Norton-class Battlecruiser is an active series of warship model designs that was first commissioned by AE. The Norton-class is famed for being rugged and flexible in the battlefield even if it has a smaller frame compared to its contemporaries. It is currently in use with numerous military organizations other than AE, such as but not limited to, AUA and the Republic of Lian. This class participated in several campaigns, spanning from the Battle of Velchees to the Third Battle of Arin although with varying degrees of success.
The Norton-class appears in nearly every episode of Knight Run. The Type-D sub-model is currently the latest improved version of the Norton-class battlecruiser.
The Norton-class' namesake comes from Admiral Jack Norton, the naval officer who proposed conceptual designs for a new modern fleet in CC 371. Admiral Norton was anticipating fiercer battles in the still-growing Human-Beast conflict. He then designed his proposed warships to stress on multiple applications/roles as well as modular refitting. It eventually won the support of the central AE Government who funded the research and development of the versatile Norton-class. Other than the battlecruiser version, there also exists a Norton-class Command Ship which stems from the original design concept.
In CC 384, the Norton-class battlecruiser was first commissioned into active service under the AE navy's main fleet. They had since been adopted into ubiquitous usage by other navies and armed forces.
The robust design of the Norton-class allows it to assume different roles as needed in the heat of battle. It can act as a heavy warship to match against Beast ships but it can also do interdiction runs on smaller Beasts. It can serve as an intermediate bomber providing strategic/tactical bombing and even close ground support. It can also escort Flagships or screen fleets while at the same time act as large fighters that can still effectively pursue combatants. The Norton-class' light frame allows it to operate within the atmosphere and in close proximity of urban centers.
One factor for its perceived popularity is that the Norton-class is much less expensive and easier to maintain than the alternative Titan-class Battlecruiser. When compared with the Titan-class, the Norton-class suffers from a lower output (meaning less powerful particle beams and barriers) but it compensates by being significantly lighter, which gives it faster speeds and better maneuverability/control.
As part of the need to constantly adapt with the ever-changing necessities of warfare, the design of the Norton-class battlecruisers were updated and improved upon whenever possible:
- Type-A - the first batch of Norton-class that were built. Despite being considered obsolete, it can still effectively provide fleet support such as escorting and covering fire. Most of the active Norton-class battlecruisers are of this model.
- Type-B - the second batch which was partially redesigned to incorporate the experiences gained from the Type-A. Many of the newer Norton-class that are active are of this model.
- Type-C - third batch with improved systems and functions to deliver better performance.
- Type-D - fourth and latest batch which was launched shortly before the declaration of the Age of Humans. Only a handful reached Arin to join the War of Prayer.
Battle of VelcheesEdit
- Main article: Battle of Velchees
Norton-class battlecruisers were used as elements of the fleet that was assigned to distract and hold Cross Eye Alpha and Beta into position. The Norton-class primarily escorted their flagship, Heavy Battleship Feinmann, and the Rammel-class small battleships for this purpose. Taking into consideration the SS-Class EX-Type Zeroes, the Norton-class performed satisfactorily despite the disappointing losses - the Cross Eyes were simply too overpowered.
War of PrayerEdit
- Main article: War of Prayer
The Norton-class battlecruisers were deployed throughout the War of Prayer by numerous participating factions. Of those who participated, the AUA and AE were the largest users of the Norton-class. It was also the majority bulk of New Alliance's fleet composition although Supreme Commander Dry Leonhard was disappointed to know that two-thirds of them were the old Type-A model. The irregular fleet of Admiral Jack Norton, which merged with the AUA Relief Force from Valtia, was largely made up of Norton-class battlecruisers.
In the Second Battle of Arin, the AUA and AE Garrison at Arin fielded all of their warships as an initial counter-attack to the surprise invasion of Beast Queen E-34 - among these were the Norton-class. Unfortunately, the counter-attack was easily wiped out by E-34's brood despite their serious commitment.
A large number of New Alliance's Norton-class were also destroyed during the Battle of Valtia, particularly when the Beasts began pouring in from the warp gate to attack Orbital Military Station Saint Line.
Meanwhile, in the Third Battle of Arin, plenty of Norton-class battlecruisers were deployed under New Alliance command in their attempt to break through the blockade of Arin. The AUA on the other hand depleted their entire naval reserve with the few remaining Norton-class warships already expended from the Landfall Operation.
The hull of the Norton-class battlecruisers emphasizes a more rounded and curved design with four trapezoidal folds; the base is also wider than the top side. It is seemingly composed of two sections divided at the middle: the front section (green) which contains the command bridge and the main particle beam cannon, and the back section (white) which houses the engines and propulsion. The hull design is also comparably shorter and smaller than other warships of the same "battlecruiser" type/role.
The hull is protected by a layer of armor around that can endure physical shocks and collision. The design includes barrier generators which can repel incoming fire, especially particle beams, from Beasts.
The Norton-class' most powerful weapon is its main particle beam cannon mounted at the center face of the front section. Aside from these, other particle beam cannons are located at the "cheek" sides. Several rows of particle beam cannons are at the bottom to emphasize its bombardment role. Due to this placement, the Norton-class battlecruisers are more effective in orbital combat when firing from a higher altitude with targets at the bottom. Alternatively, it can angle itself at a steep degree to expose its armaments.
The Norton-class battlecruisers are also armed with ballistic weaponry for back-up, and multiple missiles that are launched from its sides through embedded launching cells.
The Norton-class is powered by a core which generates sufficient energy for all of the warship's functions. Its Tachyon Drive engines provide ample speed and maneuverability whether in atmospheric or space conditions. Unfortunately, the Norton-class is limited to interplanetary space travel only, and must be assisted by a warp gate for greater distances. Four boosters lined with the trapezoidal folds, plus another one at the center, are located at the flat rump of the back section.