tank weapon in common infantry or vehicular service, save for the LR-TDAM munitions of the BVS-2's 140mm missiles. Basically the equivilant to the 20th-century TOW missile, the FAB-100 employs three separate tandem HEAT warheads, basically ensuring penetration even through the thickest composite-armored glacis plate.
FAB-100B "MILAN" ATGM - The other version of the FAB-100, this uses a hypervelocity DU KE-penetrator warhead to defeat a target's armor. Somewhat harder to intercept.