The aftermath of the Binary War showed the importance of yard capacity to the deWulf Corporate Navy. New units needed yard capacity. Repairs needed yard capacity. Critically, disposable ordinance like drones require yard capacity to produce. In wartime, there was only one truism about yard capacity: more was needed.
Unfortunately for the Navy, the peace dividend that arrived prevented substantial expansion to the Mittelspannung complex. Most of the available funds were going towards maintaining the existing fleet and supporting new colonial ventures as per the corporate council. So when they went cap in hand for yard expansion, concessions had to be made, beyond the fact that the actual construction contract would go to deWulf Heavy Industries (as the only contractor capable of working at that scale). The first was codification of the original Navy “side hustle” of inspections and certification for civilian ships. The second was that the yards would be open for contract work from the various corporations.
The former concession wasn’t too much of a concern. It was expected that this would end up being the case, and the Navy didn’t fight that hard when it was made official. The latter proved to be more problematic as time went on. Now the Navy was having to make political decisions about whose contracts would be accepted, and excuses about “preserving capacity” weren’t always effective. What was worse was that some contracts ended up producing actual light warships for corporate fleets. While never very powerful (anything that required one of the “capital” yards always got scrutiny) more than a few destroyer or cruiser hulls found their way into corporate service, sometimes with better armament than actual fleet units.
As the yards were expanded, the decision was made to reconfigure respective capacities again. This time just over half the available capacity would be devoted to the construction of larger “capital” units, specifically anything battleship sized or larger. These projects could only be done by other facilities with great difficulty, and it was planned that the majority of construction of these larger units would be concentrated at Mittelspannung. The remainder of yard capacity would be shifted to be capable of building destroyer and light cruiser hulls, though in practice the yards could accommodate heavy cruiser hulls.
Unfortunately for the Navy, the industrial munitions plant remained a core part of the yards, with additional production lines and subcomponent plants metastasizing wherever they could be incorporated onto the central fabrication and office block. Funding for a new, dedicated munitions plant proved to be one of the Navy’s two projects that were “kicked down the track”, and the one that was most often traded away for some other, more pressing requirement.
When I did the first sketch of the yards, I realized that I’d need to do a follow-up that showed its approximate layout as it is now. But, like the munitions plant, that kept on getting kicked down the line until finally, the original sketch was actually posted and I realized that I had to do it. Otherwise, it would look disjointed when posted later on its own.
Fortunately, not doing it didn’t mean not thinking about it, so when some time presented itself over christmas dinner, I was able to bash out the overall layout rather quickly. About the only thing I’m not happy with is the central fabrication block. It still looks too orderly; it should instead be covered in loading docks, fabrication modules, and everything else that a production facility needs stuck on top of an otherwise well-planned facility.
1 thought on “Sketches – Mittellspannung Yards 2”
Great, looking forward to see more. I’ve got the book. Thank you. It’s great. Dad