Ankaa Orbital Shipyards
The Ankaa Orbital Shipyards are a collection of space stations and drydocks in orbit of Ankaa B, and are run by Ankaa Heavy Industries. Comprised of ten individual fabrication facilities with over two hundred construction bays between them, a full quarter of the Independent Planet Protection Pact navy was built here. Alongside its sister facilities in orbit of both Ankaa B and C, it is also responsible for the production of nearly ten percent of all heavy-duty civilian spaceships in IP3. Construction on the shipyards begun in 2127, a mere three years after the first colonies were founded. This rush was precipitated by the discovery of large deposits of high purity materials suitable for the construction of spaceship components in the L4 and L5 points around Ankaa B. At first the independent stations were run independently and there was a significant amount of competition between the manufacturers. The rapid industrial growth and huge quantities of mineral wealth in the system attracted pirates and smugglers, which made doing business much harder. The IP3 was still reeling from the end of the War of Sundering and the attention of the Pact Parliament was focuses on star systems that were much more heavily impacted by the war. In 2132, a group of eleven construction, mining and refining companies pooled their resources to fund a private defensive force and in a three-year campaign forced out most of the pirates and brigands. During this period, the eleven corporations worked very closely to supply the private military with ships and munitions and this caught the eye of the IP3 navy. Following a brief negotiation, Ankaa Heavy Industries was born to deal with the IP3 and shortly thereafter they received a contract to produce civilian defence vessels based on the now aging Negotiator class torch ship. According to the official history, the Ankaa Orbital Shipyards were formally founded in 2140 but this is in reality the date on which the first purpose-built component was finished. During the private campaign against the pirates, two refinery stations, three orbital manufacturing facilities and five drydocks were towed into a single orbit to help speed up the production of new ships, weapons and munitions and to reduce the risk of hit-and-run attacks on cargo convoys between facilities. This combined complex ran from 2133 until 2146 at which point the final original facility was decommissioned and replaced. In its modern configuration, the ten primary shipyards are arranged in a rough hemisphere around a cluster of orbital factories producing ship parts, refineries, warehouses and docking pylons. As parts are complete, they are passed along high-speed rail lines towards the shipyards where they are offloaded and sent to a drydock. Each shipyard then has between ten and forty drydocks, or cells, arranged in a honeycomb formation. The size of the cells varies but each cell can be closed off, or capped, to provide an atmosphere within to make the early construction of the superstructure simpler. It is this honeycomb structure and the constant movement of cargo tugs and other small shuttlecraft that gives the station its other name, the beehive. Close by are the numerous spin stations that hold the offices and residential areas for the staff who work at the shipyard. Whilst many commute from Ankaa B, most workers spend periods of up to three weeks on the station and live in the provided accommodation. Most of the station complex is off limits to visitors, but at least one station does include a hotel, showroom and observation lounge from which potential customers can see the ships departing the drydocks. On average, a new spaceship departs the shipyard every six hours. In order to cut down on in-system traffic, the shipyard has its own wormhole leading to the system’s wormhole nexus in orbit of Ankaa C. By raw traffic, this wormhole gate is one of the most active in the network. Due to its significant strategic importance, the station has its own IP3 navy garrison. Colloquially known as the Ankaa Wasps, they paint their ships with a bright yellow identification line. Despite the system’s proximity to several UNM star systems, there has never been a successful assault on the station and the garrison spend most of their time dealing with pirates. However, to keep them well trained for the event of an assault, they do loan crews and entire ships to other units and the Ankaa Wasps have an admirable service record in defence of the IP3.