Development of a Pattern-2 upgrade package for the highly successful pre-Imperial Era Fleet cruiser of the Revolution-class (RV) began as early as the transition of power from the UAS to the ATIS Council in 4402 A.D. Plans were drawn up by the Research and Development Branch of the new Imperial Navy, to create an upgraded chassis that would be able to shoulder the burdens of conflict in the new Imperial Age.
Pattern-2 RV-class, known in the Imperial Fleet Register simply as 'RV2-class' encompasses a variety of role-specific Fleet Cruiser chassis for various tasks in the Fleet. One of the first variants of the new platform was the 'RV2M-class'; a Long-Range Missile Cruiser based on the upgraded Pattern 2 RV hull.
The need for a dedicated missile platform based on a fast cruiser hull was demonstrated during the UAS's military intervention in the Angel Reach in 4349 A.D; almost 70% of stand-off range capital or sub-capital confirmed kills were made by RV-class vessels deploying SPARTAN Long Range Missile Systems. In many situations, the RV-class's distinctive primary armament consisting of a dual A-type IMPAC main battery was unused. It was often found that the limiting factor of long-range, stand-off engagements was lack of Line of Sight, created by drifting debris or asteroids, these required multiple salvos from the IMPAC cannons to penetrate before effecting the intended target. The SPARTAN missiles and their fast cruise engines and integrated mid-range JSA allowed them to strike first without LOS on distant targets. While IMPAC cannons were highly affective against all targets, especially at close to medium range, the combat effectiveness of the SPARTAN system was proven many times - with RV-class captains often finding their ships' launch tubes' active capacity was restricting the vessel's combat effectiveness.
Serving UAS Navy Commanders in the field put forward a recommendation for a "Dedicated SPARTAN platform based on the RV-class hull" during the conflict, but never received funding or support from the Naval High Command or government until the transition to the ATIS Council, some 50 cycles later. The new design recommended a doubling of SPARTAN launch tubes on the chassis, with a reduction in the IMPAC main battery to compensate for the increased power and system requirements of the missile system.
During the Fleet Review in 4402, immediately after the transition to the Imperial Era, the newly formed ATIS Council authorised the development of multiple 'Pattern-2' upgrade packages for existing, pre-imperial hulls, including resuming development of the RV2M-class Missile Cruiser.
The primary changes to the hull, along with the noted removal of the dorsal A-type IMPAC battery, include two new Fire Control towers bow and midships, upgraded stern mast antenna, doubled SPARTAN Launch tubes and a new, bow-mounted heavy torpedo system intended to compliment the SPARTAN missile system. The system would be capable of launching the now ancient Hornet-type anti-ship torpedoes, but with provisions for future ballistic missile developments integrated into the design. The remaining A-type IMPAC battery was moved forward to the Stern (or 'chin') of the vessel; and provides 180 degree field of view for anti-capital ship defence.
In addition, the tertiary Point Defence armament consisting of a co-ordinated array of 'Clusterfire' CIWS emplacements was expanded, with two more mounts for improved anti-strike craft and anti-missile defence capabilities - effectively allowing the RV2M to protect its attendant fleet from incoming hostile ballistic missiles while launching its own.
The new Fire Control Towers house the upgraded SPARTAN FCS for BVR/ELR Target Acquisition and command deck for the (minimal) missile launch crew; with excellent forward visibility and field of view. Minor upgrades to the ship's propulsion were made; the Plasma Recyclers were upgraded with increased efficiency allowing higher vectoring thrust at the same charge input from the main reactor, which itself, was upgraded - with the additional power directed to the SPARTAN FCS's main antenna.
The first mass-produced RV2M-class warships will enter active service with the Imperial Navy in 4407 A.D, with full deployment expected by 4410 A.D