Memoir: Missile Log Two

The video flickers on and Lauren Coll’s face is partially obscured as she steps away from the camera. She turns locks of hair around her ears and takes a long breath. There is a broad smile on her face, the dried sweat at the edges of her hairline plain as the buzzing of the overhead lamps. She is in her deck coveralls as before. Following the last video, there is also a long missile behind her though this time it appears to be there for show – or at least the object of the video. The writing on the hatchway denotes this as the same armored workroom as before. She assumes ‘parade rest’ and nods to the camera lens before she begins. It is tough for her to contain that smile. Coll is obviously proud of what she is about to say.

“Nineteen August, twenty-forty-one. The time is currently twenty-three hundred hours and I just completed reassembly of the last of the missiles.” Lauren takes a long breath, barely able to contain herself. “It has been seven weeks since I began reworking the stealth cruise missiles that were recovered off Parnassus Anchorage. As of today, these missiles can be considered operational and awaiting testing of the systems during a live fire. Which..well, that’s another problem. But, they are ready. All twenty of them. Consider this a video log report of these missiles and their capabilities. I took the liberty of assigning their own designation and name, as well. The designation and name has been added to the files and computer systems already. So without further ado, I present the ASM-112 ‘Hammerfall’.” Lauren steps back from the frame of the camera so it can focus on the missile. She has signed her name across the nosecone with a personal message in flowing cursive: ‘Burn In Digital Hell!’ The missile is all black with the penned words done in a sharp Viper-white color.

“The Hammerfall is twelve feet long and weighs in at one-thousand five-hundred nineteen pounds. It comes standard with an upgraded T61M9 Communications Drone Motor with a terminal drive propulsion system that looks to have been purpose-built for this weapons system. The warhead is a two-hundred fifty-six pound experimental type. I burned some of it in our test area. Given the energy expended during burn, and feel free to double-check these calculations, I estimate the explosive force to be roughly equivalent to a two-point-three-two kiloton nuclear weapon. To clarify, this missile has a non-nuclear warhead that packs the same power as a small-yield tactical nuclear weapon. However, after checking schematics and measurements, it would appear that one of our strong tactical nukes would fit. I do not have access to these warheads so I can only speak in best guess – but from what I can tell, they will fit.” Lauren steps back into the frame and moves to stand behind the nosecone, then. Her hands rest above the glass seeker head at the front.

Lauren’s eyes lift back to the camera. “Initially, these missiles had a guidance system that was based on the CNP. This glass enclosure at the front?” She gestures to it – careful not to put fingerprints on the seeker. “After testing, the CNP apparently had been designed to operate in conjunction with an infra-red tracker for astral navigation.” She quirks her brow. “A very intelligent design, but we all know the CNP had been compromised. It took me five and a half weeks, but I was able to modify a current guidance package from the Raptors, believe it or not. I dissected the avionics package from autopilot ports and filtered it to operate on the same programmability. However, it still works on the same principles as originally programmed.” Coll shifts her weight, looking back to the missile with a long breath.

“Target lock is obtained through wire link to the firing platform, which is done through a pair of Universal Serial Plugs like any other guided missile. Lock can be obtained through infra-red guidance system slaved from the firing platform or within the missile. Alternatively, the missile can be programmed to fly to a specific place or navigate through a series of waypoints and then activate its passive sensors. Once launched, the T61M9 engines active and accelerate the missile to a pre-programmed velocity where the leftover tylium fuel will be used to supplement blast effects at the target zone. The other option is to allow the missile to expend all of its fuel and proceed to the target at maximum velocity. That velocity, best calculations, after a four minute engine burn, is approximately eleven thousand meters per second. In either flight mode antennas or IR cameras will attempt to find a target and begin a series of complex snaking turns and maneuvers in an attempt to find a target once the target zone has been reached – assuming no lock is obtained in the target zone. Once a target is found via preprogrammed heat signatures or electronic emissions, the missile will enter its attack phase.”

Coll grins a little and looks the missile over from end to end, nodding her head. “The Attack Phase,” she repeats. A wet of her lips and she looks back to the camera. “After approaching its target, the missile is designed to ignite a secondary motor that starts and accelerates the missile into its terminal phase. This is done VERY close to the target with a time-on-target usually around the four-to-five second zone, with the resulting ‘TOT’ being about 2 seconds. The nose of the cruise missile, containing the guidance package and systems, is undoubtedly crushed by the impact with the armor plating of any ship. However, the first sixteen inches of the missile's internal design behind guidance is a cone-shaped penetrator made of depleted uranium. It is designed to use the velocity of the missile to punch a hole right through the skin of any ship while protecting the payload from damage via shock absorbers. Once the missile has impacted, a time-delay fuse is initiated that allows for the missile to dive into its target further. At fuse completion, the warhead is detonated with the force of a small tactical nuclear warhead.” With the way she is talking and how quickly the description is being rattled off, her experience with Raptors and weapons systems is probably evident to anyone watching. This video is aimed at pilots, from a pilot.

“Now, as most aircrew are aware, the vast majority of our missiles are contact detonation. The missile hits a target,a gyroscope is disturbed, and it explodes. Most aren’t designed as penetrators because they have never been seen as worth the investment. Meaning, the Navy couldn’t pack a large enough charge into a viable weapons system. This has apparently changed.” Lauren smirks at the camera. “Because of this design, it isn’t just plausible to use this against Cylon ships. This could very well be used as a Bunker Buster. However, no promises on that end. But, on to the warhead design.” Coll steps back in front of the missile and resumes a parade rest as if delivering a briefing.

“The warhead is designed as a penetrator for two reasons. First, when an explosive force is contained by pressure, the explosive force is more powerful in direct relation to the pressure placed on the warhead at detonation. Allowing the missile to penetrate the armor of a ship would provide it with substantially more explosive force and possibly boost the effective warhead power by eighty-five percent if detonated inside a high-pressure facility. Second, the force of the explosion, which is non-nuclear by design, is enough that Tylium tanks are very likely ruptured and detonated as a result of this hit. The energy released during an exothermic reaction of Tylium, even a secondary tank, would be enough to severely cripple a ship if not completely splash- err, kill it. It is estimated that these missiles, because of these capabilities, have a seventy-eight percent chance of a single-shot kill against even the largest fleet vessels. Including Cylon Basestars.”

Coll flashes a quick, almost feral smile. However it fades quickly back to a stoic mask.

“Unfortunately, we still do not have a platform capable of firing these missiles. The sheer mass negates the use of Raptors and Vipers as launch vehicles. Raptors not only do not have the ground clearance for weapon upload, the hardpoint stations are physically incapable of handling G-loading on this scale due to structural design and the inboard flight tanks. As I am aware, they are far too large to be used by our ship’s standard, organic launch platforms, too.” Lauren clears her throat. “For now, the ASM-112’s will remain on the Ordnance Deck. Complete targeting instructions for use with a standard Colonial system, the Raptor’s TRAFICS, have been filed with the acting Deck Chief’s office.” Coll stares at the lens for another moment before giving another nod. She steps forward and shuts the camera off.

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