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The XSF was founded to 'protect and further Xelassian interests in the theatre of space'.
With 180,000 personnel, the XSF is the smallest of the Xelassian Armed Forces. Only around 10,000 of those personnel are trained for spaceflight- the majority provide technical support or are part of the force's administration.
The head of the XSF is Zavel Hdun, who has the rank of Space Admiral, which only he possesses. This is equivalent to the Naval rank of 'Vice Admiral' when the Xelassian Armed Forces are taken as a whole.
Below the Space Admiral are ten Rear Admirals. Following on from Rear Admirals are the fleet's captains, and then commanders. Commanders are above Lieutenant-Commanders, who are in turn above Lieutenants.
Below Lieutenants are the Midshipmen, who are the lowest-ranking commissioned officers.
The petty officers are the the non-commissioned officers of the XSF. They are then above Leading Spacemen, who are above Spacemen.
The XSF operates four launch facilities and two testing areas.
The Faldon-Gur Launch Site is located to the North-East of the nation's capital city, Tanma. It is mainly a commercial facility but military vehicles will occasionally launch here.
The Anathar Launch Site is located on the Ubarun island. It is a satellite-launch and station module-launch facility.The Balatika Launch Site is for the launch of combat spacecraft, and is located west of the country's centre. It is accompanied by the Balatika Test Site.
The Hunith Launch Site is located in the mountains North-East of the city of Vash. It is for the launch of all military spacecraft.
The Guanto Test Site is located close to the border with the CPR, on the West. It is for testing space weaponry.
Four space stations are operated by the XSF. They are all of the same design, built in modular fashion from a central hub, using radioisotope thermoelectric generators and large solar panels/radiators.
They can each hold around 20 crew, who are cycled around every eight months, and the supplies they need. They are also equipped with kinetic bombardment weapons, lasers, and some rapid-fire machine guns for defense.
The XSF also operates a permanent base under the surface of Kranas, Aiston's larger moon. It is a compound of rooms excavated from under the rock, and shielded from radiation and attack. It has a staff of 110 personnel, mainly research scientists and engineers. It also has defensive weapons, an ice-mine, and a spaceport.
The XSF has designed its equipment to withstand the rigours of space travel and possible attack.
There are several classes of XSF ship. They have their own roles and designs. Ships are launched from scaffolds, attached to enormous multi-stage liquid hydrogen/oxygen boosters and solid fuel boosters to get them into orbit. Upon re-entry, they will land in the sea and be picked up by specialised naval recovery vehicles for reuse.
When under their own power, ships use Solid-Core Nuclear Thermal Rockets (SC NTRs). A nuclear reactor is placed above an exhaust nozzle and ammonia is pumped past it, heating up to around 3200K and then fired out of the exhaust nozzle. Reprocessing plants recover as much fuel as possible. Iridium steel must plate the reaction chamber or else it would be rapidly corroded.
Such a drive system allows an exhaust velocity of around 5 km/s and almost 50,000N of thrust per kilogram of fuel. It also alloys the generation of large quantities of electricity to power the ship's systems and lasers. The heat produced by a spaceship requires large radiators in which water is pumped to move heat away from the main body and allow it to radiate away into space. These can be retracted or extended further.
Designed to accompany merchant ships and act as an escort, the Ravas-class destroyer is a 40m-long ship with a crew of 20. It masses 1,200 tonnes unloaded and around 4,800 tonnes fully loaded with fuel, supplies, coolant and crew.
The Ravas-class has 3" titanium armour, two laser turrets, and eight HE missiles. Its dV is around 6 km/s, and cruising acceleration is 0.1g.
The XSF operates 15 such craft. 5 are under construction. They typically travel in twos with another destroyer, and the two members of a pair have antonymic names:
- XSS Reputable
- XSS Disreputable
- XSS Fantasy
- XSS Reality
- XSS Audacity
- XSS Modesty
- XSS War
- XSS Peace
- XSS Protagonist
- XSS Antagonist
- XSS Objective
- XSS Subjective
- XSS Strength
- XSS Cunning
- XSS Attack
- XSS Defence (under construction)
- XSS Brotherhood (under construction)
- XSS Sisterhood (under construction)
- XSS Fire (under construction)
- XSS Water (under construction)
An independent patrol craft, the Hanutun-class frigate is a vessel 50m long. It has a crew of 14. Unloaded, it masses 1,300 tonnes, and fully loaded its mass is over 9,100 tonnes (6:1 fuel to mass ratio). It is equipped with 3.2" titanium armour and two laser turrets. The dV of the craft is 9 km/s, and its cruising acceleration is 0.05g.
