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Massing 425,000 tons, the Edward Saganami-B class warships were the heaviest vessels of their type constructed and operated by the Royal Manticoran Navy until the introduction of their successors, the Edward Saganami-C-class. Like the other modern designs being introduced by the RMN in the latter years of the First Havenite-Manticoran War and the intervening five years of the cease fire before the Second Havenite-Manticoran War, the class made extensive use of automation to reduce manning requirements, making it easier to man large numbers of them instead of the more labor-intensive older designs such as the Star Knight-, Crusader-, and Prince Consort classes. Because of that automation, ships of the Edward Saganami-B class had a complement of 385.
While the warships of the Edward Saganami-B class mounted more missile tubes than their successors, the missile tubes mounted on them were smaller and incapable of handling the heavier Mark 16 dual-drive missile that in later years served as the standard shipboard impeller drive missile for RMN heavy cruisers and battlecruisers. Instead, the Edward Saganami-Bs were armed with the Mark 14 extended time single drive missile with 19 tubes in each broadside, in addition, the Edward Saganami-B design retained the two of the three missile tubes in each chaser found in the Edward Saganami-A design (the third was replaced by a graser). The tubes on the Edward Saganami-Bs were capable of the same off-bore targeting retained on the later Edward Saganami-Cs.However, the Edward Saganami-B-class only supported enough fire-control links to control 18 missiles at a time from its forward control links.
The Edward Saganami-B class also mounted ten grasers in each broadside. The energy weapons layout in each chase bay was three grasers. (Companion).
Like all other warships in the Post Diaspora era, the Edward Saganami-B-class mounted sidewalls for passive defense. They were also equipped with both bow and stern walls as well. Both the bow and stern walls were traditional sidewalls, however, and using them made it impossible for the vessel to accelerate using its impeller wedge, and only one could be up at a time.
Although the Saganami-B class constituted an entirely new class by itself, the class nonetheless received its designation as a 'revised' version of the Edward Saganami-class in order to hide its development from the Second Janacek Admiralty as Janacek was opposed to the construction of new warship classes in peace time. Specifically the class was a Flight II 'block upgrade'. Structurally, the Edward Saganami-B possessed a new hullform, permitting the much heavier armament.
While the prominence of the Saganami-B-class was short-lived before its position as the RMN's most advanced heavy cruiser class was supplanted by the Edward Saganami-C-class, at least one of them distinguished itself in action.
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