Punic Navy

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Punic Navy
300px
Punic Navy ensign.
Active650 BCE–present
Country Carthage
AllegianceConstitution of the Republic of Carthage
BranchNavy
RoleNaval warfare
Size10,892,000 active personnel
3,655,350 reserve personnel
4,030 warships
180 aircraft carriers
244 cruisers
746 destroyers
1,450 frigates
285 corvettes
60 amphibious assault ships
70 amphibious transport docks
1,035 submarines
Part ofDepartment of the Navy
HeadquartersAdmiralty Building, Carthage
Nickname(s)Senior Service
Motto(s)Steadfast until the End
ColorsFile:CarthageNavyColors.png
(Teal, Bronze)
MarchTo the Seas
AnniversariesJanuary 15 (Navy Day)
Engagements
WebsiteNavy.mi.cth
Commanders
SuffetesSipho Ibrahima
Chinyere Afolayan
Defense Committee ChairmanJosiah Harris
Secretary of the NavyAzmelqart Stuart
High Admiral of the RepublicPaltibaal Mago
Vice Chief of Naval OperationsMary O'Laughlin
MCPO of the NavyJuwon Aluko
Insignia
Naval Ensign150px
Naval JackCarthageEmblemWhite.png

The Punic Navy (also known as the Carthaginian Navy) is the naval warfare branch of the Carthage Defense Forces. It is the senior service within the Defense Forces' structure and operations over 2,000 warships plus armed and unarmed auxiliaries. Since antiquity it has played a key role in the development of Carthage and its empire, and now serves as an important line of defense and source of power projection.

Founded at the same time as the original city of Carthage, the strength of the Navy was responsible for the establishment of Carthage's thalassocratic merchant empire throughout the Mediterranean in antiquity, and was instrumental in defending the city-state from Roman aggression in the Punic Wars. It supported expansion into subsaharan Africa and Navy explorers on state-funded expeditions set up the first of Carthage's colonies abroad. Despite a period of decline concomitant with the empire's decline through the mid-19th century, the Navy entered a period of revitalization in the latter half of the century and into the 20th century. The Navy once again played a vital role in the 1975 Northern War. In the 21st century, the Punic Navy retains a significant power projection capability, making it a key element of Carthaginian foreign policy.

The Navy maintains a wide range of warships, including nuclear aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, cruisers and destroyers, nuclear and conventional submarines, unmanned vessels, and transports. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the Secretary of the Navy. The Department of the Navy is a part of the Department of Defense, headed by the Defense Committee Chair. The Admiralty Chief of Staff (ACS), also ceremonially known as the High Admiral of the Republic, is a four-star admiral in administrative command of the navy, but does not exercise operational control over ships and squadrons. The CNO has a seat on the Defense Forces Council, and naval officers in the past have held the position.

History

Origins

Artist's depiction of ancient Carthage, including the city's civil and military harbors. Both survive today as historical sites.

The Punic Navy is descended from the navies of the Phoenician city-states in the Levant, which founded Carthage and other trading posts throughout the Mediterranean. The strong sea-faring and merchant traditions of the Phoenician settlers ensured a navy was rapidly developed to defend the city-state's trade and enforce treaty provisions within its ever-growing sphere of influence. The early navy was composed of rowed galleys, initially biremes and later triremes once the type was developed in Phoenicia. By the third century BCE, the trireme had become the primary warship of the Punic Navy, supplemented by light ships such as the lembos and trihemiolia. The Navy was based in a fortified port in the city of Carthage, allowing ships to be built, fitted, and repaired safely behind the city's walls.

Antiquity

With these ships, the Punic Navy supported Carthage's long struggle with the Greeks for control of the island of Sicily to halt the expansion of Magna Graecia, operating out of the fortress-ports of Motya and Lilybaeum. While the Punic Navy remained dominant on the seas, success on land against the Greeks led by Syracuse was elusive, and the island remained contested for centuries.

