Planetary Invasion

From Acw

taken from an address by Rear Admiral Thornton to the SBE officers academy

Because the safe wormhole range is more or less a given (see Hardy's Law), any attack will need to batter it’s way through planetary defences positioned explicitly to deal with their arrival.

Thus typical planetary defences resemble this: At the outer edge, in the region of space where ships can safely arrive, you will find monitoring satellites eternally detecting for energy readings indicating a wormhole is about to open. These provide the first indication that an attack is about to take place.

Slightly further inwards is the next ring of defence, small semi-mobile defensive platforms. Usually converted asteroids fitted with a small engine and as much weaponry as can be fit onto their surface, manned by small crews. Beyond control over a vast weapons array, they also have access to Hunter-Seeker satellites.

Designed to resemble ordinary civilian or monitoring satellites, Hunter-Seeker satellites are designed to when activated, accelerate at maximum acceleration towards any attacker. Surprise is their greatest weapon, attacking from an unexpected direction. Whilst not possessing any explicit weaponry, their mass coupled with sufficient momentum can be enough to disable or seriously impair the function of a ship.

Given the current sophistication of electronic jamming and hacking technology, such independent automated systems are fairly rare. However, as their capture by hostile software does not grant control over a significant investment, they are still an effective weapon utilised by all.

The orbital stations are designed to be only a first line of defence. They are there to hold off an initial assault until help can arrive. The next line of defence is usually in the form of a dedicated intra-solar fleet. Designed to operate completely in space, these ships are built to intercept any fleet that manages to get through the outer layers of defence.

Usually built around a Carrier these interdiction fleets are nearly always an indication of the level of wealth of the planet they defend. For instance, the poor Neuostland fleet consists of several fifty year old patrol ships, whilst the Martian based XXXXX fleet composes nearly one tenth of the entire German naval force.

Planetary interdiction fleets are sometimes supported from any nearby moon bases. Mobile or hidden batteries provide additional firepower from the moon’s surface. However, because of the predictability of a moons orbit, and the relatively inability to manoeuvre such weaponry, there is a school of though that says that moon based defences are inherently flawed at protecting a planetary body.

Finally, if a fleet manages to get past all of these combined defences; it must still wrestle with whatever planet based defences that have been built. Whilst planetary shielding is still a dream, important installations can be structurally supported sufficient to survive even mid yield nuclear blasts. Careful selection of location and building materials can make installations virtually indestructible.

And of course, none of this prohibits an allied wormhole capable fleet of jumping in system to aid in the defence.

Thus gentlemen, let us conclude that for a nation to truly embark on planetary conquest, the fleet required to do so would be truly enormous and even then the damage and loss of life in taking that planet would be stupendous. To the point that I feel confident in saying that for the moment, our off world colonies are safe.

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