Warning: Much information in this article is drawn from the 3400 edition of Jayne's Frightening Ships of the Galaxy. Any resemblance to the facts, real or imagined, is purely coincidental. No starships were harmed in the creation of this article.
Beam Weapons of the GalaxyEdit
Mass drivers are defined as 'gun-type' weapons that deliver most of a projectile's kinetic energy in a single burst at the launcher, with any maneuvers performed by the projectile being secondary for guidance purposes. Mass drivers are classed as beam weapons because most of the work of targeting must be done by the firing ship, and thus they resemble light speed weapons in their effects and uses. Weapons that fire a self-accelerating projectile at relatively low initial speeds should be classified as "missiles."
K-bolters are the standard projectile weapon of the Bragulan Star Empire and are usually delivered to their targets by way of mass drivers. Conventional small- to heavy-scale bolters from those used by infantry to those in warships utilize standard rail- or gauss-type accelerators to propel their projectiles. In even larger cases, like superheavy warships and grand planetary cannons, turbo-cyclotrons are used to hurl truly massive acid bullets at incredible distances. Infantry K-bolters usually travel at hypersonic speeds and range in the kilometers, while the largest big bore battle-bolts launched from warships can go relativistic and strike targets thousands of miles away.
K-bolts are not only potent kinetic projectiles, but are coated in a vegemite derivative that upon ignition transmutes into K-residue, a highly radioactive and extremely corrosive molecular acid that can eat through the strongest of armors and dissolve living tissue with ease. K-residue actually follows the exotic processes of vegemite in an accelerated yet limited fashion; accelerated in its virulent catalyzation of matter at the sub-molecular level but limited in that it only breaks down matter without using the byproducts for self-replication or crystalization.
Some technical terminologies classify K-residue coatings as penetration aids as the acids aid in the projectile's penetration, and the projectile's penetration allows the acids to spread inside the target. While its effect on energy shields are minimal, unless used in such quantities as to saturate force fields in K-residue, upon physical contact with the target the results are very much beyond that of the worst incendiary weapons imaginable.
The use of K-bolts in the Bragulan military has been denounced by the galactic community as cruel and inhumane, which to the Bragulans is the exact point. K-bolters are among Bragule's best-selling exports and are ubiquitous amongst the revolutionary movements, terrorist organizations and criminal syndicates of the galaxy.
Light-Speed ("Energy") WeaponsEdit
The Gatling laser is a fairly simple but effective category of point defense weapons used by the Nova Atlantean Star Navy since the Barbarian Wars and is employed in a variety of classes, from dreadnoughts to fighters. The concept can be summed up as a ring of 4-8 laser cannons clustered together along a single mount, which cycles through a firing sequence bearing a resemblance to the ancient Terran Gatling guns of old. The laser assemblies are hooked up to large-scale capacitors and direct power feeds; as the assembly is much simpler to cool than most other comparable weapons, a single Gatling laser mount can maintain what is effectively a constant beam. Compared to traditional projectile-based weaponry, Nova Atlantean Gatling lasers are accurate and have long range, making them ideal point defense weapons useful against fighters, missiles, and small spacecraft. In times when raw firepower in a split second is required, the entire weapon can be made to fire all barrels at once, albiet at the cost of recylce rate afterwards. This has led to the Nova Atlantean expression "All Six Barrels," meaning to put all of one's effort into a single action.
While the Commonwealth does make the most extensive use of Gatling laser technology, the system itself is hardly a secret and is well known across the galaxy. That said, the Commonwealth is a leader in Gatling laser manufacturing, and Commonwealth-made Gatling Lasers are available on the market for both civilian and military spacecraft.
A bigass laser. WIP
Umerian Particle Beam WeaponsEdit
This section a work in progress.
Exotic Physics WeaponsEdit
This category includes any weapons which rely on forces or techniques not part of the standard four-force model of physics that prevailed up until the discovery of the Heim Drive.
AutolaserEditThe primary weapons system of Solarian capital ships, autolasers are quick-recharging, heavy-hitting exotic particle beam weapons. Autolaser batteries are powered and fueled by independent dark energy reactors which convert the ambient dark energy that naturally permeates all of space into a high-energy plasma. Autolasers fire pulses or beams of this exotic matter, which has various strange properties such as pseudo-negative mass, limited anisotropy, and extreme energy density. Contact with dark matter plasma causes ordinary matter to destructively vaporize and cease to exist. Autolasers are extremely power-hungry and produce such vast quantities of waste heat that each battery tower requires complex cryosystems just to prevent its beam projectors from melting, but these properties are only to be expected in such an extremely powerful weapon system. Autolasers are capable of incinerating swarms of fighters, blasting planetary targets, or vaporizing vast chunks of enemy capital ships with huge, glowing energy beams that have become the trademark weapon of the United Solarian Star Force.
