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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Race to the Stars
« on: June 02, 2020, 04:04:43 AM »
This campaign is a conventional 6-nation Earth start - with default resources. 

Background

The year 2050 marks the discovery of unexplained properties in 11 elements. With that, the possibility of trans-newtonian physics has just been considered for the first time. There are six conventional nation states or state-centered blocs who will invest in space programs utilizing the new, hypothetical technology.

   The Corporate Congress of the United States of America

Following after a succession of billionaire businessman presidents, the old democratic institutions were eventually amended or abolished after a coup and following civil war. The victors of the conflict were an alliance of various business interests, reforming the old congress as a place for the largest employers of the country to officially meet and make policy.
While the abolishment of democratic elections and many of it's institutions was initially met with violence by the populace, the new government now has a steady support of the people. The right to bear arms continues to exist and the many military corporations of America continue having a great influence upon it's politics.

Doctrine
Now that the focused US militaries are a thing of the past and instead relegated to a shared consumer of military products, the US fields a large variety of weapons with each system heralded as the best/most powerful/most flexible by the respective competing armaments producer.

   The European Union

After the US fall into it's brief civil war in the 2030s and the rescinding of global influence that followed, the Russian Federation, then still-led by Imperator Putin, was able to realize it's ambitions of reintegrating much of eastern europe back into it's territory much more openly. Initial conflicts were meant to divide the Union further and succeeded in delaying a response, but the efforts to create a unified european military and foreign policy proceeded much more smoothly with the immediate threat of a foreign actor attacking and occupying neighboring nations and, eventually, the baltic member states.
The 2040s saw a major war between the unified EU and Russia which has only recently ended in a cease-fire agreement. Fortunately, it never turned nuclear. There are still many points of tension between the two powers.

Doctrine
Having recent experience in war, sticking to what works seems best - as such, railguns will be the primary european weapon system, with ASM strikes as a secondary weapon system.

   The Russian Federation

Living on dreams of reunifying the member states of the Soviet Union and led by an oligarchy with a new, strong president, Russia is determined to reclaim it's past status as a world power. Recognizing that they do not have the industrial strength to stay at war with the EU or another power for an extended period, they were still able to do much damage to european politics and prosperity before being stopped. Now the lines on Earth have hardened, but will they be able to continue playing it smart in space?

Doctrine
As in the past, the word of choice when it comes to russian military is missiles and their warheads. Primary armaments are missiles with high yield. Energy armaments play a defensive role only.
Engine boosted Box launcher FAC/Fighters.

   The People's Republic of China

The eminent superpower of the mid-21st century. The past 30 years saw a slow but steady expansion of the already considerable influence of the chinese around the world. Taiwan was conquered, Hong Kong is fully integrated and the massive populace of China is held in willing check through collectivist ideology and total digital control.

Doctrine
Having a numerical advantage means nothing if you're afraid to use it, as such a focus on a large number of medium-strength weapons is the leading principle here.
As an asian high-tech nation energy weapons are preferred over kinetic ones, but massed missiles are very much on the table.

   Japan

Following the retreat of American influence from the region and faced with an expansionist China, Japan followed a political long and painful path dancing around it's pacifist constitution towards military self-sufficiency together with it's unlikely, but similarly abandoned, political partners in South Korea.
Japanese military and foreign policy as such is still very much a defensive one. In the wake of corporate complacency paralyzing the US and war cutting budgets in Europe, they are now also the technologically most advanced power on the planet.

Doctrine
Large, high-tech warships. Rejecting base and primal kinetic weapons, the Japanese are firm believers in energy weapons.
Use of missiles, especially for AMM use not excluded.

   Argentine Republic

Argentina, in a period of long political stability, found itself hit by an economic miracle comparable to the one that brought prosperity to the nation over a hundred years ago. While they are still not a power comparable to the other blocs and nations on Earth, their budding space program has in recent years been the source of awe in many a corner of the globe and leaves the nation and the partners participating in it's space programme in a prime position to exploit the new fields of science about to be discovered.

Doctrine
The Argentinians are no fools and know that they can't compete directly with the sheer advantage in numbers of the other nations. In order to maximize usefulness, they are striving to create universally useful designs and systems over specialized ones. As such, laser weapons are very attractive to them as a catch-all option, but railguns are initially preferred for lack of capable energy weapon scientists. A single ASM missile size may be used, but energy weapons will be preferred to avoid long and expensive supply chains.



Earth Minerals

Duranium:   180 000   0.90
Neutronium:   104 000   0.50
Corbomite:   119 600   0.40
Tritanium:   81 700   1.00
Boronide:   89 800   0.40
Mercassium:   60 800   0.50
Vendarite:   78 300   0.90
Sorium:   99 300   0.60
Uridium:   119 000   0.90
Corundium:   58 300   0.50
Gallicite:   97 000   0.40


Race comp 2050 - game start
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 05:18:04 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 04:21:36 AM »
   2050s

The two powers lacking a civilian shipyard at the start, Argentina and the EU, queue one. The other powers build military academies, financial centers or naval HQs while everyone researches trans-newtonian tech. Nothing of this will get built for a few years as everyone is stuck with conventional industry.

Argentina starts building minimal-engine missiles with a large payload as orbital bombs to avoid having idle ordnance construction capacity. Run limited to 100 as the nation has a disproportionally large spending on research compared to the others, leading to wealth issues.

Trans-Newtonian Physics times:
28 Feb 2052 - Japan - starts energy weapons and reactors/engines
27 Jul 2052 - China - starts reactors/engines
27 Jul 2052 - Argentina - starts jump point theory
26 Aug 2052 - US - starts armor and reactors/engines
25 Sep 2052 - EU - starts railguns and reactors/engines
25 Oct 2052 - Russia - starts missile tech and reactors/engines

In 2053 conversion to TN industry has started in all parts of the globe, with reduction or pausing of unfinished conventional projects, like the Argentine commercial shipyard which is only 15% done. The EU one finished, now enlarging to 50k like all others.

Chien Ai Shan demonstrates the first functional nuclear thermal space drive, the first human trans-newtonian engine. The PRC secretly begins developing a missile system using this new technology.

By 2054 many nations research their first Trans-Newtonian reactors and technologies. Estimates are that as soon as 2060 the whole world will have cheap, reliable energy available to all.

Leaders around the world are more concerned with securing strategic advantages, short-term and long-term, through the research of new technology rather than through land campaigns made unpredictable with the now rapidly advancing technology.

In July of this year American advances in duranium armor construction are dispersed around the world as they are leading in the field. Everyone will now have an easier time reaching Duranium Armor technology, but only they currently possess the technology needed to compress duranium into a denser form.

By the end of the year the Argentine effort for Jump Point Theory is finished and the development of sensors for the detection of such jump point as well as basic engine technologies and the other base technologies for a functional jump drive are queued.

In May of 2056 the Japanese Sugitani corp. unveils the first space-capable, wholly trans-newtonian weapon system: The Sugitani Microwave Beamer. A non-lethal weapon, fit for use with the SDF space force.
They still don't possess a practical system for aiming the weapon in space nor a system that locates targets for it.

The Europeans scope out the first designs of an interplanetary cargo vessel, named the STARFREIGHTER project, using INTE drives. As of now there is nowhere for such a vessel to go, however, and unlike many of it's competitors the EU has not invested in basic fuel efficiency technologies yet, making the range and consumption of such a vessel limited to interplanetary trips, preferrably in the inner solar system.

In mid-2057 NASA launches a new, large space telescope dubbed "Hubble II" - it's bulk, relative to preceeding non-TN satellites, hides the NSA's latest nefarious deed - an ELINT module designed to spy on the other nations.

By the end of the year NASA is also the first to lay down a functional exploration ship for a survey of the solar system. It's first ship, the USS Aldebaran, will have a six-year mission to survey planets, moons and other bodies in the solar system for potential off-world mineral exploitation.

Code: [Select]
Discoverer class Geological Survey Vessel      2 544 tons       49 Crew       333.4 BP       TCS 51    TH 64    EM 0
1258 km/s      Armour 1-16       Shields 0-0       HTK 20      Sensors 5/0/0/2      DCR 2      PPV 0
Maint Life 6.10 Years     MSP 163    AFR 26%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 8    5YR 113    Max Repair 100 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 72 months    Morale Check Required   

Boeing C-INTE Thermonuclear Engine Assembly (1)    Power 64.0    Fuel Use 5.76%    Signature 64.00    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 200 000 Litres    Range 245.7 billion km (2260 days at full power)

ASS1 "Space Radar" (1)     GPS 1000     Range 18.5m km    Resolution 100
Knighten Electronics Heat Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

A Dutch team demonstrates before the break of 2058 that a live, healthy human can be frozen, kept in suspension for an arbitrary amount of time, and revived without any permanent damage to them. The dream of cryonics is alive again, and with it a realistic prospect for colonizing distant worlds.
Mass cryonic storage systems are quickly incorporated into the EU STARFREIGHTER plans. The project is accelerated to the point that first construction is started in January 2058 already. A general enthusiasm for colonization of Mars or other worlds develops, with many companies springing up from nothing to develop technology for settlers to use at their proposed destinations - some are for real, some are there to cash in on the fad.

In August 2058 the first American survey vessels are launched. The USS Aldebaran and her sister ship, the USS Alpha Centauri, set out to map the inner planets and asteroid belt bodies.
Both Mars and Venus have large accessible Duranium deposits, with Venus also having large accessible Gallicite. Jupiter has a moderate amount of 1.0 Sorium, giving humanity an easy fuel source.

May 2059, the People's Republic of China opens it's official orbital spaceport. Still small in size, it's nontheless an impressive display of technological and engineering prowess. The station will serve as a permanent diplomatic station on the most neutral ground possible.
Not willing to be outdone, other nations prepare similar projects.

While the general populace of Japan is highly educated, there are few able and even fewer competent personnel capable of leading concrete scientific efforts for the state due to the education system not favoring original thinking and private companies picking up all those who excel at it anyway. To correct this state of affairs, Japan's only Energy Weapon scientist, Nosaka Taji, will henceforth be the director of the national military university.

November 2059 - The PRC completes a 12cm Laser system, able to fire every 10 seconds. This new weapon, termed the "People's Laser Weapon", is now slated to be mass-produced to give every chinese military installation and future warship the means to defend themselves.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 02:12:11 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 04:27:11 AM »
   2060s

The first European survey ships set out into Sol. The findings of Duranium on Mars are no secret, but as of right now no nation is in a position to found a colony there to exploit them just yet.
The first European colony ship, commissioned on the 5th of March 2060, changes this - the first human colony is founded as two European STARFREIGHTERs, one loaded with cryogenically frozen colonists, another with materials and infrastructure needed to ensure their survival, sets down on Mars.
Little later, DB Schenker logistics launches the first civilian colony ship. Operation of the government-operated Starfreighter Cryo is halted in hopes that the civilian sector can take over this segment, generating extra income for the strained EU budget.

2060 marks a year of change for ground-based militaries, as the initial rush to applying TN-tech to existing militaries wears off. The doctrines that have evolved are as follows:

Japan
Large army corps formations with dedicated Divisions, with a focus on defense. Inflexible, little focus on supply.
May construct a set of ground-based microwaves to disable attackers in orbit.

Argentina
Technologically behind in ground-based warfare technology, the current doctrine relies on not getting hit in the first place - through the use of all-light vehicle brigades. Although weak in attack strength, this kind of doctrine will do just as well on the attack as it does on the defense.

US
The US is all about powerful infantry currently, having developed Powered Infantry Armor. The US currently possesses the best armor, but has not increased it's ground attack strength yet for lack of scientists in weaponry fields.

PRC
Chinese ground troops currently enjoy a weapon strength advantage. Infantry heavy. Plenty of armor.
Building ground-based lasers.

Russia
The armor-heavy invasion armies of the past are taking a backseat as the neo-Soviet think tanks are already at full capacity keeping up with the other types of developments around the world. The Russian TN army model is therefore centered around the infantryman.

EU
Technologically solid, combined arms hierarchy. Supply heavy.

19 Jul 2060 - The PRC finishes industry conversion to TN. Their conversion scheme was heavy on industry, going for 450 con-facts, 300 mines and 50 fuel refinieries. Industry switching to cryo transport modules to accelerate colonization program.

24 Apr 2061 - The first war vessel built by human hands launches into space; an EU Eurofighter Space Striker with 10 size 3 missile racks. The first fighter of the batch, it trades two launch racks for a sensor and slightly more range.

