M.A.A.P.S. (Mobile Airborne All Purpose Structures), are large airships that perform a variety of roles in the Congreveopian military. They are mainly used for logistics, acting as cargo transports, and large mobile installations. The program has a controversial history, with a variety of authoritative voices praising and condemning it. With support from President William Congreve and Commader of Space Kerman, however, the program's funding has remained fairly steady despite the controversy, and several MAAPS have been produced to date. So far, only MAAPS 04 (Shield) and MAAPS 06 (Benevolance) have been shot down. MAAPS 01 and 03 are retired, although 03 still flies in parades, and MAAPS 02 is on ristricted display at the Congreveopolis Museum of Aviation's oversized storage center.
For the humanitarian aid airship based on the MAAPS design, see HAAMS.
MAAPS began with the Next Gen Large Cargo Deployment Program (NG-LCDP), started in 1994. The program was started to look into a practical manner of moving large amounts of troops or supplies to areas with little or no existing infrastructure over water and across land. By 1996, funding had been given to four different systems to construct a scale prototype: The Next Gen Air Cushion Large Scale Equipment Carrier hovercraft by Consolidated hydrodynamics, the Smooth Landing and Takeoff from Unprepared Fields Heavy Cargo Plane from Space Command, the Excalibur helicopter by Cell helicopters, and the Mobile Airborne All Purpose Structure system by C-Nova aerospace. MAAPS 01 - "Proto", was built as the full scale prototype, and was first flown in 1998. At this point, NGACLSEC and SLTUFHCP were dismissed for being unable to handle mountainous and forested terrain, and Excalibur was dropped when it was determined that even with upgraded fuel tanks, it would have insufficient range.
There was a brief period of concern given that "Proto" fell short of the speed requirement, even in favorable winds. Eventually, it was decided that engine technology would have developed by the time the system was operational to the point that it would meet the minimum requirement ("Benevolence" did pass this requirement but only by 3 knots). Cell Helicopters briefly appealed this decision, claiming that more efficient engines would allow the Excalibur helicopter to meet its range requirement, but an independent review failed to confirm their findings, and the program proceeded with the MAAPS design.
After evaluation of Proto was complete in late 1998, a new contract was given to C-Nova aerospace to develop the MAAPS system further. This covered the construction of MAAPS 02 - "Voyager" in 2000. During development of Voyager, a bonus contract was added to develop the MAAPS's theorised capacity to resupply in the air, resulting in the construction of MAAPS 03 - "Multiplicity" in 2001. After Voyager passed all tests relating to cargo capacity, performance, and range in 2001, the contract was updated to include development of weapons and defensive systems for the MAAPS. This resulted in the creation of the sister ships MAAPS 04 - "Shield" and MAAPS 05 - "Sword" in 2003. After heavy testing throughout 2003, it was determined that the MAAPS would never be viable combat systems, but they were durable enough to operate in the tactical theater, while remaining strategic transports. Furthermore, the Multiplicity contract demonstrated that they could potential host smaller aircraft for projecting air power as well. Funding was then granted to build the first production model MAAPS in early 2004. MAAPS 06 - "Benevolence" was finished late in 2005. After its trials were completed in mid 2006, a new contract was given to C-Nova aerospace to build three more MAAPS, each with slight modifications.
Another event to note in 2006 was that Shield was intentionally destroyed over the North Congreveopia Wasteland Test Range by a combination of flack AA, cannon rounds, and anti-air missiles in order to test its automated emergency landing system's performance after the envelope had sustained critical damage. It was determined that more than half the crew would have survived, had the MAAPS been manned at the time of the test.
In 2006, the MAAPS program reached what could be described as its production stage. MAAPS - 07 "Endurance" was finished in 2008, and MAAPS 08 - "Judgement" came shortly afterwards in 2009. After MAAPS 09 - "Vindication" was completed in 2010, a contract was given for ten more, and MAAPS 10 - "Cloistered Guardian" and MAAPS 11 - "Irredeemable Virtue" were finished in 2012. MAAPS 12 - "Lordly Clairvoyance" followed in 2013, and was itself followed by MAAPS 13 - "Indiscriminate Vengeance" in early 2014 and MAAPS 14 - "Unrelenting Charity" late in the same year. MAAPS 15 - "Overwhelming Silence" is flightworthy as of May 2015, and will probably enter service towards the end of Summer. MAAPS 16 - "Titanic Indifference" and MAAPS 17 - "Regenerative Agony" are both currently under construction. On April 4th of 2015, Benevolence (MAAPS 06) was shot down by the Unspecifiedistani air force while engaging in peacekeeping operations over Unspecifiedistan. It had been granted permission to operate there by the government, and it remains unclear exactly why they chose to attack the MAAPS. This event triggered the Benevolence incident of 2015.
Standard Equipment (incomplete list)
First Generation MAAPS
(MAAPS 01-15) General Electric CF6-derived gas turbine engine
(MAAPS 16-19) General Elecrtic GENx-derived gas turbine engine
(MAAPS 04-19) EL/M-2248 MF-STAR radar
(MAAPS 12-19) S1850M radar
(MAAPS 02-19) Integrated IR missile warning systems
(MAAPS 06, 08, 10-13) 1x B-mount DARDO CIWS on the underside of the MAAPS
(MAAPS 07, 09, 14) 2x B-mount DARDO CIWS on the sides of the MAAPS (fore on the starboard side and aft on the port side)
(MAAPS 15) 1x Millennium Gun CIWS in a reduced-RCS mounting on the underside of the MAAPS
(MAAPS 16-19) 4x Millenium Gun CIWS mounted at the corners of the underside of the MAAPS
16x Aster-15 missile
4x Aster-30 missile
2x Sadral Mistral missile launcher
List of MAAPS
MAAPS 01 "Proto" - Full-scale test with minimal internal systems
MAAPS 02 "Voyager" - Basic internal systems test
MAAPS 03 "Multiplicity" - Launch and retrieval of aircraft test
MAAPS 04 "Shield" - Defensive systems test
MAAPS 05 "Sword" - Offensive systems test
MAAPS 06 "Benevolence" - First fully-operational MAAPS
MAAPS 07 "Endurance" - Defensive systems specialization
MAAPS 08 "Judgement" - Offensive systems specialization
MAAPS 09 "Vindication" - Increased size and payload capacity