Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Point Defence Systems are employed on all Imperial Navy warships and those of previous Aquarian Navies for the purpose of defending the hull against highly mobile attacking strike-craft and even small corvettes. Perhaps the best known of such weapon systems is the PDS Clusterfire; developed by the United Aquarian Systems Federal Navy during the New Federal Era in the 44th century. The design has continued to serve on essentially every warship in the Aquarian Military well into the Imperial Era of the 45th century and likely, beyond.
The PDS Clusterfire is a self-contained, completely independent weapon system with integrated auxiliary powerplant and internal ammunition feeding mechanisms; allowing it to operate even if the host ship's powerplant is disabled. The primary armament consists of a pair of rotary, quad-linked, 150MM Fusion Impulse Mass Driver cannons capable of firing a variety of ammunition types from High Explosive Fragmentation (Flak) in an Anti-fighter role or Armour Piecing Sabot Core munitions against the hulls of larger ships in CQC ship-on-ship engagements.
The secondary armament consists of a pair of short-range Pulse Laser Systems with quad-linked projectors for thermal redundancy. Guidance Systems for the entire platform are located in the central tower section along with the ammunition feeding system. The platform possesses an external MLADAR tracking array with high precision target acquisition that can be used independently of the host ship's own fire control system, however the internal firing computer can utilise data from the primary ship-board FCS for additional data during combat.
Each of the quad-linked rotary FIMD cannons is chain-link fed through a magnetic rail system that moves ammunition through the gun compartment's actuator hinge into the primary compartment. Standard loadout for the Clusterfire is four thousand 150MM HEF rounds and two thousand APSC rounds, contained in 250-round chain-link magazine belts that are loaded into the feeding mechanism. Each FIMD cannon is capable of a sustained rate of fire of up to 425 rounds per minute, with bursts up to 600 RPM possible for short periods before the internal heatsink saturates. Both guns are capable of firing simultaneously for a combined peak rate of fire of 1200 rounds per minute. Standard operation for the Clusterfire is to operate with timed, 10-round bursts from each gun (20 in total) before adjusting the firing solution for target lead. However, fully sustained fire suppression is often used to deploy HEF/Flak screens over approaching hostile fighters, or anti-ship missiles.
The platform is operated autonomously, but has a manual override system for a human crew to fully operate the emplacement's actuators and firing system, with manual optical firing sights in the forward enclosure.
Due to is reliability and relative ease of deployment, the PDS Clusterfire is likely to remain ins service as the standard hull-defence battery of the ATIS Imperial Navy for the foreseeable future.