Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser
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The Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser is a capital warship classification in the UNSC Navy. Among the most powerful vessels in the UNSC fleet, one of their primary uses is fleet command and coordination.
Despite its designation as a cruiser, the Valiant also bears similarities to a battleship. The Valiant class features fusion drives that were considered next generation at the time of the class' inception, though there were delays in incorporating them. As one of the most powerful warships in the UNSC Navy, these cruisers are capable of holding their own against most opponents. The Valiant class has the tonnage and firepower to augment battle groups composed of smaller warships on patrols, as well as the space to install flag bridge facilities to be commanded by admirals. These flag bridges can be enormous, with two dozen bridge stations used not only to control the ship and its systems, but also to coordinate the activities of the entire battle group. They also have large view screens that stretch from the floor to the ceiling. However, due to resource and crew shortages during the Insurrection and Human-Covenant War, plans to give all Valiant-class cruisers a complete suite of command upgrades were abandoned.
The Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser was originally drafted by the UNSC Navy as a compromise between a battleship and heavy cruiser. However, the class went through years of feasibility studies and redesigns before UNSC Valiant was commissioned and released from her Martian shipyard in 2493. Though the Valiant showed promise during initial testing and evaluation, the high costs and delays in incorporating next-generation fusion drives seemingly doomed further manufacturing of the class. Less than two years later, all commissioned ships of the Valiant class were stricken from the UNSC Navy rolls and partially scrapped. However, the escalating Insurrection ultimately prevented the Valiant class from being a mere footnote in Navy history when it was discovered that the Colonial Military Administration had been infiltrated by Insurrectionist sympathizers in 2497. Converted into fleet command ships, the Valiant class was deployed in expeditionary engagements in the Insurrection, using its tonnage and firepower to augment Navy battle groups.
Vice Admiral Preston Cole commanded the Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser UNSC Everest as his flagship, beginning with the Battle of Harvest in 2526. Over the course of the Human-Covenant War, most notably prior to his last stand at the Battle of Psi Serpentis in 2543, Cole made several modifications to the ship's armament and armor. UNSC Valiant was later attached to the Epsilon Eridani Fleet by the beginning of the Fall of Reach in summer 2552.
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