When the genetically-engineered Chamarrans descended upon the Makayan Republic in their Juggernauts in 3042, the guns that scourged a thousand ships from the skies were their Beam Cannons. In the aftermath of the war, the Chamarrans themselves endeavored to learn the secrets of the weapons their creators had equipped them with, and the Sultanate of Klavostan also decided to pursue this technology as the future of space warfare. Hard-hitting, relatively energy-efficient (though certainly energy-hungry), retaining remarkable coherence over long range, and possessing amazing ability for off-axis fire, Beam Cannons decelerate exotic FTL particles to [i]c[/i] so that they can violently interact with the material universe. The differing levels of technology between the two nations resulted in differing tactical deployment. Chamarran vessels employ very large beam cannons singly or in small numbers, while Klavostani ships bristle with varying smaller calibres of beam cannon, from their multiple long-range forward guns to broadsides, and even smaller-calibre point defense weapons. The current generation of Chamarran Beam Cannons fire red-hued beams, while modern Klavostani guns radiate merely blue in the visual spectrum.
Cadence lance technology was first developed in the late 3200s by the Nova Atlantean Commonwealth of Worlds and the Interstellar Union of Worlds as an energy-efficient way of exploiting the resonant frequency of defensive shields. Before this time, resonance attacks were only possible using inefficient tunable weapons such as the free electron laser, which limited their effectiveness. Cadence lances make such attacks far easier, allowing the firing ship to quickly find and overwhelm the target's defense, overloading and burning out the shield generators. Even if the target survives the aftereffects of burnout and is not crushed by the implosion of its wall shield, it becomes a very easy target for conventional weapons.
Circa 3300, cadence lances were extremely effective antiship weapons. A well designed ship's shield generators could survive being taken under fire by own-caliber lance fire for a short time, but if the cadence beam could be sustained, burnout was inevitable. This led to the installation of cadence lances as main armament in a wide variety of ship classes, ranging from frigate to battleship tonnage; the generators for the lance were too bulky to be used in ships below frigate weight.
The ensuing naval design panic was brought to a quick halt by a relatively simple advance in defensive technology: the polycyclic shield. Polycyclics operate at extremely high linewidth, meaning that they have no resonant frequency to attack, which makes them almost completely immune to cadence beam attacks. The early generation of polycyclic screens were bulky and compromised on protection against conventional weapons, but the technology has since been miniaturized until polycyclics are almost as efficient as their single-frequency rivals.
Cadence lances are now largely ineffective against capital ships, since even old ships that predate the invention of cadence-beam technology have long since been retrofitted with polycyclic shielding, at least in a light supplementary layer designed specifically to repel resonance attacks. In turn, the lances themselves have mostly disappeared, removed from old ships and replaced with simpler, less easily thwarted weapons.
However, some cadence lance equipped ships can still be found in the navies of minor powers, as hand-me-downs from the era when they are popular.
The "gun of the end of the universe", also called the "Saint Elmo", the Line Cannon is the Sovereignty's ultimate weapon mounted only on its very largest of warships: Warstars and Dreadstars. The Line Cannon is a military application of hyperfield technology, creating a hypergrid intrusion area wherein real-space is briefly submerged in massive amounts of energy plucked from hyperspace. The energies released in such an intrusion are astronomical, appearing as bands of glittering, blindingly white light that effortlessly annihilate anything they touch. Bringing about a Line Cannon discharge is no easy feat: the special generators require cosmic amounts of energy and significant spool-up time before each discharge, and the intrusion area has to be carefully managed by the ship's CI in order to avoid volatile dimensional contingencies. The Sovereignty is extremely wary of this weapon falling into the hands of its opponents - so much so that no Line Cannon has been fired in anger since the weapon's first deployment shortly after the Battle of the Tannhauser Gate.
