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  • 8 months later...

Tech's Files- Part 2: Alicanto & Fénix


Léon Flats, Prohibited Airspace, Site A-1010
0830 IST--March 29, 2016
Re: Alicanto Project (Inspection, 2016-002)

Comandante Hermann Vasques, youngest OF-5 in the Fuersas L'Aire, and Chief Consultant for the Minister of Defence... picked his nose. Digging around, flicked a sizeable piece of snot into the tan dust of the Léon flats.

He shivered slightly in his grey winter service uniform. He had a pair of shades on, the long flaps of his fur hat fully extended, and the collar of his officer's greatcoat turned up against the wind. The leather of his boots felt stiff like it was beginning to frost-over and he couldn't quite feel his toes. 

His finger had begun to wander for another round of nose mining when a sound from behind him broke through the whistling gales.


Vasques turned around, an errant strand still peeking from his right nostril. With no apparent shame, he grinned like a tardo behind is Rey-Ban aviadores and appraised the vision of womanhood before him

She had iron-lines on her uniform sharp as razors and hip curves as shapely as the Toledo bells.




As it turned out, Comandante Luisa Sant'Ana was just the officer Vasques was waiting for. She had apparently been waiting for him in the site's pre-fab breakroom, but when Vasques' SUR-17 landed, he had ignored the aide that had been sent to collect him, brushed his escort/bodyguard/secretary off and wandered around the grounds so he could find a secluded place to up-chuck the remnants of last night's alcohol.

The site facilities were mostly deserted, the staff were mostly tucked into their units for warmth and the roving patrols huddled behind bivouacs or stayed inside their patrol vehicles for the heater. So there he was, probably the most influential man in airforce procurement and R&D, wandering around, catching the sniffles and picking his nose as he appreciated the miles upon miles of flat horizon around him as far as the eye could see.

Until of course Sant'Ana had gotten tired of waiting and stalked off to find him. They had exchanged greetings, spoke some jargon about inspection details, Vasques had made a few none-too-subtle comments on the aesthetics of her figure and she responded by thumbing the safety off of her service pistol.

They walked towards the hangars in silence. Sant'Ana led the way, Vasques was happy to follow... and appreciate the view.

The hangar was quickly unlocked by the on-site security and the large panel doors squealed open. By now, Vasques' aide had found him and they were joined by a sleepy looking test pilot with an unkempt beard.

A small tow vehicle backed out from within the hangar, slowly dragging the subject of this visit into the light. As the figure emerged fully into the outside pavement, Vasques took a moment check his line of sight and appreciate another set of curves before him.

There it was.


Vasques excitement faltered slightly as he got the full scope of it.

"Well--it looks a little... dated", he began.

Sant'Ana bristled at that.

"The design is 15 years old, but she has a higher service ceiling than any fighter in the inventory, she turns and climbs better than the Aguila, her electronics track more contacts further and her counter-counter electronics clean radar return better than any jammer we know on the market can hide. She's also the only design we have that mounts the latest IRST from Aamotech and can accommodate the directed-infrared countermeasure system."

She took a breath.

"Her frame is just old. Most of the design came from Aamotech when the idea of a joint-fighter was still a top concern. Its the same one we've had to work with since the 90's. With the RAS-2020 scalebacks, we can't afford a redesign. To refit all the modules we've developed on this platform to a purpose-built stealth airframe that's been proposed will take billions."

"Just the airframe?"

She hesitated.

The bearded pilot, looking just as hungover as Vasques, interrupted.

"No, not really", he slurred.

"--It's the powerplant, too hot. Blazes on the FLIR scopes, guzzles too much. The Aguila's Saturno 'fans won't fit the redesigned frame... even more so if Defence wants this shitbird to vector. It needs a purpose-built design", he continued... then stiffled a belch.

Vasques thought in silence for a moment. 

"Show me what Suisa sent you."

"We forwarded it to your department."

"Haven't looked at it. Let me see it on site anyway"




In the shelter of the prefab, Sant'Ana booted up a widescreen kDesk Pro and linked it to the wall-mounted 40-inch.

Vasques whistled. Fénix huh? Not a very imaginative cliché.

"They've already built a scale model, though they won't budge until your department writes the cheque", said Sant'Ana.

Vasques paused again.

"Tell you what", he said. For the first time, remembering he was indoors and removing his shades.

"You lot find some investors. Get that new powerplant designed and built, and I will talk to the Minister when he's in a good mood."

If anything, overlooking some glaring production and design problems was probably worth the small smile Sant'Ana tried to hide.




OOC: J-20 was discussed and planned by Prymont, Iverica, and Andalla in 2017. Aamotech (Prymont) has since jointly developed the J-10 with Fulgistan. The Mikoyan Project 1.44 and Chengdu J-20 (only a skin) was agreed upon by Prymont and Iverica and has since been continually developed slowly.

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  • 5 months later...

