Chapter 2603: Diligent Ovenbird
As a mech designer, I\'m sure you are aware of the saying that you get what you paid for. Vivian explained while maintaining her confidence.
This rule applies for mechs as well as starships.
Do not be alarmed at the high price of the Gorgoneion.
She is more than worth her initial cost.
Protective hull plating doesn\'t come cheap, but you will be grateful for having lots of it during battle.
While Vivian Tsai was much worse off than Ves in terms of reputation, prestige, wealth and accomplishments, she believed in her work.
When it came to discussing her ship designs, she was able to speak to the clan patriarch with authority!
That was exactly what Ves wanted to see in the clan\'s new chief ship designer.
If Vivian did not have the confidence to back up her own work, then what was the point of putting her in charge
It was just that Ves was a bit shocked at the price of the Gorgoneion.
If I recall, I specified a considerably lower maximum price for a proposal.
I am aware of that, sir, but I think you don\'t want to go too cheap when it comes to one of your most important defensive assets of your expeditionary fleet.
Back when you have set this limitation, the LMC was only just starting to put the Ferocious Piranha on sale.
A couple of months have gone by now and it is very clear that your new product is enriching our clan.
With such good conditions, there shouldn\'t be any problems with financing this order.
It was impossible for the Larkinson Clan to pay 3.2 trillion hex credits all at once to a shipbuilding company.
The clan\'s growing expenditures and investments along with the need to build up a warchest reserved for other strategic purposes meant that it would take a while to accumulate that much money in the form of cash.
Nonetheless, as long as the Larkinson Clan was able to prove its earning prowess, it shouldn\'t be too difficult to obtain a loan.
Shipbuilding companies could also be persuaded to receive payment in installments or after they finished constructing the ships in question.
In general, most shipbuilding companies demand half or full payment up front before they are willing to accept a commission to build a ship that is not in their product catalog. Vivian explained.
Too many incidents took place in the past where the client cancelled the order or died all of sudden, leaving the shipyard with a very strange ship that can\'t be sold.
Does that mean we have to have all of the financing in order before we place our order Ves asked.
As long as the client develops a good relationship with a shipbuilding company, they can obtain better deals.
It takes decades and at least several major transactions to establish this kind of trust, though.
Unless we are able to negotiate a good deal by offering other concessions, we won\'t have much of a chance of getting our order accepted.
Don\'t forget that shipbuilding companies, especially those that are capable of making capital ships, are never short of clients and orders.
Even though capital ships were incredibly costly to obtain, demand still exceeded supply.
The Larkinson Clan would be at a disadvantage no matter which shipbuilding company it approached.
Only by showing willingness to pay a hefty premium upfront would a shipyard be willing to build a massive ship like the Gorgoneion.
Ves shrugged as he rubbed Bygul\'s belly.
The electronic cat wasn\'t able to provide the tactile sensation of fur, but the sensation of touching him was still pleasantly soft.
We can leave the financing issue to the finance experts of our clan.
I\'m sure they can whip something together.
You just focus on completing the ship design and making sure the Gorgoneion is viable and useful.
We\'ll take care of the rest.
I get it, sir.
I am still getting accustomed to my new position.
Now do you have any other ship designs that you are ready to present today
There is one other proposal that I think you should consider at an early stage.
She waved her hand a few times, causing all of the projections related to the Gorgoneion to disappear.
In their place came a new set of projections that depicted a different ship concept.
What immediately stood out to Ves was that the new vessel did not look as if she was remotely suited for combat.
Her expansive shape offered a lot of targets for enemies to shoot at.
What was worse was that her hull featured distressingly little armor.
This was definitely a support ship.
No doubt about it.
This was a vessel that was mostly useful outside of a combat situation.
If she ever found herself in the middle of a crisis, then the Larkinson fleet would have to devote a lot of assets to keep her out of harm\'s way!
What am I looking at, Vivian
This is the Diligent Ovenbird.
It\'s not a completely original design.
In truth, I\'ve adapted it from the Daedalus-class of fleet repair and upgrade vessels developed by the shipyard that my father is still working at.
This Type-C variant is a special iteration that I have developed in order to meet the defensive requirements that you have set.
While her hull armor is admittedly not very impressive, she is actually a lot more robust than the older Type-U, Type-K and Type-H variants.
That is all relative.
No matter what letter you use to describe this \'Diligent Ovenbird\', there is no changing the fact that she is a burden in combat.
You can say that about any non-combat vessel, sir.
To be honest, part of the reason why I proposed the Gorgoneion first is to increase the viability of acquiring more fragile vessels such as this one.
The Diligent Ovenbird provides an essential service that is of paramount importance to our growing fleet.
The chief ship designer flicked at one of the projections, causing it to highlight the fleet repair vessel\'s primary functional parts.
As you can see, the Ovenbird is not as massive as she looks.
