Navy Technology Analysis Section - Technical Report
Hostile Super Battleship
Following the recent operations in Quadrant 7, combined with survivors' reports from Quadrants 5 and 6, it is clear that humanity is facing an entirely new military threat from a fleet of hostile super battleships.
The Second Battle of 116AL provided the Earther Fleet with its first intact example of a component of one of these new threat vessels, codenamed exterminator.
The unit captured at 116AL is a hyperspace-capable unmanned warship, controlled by a sophisticated alien AI unit at its core. These individual units are code-named VIKING.
The diagram below was an initial scan, based on a first contact with Exterminators (much more is now know about them):
The unit has 5 operational decks, plus two pacifier bays, each of which houses one of the hi-performance SHADOW class hostile pacifiers.
Further analysis indicates that the unit has at least 4 access tubes that connect when the VIKING is connected with its companion units for form the full-sized Exterminator.
The Viking unit has 4 PAD-equivalents, and 8 HELL- equivalents, and 16 lighter energy weapons for close-in defence.
The internal deck structure is as follows:
From the long range scans obtained in battle, together with an analysis obtained from the captured unit, it appears that these units are able to lock together to form a larger unit - the full-sized Exterminator.
From our initial projections, 6 VIKING units fit together for form a full exterminator. This makes the exterminator approximately 4 or 5 times the size of our largest interstellar-capable navy battleship.
We have come up with the following projected schematic for a full-sized exterminator:
Each Viking supports 1 or 2 high performance pacifier class ships, codenamed SHADOW. These consistently outperform our paicifers, being capable of over 10g manoevering. They have limited types of armament, however, being equipped only with HELL. The Exterminators don' seem to use missiles (or indeed vary their weapon options at all). This means that the complete ESB will have 10 or 12 SHADOWS - quite a potent force, probably equivalent to the striking power of a Carrier.
SHADOW CLASS EXTERMINATOR PACIFIER
We have no clues as to the origin or mission profile for these hostiles. So far, the Exterminators have sought out colonised planets, and destroyed all ships and installations, and as far as possible killed all inhabitants. Death toll throughout human space is hundreds of millions of men, women and children to date.
Initial evidence is that the VIKING unit is not designed for organic life to operate, although there was some evidence of some sort of disused briefing room on the captured VIKING unit (codenamed PATEL after the marine commander who captured it - download deckplan of captured PATEL unit). This may be part of an initial programming or setting up system. There was a playback system built in, but we have not yet deciphered how to make it function. There are indications from other captured units that the PATEL unit is not necessarily a typical unit.
It may be that there are organic life forms on the main unit, and that it is their practice to use robots and automation extensively (like a number of human cultures). Until a full-sized exterminator is captured, this cannot be confirmed.
Currently, we estimate that there are at least 10 of the full sized exterminator ships attacking human space at widely spaced points.
Fusion power plant.
8 HELL of which up to 8 can bear at once.
16 light energy weapons
2 x SHADOW class pacifiers
approx 200 combat capable maintenance robots ('CLANKERS')
approx 20 weapon armed combat-capable robots (about the equivalent of our Combat Robots)
EXTERMINATOR SUPER BATTLESHIP
6 x VIKING units interconnected.
estimated up to 72 heavy energy weapons, of which 40 can bear at once.
estimated up to 10 or 12 SHADOW class high performance pacifiers
estimated 1200 combat capable maintenance robots (CLANKERS)
estimated 120 weapon armed combat-capable robots.
UPDATE 3200: Exterminator Modus Operandi - Frequently Asked Questions
How fast do the Exterminators travel from the system M25 to the colony? Hence, how much warning do we get?
As far as you are aware, the main units have never exceeded 1g, although you know their Shadows can do 10g. It may be that this limit is somehow hard-wired into their systems because as far a analysis of captured equipment indicates, they are physically capable of higher accelerations.
This means between 2-10 days warning depending on the size of the M25 and the quality of in-system detection systems.
At the end of 3200, a number of Exterminators exhibited the capability to accelerate at up to 2g - but it is believed that these ships were destroyed at the Battle of Tuskan.
Do they engage defending ships and the system HSTS immediately; or try to go directly to the colony avoiding combat?
There is evidence of both tactics. The most common tactic is to find and destroy the HSTS first, then close in destroying ships and orbital installations before starting on the colony itself.
What do they do at the colony: invade it, bombard it, or what?
Bombard with high energy weapons from orbit - sometimes landing 'clanker' forces and giant 'super tanks' to winkle out deeply dug in defenders.
Having destroyed a colony, what does the Exterminator do next? Do they loot it, or just leave?
As far as we can see there is nothing left to loot after the bombardment. It seems they just leave once satisfied that the colony has been destroyed.
ADDITIONAL: Further evidence shows that they tend to destroy all intelligent life - that is humans - or any other creatures they think might be capable of evolving intelligence. This has, in the case of the destruction of Dyme, involved the extermination of a species of small aquatic mammals.
I get the impression that the Exterminators usually operate in pairs of 'super battleships'. Is that correct?
The indications are that currently the majority of ESB encounters have been pairs - but they have also been encountered singly and even in threes.
ADDITIONAL: Further analysis indicates that they seem to have operated in pairs until one of the pair is destroyed or disabled, when they sometimes link up with an existing pair.
ADDIITONAL 2: Later research indicates that ESBs have been operating singly as well - though most initial contacts were of pairs.
ADDITIONAL 3: Latest reports indicate a Second Wave composed of small groups of VIKING units.
ADDITIONAL 4: Recent combat reports from RED SPOT indicate a single fleet of 10 (ten) or more ESBs. (subsequently mostly destroyed at Tuskan).
Is it possible to tell when a planet was destroyed by an ESB?
It might be. The database has yet to be established, but scientists in a Survey Ship or specially commissioned research vessel might be able to work it out, given some time to study the problem. Ordinary warships or merchant ships would not be able to do this.
(Note: The Earthers are currently conducting just such an investigation under Operation POST MORTEM - see below)
ADDITIONAL: The Earther Government in Q7 developed the Gratermass protocol, which can calculate the date of destruction of a system.
For a full analysis of the current position on Exterminator research, see the UNIT report.