Ground Warfare

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Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 10:01 pm

Ground Warfare

Post by Zor » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:58 am

Ground Warfare: An Introduction

In the modern interstellar age, ground warfare has become a secondary concern in military affairs. The main method by which an interstellar power exerts force over its enemies is via its star navy and while activities which threaten. Never-the-less, the need to take, hold and defend territory remains a key component in any nation’s defence, be they empire builder or the purely defensive forces of a non-aggressive system state. For this reason, armies still exist.

Infantry-To this day the heart of any army remains its oldest form, the infantry. Boots on the ground are still necessary as scouts, urban combat forces and (most importantly) to take and hold territory. The standard soldier in the Terran Sphere is armed in a manner that someone from the first century would find familiar with combat knifes, grenades, Sidearms, PDWs, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, light machine guns, Grenade Launchers, mortars, RPGs and so forth, although they have been upgraded. The standard Assault Rifle, for example fires 3-5mm projectiles at 2-3km/s, generally containing a miniaturized explosive charge set to go off inside the body or on impact or to squash to assure maximum damage. These weapons are generally Gauss or rail weapons, normally bullpup and (for assault rifles) typically carry magazines with capacities in the area of 50-100 rounds.

In terms of defensive systems, things have been changed somewhat. Firstly is the presence of Power Armour, (normally) fully enclosed armoured exoskeletons allowing for a significant increase in the wearer’s strength, integrated NBC protection and sensor suites. In terms of general performance a power armoured soldier is generally far more capable than one without one. Two categories of power armour exist, standard suits of power armour generally weighs about 15-40 kilograms used by most nations. These suits are comparatively inexpensive to make, can enter buildings and so forth easily, have comparable weight to un-power armoured soldiers (meaning they are easy to airlift and don’t have to worry about pit traps or weight constrictions). Heavier Power Suits do exist in the 200-300 kilogram range, which are typically used for heavy support, but these are generally used by specialist teams or as fire support at the squad levels. There are also heavier troops from genmod-races such as Neo-gorillas. Outside of a few scout units and a few special units, inside the first and second expansion sphere all save the smallest and poorest system level policies can afford to equip their soldiers with power armour. In addition, Thermoptic Camouflage systems are available and have considerably improved the stealth abilities of soldiers on the field, requiring the use of sensors to identify it.

Another difference of note is the presence and widespread use of combat robots, this ranges from basic sentry turrets to fully automatous war machines. These robots are in general non-sapient machines and are usually used under close supervision of a human NCO. The scale to which they are used varies immensely; from a few minor support roles to the vast attrition hordes of the Novan Empire.

In terms of tactics, there has not been too much alteration since the first century. While it can be said that two millennia of infantry warfare has refined tactics the major difference is that tactics, there have not been too much in the line of game changing developments. The most major development in terms of training is that of the occupational soldier. For any empire builder the army and particular the infantry is required to secure territory. To make each boot on the ground as efficient in this regard as possible, it is common to give soldiers basic instructions in policing.

Armour–Armoured support is still a key part in planetary combat, even with orbital support there is still a need for armoured warfare. While some people have at various points have claimed that advances in handheld anti-tank weapons would render armoured fighting vehicles obsolete, this never panned out as advances in combat ceramics and point defense laser systems came up to negate the advantages. While large-scale armoured battles are a fairly rare occurrence, armoured skirmishes between small forces still happen

Like with infantry, armoured warfare remains in a form which someone from the first century AT would understand (Tanks, APCs, Self-Propelled artillery and AA, etc.), although performances are generally higher. For example, it is common for most armoured vehicles to be either capable of operating in vacuum or other hostile environment with at most a small amount of adjustment. It is common for tanks and APCs to be able to function under several hundred meters of water. A new category of vehicle has emerged, the countergravity raider. Countergrav raiders are light armoured vehicles weighing between 8 and 15 tonnes on average and use countergravity systems to hover up to two meters above ground in terra standard gravity. This gives them an unparalleled ability to navigate difficult terrain and speed for their weight size (several hundred kilometers per hour is standard). Countergravity raiders are armed mainly to fight enemy infantry, although anti-air and anti-tank weapons are employed. Countergravity Artillery vehicles also exist, although they have to stop and land to fire. Tanks remain treaded vehicles, as do most APCs and light transport vehicles analogical to first century Humvees.

A final note of difference worth making is that of combat modules. While such systems were impractical using first century technology, now they are fairly common. It is possible to install one or two combat modules onto tanks or a number of APCs, installing mortars, anti-aircraft missile launchers, flak cannons and so forth to give it an edge and an extra degree of flexibility on the battlefield.

Artillery-Artillery in the modern is for the most part self-propelled or stationary. Towed guns are deemed inefficient for most purposes, with guns which don’t need to be moved frequently deployed in stationary prefabricated turrets. Fixed artillery includes some newer categories of weapons, such as planetary defense laser cannons and railguns and anti-ship missile launchers. The rise of laser based point defense systems has meant that dumb projectiles are not as effective as they once were, as such most modern artillery shells are capable of some evasive manoeuvres when en-route.

Air Power-Even with orbital artillery platforms and fleets of orbiting warships, airpower still is of use. Even with countergravity systems, it is cheaper to build a merely flight capable craft over one capable of reaching orbit. That said, airpower has changed significantly.

Thanks to countergravity systems and over two thousand years of research and development into the field of aeronautics, Combat Aircraft are with few exceptions VTOL capable. The most common combat aircraft are armed transports and gunships. Fighter aircraft still exist to engage enemy aircraft, as do more expensive but superior preforming aerospace fighters. Heavy Ground Attack Aircraft (an analogical aircraft from the First Century would be the A-10 Thunderbolt). Typical weaponry includes gauss/railguns, point defense lasers and various types of guided missiles. UAVs (including UCAVs) are very common for engaging light targets.

