(UTN/UAS/ATIS) S/M/LRM Weaponry
Standardised kinetic projectile technology consisting of, typically, a self-propelled, self-guiding motor unit with a fixed payload. Colloquially known as "missiles" among most Terran militaries. Missile technology used aboard warships in Aquarius are categorised into three groups Short Range (S), Medium Range (M) and Long Range (L). A fourth designation ELR (Extreme Long Range) Exists but is often considered under the ISBM technology branch.
Guided missiles have been in use with human militaries for thousands of years. A reliable and cost-effective way to put ordnance on a target that is highly mobile, "Fire and forget" missiles have developed into extremely capable weapon systems employed on essentially all space-faring warships in human history, to at least some degree. A standardised design, all projectiles using the "Hornet" launch system are interchangeable; a single launch system can deploy essentially any projectile developed under the standard, regardless of S/M/L designation. This standard missile technology has been adopted by all major Aquarian militaries since the UTN introduced it in the early 24th century.
The S/M/L system was first introduced by the UTN (Old Federation)'s Federal Navy in the early 24th century for categorising missile developments into specific areas. Typically, SRM (Short Range Missile) projectiles favour manoeuvrability over speed and payload, and are often deployed in an anti-strike craft or anti-corvette role, due to their ability to chase highly agile targets. The standard SRM range designation in UTN Federal Navy service was 600 KM.
MRM (Medium Range Missile) projectiles were developed as a balance between range and payload and manoeuvrability. Hornet-class missiles with Designation MRM such as the Hornet IV MRM were considered the "standard" projectile to be armed on most Cruisers in Old Federal Navy service, due to the effective balance of anti-ship payload capability and effective ranges up to 3000 KM. While larger due to a larger motor system and more capable tracking technologies and payload, the MRM-type missiles maintained enough agility to track corvette-sized vessels.
LRM (Long Range Missile) projectiles were developed primarily as an anti-capital ship weapon system. LRM-designation weapons have the most powerful single-burn or cruise motors, the longest-range guidance and tracking systems and the heaviest payloads that the Hornet missile system is capable of deploying. Hornet II LRMs in service with the Old Federal Navy had effective ranges in excess of 100,000KM and potentially beyond, with extremely high-speed motors for cruising velocities in excess of a few thousand kilometres per second at peak. While able to alter course, the motor system was designed to track larger warships of cruiser size and above, as such, only minor course alterations are possible at such high speeds, the projectile typically aligns itself with the target shortly after launch and then engages cruise.
Hornet Missile System is one of the longest serving and most widely used weapons technologies in Aquarius, used in some form or other by almost all warship-deploying factions from the ATIS Imperial Navy and UAS Federal Security Forces to paramilitaries and bounty hunters, to even outlaws such as the Tigersharks, using salvaged weapon systems. Its reliability, effectiveness and low cost of deployment have made the S/M/LRM missile technology a permanent member of humanity's military weapons arsenal.
Top Left: 6-launch Hornet S/M/LRM system mounted on the starboard and port-side of an Old Federation Vengeance Series 2-class Heavy Cruiser.
Top Right: 24 Hornet tubes arranged in two MK2 6-launch, one 8-launch and one 4-launch systems, on the starboard and port-side of a United Aquarian Systems Federal Navy Sleipnir-class Heavy Destroyer (SP).
Left Mid: 6-launch Hornet MK2 system on the bow, starboard and port of an ATIS Imperial Navy RV-class Fleet Cruiser.
Right Mid: 24-Vertical launch Hornet MK2 system on the upper midships of the EPF's Endeavour-S2 class Battlecruiser, Eridonia's Hope.
Bottom Left: Dual-launch Hornet missile tubes on the underside of the bow of a converted Hammerhead-class Frigate flying Tigersharks colours.