In the middle of the third century, Carthage began to influence naval design in the Mediterranean with the introduction of the larger quadrireme, which supplanted the trireme as the predominant heavy warship in the Mediterranean until the introduction of the quinquereme by Dionysus I of Syracuse. Despite the origin of the design, the Punic Navy rapidly adopted the new class and it remains one of the best-known types of antiquity due to its importance in the Punic Wars with Rome.

Despite the Roman lack of experience in naval affairs, the war at sea between Carthage and Rome was fiercely contested. The Romans quickly developed a navy based on captured Carthaginian warships, relying on the corvus to leverage the experience of their soldiers against the superior Carthaginian seamanship. A string of defeats at Mylae, Cape Ecnomus, and the Aegates Islands ended in defeats for the Punic Navy, although rough weather and other skirmishes resulted in higher Roman naval losses overall, with the bulk of the Carthaginian fleet escaping intact. The Second Punic War saw a more even struggle, with the Punic Navy emerging victorious in the Second Battle of Cape Ecnomus and the Battle of Gades, stranding the Roman armies in Africa.

Following the settlement of the Punic Wars, the Navy focused much of its efforts on exploration along the coasts of Africa and Europe, due to the inability of galleys to brave long ocean voyages. Phoenician settlements were established in the Canary Islands and along the Moroccan coastline throughout the reign of Hasdrubal the Seafarer, although colonization slowed by the fourth century CE due to the empire's ongoing economic decline.

Colonization

File:TyrrhenianSeaBattle.jpg
Artist's impression of the Battle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, between the Venetian and Punic navies.

The development of sail-powered ships by the 1400s allowed the Punic Navy to begin expanding further into the Atlantic, in competition with the Roman successor states of Europe. In 1492, Sikarbaal the Discoverer landed in the New World, sparking a wave of colonization that would require the Punic Navy to expand its overseas presence, building naval bases and outposts in the new colonial empire. Widespread colonization would lead to expansion into other regions and the establishment of a major colonial empire.

In the late 1400s, the Punic Navy weathered the first major challenge to its domination of the Mediterranean since the fall of the Roman Empire in the Trade Wars against the merchant republic of Venice. Victorious, the Punic Navy ensured the domination of the New World and the Mediterranean by Carthaginian interests for much of the next century.

Decline and revolution

The Punic Navy's first ironclad vessel, the floating battery Hampsicora.

By the late 16th century, the empire had entered a period of economic and political decline as the growth of corruption and the overextension of the empire's political management taxed its ability to respond to crises. In 1590, Carthage was again engaged in a war against a league led by Venice, and the Punic Navy suffered a significant defeat at the Battle of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Unable to replace its losses in a timely fashion, the empire and the Navy endured their first major defeat in centuries, suing for peace in 1598.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the Punic Navy began to fall behind its foreign competitors technologically and organizationally. Funding, popular support, and morale in the navy fell throughout the period in spite of brief revivals of popular opinion. Although restored to its previous strength in numbers and manpower, the Navy fell behind its rivals in the development of new naval technologies, such as the gun-lock and more advanced construction techniques.

In 1805, the coronation of Emperor Salicar VII prompted the first of a series of serious attempts to revive Punic military tradition. Importing naval design practices and techniques from the Americas, the Navy began overhauling its shipbuilding practices, copying foreign practices where practicable. By 1820, Carthaginian naval design rivaled that of other powers, although its experience in handling such designs remained limited. Despite the emphasis on technological development, compensation for sailors remained in arrears and a series of minor mutinies wracked the Navy throughout the 1830s.

With the outbreak of the Violet Revolution in March 1848, the Navy remained officially uninvolved until April, when several ships at Oran Naval Base mutinied in support of the revolutionaries upon hearing rumors that the fleet would be dispatched to put down the revolution. When instructed to put down the insurrection by headquarters, Admiral Himilax reported that any such attempts would only resort in further mutinies, such was the sentiment among the enlisted men. Upon receiving this news, Grand Admiral Gelmelqart ordered the remainder of the Navy to stand down, hoping to preserve the political neutrality of the fleet.

