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Author Topic: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.  (Read 5302 times)

marauder648

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Cameron Class Battlecruiser

Length – 839 Meters
Weight – 860,000 tonnes
Crew Compliment – 329 in SLDF Service, 337 in Clan service

Background

When the design for what would become the Cameron class was put to tender in 2677 the new ship was supposed to be a vessel that branched the gap between the SLDF’s cruiser squadrons and the massed ranks of battleships in service.  The Terran Hegemony seemed to have two takes on the battlecruiser concept. 

Unlike the House Davion's swift but horrifically fragile Defender the battlecruiser for the Hegemony was either a small battleship that was cheaper to produce than the larger vessels and could bulk out the fleet or after its introduction a large cruiser that lacked a Lithium Fusion battery and served as a filler between the now retired Monsoon Class, the redoutable Farragut class, the impressive but low in numbers Texas and  eventually, the pride of the fleet in the form of the McKenna. 

This is the role the Cameron fills, it’s a nice cheap replacement and filler for the gap left by the missing Monsoon.

The contract for construction was won by Daussault-Shimmon Enterprises and after 11 years of design, construction and trials the first Cameron class Battlecruiser entered service and left the graving docks over New Earth in 2688. 

The long construction and design period were due to the design being reworked several times and altered whilst under construction.  The end design came in a massive 50,000 tonnes over weight at 860,000 tonnes whilst the engine array, already in place and ready to be fitted and installed was not altered.  The added mass drastically reduced the battlecruiser’s performance whilst repeated changes to the design and its overlong construction period saw costs spiral out of control and even worse there were constant issues with the power grid and reactors although these were seen as ‘gremlins’ rather than flaws and would be ironed out in the ships trials.  As it would turn out the 'gremlins' with the reactor system were far worse than thought and Dassault-Shimmon desperate to keep the contract covered the flaws up.

Still with all the money poured hand over fist into the Cameron’s the SLDF’s Admiralty went ahead and ordered 40 of the new ships because there were budgetary constraints at the time and the Admiralty was worried about a public hue and cry about the spiraling costs of the ship and the Admiralty’s failure to correctly oversee the project which could lead to further budget cuts which to say the least was not desired.

But all was not bad news, the Cameron was well armored and packed a formidable punch whilst also being able to project power with her two dropships and sixteen Aerospace fighters.  Her meaty 184,994 tonne cargo bay also allowed for long patrols and let her act as a mobile supply ship for other vessels.

Whilst the Admiralty covered up the flaws of the class and the fact they didn't come up to spec for the public, they entered serial production and started joining squadrons and battlegroups often as command ships where a battleship was not available.

Whilst the class still had its glitches and teething problems these seemed minor until when in 2694 the SLS Saint Joan was engaged by a small pirate squadron consisting of converted and armed merchant ships.  The new Battlecruiser should have been easily able to destroy the Pirates and her Captain had the ship put herself between the convoy she was protecting and the raiders before she moved to engage.

As the ship’s weapon systems came online the reactor developed a fault and started overloading, the primary reactor's systems safed the reactor but this cut all power.  The Saint Joan’s commander to engage auxiliary power but the auxiliary reactors and batteries could not power the weapons, engines and life support at the same time.  Unable to fire and keep her crew alive the listing Saint Joan was an easy target and she and the convoy she was protecting was destroyed and then looted.

In the ensuing scandal that came to light about the Cameron’s design process and background several Admirals of the SLDF resigned in disgrace whilst Dassault-Shimmon, unable to pay the legal costs and charges heaped against them had their shipyards appropriated by the Star League. 

The Cameron's, bugs and all were relegated to being little more than glorified transports and seemingly banished from any role where they might see combat. We can assume that their main power issued were bodged and 'fixed' by crews or refits the real problems didn't go away until the Clan's and Comstar refitted the class.

Conversely this helped the Cameron’s avoid the worst of the fighting that ripped the Star League apart until they were recalled away from their distant stations and joined the fleets working their way towards Terra with a surprisingly large number of the class surviving the Amaris War.