Code: [Select]
BM Eurofighter Space Spotter 001  (Eurofighter Space Spotter class Bomber)      500 tons       7 Crew       40.6 BP       TCS 10    TH 32    EM 0
3206 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 2      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 2.4
Maint Life 2.28 Years     MSP 5    AFR 20%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 1    5YR 20    Max Repair 16 MSP
Magazine 24   
Korvettenkapitan    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 days    Morale Check Required   

Eurofighter INTE Heavy Monoengine (1)    Power 32    Fuel Use 127.28%    Signature 32    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 24 000 Litres    Range 6.8 billion km (24 days at full power)

Cerberus Launch Rack (8)     Missile Size: 3    Hangar Reload 86 minutes    MF Reload 14 hours
Eurofighter Medium Range Target Electronics (1)     Range 4.3m km    Resolution 5
Cerberus ASM Prototype (8)    Speed: 6 400 km/s    End: 47.8m     Range: 18.4m km    WH: 2    Size: 3    TH: 23/14/7

Eurofighter Target Acquisition (1)     GPS 20     Range 4.3m km    Resolution 5

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Fighter for production, combat and planetary interaction

There is no notable international response to this new space warfare capability of one power over the others as it's considered a mere evolution of existing fighter-bomber designs, albeit with drastically improved capabilities.

Argentine efforts pay off as the Chubut, the first and for the foreseeable future only Argentine ship, is laid down. The design is a self-jump capable survey cruiser equipped with both kinds of survey sensors, passive sensors and 7 years endurance. It's downside is low speed, as it's built with basic Nuclear Thermal technology whereas all other space programs have opted to deploy at least Improved Nuclear Thermal engines with some already designing Nuclear Pulse engines.

Code: [Select]
Chubut class Survey Cruiser      9 997 tons       128 Crew       706.3 BP       TCS 200    TH 150    EM 0
750 km/s    JR 1-25(C)      Armour 1-41       Shields 0-0       HTK 48      Sensors 5/5/2/2      DCR 7      PPV 0
Maint Life 7.57 Years     MSP 709    AFR 114%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 22    5YR 326    Max Repair 100 MSP
Capitán de Fragata    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 71 months    Morale Check Required   

Casartelli Device     Max Ship Size 10000 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 1

Bañuelos C-NTE Starship Engine (3)    Power 150    Fuel Use 5.76%    Signature 50    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 400 000 Litres    Range 125 billion km (1929 days at full power)

Munguía Warning & Control Radio Receiver (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Munguía Warning & Control Heat Detector (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Argentine developments of a functional jump drive are still kept secret from the other nations, although the theoretical concept is increasingly discussed with chinese laboratories actively researching Jump Point Theory.

In January of 2062 the US finishes it's first set of colony ships, enabling them to found an offworld colony on mars as well. The US survey of the sol system has progressed and is finishing up the Kuiper belt, but aside from large 0.9 deposits of Sorium on Neptune no further particularly interesting mineral deposits have been found in Sol.

April. The first Chinese colony ship finishes, set to ferry settlers to the moon. The moon has no special resources and is, naturally, a much less prestigious target than Mars, but avoids diplomatic confrontation for the time being. As it stands both the US and Russia are developing armed frigates and the EU has a squadron of space fighters, whereas China's military construction has been limited to STO lasers.
The co-settlement of the US in addition to the EU colony on Mars was not agreed upon, but did not cause waves as the American effort is, by nature, largely led by commercial interests and only indirectly a state power. Chinese authority on the other hand is the very model of a ruthless centralized state power.
China will certainly not be content to accept second place in anything as the dominant world power in the long term, however.

The Argentine Republic is the last spacefaring faction on earth to complete conversion of all industry to a trans-newtonian model in July 2062. Some parallel progress has been made on the civilian shipyard, which is why it took a bit longer than it did for the other nations. Now focus will lie on gaining the capability to establish an offworld colony.

Saturday, 30th of December 2062. The Argentinian Chubut class survey cruiser identifies a jump point in the asteroid belt and engages the experimental Casartelli Device at it's location, successfully transiting into another star system. No other nation notices.
The system is centered on a star similar to the sun with five planets and 44 moons around it. None of them have an atmosphere or are near habitable. As per standing orders for a successful transit the crew begins surveying the system.


First transit

On December 1st 2063 the first private interplanetary mining colony begins operation on the comet Van Biesbroeck, sending valuable Duranium, Uridium and Mercassium back to America.

A year later the Argentinian Chubut finishes the survey of the extrasolar star system, now named Aguascalientes. The only interesting find aside from the system's two comets and a few orbitally minable moons is the moon 4-11, with around 100k Duranium, Vendarite and Uridium, all at 0.9 accessibility. The ship begins the gravimetric survey of the system.

In May 2064 the Russian Federation is the last competitor to finally commission it's first spaceships. The ships in question are a series of three "Krivak" box-launcher armed missile frigates, capable of delivering 24 size-7 missiles each.
The ships will begin training excercises a small distance from Earth so as to not be vulnerable to point-blank energy fire.

Code: [Select]
Krivak class Missile Frigate      4 000 tons       76 Crew       384.7 BP       TCS 80    TH 320    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 1-22       Shields 0-0       HTK 22      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 2      PPV 16.8
Maint Life 4.12 Years     MSP 230    AFR 51%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 22    5YR 325    Max Repair 80 MSP
Magazine 168   
Kapitan vtorogo ranga    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

NIKIET INTE Engine Block (2)    Power 320    Fuel Use 111.17%    Signature 160    Explosion 12%
Fuel Capacity 319 000 Litres    Range 12.9 billion km (37 days at full power)

Pavlov Launch Rack (24)     Missile Size: 7    Hangar Reload 132 minutes    MF Reload 22 hours
Samoylov Frigate Targeting Dish (4)     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 80
Pavlov Heavy Missile (24)    Speed: 8 000 km/s    End: 51m     Range: 24.5m km    WH: 9    Size: 7    TH: 29/17/8

Samoylov Frigate Detection Dish (1)     GPS 1600     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 80

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Feb 2065: The Argentinian Chubut finds a JP in the other system and moves to investigate. The discovered system is named Melo, a trinary system. The B component has several interesting planets, but orbits at a distance of 120b km - unusably far away without a Lagrange Point present in the system.
The second Argentinian survey cruiser built has begun surveying the Sol system by this point.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 05:17:40 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 04:30:03 AM »
16 years in - Nation summaries

   European Union

Research Priorities
Research is proceeding to develop a viable railgun system for missile defense and short-range engagement. The platform it will be deployed on has not yet been decided.

Military Analysis
Militarily the EU has grown to 36 Eurofighter bombers by this year. Construction has been halted. Currently considered the strongest force.

Economic Situation
European maintenance facilities are grossly insufficient for this growing number of space-worthy fighters and supporting the fleet of existing survey craft orbiting Earth; Many ships are currently gaining maintenance debt. Fortunately the fighters come with enough spares to last years.
One squadron of Eurofighters is being stationed on Mars with the requisite 3 maintenance facilities, however currently no MSP can be shipped to the red planet for lack of that capability.

Ground Forces
Four divisions of Infantry, one division armor. Deemed sufficient.


   Russian Federation

Research Priorities
Current research projects is AMM capability. Sensor research coming up.
With merely 5 research facilities Russia is afraid of falling behind in tech and is trying to build another facility at least, but other projects keep taking priority.

Military Analysis
Six Krivak-class missile frigates are now in operation and being trained. They were originally designed to fight opponents of similar size, but the growing number of Eurofighters in orbit has caused a review of doctrine. Capable sensor systems able to detect and target a Eurofighter-sized craft at 24.3km, the maximum firing range of a Pavlov heavy missile, are being developed. A planned refit for some or all of the Krivaks has them forego their own sensor suite in exchange for one of the targeting systems capable of firing at fighters. Since only one fighter will be able to be targeted at a time, it is critical that enough time can be had to cycle through all targets during an engagement. This necessitates the flotilla holding position several million km from Earth in the future, much farther than the previous "outside of energy range" doctrine.
The need to cycle through targets for some time during an engagement negates much of the advantage of box launchers, making this an suboptimal solution. Additionally new craft will be needed to actually deploy a sensor capable of detecting the fighters in the first place.
The observed speed of some of the initial Eurofighter designs is below that of the fast Krivak frigate, but the actual speed of the bulk of the fighters is unknown.

Other plans are AMM frigates. Since most likely engagement involves defence against massed missile attack very powerful sensors to give AMM as much time as possible. Perhaps hybridized sensor ship design for AMM and fighter detection is possible.

Ships will train and overhaul in batches, so that some are always able to respond to an emergency.

Waiting on shipyard expansion to finish to construct diplomatic station with secret ELINT capability.

Economic Situation
Low Wealth reserves. Newly constructed financial centers will help avoid paralysis.
Freighter construction has completely drained fuel reserves; no new refinieries have been built since industry has been converted from conventional tech. Space-based refineries would be preferrable as ground construction capability is low since it was opted to convert industry into a larger share of mines rather than construction facilities, but effective sorium conversion from a gas giant is five years out as the technology for it has not been developed yet. For now refinieries are being built to at least restart missile production.

Ground Forces
Behind in army size, constructing more units.


   Corporate Congress of the United States

Research Priorities
Disparate efforts by different companies. Working to increase lead on armor technology and researching plasma weapons.

Military Analysis
Three Lexington class frigates, recently built, undergoing training.

Code: [Select]
Lexington class Frigate      6 000 tons       154 Crew       485 BP       TCS 120    TH 360    EM 0
3000 km/s      Armour 4-29       Shields 0-0       HTK 39      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 2      PPV 24
Maint Life 3.62 Years     MSP 501    AFR 144%    IFR 2.0%    1YR 59    5YR 887    Max Repair 81 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 27 months    Morale Check Required   

General Motors NPE Impulse Drive (2)    Power 360    Fuel Use 43.74%    Signature 180    Explosion 9%
Fuel Capacity 254 000 Litres    Range 17.4 billion km (67 days at full power)

Raytheon Raygun Prototype (8)    Range 20 000km     TS: 3 000 km/s     Power 3-1     RM 10 000 km    ROF 15       
Target Tracker 3k (2)     Max Range: 20 000 km   TS: 3 000 km/s     38 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Power Bank (8)     Total Power Output 8    Exp 5%

ASS1 "Space Radar" (1)     GPS 1000     Range 18.5m km    Resolution 100
Knighten Electronics Heat Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Laser armament deemed weak and considered for replacement by a different system.

Economic Situation
Large amount of wealth in the bank, able to keep purchasing civilian minerals and spending generously.
Exploitation of Martian resources has not yet begun, but may soon as the first of Earth's deposits are drying up.

Ground Forces
16 individual Infantry Divisions deployed, all with powered armor. More than enough ground power for Earth and eventual colonial deployments as it stands, no further construction underway.


   Japan

Research Priorities
Looking to push the boundaries of the possible - finished much-publicized research into Jump Point Theory this year, unlike the other nations secret efforts. Other military scientists looking to make mecha a reality within this decade.
Still suffering from low amount of capable scientists.

Military Analysis
Japan possesses a handful of microwave fighters to disable attacking ships and is considering building ground-based microwave stations as well. As Japan's chief threat, China, has not deployed armed warships yet this is considered acceptable for now, but more lethal weapons will have to be deployed in the medium term. The only weapon system Japan has the capability of producing aside from microwaves are TL1 lasers, albeit with a capacitor recharge of 3.
Japan possesses two as of yet unused 12k ton military slipways, but concrete plans for a warship design to be laid down have not yet materialized.

Economic Situation
Very wealthy. Owns many financial centers and recently research economic tech.
Japan is looking to found a colony, but with Mars semi-officially claimed by the EU in cooperation with US companies, Venus and it's even richer mineral deposits are being considered. Planetary infrastructure would be prohibitively expensive, so large orbital habitats are being considered. Those would be quite vulnerable, but staking an exclusive claim over Venus might be a big boon. As it stands, Japan does not have the power to enforce such a claim. Should colonization of extrasolar bodies be possible, other priorities may arise which could make Venus an inefficient endeavour.
For now, expensive infrastructure-based Venus colonies are planned in the short term to legitimize a future full claim.

Ground Forces
Three divisions in the field with more being trained. The money is there to afford it.