Sixty percent of her internal volume is devoted to her internal drydock.
This drydock not only offers enough space to service a sub-capital ship in drydock conditions, but also contains all of the heavy assembly machinery that is required to repair a vessel at a reasonable timeframe.
The best part about this is that any ship that is parked within her drydock can be worked upon while the Ovenbird has entered FTL travel!
The Ovenbird\'s features sounded very impressive.
Obtaining a capital ship that was geared towards servicing starships was one of the most important acquisitions on his list.
After all, a spaceborn clan that relied heavily on its fleet must definitely have a way to repair and perform maintenance on its crucial starships!
It was not enough to rely on external shipyards owned by other companies.
They were not available in many star systems and they were especially scarce in frontier environments such as the Red Ocean.
Besides, it wasn\'t his style to depend too much on the services of other parties.
When it came to essential services such as keeping the Larkinson fleet afloat, it was vital that the Larkinson Clan could perform deep or urgent repairs in the field.
With a fleet repair ship like the Diligent Ovenbird, the Larkinsons would be able to maintain all of their sub-capital ships no matter where they traveled or how far they veered away from human space!
As Ves studied the Ovenbird\'s schematics, he noted that her internal drydock could easily fit any sub-capital ship as long as their hull structure wasn\'t too weird.
The drydock section could even fit multiple smaller vessels such as corvettes and frigates!
I see that the internal drydock is not the extent of the Ovenbird\'s functions.
I\'m sure you have noticed the C-shaped hull section on the opposite side. Vivian pointed her finger at the odd hemisphere-shaped side of the ship.
This is the external dock, and it is configured in a way that allows it to service capital ships!
That caught his attention! Truly!
Ah, don\'t get too excited. She quickly raised her palm.
Unlike the internal drydock, the external dock is only capable of performing moderate repairs on capital ships.
Don\'t underestimate this capability.
If you attempt to perform surface repairs with smaller fleet service vessels, you\'ll only be able to perform surface repairs at a much lower efficiency.
Also, the Ovenbird cannot move under these conditions, and she will also expose some vulnerable internal parts.
Still, the convenience provided by the external dock is incomparable.
It is fully capable of repairing any battle damage inflicted on our capital ships as long as it doesn\'t go too deep.
This makes the Ovenbird an excellent addition to long-duration campaigns.
He could easily imagine how useful that would be.
One of the strongest aspects of capital ships was the benefits bestowed by their immense scale.
They were more productive and offered more services due to their size.
However, that also made them at least ten times more troublesome to repair if they incurred damage.
Performing repairs in open space simply couldn\'t be done without involving a lot of manpower, machinery and transportation.
The Diligent Ovenbird offered the Larkinson Clan an effective solution to this problem.
While Ves found it a shame that it wasn\'t capable of replicating all of the features of a capital-class drydock, it was more than enough to perform surface repairs or handle the regular maintenance of capital ships!
As long as the Larkinson fleet obtained these capabilities, it could range a lot further away from civilized space.
The fleet would not have to return to human-occupied space whenever the Gorgoneion or the Spirit of Bentheim incurred a few hull breaches after going through a battle.
Of course, Vivian had made it very clear that the Diligent Ovenbird was not capable of repairing serious battle damage that cut deep into the interior of capital ships.
That was something of a missed opportunity, but she provided him with some hope.
The Diligent Ovenbird is not an inflexible capital ship. She smiled.
As long as you are willing to invest more money and gain access to better tech, you can always choose to upgrade her capabilities.
Capital ships are never static and unchanging.
They always evolve over time depending on the whims of their owners.
Tell me more about how you would possibly upgrade the Diligent Ovenbird.
Broadly speaking, there are two potential upgrade paths, sir.
If you want to accelerate the time it takes for the Ovenbird to service a capital ship, then you should upgrade her external dock.
However, I recommend you upgrade the internal drydock instead.
The benefits of doing so are much greater.
Vivian looked more eager.
With an improved drydock with better facilities that occupy less space, the Diligent Ovenbird will be capable of building starships from scratch! As long as we can obtain or fabricate the ship parts beforehand, we can assemble them together into a cohesive vessel that is not any weaker than a starship built by a regular drydock!
This was a fantastic feature! The capability to build new starships from scratch was one of his most important desires!
Is the Ovenbird capable of building capital ships
Vivian\'s enthusiasm dropped a bit.
It\'s possible, but difficult.
We will have to invest in major upgrades that are very prohibitive in cost.
Do keep in mind that even if the Ovenbird gains this capability, it\'s impossible for the vessel to move while she is occupied with such an immense project.
That was disappointing.
While Ves still considered it worthwhile for the Larkinson Clan to gain the capability to build capital ships on its own, the entire process basically transformed the Diligent Ovenbird into a stationary dock for a very long time.
If that was the case, the Larkinson Clan might as well invest in a proper capital-class drydock instead!
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