The United Earth Mk.XI Small Caliber Railgun System is a relatively new concept within the Allied Fleet, where development first began four years prior of the Sol War. The specialized weapon was meant to arm the next generation of United Earth HAACC High Alititude Airborne Command Center vessels, which orbit within planetary atmospheres as a mobile command center, airfield, hospital and support platform. As one of the next-generation HAACC vessels new roles was long-range artillery support. Due to the nature in the HAACCs operate, a rapid-fire, low velocity weapons system was required to allow these giant flying machines to support allied ground units with both precision and suppressive fire. The older HAACCs, the Hurricane-class used a modified version of the Mk.63B (often informally known as the D version) Gauss Battery. While the modified cannons gave excellent rate of fire, its lack of power reduced the weapons range somewhat, often forcing the HAACCs to take orbit in order to lay down effective fire support, reducing action time, fuel, and exposing the ship itself to potential space threats. The Mk.XI solves this by using a much more powerful railgun system to accelerate its projectiles, giving the next generations HAACCs the ability to rain suppressive fire without exposing the HAACC to enemy fire. The turrets aerodynamic design is built to shape due to the HAACCs role as well, which operates intra-atmosphere for extended periods of time. As such, the Mk.XIs design helps reduce drag somewhat, and reducing stress on the turrets mountings as well.
A casual observer might note that a railgun would be an impractical weapon for such a task, with its low rate of fire, constant maintainence (even more with atmospheric operation), and the newer guns three-barrelled layout as opposed to the older four-barrelled gauss cannon. However, the designers of the weapon, a collaboration between Yellowline Industries and Luna Shipbuilding, took these weaknesses into account, ensuring the Mk.XI was in all aspects, suprerior to its predecessors. The interesting rail design of the Mk.XIs reflect this, a wide-rectangular affair in contrast of more traditional, cylindrical barrels. This unique design allows the Mk.XI to load specialized ammunition when dealing with suppressive-fire combat roles, with two or more projectiles being able to be fired from one barrel alone, using specially-made sabots which could be crafted even from shipboard facilities. As such, a standard Mk.XI can fire more than six-shots in a single volley, depending on the number of projectile within a single sabot. The weapons conductive rails were also reinforced and small, special nozzles were built into the barrels walls. These nozzles routinely secrete a conductive, oily substance, that helps reduce friction between the projectile and the barrels walls, yet retains the conduction between the rails and the projectiles, ensuring the railgun works as proper. The oil is also fine enough to not interfere with the weapons operation. Finally, a quick-release mechanism was installed in the weapon, allowing a quick change of worn-out firing rails, with new ones. Recasting facilities aboard every United Earth warship (even those not carrying the said weapon itself), has been updated with the new rails design and composition, allowing a ship to quickly recast old, worn out rails back to their original, effective form.
The Mk.XI is able to fire a variety of ammunition which would be deemed suitable for various combat roles. Due to the weapons deployment on HAACCs, it often has to be used as an indirect fire artillery piece, providing bombardment and suppressive fire to local ground forces. Direct fire is also used if the HAACC is within line-of-sight of the target. Ammuntion used for these roles include LVHE (Low Velocity High Explosive), LVB (Low Velocity Bomblets,), LVAP (Low Velocity Armour-Piercing). Other ammunition types include (but are not limited to) HVOB (High Velocity Orbital Bombardment), SSS(Standard Ship-to-Ship), HVF(High Velocity Flechette) and HVSS (High Velocity Shrapnel Shot). Thus, the Mk.XI allows the future HAACCs to take on even more roles before, ensuring battlefield dominance in the skies and on the ground. The Mk.XI is also being considered for use on the next generation of United Earth Destroyers, and as secondary weapons aboard larger cruisers or battleships.
Google Sketchup and Kerkythea (the picture is a combination of both as well)
Wanted it as low poly as possible (yeah, I kinda failed at that part, ah well). Details are so addictive, ya'know?
Which probably means Im working on something or another, but I can't seem to focus on one thing at the time.
As usual, click the "Download" buttonon the sidebar to, well, download the Sketchup 3D model. If you intend to install this nefarious looking turret into your Google Sketchup model, kindly credit me if you do so.
Or I will use it against you! KAPAOW BOOM! ^_^ (Yes, I've rigged it to remote and will blow off your bridge, engines, or any other exposed parts of your ship.)