The Particle Lance is a class of ultra heavy charged particle cannon designed by the Nova Atlantean Commonwealth in the 3340s. While such weapons are not uncommon, there are several differences between the Particle Lance and other charged particle weapons. While the Particle Lance fires a tighter beam than most other particle weapons of similar size, it is especially notable for its range. While most energy mounts are limited in effective range to a couple of light seconds at most due to the existence of the lightspeed barrier, the Particle Lance has a range in excess of 5,000,000 km. The Particle Lance's range is due to quantum tunnel technology, which opens a passage in which the flow of time is roughly ten times faster than it is in the surrounding space. Prior to the advent of the Particle Lance, the applications of quantum tunnel technology were limited due to the fact that large quantities of atomic matter blocked the tunnel, the comparatively short length of the tunnel itself, and the limitations inherent to projection technology; subatomic particles, however, were not found to adversely affect the quantum tunnel. The end result is an energy weapon which can reliably deliver a single devastating blow against enemy spacecraft at long distance. Despite this, these devices are truly huge, with enormous masses and similarly large energy demands. As such, they are only mounted on the Kusenagi class lance cruisers, which are specifically designed around the Particle Lance, and Atlantis class Dreadnoughts. Particle Lance technology has only been successfuly used by the Commonwealth, and the UWC has put considerable effort in making sure this remains the case.
Missiles of the GalaxyEdit
The Bragranit (USSF reporting name Spacewreck) is a modern anti-ship cruise missile of the Imperial Bragulan Navy and is the primary armament of its specialized missile combatants. Unlike the ubiquitous Spud, the Bragranit does not use internal atomic combustion but instead uses subnucleonic drives to propel it at even greater velocities, with kosmodynamic atomic thrust vectoring for improved maneuverability against enemy point defenses. It can either carry one very large warhead or launch multiple independent revengeance vehicles armed with focused vegemite-enhanced nuclear warheads along with penetration aids.
The Bragranit sports a very flexible guidance system. It is capable of semi-active homing wherein the launcher ship/s "paints" the chosen target with its aggressive arrays in a fashion similar to a laser designator, or it can use its own active/passive-aggressive arrays for total independent targeting and autonomous attack. When in groups, Bragranits cover themselves in a very intense radiological jamming field; only one missile protrudes out of this field to use its sensors while feeding target information to its fellow missiles via gamma ray pulse datalink. The spotter missile bobs in and out of the jamming field to make itself a more difficult target, and if it is shot down, another missile can simply replace it. The Bragranit can prioritize targets by value and organize attack sequences based on sensor data, detected ship-types and their dispositions, autonomous computronic calculations, and pre-programmed battle formations. In terminal approach, it can either light up its aggressive arrays, switch to home-on-jam or radioactive anti-radiation (RAR) modes, or launch MIRVs with their own internal guidance systems. If enemy countermeasures and jamming prove undefeatable, or if its sensors are compromised, the Bragranit can switch to a very precise inertial guidance system with a smaller CEP than many mass drivers.
The Moskill is an anti-ship/space-to-surface cruise missile designed by Braguda MKB to arm not only the warships of the Imperial Bragulan Navy, but also its gunships and fighter-bombers. It is smaller than the Bragranit and possesses a less sophisticated guidance system than its larger comrade, so it relies on a redlined subnucleonic drive linked to four atomic bussard ramjets to give it the sheer speed needed to penetrate enemy defenses.
Compared to missiles that use small sensor cross section and low-intensity thrust to evade defenses, the Moskill uses its velocity to minimize the enemy's reaction time. It is highly maneuverable, and when in semi-active homing mode it can turn its unused sensor suite into a radiological jammer. To increase survivability, its designers have also outfitted it with vegemite chaff dispensers. It can be armed with a sizeable single vegemite-enhanced atomic warhead or MIRVs and penetration aids, albeit in slightly smaller quantities than the Bragranit.
The Moskill comes in many variants, from mobile planetary-launched versions on Spud-like internal atomic combustion boosters, to shortened "bullpup" versions for SNT fighters and Grizzly Gugafez gunboat missileers, to the cruise missiles for capital warships. Unlike the Bragranit, the Moskill is also offered for export.
The Bragulan Retrofitted Advanced Gravity Directed Attack Munition (Nuclear) is a guidance kit that upgrades unguided paleonuclear gravity bombs used in orbital carpet nukings. The kit includes an inertial navigation system, satellite guidance, rudimentary passive-aggressive sensors, and gamma ray seekers. BRAGDAMNs also sport ablative cobalt-thorium paint coats, which can boil into plumes of sensor-jamming fallout in reentry. Control surfaces allow BRAGDAMNs to glide in the mesosphere and make course adjustments in terminal approach, allowing a CEP of below two kilometers.
