The NOVA Group is a consortium of the three major space vehicle manufacturers within the Unified Republic of Stars. It was assembled in the years following the founding of the Republican Fleet to design and build a next generation battleship.
When the admiralty began the NOVA Program in late 2173, it was with the intention of designing, building, and maintaining a new kind of battle cruiser, capable of carrying a large air wing of Razorback fighter craft, which would prove itself beyond a doubt the following year in the Battle Over Darwin, as well as be capable of ship-to-ship fighting.
It was, in short, a design unlike anything ever employed. The closest analogy anyone could find was that of an aircraft carrier mixed with the guns of a battleship. But the combination of the two seemed so unwieldy, namely the successfully launching and landing of fighter craft while under heavy enemy fire, that no one thought it feasible. In fact, so difficult was it to design that the new Second Fleet which was to sail this new beast, turned to the space vehicle manufacturers within the Republic in the hopes that through competitive bidding, they might strike upon a solution.
Rather than compete, however, each manufacturer saw a project far too large for any one company to try and take on alone. So, with cooperation in mind, Rayo, Nakimora, and the newly renamed Space Vehicles of The Republic met and discussed how best to approach the Fleet.
In the end, a new company was founded, the NOVA Group, with each manufacturer holding a third of the company's shares. Together, then, they broke down the requirements and dealt with areas each company felt most adept at accomplishing.
Space Vehicles of The Republic (SVR), with its massive construction complex above Yamanashi, proposed that the new ship be built in space, from the laying of its spaceframe to the final placement of armor on the hull. Given the size requirements, neither Nakimora or Rayo objected, alleviating many of the other concerns as to how to build it.
Nakimora featured several of the most innovative system integration features and planned the placement of all electronic hardware throughout the ship for maximum reception, broadcast, and effectiveness. Subcontracting to several software firms on New Normandy, it designed the software to run the massive number of systems that would make up the new NOVA class vessel from the ground up.
Rayo preferred to leave the bulk of the design work to SVR and Nakimora, choosing instead to focus on the power requirements such a vessel might require. The numbers it came up with, for day to day operations of the ship much less the power necessary to generate an effective Alcubierre Field for FTL travel were astounding. In the end, Rayo settled for providing four of its massive new XTECH05 Ion-Plasma power plants and focus on the integration work needed to make them work together in union.
Beyond these major areas of expertise, the NOVA Group also benefitted from the institutional knowledge each brought to the table. Rayo and it's excellent cargo and repair ships. SVR for its reliability, and Nakimora for its innovative designs.
It was Nakimora, in fact, that solved the problem of landing and launching fighters while engaged in combat with its innovative spaceframe. Just as it had designed the Razorback, it was the only one to think far enough out of the box to solve the problem. Still, none of it would have happened had the three companies not combined their resources.
After the NOVA class ship was approved by the NOVA Program, the NOVA Group was contracted to provide the first three ships within four years. It was also to meet orders to provide eleven more within fifteen years. A massive task to say the least.
The NOVA Group's responsibilities didn't end upon the launch of the ships. Given the expected fifty year lifespan of each vessel, the NOVA Group was also tasked with retrofitting each ship at least twice during its term of service.
While the Second Fleet was to be responsible for the day-to-day armament of the ships as well as basic weapons replacement and systems upgrades, the NOVA Group was to handle the major upgrades.
Lastly, when a NOVA reached the end of its service lifespan, the NOVA Group was to strip it down to its spaceframe, replace any weak portions, and recycle whatever elements possible into the next NOVA being built.
All were tasks the NOVA Group was willing to undertake, given that the building of a single vessel was to each member equal to one full year's revenue in the civilian market. The additional tasks were also paid for as they were required and further added to the owners bottom lines.
In 2217, pushed in a large part by Rayo hoping to sell off a percentage of its portion and increase the value of its holdings beyond the yearly revenue, the NOVA Group offered itself for public ownership on the Athena Stock Exchange. The initial share price was over CD$210 but quickly shot up to over CD$945 on the first day of trading.
- ↑ It is typical of Rayo to create successful companies and then divest them. Rayo created such companies Galileo Arms, Rayo Motors, Galileo Farm, and General Appliances, most of which reached revenues equal to Rayo itself and greatly increased the value of Rayo itself.