Tech's Files- Part 3: Operation Islandero VI


Somewhere in the North Oriental Ocean, LAT:  39°[IIIIIIIIII]"N | LON: 98°[IIIIIIIIII]"W
1201 IST--April 15, 1995
Ship's Recorder | VRI Poco Cico - Armada Deepwater Tug (ID: ATF-7575)  


"So, umm... This is legal right?", queried Subteniente Roberto "Bobi" Tueres, a young bespectacled officer quite recently weaned of the proverbial teat of the Armada's Sea Support course. He was leaning against a rail inside the wheelhouse of a small tugboat. The only other occupant seemed more focused on the horizon than on giving serious heed to Bobi's words.


The man at the helm, Giorgio, snorted.


"If you care about legal, you're on the wrong career path Bobi".


Teniente Giorgio Sant'tomas was the senior of the two, but only by a year and half of service. He constantly wore a blank, sometimes creased expression that he surmised would make his superiors take him more seriously (it didn't). He was in the role of captaining the tug for this operation and had put up with Bobi's fidgetty nature for the better part of 9 hours since they left the berth in Armada Base Altaria.


"I mean, do you not care that this sounds even a teensy-weensy un poco bit like a bad move?", Bobi came again.


Giorgio all but roled his eyes and irritably scratched at the thing on his face--a scraggly, pitifully sparse shadow that couldn't quite decide whether it was a beard or something that belonged on very soft fruit.


"I neither know nor care about what you're trying to insinuate", Giorgio replied at last.

"I mean--as far as parking goes, this has to be illegal somewhere", Bobi exlaimed, reminding himself of the very naughty drivers that parked outside his mother's city flat. The good people of the local constabulary always saw them off with a well brandished yellow parking boot.

"Then they'll send a meter-cop or something...", Giorgio snorted again.


Bobi wasn't about to let up though and launched into a rebuttal.


"Ooooor this could start an international incident and they'll send more than a metre-cop--like a SRBM or something. Want that instead of ticket? You know, parrellel parking this thing on a damn reef--", Bobi began.


But Giorgio was caught up in his own joke.


"Hah! Can you imagine that? Good luck booting and ticketing old Madre!", Giorgio laughed uproariously at the mental image of a reflector vest clad second rate constable waving a ticket at an aircraft carrier.


Yes. An aircraft carrier.

Bobi turned from his position on the tug's deck and glanced at the fifty-five thousand metric ton warship they were towing. It loomed behind them passively, the squarish prow casting a wide shadow in the noon-time sun. The aging hulk, plodding behind them like a very big, very old dog, was the once magnificent VRI Sierra Madre. Her best days were over, ending when the venerable old lady suffered an irreparable warp in her central keel--sometime after she narrowly dodged a torpedo salvo during the Second Argic War. Now, after years of sitting as a mothballed training rig, Bobi and Giorgio were putt-putt-ing the groaning semisesquicentennial out to her last voyage--to a final resting place.

Bobi sighed. Giorgio was terse and had a laconic sense of social humours, he didn't bother with speculation. Bobi on the other hand, was a little less cocksure.

Giorgio interrupted his reverie as if reading his colleague's mind.


"Bobi, who could possibly complain? The ooga-booga-barbarios? What will they do? Shit in our general direction? Tell us that our mothers were hamsters and our father's smelt of elderberries? Old Madre is packing quite a surprise, not to mention that they've left her CIWS intact and are dumping a skyscraper's worth of concrete to reinforce her belts and bases. Yeah, good luck fragging her before she calls Armada Air!"


Giorgio detracted from his line of speech, perking up slightly.


"Ah there it is, look at that, old lady!", Giorgio spoke, addressing the creaking carrier behind them.


Giorgio stared abow, at a discoloration of water coming into view. Arrecife dei Travieso, Mischief reef. Bobi could see it too, along with the superstructures of an Armada destroyer and a utility ship waiting for them.


"I'll tell the crew to get ready, we should be at the beaching point in less than 40 mikes", said Bobi as he exited the wheelhouse hatch and moved below.




Like many rusting hulks before her, the VRI Sierra Madre, a venerable Amphibious Assault Ship that served in both Argic Wars, was beached on a reef somewhere in the waters of the far eastern North Oriental Ocean. Equipped with radar, sonar, optical detection, and satellite telemetry equipment, these ships were made into steel and concrete islands for the advertised purpose of WARD early warning and "research" stations. While this was indeed true by all accounts, the stations featured a detatchment of Republican Marine Tercios, a naval fixed and rotor wing complement, and several ANCILE anti-ballistic missile and anti-aircraft modules.

Over the course of decades the Almirantasgo, or Admiralty, has brushed aside any and all queries regarding the quanitity and quality of these Sea Stations, directing legal agents to the WARD office in Ostport, Prymont, where they are presumably put to languish in the most uncomfortable waiting rooms (the ones with plastic chairs that make your butt slip off and with snack dispensers that aren't filled--they also smell like cats and only use white fluorescent bulbs) for hours until their frustrated departure. Officially, these stations are considered as vessels in the service of the Republic's most vaunted Armada--albeit static and quite comfortable where they sit, thank you very much.




