Sedis Era Military TechnologyEdit
Much of the military technology of the National powers of the Sedis age have evolved from the military technologies in common usage during the early stages of the twenty first century. Projectile weapons are still the single most common form of infantry and vehicle arnament - supported by missile, chemical and electronic weaponry.
During the Petroleum wars, the need for advanced weaponry became a matter of paramount importance - particularly when coupled with newer theatres of war such as the Cyber theatre and the Space theatre. Battles had to be fought not just directly between soldiers but between entire military support systems and infrastructures; economic warfare had become as important as physical assaults and invasions.
Despite the urgent need for advanced solutions to these new arenas of battle, the economic climate and the constant drain on resources meant that many advanced technologies remained in the realms of science fiction, whilst others were created, tested and proved ultimately unusable or too economically inefficient to warrant further use.
As a result, by 2055, the vast majority of military powers maintain sizeable forces of trained troops utilizing assault weapons derived from classic gunpowder based technologies - albeit refined continuously to provide improved accuracy, stopping power and efficiency.
Despite this, some National and Corporate militaries have created more unusual weapons and defence systems;
Initially developed by the US in the early twenty first century for use on Naval warships, the magnetic projection weapon program was to prove initially too expensive and too unwieldy for personal use compared to conventional firearms. Though several attempts were made to adapt the technology during the later stages of the Petroleum wars, it saw only limited use on a small number of specially designed tanks as dedicated tank/bunker busting weapons.
The Railgun came into its own during the later colonial wars in the thin and non existent atmospheres of the Martian and Lunar surfaces. In such environments traditional gunpowder weapons faced a singular problem of logistics. Extra terrestial warfare proved prohibitively expensive due to the nightmarish costs of maintaining an ammunition supply. However the Rail weapon program offered a solution - in that any magnetic metal object could potentially be used as ammunition, including ball bearings, nails, and shrapnel. Further, many of the suits and vehicles used by militaries on extra terrestial bases carried extensive radiation shielding - providing additional layers of protection that often proved difficult for conventional weapons to penetrate. By contrast Rail weapons boasted exceptional armour penetration and were especially dangerous for defensive positions relying on enclosed atmospheres to protect their crew.
Drill weaponryEditDesigned specifically for use in extra terrestial warfare, the Drill shot appears like an ordinary firearm at first glance and was intended to break through personal armour and space suits. However, rather than conventional bullet projectiles the weapon instead fires a magnetic clamp and drill bit. Should it make even partial contact, the powerful magnetic clamp would immediately attach itself to the target; once in place, the drill bit would begin drilling into the suit and into the target beneath.
Aside from the horrific injuries that would be inflicted, the intention was to cause the target death by 'voiding' - compromising the integrity of the suit and exposing the wearer to the vacuum - resulting in likely asphyxiation.
Considered a 'terror weapon', drill shot weapons are among several innovations that came about from the colonial wars that have since been officially banned by the United Nations. Despite their illegal nature, they remain in use among several militia and Corporate forces - often disguised as seemingly innocuous equipment or incorporated into other weaponry.
Due to the specialist nature of the ammunition they are difficult weapons to supply and incapable of firing more than single shot bursts - which coupled with the ban have made them thankfully rare weapons even among criminal organisations.
Chemical weaponry Edit
Despite repeated efforts to ban them, chemical weapons remain a major player in the arnaments of some Corporate and notably the Sino Alliance military. Though mostly simple improvements on existing delivery systems such as artillery shells, cruise missiles and aircraft bombs, the category has been further developed to include phosphorus flamethrowers and Sarin laced hollowpoints.
Though international efforts to control and dismantle these weapon systems remain especially strong, the Sino Alliance military makes extensive use of chemical laced bullets in their special forces infantry weaponry - intending to prevent injured soldiers from returning to active duty by poisoning them with lethal doses of toxic chemicals. Though a wide variety are used - in particular among criminal elements that can get hold of the illegal ammunition - the chemical Sarin remains one of the most popular and the most deadly.
Directed energy weaponry EditAlthough the 'laser gun' remains a product of science fiction, directed energy weapons have been in development since the early 1980s. By the 2050s energy weapons have developed sufficiently to be used by some NATO and Corporate forces and saw limited action in the Colonial and early Petroleum wars. Though coming in a wide variety of forms, all involve utilising light energy, radiation or microwaves to directly infuse a high amount of energy into the target - causing a catastrophic increase in heat. Other advantages included little to no ammunition component, extensive range, high accuracy, and virtually no recoil.
However, due to the immense amounts of energy required to operate such weapons and the high maintenance required to keep them in working order, most remain exclusively used as vehicle or static defence weapon systems. Worse, they have not proven to be any more effective than most conventional firearms in terms of destructive power and as such the Russian Empire, Sino Alliance and South American Coalition shunned the technology almost entirely - with the exception of a Russian Microwave projector intended as a short wave crowd control and cityfighting weapon mounted on the дыхание драконов (Dragons breath), a variant T122 tank chassis.
By contrast the British Empire and its Corporate allies - in particular the Destro Corporation - made extensive efforts to find useful applications for the technology. Destrocorp succesfully developed a 'particle rifle' that utilises lasers to create a plasma bullet and project it at high speed into a target. It proved an effective anti personnel weapon but still required significant power to operate. The Solarus Corporation designed 'Sungun' was more power efficient, but remained too large to see much conventional use even with a Sedis 9 power core (an design which was later scrapped as cost inefficient).
