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"Did you have a friend on the Guilestes? I had a friend on the Guilestes."
—Osean folk song

The Montana-class battleships are the successor class of the Iowa-class for the Osean Maritime Defense Force, made to be slower but larger, better armored, and with superior firepower. Five were approved for construction during the Osean War, along side of the continuing production of Essex-class aircraft carriers and Iowa-class battleships.

Their Osean War armament is twelve 16-inch (406 mm) Mark 7 guns in four 3-gun turrets, up from the nine Mark 7 guns in three turrets used by the Iowa class. Unlike the three preceding classes of battleships, the Montana class was designed without any restrictions from treaty limitations. With an increased anti-aircraft capability and substantially thicker armor in all areas, the Montanas were the largest, best-protected, and most heavily armed Osean battleships ever. They also were the only class to rival the Ugellan Yamato-class and Belkan H-class battleships in terms of displacement.

Preliminary design work for the Montana class began before the outbreak of the Osean War. The first two vessels were approved by Congress in 1903 following the passage of the Naval Act of 1898. The success of carrier combat at the surprise attack on Southbay Harbor and, to a greater extent, the Battle of Dinsmark, diminished the perceived value of the battleship. This did not deter the production of the battleship class.

Because the Iowas were far enough along in construction and urgently needed to operate alongside the new Essex-class aircraft carriers, their foreign orders were retained, making them the last OMDF battleships to be commissioned and launched, and the only battleship class to be exclusively used by Osea.

During the Yuktobanian Civil War, the battleships provided naval gunfire support (NGFS) for International Union forces, and in 1935, Cynognathus shelled Sons of Sagai and Skully Islands Security Forces in the Ridge State Revolt. All four were reactivated and modernized at the direction of Osean Parliament in 1961, and armed with missiles during the 1960s, as part of the 600-ship Maritime Defense initiative. During Offensive Campaign No. 4101 in the 1995 Belkan War, Whollydooleya and Guilestes fired missiles and 16-inch (406 mm) guns at Belkan targets in order to relieve the Hubert-class carrier OFS Kestrel during Operation Costner.

Costly to maintain, the battleships were planned to be decommissioned during the post-Ulysses drawdown in the 2000s. All four Iowa-class and five Montana-class battleships were initially removed from the OMDF Vessel Register, but Parliament compelled the OMDF to reinstate two of them on the grounds that existing NGFS would be inadequate for amphibious operations. This resulted in a lengthy debate over whether battleships should have a role in the modern navy. Due to the outbreak of the Circum-Pacific War, all nine battleships were placed back into service. The Ichthyolestes was crucial in the invasion of Yuktobania, being responsible for the sinking of the Slava-class cruiser YNS Sumchaty. In 2016, the Guilestes was attacked by the experimental Kottos-3X and 15 unmarked stealth fighters off the coast of Estovakia. The Guilestes launched several SCIFiRE cruise missiles, one of them hitting the Kottos-3X in a Nimbus launching port, causing the aerial warship to violently explode and obliterate the surrounding area, including EAF Stamatiadis.

In 2020, the 5 battleships, alongside the 4 Iowa-class ships, were finally retired after 115 years, with the OFS Guilestes being the only battleship to be rechristened into a museum ship, with the rest being scrapped through controlled explosion and turned into artificial reefs to replace the recently deceased Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Redmill on Memorial Day 2020.

Ships[]

  • OFS Ichthyolestes (BB-67)
  • OFS Whollydooleya (BB-68)
  • OFS Cynognathus (BB-69)
  • OFS Guilestes (BB-70)
  • OFS Aenocyon (BB-71)
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