Source: my brown countrymen do this.

And yes, it is still working.

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  • 7 months later...

Tech's Files- Part 4: Frigging Frigates


Subic Naval Yard, Dock Complex E
16:30 IST--May 3, 2018
CCTV Recording | Covered Dry Dock 12


"So what happened to the scale model?", Jose asked, munching on a press-grilled chorisso sandwhich.


An errant scrap of the sausage escaped the bread and tumbled down his orange fire and cut resistant single-suit. Jose payed it no mind as it scampered away, eventually falling onto the deck below the 12.8 cm gun barrel he and his colleague, Carlos were sat on.

Seated on his right, Carlos didn't respond immediately, but took the time to wash down his lamb tender and scrap of flatbread with a swig of cortovino[1]. Carlos scratched under his eye protection and then under his blue hardhat.

Further off to Carlos' right, a welder sparked. Behind and below them, someone cursed as a box of no. 12 half-threaded bolts went pinging over the forward deck, the clatter echoing around the currogated steel and concrete structure--a covered dry dock noisy with labour. Technicians and porters were bustling around the sole occupant, a 6,200 ton prototype frigate. Currently lacking several armament modules, save for the 12.8 cm deck gun currently being used as a lunch bench by Jose and Carlos.

She was bulky, with her silhouette dominated by the two swollen superstructures taking up her quarter and fore decks. She was a fat lady too, wide-beamed and a little ponderous to behold.


"erm... scale model... oh right. I heard the keel snapped", Carlos finally replied. Belching a little as he did.


Jose whistled, swinging his legs were they dangled off the barrel.


"Materials engineer use poor steel?", Jose questioned further.

"Well, it snapped. So its a tensile problem. But if you asked me... its mostly because of that", Carlos said, gesturing off to a large square pit mounted on the forecastle looking superstructure aftward of the ship to their gun perch.

Carlos continued as Jose's mouth was full with the last of his sandwhich.


"They wanted to mount a 64-cell Vertical Launch System on a ship this small. You're just asking for hull stress and imbalances. Mind you, if the keel hadn't broken and they went through with more tests... the problem'd be something else."

"Mother of...", Jose replied, swallowing the crust of his sandwhich. "You'd have thought that someone would have tested that before they gave us the greenlight to start on the working prototype. There are sims for a reason, ammiright?"


Carlos shrugged, while picking his teeth with the wire-disgorger on his multi-tool. Swallowing the loosened tidbits, he went on.


"I read that this hull isn't new. Don't think it was purpose designed for being an FF[2]", he stretched his arms to emphasise the dimensions. "Supposed to be a larger cruiser or something to go with the MiMIK program[3] in the early 90's. Don't get me wrong, perfectly good hull, got the right slots to have three different flights of whatever ship you want; air defence, close to shore patrol, command ship... Basically, one hull for multiple support combatants. Its a long term supersaver, if a bit slow, as the hydrodynamics on this tub aren't exactly going to win you any races."


Jose nodded while waving at a pair below carrying an industrial power-supply unit.


"Makes sense, but Taco, filling in this bloody cavity", he gestured to the pit meant for the 64-cell. "Is going to be a b*tch. If I saw the plans right... we're going to scale it down by half, grafting on deck plate and bulkhead. Then, cut some spaces along her flanks--cavities for 4-cell mini-modules on both promenades. Lemme tell you, one, that's a piece of shit for the cutters. Two, this is gonna be one cramped ship to work on", Jose exclaimed, illustrating his points with various hand shapes and gestures.

"Tellmeboutit", Carlos said, turning to straddle the gun like a rodeo rider.

"I mean," Jose went on, now holding his fingers out to begin enumerating. "We're gonna cut up the stern compartments to accommodate size-B modules--probably to fit some towed arrays and sub warfare doodads. Then we got probably the crampest helo hangar I'd ever seen on a ship, because they want to cram 2 medium utility rotors there I think".

"HEY! Yeah you two. Get the hell down from there!", came a shout from the ground level.

"YEAH YEAH, shut your cockholster you quay-side cumbucket!", Carlos yelled in return. "Come on, shift change", he says this to Jose.


The two continued chatting as they packed their mess kits.


"Don't forget the collapsing pads they want to put amidships for the UAVs", Carlo added, resuming the topic.  Straddling the gun again, he began to slide himself down the length of the barrel.


Doing the same, Jose slid as he replied.


"Oyoyoy", he vocalised. "Didn't they say they were gonna scrap that? They're working from scratch! No one's really made a 9 metre long hydraulic platform that can be stable on the high seas carrying a UAV that weighs a Taco-damned ton-and-a-half. I tell ya, this whole project is full of unrealistic bull. Mark my words Carlos-old pal, this hulk's gonna come back to this here dry dock a dozen times before its sea worthy".

