Author Topic: From the ashes - part 20  (Read 1304 times)

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Offline Haji

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From the ashes - part 20
« on: January 19, 2017, 07:03:39 AM »
15th May 2391

   The Hegemony secures Untama V known to the locals as Hamha. There are no industries present and the planet itself is near habitable for the aliens, with eighty six million Takarans already in place. The news also convinced two survey ships to surrendered, which were then ordered back to their homeworld to be scrapped.

17th May 2391

   The Commune becomes increasingly worried about their frontier bases in Atlantic and Pacific.
   The original Piranha class gunboats were created to unleash a massive missile storm against the Destroyer as it was believed to be the best tactic to deal with the alien. Back then the nation did not of course expected to be able to survive the encounter with the alien, but they also feared other threats may be present among the stars and they wanted to start building up their space force so it will be ready when needed. Shortly after, they encountered the ADS and the gunboats have proven to be very good at dealing with the robots, as they were small enough to sneak undetected into weapon range. The same was true of the Hegemony during the Battle of Atlantic.
   However the Force and the government realized very quickly that any reasonable opponent would try to negate the small craft. The initial idea was to support the Piranhas with defensive ships, which is how the Vistuala class corvettes and the Stockholm class frigates were born. However another option was also presented – to give the gunboats enough range to not worry about retaliation. This led to the creation of the Shark class which could engage targets from over a hundred and seventy million kilometers.
   The Sharks became foundation of the Commune defensive strategy against the Hegemony. Over twenty flotillas were deployed in Atlantic and Pacific, supported by very few heavier formations and numerous planetary missile bases. In the event of an attack the gunboats were supposed to harass the invading force, either weakening it before a decisive battle deeper in the Commune territory or to goad the enemy into attacking a heavily fortified position, losing time, ammunition and possibly ships while the rest of the Force redeployed to meet the threat.
   However the fact that Travelers had anti-missiles that could have engaged the Sharks from outside their own range meant the tactic was no longer valid. If the Hegemony could likewise engage the small craft from such a range, the Sharks would need support of larger units which would slow them down and of course everything larger than a corvette would be easily found and targeted by fighters.
   This meant there were three options left to the Commune. First they could abandon the entire idea of frontier bases, relegating them to little more than a glorified warning outposts. Second they could try their strategy anyway with existing ships hoping the Hegemony miscalculated and ended up with weapons to short ranged to engage the Sharks. This however would lead to enormous casualties if the Force was wrong. Third they could try to strengthen up the frontier bases with heavier units. Unfortunately if the Hegemony were to attack they would almost certainly do so with what they believed to be an overwhelming force, so any strengthened task forces would almost certainly have to simply withdraw anyway.
   Another potential option was to of course try and increase the engagement range of the next generation Sharks, but that option was almost universally rejected. As was pointed out this would simply result in an arms race of engagement envelopes and if the Commune lost that race at the time of war, the casualties would be massive. It was for all instances ans purposes no different than the second presented option, only slightly modified.
   However a fourth option was recently presented. Three years ago the Eden officials, lobbying for larger shipbuilding sector – for the purpose of having heavier forces assigned to their system for protection – presented an idea for an interceptor that could deal with the Hegemony bombers before they could launch. The idea was rejected as it would be very specific weapon designed to deal with one, specific enemy while having no use against other factions, like the Travelers, the ADS or the Republic, although the last one wasn't really an enemy. Times however have changed.
   Up until several months ago the Hegemony had approximately thirty percent larger population than the Commune, but due to the latter being in space longer, New Earth and her colonies were not as heavily industrialized or developed. Now however thanks to the conquest of the alien homeworld, the Hegemony had population nearly three times the size of the Commune and an industry to match. To put it simply in medium term the Hegemony will be strong enough to take on the other two human nations at the same time. If the Commune is to survive they have to fight smart.
   Because of this some officers want to start producing the interceptors, putting them into dedicated ground bases in the case of frontier outposts or on dedicated small carriers to serve with the other fleets. In particular they point out to two pieces of intelligence – the Hegemony does not have their own interceptors for reasons unknown and their own bombers are likely too small to intercept gunboats from any reasonable range. As such should they attack one of the frontier bases, any attack against the Sharks, or a potential newer gunboat, would come from the escorting warships and be strictly limited in size, allowing even a limited number of escorting warships to deal with it. The problem would be fighter strikes against the escorts themselves, which is where the interceptors come into play, as they could eliminate all incoming bombers with near impunity.
   The idea is liked by the Force, although they also point out that gunboats themselves could be modified to deal with fighters, even from limited range. The issue however would be ammunition. The Sharks are already too short ranged so making them faster is out of the question, which means a potential anti-fighter gunboat would have to rely on missiles and not gauss cannons or something similar. That is why fighters, which can be carried around, are the preferred option.
   As there is still time the Force intends to study the problem in more depth before giving a final recommendation. In particular they want to see what technologies, if any, can be unlocked by studying the Traveler wrecks.