Whilst almost all left with the Exodus fleet two remained in the Inner Sphere and one would later become the Flagship of Comstar as the CSV Invisible Truth whilst the other was cannibalized to keep her sister in action.

Those that served in the Clans saw modest alterations centered around increasing their aerospace compliment to 20 Aerospace fighters as well as fitting a Lithium-Fusion battery, otherwise the class remained unchanged.  In Clan service the Cameron would serve in a command ship role and thanks to large numbers of them surviving the Amaris Civil War the class was fairly common in Clan service.

Design.

Her historical failings aside the Cameron is a meaty vessel with a decent structural integrity rating as well as solid protection with 877 tonnes of armour distributed across the ship as follows;

Fore – 120 (12 point threshold)
Front left/right and broadside – 128 (13 point threshold)
Aft left/right – 128 (13 point threshold)
Aft – 118 (12 point threshold)
She also has a decent structural integrity rating of 80.

This requires a fair bit of damage to threshold and lets the class take a fair pounding from heavy caliber weapons whilst not being too vulnerable to assault dropships weapons unless they have sub-capital weapons.

The classes biggest failing though is its sluggish 1g acceleration and 1.5g sprints a mere 2/3 in game terms.  This drastically limits the thrusting options open to a Cameron’s commander and limits her ability to roll and bring a better protected facing towards the enemy and lets a ship with a higher thruster rating out turn a Cameron with ease.

Like many SLDF ships the Cameron is built with an eye towards long range engagements and their anti-fighter protection is, well near non-existent save for its AR-10 launchers which I’ll discuss in a bit.

Mounted in paired turrets in the bow, front/stern left/right and aft arcs are paired Heavy Naval PPC’s allowing the Cameron to bring four to bare on a target regardless of their approach vector and these paired H-NPPC’s give the Cameron a real ability to reach out and touch someone at long range although the paired mounts limit the bracket firing you can do although a -1 to hit is still nice, especially considering the H-NPPC’s brutal punch.

Forming the main anti-fighter defenses is an octuplet of AR-10 launchers with a pair situated in the fore left/right and aft left/right arcs.  Whilst these are flexible launchers their ammunition is limited to 6 Killer Whale, 6 White Shark and 6 Barracuda missiles. Whilst the Killer Whale and White Shark’s are better for getting a crit against a hostile fighter the Killer Whale can also obliterate fighters and due to the Cameron’s very weak anti-fighter defenses the AR-10 launchers are most likely going to be used as a big bad KEEP AWAY stick against fighters.

Like many SLDF warships the Cameron still relies heavily on Naval Autocannons and this is true of the Cameron.  On the broadside arcs a quartet of NAC-25’s separated into two dual turrets give nasty crunch firepower as the ranges drop and whilst not the best for bracket firing they can still do this and deliver a meaty punch and like on the Lola the NAC’s are the Cameron’s real ship killers.  Also on the broadside is a turret with a trio of NL-35/55’s which can be turned on incoming fighter formations and dropships or bracket fire against a larger hostile target.

Like many SLDF designs the aft left and right arc’s also contribute heavily to the broadside firepower and this carries on with the Cameron’s, another quartet of NAC-25’s in a pair of two gun turrets add increased punch and carry out their ship killing role with ease.  A pair of NL-55 add to the long range fire power and don’t forget the paired H-NPPC’s that also live in the left/right arcs of the bow and stern.

Finally covering her pair of massive (if under-powered) engines and the rear arc is a pair of Heavy Naval PPC’s.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be broadsided by a Cameron you’ll have the following pointed at you.

8 x NAC-25 in four two gun mounts.
4 x H-NPPC’s in a pair of two gun mounts.
5 x NL-55’s in one triple turret mount and one paired mounting
Four x AR-10 missile launchers.

This is NOT something you want to go broadside on with, the firepower of a Cameron goes a long way to making up for its miserable thrust rating and the hammering this volley of guns can produce is something you would not want to experience in any ship.  Because the Cameron's guns are split into lots of smaller turrets this has some benefits and some disadvantages.  The main benefit being that a single crit can't disable an entire battery of guns and leave other guns still in the fight.  The drawback to this is that the Cameron is very limited in its bracket firing capabilities, able to get at best a -2 modifier from its NL-55's on the broadside whilst the NAC's and H-NPPC's can only get a -1 modifier.  This means that a Cameron must try to fight at closer ranges to get the best chances to hit due to their weak long ranged accuracy.

