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The Königsberg Class cruiser is an advanced class of cruiser in service with the Greater German Reich’s Kriegsmarine. The class is primarily designed for anti-starship warfare although recent deployments and conflicts have proven their versatility in many different roles. The design of the Königsberg class includes advanced stealth features designed to deceive an opponents radar and infra-red sensors. It also incorporates the latest version of the BALDR integrated combat system, able to simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than 7 of the previous Berlin class cruisers operating together. After the launch of the lead ship Königsberg, Großadmiral Kirsten Lang stated "the KMS Königsberg is the most capable cruiser in the Orion Arm, it represents the best of German technology, innovation and engineering."
The Königsberg class began development in 2266 as part of the Tirpitz Modernization Project, a fleet wide program intended to develop replacement vessels for many of the Kriegsmarine’s oldest ship classes. The OKM was especially eager to replace its aging Berlin class cruiser which had been deemed too difficult to continue upgrading. There were also growing concerns about the Soviet Navy’s own shipbuilding program and the likely introduction of a much more capable Soviet cruiser within the next decade. That same year, as part of Tirpitz, the Berliner Ersatzprogramm (Berlin replacement program or BRP) was greenlit and the design process began.
BRP was heavily influenced by the work of Konteradmiral Markus Strauch, who began his own independent efforts on a cruiser replacement during the early 2260s. Strauch had come to the realization that new technologies such as the Riedel FTL Reactor permitted a complete rethink of warship design. He established a steering group, “Group Orange” to study the possibilities. Group Orange’s first publication, the Orbital Combatant Force Requirement Study sought to identify the operational characteristics necessary in a cruiser and how many ships would be required by the Kriegsmarine. Since it was expected that Germany would eventually be fighting a prolonged campaign against the Soviet Union, emphasis was placed on countering heavy torpedoes, known to be favored within the Soviet Navy. This in turn called for greater electronic warfare systems and countermeasures as well as additional sensors and the integration of advanced stealth technology. Group Orange’s study became the basis of the BRP and its recommendations were incorporated into the initial design proposals.