20th May 2391

   Due to the increased power of the Hegemony the other two human nations begun quite talks about a possible alliance, but those are unlikely to succeed. The Commune is fiercely independent to the point where some accuse it of light xenophobia while the Republic worries that an official alliance may be seen by New Earth as a prelude to a joint attack. To make matters worse the Phoenixian citizens see the Commune as far too assertive when it comes to alien threats. Even so both nations are fully aware that if the Hegemony conquered one of them, the other one will be on a borrowed time. As such while there likely be no official alliance, it is also likely that if situation becomes dire, the two powers will end up helping each other.

6th June 2391

   For the past three years ordnance factories across the Commune has been producing newest versions of various missiles, which were not spent in combat, as older munitions were used. As one of the issues regarding Hegemony fighters is ammunition situation, the Force has decided to take the opportunity to make a thorough count of their needs and stockpiles. The results are given below.

Spear series (anti-missile)

Required for warships: 81 534
Required for fortifications: 57 520
Number of current generation missiles: 36 775 (26% of what is needed)
Number of previous generation missiles (all versions): 114 818 (82% of what is needed)

Arrow series (short range shipkiller, used primarily by Piranha class gunboats)

Required for warships: 11 520
Required for fortifications: 11 400
Number of current generation missiles: 12 611 (55% of what is needed)
Number of previous generation missiles (all versions): 43 646 (190% of what is needed)

Trebuchet series (long range shipkiller, used primarily by cruisers)

Required for warships: 13 920
Required for fortifications: 6 000
Number of current generation missiles: 8 934 (45% of what is needed)
Number of previous generation missiles (all versions): 21 659 (108% of what is needed)

Mistletoe (small long range shipkiller, used almost exclusively by Shark class gunboats)

Required for warships: 17 280
Required for fortifications: None
Number of current generation missiles: 10 415 (60% of what is needed)
Number of previous generation missiles: 32 548 (188% of what is needed)

   The results were shocking. Everyone knew that missile production was somewhat limited, but after three years of production less than half of what was needed has been manufactured. The Administrator is somewhat less concerned however.
   First and foremost it points out that in three years the ordnance factories managed to build half the ammunition to arm nearly seventy years worth of warship production. When viewed in such light the current assembly rates aren't that bad. Second, significant amount of ammunition is tied to ground based missile bases, many of which were build by local governments without consultation with the central authority. For example Prkos has seven such bases and they are currently expanding their own industry to arm them. Third the invasion of the Destroyer and the two wars with the Hegemony were all resolved with a single battle and in such short conflicts missiles are far superior to short range energy weapons, which is why it's a good idea to have numerous warships armed with them even if ammunition reserves are themselves low. Fourth the existing stockpiles are large enough to arm all existing warships and installations despite decades of wars against the ADS, the Specters, the Destroyer, the Hegemony and now the Travelers. In short what is presented in the report is not the total output of ordnance factories over the lifespan of the Commune, but what ammunition remains after fifty years of wars. And last, but not least there are numerous warships armed with energy weapons and railguns which can take over from gunboats if needed, as proven during the battle of ES – 09.
   That isn't to say there are no concerns about the missile situation, but recent improvements to manufacturing techniques have been developed and new factories are coming on line all the time. Planets like Prkos, Emesh and Thesaraum have locally build defenses and the local governments are opening their own ordnance assembly plants to secure their worlds while naval homeports, like Knossos or Falsterbo are building even more of them. In the end the situation will be manageable, even if at the moment some problems are indeed present.
20th June 2391