Rounding out the armament is the aerospace compliment and the Cameron does not scrimp here either.  She carries a total of 16 Aerospace fighters as well as two small craft as well as docking collars for 2 dropships. 

Whilst you could use the fighters and dropships as a long range anti-shipping weapon really your best bet is to use them as anti-fighter defenses and to keep a foe honest if they try slipping into a firing arc where the sluggish Cameron struggles to bring their guns to bare.  The Cameron can then support its fighters with missile and laser barrages to soften up an incoming strike before its own fighters engage.  As with the Lola some Hellcat II’s to reduce a foes ECM might be advisable and as for dropships a pair of Achilles would easily cover the Cameron if a foe managed to out maneuver one (which is NOT a hard thing to do) or you could take an achingly expensive Titan and fill that with fighters if you really wanted to ensure aerospace supremacy.

Fighting one

Fighting one is more a matter of not letting yourself get broadsided. The Cameron can project a decent amount of firepower in all of its arcs but if you can attack from the front left or right then you greatly reduce the volume of fire it can throw at you, attacking from the aft left and right is not recommended as you run the gauntlet of the NAC battery.  Thanks to their sluggish maneuvering it should be fairly easy to get into a desirable arc of a Cameron but you must accept that you’re going to take a battering taking one of these down.  Modern Pocket Warships can threshold a Cameron’s armour, a Tiamat or Aronddight with their heavy sub-capital cannons can do a number on a Cameron but don’t expect to get away scott free as you close to barrage with their big guns. 

The Cameron is really a transitional design, introduced as the bracket firing solutions were being developed she harkens back to the older ships with large numbers of guns in fairly small groups.  This is very much like many House designs, and even the 3067 designs almost uniformly can't bracket accurately at long range like the SLDF could save perhaps the Feng Huang.  A 3067 era House Warship must close and hose and this is handy for a Cameron as she's got to do the same as well.

The other option is the simpler one of drowning one in Aerospace fighters.  SLDF ships do poorly against fighter swarms and whilst this is part of their design considering they were meant to operate in mutually supporting task groups that would pelt an incoming fighter attack with massed missiles and lasers as well as their own fighter squadrons or groups and a lone Cameron in the modern era lacks this coverage outside of the most massive battles and this in turn makes them very vulnerable to massed fighter attacks.

One other thing Cameron commander's should remember is that despite being called a Battlecruiser, you are basically a fat heavy cruiser. You have a meaty punch yes, but you're still basically on a cruiser hull with cruiser scale protection.  A Luxor class has a thicker hide than you.  Your guns do not give you permission to walk up to Mr Farragut or Mr Texas, slap their drink out of their hand and go "YOU WANNA GO MATE!?" in their face because you WILL get your teeth kicked in.    Basically, don't fight above your weight, stick to cruisers, destroyers and frigates or pick on a battleship if they are already engaged or damaged.

Famous ships

You can't mention the Cameron's without mentioning the CSV Invisible Truth, flagship of Comstar and a veteran of some of the biggest naval battles to tear through the Inner Sphere since the Second Succession War.  The Cameron that would be named Invisible Truth originally served the SLDF as the SLS Lady Shandra and both her and her sister the SLS Electra were seemingly abandoned by the SLDF during the build up to Operation Exodus.  The two battlecruisers were found by Comstar and brought back to Terra where they were renamed the CSV Invisible Truth and the CSV StarSword

Unfortunately a lack of parts and replacements lead to the StarSword being decommissioned and slowly cannibalized with her parts going to the Invisible Truth to keep her in service and in an operational condition.

Comstar solved the Cameron's goosey reactor and power issues and the Invisible Truth became the order's flagship.  There are rumors she was also fitted with Kraken T missiles although it's just that, a rumor and I would assume they would be fired from the AR-10's. 