A more advanced precision version of the BRAGDAMN exists, with propellers and fold-out wings that allow it to loiter in the upper atmosphere for weeks, and a networked guidance system that lets it to select multiple targets, sort them by value, discriminate decoys from the actual targets, and home on the radiation emissions of sensors or jammers. This precision BRAGDAMN uses the Belligerent Radio-Atomic Graphic Functional Utility (BRAG-FU), which is based on the GRAPH-FU system used in Shepistani SMARMs.
Centralite Missile/Torpedo DesignsEdit
AFCM-231 "Flash" Anti-Fighter Concussion MissileEdit
ASCM-232 "Big One" Anti-Ship Concussion MissileEdit
PrT-224 "Buster" Proton TorpedoEdit
PhT-225 "Blower" Photon TorpedoEdit
DR-580 Pilum Planetary Defense Missile Launch VehicleEdit
The DR-580 Pilum is a countergrav vehicle carrying two anti-ship missiles mounted on a low-end linear catapult assembly. Each missile is eight meters long and is equipped with disposable countergrav coils to let it quickly clear the launcher before engaging its main engine shortly afterwards. It has a maximum range of 500,000 kilometers. It can also be used against heavy ground-based targets, such as divisions of soldiers on the march or ultraheavy land vehicles. Typically, Pilums work in close conjunction with Testudo mobile shield generators.
The Endocet is an anti-ship missile manufactured by the Fourth French Empire that can be launched by warships, small craft, aerospace fighters, planetary installations and ground vehicles, it is one of the galaxy's more ubiquitous space weapons and has been used in numerous conflicts since its first deployment in the year 3369.
The Endocet is designed to attack small- to medium-sized warships (e.g. frigates, corvettes, and destroyers), though multiple hits are also effective against larger vessels. Its compact design gives it a relatively low sensor cross-section (SCS), reducing its visibility and thus its detectability. To make it more difficult to track, it also uses passive sensors until making its final approach to the target, when it switches to its active arrays. It has a low-emission ion thruster that makes it slower than other space missiles, but also harder to detect as well. The planetary-launched version places the missile and an orbital booster inside a launch capsule.
The Endocet became noted galaxy-wide during the Balklands War in the 3370s, when the United Star Kingdom of New Anglia and the Argenti Federation fought over the Sammich Planets. In the conflict, a number of Anglian warships were damaged by Endocets fired by Argentian fighters and improvised planetary launchers, prompting an irate then-Prime Minister of Anglia to force the Endocet's codes and homing sensors out of the perfidious French.
One of many weapons systems jointly developed by the Shinra Republic and Holy Empire of Haruhi Suzumiya, the Halberd/Naginata (the respective designations used by the Shinra Republic Navy and SOS Imperial Navy) is the primary competitor of the French Endocet and Bragulan HK-55 Kub on the galactic arms market. Its development and deployment predates that of the Endocet, with the first examples entering service with the Shinra Republic Navy and SOS Imperial Navy in 3367. Like the Endocet, the Halberd/Naginata can be launched by multiple platforms, such as warships, small craft, aerospace fighters, fixed planetary installations, and ground vehicles. Other comparable weapons include the New Anglian Star Eagle anti-matter torpedo, the Tianguoese DD-320 Ying Xing kinetic-kill missile, and the Umerian Mk IV "Cantaloupe" anti-ship torpedo.
The Halberd/Naginata, like the Endocet, is primarily designed to engage small- to medium-sized warships (e.g. frigates, corvettes, and destroyers), though multiple hits are also effective against larger vessels. To improve survivability against point defense systems, it uses passive sensors for much of its flight, only activating active sensors during its final approach. The planetary-launch variant is fitted with an orbital booster and energy-shielded launch capsule.
The Halberd/Naginata has been further developed into the Morningstar heavy ground-attack missile, with a larger warhead and fully autonomous target acquisition capability; like the Shepistani SMARM, the Morningstar can loiter over a target area and search for targets of opportunity if its original target is lost. The Morningstar can also be used for anti-ship attack, where its enhanced warhead allows it to inflict considerable damage against large vessels; while its larger sensor cross-section compared to the original Halberd/Naginata and its high-emission ion thrusters make it somewhat more vulnerable to tracking, it makes up for that with sheer agility, comparable to the C-SMARM or the "Sledgehammer" second stage of the Nova Atlantean Type-58 torpedo.