   The Hegemony secures the sixth planet in the Untama system known to the locals as Kinhya. While the body has some terraforming potential – although it would require significant amount of work to modify – it is merely an automated mining colony with two hundred and seventy three complexes. The planet has all eleven TN elements in reasonable accessibility but the deposits are rather small, mostly up to a hundred thousand tonnes. Even so the resources will help the Hegemony a lot.
   With this all known colonies of the Kingdom are now occupied, making this an official end of the war. However integrating the population into the larger political structure will take some time and there is an ongoing resistance present. This also means that for the foreseeable future all available ground forces will be tied in operations in the Untama system.

4th September 2391

   The combined human population exceeded ten billion spread among eighty five planets and moons, many of which are habitable for humans. While the number is impressive it is still half of how many lived in the Sol sector before the arrival of the Destroyer.
   The number does not of course include the six and a half billion Takarans living in the Hegemony occupied Untama system, nor does it include the unknown number of early industrial aliens living in the Aurora system.

7th October 2391

   The disassembly of the Traveller engines have allowed the Commune to develop their own solid core anti-matter drives, which will lead to faster ships and better munitions, although the development of proper devices will take some time. This isn't the first breakthrough achieved thanks to the invaders, as the study of recovered technologies led to better capacitors and lasers and more components still remain, waiting to be delivered to Eden.

9th December 2391

   The Commune completed their design of new warships equipped with anti-matter drives, which will increase the speed of future or upgraded vessels to thirteen thousand and eight hundred kilometers per second. As during the previous engine upgrade the emphasis will be on new ships rather than upgrading existing ones, but the government also intends to be much more strict about it.
   One of the issues of the current shipbuilding industry is the very limited number of shipyards. Because of this in some cases one yard has to build two types of ships, after which those wait for their assignment, sometimes for several years. The most extreme example would be the new cruiser divisions, where the Apollo class jump cruisers, serving also as a command ships, are being built eight at a time, but only one is assigned to each division. If those were left in their original state, a single vessel would slow down the entire formation and as such the order was given to upgrade all ships awaiting assignments and then resume construction of new ones. This has led to significant slow down of new construction and as such in recent years very few new formations have been established.
   Of course the Commune is not in as dire need of warships as it may appear. However the Force and the government need to prepare for possible new threats and just because the current fleet appears to be large enough to deal with existing threats does not mean expansion is not needed. Especially worrying is the state of the Home Fleet, which is supposed to serve as a strategic reserve and to be able to readily reinforce any other formation. However due to the threat of the Travelers and the need to reinforce the Third Fleet, the Home Fleet is quite weak. In fact not only the Third but also the Second is currently more powerful and the only reason the Fourth and Fifth Fleets are considered sufficient for their areas of responsibility is because they are assigned to sparsely populated areas with no present danger. New formations are desperately needed and even if they were to be constructed tomorrow, they would still need over a year to train up to the Force standards. Upgrading existing vessels, even in small numbers to ensure formations are homogeneous, is no longer possible.
   The decision has some downsides of course. There are still many formations serving important roles which use magnetic confinement fusion drives, two generations out of date and some of those also use larger, less powerful versions giving them speed of only seventy seven hundred kilometers per second, less than sixty percent of what the new ships will be capable of, which in some cases can slow down the entire fleet. Unfortunately no one sees any way around it.
   New missiles have also been designed, but as no other new technologies have been developed, those are straight engine upgrades.

