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Missile Weapons

Like today, there's missiles around. I'll be specifying about military use, not the sparse few civilian uses.   Missiles, rockets, ballistic missiles, and such, are used both in land and space. There's a few main size classifications, and tracking methods, so I'll be focusing on those individually.  



The smallest commonly used rockets are infantry-portable ones, similar to ones today. The most common style is classified as TABAGM, top-attack break-apart guided missile, though many refer to them as "tabas" or "slammers" after the acronym and the method of attack respectively. That method is to go up in the air, then slam down on top of the target. While it does this, it also breaks apart into many smaller warheads, which impact the target with a wide area. After that, the main missile hits, itself exploding. This is done so that the smaller missiles weaken or outright destroy the shields of the target, and the main warhead can go through unobstructed.   There are missiles that don't break apart, and those are cheaper and lower-tech, though less powerful.  


Vehicles also use missiles at times. Many use TABAGMs, but others use different ones. Micromissiles are a popular vehicle weapon, mostly mounted on AB-FSPs and other big vehicles. They are, per the name, small missiles, barely bigger than a fist. Due to their size, the only real good explosive to use is antimatter, which makes these markedly high-tech. A vehicle launches tens of these at a time, and they hit very hard, almost as hard as a normal-sized missile, though their size and comparative lack of protection makes them easier to intercept, which is why they're launched in swarms.  


  Space warfare is notably larger-scale then other types. The weapons in use are similar, but just scaled up a lot. The micro-missile equivalents are launched hundreds or thousands at a time, and the bigger missiles are the sizes of buses. Those bigger missiles are effectively ICBMs, and have a similar destructive potential, as most use either fusion or antimatter warheads, both having explosions similar to or more than a nuke.  

Tracking methods

Another major aspect of missiles is obviously their capability to track a target and adjust course accordingly. To that end, here's three main methods, and how to counter them.  


IR tracking, or heat tracking, is just following a heat source. Well, generally it's a bit more complex, as the computer on the missile has to determine which heat source is most likely the target, but those computers are generally quite simple. They can be tricked via flares, planetside or not, and in space, millions of small strips of reflective metal can help distort a ship's signature, as they reflect the radiation coming from a ship all over the place.  


This sort of missile sends out clumps of lasers into a cone in front of itself, and thus determines where a target is. This targeting is also somewhat susceptible to chaff jamming, but less so, as many higher-tech missiles use more powerful lasers that aren't disrupted by that chaff.  

Smart missiles

Smart missiles use a whole host of tracking systems to ensure they reach their target. Since they demand advanced computers, they're only really mounted on bigger ships and missiles, like ICBM-scale ones. They use heat, radar, and a special sort of tracking known as "eavesdroppers". These "eavesdropper" missiles work by eavesdropping, in a way, enemy radio chatter between ships. From there, they isolate a specific ship's frequencies and patterns, and follow those to the source, the ship. They don't even need to crack any encryption, they can just follow the encrypted patterns. Since having an entire fleet adjust its communication and encryption every few minutes is logistically not worthwhile, this tracking doesn't have many counters.     But in the end, a missile still needs to make it past point-defense. No amount of tracking is going to help there.

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