Wet Naval Forces-As Habitable planets usually have significant parts of their surfaces covered by water, most nations still have use of wet naval ships. Cargo ships are still useful for transportation and marine cities (including those which are home to marine sapients such as Aquatics and Neodolphins), aquaculture and mining operations exist. Some presence at sea is usually required to take, secure and defend these. On the same note, oceans offer a major defensive advantage for craft underneath them. A submarine with kilometer of water above it is, even with modern sensors is basically impossible to track from orbit and is offers considerable protection. Lasers are quickly ablated by water and kinetic energy is quickly drained from projectiles which go through it. Leaving aside patrol boats, infantry actions underwater and air support, marine warfare consists of the following craft.
• Boomers: Comparable in size and function to Ballistic Missile Submarines of ancient Terra, Boomers are intended as mobile planetary defense platforms. Each carry a number of specially modified anti-ship missiles in box launchers. This allows them to strike against enemy warships in orbit with a considerable measure of safety. Boomers do have a limited defensive armament. Boomers have a crew of 15-20 personnel and can operate without resupply for over a year, and underwater resupply stations are available.
• Attack Submarines: Roughly triangular in shape, attack submarines are the main anti-ship warfare platforms. Smaller (averaging 60-90 meters long) and faster than boomers. The main armaments of an attack sub are torpedo tubes firing supercavitating torpedoes which have a range of about a hundred kilometers. Attack submarines are used to engage and escort boomer submarines (although boomers do carry a defensive armament) and one or two gauss cannons firing supercavitating ammunition, as well as various countermeasures such as sonic pulsers which disrupt the bubble of incoming torpedoes. Attack subs have a crew of 10-15 personnel.
• Subfighters: Subfighters are small manned submarines widely used across the Terran Sphere. Subfighters are about 10-15 meters long and are armed with a torpedo tube and a single supercavitating gun and are manned by a single pilot. Subfighters are cheaper to build and produce than attack subs and faster, and can be airlifted, but can only stay active for at most 36 hours and cannot go as deep. Subfighters are useful for patrol, first wave assaults and supporting forces during marine battles.
• Subhunters: Subhunters are small (30 meters to 60 meters average length) armed marine ships that, as the name suggests designed to hunt submarines. Subhunters carry a sophisticated array of sensors and are armed with a payload of anti-submarine weapons. The soul armament against targets on a surface is typically a single turret mounted machine gun. Most Subhunters are Hydrofoils. Hydrofoils have a crew of 2-5 people.
• Flakboats: Flakboats are similar in size and design to subhunters, but are armed with anti-aircraft weaponry rather than anti-submarine weaponry, including STA missiles and autocannons. Flakboats are often used for general maritime patrol in peacetimes.

Posts: 271
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 10:01 pm

Re: Ground Warfare

Post by Zor » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:44 pm

imperial_assault_rifle_by_imperator_zor-d46ojpo.jpg (58.53 KiB) Viewed 7391 times
A Novan SR50 Assault Rifle. The Main weapon of the Novan Imperial Military, having remained so for some 150 years. A Gauss based weapon, the SR50 fires 4mm explosive AP rounds at 2520 meters per second, feeding from a 96 round helical magazine. Its power cell is good for 500 shots. It has three modes of fire, single shot, three round burst and full automatic with a rate of fire of 750 rounds per minute. For targeting it has a built in laser rangefinder and HUD linkup scope. While each individual round is less powerful than that of the 4.62mm QBZ-258, it has a greater ammunition capacity and is more controllable by non power armored soldiers. It can be outfitted with the following systems (among others). For security purposes, these weapons are keyed to only be used by authorized forces (Imperial Military Personnel, Police, etc).

A: A 20mm shotgun/airburst grenade launcher
B: A 40mm Grenade launcher
C: A detachable secondary hand grip.

Posts: 271
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 10:01 pm

Re: Ground Warfare

Post by Zor » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:07 pm

Planetary Defense

The Treaty of Sol forbids the use of orbital bombardment for the purpose of indiscriminate eradication of population centers and destruction of biospheres. As such, planets are not completely defenseless against attacking fleets, even though most will surrender when confronted with a planetary invasion. This focuses on planet based systems and is leaving aside orbital defense platforms and corvettes.

The most common form of planetary defense are missiles. Typically these are long range missiles equipped with countergrav systems to help them escape the atmosphere. These are launched from underground silos, although mobile launch vehicles are also employed, these can quickly reposition to give them an advantage in overcoming point defense systems, but fire medium range missiles. The amount of fire that a planet can launch can be quite formidable in the case of a heavily developed world.

Planetary energy cannons are also used, typically battleship level and powered by planetary energy grids, but these are fairly rare. One thing that has proven to be fairly common are defensive gauss cannons capable of accelerating projectiles at speeds of up to 1,000 kilometers per second, at close range these can be devastating and there are instances of such weapons destroying Dreadnoughts.

Most of the long range planetary defense weapons are buried to conceal their position and offer some level of protection. That said, planetary defenses are vulnerable due to their inability to maneuver, which means they can be subjected to bombardment. Most of them are located well away from cities, as their is a clause against using population centers as human shields in the Treaty of Sol.

The final orbital defense are specialized automatic gauss weapons and low range missiles designed to destroy landing spacecraft. These have limited range but are useful in holding off waves of spacecraft. These are typically mounted on light vehicles capable of quick repositioning, as failure to reposition will often lead orbital bombardment.

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