Haruhiist Missile Massacre PodEdit
A true revolution in space combat, the Haruhiist Missile Massacre pod enables regular starfighters and gunships to launch missiles far in excess of their normal carrying capacity, allowing them to engage large numbers of targets simultaneously, overwhelm point defenses, or beat down hardened targets through sheer force of numbers. Built by a consortium of Haruhiist defense corporations, the HMM pod utilizes proprietary "malletspace" munitions storage techniques, which gives the system its unparalleled carrying capacity. Regular HMM pods are compatible with all aerospace craft currently in service with the SOS Imperial Armed Forces, while a modified and significantly enlarged version of the technology forms part of the missile armament of SOS Imperial Navy warships. Even though HMM pods sold on the export market have greatly reduced missile capacity compared to regular SOS Imperial Armed Forces pods, they are still extremely dangerous weapons.
The HK-55 Kub is a versatile missile system developed by Braguda for planetary and anti-orbital attack. Its small size relative to other larger, heavier, and faster Bragulan cruise missiles means that it can be fielded in large quantities by many platforms, from aerospacecraft to mobile ground launchers, or even concealed in shipping containers. Its single atomic warhead can deliver sufficient damage to planetary targets, light warships, and even medium warships when used en masse.
In planetary attack, the Kub can strike targets from intercontinental ranges, flying low and slow and presenting a small sensor cross section (SCS) to decrease detectability. To further reduce its profile, it can even fly at an altitude of less than one hundred feet above the ground, maintaining a terrain-hugging flight path until the last moments when its turboramscramfanjets make a hypersonic dash towards the target. For more time-critical attacks, it can go completely hypersonic, though this considerably increases its thermal signature.
The Kub has an anti-ship variant capable of either operating in space or surface-launched at orbital targets. Nicknamed Halberdski for its similarity to the Shinran-Haruhiist Halberd/Naginata, its jet engine is replaced by a low-emission pulse drive that sacrifices speed for stealth, until it redlines its engines for a final sprint to its target.
The Kub's systems are relatively modern, even by Bragulan standards, with evidence of integrated Altacaran and Shepistani technologies. Easily portable and concealable, it is a favorite of insurgencies and terror groups that do not have the funds or storage space for larger, more powerful Bragulan missiles. The Kub is most analogous to the French Endocet and the Shinran-Haruhiist Halberd/Naginata, its primary competitors on the galactic arms market.
Liquid Rubiconium WarheadEdit
The liquid rubiconium warhead is one of the most insidious weapons in the SOS Imperial Navy's inventory. When detonated within a planetary atmosphere or on a planetary surface, any rubiconium not directly consumed during the detonation is propagated well beyond the blast radius, seeding the surrounding area with rubiconium crystals and forming new deposits; considering the compound's highly toxic and radioactive properties, any areas affected by a liquid-R warhead detonation are, for most practical intents and purposes, rendered permanently uninhabitable for carbon-based lifeforms. Detonating the warhead over an existing rubiconium deposit will detonate the deposit as well, starting a chain reaction that can wipe out entire countries or regions if the deposit is sufficiently large enough.
While the liquid-R warhead was initially designed to exploit the Bragulan practice of deliberately cultivating massive rubiconium deposits on their worlds, its innate properties also make it a highly effective (if cruel) area denial and planet-killing weapon, especially when launched in waves. The first recorded use of liquid-R warheads in combat was against the Multiversal Empire of Happiness in mid-3401.
'Magnum' is the name for a universal missile used by the United Solarian Star Force. It is currently produced in two variants: the older Fireball and the newer Starfire type. Primary difference between the two are in guidance and the number of warheads launched by the "bus." Both missiles are fitted with a force-train much like USS fighters, which functions as both progression drive and hyperfield generator. Power is generated by a dark energy reactor which doubles as an additional warhead, and ensures the Magnum can be fired at long range.
The older Fireball carries only a trio of warheads which separate a set distance before initiation, creating a highly recognizable blast pattern (three triangular initiation points with the Magnum's reactor flare in the middle). The newer Starfire carries five submunitions but in addition to this each warhead has much greater maneuverability, enabling more flexible engagement of target sets. All Magnum warheads are based on the concept of a dark energy flare, a highly destructive burst of exotic particles which will destroy anything in its vicinity.
Smart Malingering Anti Radiation Missile (SMARM)Edit
The Smart Malingering Anti Radiation Missile (SMARM) is an advanced munition used by the Shepistani Republic. As its name implies, it has a loitering capability allowing it to stay over a suspect target area looking for new targets of opportunity if the original target is lost. It is capable of homing against almost any type of radiation source, up to reflected ultraviolet emissions from human skin. The SMARM features a Shepistani graphical radioactive autonomous positronic heuristic functional utility (GRAPH-FU) that allows it to compare and discriminate between radio-emissions to identify real targets from decoys and countermeasures, making it harder to defeat than other rival ARM variants.