The Invisible Truth met her fate not at the hands of breakers but in battle as part of the huge sprawling battle to liberate Terra from the Word of Black, the battlecruiser destroyed by the guns of the flagship of the Word of Black the Farragut class battleship the WoBS Righteous Justice.




The Cameron as launched



The rebuilt Cameron's design



I will say that whilst i'm not a fan of the re-imagined SLDF ships looks the Cameron is one of the few I like.


As always comments are most welcome!
« Last Edit: 11 December 2015, 05:34:22 by marauder648 »
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Kidd

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #1 on: 11 December 2015, 08:21:41 »
Kudos for taking on this mammoth project. I like the writeup a lot, personally I don't feel the need to know the Warship's armament in such detail, just the highlights - heaviest fire, best bracketing, best range etc but I'd like if you could compare it very briefly with contemporaries or possible matchups.

marauder648

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #2 on: 11 December 2015, 08:24:14 »
Kudos for taking on this mammoth project. I like the writeup a lot, personally I don't feel the need to know the Warship's armament in such detail, just the highlights - heaviest fire, best bracketing, best range etc but I'd like if you could compare it very briefly with contemporaries or possible matchups.

Oooh good idea...I'll have a look at my Janes fighting Warships when I get home and add a supplimental to it on a potential VS.

Note that this is an opinion piece.  Your mileage may vary.

Rivals and Competitors.

As I said in the review the Cameron is more a fat slow cruiser of a similar mould to the Sovietsky Soyuz class Cruiser that entered service a few decades later.  Really the Cameron does not stand out from its competitors. 

As I said the Cameron is a ship built in a period of transition, the SLDF was perfecting its bracket firing techniques and technology and held this from designers and ship building firms and the Cameron is very much a ship of the previous generation, lots of small gun groups for close in volume of fire.  This is similar to older vessels like the Black Lion (I and II) the Aegis, Dart, Monsoon and Dreadnought to name a few. 

In terms of throw weight the Cameron sits with the Aegis and Black Lion and maybe the Monsoon class battleship who she approaches in armour and can technically engage at a longer range thanks to the Monsoon’s firepower being dependent on the hard hitting but short ranged NAC-35.

In truth the Cameron isn’t a particularly good vessel, she’s got enough throw weight to let her commanders think about getting her in trouble with a larger vessel but lacks the hull armour to take what a big ship can dish out and with her miserably weak thrusters she can’t run.  Whilst she can take on a ship like an Aegis she’s going to be battered doing so, the Avatar class cruiser is just flat out superior thanks to their massed batteries allowing for accurate bracketing fire as well. Sure the Cameron can bully a Sov Soy or a frigate or destroyer that gets out of position but that’s it. 

This ship was built to take on House warships that were at the bottom end of the tech curve or would have to come to her guns.

Until you look at the 3067 ships.

Whilst the more modern 3067 designs seemingly are superior vessels to those of the SLDF era designs, they are different beasts entirely.  Most of them lack the massed batteries to enable bracket firing, indeed only the huge ‘cruiser’ the Feng Huang Class can reliably do so at the ranges that SLDF ships would fight.  Other ships for all their massed short range weaponry tend to have rather limited numbers of capital ship scale weapons, often grouped together in small batteries or in single mounts.  This means that most 3067 ships must get in close to improve their chances to hit and this brings them into range of a Cameron who would be trying to do the same thing.

The closest modern equivalent I could find was the Agamemnon class heavy cruiser, its lighter than the Cameron but serves as the same kind of role, engaging and destroying hostile warships.  Going off raw naked firepower the Aggy does win out but conversely she has armour that’s not much stronger than a Lola’s and has the structural integrity strength of a soggy paper bag or possibly a kitten.  Because she lacks the ability to decently bracket with her broadside guns she’s got to ideally get in close.  This brings a well-armed but horrifically fragile cruiser into range of guns that can rip through its armour and tear it apart.  The Aggy is an eggshell armed with hammers, the Cameron is far far tougher and whilst packing a bit less firepower, she makes good use of what she’s got.