   People's Republic of China

Research Priorities
Chinese gravsurvey ships found their first jump point this year. The top secret development of a jump drive has been progressing for some time, but Japan recently duplicated some basic theoretical efforts and announced to the world that interstellar travel is likely possible, potentially reducing the advantage gained by this secret research. Early South American experiments in the field were not reported to have success, however.

Military Analysis
Earth is being protected by a large and capable STO laser force, as such no warships are immediately needed.
A capable laser destroyer with 12k tons displacement has been designed and will be built over the next few years.
Geo- and gravsurvey of Sol is progressing through the use of fighter-sized survey vessels.

Economic Situation
Very rich! Good amount in the bank and large surplus, will be able to stock money for the future.
The moon colony avoids diplomatic complications while no mobile spacefaring military units exist. The colony there stimulates the civilian shipping economy, at a higher rate than a Mars colony as well.
In light of Earth's waning deposits other mineral sources will have to be exploited, but given large stockpiles that is no concern for the next few years at least.

Ground Forces
6 Infantry divisions, 2 armored divisions, 1 STO division with 24 lasers. Cost ~17% of the national expenses this year, but very much considered sufficient to protect China and threaten others.


   Argentine Republic

Research Priorities
Developing a light railgun system for logistics-free general usage. Development of more powerful engines than basic nuclear thermal is a priority after.
Due to the small size of the Argentine economy but it's research output being comparable to the larger powers about half of the government budget goes into research.

Military Analysis
Argentina does not currently possess any kind of spacefaring or space-striking military.
Plans to change this are underway, but first deployments of the new railguns may well happen in an STO function.
The nation is still several years out from being able to found an interplanetary colony, as such, there is currently nothing in space to protect. Trying to keep pace with the major powers in raw military power is also a losing proposition due to the small size of the nation.
Three survey cruisers are in operation now, with one still secretly surveying extrasolar systems. As far as other nations are concerned, the ship is busy surveying the Kuiper belt. A fourth survey cruiser is under construction - these vessels are expected to serve for a long time, albeit perhaps with some engine upgrades in the semi-near future.

Economic Situation
A years worth of surplus has amassed in the bank, so financial issues should not dictate policy in the near future. There is worry about the low amount of fuel in store and being produced, as well as insufficient facilities in most other areas. Everything requires more, so the nation is attempting to double it's construction factory count from 50 to 100 - a painfully long process which is assumed to take another 8 years, with Neutronium stocks likely not lasting until then.
In any case, the argentinian commercial shipyard exists now and is expanding to accomodate the construction of freighters and cryoships.

Ground Forces
Seven divisions worth of infantry brigades are mostly finished constructing. There are also some lower tech light vehicle-based brigades around. The tech level of the infantry brigades is not outstanding, but together with their number considered sufficient to deter aggressive powers from considering the nation an easy target.
Infantry in it's nature is largely defensive, but still a more flexible option than relying heavily on static units or expensive to research and build vehicles.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 05:02:42 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 04:32:28 AM »
2067

   European Union

Current fire control tech is insufficient to make an adequate-size fire control for the new Krupp Vacuum Autocannon, base research in the field is being done.

Plans are drawn up for a general support vessel. It will be able to carry fuel, supplies and ordnance to Mars or other locations. The need for such a vessel was highlighted during last year's maintenance crisis.

The maintenance situation that EU shipping was in last year has been resolved, with all ships overhauled. One of the fighters which was stationed on Mars had to be abandoned after it's engine malfunctioned and it couldn't return to Earth under it's own power, but that was a small loss.
The first EU CMC has been established on the comet Machholz. There are deposits of Duranium, Neutronium, Corundium and some Mercassium. For now, the government purchases it's output.


   Russian Federation

The newer Eurofighters have been observed to have the same speed as the Krivak frigates. This is fine, as it does not give tham an advantage.

Four infantry divisions are in the field now. Another two will be recruited, no more due to budget constraints.


   Corporate Congress of the United States

Military Analysis
In an espionage coup the CIA got it's hands on the current design schematics for the planned Chinese laser destroyer. The project, cleverly named the same as one of their survey craft, makes it clear that the current laser frigates of the US space force are outgunned. The saving grace is that the planned ships are slower than the current American fleet owing to more advanced nuclear pulse technology. Other potential weaknesses include a gap in sensor coverage against small ships releasing missiles from over 1m km away, suggesting that the PRC does not have plans to enter a conflict with the EU at this time.

Code: [Select]
Jiangwei class Destroyer      12 000 tons       317 Crew       945.3 BP       TCS 240    TH 576    EM 0
2400 km/s      Armour 4-46       Shields 0-0       HTK 68      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 48
Maint Life 1.16 Years     MSP 212    AFR 329%    IFR 4.6%    1YR 160    5YR 2 405    Max Repair 96 MSP
Zhong Xiao    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Feng-Dai Thrust INTE Capital Ship Drive (3)    Power 576    Fuel Use 51.96%    Signature 192    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 700 000 Litres    Range 20.2 billion km (97 days at full power)

People's Laser Weapon (12)    Range 80 000km     TS: 2 400 km/s     Power 4-2     RM 20 000 km    ROF 10       
Xue-Fen Capital Fire Director (2)     Max Range: 80 000 km   TS: 3 000 km/s     66 56 47 38 28 19 9 0 0 0
Standard Power Unit (12)     Total Power Output 24    Exp 5%

Xue-Fen High-Resolution Scanner (1)     GPS 30     Range 6.9m km    MCR 621.9k km    Resolution 1
Xue-Fen Long-Range Sensor Array (1)     GPS 3600     Range 34.1m km    Resolution 120

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

A similar espionage success reveals to the US that the planned Russian diplomatic station is supposed to contain most un-neutral ELINT facilities. The findings are publicized, generating moderate outrage, and the Russian government is called to halt these plans. They deny the accusations and describe the supposed spy functions as ordinary civilian technology. Two weeks later the world has forgotten, but the US now knows about the true nature of the station design and can plan around it.


   People's Republic of China

As a response to PPV problems on the moon, owing to the current lack of armed Chinese spacecraft, a few laser fighters on the basis of the survey craft are built. Due to their low speed they are not expected to be useful in actual combat, but will serve to pacify the populace and have other powers wonder about their capabilities while they do not engage their engines and reveal their speed.


   Argentine Republic

The system adjacent to Sol with the JP in the asteroid belt is confirmed to only have the one other JP. The Chubut is returning home for an overhaul.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 05:06:03 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2020, 04:35:13 AM »
2068

   Corporate Congress of the United States

Through espionage, the US has gained several techs, including the top secret Jump Point Theory from China, basic magazine construction techs and others.
In yet another intelligence coup aided by the powerful spy installations on board the Hubble II "telescope", hints are picked up about an Argentinian ship leaving the Sol system through the pickup of detailed maps of a solar system that is not Sol. Concentrated operations manage to penetrate the middling Argentine operational security measures and reveal that yes, the Chubut both does have an operational jump drive aboard and first visited the system as early as six years ago.
The question became of what to do with that intelligence. Admitting to having it would also acknowledge penetrating Argentinian security. Publicizing the information would no doubt attract a lot of attention, as it confirms that interstellar travel is possible and likely do lasting damage to the reputation of the Argentinian space program. This threat could be used as leverage to gain exclusive access to more information about their extrasolar exploration efforts, provided they accept.
A clandestine offer was made to the Argentine officials in charge: transmit all information gained about and through the use of interstellar travel for evaluation as a possible threat to national security or the findings will be publicized and several minor US-Argentinian cooperation projects would stop.
On the Argentine side the offer was considered. The purpose of the secret exploration project was to gain access to resources or a strategic advantage before other nations did, contributing to national wealth and security. The two systems discovered so far held no advantages deemed large enough to matter and exploitable so far, so giving up information about other solar systems would not be a big blow. There is suspicion about how the CIA got their hands on that information however. Evidence of a pinpointed information extraction operation was found, but it was too targeted to be coincidence. Suspicion immediately fell upon the one large orbital installation of the US, the "Hubble II" telescope, and TN electronics interception capabilities.
The Argentine response to the North American blackmail was as follows: Before any response to the offer was given, a propagandist release was made under false names that the Argentine space program had secretly been testing a functional jump drive, named the "Casartelli Device", and that a ship had visisted another star system. The timeline was muddled, and as it was this one initial announcement that got all the attention, subsequent US releases about this happening six years ago would be cast in doubt, or at least not have as big an impact as the big, shocking news were already out. Secondly, it was said that this information was gained through covert space-based signals interception based on the Hubble II satellite and that an armed team of US commandos slaughtered their way through a civilian Argentine laboratory to gather the evidence. All this was released in quicky succession through impersonation of several US agencies and news outlets.
This campaign allowed the South American nation to control the spin, show the US in a bad light and minimize the damage to it's own space program's reputation. The continuing stream of reports about US signals interception through the use of Hubble II, fed by conspiracy theories and real happenstances alike, caused a general consensus that such actions were an attack on other nation's internal affairs and caused a UN resolution to be passed outlawing such forms of spying. By the end of the year the US was forced to decommission Hubble II.
The reveal of human interstellar exploration was big news and very inspiring to the populace anywhere, but especially in South America. It was considered disappointing that such advances had not been shared for the good of all mankind but instead been made under military secrecy. As recent famed Japanese research had shown that the principles behind Jump Point Theory were sound, the surprise was not as big as it could have been. The relations between Argentina and other nations remained largely unharmed, although the were now increasingly perceived as a competitor in the field of space exploitation rather than a curiosity.
US-Argentine relations suffered as a consequence of the whole ordeal. There was general sentiment that the minor nation neeed to be "put in it's place", but no concrete actions came of it.

   Argentine Republic

The whole hubbub with the US spying affair revealed the viability of interstellar travel to other nations, so it is expected that efforts to advance in that field will progress more quickly around the world now. Argentina is increasingly being seen as a competitor in space, even as a minor player, so Argentine resolve to develop space-based weapon platforms is hardened.
The crew of the Chubut, on shore leave on Earth, are regarded as heroes and tell tales of their adventures in outer space.

   Russian Federation

The US blunder in having their ELINT capabilities inferred by other nations casts doubt on the project to construct a diplomatic space station with secret ELINT capabilites. The new UN resolution forbidding such forms of espionage against other nations could cause an incident in the future. Nontheless, the go-ahead is given.


   European Union

Finalized design of a railgun armed frigate. It's relatively slow and designed to absorb Russian missile strikes. A dedicated sensor ship may follow to give these vessels a longer sight range, much like how there are spotter Eurofighters in addition to strike ones.

Code: [Select]
Adana class Frigate (P)      8 000 tons       182 Crew       517 BP       TCS 160    TH 435    EM 0
2720 km/s      Armour 3-35       Shields 0-0       HTK 44      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 2      PPV 25
Maint Life 2.41 Years     MSP 320    AFR 256%    IFR 3.6%    1YR 75    5YR 1 131    Max Repair 46.2400 MSP
Fregattankapitan    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Airbus INTE Vacuum Turbine (4)    Power 435.2    Fuel Use 42.39%    Signature 108.80    Explosion 8%
Fuel Capacity 350 000 Litres    Range 18.6 billion km (79 days at full power)

Krupp Vacuum Autocannon (5x4)    Range 20 000km     TS: 2 720 km/s     Power 6-2     RM 10 000 km    ROF 15       
Krupp Autocannon Targeting Electronics (2)     Max Range: 48 000 km   TS: 2 700 km/s     53 39 25 11 0 0 0 0 0 0
R2 Power Supply (5)     Total Power Output 10    Exp 5%

Koski Electronics Projectile Scanner (1)     GPS 20     Range 5.6m km    MCR 507.8k km    Resolution 1
König Hitzelspitzel (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes



2069

   Corporate Congress of the United States

The weak lasers of the Lexington class frigates are slated to be replaced with new plasma weapons, giving the ships a high short-range alpha strike capability and hopefully high ground bombardment potential.


   People's Republic of China

Chinese survey craft confirm that there are only two jump points present in Sol. (Strange, I thought I set 4)


   Argentine Republic

Discovery of Salto through a newly found JP in the Kuiper belt. The system orbits a single F-type star, slightly larger than the sun. A terrestial planet with plenty of surface ice is near the habitable zone and has a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. A prime settlement candidate, if not immediately habitable. The crew of the Aguaray excitedly sets out to survey the system.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 05:07:57 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2020, 04:39:39 AM »
   2070

The US corporate hierarchy is expanded to accomodate expansion into space. A sector command of size 2 has been built.