Organization

The Navy falls administratively under the Department of the Navy, headed by the Secretary of the Navy. The Secretary of the Navy sits on the Defense Committee and reports to the Committee Chairman, the head of the Department of Defense. As with all services, the suffetes are joint commanders-in-chief of the Navy, although the senior suffet has overriding authority over the orders of the junior suffet. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior officer, and sits on the Defense Forces Council. The secretaries and joint service chiefs do not exercise operational control over the Navy, which falls under the authority of the naval districts and the regional combat commander.

Shore establishments and facilities

The Navy operates numerous shore establishments in support of its mission on the seas, including naval bases, drydocks, air fields, research centers, training depots, and medical facilities. Command of naval bases, naval air stations, and other combat support facilities are normally delegated to regional commanders while command of specialized research, medical, and training facilities are overseen by the related administrative command, including the Naval Research Command, the Naval Medical Command, and the Naval Training and Preparedness Command. Additional commands support other elements of the Navy's mission, including the Naval Design Bureau, the Naval Air Warfare Center, the Personnel Management Office, and the Naval Engineering Command.

The Navy is headquartered at the Admiralty Building, part of the Defense Headquarters Complex on the outskirts of Carthage. The High Admiral of the Republic formally maintains his flag aboard the preserved 74-gun Republic although the officeholder maintains his or her offices ashore in the headquarters complex.

Fleet disposition

The Punic Navy maintains six geographic naval districts: the Eastern Naval District headquartered in Dar-es-Salaam, the Mediterranean Naval District headquartered in Bizerte, the Atlantic Naval District headquartered in Conakry, the Southern Naval District headquartered in Douala, the Caribbean Naval District headquartered in Manzanilla, and the Overseas Naval District headquartered in New Washington. Each is responsible for the organization and maintenance of the fleets under its command, although these may be operationally directed by local combat commanders to support other branches. Typically, each command maintains forces dedicated to patrol and a battle fleet for combat operations, although ships and squadrons are commonly rotated between postings.

Naval Infantry

The Naval Infantry are responsible for providing force protection for Navy ships and shore installations and rapid-reaction light expeditionary capability. Unlike the marine corps of some navies, the Naval Infantry are not equipped or organized for major ground operations, and do not commonly deploy in units larger than company-strength, although battalions may be fielded for the protection of large shore facilities. Units are called upon to provide the ground element to task forces if required to undertake time-sensitive missions, such as the rescue of Carthaginian citizens abroad or quick strikes against lightly defended targets. They also perform special operations tasks and are one of the largest frogmen units in the Defense Forces. The Naval Infantry are also responsible for the protection of Carthaginian embassies abroad. Although part of the Navy, most equipment for the Naval Infantry is drawn from Army stocks, sometimes modified to improve reliability in oceanic environments.

Naval Air Corps

The Naval Air Corps is responsible for the operation of the Navy's aircraft, both fixed-wing and helicopters. Helicopters are commonly deployed on a range of Navy ships to provide services from anti-submarine warfare to vertical replenishment and the landing of troops ashore. Fixed-wing aircraft operating from aircraft carriers are one of the Navy's primary striking elements. In addition to fighters, the Air Corps also operates naval patrol aircraft and a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles from shore installations to expand its surveillance footprint. The Naval Air Corps has been the department behind a number of Carthage's most iconic fighters, including the AEF-33 Gyrfalcon and the new RFM-202 Shaheen, and is the second-largest operator of fixed-wing aircraft after the Air Forces.

Personnel

The Punic Navy maintains a standing strength of approximately 10,870,000 active personnel and 3,475,000 reserve personnel as of FY2014. It is the second largest branch in terms of manpower after the Army and ahead of the Air Forces. 82% of active personnel are enlisted sailors while 15% are commissioned officers, with the remainder involved in training as midshipmen through the Service Academy System or the Higher Education Officer Training Program.