The two landed their slide with steel-toed boots hitting the gun mantlet. Carlos leaped off as he would off a horse. Landing on the deck. Jose followed as they both made to get off using the gangplanks. They passed the next shift crew on their way out, a standard exchange of jabs and rude remarks were passed by either gang.


Project FF-71918 "Future Frigate", initial drafts as above have long since been revised


As Jose and Carlos put it, the project was indeed covered with a lot of Bull. Over the next year of the development cycle, the development team was replaced by experts from Manille Consolidated and the Royal Gallambrian Navy--what would eventually become the foremost experts of the joint "Argis-Marenesia Maritime Industries". By 2019, three prototypes were produced each becoming the Surface Combatant, Patrol/Minewarfare, and Command/Electronic Warfare, frigates respectively.

It is 2020, and though largely successfully in altering the VLS layout and mounting all other modules, the collapsing hydraulic pad for deploying rotor UAV has yet to clear safety testing.


[1] Cortovino or "short wine", a low-strength table wine drafted from large barrells or sold in cans and tetrapacs around Iberic countries. Pre-dominantly sweet and earthy, lacking in subtle character. Appropriate for drinking with light or cheap meals, meant to be had between mouthfuls of gamey or rich food. Inappropriate even among the working class for cena "dinner" or for bevida-des-cena "Drinks after dinner".

[2] "FF", Standarisation of TRIDENT Agreement (STATAG) Hull classification for Frigate.

[3] "MIMK or MIMiK", Modular Integrated Mission Kit, refers to a slot-and-module type of mounting naval equipment used by the Armada Iverica. It refers specifically to a set of modules and adaptors that make interchangeability systematic and efficient.


OOC: This refers to the "Future Frigate Program" planned by Gallambria and Iverica using a joint venture company by the name of Argis-Marenesia Maritime Industries. Mentions of this are available on Iverica's news page and Gallambria's as well.

OOC2: more of a note to self: I wanted to experiment with portraying Americanisms among the middle-class of hardskill labourers in Iverica. I find that writing in a more literal translation of how I actually think Ivericans talk is a little less relatable, since they'd probably be using more native cultural references and colloquialisms. Something I've been subconsciously doing is making the blue-collar working man types sound American in translation and making the posh, landed "officer and merchant" class sound more English. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tech's Files- Part 5: Skye Mennnnn


Somewhere in the Narvic Hinterlands, Confederate Union of Narva
1255 IST--June 04, 2016
Body Cam Recording | Teniente Jose-Maria L'Arcon (Fuersas L'Aire, 1st WARD Group, Ground Security Detachment)


The camera footage starts as the teniente exits the light armoured 4x4. He is joined by an Audante (equivalent: sergeant/petty officer), carrying a service carbine. As the camera points downwards briefly, Teniente L'Arcon's name plate and blue-grey utility uniform come into view. The camera sweeps around as the Teniente pivots his torso in an apparent stretch, getting a full frame of the bored looking Audante escorting him. The Audante wears his patrol cover and a plate carrier over his utility uniform. The carbine is cradled in the Audante's arms, stock still folded. Around them, tall coniferous trees lie thick around grey slopes. 

The audio briefly turns to static as the strong Narvic breeze blows directly into the bodycam mic. The teniente straightens his uniform, dons his beret and starts up a dirt path marked by wheel furrows, contrasting against the thick weed and grass of the foothill surface. The Audante can be heard following behind.

Ahead, a lonely farmstead is visible. There is a log and thatch farmhouse, what looks to be a rickety motorshed, some fowl coops, and a large barn. A typical Narvic mountain-man farmstead. Though now and again, a small puff of smoke rises from the barn. Even from a distance, it can be observed that something is not quite right with the roof's angle and the way the whole structure leans.

They close the distance, with only the crunch of dirt, the trilling of forest birds, and the groaning of ancient pines to accompany them.

The Teniente walks up to the porch, which looked as though it might have once been quite charming; judging by the pleasant blue tinge of faded paint left behind and the rustic frieze and post carvings still visible despite the age. A window pane here and there is cracked, but otherwise the house looks well looked-after despite its current poverty.

tap tap tap, knocked the Teniente.

From within came the noise of the shambling and rustling of heavy feet on floorboards.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHH?, came a grating voice, clearly sounding like it belonged to some farmhouse geriatric.

The door opens a crack. There is a balding head with clumps of white still attached to it in patches. A very wrinkly brow. Gosamer nose hairs the length of the Pala dei Primo's curtain tassles.

The decrepit creature on the other side of the door stared through the crack with one bulging, goblin-esque eye exposed. It had a roundness that was somehow quite right and disturbing at the same time. It was clad in some sort of knitted sweater, though its once fine bright green was dull and marked with what looked like cigar burns. Below that, some purple patterned sort of skirt or kilt swayed daintily despite its grungy, gravy stained appearance.

The very orbish eye flicked one way, then the other.