There are 5 Hanutun-class frigates in the XSF, and 3 are under construction:
- XSS Liberty
- XSS Cohesion
- XSS Unity
- XSS Courage
- XSS Determination
- XSS Bravery
- XSS Indomitable (under construction)
- XSS South Star (under construction)
The largest NTR-powered XSF space vessel, a Thara-class battleship is 110m long, and has a crew of 95. With an unloaded mass of 12,000 tonnes and a fully-loaded mass of 180,000 tonnes, the XSF cannot afford to repeatedly launch such vessels into space. They are designed to remain outside the atmosphere for years at a time, with around 1200 kg of food and water required per mission despite their efficient recycling systems.
The Thara has 5" steel armour over 1" lead and with an aluminium sheet 0.5mm thick over the armour for anti-laser defence. It bears six laser turrets, a bow laser, and twenty HE missiles. Its dV is 4 km/s and it has a cruising acceleration of 0.01g.
3 such ships are controlled by the XSF, and one is under construction:
- XSS Alliance (XSF flagship)
- XSS Freedom
- XSS Xelass
- XSS Honour (under construction)
Seleth-class Nuclear Salt Water RocketEdit
The largest, newest, and most powerful craft of the Republic, Nuclear Salt Water Rockets use a different drive system to NTRs. They carry large amounts of water containing uranium tetrabromide salts, in a two-percent solution. The uranium is 90% enriched. The fuel is contained between boron carbide rods to prevent a chain reaction. It is then pumped into the detonation chamber, where a critical mass is produced and a nuclear explosion occurs. The explosion is constant while the rocket thrusts, providing great thrust and specific impulse. Such a vessel would have a dV of around 3.6% of light speed with a mass ratio of 10.
Only three have been constructed. One was used as a kinetic-kill weapon against the CPR. They have no built-in weapons and can achieve cruising accelerations of many gees.
- XSS ? (lost)
- XSS Juggernaut
- XSS Vanguard
XSF satellites are based on one of three chassis.
The XCA chassis is a 1m-diameter sphere of aluminium, with a reflective aluminium foil layer over that. It is most commonly used to hold spy satellites and broadcast satellites, with solar panels and antennae protruding from the sphere. Such satellites have external fuel tanks and are unarmed.
The XCB chassis is a 3m-tall cube of aluminium. It can fit several internal satellites, sensors, and weapons, and as such is used as a weather, broadcast or anti-satellite satellite.
The XCC chassis is a titanium cylinder with a 3m diameter and a 5m length. It is most commonly used as a bombardment or defence satellite, with missiles, kinetic impactors, or a laser within its hull. It will have external fuel tanks or a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, to produce several kilowatts of power or enough thrust to maintain orbit and evade debris.
XSF space weapons are those which generate the least recoil but have the longest ranges. XSF military craft bear laser turrets, with 4m lenses, 200MW power feeds and a UV wavelength of 5E-8m allowing them to drill through 7.7 cm of aluminium per second at a range of 10,000 km. The lasers cannot fire while the rocket is thrusting, as the reactor's power is going to the propellant and the batteries are insufficient.
Bow lasers are 1GW, with 6m lenses. They can drill through 6.6m of aluminium per second at 10,000 km. Cooling is done through a water-based cooling system going out into external radiators with sufficient surface area for the heat to radiate away.
HE missiles are 160 kg missiles with a 20 cm diameter and a 3.7m length. They have active radar and heat-seeking guidance systems, and can reach mach 8.
The personnel on board XSF ships are given individual spacesuits with individual power sources, microthrusters, parachutes, and radiation protection, designed to allow spacewalks lasting several hours, or a possible fall from orbit to ground. Personnel are also issued a kind of telescopic pole used for movement in microgravity, but that can also be used as a weapon.
Each vessel has a weapons rack. Weapons are selected to minimise the risks of hull penetration, and as such include the MM13 8-gauge shotgun with flechettes or 00 buckshot and the PH5 8mm pistol, as used by the Xelassian Army.
A military branch only founded 24 years ago, the XSF was founded to protect the Xelassian moon-mining, asteroid deflection, and satellite fleets from the threat of CPR attacks.