2553: The war with the Covenant is over. The UNSC enters a period of consolidation and replenishment of its devastated fleets, 85% of which were lost during the war. Due to the high attrition rate of frigates during the conflict- particularly in atmospheric engagements- a new generation of UNSC frigates were required. Applying lessons learned during the flagship ‘Infinity’s construction and the utilization of recently reclaimed Forerunner technology, the new ‘Nevada’ class of UNSC frigates were born.
UNSC Nevada was launched in late 2553. Notably the smallest UNSC vessel to be equipped with Integrated Shield Technology, the Nevada was specifically intended to provide escort cover for the new flagship. The Nevada’s new energy shielding meant that the ship would be much more capable of absorbing damage from plazma and beam weapons (which the Covenant had used to such devastating effect), especially when in the vulnerable position of deploying troops/equipment on a planet surface. However, the UNSC were keen not to stray too far from the few key features which gave their older warships their limited effectiveness against the technologically superior Covenant fleets. Therefore, armor plating was retained in key areas, adopting the old US Naval ‘All or Nothing’ armor principle. In other words, the most vulnerable areas of the ship (such as the engines) were covered with the thickest plating available, whilst other more redundant areas had virtually no armor at all. This meant that the ship carried, on average, 40% less armor than its predecessors and so could significantly out-perform them in terms of speed and maneuverability, yet if the ship were to crash land on a planet’s surface, it is predicted to have approximately 60% chance of remaining largely intact.
The MAC gun, or Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, is standard equipment on most modern UNSC vessels. During it's intial construction, the Nevada was retrofitted in 2552 with an updated configuration of its MAC system, famously innovated by the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. Most MAC systems had to recharge the magnetic fields between bursts, but the Nevada had a system modified to fire 2 MAC rounds on a single charge. Magnetic field recyclers and booster capacitors allowed for this one-charge, two-shot advantage. The Nevada's MAC munitions were light rounds of an outer layer of tungsten carbide concealing a ferrous core.
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