The SMARM has a covert operations variant, the C-SMARM. The C-SMARM's main casing is made out of C-431 instead of a more conventional casing material, and all non-C-431 materials are positioned within the explosive filling so that they will be destroyed utterly when the weapon detonates. The C-SMARM is particularly notable for its agility; it can execute a 90 degree turn at Mach 6.6 in less than one meter's travel length in order to strike targets out of the way.
The 011-R Bearlbrus, more commonly known as the "Spud" (its Solarian reporting name), is an extremely large thermonuclear missile tracing its origins to the early centuries of the Bragulan space age. The rockets used in the colonization of the Bragulan system and the missiles later launched from Bragule to kill those colonists are considered ancestors of the Spud as they share roughly the same thermonuclear propulsion system. The modern Spud is powered by liquid uranium and liquid plutonium injected into an internal atomic combustion chamber, a crude method that nonetheless makes it surprisingly fast even in an age of exotic power sources and space drives.
The Spud's large size also makes it a large target for point defenses, but its designers have made the missile extremely resilient to damage by armoring its nosecone with the very same bragsteel used in its combustion chambers. Advanced variants can actually mount their own defensive missiles and K-bolter CIWS, meaning that a sufficiently upgraded Spud can deliver its warheads to even targets with formidable protection. The standard tactic is to launch them en masse, letting sheer numbers overwhelm the defenders in a flurry of oversized radiation-spewing missiles, independent revengeance vehicles, and penetration aids. Since a single Spud is as big as a building and has several tons of fissible material divided among dozens of MIRVs, even if only a few make it through the defenses the ensuing damage will still be quite severe. In the case of Spuds armed with vegemite-enhanced nucleonics, the megatonnage they carry make them very capable anti-capital weapons.
The Spud has been in production for centuries, meaning that there is an enormous stockpile of the ancient missiles. Most are either used "as is" by the Bragulan militaries or exported to anyone in the market for strategic nuclear weapons. Some have been modernized progressively for use by frontline Bragulan units and are far more capable than the obsolete variants in the export market. Due to their size, Spuds can only be launched by larger platforms, such as planetary launchers and warships.
The Ford Prefect's Country-based Space Technology Research and Advanced Kinetics corporation originally partnered with the Shepistani Republic to produce a next-generation anti-radiation missile. However, trouble arose in the Shepistani Senate, as Senators who were pro- and anti-STRAK clashed with each other. Eventually, the partnership with STRAK was ended and Shepistan manufactured the SMARM missile using STRAK technology.
STRAK went on to produce its own advanced weapon, the Smart Nefarious Anti-Radiation Kinetic missile. It uses a combination of a solid exotic-material penetrator and turbo-thrusters to destroy soft radar/sensor sites with pure kinetic energy, which also gives it a potent bunker-busting capability, marketed as 'sarchasm' by its makers. Its other features are markedly similar to the SMARM, with one notable exception. SNARKs can be loaded inside giant missile launchers, which are used by the giant robots of the Ford Regional Overall Defense force, the FROD.
Type-54 Firelance Medium Range TorpedoEdit
The Type-54 is a product of the same program that created the Type-58 Heavy Torpedo. Named for the earliest firearms, the Firelance is 16.85 meters long and 2.25 meters in diameter. It is usually (though not exclusively) launched via gravitic accelerator like its larger counterpart. While its effective range is only 55% that of the Type-58, it reaches top speed more quickly and is much more maneuverable. Like the Mjolnir, it has a set of shield generators to offer some protection as it converges on its target; however, these shields only offer minimal protection, leaving the missile reliant on sheer speed and agility as its primary defenses. The Type-54 is designed mainly for use against corvette to cruiser-sized vessels, though it is still capable of inflicting damage against larger spacecraft, especially when launched in massive salvos. Outside of their employment in Wasphives the Nova Atlantean Star Navy typically deploys the Type-54 aboard Godslayer class destroyers, Bullshark gunships, and defense platforms; the weapon has also seen some success on the galactic arms market, though not to the same extent as the Endocet, Halberd/Naginata, or HK-55 Kub. Some consideration has been made towards using the Type-54 as a countermeasure against the Byzantine Nova Gun in case war with the Imperium should break out.