Enlisted recruits are processed through the thirteen-week Unified Basic Training Program alongside Army and Air Forces recruits, receiving their naval training during the follow-on four-week Specialized Branch Training. Following this, enlisted sailors select their Armed Forces Occupational Specialty based on standardized aptitude tests and undergo Advanced Skills Training of variable length. After training, sailors are sent to their first assignments to complete hands-on training and pass final qualification tests.

Commissioned officers receive specialized training during their attendance at a service academy or an institute of higher learning participating in HEOTP. Officers are generally grouped into the surface, aviation, and submarine communities which impacts their eligible command roles. Enlisted personnel who have already completed basic training, AST, and who have accrued several years of experience with the recommendation of their superior may attend Officer Training School to become commissioned officers.

Formations

Ships and vessels of the Punic Navy are organized into various formations as required for different tasks. The most important expeditionary formation is the Carrier Aviation Task Group (CATG), which is designed to deploy and support naval aviation elements into hostile waters and in the face of hostile resistance. It is supported defensively by other formations, including Sea Control Task Groups, Mine Warfare Squadrons, and additional surface and submarine squadrons as necessary. Naval operations as a whole are also supported by land-based aircraft and logistics forces including replenishment ships and survey/surveillance vessels.

In most operations, CATGs are deployed singly or in small groups with support forces under the command of a senior officer, although administratively these units may fall under a larger command. In the event additional forces are required, higher levels of organization may be instituted to form a larger task force or fleet. At even higher levels, forces may be formed into a regional combined fleet, the largest singular formation expected to be deployed to a given region.

Carrier Aviation Task Group

Carriers form the core of a carrier aviation task group and are usually supported by a large fleet of escorts.

The carrier aviation task group is the centerpiece of Carthaginian power projection. It is normally commanded by a commodore and is centered around a pair of supercarriers and their air wings, supported by surface combatants, submarines, and logistics elements. The air wing forms the primary striking power of the task group and is supported defensively and offensively by other task group components. The most common composition of a Carthaginian CATG includes:

  • Two supercarriers, which serve as the centerpiece of the task group. One ship will typically serve as the task group flagship.
  • Two carrier air wings composed of 80-90 aircraft. Additional airframes may be supplied in the event high attrition rates are expected.
  • Two guided missile cruisers to provide heavy anti-aircraft and ballistic missile defense and inner-screen anti-ship and anti-submarine defense.
  • Six guided missile destroyers to provide additional anti-aircraft/BMD capability and to serve as an outer screen for the task force, generally organized into a single destroyer squadron.
  • Six guided missile frigates to supplement the coverage of the cruisers and destroyers as needed, especially for anti-submarine warfare. The frigate contingent is normally organized into a single frigate squadron.
  • Two attack submarines to screen the task force against enemy surface and submarine combatants and provide supplementary ground attack support via cruise missiles.
  • Three fast combat support ships to provide replenishment food, fuel, and ammunition to members of the task group.
  • Total task group strength: 21 ships

In addition, with the expansion of the Seven Wonders unmanned surface vehicle program, a number of ocean escort USVs may also be attached to the task group to supplement close-in defense of high-value units. These are also commonly accompanied by dedicated USV tenders to relieve the support burden on other members of the task group. Due to the role of the escort screen in protecting valuable carriers in dangerous situations, CATGs generally have priority for newer ships, especially CATGs assigned to support rapid deployment corps.

While this composition may be typical of Punic Navy CATGs, the flexible nature of the task group's organization allows units to be attached and detached rapidly as required by the situation. Additional screening elements may be added in high-threat environments, while elements may be detached for independent operations against separate targets.

In normal operations, carriers hand off operational responsibility, alternating shifts to reduce crew fatigue, but during high-intensity operations both carriers may be active. In such situations one carrier will often be designated as the strike carrier tasked with offensive operations while its sister is responsible for defensive operations around the task group, although the flexibility of carrier air power is such that units can rapidly switch from one role to another as needed.

Sea Control Task Group

Elements of a sea control task force underway in the Pacific Ocean.

