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High Guard to Unveil New Flagship

After over a year in development the Alliance High Guard is set to unveil a radical new class of capital ship later in the month; the Leviathan X-88 dreadnought. The inaugural model, the Gilgamesh, is running through the final phases of pre-combat testing, and for the first time, a press release has been made regarding the new starship.

"The Gilgamesh is set to become the flagship of the entire Alliance High Guard and the spearhead of the war against the Praelor, and six more of its class will be produced over the next two years. Incorporating the most advanced technology available to the human race, the Leviathan X-88 was developed with unprecedented support from the AIE and the Hale," said Jonathan Donovan, commander-in-chief of the Alliance High Guard, in the press release earlier tonight. The Leviathan X-88 is a complete overhaul of the elderly but powerful Leviathan class dreadnought. Built using a slightly modified Leviathan hull, the X-88 contains numerous improvements and represents the cutting edge of alliance technology.

The main technological advance represented on the X-88 is the product of a long research and development project, jointly undertaken by Lukco Robotics and the High Guard Research Division: an experimental and decentralized artificial intelligence, codenamed Enkidu. Enkidu operates on all components of the starship and is capable of near-sapient thought processes, allowing it to provide tactical analysis in combat situations on the fly, but more impressively, to operate the ship's swarm of repair drones independently of the starship computer. The practical effect of this is that the ship's hull can be critically damaged, even destroyed, and the AI will be able to more or less bring the ship 'back from the dead' and reconstitute the ship, or even reconstruct completely destroyed components such as cannons, turrets, and drive systems provided that sufficient raw material is available for repair.

But this is far from the only advancement represented on the starship; with the Hale having contributed their technological aptitude to the project, the weapons configuration is biased towards powerful laser weaponry, including a battery of long-range lasers and multi-barreled laser turrets. The AIE's contribution to the project, on the other hand, has led to vastly improved energy efficiency across the board, allowing for the ship to operate away from supply lines. There are rumors that some Commonwealth technology was incorporated in the X-88, as well; the High Guard have declined to comment.

The Gilgamesh is expected to undertake a shakedown cruise later this week and to begin combat operations before the end of the year.

Dated: 12/05/2358

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