The Cameron is really neither fish nor fowl and is quite the ugly duckling of the SLDF fleet, but she’s got a mean peck on her and in a gun battle can engage ships her tonnage, but you’ve got to be careful and you’ve got to ignore the ‘battlecruiser’ part of her name and treat her like a fat cruiser and don’t throw her hooting and braying at a Battleship and expect good things to happen. 

In her slow and plodding role a Cameron could be something of a line holder, chugging along with Sov Soy’s and perhaps a Quixote class ship, interposing herself between an oncoming force and a battleship or a Potemkin.  Whilst the Destroyers are off zooming around the Cameron presents a solid, hard hitting and tough obstacle to overcome that will be firing on you from all ranges with her lasers, PPCs, missiles and autocannons.  Sure she’s not great, but you can’t afford to ignore her either, far far from it.  In a large engagement she’s a dangerous obstacle to overcome, in a single deployment she’s the end boss, you’ve got to get past her fighters and dropships and any other fighters and dropships before getting at the Cameron.
« Last Edit: 11 December 2015, 11:44:46 by marauder648 »
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #3 on: 11 December 2015, 13:45:20 »
actually i wouldn't call the kraken-T's rumors, since we see them in use during the Op:Serpent naval battle at huntress. complete with description of crew stations on the bridge tele-operating the missiles.

also, IIRC, the Kraken-T's cannot be fired from AR10's. Teleoperated missiles require special launchers according to their type to incorporate the command links, and T-op missiles cannot be fired from standard launchers.

marauder648

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #4 on: 11 December 2015, 13:47:16 »
Nice, I don't have that book so no clue other than what Jellico said when he read this before hand.
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vidar

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #5 on: 11 December 2015, 13:52:57 »
I have always seem Cameron as an escort ship.  She does not need speed if you have to go through her to get at your target.  So if you need to protect lots of somethings these are the way to go.


UnLimiTeD

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #7 on: 13 December 2015, 07:37:04 »
You sure got your hands busy.
Nice article.
Though the initial description left me confused as to where the guns actually are, I sure enjoy being actually told what guns there are.
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marauder648

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #8 on: 13 December 2015, 08:33:30 »
Cheers :) As i'm a tad inexperienced in writing Warships of the Month (i'm already working on another one) I'm trying to see what works as a write up or does not.
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Jellico

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #9 on: 13 December 2015, 19:47:28 »
You sure got your hands busy.
Nice article.
Though the initial description left me confused as to where the guns actually are, I sure enjoy being actually told what guns there are.

I have been criticized about weapon  descriptions in my own articles. Two things combine here. Firstly Bays  eliminate the uniqueness of many weapons. Then there are so many of them describing them all is pointless. Eg there is no difference between 4 NPPCs and 4 NACs or 4 GRs and 6 ERPPCs. And of course who cares about weapons some times. If a Potemkin or Vengeance is in combat you have done something wrong, subtlety is out the window and you are just firing what you can.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #10 on: 13 December 2015, 22:15:27 »
Well, yeah, but what difference do another 10 tons of armor make, bar threshholds?
We could cut these articles down to "It has those armor thresholds, that speed, and carries X heavy weapons and Y fighters", but that'd make for a boring read.
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marauder648

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #11 on: 14 December 2015, 03:55:48 »
Well, yeah, but what difference do another 10 tons of armor make, bar threshholds?
We could cut these articles down to "It has those armor thresholds, that speed, and carries X heavy weapons and Y fighters", but that'd make for a boring read.

Indeed what's the point in cutting away the meat to basically go

"The Cameron Class battlecruiser.  Go read sarna." and then provide a link.

And sure you could just copy paste the TRO data but folks can read that if they have them. I read articles to get peoples thoughts on a mech, what they feel about it, amusing annecdotes, learn about their history and weapons and how they perform.  But that is also a personal experience for people who use the mech/tank/fighter/cheese wheel/llama and that helps bring the article alive.  Its personal, its not repeating ad verbaitum from a book.

it's something I always strive to put into an article I write and make it not just 'TRO 3XXX with different wording'.
« Last Edit: 14 December 2015, 04:15:36 by marauder648 »
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I am Belch II

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #12 on: 14 December 2015, 23:50:19 »
Nice write up on a ship that shouldn't of been built but still flys around.
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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #13 on: 15 December 2015, 00:29:15 »
The Cameron has always been one of my favorite SLDF heavy WarShips, and one I suspect inspired David Weber's Sultan class battlecruiser.  In practice, I've found them to be a solid competitor with the refit Aegis, thanks to their solid SI and having enough armor to take a couple hits, along with good firepower.