The sea control task group (SCTG) serves a more defensive and supportive purpose than offensively-oriented CATGs. Also commanded by a commodore, SCTGs are focused around a single guided missile cruiser and a light aircraft carrier and are geared toward establishing local sea control against lighter enemy assets. Primary roles include convoy escort, supplementary sea control support for CATGs, patrol of friendly waters, and more cost-effective inshore power projection. A SCTG normally includes:

  • One light carrier, which typically serves as the task group flagship.
  • One carrier aviation wing of 24 aircraft.
  • One guided missile cruiser for heavy anti-aircraft and ballistic missile defense.
  • Two to three guided missile destroyers in one destroyer squadron.
  • Six guided missile frigates in one frigate squadron.
  • Two fast combat support ships.
  • Total task group strength: 12-13 ships

As with CATGs, SCTGs may also include a number of USVs to supplement their coverage, although due to the lower speeds and wider coverage maintained by the task group, smaller diesel-powered USVs may be used in lieu of higher-performance CODAG ocean escorts depending on the mission profile. The embarked carrier air wing typically has a focus on maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, and light anti-aircraft duties with little focus on anti-surface warfare.

Sea Control Task Groups are often deployed alongside Carrier Aviation Task Groups to supplement the latter's security, especially against submarine attack. They may also be deployed independently to enforce blockades against weaker powers or to defend friendly shipping from enemy attack. In peacetime SCTGs are sometimes deployed for anti-piracy patrols due to their lower operational cost than a larger CATG whose striking power is largely wasted in such missions.

Amphibious Task Unit

The core of an amphibious task unit.

The amphibious task unit (ATU) is designed to land and support up to a brigade-size force of troops ashore in situations with light to medium opposition. ATUs are designed to be maintained at high readiness rates and to be capable of quick dispatch to hotspots and includes sufficient logistics elements to support the ground combat element for up to fifteen days without further relief. Unlike carrier aviation and sea control task groups, amphibious task units have little emphasis on anti-surface or anti-submarine combat, although the embarked air wing can provide limited support in these areas. A typical ATU includes:

  • One amphibious assault ship serving as the flagship of the unit and housing the air wing, a large portion of the landing troops, and a well deck for amphibious assaults.
  • One aviation element of 12 light multirole fighter aircraft, 20-24 utility helicopters, and 4-6 attack helicopters.
  • One amphibious brigade, including a battalion-sized ground combat element and integrated logistics and support elements.
  • Two landing platform docks, carrying additional landing craft, helicopters, vehicles, and personnel to supplement the landing capability.
  • Two multi-role surface combatants, providing light protection against submarine, surface, and air threats and possessing enhanced helicopter capability for support of air assaults.
  • One combat support ship carrying additional supplies to sustain the task force during operations.
  • Total task unit strength: 8 ships

Amphibious task units are designed to be employed alongside other naval assets, especially sea control and carrier aviation task forces as they lack sufficient equipment to provide sea control for themselves in hostile waters. The ground combat element is capable of operations ranging from low-intensity peacekeeping to high-intensity combat although for high intensity operations amphibious units are generally deployed as part of a larger amphibious assault group.

Due to the weight and space restrictions within the task unit, amphibious units attached to the unit are usually motorized with only light armored support, limiting the ability of the formation to conduct full mechanized assaults. The attached brigade does have the support of significant air assets, however. While the crew of the task unit and its air wing are Navy personnel, the landing troops are Army personnel under the command of the task unit commander.

Amphibious Assault Task Group

Amphibious assault task groups are designed to land and support a significant force of troops ashore.