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Arrow VI

Missile Size: 2 MSP  (0.1 HS)     Warhead: 8    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 108000 km/s    Engine Endurance: 11 minutes   Range: 70.3m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.15   Sensitivity Modifier: 320%
Resolution: 15    Maximum Range vs 750 ton object (or larger): 180 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 4.94
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 1080%   3k km/s 360%   5k km/s 216%   10k km/s 108%
Materials Required:    2x Tritanium   0.09x Boronide   0.15x Uridium   2.7x Gallicite   Fuel x832.5

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Spear V

Missile Size: 1 MSP  (0.05 HS)     Warhead: 1    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 45
Speed: 148800 km/s    Engine Endurance: 3 minutes   Range: 24.6m km
Cost Per Missile: 2.8172
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 6696%   3k km/s 2205%   5k km/s 1339.2%   10k km/s 669.6%
Materials Required:    0.25x Tritanium   2.5672x Gallicite   Fuel x187.5

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Trebuchet V

Missile Size: 4 MSP  (0.2 HS)     Warhead: 10    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 104500 km/s    Engine Endurance: 33 minutes   Range: 204.4m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.495   Sensitivity Modifier: 320%
Resolution: 160    Maximum Range vs 8000 ton object (or larger): 2 000 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 8.517
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 1045%   3k km/s 340%   5k km/s 209%   10k km/s 104.5%
Materials Required:    2.5x Tritanium   0.297x Boronide   0.495x Uridium   5.225x Gallicite   Fuel x2340

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Mistletoe III

Missile Size: 2 MSP  (0.1 HS)     Warhead: 6    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 81600 km/s    Engine Endurance: 39 minutes   Range: 192.8m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.06   Sensitivity Modifier: 320%
Resolution: 180    Maximum Range vs 9000 ton object (or larger): 250 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 3.636
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 816%   3k km/s 270%   5k km/s 163.2%   10k km/s 81.6%
Materials Required:    1.5x Tritanium   0.036x Boronide   0.06x Uridium   2.04x Gallicite   Fuel x1650

27th December 2391

   The Commune is finalizing their plans for their future frontier bases guarding against the Hegemony. The concept was based on three assumptions that are believed to be very reasonable. First and foremost is the belief that the enemy will continue to rely on bombers or similar small craft for anti-ship strikes and that the majority of their missile power will be in said small craft. Second the enemy bombers cannot engage from ranges as great as those of the Sharks due to their much smaller size which means the invading Hegemony force would have to either launch their strike from extended range, to prevent the Commune from firing, or they would have to take the incoming fire, while engaging at best with limited number of launchers on their escorts, which could be easily dealt with by active defenses. The third is that since so far no nation other than the Hegemony is using fighters, New Earth will not suddenly introduce their own interceptors, as so far they appear to have none.
   In such a scenario if an enemy force entered one of the frontier systems, the Sharks supported by larger vessels with point defense would set an intercept course to harass the invading fleet. If the Hegemony did not launch the bombers, the defenders would be faced with relatively light fire while unleashing a powerful strike of their own. For example there are currently twelve gunboat flotillas in the Pacific system which could launch a total of nearly seven thousand shipkillers. Even if the Hegemony were to defend against it, they would have to use huge portion of their anti-missiles. And if the enemy does launch a bomber strike, then he'll he'll need to close the range, as they have shorter ranged fire controls and missiles, which would allow the new interceptors to deal with them
   The plan has the advantage of using the currently existing Sharks in their more or less intended role, without the need to replace them. In fact they could not be replaced with Piranhas as those have too short missile range for the plan to work. The frontier task forces will have to be strengthened with larger units however and of course fighter bases with interceptors will have to be built. Below are the two fighters which have been designed.

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Space Superiority Fighter 2391A Version class Interceptor    250 tons     8 Crew     143.1 BP      TCS 5  TH 120  EM 0
24000 km/s     Armour 1-3     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 2.4
Maint Life 12.04 Years     MSP 36    AFR 5%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 0    5YR 7    Max Repair 60 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 1 months    Spare Berths 2   
Magazine 6   

Bustos & Casillas Fighter SCAM Drive (1)    Power 120    Fuel Use 462.98%    Signature 120    Exp 30%
Fuel Capacity 30 000 Litres    Range 4.7 billion km   (53 hours at full power)

Segovia-Burgos Armaments Fighter Chaingun (1x5)    Range 30 000km     TS: 24000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 25%     RM 4    ROF 5        1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eklund Incorporated Chaingun Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 30 000 km   TS: 32000 km/s     67 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Blom-Samuelsson Fighter Hardpoint (6)    Missile Size 1    Hangar Reload 7.5 minutes    MF Reload 1.2 hours
Herawati International Fighter Fire Control (1)     Range 10.0m km    Resolution 3
Banshee (6)  Speed: 110 400 km/s   End: 1.6m    Range: 10.6m km   WH: 3    Size: 1    TH: 662/397/198

