Common ship equipment
If you've seen any of my ship-related articles, you'll have seen the various types of equipment on display. In this article, I'll explain what they are and what they do.
See Hardened plasma, shields section.
WeaponsMost weapons are mounted on turrets on a ship. These turrets can be moved and shifted along the ship's hull to whatever location is necessary.
RailgunsRailguns are the most common starship weapon. They use two paralell rails to generate Lorentz force in order to accelerate a projectile to very high speeds. They are most often found mounted on starship sides, on turrets. A railgun has good damage and is easy to maintain and supply, and thus they are found nearly everywhere. The larger, spinal-mounted railguns, often nearly the entire ship's lenght, can destroy a large ship in a single shot at the reactor, smashing through even multi-layer Carbon-Interlaced Aluminium Alloy, into the reactor, which, if antimatter, would destroy a large part of the ship, if not everything.
CoilgunsCoilguns are similar to railguns, in that they use electromagnetism to propell a slug. They just use sequential coils that change current to either pull or push on a slug, which propells it forward. These weapons are most often found on an infantry-scale, and not often in bigger size. They do exist, but railguns are more common.
This here is a standard issue Type-52 Wiln coilgun with a holographic sight, aim assist, a powerpack, and the magazine, filled with fifty rods of stainless steel, ready to tear through an unsuspecting target. Easy to maintain, cheap to make, and could be operated by a blind and deaf man, this baby is the spine of any military.See Mass Drivers.
LasersLasers are high-powered, concentrated beams of light, capable of heating up and cutting through armour. There are many varieties, all of which are often found on turrets. They vary in intensity, and the more intense, the more powerful and expensive. Often used in extremely long-range engagements, as the beams travel at light-speed. Most lasers are generally weaker than most other weapons, but make up for by travelling at light-speed, making deploying shields on time impossible unless somehow predicted.
Point defense lasersPoint-defense weapons are just that. They defend against slugs, missiles, and debris. Low-power, high-rate-of-fire lasers evaporate targets that get too close, within a couple hundred kilometers.
Plasma WeaponsThese weapons heat up matter, most often hydrogen, to extreme temperatures via nuclear fusion. The plasma is the shot out, and confined within an electromagnetic field. These weapons are generally very advanced, and take a fair effort to maintain, but their destructive power is massive.
Plasma cannonsPlasma cannons shoot plasma. They superheat gas, which is the shot via electromagnetic fields. The gas is often taken from the ship, unless in atmosphere. Coincidentally, most ships do not have plasma weapons for that reason. Plasma weapons are very powerful if hit, but the projectiles can be diverted via, say, another electromagnetic field.
Particle beamsWhere plasma cannons shoot globs of plasma, particle beams shoot, well, beams. These high-temperature, high-power particles can rip through an unprepared ship and melt the interiors. Often used in very long-range engagements, not practical in-atmosphere. These weapons are very large, and often only mounted in big ships or orbital platforms, as spinal weapons. Also as planetary guns, albeit on ones without atmosphere.
That's a planetary particle beam cannon. It can rip through a heavy cruiser and hit several other ships along the way. As long as that's operational, there's no chance we're getting off this moon.
LargeLarger missiles, essentially ICBMs, are common among larger ships sizes. They are launched in swarms of several hundred at a time, and can guide, manouver, and dodge themselves. Often these are loaded with either antimatter or, in lower-tech areas, nuclear bombs. The main purpose is to survive and dodge the incoming fire with armour and speed.
SmallMassive swarms of thousand of missiles are commonly used in ship-to-ship combat. Launched from smaller craft, these missiles are packed either with antimatter or chemical explosives. These seek to overwhelm point-defense and smash into a target as a sheet of damage. See Missile Weapons.
HullHulls are composed of Carbon-Interlaced Aluminium Alloy, often layered in multiple layers with water or ice inbetween. The water serves are both an insulator, a buffer, and a storage for air and fusion/plasma fuel. The hull can often be several meters thick, and even tens at larger scales.
ShieldsShields on spaceships are made out of hardened plasma, a material that isn't actually plasma, but supercompressed gas kept together by a magnetic field. It's very tough, the toughest, and is generally used in layers, deployed right before impact.
See Hardened plasma, shields section.