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Author Topic: Javelin Lightweight Anti-Ship Missile, plus an optional rule for nuking things  (Read 669 times)

Liam's Ghost

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Javelin Light Weight Anti-ship Missile (LWASM)

The Javelin (also whimsically known as "El-Wawesome" among the engineering staff) is a new fighter-born guided munition being developed by the Taurian Concordat for both anti-ship operations as well as a secondary air to ground role. Though the project staff will studiously avoid mentioning it in official records whenever possible, the Javelin's expected effectiveness in its design role is due entirely to the fact that it makes use of a tactical nuclear warhead, making it the smallest nuclear equipped missile currently in development or service.

From the beginning, the intention of the Javelin was to grant a nuclear anti-ship capability to even the smallest of aerospace craft, and can be thought of as an alamo class missile stripped down to its bare essentials. The five hundred kilo missile is little more than a basic target tracker, warhead, and high efficiency vector thrust rocket combined with about four hundred kilos of chemical fuel. Though originally intended to incorporate the warhead of the original alamo, the age of war era design of the alamo warhead made it too heavy to mount, resulting in a completely redesigned "physics package" using the latest in technology. This not only shaved five much needed kilograms from the warhead's mass, but actually boosted the expected yield to twice that of the heavier alamo.

Though a basic design in principle, the Javelin has still had its growing pains. The first test launches (using an inert payload), showed a horrible rate of failure for the impact detonator, with up to seventy percent failing to trigger when striking a spaceborn target. Design revisions appeared to solve this problem, only to create another when atmospheric testing indicated that the new detonator could be tripped by simple air resistance. In a live fire situation, this could result in such weapons detonating almost as soon as they are armed or launched in the atmosphere. Further tweaks only revealed that these problems were systemic in the detonator's design, necessitating an additional year of development time to completely redesign the impact detonator. By comparison, the other aspects of the design have proven a breeze, with the sophisticated warhead in particular proving both robust and extremely reliable.

The Javelin has only just begun to reach operational capabilities, and currently all such weapons are retained in secure storage facilities in the Hyades cluster. Overall, the Concordat has proven extremely circumspect in discussing their new nuclear weapons, or even acknowledging their existence after the deranged excesses of the Protectors before the Doru coup. The closest thing to a statement indicates that these weapons will be used only defensively, and only in the event of a major invasion of the core Taurian worlds by a major power. One can only hope that the Concordat has stabilized enough for that promise to hold any meaning.   

Game Rules:
A Javelin missile functions in the same manner as the Type II/Alamo Nuclear missile (Interstellar Operations Page 175) with the following modifications. First the Javelin has a maximum range of short using the standard weapons range bracket (equal to a standard SRM launcher if using the detailed weapons ranges). Second, the javelin possesses only 1 point of capital scale armor when resolving point defense. Third, a Javelin missile can only be used as a ground burst weapon when making an air to ground attack, however like the Alamo if it is targeted against an airborne unit on the low altitude map, it still produces an airburst affect against targets on the ground.

The Javelin Missile weighs one half ton and occupies a single bomb slot. The yield and statistics for the warhead are presented below.

Tech level: E
Yield: 10 Kilotons
Base Impact Damage: 2000
Capital Damage (critical chance): 20 (10+)
Crater Depth: 1
Blast Radius (ground burst): 53
Blast Radius (air burst): 71
Blast Effect Height: 2115 meters (low altitude level 9)
Damage Degradation by Hex (ground burst): 37
Damage Degradation by Hex (air burst): 28
Secondary Effect Radius (ground burst): 106
Secondary Effect Radius (air burst): 141
Secondary Effect Height: 4,230 meters (low altitude level 9)

Optional Rule: Close Range Missile Strike

With the proliferation of point defense anti-missile systems on large spacecraft, the use of even large naval missiles in ship to ship combat has become an increasingly questionable prospect. While the budget crunchers of major powers have rejoiced that their massive investments in the remaining warships of the Inner Sphere are no longer an easy mark for a fighter carrying a nuclear warhead, some minor powers, such as the Taurians and Regulans, have come to regret the loss of their nuclear "silver bullet" as a deterrent against naval action by their neighbors, and have struggled hard to regain it. While technological solutions such as decoys or jammers have yet to bear fruit, one fairly basic tactical solution shows promise, simply holding off firing until the last possible minute. A close range launch (defined in this case as launching at a range of under two kilometers), means that hostile point defense will never be able to track and eliminate the inbound missile strike fast enough to truly protect the target. However, this is a double edged sword. In a typical engagement, both the target and attacker are moving so quickly that there is little margin for error in ensuring a hit, and even an advanced guided missile will have little to no time to course correct from a poorly aimed launch. As such, these attacks tend to be much less accurate than a standard missile attack, and must rely on shear volume of launches to ensure a hit, much less a kill.

Game Rules:

To execute a close range missile strike, the attacking unit must be capable of expending thrust, must end its movement in the same hex as its target, and must have at least two points of thrust unused at the end of it's movement (representing the thrust that will be expended lining up the close approach). The attack is resolved as normal, save that the attacker suffers an additional +4 to hit penalty, and any point defense systems or AMS on the targeted craft have no affect.

As an additional option to represent the vagaries of the tactic (such as when an attacker fires off his missiles too early or a point defense system still gets some shots off) the defender may still allocate point defense and AMS to the attack as normal, however before the attack roll is resolved, roll a single six sided die for each targeted missile. On a roll of 1-3, the point defense fails to engage in time. On a roll of 4-5, the point defense fires (with the consequent loss of ammunition and/or heat capacity) but fails to hit its target. On a roll of 6, the point defense engages its target successfully with the normal affect.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!