The Army of the Central Alliance
The Army of the Central Alliance exists to defend ground facilities within Central political authority, and to exert military force on enemies of the Alliance on ground that is under contention. For the purpose of military doctrine, "ground" means any naturally-formed body in space of sufficient mass to form its own gravity and able to support life, even if said life must exist in controlled environments.
Such a description would invlude planets, planetoids, larger asteroids, moonlets, and so on; but exclude stars and singularities, and bodies small enough that gravity is nonexistant or negligable. Artifical constructs such as space stations, along with bodies of negligable gravity, are under the purview of the Naval Infantry when operations are required in those venues.
Organization: Combat Units are divided into Light, Medium, and Heavy units and are assigned to different roles accordingly. Units designated "Light" are more often used for scouting and reconaissance, while "Medium" units are generally used as follow-on forces or flanks in support of "Heavy" units.
The Central Army also operates inter-atmospheric aircraft, both drone and crewed, as well as submarines.
Light Tanks are typically drones used for scouting, convoy escort, or to provide fire support for Infantry.
Infantry Support Cybernetics or "'Bots" are also used and come in a variety of types, including both anti-grav combat support sleds and mechanical walkers where terrain or grav-disruption nets are used. Small unit support 'bots also fulfill a variety of roles such as Medical Evacuation and Combat Resupply, and also as "pack mules" for units on long-range missions.
M-151 Personal Armor System:
“The M151 Personal Armor System is the second skin of every infantry soldier. You wear it and care for it, and it saves your ass. It is that simple-- a true symbiotic relationship.” The Training Sergeant turned around slowly, letting everyone get a good look.
The M-151 PAS is a series of custom-moulded plasalloy plates of a flat, non-reflective grey color in its basic form. The plates adhere to the Universal Combat Undergarment using a style of fasteners similar to old-fashioned "hook-and-pile" type materials except reinforced with nanotech fibers that act as a "memory metal" adhesive. The M-151 armor system will not save a soldier from a direct blast from an energy weapon (except for small, weak energy weapons such as personal defense weapons or "palm blasters") but will deflect glancing hits, and will save a soldier from a hit by most man-portable projectile weapons (although the kinetic impact will still knock a soldier down and may leave him/her momentarily stunned or disoriented). The armor's primary utility is in deflecting shrapnel.
The armor does not completely cover the body; in fact there are many wide spots left open to retain easy felxibility and to keep plates from rubbing against each other or clattering together in a tactical environment. Vital areas such as torso and abdomen are covered, with legs and arms --easily replaceable in the field with either cybernetic replacements or cloned transplants-- being given partial cover.
The armor is not powered in the sense of muscle-enhancement, although there are extensive powered system running through it to facilitate communication, personnel tracking and medical monitoring, camouflage, and a variety of other systems designed to aid the soldier in combat.
Universal Combat Undergarment:
Underneath the armor is the Universal Combat Undergarment, or "body glove". Skintight, thin and lightweight, this is worn by any soldiers going into combat environments.
The UCU provides constant, realtime monitoring of the soldier's physical health in combat, and is monitored by a medical AI back at unit tactical headquarters. The AI can make a number of decisions autonomously, such as sending a message to the soldier to drink water if they are dehyrated, or if a soldier is unconscious, the AI can instruct cords within the UCU to tighten and serve as tourniquets. The AI can also tell if a soldier has become contaminated with a chemical or biological agent, in case the helmet sensors have failed to detect any.
The UCU leaches sweat from the soldier's body and transfers it to the cooling system, and there are waste-disposal catheter mechanism built in that allow a soldier to dispose of bodily waste without having to remove their armor. Urine, like sweat and body oils, is run through filters and joins the coolant system while solid waste is dried and compacted into small pellets that are disposed of from a dispenser on the back of the armor on the right leg.
UCU's are designed to withstand hostile environemtns from chemical, biological and nuclear attacks, and can serve as a pressure suit for deep space or liquid immersion up to 15 meters. With the armor, the soldier has a recirculating oxygen supply that can last for up to 40 minutes.
The M-152/BCH or Ballistic Combat Helmet has a variety of features in and of itself. The eyelens can retract up into the helmet itself, if necessary. The lens are also auto-polarized, preventing flash blindness from targeting lasers or blasts. The helmets have sensors for nuclear/radiological, biological, and chemical agents and can relay information back to unit tactical headquarters about the nature of any WMD use in the area.