In a much-propagandized campaign the Chinese effort to terraform the moon has begun. The material released to the population shows blue skies and lush vegetation on the once cratery moon surface with Earth in the backdrop of the sky. Reality may not turn out to be entirely as idyllic, but it's the first project of this kind nontheless.

At this point China is working on an actual jump drive designed to allow it's under-construction destroyers (and also their survey craft) reach other star systems. In both the EU, US and Japan research into jump drive tech is being undertaken. Only Russia is not currently investing into this field.
Either way, the reveal of Argentine forays into other star systems is accelerating human efforts in that area.

The Argentine geosurvey results of the second system connected to Sol, Salto, were unfortunately very disappointing. The next system found by the survey ship investigating the system finds an atmosphere-less planet in the habitable zone of the primary. The system is either a binary system or a quarternary, depending on wether or not you wish to class the overgrown gas giants classed as brown dwarves as stars.

   2071

The US is the first nation to move government mines offworld. With only 3.7k Corundium left in stocks at home 128 out of 300 mines are ordered to be shipped to Mars and it's ample 0.5 Corundium plus 0.9 Duranium deposits via government freighters.

Japan lays down two self-jump capable survey cruisers following Argentinian example. The Japanese ships are 20% bigger and armed, albeit with short-range microwaves. The ships are being built for 10 years of independant operation outside of Sol.

Argentine mineral stocks hit 0 Neutronium, which is currently being used for expansion of construction factories and shipyard retooling. For now 10 automines to establish an offworld mining colony are switched to, likely on the comet Machholz which offers Duranium, Neutronium, Corundium and some Mercassium.
There are many interesting deposits in the Santa Maria system, the fourth and most recent one discovered. The small nation does not yet have the capabilities to exploit extrasolar deposits, however, for lack of a way to transit freighters.

This year the rapidly depleting mineral reserves on Earth are finally being felt by all six spacefaring nations. There is no critical shortage yet anywhere, but plans are being drawn up to plug the most relevant holes and to transition mining away from Earth. The nations with civilian mining corporations have an advantage here. There are currently 6 US, 4 EU and 1 chinese CMC in operation on comets or moons in Sol. All outputs are currently being purchased by their respective governments.

The Russian Federation still has not established a colony in Sol, despite having had the ability to do so for a while. A colony on Mars is just asking for trouble as tensions with the EU remain high, the moon is in exclusive Chinese possession these days and Venus, which isn't of immediate practicality for a civilian colony but also has valuable resources, has been claimed by Japan. A colony on some other "worthless" body after the Chinese model has been discussed, but no conclusion could be reached yet. By the end of the year the President puts his foot down and orders the colonization of Callisto around Jupiter without firm intention of claiming the body in the long term. Mercury would have been easier to colonize in terms of required infrastructure, but Russia is developing technology to extract Sorium straight out of the atmosphere of a gas giant and establishing a presence around Jupiter made sense. Additionally, Callisto is said to have some secondary mineral deposits. As it stands Russia has not conducted it's own geosurvey of Sol, so exact numbers or alternatives are unavailable for detailed analysis, which was one of the factors contributing to the indecision in the first place.
So far the Federation has been almost exclusively been focused on building up a space-based military, rather than economy, in order to stay relevant in the future.


Sol in 2071

   2073

Argentina discovers a planet with breathable atmosphere, if you exclude the small amounts of Fluoride in it, on a -40°c world almost entirely covered with ice.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 05:13:29 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2020, 04:45:18 AM »
2075 - Survey ship comparison

By this year, all nations have developed or deployed some sort of capability for interstellar exploration. The doctrines that have evolved are largely inspired by the initial Argentinian survey cruiser, the Chubut.

   European Union - Survey cruiser

Size: 8k
Endurance: 6y
Speed: 1000
Deployed: 3 (under construction)

Exploration: Geosurvey of Sol completed


   Russian Federation - Lighter survey frigate

Size: 4k
Endurance: 8y
Speed: 800
Deployed: Last technologies still under development, not started construction yet
Only single grav and geo sensor

Exploration: Full survey of Aguascalientes adjacent to Sol gained through ELINT, no survey in Sol yet.


   Corporate Congress of the United States - Armed exploration frigate

Size: 6k
Endurance: 5y
Speed: 1066
Deployed: 2 (Another 1 or 2 with better engines planned)
Armed with short-range plasma weapon
No passive sensors
Only grav survey, seperate geosurvey variants will follow.

Exploration: Still grav-surveying Sol. Knows Aguascalientes next to Sol and it's geosurvey results.


   Japan - Advanced survey cruiser

Size: 12k
Endurance: 10y
Speed: 1000
Deployed: 4
Armed with two short-range microwaves
No passive sensors

Exploration: Three systems known


   People's Republic of China - Short-range survey fighters

Size: 500
Endurance: 2-3y
Speed: 512
Deployed: 7
Total of seven geo and grav survey fighters, no jump capabilities to other systems. Will have to be replaced for extrasolar surveys. Military jump ship has investigated Sol JPs.

Exploration: Poked head in both systems adjacent to Sol


   Argentine Republic - The original exploration cruiser

Size: 10k
Endurance: 7y
Speed: 750 (Refit: 1200)
Deployed: 4

Exploration: Seven systems known, most fully surveyed or survey in progress.
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2020, 04:50:18 AM »
2075 - Nation summaries

   European Union

Research Priorities
The EU does not have any experts in the critical field of Power and Propulsion and is lagging behind in that area. Otherwise there are no deficiencies in facilities or personnel.
There are no critical technologies or capabilities missing for the EU. Current efforts are directed towards ground support capabilities for the existing Eurofighters and increased ship maintenance capacities.

Military Analysis
The EU maintains the largest space navy. Nine 8k railgun frigates are in service as well as 36 Eurofighter box launcher fighters. One squadron of six is permanently stationed on Mars. The fighters have a competetive speed of 4000, but the warships are held back by their INTE engines from exceeding 2700.
Another expansion of maintenance facilities to support up to 120k of naval tonnage is underway.

Economic Situation
Wealth is not an issue due to civilian shipping. Mineral stocks are short on Corundium because of investments into more mines and secondarily Mercassium as the fleet of state-owned colony ships has been increased to 5.
Mining operations are in progress on Mars and through 4 CMCs on two comets. This will be insufficient in the long term and leadership is entertaining alternative options of acquiring minerals from asteroids or extrasolar sources. Exploration of nearby systems will dictate future strategy.

Ground Forces
With five divisions the unified European army is relatively small, but so is the principal threat's force, Russias. The expanding armies of other nations are viewed with concern, however, and expansion is slated for after the next technological breakthrough.

   Russian Federation

Research Priorities
Through ELINT, the Russian Federation is now capable of building it's own jump drives. These are four expensive techs totaling 10k RP alone. You're supposed to quit while you're ahead, and so the operation aboard the diplomatic space station was shut down. It is quite a feat for the technologically behind nation to achieve parity in jump drive capability (all other nations have developed the requisite techs at this point) without needing to invest into expensive R&D.
In other regards tech is lagging behind the other nations. Even with the stolen jump drive techs gravitational sensors and a concrete Casartelli Device to open the jump points must still be designed, while other nations are already building or operating exploration ships.

Military Analysis
Sensor research over the last 10 years has born fruit and two dedicated armored sensor ships are under construction. Six box-launcher Krivak missile frigates are in operation, three have their own ship-detection sensors, three have been refit with targeting systems capable of hitting small bombers like those the EU employs.
Because of fears that this doctrine will consume excessive fuel the plans to have ships take permanent station off of Earth were never implemented, but are still called for in times of war or heightened tension.
AMM technology has advanced and plans are that dedicated AMM frigates be built soon. The sensor ships already provide powerful missile dection capabilities, but competing interests for military yard time may delay construction of the AMM frigates.
With most nations starting to employ NPE drives the Russian INTE-based ones are starting to lose their edge, but are predicted to remain comptetitive for the near future because of their high boost factors.
The nation does not have refueling capabilities or jump ships, limiting deployment to Sol for the years to come.

Economic Situation
Through the still recent establishment of the Callisto colony the nation is now supported by a budding civilian shipping industry. Only a handful ships are in operation yet, but the effect is already being felt in the state treasury.
The mineral situation is not urgent as it is for some other nations. Leadership has during the conversion to TN industry decided to invest in a disproportionally large amount of mining industries, foreseeing this situation. Current Earth deposits are only yielding scraps at this point, so mining locations for all minerals must be located and secured in the medium term - even if Russian need is not as immediate as that of some other nations, it is important not to fall behind in that race.
Sorium harvesting technology will hit maturity soon and enable the construction of refining ships or platforms to be deployed around Jupiter, freeing the nation from dependence of ground-based Sorium deposits.


Dwindling mineral deposits on Earth

Ground Forces
Six infantry divisions. Expansion is underway as more advanced high-density duranium armor and powered infantry gear has just been developed.
STO capability, particularly for the defense of Callisto or other future mining colonies would be desirable, but Russia does not have the ability to produce any energy weapon systems but basic plasma carronades. As research capabilities are already stretched it is unlikely that advanced regular troops or a functional direct-fire weapon system for STO use will be built anytime soon.


   Corporate Congress of the United States

Research Priorities
Currently investing into Improved Nuclear Pulse Engines (INPE), the first nation on the planet to do so.
Number of research labs has been expanded to 10, equal to the EU and Japan.
There are no pressing military or strategic needs for research, so general technological advances - like engines - can be made.

Military Analysis
Owns six, soon nine plasma frigates. Americans love their big guns, and these ships have the biggest around. By nature they are unsuited to missile defense and rely on a powerful first strike. If trouble is on the horizon current doctrine states to attack the other nations military assets in Earth orbit first. Assaulting ships and installations at distance may prove difficult. INPE engine refits would help the existing ships in fulfilling their role.
Stationing one or two ships on Mars is a short-term goal to help having ships already in position where trouble is brewing. The establishment of maintenance facilities on Mars requires a ship capable of carrying supplies there.
Experiments with point-defense capabilities in the form of turreted light lasers are being made.
The fleet has no support ships or jump capability, but currently American companies have no rush to expand outside of Sol.
All in all the nation is considered blessed with wealth in money and minerals, technologically advanced and well-protected.

Economic Situation
Civilian shipping makes wealth not an issue. Continuing investments into mining industries made Mars as productive a producer as Earth. Mars and the 7 CMCs on three different bodies provide streams of all minerals except Neutronium, Boronide and Gallicite. There are 10k+ units of each mineral in stock except Corundium due to that being re-invested into mines. The 128 mines on Mars mining 0.5 Accessibility Corundium will prevent a shortage.
Aside from the few as of yet untapped minerals, there is no immediate need to claim many more resources, but defense and expansion of the civilian-controlled comet mines may prove challenging.

Ground Forces
The US maintains the largest ground force on Earth and has the best technology for ground troops (8/8, whereas most have 6/5), owed to TL3 plasma carronade research.
More forces with these better technologies will be built, and upkeep on the older units is no problem.

   Japan

Research Priorities
Spent a lot on ground force technology. Still lacking a lethal weapon system, Otherwise technologically solid. Priority over the next few years will be the development of a mobile space-based doctrine.

Military Analysis
Current forces amount to a flight of 10 microwave fighters. The future will require larger investments into warships to protect Japanese interests in space, but there are no concrete plans yet.
Large troop transport bays are available to all nations, including ours. A ground-based deterrence doctrine is an option if the developments in the field turn out capable.

Economic Situation
Civilian shipping makes wealth not an issue. Like with all nations, mineral stocks are dwindling and Corundium is of special interest as it's needed for construction of more mining installations.
The Venus colony does not allow for a workforce large enough for manned mines on the planet. Instead, 10 automated mines are deployed there, mining Duranium and Gallicite. A civilian operation supplies Duranium and Corundium. These incomes will avoid immediate shortages of a critical element, but the numbers mined in total are grossly insufficient compared to consumption. Large-scale expansion of mining operation of all minerals must happen.
The deployment of orbital habitats to support more efficient manned mining operations on Venus is an option, but interstellar exploration has just begun. Future decisions will depend on there being exploitable deposits outside of Sol.

