|Build cost:||3700 RU|
|Build time:||420 sec|
|Maximum speed:||80 m/s|
|Turning rate:||8.0 deg/s|
|Squadron firepower:||1332.92 HP/s|
|weapon type||count||RPM||damage||individual firepower||total firepower|
The Zeal-class Cruiser was the inception of modern UNH capital ship designs, heavily leveraging modular components and launched an entire generation of heavy starships. Utilizing lessons learned from nearly four decades of war, the Zeal-class began design as early as AHL 36 and the program continued off and on until production of the prototype in AHL 54.
As a fighting vessel the Zeal was an unqualified success that bolstered Higaaran confidence and power in a time of stress and uncertainty. Tested repeatedly by several Warlord fleets, the new ship provided a more devastating offensive punch than the Avatar, and possessed a substantial defensive suite that allowed it to serve as heavy support for any conceivable task force and in limited cases operate independently or in pairs.
As technology has advanced the Zeal has been continually updated. The current version, significantly different from the original built almost half a century ago, has cutting-edge electronics, weaponry, and armor. Its light coilgun turrets and missile batteries do not provide the level of protection against small craft it once had. The class's chassis was engineered brilliantly in the '50s but its limits are being reached and its age is showing. While it maintains the armor that can let it go toe to toe with a battleship, the sheer mass of its thick armor and heavy weapons slow the ship to a crawl. It is expected that within the next ten or twenty years the Zeal spaceframe will be redesigned once more with greater engine power, or the venerable design will finally be retired.
Equipped with a large cargo bay and a small shuttle hangar the Zeal can both quickly be resupplied and in a pinch resupply attending vessels. Auxiliary engines and a robust array of redundant command and sensor facilities give the ship hitherto unheard of endurance. The current variant, Zeal Epsilon, was launched in AHL 94. Its four double-barreled energy cannon turrets are cutting-edge, and all four ion cannon were upgraded to modern standard. Each of the two missile batteries can now fire a volley of four two-stage, extended-range heavy missiles for stand-off power. Fire control is updated for maximum accuracy on the four point-defense turrets.