Project Deathblossom

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    Abstract: A statistical analysis of TSN Cruiser division casualties has shown a weakness to small fighters and tractor beams, particularly when used in conjunction. While long term R&D is working on the Tractor problem, Project Deathblossom attempts two related approaches to Destroyer or Cruiser scale fighter defense, codenamed Deathblossom/Ripsaw and Deathblossom/Paris.

    Prior Art: Standard warp capable light unit tactics when confronted with a fighter swarm is to avoid contact, wait for fighters to return to hangar, and destroy the hanger with them inside. If that is not possible, defensive mine emplacements and lethal terrain are preferred, followed by the use of organic proximity explosives. Only after a swarm has been devastated is direct beam engagement authorized. All of these tactics except the last rely on the TSNs superior mobility, which leads to a breakdown of doctrine when that mobility is compromised, through either enemy Tractor use, or propulsion damage.

    Theory: Expanding beam combat to effectively combat a multiship fighter swarm, without an expansion of combat capability that makes it difficult to classify as a cruiser. The design of Project Deathblossom uses multiple beam arrays to bring significant firepower to bear, but multiple approaches are being considered.

    Ripsaw is an attempt at a pure beam approach. Analysts suggests that, given advancements in the area of RAM beam design, it may be possible to completely eliminate a fighter in a single firing pass. These beam arrays are too large to all mount on the forward saucer, of course, but the observed behavior of attacking fighters offers up alternative mounting positions. However, the RAM arrays still have significant cycle time, even after optimization. After cycling the arrays to kill one fighter, it must remain alive long enough to cycle and kill the next fighter, and the next.

    Paris is an attempt at a hybrid approach. Torpedoes are not a viable tactic against fighters due to their speed and mobility, but beam weapons are capable of temporally disabling the systems that permit that sort of evasion. The required beam system is much lighter- an adaptation of battleship point defense, in fact- but still require broad coverage to be practical. Once automated tracking takes out propulsion or maneuvering, crippling them like Achilles, this ship can follow up with a plasma shock or a salvo of homings, then quickly move on to the next threat. The cycle time on these beams is quite fast, as it may take multiple orbits for the automated systems to cripple an evading small craft.

    Preliminary testing is set to begin shortly


    Results of testing were unsatisfactory. Ripsaw was undeniably effective but awkward to use. Paris accomplished the primary goal, but would have been more effective as a minelayer, instead of a beam ship.

    Tabling Project Deathblossom for now.

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