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A note from CoCop

This is not a chapter- I'm just trying to explain the ranks/organization/weapons of the Dhajtel navy for those who care. 

If that doesn't float your boat, feel free to skip past this chapter

-Ranks-

The Dhajtel Navy borrows heavily from human organizational charts. Given that the Dhajtel barely could conceive of ocean’s as a concept at the time that human memories were introduced, they largely just adopted what they learned from humanity wholesale, albeit minus some of the ranks that Kahtash found ‘superfluous.’ As a note, Dhajtel Marines follow the same ranking system and are generally considered a sub branch of the Navy.

-Enlisted Ranks (borrowing heavily from the Airforce)

Spacewoman

Spacewoman First Class

Senior Spacewoman

-Noncommissioned Officer Ranks (NCOs are generally in charge of teams of enlisted Dhajtel handling most day to day matters from cleanliness, to combat readiness, to basic discipline).

Petty Officer Third Class

Petty Officer Second Class

Petty Officer First Class

Master Petty Officer

-Warrant Officer Ranks (WOs are an area the Dhajtel diverge from Human navies. Dhajtel WOs ar specialists, most often doctors, electronics specialists, or drone plots. While they are still commanded by commissioned officers they are generally considered to be separate and coequal to their equivalent rank of NCO).

Warrant Officer Third Class

Warrant Officer Second Class

Warrant Officer First Class

Master Warrant Officer

-Commissioned Officer Ranks

Cadet - An unproven officer, usually still in training or just out of training and assigned to an experienced NCO

Lieutenant Junior Grade - A junior but proven officer that no longer needs constant NCO supervision. Traditionally in charge of a shift/watch on a ship or a platoon.

Lieutenant - A junior officer, capable of limited independent command. Many analysts are Lieutenants as are the commanders of small independent units such as scouting groups or drone flights.

Lieutenant Commander - The lowest grade of officer given serious independent command. Generally they are in charge of screening vessels, entire drone squadrons, and companies of marines. They are found in subordinate roles in larger vessels or fleets.

Commander - The highest rank of officer that doesn’t necessarily command a vessel. Commanders are the most senior officers in charge of screening vessels and oftentimes will be the officer in charge of a torchships entire complement of screeners. Marine commanders run battalions. Commanders are also found as very senior analysts/aides in larger fleets. An Admiral’s second will often be a commander.

Captain - All captains have their own ship or ground unit. Captains command either torchships or regiments. Although captain technically isn’t a flag rank, it isn’t uncommon for elements led by captains to operate independently.

Commodore - The lowest flag rank, commodores command either multiple torchships or a division of marines. It isn’t unknown for commodores to pull double duty and also command a torchship directly.

Rear Admiral - Rear admirals lead smaller fleets, task forces, and armies.

Vice Admiral - Vice admirals lead large fleets and marine armies.

Admiral - Senior flag officer.

Fleet Admiral/Marshal - Only one Dhajtel can have this rank at the same time (and technically both titles apply). This rank is the commander of all Dhajtel military forces. Currently held by Kahtash.

-Ships-

The human navy insisted on referring to their ships by ancient nautical terms such as frigate, destroyer, cruiser, and battleship. It never made sense to Kahtash to tie your navy so firmly to its antiquated roots. The Dhajtel navy instead classifies its vessels by their purpose (which often includes an element of their size).

-Drones are small unmanned vehicles capable of achieving great G forces by virtue of not having a Dhajtel inside them. They are shaped like an X with the ‘wings’ functioning as a radiator. At the end of the wings, the ship has maneuvering thrusters to allow it to change its heading quickly. For weapons, they usually carry autocannons to fight enemy drones, a ‘sand cannon’ that they use to defend their motherships from missiles, and a suicide warhead to detonate on enemy ships if they are allowed to draw close enough.

-Screens are between 200 and 500 meters long and usually about ⅓ as wide. They are mounted with high performance but low efficiency engines (and minimal armor) that allow them to dance around most of the heavier shells fired by torchships. That said, their range is very limited and oftentimes they have to be dragged to battles on a torchship’s hardpoints.

Their usual role is to intervene between fleets that engage in rocket duels, using their superior speed to draw close enough to oncoming rockets to shoot them down. Additionally, they often serve as ‘relays’ to allow drone pilots on a torchship or capital ship to have better control over their vessels from a greater distance. Once the rocket phase of an engagement is over, Screens will often engage each other in short, bloody duels before using their mobility to try and dance around enemy ships and pelt them from afar.

Screens are often armed with a combination of point defense/anti drone lasers, rocket tubes, and rapid firing rail guns (that need to be replaced after every battle).