"Err... oh my. Uhm. A very fine afternoon to you sirrah, I represent--", began the Teniente. His voice was clear, a little melodious, but audibly taken aback by the shape of the thing that had answered the door. It was the voice of an educated, upper-crust, "my father's-father's-father's-father's-father's-father had served as Deiargon's ensign", type of accent. Young and nasal, with an air of ponce-ishness.

The thing interrupted with some kind of high-pitched laryngial growl.

"eiiii, knöööw, 'oo yei aere", spoke the voice, which sounded as though it had echoed down the from the Cretacious.

"Oh! Quite right, then sirrah, allow me to bother you with the business--"




"But you haven't quite heard my proposition yet sirrah, you see--"

"eis moîne. Gehhh Weig!", spake the Eldritch creature. It made a shooing gesture. At that, the Teniente seemed aghast. Straightening indignantly, he blustered.

"That'squiteabsurdsirrah, youseeIamanofficerintheserviceofthemostillustriousRepublic. IDEMANDtoseetheobjectinyourbarnat-once!"

"Neirre, theiee cainna"


"Ieiche a-faer nickt dōthðr", it sounded resolute.



"Pretty please?"


The Teniente at this point was at a loss for words. He turned to the Audante, who shrugged and re-lit a battered pipe, weapon still lazily cradled. He turned back to the living fossil which seemed intent to stare with its eyelids at maximum dilation--and then again at the bored NCO, before giving up and regarding the Methusela thing once again. Before he could form another sentence, the voice laden with cobwebs and layered with the older powers croaked again.

A trickle of tawny drool escaped as it repeated, "eiiii, knöööw, 'oo yei aere. Yei shaellt nickt habbe mei", then it made some sort of gesture, like it was warding off spirits of the space between shadows.



"Xenos, skye mannnnnn"

"Ah--err--ah.... I see."

"Seii tæketh mei. Woen Ickt vaes junger. Næ! Næ'er afaine!"

"Sirrah, I assure you, my man and I are not here to abduct you! WE COME IN PEACE!"


The auld father of the hidden sleepers hissed. Perhaps that last bit was the wrong thing to say.

In a flash, with a ghastly howl that echoed from the very base of the temple of He-who-slumbers, and quicker than possible for a doddering ancient relic, the thing was on the Teniente. The bodycam caught in full the bulging white orbs, the gap toothed screech of the creature as it pounced.

There was scuffling. There was tumbling, a weapon fired. A very un-manly shriek was let loose, causing a flock of wild pheasants somehow caught in the sequence of frames, to flee their tree-top perches.

Somewhere within the house, a cat made a displeased noise. At long last, the sound of a taser discharging clattered through with finality.

The camera re-stabilised. The Audante was in full view of the frame. Discharged taser in one hand, carbine resting calmly in the other. The man hadn't even lost his pipe.


"Good grief! Bythesaviour...", the Teniente panted, his voice still a few octaves too high. 


The Audante said nothing, but his pipe let loose a single small puff in agreement.

The Teniente turned to regard the thing that was old when the Memopotamians crawled. It lay motionless on the porch floor, under which, a puddle of urine (we're still uncertain whose) expanded slowly.

The Teniente took some shakey breaths. Composing himself he addressed the Audante.


"R-r-rright. Let's see about this crashed prototype business".




After Action Report | [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]

Following the incident, the prototype "Faethon XL" was recovered. It had apparently crashed straight into the homestead barn, causing significant damage to the roof, wounding 3 chickens, and killing the sole cow on the premises.

It should be noted that Faethon XL successfully and with no incident achieved cold separation from the modified S-1011 Trestrell at [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||] metres. It then proceeded into hot launch, whereby it completed a minor orbital manoeuvre. After MOCR confirmed "stay/no stay" check with all flight controllers, it was deemed safe to release the payload satellite: Icaro

Then approximately [||||||||||||||] seconds after separation, RETRO remarked a terminal error. Icaro is confirmed to have misfired RCS-04, presumably damaged by motion. The payload satellite then briefly collided with the parallel Faethon XL rocket and caused a fatal deviation. This incident is responsible for the crash on the homestead at [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||] owned by [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||].

The reporter notes the natures causing the incident to be due to a payload issue, not an inherent issue with build 2.01.099 of Faethon XL

The reporter recommends the air launched to orbit Faethon programme to continue with testing. 


OOC: Basis for this is the Pegasus Rocket which first flew in 1990. IC'ly, it has since been used to launch compact or microsatellites for reconnaissance, communication, imaging, and radar.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tech's Files- Interlude








OOC: RAS 2020 is a modernisation initiative explained here and in news RP. This is kind of a summary of tech that is substantiated in RP (this thread and others) and on iiwiki. All of these concepts are quite evident IRL and can be searched up. NOOSPHERA is basically C4I plus America's Link16, the botnet GYGES is pretty simple in principle and a more potent example IRL is China's Great Cannon (which currently Gyges is not quite an equal to).

Edit: In page 2, I mention "Aluminium content". This has been amended to cupro-nickel and 17-7PH Stainless Steel. Also in page 2, Veispa Class has been renamed Mavini Class.

