Authors note: I received some negative feedback regarding my decision to "retcon" some specifics regarding the Charon Class Light Frigate, as well as its crew complement. I expected this, as a consistent habit amongst my readers I've picked up on is an intricate knowledge of Halo lore and it's expanded universe. In fact, one of my favorite things about this story that I've been able to do is not only discuss ways to improve the story with you, the readers, but also just talk about all things related to Halo lore.
I'll keep the justification short, but my central argument has two main components. First and foremost, the additional creative liberty offers me a lot more to work with in terms of what I can do with the Dominion. It's no secret I intend to explore naval combat with both the Dominion and it's complement of strike craft, and the existing lore has roadblocks that I have had serious difficulties working with. It also has a lot of gaps and questionable statements, which leads me to my second point, inconsistent lore regarding the Charon Class. Ever since the marketing campaign for Halo 4 started, the Forward Unto Dawn (a Charon Class) has been erroneously portrayed as a postwar Strident Class Heavy Frigate. This is because of a lot of reasons that frankly I find unsatisfactory (I suggest googling it for the curious, it's a prime example of bad art direction). and so I've attempted to find other sources where the Charon Class is portrayed as it was in Halo 3, and sadly I came up empty.
That being said, I fully intend to stay true to the Charon Classes purpose, size, and general power-level. The Charon represents a very plausible niche that could potentially emerge in a future, space-based navy, a combination of an escort frigate and a troop carrier. With all of that in mind, I've decided to share a little in-universe document with you, regarding my take on the specifics of the Dominion.
"Some Unusually Usual Paperwork"
Please present credentials
Authorization Code: Whiskey Sierra 42 Alpha
Select desired file
Clearance Level Authorised
Last refit report, UNSC Dominion, FFG-212
Authored by: MCPO Sorola
Edited by: PO1 Church
Site of Refit: Reyes-Mclees Shipyards
Duration of refit: August 1st-August 9th
Purpose: Inspection and equipment upgrades, minor repairs.
Summary: The Dominion has passed all requirements and is fit and able for any and all manner of mission. All damage sustained from combat in the Epsilon Eridani System has been repaired. Immediate assignment is recommended by myself and Lieutenant Church.
1x 83B6R3 Mark II, light coil MAC (We managed to uncover the problem causing it's lowered maximum power storage, it should be operating at 100% efficiency now)
50x M58 Archer Missile Pod, twenty missiles per pod. Totaling one-thousand missiles. (Several autoloaders for the launch tubes needed total replacement)
10x M30 Trebuchet Orbital Support Missiles (I can't believe there's a ship in the fleet with these things, they're absolutely ancient)
3x Hyperion nuclear delivery system (software modifications made to ensure compliance with the latest safety requirements)
12x M870 Rampart 50mm point defense guns. (Autoloaders upgraded and streamlined, two faulty barrels replaced)
6x SOEIV rapid-reload launch tube. (Simulated test firings, fully operational.)
-Sixty centimeters of titanium-A armor plating minimum, critical supporting structures reinforced with additional plating and tungsten-layered chobham braces. (Armor examined, internal structural integrity at 96%, in good shape for a ship this old, damaged plating replaced)
-Mark V "Stonewall" cyberdefense suite.(Software modernized, several terminals replaced)
-M23 "Fairy" countermeasure launching mechanism. (Flares replaced)
-E4 "Blindfold" electronic countermeasure system. (Software updates, tertiary power supply replaced)
-G34 Data Storage System. (Other than a few datacubes loaded with contraband, this functioned fine)
-R77 generation sensor suite. (Dorsal communications dish needed replacement, atmospheric pressure sensors upgraded to latest model)
-CBRN defense and manipulation equipment (decontaminated, replaced several outdated HAZOP suits)
-Artificial gravity and life support. (fully operational)
-Antigravity systems. (Critical Power issue solved)
-V4/L-DFR Fusion Drive Assembly. (fully operational)
-Series IV CODEN Shaw Fujikawa Translight Engine (fully operational)
Currently attached units:
FFG-121 Naval Crew Complement (782 active personnel)
FFG-121 Logistics and Transportation Complement (Understaffed, active personnel, 80)
-2x D96 Troop Carrier, Equipment Transport "Albatross"
-6x D77H-TCI "Pelican" (half of the wing was reassigned, replacement Pelicans requested)
-4x D82-EST "Darter"
-2x Ev-44 "Nightingale"
333rd Air Assault Wing (48 active personnel)
-8x AV14 "Hornet"
-2x AV22 "Sparrowhawk"
-4x AC-220 "Vulture"
428th Tactical Fighter Wing (24 active personnel)
-8x YSS-1000 Space Superiority Fighter "Sabre" (Haven't gotten to see these yet, but they're more modular then I was led to believe, even if these ones are still outfitted for planetary defense.)
18th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Zulu Company, Six Active Platoons (250 active personnel, not including support staff)
Active Mechanized Vehicles:
-20x M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle "Warthog"
-10x M274 Ultra Light All Terrain Vehicle "Mongoose"
-4x M862 Arctic Warthog
-2 M313 Heavy Recovery Vehicle "Elephant" (both of these have undergone some field modifications to serve as groundside command posts. All modifications fall within acceptable guidelines)
18th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Armor Company, Three Active Platoons (Understaffed, active personnel, 128, including support personnel)
Active Armored Vehicles:
-4x M808B Main Battle Tank "Scorpion"
-2x M850 Main Battle Tank "Grizzly"
-2x SP42 "Cobra"
-4x M9 Main Anti Aircraft Tank "Wolverine"
Conclusion: UNSC Dominion is at top-readiness condition, recommend immediate deployment.