Community Vessel Tender
The CDF Naval Service's task detachment of small boats are most often on coastal defence duty, but sometimes act in concert for long periods, long distances or both. The tender could also be pressed into service as a fast-moving supply ship for a task group of frigates.
| CDF Naval Service|
To decrease design costs, training programmes and increase building efficiency, the tender uses the hull and some of the superstructure of the frigate.
The tender carries fuel, ammunition, food and other stores for three to twelve mine warfare boats or fast patrol boats. Cargo holds of the former replace the weapons and weapon crew areas of the latter, derricks or cranes erected immediately fore and immediately aft of the superstructure to give access to the holds.
The two tenders in the first batch after one hundred million population of Sober Thought is reached are named X-1 and X-2, second X-12 and X-13, etc., sharing the X- (for Auxiliary) prefix with supply ships. They also bear concurrent names beginning Aux-, Ox-, Ux- and X-.
A tender has a ship's crew of only 100 all ranks -- small for its size but large for its role, half the size of the frigate's upon which its design is based. The small land component of one marine squad of eleven all ranks has been entirely eliminated. The naval weapons section has been severely scaled back to ten all ranks, under a Leading Sailor.
The bridge and task detachment operations staff are roughly the same size as those on a frigate. The captain is a Chief Lieutenant with a Lieutenant as executive officer and a Vice Warrant Officer as boats petty officer, and actual bridge staff round it out to about twenty all ranks. A Vice Lieutenant and several other ranks heads each of the Air, Submarine and Surface Defence Operations Staffs, totalling about a dozen all ranks.
The ship's plant sections are increased overall to account for the tender's new role. The naval engineering staff are only slightly reduced from that of the frigate, the three dozen other ranks reporting to a Vice Lieutenant as CO of the engineering section. Furthermore, a proper naval stores section with a Vice Lieutenant as CO and about twenty clerks and stevedores look after the solid and liquid cargo.
The air component remains untouched at thirty all ranks. One Vice Lieutenant serves as the air detachment's pilot-commanding officer, another as copilot-executive officer, and another 28 other ranks round out the staff.
Because tenders are designed as supply ships rather than true surface combattants, they retain only modest protection from submarines and aircraft compared to their frigate counterparts.
There is one quad anti-air missile launcher at the bow and another just fore of the aft flight deck. The two missile batteries share 64 surface-to-air missiles for air defence between them. Two anti-submarine mortars, armed with 50 depth charges and 30 mini-mines, are arrayed on the aft deck to sink U-boats.
The tender's Air Detachment operates a single HU-77 Huan CDF naval utility helicopter, frequently used to ferry materiel and personnel between the tender and its flock. Furthermore, the lone helicopter can easily be configured for ASW as the HUBR-77 Hubert and for search-and-rescue as the HUS-77 Hudson.