X50 Tranquility Subduction LevelerEdit
A modified Firelance torpedo, the Tranquility subduction leveler is based on a type of terraforming tool. Each missile carries a system of landing jets and countergravity systems to allow for a safe landing, as well as a plasma-based boring device, allowing it to cut into stone and bore down at a rate of a speed of 50-100 meters per second until it reaches its target depth. The warhead contains a modified high-intensity quantum disruptor, which generates a field which breaks down the molecular bonds in dense material, rendering solid bedrock into loose gravel, sand, and silt in a matter of minutes over a broad area, which is moved about by the process in a circular pattern; the quantum disruptor will burn itself out after twenty minutes of operation, but this is usually enough time to do the task. The quantum disruptor's effects cause massive subsidence and disruption over an area around 20-30 kilometers in diameter around the missile's point of impact; if targeted correctly, it can cause large chunks of land to be submerged, either by causing them to fall into the sea or raising sea levels by filling in trenches and causing sections of continental shelf to collapse. Though this weapon has never been used in anger, it could be a useful tool in case of war, especially given the Commonwealth's expertise in marine engineering. They are utterly impractical in ship to ship combat.
Type-58 Mjolnir Heavy TorpedoEdit
First put into production in 3328, the Type-58 Mjolnir Heavy Torpedo, is the primary long range missile of the Nova Atlantean Star Navy, the result of 15 years of research and development by Tau Earth Caste and posthuman engineers. Each missile is 56 meters long, 5.4 meters in diameter, and masses 800 tonnes and is typically launched from a specialized gravitic accelerator assembly. The Mjolnir is a double-stage missile, using a gravitic-enhanced anti-matter drive system to reach maximum speed. The first stage is used up fairly quickly, while the second stage can carry one of two payloads:
- Sledgehammer: A secondary stage used to deliver a single massive warhead (as well as a large amount of kinetic energy) to the enemy. The Sledgehammer has high-performance maneuvering thrusters, allowing it to swerve and dodge as it closes in to reduce chances of interception, as well as carrying a set of onboard shield generators to give it surprising durability and allow it to bypass enemy shields. Several types of warheads are used, including conventional (which has the greatest sheer firepower of the various warhead types), "Surge Disruptor" (an adaptation of the cadence lance technology capable of disrupting monocyclic shields within a radius of several thousand kilometers), and laser-pumped (a proximity-burst weapon that sacrifices yield for blast radius, enabling it to damage multiple targets within a radius of several thousand kilometers). The Surge Disruptor warhead was rapidly pulled out of most front-line service due to its ineffectiveness against modern capital ships fitted with polycyclic shielding, though it still sees limited use to this day as an anti-starfighter and anti-gunship weapon.
- Wasphive: More commonly refered to as "Clusterfuck," the secondary stage is in fact a cluster of six Type-54 Firelance Medium-Range Torpedoes. These separate and close in on diferent vectors, and while they are individually less durable than a Sledgehammer, each individual missile has a greater chance of evading enemy fire.
The Type-58's size and mass mean that only defense platforms, Xiongnu class Missile Frigates, and ships of the wall can carry these weapons. The Commonwealth has accumulated a considerable stockpile of these weapons and can be launch them in considerable salvos (an Atlantis class dreadnought has some twenty-four launch assemblies). With excellent range, durability, and payload, the Type-58 is among the most effective long-range missiles in service today, allowing the Commonwealth wall of battle an AU-level standoff range from which it can bring down its might like the hammer of the gods for which it is named.
Type-61 Hwacha CountermissileEdit
The Hwacha is the main countermissile used by the Commonwealth Star Navy. Measuring in at 3.45 meters long and weighing 253 kilograms, the Hwacha is designed with manuverability as the highest priority. Unlike other missiles used by the Commonweath Star Navy, the Hwacha is unshielded and is completely reliant on its small profile and high maneuverability for defense. Its tracking systems are accordingly quite compact, though still capable by most standards. The typical arsenal of a Hwacha missile is a laser warhead system and its typical warhead is its own antimatter fuel supply, though it does retain a couple of grams of antimatter as a fallback. Hwacha missiles are typically fired from box launchers with minimal linear acceleration equipment, which mostly exists to clear the missile of the launcher before its engine fires. All Nova Atlantean capital ships are fitted with Hwachas as standard equipment; the box launchers and other associated systems can easily be fitted to other ship designs, thus ensuring the Hwacha's place on the galactic arms market.