Ground Forces
MECHA. Do you hear me? Giant frakking robots.
With the advent of TN tech, the direction ground forces would evolve in was clear. 20 meter tall bipedal robots and the equipment for them is actively being developed in Japanese laboratories.
The first units, termed TSF (Tactical Surface Fighters), are entering production by the end of the year.

Code: [Select]
Type-01 Kiyomune
Transport Size (tons) 324     Cost 38.88     Armour 36     Hit Points 72
Annual Maintenance Cost 4.9     Resupply Cost 90
Heavy Autocannon:      Shots 3      Penetration 25      Damage 10
Heavy Autocannon:      Shots 3      Penetration 25      Damage 10
Heavy Autocannon:      Shots 3      Penetration 25      Damage 10

Vendarite  38.88   
Development Cost  1 944


   People's Republic of China

Research Priorities
Base technology was falling behind, current research projects are duranium armor compression and Nuclear Pulse Engines (NPE).
Chinese investment into terraforming technology yields a spaceship-mountable version of the terraforming plant. Future worlds can be terraformed from orbit if necessary, but there are no plans for immediate deployment of such technology as the ground-based installations on the moon are doing just fine.
Lunar terraforming is progressing well. The average temperature has been raised to human comfort levels and the atmosphere is reaching almost livable levels of pressure. There is no oxygen in the atmosphere yet (starting with it would make for a very flammable atmosphere) and no hydrosphere has been created yet.

Military Analysis
The Chinese space navy is a powerful one, employing 6 laser-destroyers. Two tankers support the fleet and three armed and armored jump destroyers provide jump capability. Only one of these jump tenders has been built yet.
The laser armament is powerful and flexible, but it's vulnerability to massed missile strikes from EU or Russian doctrine has been called into question.
The nation also keeps a stash of anti-ship missiles (but currently lacks a launch platform) and a flight of slow, laser-armed patrol fighters.
The jump-capable main fleet can be expected to project power for years to come as interests will expand into other star systems, keeping the will of China a constant point that has to be considered. This is the result of Chinese early and independant research into jump technology.

Economic Situation
A majority of national income is gained by taxing shipping from and to the moon. Wealth is not an issue.
Chinese mineral stockpiles look big, but the appetite of their super-scale industry is just as large. There are no minerals on the moon. 50 automines have been deployed on the comet Faye, giving the nation an income of all minerals but Boronide, Vendarite and Gallicite together with the civilian complexes on other bodies.
The nation hungers for more though, and it's outdated small survey craft doctrine leaves it behind in the race to the stars. What it can't explore and claim first it may have to take from others.

Ground Forces
Eight divisions and a large STO division. Another STO division with a defending infantry division is under construction for deployment on the moon.
More units for the regular army will be built in the future as Vendarite and Wealth are non-issues. Individual superiority of rival's units is no concern.


   Argentine Republic

Research Priorities
A light railgun system has been developed, with improvements in fire control tech queued before it's first deployment.

Military Analysis
Space-based military capacity is sorely needed to defend assets in other star systems, and may have to be concentrated there to be powerful enough to withstand the will of other nations. This may leave Earth and Sol largely undefended.
A pure ground military as currently does not work for the defense offworld colonies. Ground forces on other worlds could simply be cut off from reinforcments from home and conquered at the leisure of an invader.

Economic Situation
Compared to the blooming economies of the other spacefaring nations the space program of Argentina has failed to bring wealth to the nation so far. Argentina is the only nation who still does not control an offworld colony, even Russia has recently reversed policy and founded a colony on Callisto to stimulate the civlian sector and is already better off for it.
The Argentine government operates a cargo and a colony ship, so they can found a colony. The dream was always to found a colony outside of Sol, but holding off so long gave the other nations an advantage, and the small nation can't afford to give away any advantages if it intends to stay competetive.
Either way, exploration has finally yielded a candidate colonization target outside Sol and the technology for it in form of civilian jump tenders, able to be stationed at jump points and helping cargo ships transit through, is already there with two such ships deployed.
The target in question is the Santa María system, two jumps from Sol. The second planet of the primary has a size similar to Mars, average temperatures well within human tolerance and has a surface covered in 31% liquid water. The Chinese are already demonstrating on the moon that it is entirely possible to generate a new atmosphere for a body of this size, if such a feat could be duplicated this planet would easily become just as habitable as Earth. The planet itself has good accessibility deposits of Duranium and Uridium, two important minerals, and trace deposits of five more. Not a second Earth, but the general mineral wealth of the rest of the system is quite impressive, on paper. Exploitation may turn out to be a wholly different issue.
Off-Topic: show
Santa María-A I
     Duranium 39 002 112   Acc 0.1
     Corbomite 2 518 569   Acc 0.1
     Tritanium 804 609   Acc 0.8
     Mercassium 41 177 889   Acc 0.1

 Asteroid #88
     Duranium 18 779   Acc 0.9
     Boronide 229 249   Acc 1.0
     Mercassium 812   Acc 1.0
     Vendarite 292   Acc 0.8
     Uridium 141 526   Acc 1.0
     Corundium 113 098   Acc 0.8
     Gallicite 23 685   Acc 0.9

 Asteroid #56
     Duranium 32 942   Acc 1.0
     Corbomite 33 226   Acc 1.0
     Vendarite 10 088   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #36
     Duranium 6 050   Acc 1.0
     Sorium 2 916   Acc 1.0
     Uridium 2 916   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #69
     Duranium 62 403   Acc 1.0
     Tritanium 6 816   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #42
     Duranium 134   Acc 0.9
     Neutronium 46 989   Acc 0.9
     Tritanium 2 024   Acc 0.9
     Corundium 75 092   Acc 0.9

 Asteroid #34
     Duranium 72   Acc 1.0
     Sorium 900   Acc 1.0
     Corundium 1 936   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #61
     Duranium 7 200   Acc 1.0
     Tritanium 2 209   Acc 1.0
     Corundium 5 041   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #82
     Boronide 10 791   Acc 0.9

 Asteroid #20
     Mercassium 3 854   Acc 0.9
     Sorium 11 803   Acc 0.9

 Asteroid #28
     Uridium 9 216   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #8
     Duranium 98   Acc 1.0
     Mercassium 6 084   Acc 1.0
     Uridium 2 500   Acc 1.0
     Corundium 7 056   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #72
     Corbomite 19 915   Acc 1.0
     Boronide 25 472   Acc 1.0
     Mercassium 914   Acc 0.9
     Vendarite 3 074   Acc 0.9
     Uridium 15 455   Acc 1.0
     Gallicite 1 908   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #66
     Duranium 14 744   Acc 1.0
     Neutronium 16 180   Acc 0.9
     Vendarite 2 430   Acc 1.0
     Sorium 12 036   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #51
     Duranium 4 418   Acc 1.0
     Neutronium 2 304   Acc 1.0
     Boronide 196   Acc 1.0
     Sorium 10 000   Acc 1.0
     Uridium 529   Acc 1.0

 Asteroid #70
     Duranium 6 498   Acc 1.0
     Tritanium 676   Acc 1.0
     Boronide 144   Acc 1.0
     Mercassium 3 721   Acc 1.0

 Santa María-A II
     Duranium 12 300 800   Acc 0.7
     Neutronium 3 844   Acc 0.7
     Tritanium 1 860 496   Acc 0.1
     Boronide 8 133 904   Acc 0.1
     Mercassium 3 844   Acc 0.1
     Sorium 47 089   Acc 0.1
     Uridium 7 107 556   Acc 0.8

 Santa María-A IV
     Sorium 3 096 000   Acc 0.4

 Santa María-A V
     Sorium 304 000   Acc 1

 Santa María-A IV - Moon 12
     Duranium 1 280 000   Acc 0.6

 Santa María-A IV - Moon 2
     Duranium 11 007 432   Acc 0.4
     Neutronium 4 443 664   Acc 0.8
     Corbomite 8 749 764   Acc 0.9
     Tritanium 1 498 176   Acc 0.1

 Santa María-A IV - Moon 5
     Duranium 2 312   Acc 1.0
     Corbomite 529   Acc 1.0
     Boronide 9 216   Acc 1.0
     Vendarite 6 724   Acc 1.0
     Sorium 1 225   Acc 1.0
     Gallicite 4 225   Acc 1.0

 Santa María-A V - Moon 1
     Corbomite 5 776   Acc 1.0

 Santa María-A V - Moon 10
     Duranium 16 245 000   Acc 0.1
     Boronide 21 622 500   Acc 0.1
     Uridium 490 000   Acc 0.1

 Santa María-A V - Moon 4
     Duranium 1 789 832   Acc 0.9
     Neutronium 1 069 156   Acc 0.5
     Corbomite 698 896   Acc 0.6
     Tritanium 7 744   Acc 0.4
     Boronide 1 162 084   Acc 0.1
     Vendarite 2 509 056   Acc 0.8
     Sorium 774 400   Acc 0.2
     Uridium 4 840 000   Acc 0.7
     Gallicite 698 896   Acc 0.1

 Santa María-A V - Moon 6
     Duranium 14 905 800   Acc 0.6
     Neutronium 777 924   Acc 0.1
     Boronide 3 572 100   Acc 0.5

 Comet #1
     Neutronium 54 497   Acc 0.5
     Mercassium 125 511   Acc 1
     Uridium 70 704   Acc 0.8
     Corundium 21 488   Acc 0.6


Other nations are now also racing to explore the stars and may stumble upon this system sooner rather than later. Efforts are being made to get the first colonists there as early as next year. The immediate roadblock is the lack of suitable infrastructure to accommodate the settlers before an atmosphere can be established. For now staking the claim is most important. Figuring out the defense of the colony will have to come later, hopefully not too much later.


Argentine exploration as of 2075

In recent years the Argentine economy has experienced a Neutronium crunch. The mineral is needed for construction facilities, mass drivers, maintance facilities and shipyard operations, in amounts that proved too much for the feeble 50 mines of Argentina. Since then 10 automines have been deployed on the comet Machholz (containing Neutronium), which is already being mined by several other nations. Current international agreements allow anyone to mine the comets of Sol in a first-come-first-served fashion; anyone is allowed to mine to any degree they wish. Comets don't have very large, but still substantial, deposits of minerals, so there is no conflict arising from their exploitation at this time.
Other mineral stocks aren't necessarily looking solid, especially duranium. Civilian mining operations would help the Argentine economy much more in their proportion than they would do for other nations.

Ground Forces
Feeling somewhat threatened the national military has seven divisions strength. They are not considered particularly advanced or capable, and building and maintaing more units may prove a strain on the budget.
The nation only has facilities to assemble one unit at a time though, so expansion is a lengthy process.


Race comp 2075
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 02:52:04 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2020, 12:07:24 PM »
   2076

American military companies develop another variant of the Lexington type frigate armed with three twin laser turrets, capable of tracking targets up to 9k. It does not have a built-in sensor and will have to rely on the existing sensor ships in the fleet to detect incoming missiles. The project is termed Enterprise, after another old US carrier.
Improved Nuclear Thermal Engines (INPE) also become mature enough to be included in the design and future shipbuilding efforts.

A European project to develop ground support equipment that can be mounted on existing Eurofighters is completed. The results are disappointing, only yielding low-power bombardment weapons. Enough of the weapons are being ordered to supply all 36 fighters, even if their use will likely only happen as a last resort.

China is the first nation to deploy a troop transport ship. It is scheduled to deliver an infantry division and an STO division to the moon in the future.

The Argentine colony on Santa María II has been founded. Two commercial jump tenders are holding position at the jump points inbetween on the side further out from Sol.
Two STO railgun brigades for PD purposes are being built now, with one intended to be deployed on the colony at some point.

Russia has designed a fuel harvester platform for deployment around Jupiter with self-moving capabilities at low speed. Construction may start after the current set of troop transports and then some more generic freighters are built.
Construction of a batch of exploration frigates has also begun, taking precedence over the planned development of AMM escorts.
Research efforts are now underway to fix the nations dependence on outdated INTE engine tech.

   2077

DB Schenker has as the first civilian shipping line taken a ship out of service. Civilian ships getting replaced now will put a bit of a brake on the meteoric rise of the civilian shipping industry as it has grown so far. The ship in question has been replaced with an identical one as the EU lines don't have access to better than INTE engine tech for a lack of experts in the field of Propulsion in that part of the world.