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  • 9 months later...

Tech's Files- Part 6: Harpies!



0200 IST--March 10, 2020

Radio Transcript | WARD Aerospace Defence Mission Command & Control (MOCR)


The call came in suddenly, the underground mountain-protected mission control room of WARD Command West was bathed in pallid display lighting. It smelled of caffeine and buzzed with low voices. Controllers all sat arrayed around a central terminal—AEOLUS terminal, the desk that controlled WARD's Western air defence grid. On the room's northern wall, a large display console was attached, showing data and intel from sea and land stations.


The call that came on Aeolus Actual's hotline was sudden, but immediately answered. Responding Callsign Aeolus was immediately alert at the voice on the other end—it was Noosphera Actual, callsign of the C4I network centre that connected the Iverican armed services.


NOS: Aeolus, this is Noosphera Control; be advised, APOLLO is down. Diagnosing. Standby.


APOLLO was WARD's AI. It dictated quick response protocols in the event of an aerial raid. It was relied upon for response time in the milliseconds—human operators were around for oversight, and for contingency.


This was contingency.


AEO: Noosphera ControlAeolus; acknowledged. Advise all nets: WARD is now under MOCR control. Controllers have the terminals.

NOS: Aeolus, Noosphera Control; APOLLO is out of action indefinitely. Authority is on you.

Every controller at the terminals had one eye on Aeolus at his centre terminal. There was a millisecond of tension. A millisecond that passed as training kicked in. Trained to prevent nuclear apocalypse, hesitation had to be all but scrubbed from a controllers brain if they were to pass WARD command & control training.


Scarce a second had passed when Panopticon, controller at the satellite terminal made his report.


PAN: Aeolus, Panopticon Control; thermal bloom detected, visible on console, position [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]. Panopticon 1 reads possible Harpy, repeat, missilepossible WMDlaunched. Data on console.


Coordinates and satellite imaging intel filled the wall-console. The thermal puff that looked so tiny from Panopticon 1, could very well be the beginning of a nuclear strike from Eastern Europa. But there wasn't time to dwell, Aeolus began passing orders, speaking quickly and clearly, scarcely drawing a breath between phrases.


AEO: Noosphera Control, advise all nets. WARD is red, red, red. Going CONDEF 3. Panopticon, stay on the ball, MOCR needs more intel. Argus control, scramble all Argus aircraft to grids [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]. Thetis, alert all vessels condition 1.5. Hypas, check-in all sites at Notus Sector, ready ANCILEs 1-3 for intercept. Damocles, standby, condition 2. All terminal controllers: go/no-go?


Aeolus' voice was raised, but calm. Argus, flight controller tapped his channel with Argus assets, specialised AEW&C aircraft on overseas airstrips, among other WARD aerial assets. Thetis was on the horn with a handful of naval formations including Trident class frigates and Sicario class submarines on patrol routes between Argis and the launch origin. One by one, each station answered the go/no-go.


ALL: Panopticon, go. Argus, go. Thetis, go. Hypas, go. Damocles go.


New data then filled the screen as Panopticon 2, a space-based radar satellite reached its orbit over the Harpy positions.


PAN: Aeolus, Panopticon confirms, Harpy launched from [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||], Panopticon IDs 2 possibly 3-X launched.


AEO: I read you Panopticon. Indexed. Threat fingerprints as possible reporting name: Thanatos. Awaiting solid confirmation.


WARD kept a database of missile profiles, thermal, acoustic, radar cross section, and other identifying values that allowed them to ID the nature of the threat. For more advanced threats, the data from that index was used to program targeting data for the ANCILE anti-ballistic missile missiles. It refined their intercept characteristics and allowed the missiles some level of artificial "tactics". 


Reporting name "Thanatos" however, was not a threat to be taken lightly. Intercept and termination of the Thanatos was not guaranteed by any ANCILE platform.


ARG: Aeolus, Argus 1 is entering [||||||||||||||||||||]... Ping confirms 2 Harpy contacts, RCS matches indexed Thanatos. Standing by...


Argus' main role was over-the-horizon radar surveillance. Argus could guide ANCILE beyond the detection range of their missile stations, but it wasn't a sure shot. ECM and other stealth or evasive features could break an Argus aircraft's lock.


AEO: Noosphera Control, we are elevating to CONDEF 2. Argus, standby, this could be a probing raid. Launch Faethon Asset, advise when launched.


CONDEF 2 was the step just before nuclear war. It meant that reprisal forces had to be put on standby with security forces scrambled to maximum alertness. A probing raid meant that the first few missiles launched could be diversion or an attempt to force WARD to reveal positions and exhaust munitions. In response a Faethon supersonic glide vehicle, mounted on the belly of an Argus asset would be launched to monitor the airspace around the point of origin, providing intelligence with its radar and imaging technology relayed to WARD units via satellite.


ARG: Argus control copies, Argus 2 is launching Faethon.