The amphibious assault task group (AATG) is a larger formation composed of several task units capable of landing a full amphibious division and acting as a bridgehead for follow-on forces. In addition to including enough assault ships to land three full amphibious brigades, the task group also includes mobile landing platforms and vehicle cargo ships to land heavier vehicles to support a full mechanized advance. The standard composition of an AATG includes:

  • Three amphibious assault ships, each forming the center of an amphibious brigade assault force with one of which acting as the task group flagship.
  • Six landing platform docks, providing additional air and air-cushioned landing craft support.
  • Four multi-role surface combatants, providing shore bombardment, light boat, and helicopter support.
  • Six guided missile destroyers, organized in a squadron providing gunfire and missile support and protection for the task group.
  • Three fast combat support ships, to provide supplies, ammunition, and fuel for task group elements.
  • Two mobile landing platforms, to effect the transfer of vehicles from cargo ships to landing craft for ferrying ashore.
  • Up to six vehicle cargo ships, carrying the remainder of the division's heavy vehicles, aircraft, and logistical elements.
  • Total task group strength: 25-31 ships

Due to the inclusion of the mobile landing platforms, the task group is capable of acting as an afloat beachhead and mobile base to support additional forces ashore. The platforms provide the ability for deep draft transports to offload their cargo for transfer to air cushioned and conventional landing craft. Despite this capability, the ferrying capacity of an amphibious assault task group remains limited compared to the capacity of a full deepwater port and the task group's capability is only an emergency substitute until such a port can be secured.

Specialist task units

Additional task units exist focused around specific capabilities or vessel types, such as mine countermeasures units, destroyer, cruiser, and submarine squadrons, and the like. These units may be attached to existing task units to supplement capabilities in their areas of strength. They may also be operated independently on missions not involving other units, such as patrol or exercises. Commands may range from merely administrative to a tighter organization, with submarines in particular operating largely autonomously within a unit while a squadron of destroyers may be tightly coordinated to act as a unit.

Equipment

Ships

Aircraft carriers

Aircraft carriers form the backbone of Carthage's power projection capability, and are typically deployed in battle groups alongside supporting surface and submarine assets. Supercarriers are conventionally deployed in two-carrier battlegroups, while light carriers are deployed with regional task forces and commonly employed in sea control and convoy escort tasks.

  • Leptis Magna-class (24 active)
  • Hannibal Barca-class (116 active)
  • Diligence-class (40 active)

Surface combatants

Flight IV Elementario-class destroyer of the Punic Navy.

Surface combatants are the workhorses of the navy, providing air defense, land attack, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities in support of aircraft carriers and during independent operations. Cruisers in the Punic Navy are primarily designed for anti-air warfare, ballistic missile defense, and the coordination of task forces but also carry substantial anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Destroyers are lighter multi-role combatants to provide additional screening for task forces and for general patrol duties, following the retirement of the last frigates in Carthaginian service.

Cruisers

  • Karisimbi-class (72 active)
  • Sinai-class (180 active)
  • Zapote-class (44 active)

Destroyers

Frigates

  • Orca-class (330 active)
  • Otter-class (1,120 active)

Corvettes

  • Dubhe-class (56 active)
  • Mizar-class (229 active)

Amphibious warfare vessels

Aokar Sephardis-class mobile landing platform.

Amphibious warfare vessels support the ability of the Defense Forces to deploy troops abroad, including to hostile shores. They perform a similar role to aircraft carriers but are focused on the land-based mission, deploying ground troops and providing supporting air power. Larger amphibious assault ships are capable of deploying and supporting multiple battalions of landing troops via landing craft and helicopters, while amphibious transport docks are capable of transporting and deploying up to a battalion ashore. For larger operations, mobile landing platforms act as floating harbors for the offloading of supplies, personnel, and vehicles from transports, allowing them to be loaded on to landing craft and ferried ashore. The landing craft themselves are capable of deploying large amounts of equipment and personnel but are limited in capacity compared to conventional harbors.

Amphibious assault ships

  • Panormous-class (16 active)
  • Syracuse-class (44 active)

Amphibious transport docks

  • Lilybaeum-class (24 active)
  • Motya-class (46 active)
  • Aokar Sephardis-class (24 active)

Landing craft

  • Reykjavik-class (144 active)
  • Nuuk-class (320 active)
  • Tanegashima-class (180 active)

Submarines

Type-061N nuclear attack submarine.
Type-062N nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

Submarines provide a covert deterrent against enemy surface and submerged assets with capabilities in special operations deployment, land attack, and surveillance. The Carthaginian submarine force is divided between nuclear and conventional diesel-electric submarines, the latter providing mostly defensive support of Carthage's territorial waters and the former providing expeditionary long-range patrol capability. Since the introduction of vertical launch systems, submarines have been responsible for supporting the land attack role. Covert insertion and recovery of special forces teams has also been an increasingly important capability of the submarine force in recent decades.

The nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet has been the largest component of Carthage's nuclear triad since the 1960s, carrying over half of all nuclear warheads in service. Unlike other types, the strategic value of these submarines is such that they are not used for any other purpose while assigned to the nuclear deterrent role, although surplus boats have been converted to support special operations in the past.

Attack submarines

  • Type-061N (66 active)
  • Type-046N Advanced (220 active)
  • Type-054N (48 active)
  • Type-046N (156 active)
  • Type-060 (160 active)
  • Type-035 (240 active)

Ballistic missile submarines

Auxiliaries

Auxiliary ships provide support capabilities to navy combat assets, including vital resupply functions and the transport of additional equipment in-theater. Supply ships such as the Nile-class provide essential underway replenishment capability to task forces, enabling them to remain at sea longer and avoid potentially risky port visits in foreign countries. New in recent decades has been the introduction of dedicated electronic warfare ships to support task groups, providing surveillance and jamming support against hostile radar and communications, including against over-the-horizon radar and satellite-based radar, making it easier to conceal the task force's operations.

Replenishment ships

  • Nile-class (36 active)
  • Zeus-class (24 active)

Transports

  • William Michaelson-class (80 active)
  • Starstreak-class (48 active)

Electronic warfare

  • Tesla-class (18 active)
  • Hanno the Navigator-class (12 active)
  • James Stowe-class (4 active)

Aircraft

RFM-202 Shaheen multirole fighter, one of the primary components of a Punic Navy carrier air wing.

The Punic Navy operates a variety of aircraft, from carrier-based fighters, attack aircraft, and helicopters to land-based maritime patrol aircraft and unmanned drones. Carrier air wings are centered around several squadrons of multirole fighters to maintain the carrier air patrol around the battle group as well as provide striking power inland. They are supplemented by lighter attack aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and multipurpose helicopters to form a multipurpose force capable of both protecting the task force and undertaking offensive missions against enemy ground and surface assets. In recent years, an increased number of unmanned aerial vehicles have been introduced to fill roles from scouting and reconnaissance to medium strike roles, reducing the burden on manned aircraft.

Land-based aircraft are primarily used for long-range maritime patrol, using a combination of manned aircraft and drones to maintain coverage of Carthage's sovereign waters. The land-based wings are responsible for detecting and tracking any interlopers in Carthaginian waters in peacetime and engaging encroaching targets in wartime. Surveillance work is supplemented by the coverage of the Ocean Surveillance and Tracking System (OSTS) constellation of synthetic aperture radar satellites. Although normally carrier-based, the Navy also maintains a fleet of transport aircraft for carrier onboard delivery purposes.

Fighters

  • AEF-32/RFM-200DM1 Falcon Evo
  • AEF-33/RFM-201DM1 Gyrfalcon Evo
  • AEV-40 Vulture
  • RFM-202 Shaheen
  • RFM-203 Kengewa

Attack aircraft

  • RFM-200TM1 Falcon Lite

Patrol aircraft

  • REC-280SD Cormorant ASW
  • REC-280SR AEW&C
  • RPM-242 Pelican

Transport

  • RTA-282CD Kingfisher
  • ATT-50/RTS-221 Raven
  • RTS-223 Razorbill
  • RTS-224 Albatross

Trainer

  • RFM-200TM1 Falcon Lite
  • RPL-240 Blue Jay
  • RPT-241 Mamo
  • RPT-242 Finch

Utility helicopters

Attack helicopters

  • QMU-50 Petrel
  • QLR-53 Peltast

Unmanned aerial vehicles

  • DWR-300AM1 Janissary UCAV

Weapons

File:CarthageLGU-121X.png
LGU-121X series of gravity bombs, with optional smart bomb attachment kits.

