Bureau of Ship Design Memo to UNSC Security Committee 7/6/2552
Posted By: Paladin123<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 17 May 2011, 1:10 am
August 6, 2552
To: UNSC Security Committee, Chairman Fleet Admiral Sir Terrence Hood, Earth
From: Colonel William Pericles Chief of BuShip Reyes-McLees Shipyard, Mars
Subject: Suggestions material & tactical pertaining to UNSC space operations
With the news of the fall of Reach the Bureau of Ship Design has come up with several strategies utilizing existing materials and capabilities that hopefully, may even the odd against the Covenant. In the battle of Reach, like those before it, Covenant space superiority proved to be the decisive factor. Once orbit is secured the Covenant's ability to glass planets at will precludes any victories won by UNSC ground forces. Because of this reality the majority of UNSC efforts should be focused on engaging the Covenant short of the ground. If the high ground of space is lost, all is lost.
The Battle of Sigma Octanus IV on July 17th of this year, specifically the use of nuclear ordinance by Captain Keyes and effectiveness of the nuclear mine field deployed at Reach clearly show then need for an increased use of such weapons. The victory of the UNSC Iroquois against two Covenant frigates late in the battle relied on the use of a Shiva-Class nuclear missile to disable both ship's shields allowing for convention weapons to quickly destroy them. Current doctrine has UNSC frigates and destroyers armed with only three Shiva missiles this number should be increased drastically.
UNSC primary anti-ship Archer missile are largely ineffective against Covenant capital ships, especially those with intact shields. Seeding Shiva missiles into salvos of Archer missiles would hopefully allow a handful of these weapons to bi-pass the Covenant pulse lasers point defenses. A UNSC frigate, our most numerous capital class ship, using half its missile stockpile could launch a salvo of 600 Archer missiles and 3 to 5 Shiva missile against a Covenant CSS-Battle Cruiser. This salvo based on previous battle statistics, would, with a 94% probability, insure 1 to 2 Shiva missiles reaching the target. Base on ONI projections this along with the follow up use of conventional weapons would have 50% to 60% chance of crippling, said CSS-Battle Cruiser and a 10% to 19% of securing its destruction. In a multi-ship engagement such tactics could allow outnumbered UNSC forces to prevail. Traditional tactics have only secured victory when UNSC forces had a 4 to 1 advantage or greater, such as at XI Boötis A & Groombridge-1830.
In long range engagements where the position of Covenant vessels can be somewhat predicted a variation of the Keyes loop can be attempted. Shiva missiles could be launch without using onboard drives and set on a ballistic course towards the target. With out the engine signature these weapons could stealthily glide into range of the target and may be ignored in the heat of battle. However evasive maneuvers, even unintended would render this strategy ineffective.
Covenant plasma torpedoes with abilities, for in-flight course corrections and corrosive battle damage can destroy or cause significant damage to most UNSC ship with a single hit. Counter measures other then sever course corrections are needed to counter these weapons. Admiral Stanforth use of the repair-refitting station UNSC Cradle at Sigma Octanus IV to cover his fleet with was somewhat success. This strategy was also adopted by Admiral Freemont to defend Reach. However the use of mobile repair-refitting stations should be viewed as a stopgap measure and a non-sustainable option only adopted in desperation.
BuShip is of the belief that nuclear weapons could be used to disrupt the electromagnetic field of plasma torpedoes. This destabilization of the torpedo would render harmless its' plasma payload. It is a simple fact that nuclear weapons must be detonated with atmosphere to produce a EMP shock wave however the radiation/blast effect should be sufficient with a 10 kiloton weapon to disrupt plasma torpedoes within 8 to 12 kilometers. While nuclear weapons are in short supply older mothball Fenris Class Warheads could be pressed into service for this purpose. The disruption of even one plasma torpedo salvo could be decisive in future battles.
In the Battle of Reach debris from the repair-refitting stations cause the Covenant fleet to reposition itself to give it a clear firing solution. Polluting a site with debris in preparation for a battle would be prohibitively time consuming, and useless if the engagement did not develop. However ships could carry debris-deploying packets with them. Starting in the second half of the 21st century militaries began deploying reactive armor to defeat advanced weapons. Titanium-A battle plate could be retrofitted with explosive charges to blow away from the hull, forming a vapor cloud of metal. This cloud could cause the premature release of a torpedo's plasma, short of the target, like earlier reactive armor. The armor however would be good for one use before it would need to be replaced. Against plasma lasers this armor would be ineffective. However these draw backs BuShip feels are insignificant when compared with the increased level of protection offered. Not every inch of existing armor needs to be retrofitted; instead bolt on kits could be fitted onto the existing armor of the ship.