PAN: Reading Argus' data... Panopticon 2 confirms the ID of 2 Thanatos launched from [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||] Advise all controllers: Thanatos is ECM and Evasion capable. Be advised, negative track... of Harpy 1.... negative on Harpy 2. Harpies have breached exo-atmosphere. Lost radar contact with both Harpies. All controllers be advised, contacts are likely at manoeuvring stage, less than 1-mike to re-entry stage.


This wasn't some barbarian garage-built missile. Evasion capable meant that it could rapidly change its vector upon re-entry. Thanatos were capable of being re-tasked at terminal stages and did carry electronic countermeasures to confuse both infrared guidance and radar homing guidance.


AEO: Copy that, Panopticon. Argus, Panopticon, coordinate; you are free for tactical action. Damocles, you are go to launch Sword assets from [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]


ALL: Copy Aeolous.


DAM: Swords in the air. Time on target [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||].



"Sword" strategic bombers carried air-launched ballistic missiles. Launched from an overseas station, a single Sword aircraft launched 2 in a reprisal sortie to target critical assets.


HYP: All stations, Thanatos Re-entry confirmed, Hypas has radar lock.


AEO: Hypas, Aeolus computer advises probing shot at maximal range.


HYP: Copy, standing by.


Hypas control was MOCR's anti-ballistic missile terminal controller. From his station, ANCILE missiles could be launched from any ground station, ship, aircraft, or submarine in range of the Harpy. Hypas had override capabilities that permitted launches without any of the station crew's consent—used in case they were incapacitated or otherwise.


AEO: All sensors have parsed Harpy data. Updating your stations, Hypas.


HYP Hypas confirms, Aelous. ANCILEs at stations [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||] updated.


ARG: All controllers be advised, Harpies are 24,000 metres from station [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]... 23,000... 22,000... 21,000...


HYP: Range, 20,000. Station, Fire 1/16 SHIELD 1, fire, fire, fire.


AEO: All controllers, standby, Hypas, ready for second salvo.


If the enemy could probe, WARD could to. Peripheral stations like [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||] were far enough from the critical airspace, they were meant to fire missiles that would hopefully shoot the target down, but if not, would have collected enough data about the Harpy or at least damaged it with a burst from the explosively-formed penetrators that SHIELDs 1 and 2 carried as kinetic kill vehicles.


HYP: Hypas copies, SHIELDs at the ready.


ARG: Tracking ANCILE flight... I've lost it. Contact.


HYP: Contact... No joy.


PAN: Panopticon confirms, no joy, repeat, no joy.


The probing shot missed completely. Data on screen now showed the Thanatos using radar jammers and were manoeuvring. On the wall-console, the pair of Thanatos were getting perilously close to WARD's inner periphery.


HYP: Confirm, negative on kill with Fire 1. Updating ANCILEs.


ARG: All controllers, be advised, Harpies are 24,000 metres from next station, [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||]


AEO: Copy that Argus. Hypas, fire salvo 2 when ready. Argus, standby for active guidance beyond normal range.


HYP: Firing SalvoSHIELD 1, fire1/16, fire2/16. Salvo of 2 complete.


ARG: tracking... tracking... [expletive], All controllers, Harpies are changing vector, repeat, Harpies are changing vector. Lost radar contact. Harpies are now below Argus radar horizon. They're invisible.


The Harpy contacts were Thanatos , advanced MARVs that could jam radar and evade interceptors autonomously. They were adapting to WARD's shoot down attempts. They were now below the coverage of Argus aircraft. Hypas now had to rely purely on ground based radar without data cleaning and confirmation from Argus. It was likely that the Thanatos aka "Harpies" altered vector to enter its final boosted terminal stage, which meant that WARD would have to rely on the short range ANCILE missile type 3, "SHIELD 3".


AEO: Keep cool Argus. Hypas, ready salvo, launch 3, SHIELD 3... Interrogative, Hypas: You have his patterns?


HYP: Confirm, Hypas has Thanatos patterns. Firing salvo SHIELD 3—1/18, fire—2/18, fire—3/18. Salvo of 3 complete.


Scarcely had Hypas announced his salvo when Panopticon interrupted, a note of urgency rising in the controller's voice.


PAN: All controllers, detecting additional launches. Panopticon 1 detects mass launch. Thermal is going mad here. 6, maybe 8 launches confirmed. Standing by for next pass with Panopticon 3... Analysing vectors now.... On console.


Multiple spontaneous thermal signatures were detected from [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]. Normally, WARD was expected to deal with single-launches or rogue aircraft. A mass raid hadn't been seen in over 30 years. 


AEO: Noosphera, we are CONDEF 1, multiple missile launches detected. Argus, status on Faethon launch?


ARG: Aeolus, Faethon S-glider is airborne and entering grid [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]. On station in 1 mike.


AEO: Copy that, paint targets when ready.


