Graviton Bomb Missile (Three Galaxies):

Since the REF came to the three galaxies they have, with the help of the C.C.W. and the planet of New Coventry in particular, greatly upgraded much of their systems. One of the most notable advances was that in missile technology, and the acquisition of new warheads. Especially the Gravity Well warheads generated great interest with the REF engineers. Upon first seeing one of those, a REF engineer remarked:"Hey, this looks a bit like a part from a Fold Engine". The REF was very interested in trying to power up the performance of the Gravity Well warhead, since it looked so familiar to them.

In cooperation with engineers from New Coventry (with which the REF had formed a defense alliance) the REF set out to improve upon the weapon and after two years of work the first prototype of the new warhead was tested in the Hades system. This was because it was very secluded, and contained no habitable planets. The Factory Satellite was at the other end of the system, well out of the calculated range of the warhead.

The test was a resounding success: By enlarging the warhead, and boosting it with protoculture systems, it yield was greatly enhanced. So powerful was the bomb, that it was in fact a entirely new weapon. Instead of simply simulating a localized deep gravity well, the new bomb actually formed a small black hole at the center of a powerful spatial distortion. Its destructive power was immense.

In the third test of the weapon system, it became clear just how powerful the new weapon was. The bomb was activated close to a asteroid, and the usual effects came into being. But this time, the black hole at the center actually touched the asteroid. In a flash of hard radiation it was swallowed into the black hole, and the Distortion grew immensely! The distortion reached the research ship observing the event, and did horrible damage to it, killing nearly half of the crew. Later it was determined that the asteroid had in fact fed the black hole, so that before falling out of the normal Space/Time continuum it had grown considerably in size, and the distortion had grown proportionally. The new weapon was so powerful that the REF and New Coventry almost abandoned the research on it, and severe measures were taken to makes sure that no larger accidents could happen in further testing of the Graviton Bomb.

The nature of the weapon has made it to be regarded as potentially planet destroying, as the black hole could swallow enormous amounts of matter, and grow to its maximum limits, before it falls out of the universe. This would cause areas with a radius of 1600 miles to be utterly annihilated due to the stress the disruption would cause in a planets crust. It is not unlikely that the crust could shatter at the worst hit location, and that the molten magma underneath would spill out like a huge circular leaking wound in the planets crust. Therefore, if these weapons are used against planetary targets, the bomb will usually be set for a air burst type of detonation, as opposed to a direct contact activation. This limits the destruction the weapon causes to acceptable levels. Orbital forts, on the other hand, can easily be annihilated by just a single bomb, without great danger to damage a large part of a habitable planet.

Currently only the REF and the New Coventry Navy posses these impressive weapons, and that only in small numbers: Less than 100 of these complex weapons have been made, and production is carried out in the Factory satellite at a slow rate of 4 bombs per month. There are no current plans for stepping up production (although a production rate of 50 bombs per month is immediately attainable). In all honesty, the REF and the New Coventry government are not likely to allow these weapons to be used unless the conflict is severely threatening to either group.

There are no plans to sell the designs for the graviton bomb to any other group. As a matter of fact, the CAF only suspects that these weapons exist, while the Kreeghor have no idea at all that such a weapon is in existence. Knowledge of these weapons in the REF and the New Coventry navy is severely limited too, as only a few generals, and admirals, know of the weapons. Ship captains who are trusted with the weapons must have proven themselves to be reliable, and have served a minimum of two decades in either of the militaries. Even then they are not allowed to tell anyone on the ship of the nature of the weapon, and in the inventory it is listed as "Missile, Antimatter, Bombardment, Heavy." in order to spread confusion as to the nature of the weapon. Use of the weapon MUST be approved by the government of the relevant navy, unapproved use and or disclosure of the nature of the weapon can result in a court martial for the offending person, and civilians who find out about it can very well be tried as spies.

Currently, the REF and New Coventry are deciding weither or not they will trade the Graviton bomb technology with the CAF in exchange for their GRAZER technology, and other secrets, such as Neural Prime technology.

The missile has performance characteristic that are aporximately equal to a cruise missile but the missile is in actually the size of a starfighter and cannot be used in a cruise missile launcher and instead needs a special launcher.

Notes: This weapon is very powerful and may upset game balance. This weapon should be treated with restraint and in only limited numbers.

