New Albion (INN) - After nearly fifteen months of refits and repairs, the upgraded battledreadnought Excalibur prepares for her maiden voyage amongst the stars. Her inaugural launch is set for early next month. She is scheduled to do a tour of the NAC worlds, followed by a visit to the Neu Swabian League capital where she will be joined by her first two sister ships, Clarent and Arondite.
The Excalibur was originally scheduled for launch at the end of last year, but a freak meteoroid storm swept through the spacedock, causing moderate damage to the interior of the ship through unpressurized open bays and airlocks. While something like this has not happened in nearly one hundred years, spacedock procedures were revisted and revised to prevent future events like this from happening.
The Excalibur is the first of the older Avalon-class battledreadnoughts to receive the upgrades. The Avalons first saw service in the mid-2160s, but they have not been never very successful. The Avalons were fraught with problems and flaws in design, and several were lost due to catastrophic failures with their stardrives while in deep space. The crew of the Atlantis was rescued by ships of the UNSC, but the Lapak and Sheena were never heard from again. In light of these problems, in 2176 the NAC Admirality decided to refurbish the class, creating the new Excalibur-class battledreadnought. Over the next few years the Avalons will rotate into spacedock and be refitted, becoming the proud new Excaliburs.
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