Herawati International Long Range Fighter Radar (1)     GPS 54     Range 10.0m km    Resolution 3

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 maintenance purposes

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Space Superiority Fighter 2391B Version class Interceptor    198 tons     6 Crew     121.6 BP      TCS 3.95  TH 120  EM 0
30379 km/s     Armour 1-3     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 1.65
Maint Life 17.01 Years     MSP 38    AFR 3%    IFR 0%    1YR 0    5YR 4    Max Repair 60 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 1 months    Spare Berths 4   
Magazine 6   

Bustos & Casillas Fighter SCAM Drive (1)    Power 120    Fuel Use 462.98%    Signature 120    Exp 30%
Fuel Capacity 25 000 Litres    Range 4.9 billion km   (44 hours at full power)

Iagar Systems Chaingun (1x5)    Range 30 000km     TS: 30379 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 12.5%     RM 4    ROF 5        1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eklund Incorporated Chaingun Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 30 000 km   TS: 32000 km/s     67 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Blom-Samuelsson Fighter Hardpoint (6)    Missile Size 1    Hangar Reload 7.5 minutes    MF Reload 1.2 hours
Herawati International Fighter Fire Control (1)     Range 10.0m km    Resolution 3
Banshee (6)  Speed: 110 400 km/s   End: 1.6m    Range: 10.6m km   WH: 3    Size: 1    TH: 662/397/198

Herawati International Fighter Radar (1)     GPS 18     Range 3.3m km    Resolution 3

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 maintenance purposes

   Both versions were designed with the assumption that sooner or later the Hegemony will develop their own interceptors, which is why both have on board active sensors. Putting those on a dedicated scout would be more economical but if said scout was destroyed, it could present significant problem for the interceptors. While putting active sensors on them increased their size, it also ensured the entire strike won't be blinded by the enemy picking select few fighters from longer ranges.
   Both models are quite similar, with six anti-fighter missiles and an on board gauss cannon, but the B model is much closer to the original one, which was as small as possible to bring down costs and allow larger numbers to be carried around. One of the problems faced during the design process was missile fire control, as the presented one is the smallest possible to built but it still has three time the range of active sensors.
   The A model is twenty five percent larger, twenty percent more expensive and much slower. However it has much more accurate railgun and radar with the same range as the missile fire control. Overall it terms of armament it is the preferred version. The problem is that it relies on technological superiority to catch his enemy while the B model thanks to its smaller size is much faster meaning it should be able to catch up with bombers equipped with the same drive, unless said bombers were specifically designed to be faster than normal.
   After rather lengthy discussion the A model has been chosen. Fighters are cheap so if the situation warrants it the B model or even a newer one, could be produced quickly. So far no carriers have been designed and some even believe the carriers won't be necessary, but a ground base have been developed and is ready for construction. For now those will be built only on Ceylon in the Pacific system until shipyard become available to either build a full scale carrier or at least some vessel to freight interceptors around, as there is currently no way to move them from their production site to their destination. This also means the production won't begin immediately as proper factories have to be delivered to Ceylon first.
   The new interceptor has been named 'Bobcat'.

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Sikokrski class Fighter Base    4 050 tons     52 Crew     427.5 BP      TCS 81  TH 0  EM 0
Armour 5-22     Sensors 1/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 0
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Flight Crew Berths 0   
Hangar Deck Capacity 3000 tons     Magazine 74   

Fuel Capacity 500 000 Litres    Range N/A
Banshee (74)  Speed: 110 400 km/s   End: 1.6m    Range: 10.6m km   WH: 3    Size: 1    TH: 662/397/198

Strike Group
12x Bobcat Interceptor   Speed: 24000 km/s    Size: 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 Planetary Defence Centre and can be pre-fabricated in 2 sections