The British Empire however persevered and created the Starshot weapon system alongside Solarus - a tripod mounted weapon that was capable of superheating targets several kilometres away. Though requiring extensive set up meant it was unsuited to modern mobile warfare, it did see extensive use in the Colonial wars in skirmishes within the Asteroid belt - where entrenched weapon systems were capable of destroying targets even on other asteroids.
Sonic WeaponryEditAn evolution of existing Tazer technology, the sonic blaster or disruptor, was a newly introduced design made possible by the discovery of sedis. Although previous sonic weapons had been attempted, they remained unfocused weapons of significant size - making them useful only for crowd control or area affect weapons. Worse, the sonic blasts were notorious for collateral damage and 'blowback' effects whereby any effect that could cause the soundwave to echo could cause it to strike the wielder.
Efforts during the Petroleum wars to develop the technology were largely abandoned in favour of more promising outlets and it wasn't until the latter part of the Colonial wars - where several colonial populations were becoming increasingly unruly - that the technology was revisited. A joint collaboration of Corporate militias headed by the Solarus Corporation were able to develop the technology with the use of Sedis 7 as a focusing material. Sedis 7 was a by product of the refining process, but could be used to create speaker systems with exceptional directional control.
The resulting Sonic disruptor was a small handheld device with an electrical charge. Though each shot would take around 5-10secs to charge, the weapon was theoretically capable of firing up to 200 times before needing recharging. More advanced versions used a tiny amount of Sedis 9 as a power source and boasted unlimited capacity. The effectiveness was immediately apparent. Rifle sized versions of the device could punch through concrete at short range and cause naseau and temporary paralysis in targets up to 300m away. Even glancing hits could leave excruciating numbness in the affected area and significant bruising.
Commonly used as a pistol, sonic weapons became a stun weapon of choice by several Corporate militias and some National police and military forces. At extreme short range, even the lower 'calibre' pistol sized versions were capable of killing a target and the weapons remain a controversial replacement for the aging tazer.
Developed primarily from earlier NASA designs, space suits of the Sedis age feature better fitting, enhanced mobility, improved balance and thruster controls, enhanced radiation shielding, imbuilt communication and sensor equipment and improved oxygen recyling. Military grade suits will also feature personal armour and shock resistant visors. Russian Military forces also incorporate spring loaded blades in a wrist mounting, whilst some Corporate militaries utilise inbuilt weapon or support systems such as computer hacking tools, EMP shock gloves and - in the case of Sino Alliance penal suits a remote controlled detonator.
The armour itself varies from manufacturer to manufacturer - however most NATO aligned forces utilise the MKVII Lunar combat suit which features a number of scaled MR fluid armour plates protected by Tarian fabric - a coupled hybrid design from US and British military thinking that creates a lightweight liquid that hardens instantly upon impact or electrical charge, and that can pre detonate armour penetrative rounds. Russian Imperial forces instead rely on nano enhanced ceramic plates, creating a much heavier suit but with a comparative boost against explosive and shrapnel weapons. As the Indian and Pakistani space forces maintain strong trade links with Russia, most their defensive equipment is older predecessors to the Russian NEVZ7834 design.
Though a necessity for extra terrestial combat, the suits remain too cumbersome for use in terrestial combat - being too heavy even with exo skeletal support and too expensive for widespread use. However, they will often be used in a terrestial role in place of classic military hazmat suits due to the improved armour and support systems.
It is notable that Chinese military forces - despite having an extensive presence on Mars and the Belt, use extremely basic versions of the Russian and NATO designs - stripping away almost all additional defences and features for the sake of cost and leaving only basic atmospheric protection. Even radiation shielding is sacrificed in order to reduce the expense and weight. This means that the bulk of Sino Alliance forces - even terrestial ones - use space capable suits, but benefit only from having a sealed environment for the individual soldier against vacuum and chemical attack - with virtually no other protection from anything else. As the Sino Alliance makes extensive use of chemical weaponry this is seen by the Alliance leaders as less of an issue.
Digital Camouflage Edit
Exclusively used by Solarus Special forces and certain other black ops teams, the technology referred to as Digital Camouflage is a cybernetic holographic projection system that creates a holographic projection over the host's body. The system uses a series of 'wetware' devices installed across the hosts body that connect to a specially designed combat suit. The suit incorporates thousands of microscopic projectors that can create an incredibly lifelike image around the wearer. The system is controlled by a central biomechanical cortex that is wired directly into the host's brain and acts as a storage system for images that can be projected. Additional images can be copied via the host's own visual system - allowing the host to potentially copy the facial and body features of anyone they can observe in detail for sufficient time.
The system is not a perfect copy and can be disrupted by electro magnetic interference and damage to the projection suit. Further, the projected subject must be of a similar build and height to the wearer - limiting the capacity for mimicking other individuals. Despite these limitations, the suit is capable of mimicking injury, dirt and even raindrops on the subject, making it extremely difficult to detect the deception until it is too late.
The origins of the technology are a closely guarded secret and it is unknown how extensively Solarus Corporation makes use of the device.