The Russian exploration frigates are setting out this year and begin by surveying Sol.
The Chinese are designing their survey cruiser as well. Their larger shipyards can afford to build a very capable ship. On the table were options for a ship armed with both box launchers and a laser weapon, a design with a buoy deployment mechanism or a smaller, simpler version that limits itself to the basics, not taking on any extra capabilities or roles. The other variants were deemed over-engineered, sticking to basic exploration capabilities would avoid wasting resources. The result is a solid long-range exploration cruiser with strong sensors. Actual construction will be delayed one year pending the development of INPE drives.

The EU develops orbital mining tech. There is plenty of accessible material in the small asteroids of the Sol system and beyond. They are cheaper than automines, even considering the vessel that has to be built to carry the modules, and don't require hassling with the ground and ground defenses.
The question is how they should be deployed. The options boil down to either large immobile platforms that can be constructed as stations and need to be moved by as of yet undeveloped tugs with unknown grappling technology or self-moving mining vessels roughly freighter sized, built in existing commercial yards.
The choice fell upon a few large platforms as they would be able to be managed more efficiently by fewer skilled personnel, even considering the extra effort spent on new support ships.
A seperate effort providing defense will need to happen either way. Space-based maintenance facilities could be deployed by tugs alongside the mining platform, allowing destroyers to be parked on station with the existing supply ship moving supplies.
All of the EUs remaining Corundium and that mined for the next two years is slated to go into this project.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 12:09:41 PM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2020, 11:29:18 AM »
   2078

The Argentine mineral situation continues to be very precarious. The nation is virtually out of Duranium, Neutronium and Corundium. 125 units of each are being mined on the comet Machholz every year, but transport of the minerals requires the service of the nations only freighter, which is expected to have work for years moving infrastructure to Santa María. The nation was unable to afford a second mass driver until now.
At least the nations own civilian shipping line, Cadorna Colony Line, now has ships available. For now they're being contracted to transfer a few extra automines to Machholz, supplementing the nations government freighter. Unfortunately the civilian ships are not built for transit to Santa María using the stationed jump tenders.

The Russian AMM escort program lays down humanities first batch of dedicated anti-missile ships. Since only the EU has deployed missile-based doctrines this is a clear sign that past conflicts have not been forgotten. The ships have the same operational parameters as the Krivak missile frigates and can fire 10 volleys of 10 AMM missiles each at two targets at once, provided targeting information is being fed by a Kirov sensor frigate.

A large US company has recently begun a terraforming effort on Mars, following the Chinese example on the moon.
Both the EU and the US colony on Mars have just broken the 100m population mark. With such a large workforce on the planet there are talks in the US congress about moving more critical industries over to the red planet. Already twice the amount of raw minerals are produced there compared to Earth due to it's declining deposits and it would not be outrageous to relocate all science or all fuel refining installations to Mars, for instance. For now, the many government research facilities are set to be transferred.

   Colony Comparison

Every spacefaring nation only supports one populated colony. More would be considered hard to defend, and multiple factions settling on the same body is generally avoided to prevent tensions. With the ongoing discoveries of new star systems by all nations now and the establishment of the first offworld colony by Argentina it is generally expected that additional colonization will happen on distant worlds, not in the Sol system. As such, no additional colonization efforts are currently being made by any power.

EU: Mars, 100m - 128 mines
Russia: Callisto, 4.2m - no ground installations
US: Mars, 100m - 128 mines, 4+ terraformers, 1+ research facilities
Japan: Venus, 6m - 10 automines
PRC: Moon, 212m - 20 terraformers, atmosphere breathable, no hydrosphere yet
Argentina: Santa María II, 0.23m - no ground installations

Exploration ships are increasingly beginning to see each other in other star systems. The Argentinian Chubut just stumbled upon two Japanese survey cruisers making scans of the moons of a gas giant three jumps out from Sol. Often only one side is able to see the other because of differences in sensor capacities.
For the crews of the survey ships these encounters are surprises, but welcome ones, as they stave off the isolation of years-long exploration missions. Captains are known to make alterations to survey schedules to allow the ships to spend more time alongside another with the crews swapping stories and trinkets.
The general mood towards the exploration missions is very good, both amonst the populace and the crews of the exploring vessels, who do not necessarily see themselves as being in competition with each other. Peacefully exploring the stars and building a better future together have inspired many a dream. Government strategists are of course less enthusiastic, particularly on the Argentine side about this specific encounter as it means that Japanese exploration is already catching up to the extent of their own exploration. This means they are less likely to find valuable resources and planets first and can keep a monopoly over them for a shorter time.

Argentina has run out of fuel. Supplying the 4 exploration cruisers and now also freight trips into distant systems has proven too much for the national 10 fuel refinieries. An expansion is in progress, but even with a higher rate of conversion the nation only has 1422 Sorium in storage and no income.
For now, the cargo and colony ships will have to stay in port.

   2079

US engine refits to INPE technology finish. The mainly plasma-armed fleet now has a speed of 4000. A third sensor frigate has been built. The extra redundancy was considered necessary when considering splitting the fleet for stationing some on Mars.

Japanese development of a primary weapon doctrine come to a conclusion with the development of str3 160km particle beamers. These hybrid weapons aren't purely energy-based, but instead accelerate a very small amount of material to relativistic speeds, ensuring high range and delivering as much or more energy to a target as a regular kinetic round.
Having an advantage in range will allow successful energy engagements even without speed advantage. With a speed advantage enemy ships can be dispatched without ever having to enter their weapons range, at least in theory.
Success of this doctrine will hinge on two things: first, targeting systems capable of tracking hostiles at the great ranges this weapon is capable of and secondly, highly trained and reactive crews able to outmaneuver the enemy and control range in an engagement. The first part is being worked on, the second part will require additional time and resources after a ship has already been built. Combat ready units may only be available as late as 2085.

The lack of capable scientist to work on military projects that initially crippled Japanese research is no more. The nation finds itself now with a healthy pool of experts in all fields, and consequently the once only energy weapon scientist of the nation has retired from his career as commandant of the national academy.

   2080

China stops it's refineries as sorium reserves sink below 1k. Current income is 300 units per year from comet Faye. 40m fuel are in stock, so it's not an immediate problem.


Chinese mineral reserves

The two nations who do not operate an orbital diplomatic spaceport make plans to construct one. Orbital diplomacy is becoming increasingly important and no nations wants to be looked upon as inferior or be left out.
The US has so far refrained from constructing such an installation due to it's general isolationism and "America First" doctrines and Argentina simply couldn't afford to spend the time and industry.
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2020, 11:54:21 AM »
   2081

The European survey ship George Everest is the first to discover the precise location of the Argentinian colony in Santa María. The existence of the colony is no secret, as it would be hard to conceal the establishment of a colony from other states when preparing millions of civilians to settle off-world.
Later in the year Japan also finds the location. Both nations are impressed by the system's relative mineral wealth and it is clear that Argentina does not have the capacities to exploit either the system or the planet fully.

The massive European mining platform, named Hambach after the world's largest mine in Germany, is completed. A shipyard is still being prepared to construct the tug needed to move the massive 250 thousand ton platform. Construction now begins on a smaller maintenance platform, a deep-space drydock able to maintain four destroyers on station indefinitely.
The concrete location the Hambach platform will mine has not finally been decided on, but there are not too many good locations to choose from in Sol. If operation of the first platform proves satisfactory another mining platform costing another 6000 Corundium will be built - with 288 mines on Mars producing over 2000 units of Corundium every year, this is affordable.

The Argentine warship construction program is about to kick off. The refits of all four survey cruisers to NPE drives finishing has opened up the yard capacity. Important decisions have to be made in the planning phase, and the requirements to the program are very high. Compromises need to be made.
  • Firstly the ship or fleet needs jump capability, as it's primary objective will be securing the Santa María colony from the other nations interests. Self-jump capability would be preferred to avoid having to rely on dedicated jump ships which may not be available for years to come. Argentina only has one naval yard with one slipway and can't afford retooling more than necessary, with meaningful expansion currently completely out of the question. Given that a military-engined ship needs to afford a quarter of it's tonnage to the jump drive that leaves only enough space for token weaponry to be present (The Chinese jump escorts are of this type). Self-jump capable warships with significant armament would have to compromise too much in other regards to be viable with current technology.
    Usage of the existing jump tenders is not possible as they are constructed for use with civilian engine fields, presenting an irrecoverable incompability.
    By necessity it is decided that a dedicated jump ship must be part of the program. It will be unarmed but armored and have the same operational parameters in range, endurance and speed as the primary warship.
  • The ships must not be obsolete in the near future, as Argentina can't afford to refit ships often. Primarily this means the ship needs a high speed. Current engines are regular NPE drives, which is considered standard currently, but the US and China are already operating INPE warships. A high speed either means low fuel efficiency or a large fraction of the hull must be dedicated to engines.
  • The weapon that will be used is the Aragão Armaments Light Mass Driver, a 10cm railgun. This is by nature a quite short-ranged weapon, another factor that necessitates a high speed. It's advantage is that it should functions as a servicable missile defense weapon, but flexible lasers like in the Chinese doctrine would be preferrable for their higher striking power and longer range. Unfortunately, Argentina hosts many experts on kinetic weapons and none for energy-based armaments.
  • The ships must be able to operate without assistance from support vessels as much as possible. Again, Argentina does not have the capacities to operate various support vessels. This point is already being compromised on with the decision to construct seperate jump ships, but reliance on tankers, supply ships or sensor vessels is to be avoided. Even if the nation were to operate such vessels, they would only have one, the loss of which might cripple operations, introducing a single point of failure.
  • Continuing from the last point, this means ships need to have large internal fuel reserves. The specific point targeted is 22b km, as it is just below 11b km from Earth to the colony on Santa María. Given the need for high-speed engines, this will allocate a decent chunk of internal space to fuel tanks.
  • Ships must be capable of flexible operations. This is largely given by the rather flexible armament and the eventual inclusion of jump capability. For ship design this means independant operation without port or maintenance needs to be possible for some time as station-keeping on distant bodies or jump point may be required for months at a time. A years worth of deployment time and maintenance life is considered sufficient, and is in line with that of other navies.
  • Adequate protection and integrated detection capabilities must be included. Sufficient armor for a warship is self-explanatory, integrated sensor suits are a result of foregoing dedicated sensor ships. Every ship should have a primary sensor array, the resolution of which may be varied between ships in the series to afford best possible coverage. Each ship will also carry a small minimum-resolution sensor to enable it's anti-missile capabilities and to serve as a backup. In order to get good performance out of the basic tech sensor arrays they need to be of relatively large size, giving us another component competing for internal space.

After long deliberations, the design created was this one:

Code: [Select]
Dorado class Destroyer (P)      10 000 tons       254 Crew       962.6 BP       TCS 200    TH 800    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 3-41       Shields 0-0       HTK 56      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 30
Maint Life 1.33 Years     MSP 260    AFR 267%    IFR 3.7%    1YR 156    5YR 2 335    Max Repair 100.00 MSP
Capitán de Fragata    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 13 months    Morale Check Required   

Petrucci Marine NPE Warship Engine (4)    Power 800.0    Fuel Use 56.92%    Signature 200.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 781 000 Litres    Range 24.7 billion km (71 days at full power)

Aragão Armaments Light Mass Driver (10x4)    Range 20 000km     TS: 4 000 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 20 000 km    ROF 5       
Munguía Warning & Control Mass Driver Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 40 000 km   TS: 4 000 km/s     75 50 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Márquez-Ledesma Standard Generator (10)     Total Power Output 30    Exp 5%

Munguía Warning & Control Tactical Sensor (1)     GPS 5     Range 2.8m km    MCR 253.9k km    Resolution 1
Quiños Area Scanner (1)     GPS 3000     Range 31.1m km    Resolution 120
Munguía Warning & Control Heat Detector (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

50% of space was allocated to engines, to allow high speed without compromising fuel efficiency too much. Still, 7.5% of the volume are fuel tanks. The three layers or armor are considered the minimum of what could be called adequate protection, especially given the need to close in to short distances with opponents. More armor would simply be too bulky with high density duranium armor. A further 22% of the ship are dedicated to weapons, generators and fire controls. The many small power generators distributed throughout the ship is inefficient, but one or two large generators would introduce single points of failure and require significant additional engineering effort. The engines and most sensor and control systems are already prototypes, so in the interest of redundancy and to expedite the start of ship construction the choice fell on this scheme. The armament may be short-ranged, but is capable of continous fire. Even with weak individual shots, The total amount of kinetic energy this design can output is not to be underestimated.
The remaining question is which to build first, the combat vessel or the jump ship? And how many of each should be built before the shipyard is retooled? With just one slipway, construction will be slow either way. The decision was to construct a single jump ship and then have Fontane Marine Inc. retool to produce the Dorado destroyers. Being able to send warships to the colony sooner rather than later was deemed most important, even as a bluff by sending an unarmed support ship without weapons. Multiple jump ships would only be useful in a jump point assault scenario, a very hypothetical situation humanity has no experience in or much consideration of as of yet.
Affording the ships will likely not be a problem. Retooling will only be able to start 2 years down the line when engine designs have been finalized. Each ship will cost 300 Duranium and 60 Neutronium, 800 of each are in store right now. There is enough Gallicite in store to build 5 vessels. The automines on Machholz output enough Duranium to build another destroyer almost every year. Unless the retooling costs are very high production should go smoothly. Actual construction can be accelerated through component prefabrication.
Fuel and Sorium are another issue. Refining must be stopped immediately and a few automines redeployed to a location with Sorium deposits as current stocks are 32 units short for the jump destroyer. Casartelli devices, the pieces of magic that enable ships to stabilize a passage through space-time, require a stable quantum singularity to operate. The creation and subsequent stabilization of that singularity requires great amounts of energy - hence the need for Sorium.
Enough fuel for one ship is in storage. Survey ships coming home in the near future won't be able to be refueled. Future fuel production is anticipated to happen through refinery ships deployed in either Sol or Santa María, but start on construction of the first one is ~3 years off currently.

