Cradle-Class Repair Ship
The Cradle-class repair ship is a heavy utility ship in service to the United Nations Space Command. It excels in the swift repair and resupplying of warships.
Used exclusively for repairing the UNSC Navy's various warships, a Cradle can always be found not far from an active UNSC fleet and around major shipbuilding planets.
Introduced to fill the vital role of in-the-field fleet maintenance, the 4,000 meter-long Cradle-class operates with an average crew of only thirty (plus EVA personnel). It achieves this remarkable feat mostly through automation and standardization of repair equipment. They can always be found operating at a convenient, but safe, distance from an active UNSC fleet, able to keep pace with its own Shaw-Fujikawa translight drive and powerful sublight engines.
While very powerful repair assets, the UNSC found another use for these massive ships as literal shields. During the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV and the Fall of Reach, Cradle-class ships maneuvered themselves into the line of fire and used their substantial surface area to block incoming plasma fire to protect UNSC battlegroups, allowing the human vessels time to recharge their MACs and deal more damage to the enemy at the cost of the ship. The lead ship of the class, UNSC Cradle herself, was lost at Sigma Octanus.
Weapons and Tactical UsageEdit
The Cradle-class is completely unarmed, lacking even AA turrets. It is only able to repair one ship at a time, and in the midst of combat even this ability is quickly outstripped by the potency of Covenant plasma weaponry. As such it cannot remotely be relied on to combat even the lightest of enemy ships. It is also one of the largest UNSC ships with a large profile, making it an easy and often priority target to the enemy.
Despite all of this, the Cradle-class still plays a vital role in UNSC fleets, quickly restoring health to ships that would otherwise have to repair themselves painfully slowly. Should an important ship take damage but still be able to retreat behind the fire line, send it to a nearby Cradle to repair and send it back out to the line. Cradles also have surprising durability with hull points and armor equal to or greater than anything short of a heavy carrier. Because of this, in desperate situations it can be used as a damage sponge; however, its cost makes this inadvisable in most cases unless an overall more valuable battlegroup is at stake.
- Cradles no longer require research to build; article has been updated to reflect that.
- These ships replaced the previous Repair Platform as the repair structures over planets. They still take up fleet supply, but cannot jump to slipspace, however, so in most cases its easier to use the normal version for all your repair duties.
- Fleet supply has been reduced, from 30 down to 10.
Officially these ships were referred to as Refit Stations, but to distinguish them from the stationary Repair Yard structures, they were given the non-canon name Cradle-class (after the similarly-mobile UNSC Cradle which was destroyed at Sigma Octanus IV).
- Model - Annihilater102
- Texture - Annihilater102