17th January 2392

   The negotiations between the Commune and the Republic regarding possible alliance officially continue but everyone is aware they are going nowhere. The two powers once again issued a joint statement that they will help each other in case of an aggression, but nothing more.
   Even so the talks have made the Force look more closely for a possibility of sending their warships into a territory of another nation, either to support it against an alien invasion or, if Hegemony attacks again, to possibly attempt to remove an enemy industrial capacity. The results were not promising.
   The newest Commune vessels have range of around fifty billion kilometers, but many older vessels are limited to around thirty billion. The latter is more or less equal to half the distance between Knossos and the most distant explored parts of the Tartarus chain from which the Destroyer came. This makes any forward defense problematic at best.
   However it should be noted that the issue never came to light for a very simple reason – the Force was established as a defensive organization and over the past seventy years they never ventured into a territory of another power with whom communication was established. The wars against ADS and the Specters did require offensive operations but those were seem more as operations dealing with natural disasters as both were ultimately unthinking and non-sentient. In those cases some issues with fuel were observed but as the battles themselves were short and decisive it was merely a case of putting a single tanker into the right position. But in the entire Commune history there hasn't been a single situation when a significant portion of the fleet had to perform prolonged operations within territory of another power, friendly or otherwise. And in such a case a single strategically positioned tanker would not be enough. Worse sending a ship like that would take much longer than sending the fleet, so if warships were needed at a considerable distance, the delay could cost an untold number of lives. In the end a new design was needed, one that could keep up with the fleet.
   The design was a fairly straightforward process but resulted in a ship that was surprisingly expensive. Of course in many ways this was due to the need for reliance, which is why the vessel used only very large and easy to manufactured parts which required minimal maintenance. Unfortunately this resulted in a tanker which massed a hundred and ten thousand tonnes, cost about as much as a modern cruiser and had enough fuel for one and a half cruiser divisions or one battlecruiser division. In the end however the decision has been made to build some of those ships.

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Bjornoya class Tanker    110 000 tons     785 Crew     9471 BP      TCS 2200  TH 31000  EM 0
14090 km/s     Armour 1-204     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 54    Max Repair 250 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 1   

Winiarczyk -Jelonek  High Power Commercial SCAM Drive (31)    Power 1000    Fuel Use 2.65%    Signature 1000    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 30 550 000 Litres    Range 1886.3 billion km   (1549 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

   The realization that the Force does not have tankers necessary to support extended operations also makes the officers look at other areas. Maintenance was not considered a problem as warships carried enough supplies, for both machines and humans, for three years. Ammunition was a whole different matter however. The only available transports are quite fast, but also old and not designed to keep up with the fleet. However many doubt there is an actual need for those. First, all Commune warships rely on box launchers for their shipkillers, which require a fully equipped base to perform an overhaul after each use. As such carrying ammunition for warships is pointless. Anti-missiles are another matter entirely, and they could be useful in many circumstances but there are currently so few of them that there likely won't be any stockpile to be put on transports. As such for now no new vessels of this type will be designed, but if the Commune ever manages to establish a reasonable stockpile, this may change.

27th April 2392

   With the survey cruisers finally refitted – although only to the inertial confinement fusion drives, rather than the newer anti-matter versions – and with the Tartarus chain explored as far as the government is willing to go at this time, the vessels has been ordered to survey systems relatively close to the settled Commune systems which has so far been ignored. There are several stars only five jumps from the capital system of Baltic and some are even adjacent to inhabited planets that has never been surveyed.
   One of the systems on the list was ES – 69 KH5. The star was in an underpopulated an uninteresting area of space, but more importantly, it was located in a very dense nebulae which would slow down commercial vessels to mare five hundred kilometers per second and even heavily armored Sirius II class survey cruisers could travel no faster than four thousand kilometers per second. Needless to say sensors were also affected.
   Despite being geologically surveyed the system turned out to have an ADS presence. No ruins have been discovered and only a single vessel has been found so far, but it still warranted investigation. As missiles would not work, the Second Battlecruiser Division, centered around three Barghest class warships will be sent to investigate. The Barghests were close energy weapon combatants with heavy armor, making them perfect for the job.
   Some were unhappy with the decision, as the Second is part of the Home Fleet, which is already considered weak. However it is one of the closest formations to the area and so far all potential enemies, including the Travelers and the Hegemony, seem to be busy elsewhere.

