Ilford Wargames Group
The UN Equipment is based on a series of modular designs. This page outlines the modules.
A basic module aimed at absorbing damage at a minimal cost. UN Armour is a composite structure or (for some ground and asteroid based facilities) just rock. The Eiui are known to have more effective armour - it's just that the UN doesn't know how they build it.
Bays are used for carrying small craft aboard larger ships or ships aboard larger ships. The bays currently in service allow the launch and recovery of shuttles or the transport of ships.
The shuttle bays are not currently designed to allow the rapid re-armament of armed shuttles as the peaceful exploration of the universe didn't really envisage armed shuttles being needed. Ships with shuttle bays are currently bouy-layers, survey vessels, troop/colony transports or shuttle delivery vessels.
The ship-bays are installed on two types of vessel: Yard Tugs used for moving hulls about the various shipyards that the UN now has and Auxiliary Recovery Ships used for bringing disabled or heavily damaged vessels back from the front.
Landing Fields are areas on the ground capable of handling starships and lighters, shuttles and jets.
Some other modules include landing fields: Shipyards; Troop and Crew Training Facilities; Trade Docks and Trade Hubs; Development Centres. Temporary landing fields are only usable while engineers and maintenance units are present while permanent fields are just that - permanent.
The UN ships move cargo either in cheap open cargo holds (not particularly damage resistent and requiring port facilities) or more expensive partitioned/self-loading holds.
The Eiui have been seen to use specialist fuel-tankage.
The Military also have to move missiles in ready to use form - and that is where magazines come in. Similar to cargo holds, but able to feed their contents into the automatic reload systems of the weapons they serve.
These complex modules allow a naval commander to better control the vessels in their location. To date, the UN has built static bases based on major planets, but has seen their mobile use by the Oskhoak who had one mounted on a ship.
While the bridge of each ship or station has some communications function, these system allow broadcast or tightbeam communications across considerable distance.
Broadcast systems have a shorter range than tightbeam ones but can contact elements where the exact position is unknown to the transmitter
Tightbeam systems have a longer range, and are difficult to intercept, but the transmitter has to know where the reciever will be when the message arrives and are thus less tactically useful.
Datalink is a ship to control and fire weapons from a whole group of vessels in a way that allows the salvo size to overwhelm the defences of the target.
Each ship requires some form of control systems with basic sensors, fire-control (if armed) and communications. The crew that operate the ship live here and they also have some ability to maintain the vessel and repair it if necessary.
Close defence systems are used by the UN to intercept incoming missiles and (occasionally) shuttles. Major weapons systems can be given this task too, but they are generally more interested in damaging the enemy than protecting themselves.
The UN uses high-rate-of-fire beam based systems while the Oskhoak have been seen to use lower rate of fire missile systems. What the Eiui use is a mystery.
Engines comes in various flavours that are fast in a pinch but slow strategically or faster strategically but no faster tactically. They rely on warping space so that a vessel has a pseudo-speed of a few percent of the speed of light.
Transporting people requires considerable care as they have to have just the right atmosphere, temperature and need to be fed. This results in relatively large volumes of space having to be supplied aboard ship. As technology progressed, cryogenic pods have become available and the UN now moves most of its colonists this way. The live-transport is now reserved for Luxury Liners and Troops that need to deploy immediately.
Each planet or ship needs to know what is going on around it, and the Eyeball Mk1 is not good at doing this at distances measured in light-seconds unless the object being observed is a star or planet or moon. The ships bridge contains basic sensors, but for useful tactical (including combat) purposes these need to be enhanced by other modules.
A more expensive defence than the Armour noted above, but one that keeps damage away from the ships main hull and, unlike basic armour, allows the defence to regenerate over time.
A vital component of any fleet, these allow the systems discovered to be checked for the existence of gateways to other systems, and the planets discovered to be surveyed for colonisation purposes.
The UN is fairly certain that a usable tractor beam is possible, based on the warp-space technology used in engines, but exactly how that can be done is still to be discovered.
The US had a working laser beam system and China had a reasonable partical accelerator when space exploitation started and the UNSF was formed. Since then, the warp-space technology used in the engines has been developed into a third form of beam weapon system. The only problem with these weapons is that they have relatively short ranges and thus deploying them against longer range systems means running a gauntlet of fire to get close enough.
The inventor that discovered the drive field found a version that produced a very fast version that tended to collapse after a few seconds destroying the engine in the process. Rather than abandoning the approach, he re-purposed it to deliver a warhead at long distance and the UN's Missile systems were born. These systems have several disadvantages when compared to the beams mentioned above: they can be intercepted or spoofed into going the wrong way; they run out of ammunition; and they cause less damage at close range.
The concept of dropping rocks from orbit is one that the UN has grasped, but the slow speed of such weapons compared to that of other weapon systems has limited this class of weapon to that role within the UN. The wrecked remains of what was probably a railgun type system has been found in Faraway, but how that worked isn't clear at all.
These facilities allow the navy to construct ships, small craft and other facilities. Lose these and you are in trouble.
These facilities allow the UNSF to recruit their troops and crews in small quantities but at high quality or in larger quantity at poorer quality. They allow leaders to recieve staff training and troops and crews to improve in quality and equipment or gain specialist skills (e.g. Mountain Troops, Drop Troops, etc.).
"There is no sin but ignorance" - Christopher Marlowe
The UN hoped to be the centre of the universe, but there are technological civilisations everywhere and there is evidence that some of these know more about everything than they do.
The UN needs to ensure that it has the required supplies to keep its fleet operating and those supplies cannot be found just anywhere. The Military-Industrial Complex requires both parts to operate and survive.
Interstellar trade is facilitated by the spaceports and customs hubs that manage its ebb and flow.
The UN's main command centre is centred on the New York UN complex - slowly expanding into the city as the number of worlds in the UN system extends and the number of embassies from off-world increases. The Eiui's main command centre at Iyave mirrors this in many ways and the UN's proposed chancellery there is being designed even now.