-Torchships are named for their fusion torches. A bulky, expensive and efficient engine that makes interstellar travel possible. Without fusion torches, it would be almost impossible to get ships to and from wormholes in a timely fashion.

Torchships are large and heavily armed/armored. Most are between 900 and 1400 meters in length and about ¼ as wide as they are long. They are designed to operate independently and often tow a small task force of screening vessels along with them.

Usually they are armed with one to two large spinal coilguns capable of delivering large shells at high speed across great distances. The coilguns are supplemented by smaller kinetic turrets, lasers, rocket tubes, and drone contingents.

-Capital Ships are more or less just larger torchships. They do everything a torchship does and more while being fitted with more than one fusion torch for propulsion. They often serve as the flagships for fleet elements, each capital ship can take and deliver a pounding.

-Weapons and Engagements-

Space combat consists primarily of three different types of weapons. Lasers, kinetic and rockets. Although research is progressing in other fields (such as plasma/particle weapons) the current problem is that they aren’t effective at useful ranges. I.e. plasma and particle beams tend to ‘bloom’ or expand to the point where they aren’t effective.

-Lasers

Lasers have a fairly long range, but they also suffer from ‘bloom.’ A modern laser doesn’t just fire a blast, instead it pulses. Each blast turns a chunk of armor into plasma and that plasma will often interfere with the laser’s effectiveness. The ‘pulse’ is designed to give the plasma time to clear the impact site before repeating the process.

Unfortunately, at long ranges lasers tend to be fairly diffuse, like .5-2m on target diffuse. At those ranges, the heat from firing the laser is often worse for the ship firing it than the small amount of damage dealt to the recipient. Still, they can be used to blind sensors and damage vulnerable equipment.

At closer ranges, lasers are deadly and they basically don’t miss. This makes them one of the preferred point defense/anti drone weapons even if they have limited use outside of very close range encounters against larger ships.

-Kinetics

Kinetic weapons are the queens of mid ranged combat. Especially when two ships are flying at each other, the speeds involved are fairly obscene making impacts especially deadly. Kinetic weapons take many forms. Chemical propulsion are fairly simple and cheap to make, but they can’t achieve the muzzle speed of other weapons.

Rail guns fire a lot of rounds quickly and they’re cheap to make. Unfortunately, each shot scrapes a small amount of the metal rails, deforming them. After a number of shots, their accuracy and speed decreases as the rails begin to break down. Usually, the rails need to be replaced after every battle. Most modern ships use modular mounts that speed this process, but replacing a non modular railgun is an ordeal that requires drydock.

Heavy coilguns are the Dhajtel navy’s main ship killers. Rocket barrages might soften your opponent up, but the magnetically accelerated guided high velocity shells are usually what finishes them off. Most coilguns are at least 500 m in length and spinal mounted, accelerating the shells to extreme speed. Most ships carry different kinds of shells (penetrators to go through heavy armor and flechettes to increase chances to hit at long range are the two most common).

-Rockets

Rockets are the first stage of naval combat due to their range and homing ability. Both sides launch them at extreme range and drones, screens, and point defense thin out the swarms of rockets before they get close enough to strike. Rockets are very susceptible to electronic counter measures, meaning that even if they get through their enemy’s point defense, often they don’t hit anything

‘Rocket’ is a generic term for the launch platform, with their payload coming in one of four main varieties.

-Kinetic Penetrators are rarely used outside of point blank engagements. They have the potential to do severe damage but managing to hit an opponent at the range and speed rockets are traditionally used at is a daunting task to say the least. Most ships carry a couple kinetic payloads ‘just in case’ but they are almost never used.

-Fusion Warheads are the heavy hitters of space combat. Unfortunately, the rocket needs to get very close to its target (a mere km is often enough that it won’t do much more than heat up a target and bubble paint) to be effective. That said, a fusion warhead going off a couple hundred meters from a ship is sure to wreck its day. Given that most ships are dodging, using electronic countermeasures, and shooting at oncoming rockets at the same time- most fusion warheads are shot down or miss. Of course, the damage caused by the ones that do hit encourages admirals to keep including them in warship loadouts.

-Laser Warheads are the bread and butter of rocket warfare. Once the rocket is within range, a fusion warhead detonates and control rods focus the x-rays from the blast into a coherent beam aimed at their target. In short, a laser warhead is a much more powerful version of a laser, fired at very close (in stellar distances) range into an opponent. It doesn’t deal nearly the damage of the other warheads, but it is much more likely to hit and the range at which it fires gives point defense less time to intercept the rocket.

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About the author

CoCop

  • United States
  • Founding Member of the Zard Skwad

Bio: I read a lot and for the last couple of years I've tried my hand at writing. Mostly fantasy and science fiction.

I generally try to respond to comments/direct messages.

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