What does the current doctrine of Argentina look like? a PD-optimized STO Mass Driver brigade on Earth is ready to be deployed to the Santa María colony following the construction of a troop ship in early 2082. This will prevent hostile forces from landing troops on the colony, as currently all troop ships require days to unload their cargo from orbit. This means orbital bombardment will be required to pacify the planet, something other nations either don't have the capability (for lack of military jump capability) or the will for. A replacement STO brigade for Earth is finishing later that year.

   2082

Chinese colony lines have grown very large, and contribute massive amounts of money to the state treasury. The main factors in this is the short round trip time between Earth and the moon and the fact that every one of these trips is taxed the same as a longer trip to Mars or Callisto. Even with the infrastructure shipping business breaking down due to Luna's increasing habitability there was still over 13k wealth generated by taxing colony ship trips alone. For comparison, this is 41% of the state income and as much the entire state income of the EU or US, who also benefit greatly from shipping taxes. There are 39 civilian Chinese colony ships in operation. The moon is estimated to be at half population capacity with now a staggering 430m inhabitants, only slightly less than the population of Russia or Japan.


Chinese income 2082

In a survey of a system adjacent to Santa María the Argentinian SRV Alemania discovers a jump point just 70m km from the entrance JP. The ship moves to investigate, and discovers a K-class star with no system save for 13 comets. Comets so easily accessible from Santa María may give access to additional minerals in the future, especially if competing nations don't have bases in the area.

In August the Gallicite mines closed down, in October the last of Earth's Duranium had been mined. Save for some 9k Corbomite of little interest to any power, Earth is out of minerals. This means a lot of mining equipment standing still, looking for new work off-planet.
The US and the EU transfer their remaining manned mines to Mars. US companies run many civilian mining operations and the EU is building massive mining platforms. Argentina has begun converting manned mines instead of building new automines using their Corundium income. Russia has moved 60 out of 160 mines to Callisto, the maximum the population there can man. Callisto itself is not very interesting to mine, bearing only middling accessibility Corbomite and Vendarite itself, but it beats Earth. Japan doesn't have anywhere for the mines to go and plans to convert them to automines should an extrasolar colony site not be found soon.
That leaves China. Their Corundium stockpiles are empty, so conversion of a meaningful amount of mines is not possible. Having just launched the first of their survey cruisers, data about extrasolar colony sites is wholly unavailable. Mineral-bearing bodies in Sol colonizable without special infrastructure are Mars, Venus and Callisto. Callisto's minerals are uninteresting and colonization expensive, Venus simply isn't suitable for large-scale manned mining operations.
Which means the western powers will have to accept a new tenant on the red planet - or be made to accept, if necessary.


The fat years are over

The first two Russian fuel harvesters finish. They are freighter-sized vessels capable of relocating themselves at low speeds. 1.5m litres of fuel are expected to be produced annually, two more are laid down.
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2020, 12:27:55 PM »
   The Battle of Mars

Chinese preparations finish. On November 18, the general secretary of the communist party of China announces plans to found a Chinese mining outpost on Mars. Both US and EU diplomats object, stating they will not allow a foreign presence on the planet. China does not relent, and leaked plans make clear the scale of the mining "outpost"; practically the entire Chinese mining industry is to be moved.
Officially the Mars government is wholly subservient to the European Union, with status as a member state on another planet. However a large number of US companies have vested interests in or operate wholly on the red planet, with millions of US citizens also permanently living there. Both parties operate ~300 mines on the planet each, but the US government has also relocated other many important functions, including research facilities, financial infrastructure, the sector-based chain of command and a spaceport there. So the EU is the official custodian of the planet, but the US has a greater interest in it.
Economically, Mars mining has two big advantages: Firstly, it can be mined on a large-scale with moderate investment into infrastructure through manned mines. Secondly, it produces high-accessibility Duranium and 0.5 accessibility Corundium. Mass-produced Duranium is a must for any kind of TN industry and running out of the mineral is considered the worst-case scenario for the economy. The Corundium, minable in large quantities, is needed for expansion of mining facilities or flexible creation of mining operations elsewhere and therefore a big factor in reducing dependence on just one mining location in the future.

A conference to discuss the issue is convened a week later aboard the Chinese diplomatic station. EU and US representatives are present. Firstly, they present an acknowledgement of the Chinese need to mine a TN-mineral bearing body to feed it's economy. Chinese mining operations on Mars could be tolerated if they remain limited to mining industries and are strictly demilitarized. Both western powers would want such a presence to be as mininmal as possible, but limiting the amount of mining that can be done by China is not discussed as the planet has deposits millions of units deep. With that there is no basis for reducing their share. The western representatives add that this offer is made graciously in an effort to keep the peace and allow China to keep conducting their business.
From the Chinese point of view, an offer like this was expected. Relocating all or almost all mines to Mars and leaving them there at the mercy of other governments is not an option. A military presence to protect the Chinese interests must be allowed. This much is said in the negotioations.
There is an uproar from the western delegations. Neither nation wants China to be able to stage ground troops for a takeover of their own Mars colonies. At best, allowing Chinese forces on Mars would lead to an arms race.
China offers to sweeten the deal by offering to move the terraforming equipment on Luna to support the US-led Mars terraforming program once the moon hydrosphere project completes. The offer does not address the real issue and, as the EU delegate points out, is not entirely selfless as a more habitable Mars would benefit them as much as anyone else.
Negotiations continue for a while and the Chinese side retracts the demand to station warships in Mars orbit but remains adamant about the demands for ground troop stationing.
Western strategists would of course be delighted to be able to deny the strongest competitor access to Sol's prime mining location, but complete refusal would make war at this stage unavoidable, hence the initial offer. Militarily the two nations could confidently take on the Chinese both in space and on the ground, but the unity of the western front is discordant. They both may not fear interference from another at this time, but the EU's primary interest is guaranteeing the security of the Martian mines and avoiding a conflict, seeing Russia still as it's primary opponent. The US is much more adamant in their refusal to allow Chinese ground forces on Mars as they are both more dependant on Mars as a mineral source and operate more facilities there they don't want to see threatened or drawn into a war - that was the whole point of getting them off of Earth in the first place.
With no side having anything substantial to add anymore, the talks eventually break down without a concrete result. At the end, the Chinese delegation declares that the Mars colony announcment is already a done deal and that there would be a Chinese mining operation on Mars, western blessing or not.

Time passes. Propaganda material is released throughout China and in the western world celebrating the coming peaceful establishment of the Chinese Mars colony, with many pictures and videos showing American and Chinese engineers working together on the Mars terraforming project. A bright future is painted, and there is little to no opposition amongst the western populations to a Chinese presence on Mars.

   2083

Colonization of Mars begins on January 14th. All five Chinese government freighters approach Mars and begin unloading their freight, repurposed pressure domes from the Lunar colony. Diplomaitc protests are issued again, but the freighters aren't stopped on their second approach either. Little ways behind it is a colony ship carrying the first settlers, C4-019 from Dong Interstellar.
A decision has to be made at the top of the US hierarchy. The Chinese have demonstrated their will to establish a colony without their consent. Will they allow colonization to continue? Are they willing to threaten force of weapons on approaching Chinese ships?
US command answers both questions with yes. A purely civilian colony would be tolerated. Any approaching military ships or troop transports would be fired upon. A Chinese presence on Mars would threaten American business interests, private investment into the Mars colony has already declined since the announcement in November.

The Chinese government is quick to make good on their propaganda promises and starts moving a few token terraforming installations from Luna to Mars with the next freighter loads.

On February 28th the Chinese send a troop transport towards Mars. It is escorted by four military vessels, three laser destroyers and one jump ship, picked for it's ability to detect the EU fighter squadrons. Other shipping to Mars has been temporarily halted and other Chinese non-combatant ships, such as the remaining jump destroyers and tankers, have been ordered to Lunar orbit for protection by the STO systems there. Chinese leadership is well aware of the US demand that the Mars colony remain demilitarized, like they had asked in the conference. Not mining Mars or mining Mars while other forces could just decide to walk in one day and take over hundreds of mining complexes is not an option, and leadership is prepared to secure Mars by force if necessary.
The first warning was issued on March 4th, March 5th already by Chinese time, with the force 40m km away yet. The ships are not permitted to enter Mars orbit and must turn around. The crews have their orders and keep advancing.
A similar, more urgent warning is given upon 10m km approach and a final demand issued at 1m that the ships are ordered to leave or they will be fired upon.
The warnings are issued by Commander Herb Rater, captain of the US Mars Fleet flagship, the USS Borie. Four Lexington-class frigates are stationed on Mars, including one sensor variant.
The Chinese forces also only number four ships, but outmass the US Mars fleet 2:1 as the Chinese destroyers are twice as large as the US ships. However one ship is a jump escort with only minimal armament.

With every warning ignored, the American sensor ship begins radiating emissions, marking the first time a human military vessel has doen this outside of a training excercise. Under international law navies are not allowed to do so under normal circumstances as activating active sensor emissions is considered "An act preceeding imminent aggression". Less than a minute later the Chinese ships activate their sensors. Chinese communications in response to the warnings explained that they are here to see the escorted transport ship unload it's cargo. Loaded onto the ship are two infantry divisions and their supporting troops. As the now-active sensors allow the Chinese to see, the US and EU ground forces stationed on Mars are both of similar size to the Chinese troops loaded.
The distance between the navies begins to shrink. At 30k distance from Mars, already within firing range of both sides, the US frigates suddenly begin speeding towards the Chinese force. With the distance now a mere 7k km, they open fire from their plasma cannons.


First Strike

For the Chinese position it was important not to be the first one to start shooting. The American first strike proves devastating however, as 15 hits at maximum strength are scored, distributed over the four approaching ships. One ship, the DD Velociraptor, receives successive hits in two armor locations and is rocked by a secondary explosion, virtually incinerating the entirety of the ships internal space. It is already out of the fight. Two more ships suffer the loss of a third of their engine power due to shock damage or overlapping hit areas.
As was prearranged by the Chinese captains, the return fire is directed towards the US sensor ship. Despite the chaos caused by the American plasma strike, the response is instantaneous. The Chinese vessels accelerate away from the troop transport and begin opening the range, firing on the American ships retreating towards Mars. Eight hits (strength 2) are scored, but no damage is visible. As both groups sped away from another, the distance was rather large when the Chinese fired.
The American ships continue to retreat past Mars like they trained, avoiding the enemy while the weapons regenerate their plasma. The next Chinese volley does even less damage. The American squadron owes it's combat speed of nearly 4000km/s to their INPE drives. The Chinese squadron operates on INTE tech and has a top speed of 2400. They were only expecting their opponents to operate at 3000km/s. Between this and one of the two combat destroyers having suffered engine damage it is hard to gain an advantage even with superior weapons range.
Another volley grazes the USS Richard P. Leary before the squadron pulls out of range. The Chinese commander Gao Xia Zi orders his ship to abort the chase and stay in Mars orbit. This will prevent the Americans from being able to pull another 180 and close the distance and threaten the EU fighter squadron in orbit with immediate annihilation should they decide to join their US counterparts in enforcing a blockade. Given that they are fighters they are expected to be faster than the destroyers and standing orders are that they should be immediately fired on and destroyed should they attempt to pull away in this situation.
Nearly recharged, Commander Rater gives the command to reverse course and close the range again. The Chinese ships respond, retreating from Mars towards Earth again. It is obvious they want to use their longer range to their advantage. More shots hit the USS Richard P. Leary, bringing it's armor to 63%.
The Chinese ships are each heading away at their best speeds, meaning the more damaged Xian II support ship and the DD Tyrannosaurus are quickly within weapons range again.