It's worth noting that they also have big naval laser batteries in the broadsides and aft flanks, which make for surprising anti-fighter capabilities, especially when paired with the AR10s.
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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #14 on: 20 December 2015, 01:04:31 »
The Cameron has always been one of my favorite SLDF heavy WarShips, and one I suspect inspired David Weber's Sultan class battlecruiser. 
Agreed.  And What is the Sultan?
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #15 on: 20 December 2015, 02:50:42 »
Agreed.  And What is the Sultan?

In David Weber's Honorverse, the People's Republic of Haven in the early novels fielded the Sultan-class battlecruiser, an 858,000-ton battlecruiser.  Tech Readout 2750 introduced us to the 859,000-ton Cameron-class battlecruiser at least a year before Weber first published details, including mass, of the Sultan class.
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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #16 on: 20 December 2015, 03:26:41 »
In David Weber's Honorverse, the People's Republic of Haven in the early novels fielded the Sultan-class battlecruiser, an 858,000-ton battlecruiser.  Tech Readout 2750 introduced us to the 859,000-ton Cameron-class battlecruiser at least a year before Weber first published details, including mass, of the Sultan class.

Not being familiar with that universe...was the Sultan as much of a boondoggle as the Cameron?  ;) (overweight, too slow and unmaneuverable, prone to life-threatening power outages...)

cheers,

Gabe
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marauder648

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #17 on: 20 December 2015, 04:00:20 »
Hey just because the Cameron is basically the F-35 programme don't mean that it's not fit for...okay yeah it wasn't fit for task :p
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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #18 on: 20 December 2015, 07:54:54 »
Not being familiar with that universe...was the Sultan as much of a boondoggle as the Cameron?  ;) (overweight, too slow and unmaneuverable, prone to life-threatening power outages...)

cheers,

Gabe

Nope, at the time it was considered a well designed BC - the only reason it failed in the story mentioned was that it was being used by uneducated religious fanatics going up against light units from one of the best educated and trained space navies in the setting.

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #19 on: 20 December 2015, 08:25:31 »
Hey just because the Cameron is basically the F-35 programme don't mean that it's not fit for...okay yeah it wasn't fit for task :p
Ooh. Real life programs. Touchy.
A better comparison to the F35 would be the Sov Soy. Mainly because a lot of critics are trying to imagine the program as something it isn't.

The Cameron's main problem is that it was one of the weaker cruisers in the game for a long time. Even as a boondoggle it is not spectacularly unusual.

marauder648

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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #20 on: 20 December 2015, 08:44:24 »
The Cameron is just well 'solid' if unispired, she's got a nice punch though and if she didn't have that silly battlecruiser title she'd be a good cruiser.   She's a fat cruiser in the same way as a Sov Soy is a fat frigate/DD.

And yes I know I think far too much in naval terms. :p
« Last Edit: 20 December 2015, 10:54:18 by marauder648 »
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Re: Warship of the Month - December - Cameron Class Battlecruiser.
« Reply #21 on: 20 December 2015, 15:42:08 »
Ooh. Real life programs. Touchy.
A better comparison to the F35 would be the Sov Soy. Mainly because a lot of critics are trying to imagine the program as something it isn't.

The Cameron's main problem is that it was one of the weaker cruisers in the game for a long time. Even as a boondoggle it is not spectacularly unusual.

a better comparison to real life programs might be the Zumwalt's. plagued with development issues due to being both on the edge of tech and seeing a lot of design changes during construction that didn't propagate to the various other design and construction teams involved, construction that as a result is taking longer than planned, but once completed holding promise to be very capable.

 

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