Umerian Missile DesignsEdit
Missiles are a secondary weapon in the eyes of most Umerian tacticians, particularly in large-scale ship combat. However, missiles see widespread use below capital ship scale, mostly for use against larger and more dangerous targets. All designs currently in use employ variations on the warhead concept pioneered in the Mk I "Melon" missile: a refinement of the 20th century shaped nuclear charge. While many fleets rely on active (temporary) force field confinement to shape nuclear explosions, Umerian missiles use a purely passive method, designing the warhead geometry to focus the bulk of the X-rays generated by the fission charge in a single direction- forward. A typical attack profile for a Umerian missile involves coasting [i]past[/i] the target at relatively close range, pivoting, and lighting off the warhead from a standoff distance measured in kilometers.
Missile guidance and targeting systems are sophisticated enough to counter many defensive schemes, seeking out structural weaknesses or thin points in the target shielding. On the other hand, warhead power is relatively low due to the reliance on fission rather than pure-fusion, antimatter, or more exotic materials. Attempts to increase warhead yield with the rubiconium derivative "tylium" are underway, but production is low and the "greencap" tylium-boosted missile is unlikely to replace fission designs for the near future.
The of the use of shaped fission charges also makes Umerian missile warheads radiologically 'dirty'. This has consequences when the missiles are used for planetary bombardment; the problem is made even worse if the jet from the shaped charge warhead is directed downwards into the planetary surface, where it tends to produce large amounts of fallout.
Ignoring individual sub-marks, designs in current service include:
Mk IV "Cantaloupe" Antiship TorpedoEdit
The Mk IV carries an extremely powerful warhead and varying levels of focusing. Different versions of the Cantaloupe are designed to direct the torpedo blast into a single jet to penetrate extremely heavy shielding or to hit targets from outside the optimal range of close-in point defense, a wide-angle jet to engage multiple closely spaced soft targets, or an omnidirectional burst (most useful for planetary bombardment, though occasionally employed for mine clearance and other specialized purposes).
The missile chassis is a high-cost, high-performance platform, designed to get the Cantaloupe to the target in the face of capital ship grade ECM and missile defense systems, rather than attempting to saturate the defenses by sheer numbers. Because of this, Umerian torpedo doctrine relies on very small numbers of missiles by the standards of antiship warfare among other fleets. For instance, a Umerian destroyer will launch torpedoes in salvoes of no more than eighteen, with reasonable confidence of doing serious damage to anything below cruiser-class as a result.
The Mk IV has two major disadvantages: it is too large to be carried in substantial number by small craft, and it is relatively short ranged by the standards of other powers' heavy missiles.
The Cantaloupe is primarily a space-to-space missile, but it also comes in ground-defense variants (fired from mobile land-based or submarine platforms) and a short-range version to be carried by the Buccaneer-X cutter variant- at no more than two torpedoes per cutter.
Mk V "Honeydew" G.P. MissileEdit
The Mk V, in contrast, is a much smaller, lighter, and shorter ranged weapon, with a single wide-angle focusing system for the warhead. The Honeydew lacks the punch to penetrate capital ship armor or shielding, and so is generally deployed in an antimissile/antifighter role. On occasion it has been used long range to cause superficial damage to a heavier target's sensors or other vulnerable surface features. However, its short drive endurance limits it in this role.
The Mk V is seldom seen on large starships, where beam weapons are preferred for the point defense role. Instead, it is typically used for small craft.
Mk VI "Galia" Antiship MissileEdit
The Galia was designed as an attempt to combine the light frame of the Mk V with the antiship punch of the Mk IV, with considerable success. The Galia uses an extended, longer range missile body with more sophisticated sensors and ECCM to aid in getting close to defended targets. The warhead is comparable to that of the Honeydew in yield, but is fuzed for a much more tightly focused close-proximity burst, for maximum effect against single, low-maneuverability targets. The Mk VI can overwhelm light capital ship defenses, at the cost of being much less effective in the Mk V's antimissile/antifighter roles. However, unlike the Mk IV, it is largely ineffective against heavy capital ship defenses, due to the need to detonate close to the target and the lack of brute warhead power.
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ Rumors that various nations have developed spatial recirculators designed to convert the beam path of this weapon into a closed timelike curve, causing the firing ship to shoot itself in the back, are generally dismissed by the Atlantean military.
- ↑ Reports that the pods must be loaded at the factory by angry young women are generally considered to be disinformation spread by the Holy Empire's military-industrial complex to baffle competitors. If so, it has succeeded; competitors are well and truly baffled as to how the loading process works.
- ↑ The Tianguonese FU MANCHU and KUNG FU guidance systems are said to be imitations of the GRAPH-FU.