Of secondary importance to shipboard defense is point defense weaponry, primarily intended to destroy Covenant small craft. Currently ships mount duel 50 caliber emplacements are typical. It is the belief of BuShip that point defense efficiency could be drastically increased if the M68 Asynchronous Linear Induction Motor or M6 Grindel/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle were used to replace the 50 calibers in the defensive role. Both weapons systems have substantially more firepower, range and accuracy then the current point defense system. Possible downsides include the increased power demands, however in the current form both systems use small generators, Warthog mount, or man size, that could easily be incorporated into most ships power grids.
Reach Orbital Defense Platforms inflicted significant damage on the Covenant fleet, and initially where able to engage the majority of Covenant capital ships with superior firepower from beyond their own effective range. Theses massive instillations are the keystone on which UNSC planetary defenses are built. However once the Covenant closed range, plasma torpedoes were able to silence the OPDs. Reactive kits when developed should be fitted to the OPD, possibly GA-TL1 Long Sword equipped with nuclear weapons to disperse incoming fire and a thickening of Hornet Nuclear Mines around valuable planets. Covenant have shown in past engagements, think Anchor 9, a eagerness to board our UNSC orbital platforms. To defend against this possible OPCs should be retrofitted with their own point-defense grid like Anchor 9. If necessary ship board 50 calibers could be repurposed for use on ODP. Also Combat Air Patrols of Long Swords or YSS-1000 Sabre should be tasked with engaging non capital ship targets threatening OPC. Based on the Sabre performance in operation UPPERCUT BuShip feels the fighter is ready for mass production and should replace the Long Sword as the UNSC primary non-atmospheric fighter.
In the end Reach's ODPs were disable when their ground side power stations were overrun by Covenant ground forces. UNSC Army or Marine units should be assigned to permeate defensive details on all such generators and fixed defenses should be constructed. While ODP were initially constructed to defeat a human opponent, and built in space due to the reduced construction cost (reduced cooling facilities, structural supports), increased field of fire, and hope of reducing collateral damage by not necessitating orbital bombardment of the planet to disable them, ground side ODP present certain advantages. Ground side Magnetic Accelerator Cannons could be "armored" with thousands of tons of rock, with their power generators and hidden until they opened fire. The major downside would be their possible firing solutions would be greatly reduced along with a significant increase in building cost, due to their construction within a planetary gravity well. A stop gap solution that would reduce construction cost would be building MACs in smaller gravity wells such as moons. Using Earth's Luna as an example a destroyer size MAC shell traveling at 50% the speed of light would reach Earth in 2.71 seconds and an ODP cannon shell traveling at 60% the speed of light would cover the distance in 2.25 seconds. Both times above are calculated from the Luna's farthest distance from Earth, 406,700km in its orbit, at its closest orbit, 356,400km the time would be reduced to 2.37 or 1.98 respectively. The advantage to a moon deployment of MACs would be, at lest in Luna's case, a 365 degree kill zone around Earth once a day. Covenant forces could shelter behind the opposite side of Earth from Luna, however they could not maintain geosynchronous orbit if they did so. However firing solutions would half to be carefully calculated to avoid hitting the planet such instillations are defending. A 600-ton MAC shell traveling at 60% the speed of light would cause catastrophic damage if it hit a planet.
To summaries BuShip major suggestions
Increase in the use and production of UNSC nuclear weapons.
A crash development of reactive armor
Updating UNSC point defenses
Full scale deployment of YSS-1000 Sabre fighters
Construction of ODP magnetic accelerator cannons within planetary gravity wells.
We at BuShip feel all of these projects can be implemented, immediately or within 2 to 3 months without undue stress on our current production schedule. The building of large MAC within gravity wells will be the largest of these undertakings; however BuShip is advocating only a limited number need be constructed to be effective. In the case of Earth's Luna between 6 and 10.
As for the increase in the nuclear weapons equipping every ship in the fleet with an arsenal of between 10 to 24 should take under a year, if the proper resources are dedicated to the project. Let us remember that before humans colonized space between the 1945 and 1985 we where able to produce over 65,000 nuclear weapons, with the industrial base of the inner colonies and Earth such a feet easily within our reach. Some may be concerned about the destructive potential the UNSC would be placing on its ships but let us again remember that the Earth nation state known as the United State of America deployed 24 nuclear missiles on its most advanced naval submersibles (Ohio Class), which were one third the size of our space going frigate. As it has proven throughout human history desperate times call for desperate measures, and we must adapt to the new challenges this war presents us with like our ancestors have done before us.
Colonel William Pericles Chief of BuShip Reyes-McLees Shipyard, Mars.
BuShip personnel were quite impressed with unconventional use of a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine by Nobel Team in operation UPPERCUT. UNSC ships that find themselves in extremely close proximity to a Covenant vessel (which is not unknown to happen, UNSC Iroquois ramming a Covenant destroyer in the battle of Sigma Octanus IV) could activate their slip space drive in the hope of catching a portion of the enemy ship in the jump. This should not become a standard maneuver but under emergency condition this could cause a crippled UNSC vessel a final chance to defend itself.