UESF MJOLNIR MK.III BLOCK V NUCLEAR WEAPON DELIVERY SYSTEM
Nuclear weapons have been among the most powerful weapons fielded by mankind since it’s invention during the Second World War. The technology for nuclear weapons, and an effective delivery system has gone a long way since then, with the basic concepts for the MJOLNIR dating as far back as the mid 20th century, where nuclear weapons development was at it’s peak. The Ballistic missile, an interesting and effective concept at the time, formed the basic concept for the MJOLNIR, bringing such an ancient form of warfare into the modern age. The MJOLNIR missile began it’s conception for the newly formed UESF’s need for orbital bombardment. Railguns, which can do as much damage as a moderate-yield nuclear device from space were deemed ineffective for planetary bombardment, as the railgun slugs often disintegrate within planetary atmospheres before making contact with ground surfaces, due to their extremely high velocities. Nuclear-tipped torpedoes used in ship-to-ship engagements were also ineffective against large targets, such as cities or military installations due to their design, which focuses nearly it’s entire explosive power forwards in order to penetrate starship-class armour. When used against ground targets, such explosive force is directed into the ground, reducing the area damage required by such a weapon. The MJOLNIR fits in these roles providing a space-to-surface high-yield weapon, designed to cause destruction far and wide around it’s detonation point.
The Block V Missile is the latest carrier of the MJOLNIR system. Latest enhancements include added survivalbility during the “boost” phase, where the missile is most vulnerable, as it travels between the launching vessel and it’s target. Physically, metal shield have been erected around the missile fuselarge, protecting the fragile rocket from enemy fire, especially laser and projectile-based systems. Once the “boost” phase has been successfully completed, the missile’s nose splits apart, exposing a “bus” carrying 10 identically-shaped warheads. This system, historically known as “MIRV” for, Multiple Independently Re-entry Vehicles, maximizes the efficiency of the weapon, allowing nuclear strikes to multiple locations on the same planetary body. The “bus” has it’s own navigation and sensor system, ensuring optimal placement of the “bus” for it’s warheads to hit their targets with pinpoint accuracy. Once this optimal placement has been achieved, the 10 warheads are released to their respective targets. Each warhead has it’s own propulsion system to enable final course correction to their targets, which they are directed to by both the “bus” and by a simple navigational package they have on board. Typically, each “bus” carries 6 nuclear warheads and 4 decoy warheads, mixed in random order to confuse enemy defences, as well as to increase the likelyhood of a successful strike. The UESF currently operates the system with two warheads, the NBWS-119 and 120 series warheads. The NBWS-119 is a 1.5 megaton thermonuclear warhead, designed to maximize it’s blast radius, destroying both hard and soft targets, yet with minimal fallout for humanitarian purposes. The warhead can be detonated in different ways to suit different mission profiles, such as an airblast to maximize blast radius, or a deep penetration burial to destroy hardened underground bunkers and facilities. Another role of the NBWS-119 is a high-altitude detonation, creating a large EMP, or ElectroMagneticPulse to destroy unshielded, sensitive electronics over a wide area within the atmosphere. In comparison, the NBWS-120 is a neutron radiation detonation warhead, designed to kill enemy personnel, but leave equipment and “hard” targets intact. These warheads are rarely used due to radiation shielding most military facilities have installed, and for humanitarian purposes as well.
Most UESF capital ships carry a typical armament of four MJOLNIR Block V missiles, even if they have ample silos to carry more, for various reasons. Smaller ships, such as frigates and destroyers can carry the smaller MJOLNIR-S Mk.III Block IV nuclear weapons, which carry fewer nuclear warheads than it’s larger counterpart, in order to fit in their smaller silos. Planetary nuclear warfare requires approval from UESF Central Command for military targets, and presidential approval for non-military targets, unlike ship-to-ship nuclear torpedoes, which do not require such approval. The MJOLNIR system is slated to be continued well into the future, with newer missiles and better warheads to come.