Getting into strike range once more

Expecting the need to retreat the Richard P. Leary soon Commander Rater has the ship open fire first on the closer Tyrannosaurus, then turn around. Return fire from the Chinese rocks the ship much harder now with the distance closed, causing the engines not to respond when ordered to turn.
The Tyrannosaurus' engines are disabled by the strike, as are some other internal systems. Seeing the Tyrannosaurus dead in the water has Rater order the remaining three ships to distribute their fire between the two remaining combatants.
The next blow disables the Triceratops, who was until now the least damaged Chinese destroyer. The Xian jump escort is still mobile, but only armed with a single laser. Recognizing their defeat, Zhong Xiao Zi opens communications to signal their surrender - but not before another combined volley hits the Richard P. Leary and blows it to pieces. With the American sensor ship blinking out on his console, Zi hesitates for a moment and closes the channel.
The crews of the US Mars fleet are enraged by the death of many of their own aboard the P. Leary, but with the sensor ship down have no recourse but to pull distance. Sporadic fire from the disabled Chinese ships and the Xian impacts the frigates as they retreat, even damaging the engines on one.
The Xian enters Mars orbit and ceases fire, the American ships pulling out of range. Having lost their sensor ship, with no sensors of their own, they can't feed accurate enough information to their targeting systems to have any hope of hitting a ship in space.
Commander Rater opens a channel to the commanding officer of the Eurofighter squadron stationed on Mars, demanding he open fire to avenge his comrades and defend the red planet. Expecting to get drawn into it, the officer in question sternly refuses, stating that he is under strict orders not to fire on Chinese ships unless they open fire first.
Out of options, Rater and his fleet retreat and take up position some distance away, conceding Mars orbit to the Chinese.


The dust starts settling

The Chinese destroyers assess their damage and begin damage control operations. The troop transport, which ceased movement at the onset of the battle, is called in to begin unloading the troops.
Options are weighed in the US command. As it stands, the troop transport still needs time to unload it's cargo. Seven frigates stationed on Earth could get to Mars in 24 hours and would arrive before Chinese reinforcements. What is unknown is if the transport can finish unloading before that point. It is decided against sending out additional ships because of that uncertainty and to avoid escalating the conflict. Moving some or all ships would also leave Earth's orbit vulnerable. There are now Chinese ground forces on Mars, that is the reality the western powers now have to contend with.
Over the course of the next day the damaged Chinese destroyers restore some engine capacity and move themselves into Mars orbit.

Tactically the Chinese force was down to rights by the point the USS Richard P. Leary went down. All combat ships were dead in the water with other internal damage ranging from moderate to serious. Only the Xian jump ship retained mobility. On the other side damage was relatively light, even considering the destruction of the P. Leary. The three other frigates present were undamaged; the next volley would have surely destroyed all Chinese ships.
The fatal mistake was to allow the Americans the first blow, at such close a distance at that, as their doctrine specializes in alpha strikes. Striking second was considered important to avoid being seen as a force invading Mars, and the hope was that the American threats were only a bluff anyway. Regardless of the near-defeat at Mars, the Chinese action debriefing considers current doctrine valid, only urging immediate refits of existing ships or the construction of new ships with newer engines. INPE tech, equal to what the Americans were using in the battle, is available.
The loss of the battle despite tactical superiority causes a great stir in US military leadership. Blame is shifted around, eventually falling on anyone who was involved in the refits that removed the Lexington class's original sensors. Immediate refits to provide existing ships with at least minimal short-range detection capability is the obvious takeaway from this one. Particularly enraging is the fact that the US was expecting to win the engagement after seeing the composition of the force dispatched from Earth orbit. Detailed schematics for the three Jiangwei destroyers were available to US intelligence, the result of a CIA operation 15 years ago when the ships were just being drafted. The ships encountered here were only minimally different to the original design, making this a battle the US went into with a lot of variables known.

Up until now the Chinese fleet was considered menacing. Being virtually defeated by a smaller force is a serious blow to the Chinese image. Achieving it's objective was it's only saving grace, although nobody expected that a weak support ship, with it's only weapon added as an afterthought, would be the unit that wins the day.

US-EU relations take a hit as a result of the engagement, which is starting to become known as the "Battle of Mars". The EU also issued protest against Chinese ground force deployment to the red planet, but was unwilling to back up their obvious partner in the matter with actions. Sentiment in the EU continues to see Russia as the world's primary antagonist. Unwillingness of the population due to propaganda conducted certainly contributed to the decision.
Response amongst other nations to the incident is not especially pointed. There is of course a lot of real and feigned shock about human infighting in space, but no concrete consequences develop.

Propaganda-wise the battle is a loss for the Chinese. The fact that the US fleet shot first is overshadowed by the news of a US ship destroyed in combat by an invading Chinese fleet. This is despite higher Chinese losses. They lost 286 crewmen versus the 134 aboard the P. Leary and a further 24 dead on the USS Bailey.

A week after the battle the Chinese unleashed the entirety of their civilian shipping on the red planet. Contracts are out to move massive amounts of infrastructure from Luna to Mars and colony lines are all too eager to fill the new domes with hopefuls hearing of rich employment opportunities.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 12:01:30 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Offline Triato

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2020, 02:25:21 PM »
Finally the chinese are having some luck!
 

Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2020, 03:22:52 PM »
I was already thinking about what to write for their postmortem of the attack when they managed to pull out a win! Certainly didn't expect that after that devastating first strike.



   2083 (cont.)

Life goes on. EU and US militaries refrain from sending more ground troops to Mars right away as they each have more than enough to deal with the two and a half divisions a single freighter can carry there. A close eye would be kept on future troop movments, however.
The real problem stems from the possibility that there may be STO units amongst the Chinese landing force. PRC leadership insists that there are no such elements present on Mars, but it's impossible to be certain, and deceit is certainly not being put past the Chinese. STO units can easily amass enough firepower to overwhelm a good number of ships in orbit, thereby securing a way in for more troop transports to land in case of a ground war. And the obvious solution of firing on STO units stationed on an inhabitet body is... problematic.

The remainder of 2083 proved rather quiet. There is a lot of Russian shipbuilding going on (escorts and fuel harvesters), with the deployment to Mars China updated their ground unit designs and queued more. The Chinese ships involved in the fighting would be in dock until fall. Refitting them would be uneconomical, so a revised design making use of a spinal laser and increased armor was also drawn up, beginning construction by mid-October.

The terraforming project on the moon finished. In addition to the breathable, if thin, atmosphere, there are now large crater lakes dotting the surface of the Earth satellite. The water is definitely not drinkable without filtering due to the toxic properties of Lunar dust. A human may now walk on the surface of the moon with just minimal precautions, but the long process of creating a biosphere, an ecosystem for an entire world, is only just beginning. Enrichment of moon soil for select Earth plant species and treatment of the water through introduction of algae and plankton species are only the first steps.

   2084

The EU tug, after several delays, finally finishes. The ship is named Hercules, barely more than 50 commercial INTE engine blocks packed together in a statically sound package. It comes in at 67k tons and, without load, reaches 3000 km/s. The delays were unfortunate, as at this point not only the Hambach mining station, but also a maintenance facility for defending ships is finished. A second mining station is already ~70% done.
The original location intended for deployment of the station, an asteroid in the asteroid belt, is considered obsolete as it's primary products would have been Duranium and Corundium, both of which are produced on Mars. The EU Duranium reserves also sit at a very healthy 40k. Mercassium and Gallicite are the shortages. There are only two comets with appreciably deposits of both minerals in Sol. Wolf-Harrington is chosen for it's additional deposits of several other minerals. At 633 km/s, the tug will arrive at the comet with the mining station in just under 2 days - the comet is passing by near Earth.

By mid-2084 the Chinese Mars colony has grown to 75m inhabitants - in the span of less than two years. All 300 mines are in operation on the planet, as are most of the moon's old terraforming installations. The new Martian population enjoys full employment, but with saturation of the mines reached no new settlers will be moved anymore. There were some more minor diplomatic skirmishes between China and the western powers regarding Mars issues, but nothing near the severity of the Battle of Mars. With two divisions in place China trusts that the ground can, in case of an invasion, be defended for as long as it takes to pacify Mars orbit again and land reinforcements.
The PRC leadership also has another project: Moving all of Earth's critical infrastructure onto the moon, out of the immediate reach of the other powers. If EU tractor beam tech could be replicated there would be no issue with moving all of China's military manufacturing and shipbuilding operations to Luna by the end of the decade.

At this time of the year Earth and Mars are at their closest approach to another, making interplanetary shipping trips especially efficient.


Civilian shipping as far as the eye can see

   2085

The Russian Federation moves it's two Ground Force Training Facilities (GFTFs) to Callisto. With 13m people living on the moon manpower is still short, but given it's rich Vendarite deposits it will make for an adequate training facility.

With two EU Hambach-class mining platforms in place and a third under construction, mining of the comet Wolf-Harrington is going smoothly.


Commander-powered orbital mining in action

Only the defending squadron of ships has a problem, it's crews are feeling the strain of extended deep-space missions without being able to leave their ship. Long-range survey cruisers have completely different accomodations to make up for it, but they too see the same loss of morale after some time. A study has been carried out, determining what kind of facilities would be needed for indefinite stationing in deep space and the resulting list is rather long, and therefore expensive. As it is most difficult to get projects termed "casino ship", "floating garden" or "space brothel" through the EU parliament, the decision to tack on an administrative facility to ensure mining efficiency was made to make the project politically palatable.

Tragedy has befallen the USS Alpha Centauri. The planetary survey vessel was in a system codenamed Miwok, three jumps from Sol, already on it's way back to Earth. In a freak accident it's engine assembly suffered damage the ships crew was unable to repair, stranding the ship in space. Outreach to the Argentinian space program failed; the US does not have the diplomatic clout needed to conscript the use of one of their jump tenders to reach the Alpha Centauri with a tug. A direct result of the nation's negligence in diplomatic matters. As it stands the ship will have to be abandoned and the crew picked up by the nearby USS Osmond Ingram, who is conducting a gravsurvey on the other side of the system. The crew of the Osmond Ingram has just arrived there from an overhaul and is not thrilled to be making it's way back to Earth so soon again.

Russian private industry founds the nations first commercial mining complexes on Van Biesbroeck. The nation has been hit hard by the drying up of Earth's deposits, so this is a much-needed break for them - Both their Duranium and Gallicite stockpiles are dangerously close to 0 with the recent batches of shipbuilding.
Russian automine conversion has just begun, and the only body in Sol able to deliver both Duranium and Gallicite is Venus, claimed by Japan. In relatively pleasant negotiations Russian diplomats explain their desire to extract minerals from Venus and Japan, being kind and understanding, allows it with the condition that no military be stationed on the planet, to which Russia agrees.

Argentina duplicates the Sorium Harvester, the promised solution to free the nation from it's fuel paralysis. One survey ship is idling in Earth orbit, another undergoing overhaul and the two others scheduled to return soon. The jump ship to begin the military shipbuilding program has been finished, but could only be partially fueled. There hasn't been any shipment to the Santa María colony in years. The nation is kept above water by Sorium income from the asteroid Lamberta. 22 automines are in operation between Lamberta and the comet Machholz, with a mass driver periodically being moved between the two by civilian shipping.
The fuel harvester to be laid down in the Argentine orbital yard is practically a carbon copy of the Russian Kiev type. It is doubtful that Duranium will be plentiful enough to construct both the harvester and the first Dorado-class destroyer at the same time, not with shipyard retooling of both yards consuming even more of the metal.
 
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