LM Érudition

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LM Érudition
LM Érudition sailing in Antarctica, 1995
Name: LM Érudition
Namesake: Odentian Eruditions
Owner: Odentian Maritime Defense Force
Laid down: 1979
Launched: list error: <br /> list (help)
1990 (relaunched)
Commissioned: 1991
Fate: Lost with all hands in 1997
General characteristics
Length: 112.3 meters
Beam: 14.4 meters
Draft: 6 meters
Speed: Approx. 22 knot
Endurance: list error: <br /> list (help)
45 days (Defense configuration)
70 days (Research configuration)
Complement: list error: <br /> list (help)
55 (Defense configuration)
90 (Research configuration)
Armament: list error: <br /> list (help)
SdAR 76mm rapid-firing gun
Capable of using Polyarm modular mission system
Aviation facilities: Hangar for medium-size helicopter

The LM Érudition was a unique ocean patrol and research vessel of the Odentian Navy. Originally planned as the first in a class of large ocean patrol frigates, the program was cancelled in the midst of the Rust Recession, and the hull was laid up in Barré-Karrigan for several years. In 1991, an agreement was reached with international partners to turn the ship into an armed Arctic patrol ship.

In six years, the Érudition undertook ten different research expeditions. While travelling through an Arctic hurricane, the ship was hit by a rogue wave on December 6, 1997. The Érudition's instruments recorded the first scientific measurement of a rogue wave in history; scientists aboard confirmed that the ship had been hit by an unusually large wave. The Érudition's captain, Eric Remand, reported that the ship had suffered serious damage in the collision, and would likely need to return to port. At 2:47 a.m. on December 7, the Érudition transmitted a distress signal; its emergency beacon was activated shortly thereafter. At 3:13 a.m., the ship ceased transmissions and was presumed lost. Although oil and debris were later found on the surface of the water, the ship's wreckage, nor any survivors, were ever located.

Background and history[edit]

By the 1970s, most of Odentia's military was of Second Great War vintage, and was in need of replacement. In response, King Victor II initiated replacement programs for Odentia's army, navy, and air force. In the navy, the major focus of this program was the proposed Espadon-class oceangoing patrol frigates. These ships were designed to be large, cutting-edge, all-purpose warfare ships capable of fighting in all battlespaces. Despite ballooning costs attributed to the class's wide array of responsibilities, the first hull was laid down in 1979.

However, the onset of the Rust Recession and the associated decline in Odentian industrial power led King Auguste III, who succeeded Victor after his death in 1975, to cancel the program after the hull for the Espadon had already been launched in 1981. In order to recoup some expense from the program, Auguste ordered the hull retained for future sale.

The hull of the Espadon was laid up at Pier 72 in Barré-Karrigan. Despite initial interest from a number of commercial interests, including cruise lines, cargo lines, and hotel operators, a deal was never reached, and the hull remained tied up for nearly a decade.

Advances in climate science and astronomy in the 1980s generated demand, especially among scientists in Elysia, for regular research expeditions into Earth's polar regions. In 1987, following extensive lobbying by a coalition of Odentian researchers, the Odentian government volunteered the hull of the Espadon as the basis for a research ship in exchange for a number of conditions:

  • The ship would be placed into commission with the Odentian navy
  • The ship would be armed and, if need be, recalled for national security use
  • The scientific knowledge the ship generated would be made free for use within the Odentian academic community
  • Odentian companies would have priority in manufacturing contracts for scientific equipment
  • The vessel's bridge crew would be Odentian.

An agreement between the researchers and the government was reached by June of that year; shortly thereafter, it was announced that the ship would be commissioned the LM Érudition in honor of periods of great social and scientific advance in Odentian society.

The hull entered dry dock in early 1989 to commence maintenance work ahead of the conversion to a research vessel. The Érudition was re-launched in 1990, performed sea trials in the Mer Dorée, and was commissioned the LM Érudition on May 3, 1991.