The Waterloo class was intended to be a heavily armored, heavily armed frigate for gate assault and close combat, with long range weaponry options. The early design, conceived during the early stages of the First Contact War, never left the drawing board -- as one engineer described it: "It was a mess, it was overarmed and undercooled, with an overpowered engine. Whose idea was it to place torpedo launchers in the backbone anyway?"
With the peaceful conclusion of the FCW, and as humanity adapted to interstellar warfare and gained access to C-Space technology, the project was revamped. The new intended role of the Waterloo class was that of a heavy interceptor, able to perform scouting and S&D operations behind enemy lines. It is, in retrospect, the opposite approach of the Normandy class: where the Normandy uses stealth and agility to go unnoticed, the Waterloo class uses heavy armor and weaponry to fly deep in enemy territory, and be able to come back to tell the tale.
The frame from the original design was kept, as it can house powerful engines and support heavy armor and shields. The redesigned Waterloo class retains the two main frontal cannons, and the GARDIAN defensive systems, but sacrifices big broadside and frontal support cannons, and torpedo launchers, to make room for two M35 Mako bays, as well as more sensory equipment and advanced VI surveillance drones.
After the end of the First Contact War, with no major enemy to fight, the commissioned ships were assigned to patrol the new borders in the Skyllian Verge and Attican Traverse, where the Waterloo class quickly became a workhorse of the regions, thanks to its range, intimidating firepower and marine contingent. The Waterloo class, like any other frigate, is deployed in flottilas nicknamed "Wolfpacks", with four to six ships working as a group when patrolling and attacking.
Over the last 30 years the Waterloo class had been in service, it has been retrofitted with many upgrades reflecting advances in Alliance technology. The maximum acceleration rate is 15% higher than the final prototype (the original Waterloo), the armor is 20% more effective, and the effective range of the main cannons has been extended by 15%. The firepower of the cannons relative to comparable vessels was high when designed, so their offensive output has not yet needed to be upgraded. Waterloo class frigates are still in production, and are expected to remain so for several years at least.
Known Waterloo class frigates:
- SSV Waterloo HR-1, the class's final prototype.
- SSV El Alamein, fought at Torfan and in the aftermath went rogue, part of the Red Scourge.
- SSV Teutoburg Forest HR-32, one of five vessels in the 26th Scout Flotilla.
Image and inspiration of the Waterloo class was the Kodiak class Battleship of the GDI faction of Command & Conquer 4.