4th June 2392

   The Second Battlecruiser Division begun closing on the ADS detecting four frigates in total. They were armed with particle weapons, but their range was unknown. Unfortunately due to the dust density in the nebulae the targeting sensors were heavily impacted. The first fires were shot from extreme range of four hundred and eighty thousand kilometers, but those had only one percent chance to hit. The human force begun to edge closer, confident in their superior speed and training but even at mere four hundred thousand kilometers the chance to hit were slashed to one sixth of what it should have been.
   Thanks to the recovered components the general ADS technological base was known, although there were some holes in that knowledge. However the maximum alien range for energy weapons was certainly below four hundred thousand kilometers, so the Barghests with their superior speed and range could deal with the four frigates without receiving a hit in return, despite the degradation in accuracy. In the end the battle lasted almost an hours as only one or two hits were achieved in each salvo.
   The Second will remain in place in case more ships are found. Tracking stations are already on their way and the survey ship Sirius will be working in the system, which will hopefully allow her to find any other forces hiding in the dense dust clouds. Normally the jump battlecruiser would have sensors good enough to cover most of the inner system, but with all the dust and gases she can see very little.

20th August 2393

   The Hegemony develops magnetic confinement fusion drives which will increase the speed of their warships to sixty two hundred and fifty kilometers per second. There is a significant pressure to begin upgrading older designs, as some of them are still using ion engines, but so far only three new carriers have been built since the Battle of ES – 09 while four were lost there. Of course the newer ones are much bigger and more capable but the number of actual formations remains the same. To make matter worse the new Vengeance class carriers are so large it takes more time to build their strike groups than the ships themselves.
   After some consideration the government decides to wait until next generation drives are available, which will take eight to ten years. Once those are developed, the older vessels will be either scrapped or upgraded.
   New missiles have also been designed, and those benefit from improved warheads as well, making them much better than the previous generation ones.

Code: [Select]
Spacebolt B

Missile Size: 3 MSP  (0.15 HS)     Warhead: 10    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 62500 km/s    Engine Endurance: 23 minutes   Range: 87.4m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.2124   Sensitivity Modifier: 180%
Resolution: 100    Maximum Range vs 5000 ton object (or larger): 380 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 5.1837
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 625%   3k km/s 200%   5k km/s 125%   10k km/s 62.5%
Materials Required:    2.5x Tritanium   0.1275x Boronide   0.2124x Uridium   2.3438x Gallicite   Fuel x1157.5

Code: [Select]
Patriot D

Missile Size: 1 MSP  (0.05 HS)     Warhead: 1    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 33
Speed: 83700 km/s    Engine Endurance: 1 minutes   Range: 6.5m km
Cost Per Missile: 1.7489
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 2762.1%   3k km/s 891%   5k km/s 552.4%   10k km/s 276.2%
Materials Required:    0.25x Tritanium   1.4989x Gallicite   Fuel x50

Code: [Select]
Tomahawk D

Missile Size: 4 MSP  (0.2 HS)     Warhead: 18    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 62500 km/s    Engine Endurance: 19 minutes   Range: 71.3m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.09   Sensitivity Modifier: 180%
Resolution: 200    Maximum Range vs 10000 ton object (or larger): 220 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 7.769
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 625%   3k km/s 200%   5k km/s 125%   10k km/s 62.5%
Materials Required:    4.5x Tritanium   0.054x Boronide   0.09x Uridium   3.125x Gallicite   Fuel x1035

Code: [Select]
Harpoon D

Missile Size: 4 MSP  (0.2 HS)     Warhead: 12    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 62500 km/s    Engine Endurance: 44 minutes   Range: 164.8m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.045   Sensitivity Modifier: 180%
Resolution: 200    Maximum Range vs 10000 ton object (or larger): 110 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 6.197
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 625%   3k km/s 200%   5k km/s 125%   10k km/s 62.5%
Materials Required:    3x Tritanium   0.027x Boronide   0.045x Uridium   3.125x Gallicite   Fuel x2392.5


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