The Gladiator-class light cruiser was a class of light cruisers utilised by the United Nations Space Command, which served between 2617 and 2678 and saw major action during the Galactic War and later Swarm War. The class was initially conceived during the Human-Covenant War as a replacement for the aging Halcyon-class light cruiser, to fill the capability gap between the UNSC's heavy destroyers and the Marathon-class heavy cruiser. The design was eventually shelved in favour of increased Marathon production, and it was only when UNSC designers revisited the plans in 2611 that work began on the Gladiator-class in earnest. Introduced in 2617, during a time of increasing galactic tension, the class served through the Galactic War just five years into its service. In 2633, immediately after this, vessels of the class participated in the Swarm War, which eventually gripped the galaxy until 2678.
The Gladiator-class was designated a light cruiser as a result of its comparatively thin armour; and armament of one light and one medium MAC, rather than the two medium guns a heavier cruiser would have. Its light armour, combined with its oversized reactors and exhaust thrusters, gave it superb speed for a craft of its size. Despite this, the Gladiator-class was comparable in size to the Marathon- and Halcyon-class cruisers, with an overall length of 1054 metres. Crucially, The Gladiator-class shared the same interior 'honeycombed' design as its predecessors, enabling it to withstand astounding volumes of fire.
The Gladiator-class commonly operated with other UNSC Navy vessels as part of naval formations, for example leading destroyer squadrons or functioning in battle groups. However, they were also well suited to independent operation, patrolling borders and shipping routes and conducting raids on enemy territory. The class's long operational range and relative speed made it capable of operating alone for extended periods of time, and its strong weaponry and armour meant that it was able to overpower most hostile vessels it encountered.
mass: 4.824,564 metric tons
-atmosphere: not rated
-Mark XVI TEMPEST fusion reactor (2)
-Mark VI TRITON fusion reactor (1)
shielding: nine linked Mark X AEGIS Projected Energy Barrier System
-Mark XIV Medium Magnetic Accelerator Cannon (1)
-Mark III Light Magnetic Accelerator Cannon (1)
-RSGM-16 Archers (80 pods, 2400 missiles)
-RIM-109 Medusas (2000 cells, 2000 missiles)
-BSGM-14 Harpoons (30 tubes, 90 missiles)
-RSM-19 Shiva (1 tube, 10 missiles)
-dual Mark XIII 305mm naval gun turrets (22)
-dual Mark XII 155mm naval gun turrets (32)
-quad M502 50mm railgun turrets (60)
aircraft complement: Navy Embarked Force:
-F/A-352B Longsword squadron (8 craft)
-F-371 Halberd squadron (12 craft)
-F-419C Sabre squadron (12 craft)
-B-221 Scythe (3)
-E-221 Warden or P-221 Ranger (1)
FQ-99B Dart (24)
-RQ-117 Clarion (6)
-1356 naval personnel (209 officers, 1147 enlisted)
-165 naval flight technicians and flight crew
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