Model: Graviton Bomb
Crew: None, fully automated

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Main body:500
[2] Drive system:200

[1] Destroying the main body of the bomb will utterly destroy it.
[2] Destroying the drive system means that the bomb can no longer maneuver, it will drift at its last heading (but it is not inactive!)

Sublight: In space the Missile has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship)
Range, Space: 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space.
Atmosphere: In an atmosphere, the missile has a top speed of Mach 25 and is trans-atmospheric
Range, Atmosphere: The Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere

Statistical Data:
Length: 60 ft (18 meters)
Height: 24 ft (7.4 meters)
Width: 24 ft (7.4 meters)
Weight: 35 tons (31.5 metric tons)
Market Cost: 470 million credits per Missile. The Kreeghor and the Black Market would pay huge amounts of money (10 billion+) for a working model of a Graviton Bomb if they knew about it. (Working, not Activated please...)

Weapon Systems:

  1. Graviton Bomb: The bomb generates a localized spatial disturbance, powered by a small Black Hole in the middle. The disruption effects everything in its radius. Ships inside of the disruption are unable to go FTL, no matter how large or powerful they are. The disruption is so great that the black hole quickly "falls" out of the universe, which in return dissipates the disruption. Before this can happen the black hole actually can swallow whole ships though, and will greatly increase in power and size as a result, before it disappears.
    Mega Damage: The disruption effects the entire ship. The damage is a percentage of the damage the main body of the ship has if the ship is undamaged. This damage is then applied to the ships shields first and all remaining damage is passed to the main body. If the ship has no shields it takes full damage. If the damage exceeds the main body, which is very likely, the ship is destroyed. If the ship survives, damage is applied to all hit locations on the ship. This is done by taking the damage to the main body and dividing it by the undamaged main body of the ship. This is the percentage that all hit locations will loose in damage*. The further away from the center of the distortion, the less damage a ship takes. Percentage of Damage Taken:
      In a radius of 10 miles(16 km) : 3D6 x 12 %
      In a radius of 20 miles(32 km) : 3D6 x 6 %
      In a radius of 40 miles(64 km) : 3D6 x 3 %
      40 miles plus: out of this range the distortion has no damaging effect any more.
    Duration: The Black Hole exists for a full melee round, before it falls out of the normal Space/Time continuum, and takes the disruption with it.
    Additional: In the event a Critical Hit is made, it is assumed that the targeted ship or object is destroyed, as it is swallowed by the Black Hole! No Saves, no force field can save you, the targeted object is GONE! Also, for every ton of matter swallowed by the Black hole, the disturbance grows by the square root of the mass (in million tons) it has swallowed. Smaller ships are less severely effected, as they undergo a smaller amount of gravitational gradient in the disruption. The larger a object is however, the more damage it will usually undergo. The black hole cannot physically swallow more than about 1.6 billion tons of matter in the single single round it is in existence, which translates into a maximum effective radius of 1600 miles for the disruption. It will only swallow objects it directly touched when it came into existence. (effectively, a critical hit.)
    For example: A Graviton bomb makes a critical hit on a Ikazuchi class command carrier. The carrier is totally annihilated! All of its 20 million tons of mass are sucked into the black hole in a flash of radiation. The spatial distortion grows from a maximum radius of 40 miles to a radius of (square root of 20 = 4.47 x 40 miles) 179 miles. A Cheetah class Missile corvette was 60 miles away from the Ikazuchi when it was sucked into the black hole. Originally safe from the disturbance, the expansion means that it is suddenly caught in the disruption. It undergoes 3D6 x 6 % damage (lets say 110 %) of its main body. This is 3200 X 110 % = 3520 M.D.C. It has been in some fighting, and its shields are at only 1500 M.D.C. The Cheetah receives 3520 - 1500 = 2020 M.D.C. damage to its main body. This is 67 % (2020 / 3000 x100%) damage of the whole, and all the rest of the hit locations have 67% of their ORIGINAL M.D.C. deducted from their stats. As it is, the Cheetah barely survives, as it has only 2400 M.D.C. left after the fight. When the disruption dies out the Cheetah has sustained 2020 M.D.C. damage to its main body. It is left with only 380 M.D.C., no shields, and is almost a wreck.

Guidance: Guidance of the weapon is as for standard cruise missiles, and it has the same bonuses/penalties to hit. It follows all other rules for cruise missiles.

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Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa.)

Minor rivisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune.)

Rifts Copyright © 1998, Mischa. All rights reserved.