The Faethon glider expanded the range of WARD's AEW&C aircraft and allowed a loitering pair of eyes in a potentially risky airspace where crewed and valuable aircraft like the Argus units were likely to get intercepted and shot down. Faethon gave WARD's analysis phase additional time to ID the targets and begin tracking them earlier. But given the size and dispersion of the launch, Faethon might only be able to paint so many targets.


HYP: SHIELD 3-1 is accelerating to intercept... Impact, impact. Harpy 1 is hit. No-splash. SHIELD 3-2 and 3-3 are going in... Splash 2! Sector is clear of Harpies at this time.


ARG: Argus 3 has confirmation. Splash. Good work, all Hypas stations.


PAN: Don't look now, controllers. Confirming those 8 Harpies are entering your radar horizons, ETA any fucking second now. Look at that damn swarm.


AEO: Keep it cool, boys and girls. Thetis, report.


THT: Thetis reporting, Air-Defence SSNs at firing depth. Passing control to Hypas


PAN: All controllers, Harpies are dispersing... On console.


AEO: Hypas, they're getting awful close. fire when ready, Alpha Salvo.


HYP: Copy, SHIELD 2, Alpha Salvo. SHIELD 2 Alpha—fire, fire, fire... Salvo of 24 in the air. Salvo is dispersing, flights of 3 per Harpy... Coordinating intercept.


Submarine launched interceptors were another layer of the missile defence triad. When no terrestrial stations were nearby, any available surface ship or submarine would resort to using their own magazine of missiles.


ARG: Feeding your salvo new data, Hypas.


HYP: Copy that Argus, all SHIELD 2s are adapting.


AEO: Damocles, status?


DAM: Ready to kill, Aeolus. All Sword units, holding.


AEO: Copy that, begin your run on my mark.


HYP: First Interceptor Flight closing on first 3 Harpies.


PAN: Aeolus, ID, rogue satellite, data on console.


Satellites were often responsible for some ICBM guidance. If any of Panopticon's satellites or telemetry stations detected a deviation from Eurth's usual constellation, it would immediately flag the satellite as "Possible Rogue". If Panopticon detected active radar usage over the on-going flashpoint, Panopticon would confirm it for kill via aircraft-delivered Anti-Satellite missile.


AEO: Copy that Panopticon. Argus, you have Anti-Satellite on station?


ARG: Affirmative Aeolus, Flight of 2 T-201s, on station. Callsign Kerano.


AEO: Kerano units are go for ASAT launch. You have tactical control Argus. Damocles, stand by a little longer.


HYP: Splash ... Splash... Splash. Harpy Group 1 is down... Splash 3. Harpy Group 2 is down.


ARG: Confirmed Hypas, no further contact in those sectors. 2 Harpies remain... They've dropped off my radar... standby


AEO: Hypas, expect to fire from home battery [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||], we're going low-altitude intercept.


HYP: I have them on SPY-1 radar from Thetis 5. Confirming 2 Harpies. Locked. Firing salvo SHIELD 3—fire 1/96, fire 2/96, fire 3/96... Salvo complete


Home batteries were the last line of defence. Located within Iverican sovereignty, they had the greatest quantity of missiles at their disposal and would not stop saturating the skies with interceptors until the threat was downed. Any threat that made it that far inside the WARD defence zone would be tagged by a plethora of sensors—thermal, acoustic, infrared designation, and radar would be painting a deadly-accurate picture of the missile's evasive patterns and flight data.


AEO: Damocles, you are go for your Sword run. Make them hurt.


DAM: Copy that, Swords are going in. Additional: ASAT is launched.


PAN: Tracking... Panopticon reports, splash 1 rogue satellite.


DAM: Roger.


With the enemy malicious satellite destroyed and reprisal strikes launched, the operation's power curve would now be shifting to Iverican initiative. Effectively, further guidance of enemy launches would be hampered and enemy focus would shift to defending against the Iverican counter-raid.


AEO: Good kill. Damocles, keep us posted on Sword status. Hypas?—


HYP: closing... Impact. Dirty returns. Thetis, confirm?


THT: Thetis 5 confirms splash one...  Standby...


THT: Splash 2. Harpy Group 3 is down.


ARG: Skies look clear of Harpy contact.


PAN: Panopticon confirms, no contact, no further launch.


AEO: Nice work, all controllers. Skies are clear of Harpies.


The control room let out a collective round of applause but kept their focus on the terminals. The challenge of being a missile defender was that one had to be successful every time. An enemy only needed to be successful once.


However, no further threats followed and the room's lights were switched back on to normal illumination. The examiner panel entered from a rear door and congratulated the latest graduates of the WARD Defence Mission Control Team.


Digital missiles had been obliterated, Argis was safe and the enemy's pixel military command sites and largest airfields were wiped off the simulation.


/End Simulation





This was a simulation to show WARD responds to a missile threat. No actual missiles were launched. I used terminal controllers so the process could be explained with some detail. Normally, the computer and software would be the first to respond. Humans are only needed for redundancy, diagnostics, emergency, and permissions.

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