The helmet can provide infrared and light-enhancement night vision, limited magnification, and can integrate with the box sight on the AR-71 rifle to provide a target reticle, target locking and tracking, and can take "screenshots" of what is seen and transmit those shots to another soldier or headquarters. Team leaders and above also have armdeck computer controls in their forearm armor plates that can be used to draw an image on another soldier's helmet display, assigning targets and fields of fire, or asking about something the soldier sees but is out of the leader's direct sight. Maps can be called up from unit HQ or stored in memory, along with realtime updates of any detected changes in a target area, relayed either by satellite, drone, or other sensor systems, even direct observation by other soldiers in the area.
Soldiers wear throat microphones that integrate with helmets to communicate on team, squad, and company frequencies. Typically, field combat soldiers can always hear "one echelon level up and one echelon level down" from their assignment on the battle roster. Communications can also be overrided by superiors in the soldier's chain of command, and any unit can be placed on "all-call" for incoming messages by that unit's commander.
Communications are typically low-band and short range for team frequencies, increasing in power and range for unit size. All communications and encrypted and employ frequency-hopping technology to avoid detection. Still, except for some direct line-of-sight transmissions done by laser communicators, commo does have an EM signature that is detectable; while it is unlikely an enemy could hear (much less understand) the conversations being held, they would have the ability to detect activity. Because of this, commo discipline is practiced, with burst transmit modes being used for needed communications, and old-fashioned hand and arm signals being used when prudent.
The M-151 Personal Armor System is covered in a coating of tough, chemically-resistant nanofibers that are able to project tiny images onto each of its neighbors, so that the entire armor is covered in billions of ultra-small images that reflect surrounding environmental conditions. This system is call Enviroflector, and allows one suit of armor to be applicable as camouflage for any of a variety of environments.
The Enviroflector can also be set to project set patterns, if desired, such as solid colors for work in rear areas where fully reflective camouflage would be annoying or distracting.
Special Operations Forces have an enhanced version f the Enviroflector that can be used to remove the wearer entirely from the visual and infrared spectrums; basically, an invisibility screen. These Enviroflector systems are frequently found on the M-191 Enhanced Mobility Armor, which is power-enhanced full body armor more akin to wearing a light tank. The high costs of the M-191 system precludes it being issued to the entire Central Army as a whole, limiting it's issue to SPECOPS.
Personal Smallarms of the Central Army:Edit
The most widely-issued weapon in the Central Alliance Army is the AR-71 energy "rifle" and the weapons family derived from it.
The baseline model AR-71 is a lightweight (3.5 kg unloaded; 4 kg loaded) multi-setting energy weapon primarily used for infantry combat by the Central Army. Adopted into general service over 30 years ago, it replaced the R-23 family of infantry energy weapons. The AR-71 rifle comes equipped with a shoulder strap, as well as a bayonet lug and a relatively rugged bipod. Bayonet lugs and bipods are absent on both the "carbine" and "submachinegun" variants.
The AR-71 is referred to as a "rifle" because of the energy-focusing properties of the inner barrel sleeve, an area where photonic degradation first begins to happen once a shot is fired. By reinforcing the integrity of the laser sheath over the antiparticle contained in the "energy bottle", the effective range of the AR-71 family is increased by neary a quarter without having to add heavier, expensive, and energy-draining field containment cores in the upper receiver. The barrel sleeve serves a purprose similar to the "rifling" of ancient weapons which were grooved for accuracy and range, and the terminology had long ago become a permananet fixture of weapons manufacture even centuries after energy weaponry dominated the battlefields.
AR-71 rifles can fire single shot, burst mode, full-automatic, and high power (commonly called "blast", hence the slang term "blaster"). By changing energy magazines, the weapon can also fire a stun shot. The standard combat magazine is a power cell weighing about .5 kg and comes with 200 rounds, which can be recharged from outlets on most military tactical vehicles or (much more slowly) solar power chargers. The stun magazine carries 300 rounds and is usually bright yellow to differentiate it from the combat magazine.
