The U-13, which entered fleet service in 2146, was one of the heaviest designs to see service in the Romulan fleet. It mated a hull based on that of the early U-7 class to a new wing structure mounting the new RFTL-3 warp nacelle. The U-13 was designed for a specific purpose; it was intended as a long-range patrol cruiser. The re-adoption of the large hull form allowed a bay to be fitted that carried one of the immense SB-2 star bombs and sufficient fuel for an extended individual patrol. 120 of the U-13As were built, and it performed sterling work in this role. Additionally, these ships carried out deep penetration raids with some success. While on patrol near Eta Leonis VI on 16 June 2156 , a U-13A received the ultimatum calling for the Romulan Government to stop the piratical attacks from Admiral Gunther.
The success of these penetration missions prompted the adoption of the U-13B. The U-13B (60 built) first commissioned in 2148. It carried three SB-2 star bombs in the weapons bay, but carried only half the fuel of the U-13A. These ships were employed as strike cruisers and as heavy weapon platforms alongside more conventionally armed lighter cruisers.
Desperate for a way to strike back at the Earth Forces the U-13C and U-13D were conceived in 2157. The U-13C carried no star bombs (but retained conventional weapons); the U-13D carried five star bombs, at the expense of a reduced range. The plan was to employ the U-13Cs as tankers to allow the U-13D to reach deep inside Allied territory. It was planned that two U-13Cs would support each U-13D. In total 50 U-13Cs and 24 U-13Ds were converted (40 U-13Cs and 6 U-13Ds were converted from U-13As, 10 U-13Cs and 18 U-13Ds were converted from U-13Bs).
The first mission of the U-13C/D combination saw 48 U-13Cs stage the fleet to a safe distance from Alpha Omega B. The 24 U-13Ds and 24 escorting U-13As proceeded to that planet and attacked on 25 July 2159 . The ensuing raid saw the fleet bombard the planet with 120 star bombs from the U-13Ds (and a further 24 from the U-13As in a diversionary attack). The Diversionary U-13As went in first and were wiped out by local defences, but the U-13Ds went into the gap left in the defences and struck. Over 20,000 military and civilian personnel were killed, and the planet was rendered uninhabitable. This proved to be the deepest incursion into Allied space.
The raiding force suffered a major loss while returning to base, during an in flight refuelling operation one of the U-13Ds exploded, destroying the U-13C it was linked to, and taking a further 12 U-13Cs with it in the explosion that resulted. Fortunately, all but one of these had already dispensed their fuel loads, allowing the surviving ships to return to base. A raid on Earth was in preparation, when on 25 November 2159 an Allied force raided the Romulan shipyards at Manaraam, this was the deepest Allied incursion of the war, and was in response to the attack on Alpha Omega B. Ironically 18 of the ships destroyed in the raid were U-13Ds. This attack and the loss of the 13 tankers in one accident was effectively the death knell for the program, as insufficient numbers of U-13s remained to convert to U-13C or D standards. The remaining U-13Cs were later modified to carry two externally mounted Star bombs as U-13Es, but the war ended before they could be perfected.
|Ship Source:||Steve Bacon||Ship Datasheet:||Coming Soon|