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PostSubject: Article: Nuclear Warfare   Article: Nuclear Warfare I_icon_minitimeSun Mar 01, 2015 12:11 am

The splitting of the atom in the middle of the 20th century by mankind was the catalyzing factor that drove Man to the stars, granting him the awesome energy that the forces that hold together the universe can provide. As expected, man developed horrifying weapons of mass destruction using that discovery, starting with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Cold War that followed between the forces of Capitalism and Communism granted man with an almost unnatural obsession with nuclear technology, and since then, the systems to deliver weapons of mass destruction have developed into the space-age.

Interstellar Ballistic Missile [ISBM]
The worst fear of any nation; nuclear obliteration. That is exactly what ISBMs are all about, complete destruction of the enemy target. That target may be as small as a town, or as big as a planet. ISBMs are self-sustainable high-yield nuclear warheads that are equipped with limited range jump drives, allowing them to travel between solar systems or planets within a few jumps. They are the standard Mutually Assured Destruction weapon, and played a critical role in the Alarei Wars. They are often called  "jump cruise missiles" or "jump nukes" due to their obvious nature.

Although the term ISBM used to refer to any space-capable nuclear warhead, the definition has been narrowed down to include only delivery systems that fulfill certain criteria.

(1) The delivery system must be equipped with a jump drive and have a range of at least five (5) light years.
(2) It must include its own launch, navigation and re-entry systems. Nuclear missiles mounted on bombers belong in a different category. Missiles mounted and carried by TELAR (Transporter, Erector, Launcher and RADAR) trucks can be considered ISBMs depending on whether or not they fulfill the other criteria.
(3) It must be designed for strikes against strategic targets. FTL-capable nuclear warheads that are designed to deliver surgical strikes against enemy ground forces are not considered ISBMs.

ISBMs can be launched from ground-based missile silos, TELAR vehicles, space stations and in rare cases warships. Their size can range from small enough to be carried by a specialized truck to building-sized, although smaller missiles carried by TELARs usually have reduced range and sometimes do not even qualify as ISBMs. More often than not, ISBMs are MIRVs (Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles), vessels that carry multiple nuclear weapons to be deployed in a cluster pattern, or against several targets at once.

Defense against ISBMs is usually considered impossible: the warheads are almost always equipped with stealth technology, and their unpredictable attack vectors, advanced jump capabilities and high deployment altitude (most nuclear weapons burst several kilometers above the ground in order to cause maximum damage to a wide area) make shooting them down a pointless exercise in futility. Although advances in missile interception have granted some nations the capability to shoot down ISBMs, the systems are not cost-effective and are so inefficient that they can not defend against more than ten ISBMs, let alone the hundreds of missiles fired during a theoretical nuclear war scenario. The best strategy against ISBMs is considered to be deterrence.

The USC-Zeleniyan-UCFP Cold War led to a massive build-up of nuclear weapons, and until recently they were the only known nations with the strategic capabilities required for nuclear deterrence. However, nations such as New Terra and the Kal'bavakorians have since developed their own delivery systems.

Ship Launched Ballistic Missile [SLBM]
Medium Range Ballistic Missile [MRBM]
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