The maximum effective range of most shots is typically 1400 meters, which is entirely flat-trajectory projection of the energy bolt. On "blast" mode, the AR-71 will fire a sort of area-effect discharge, with up to 3 antiparticles encased in a powerful bolt and laser sheath that ranges up to 300 meter before the sheath degrades and the antiparticles are exposed to the air and detonate. It is also possible to set laser sheath degradation to a certain range, although the range will tend to be approximate based on atmospheric conditions. Setting an AR-71 to "blast" will draw multiple shots' worth of energy from the magazine, so the usefulness of the "blast" is offset by the ammunition draw and short range of the effect.
Energy effects and power:
The AR-71 rifle will have the following effects and different fire selections:
Single-shot: Range- 1400m. Energy delivered: 4.5 megajoules per bolt.
3-round burst: Range- 1200m. Energy delivered: 4 megajoules per bolt.
Full automatic: Range: 800m. Energy delivered: 3.5 megajoules per bolt.
High power/"Blast": Range: 300m. Energy delivered: 10 megajoules per bolt. Excessive barrel wear.
AR-71 rifles come in a variety of variants. There are long-barrel sharpshooter variants that increase the maximum effective range to over 1900 meters, and shorter-barrel "carbine" and "submachinegun" variants that are issued to tactical field leaders or vehicle crews. Most Naval personnel will have a "carbine" version assigned to them in arms lockers aboard their assigned ships.
Stocks:The original AR-71 prototype came with a fixed, impact-resistant internal carbon-nanotube full stock that was coated with an impact-absorbant outer shell of Gelcrete. This was replaced by a tubular carbon-nanotube skeletal buttstock that folded sideways. The AR-71A/Carbine series has a collapsible stock with rails on either side of the upper receiver. Some Sector home guard groups make a slightly cheaper version with a skeletal wire stock that collapses in the same way. The collapsable wire stock is also standard on the "submachinegun" version.
Accessories: The most common accessory to the AR-71 series is the box sight, which mounts on top of the upper receiver. The box sight has a laser rangefinder, can project a laser aiming dot onto the target but is more frequently used to project a dot onto the target image in the sight itself. The box sight shares information with the helmet for target locking, tracking, and reticle marking, and scans the target area for varying environmental changes that would affect the integrity of the laser/energy sheath.
Other accessories include the vertical foregrip, which some soldiers feel is more comfortable to fire with, and a flashlight that works on the common visual spectrum. The bayonet lug can carry a standard bayonet or (more often) a riot crackler. Flashlights and bayonets or riot cracklers are typically only useful for crowd-control situations, where such accessories can be used for psychological displays that fall short of shooting.
Accessory packages come in pre-arranged groups, sold by the ArmsCor corporation and its licensees. The weapons all typically come with what is called the "Assault Package", which includes the box sight. However, the company also likes to market what it calls the "Storm Package", which includes the vertical foregrip and variable-spectra light. Placing the "Storm Package" on a AR-71A1 will require removing the integral bipod. Some soldiers opt for the "Storm" accessories; while many disdain them as unecessary. Also, the components of the "Storm" accessories can be added individually-- so a soldier can choose to add only the light or only the foregrip. "Storm" accessories cannot be used on weapons with underslung grenade launchers or slug launchers.
The AR-72A1 Heavy-Barrel Light Machinegun (HBAR LMG) has a reinforced, heavy barrel and barrel sleeve for sustained fire on automatic mode. It is made from modified AR-71 receivers and accepts standard magazine cells. These are issued mostly in Light units where heavier squad autoblasters are considered impractical. MP-71 autopistols are rarely issued and are usually part of the armaments of crewed vehicles. Officers on armored combat vehicles will be issued these (although many prefer to opt for the AR-71A2 Carbine or AR-71A3 SMG), as will senior leaders in combat support units that are close to fighting but not expected to participate in fighting. Theoretically, they were marketed as close-in defense weapons for all vehicle crews, but most crews preferred to retain assigned Carbine and SMG models instead, as the MP-71 series is considered to be more of a large pistol, in range and stopping power, than a small rifle.
GL-50 Grenade Launcher is a small (30mm) tube that is frequently used to launch a solid chemical-propellant shell grenade.
Special-purpose munition (Chemical, Nuclear)
AP Bomblets (Hi-explosive or incendiary)
36-hour scout drone
Nanosensor Trigger Swarm
HESH (Combat Engineers)
[to be Expanded]