The Punic Navy operates a wide variety of weapons from its warships and aircraft ranging from cannons to ballistic missiles. Modern warship armaments focus almost entirely on missiles for anti-ship and anti-air combat due to their range and precision, with the vertical launch system being the primary weapons system for most surface combatants. Punic warships commonly carry a variety of missiles designed for different tasks, including anti-ship missiles such as the SWR-787 Yakumo and surface to air missiles such as the SAR-778 Sakura and SAR-777 Madoka. Anti-submarine operations are normally dominated by torpedoes, either heavyweight versions such as the SST-721 Master Spark used by submarines or lighter weapons such as the SWT-740 Super Perseid used by surface ships and aircraft.

Aircraft armaments are similarly focused around missiles for air-to-air combat and ground attack purposes, making extensive use of precision-guided munitions to increase the effectiveness of air support. Many aircraft and weapons are shared between the Punic Navy and the Carthage Air Forces, including the current primary air-to-air missile classes and bomb inventory. As with surface ships, cannons are still carried by Navy fighters, but remain weapons of last resort.

The Navy is also the operator of the largest portion of the Carthaginian nuclear arsenal through its fleet of ballistic missile submarines. The current primary submarine-launched ballistic missile is the TMB-597AM2 Astarte III carried aboard the Type-053N and Type-062N nuclear submarines. The use of submarines provides greatly enhanced survivability to the naval portion of the deterrent force. In addition, the Navy also maintains a stockpile of BN-902FM nuclear bombs capable of being deployed from aircraft. Past designs included nuclear shells for warship use, but these have been retired as of 1994.

Insignia

The current naval ensign of the Punic Navy was adopted in 1915 alongside the current Army and Air Forces flags, sharing a largely common design save for coloring and a distinguishing emblem. The use of stars in the naval ensign refers to the use of celestial navigation in ancient periods and are colored in bronze on a background of teal, the Navy's colors. Like the other service flags it incorporates both the standard and three stars of the republic. The current naval jack was adopted in 1924 and like the ensign is based on the flag of the republic adopted in 1875, incorporating the crescent standard as well as a teal stripe on a white field.

Naming Conventions

Naming conventions of Punic Navy watercraft
Class Type Hull Code Naming
Category Type
Warships Aircraft carrier Supercarrier CVN Previously major heroes and politicians, current classes are named after major cities.
Light carrier CV Virtues and moral excellences.
Surface combatant Guided-missile cruiser CG(N) Mountains and geographic features.
Guided-missile destroyer DDG(N) Famous persons and naval heroes.
Multi-mission ship DDMN Ancient weapons.
Guided-missile frigate FFG Marine life and maritime animals.
Corvette PF Stars and celestial objects.
Amphibious warfare Amphibious assault ships LHD Major naval battles, amphibious assaults, and historical naval bastions.
Amphibious transport dock LPD
Mobile landing platform APL Naval infantry heroes.
Submarine Attack submarine SS(N) Hull number only.
Ballistic missile submarine SSBN
Mine warfare Mine countermeasures vessel MCM Auxiliary troops.
Unmanned surface vehicles Unmanned surface vehicles USV Classes named for the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, individual vessels receive hull numbers only.
Landing craft Landing craft air cushion LCAC Classes named for major airborne and amphibious battles, individual vessels receive hull numbers only.
Landing craft utility LCU Islands, peninsulas, and isthmuses.
Auxiliaries Replenishment ship Fast combat support ship AOR(N) Major rivers. Zeus-class named for the Statue of Zeus as part of the Seven Wonders USV project but individual ships are named for rivers in accordance with replenishment ship convention.
USV tender AUS
Transport Vehicle cargo ship AKR Famous persons, entertainers, military heroes.
Dry cargo ship AKC
High-speed support vessel AFV Alliterative speed-related terms.
Tug Fleet ocean tug ATF Historical regions.
Electronic support Electronic warfare ship AES Scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers.
Ocean survey ship AGS Explorers.
Tracking ship AGM Aeronautical engineers.