Ship ordnance is categorised into two types - energy guns and missiles. Guns include all multiple-fire blasters that draw energy from a ship's reserves to function. Missiles, on the other hand, include all single-shot munitions, both dumb-mechanism warheads and those equipped with targeting systems.
Found mainly on fighters and also used as an anti-fighter gun, the ion cannon imparts energy and radiation damage to targets. Charged atomic particles are magnetically accelerated to high speeds, then discharged in pulses. This cannon delivers more damage than a laser and can cause severe pilot injuries. However, the ion cannon has higher energy consumption and a slower retire rate than the laser.
The laser is the backbone of today's energy guns. Consistently improved upon and perfected over the last half-century, the laser provides the standard against which most other blasters are judged. Low maintenance and a low energy cost make it standard armament for almost every ship in existence. The laser is ideally suited to deep-space combat (in atmospheric conditions, rays refract and lose their effectiveness), and has no effect against shields on larger ships.
A solid gun in either case, the mass driver cannon is common on both fighters and light defender ships in the fleet. It uses a linear accelerator to fire projectiles of metallic mass at a target. The mass driver is a staple in the Terran arsenal and has even been used against planets and asteroids. A long-range gun, it requires less energy per shot than most blasters and has a relatively fast retire rate.
The meson blaster is a unique, powerful gun that utilises subatomic particles with a short half-life. These particles, called mesons, are accelerated and flung toward a target. The most damage occurs once the particles decay inside the target - they cause internal explosions and give off radiation. Energised shields can stop these particles, and atmospheric conditions render this gun ineffective.
The neutron gun was specifically created as a weapon for medium and heavy fighters when the war first began. It releases energized blasts of charged neutrons, drawing more power then the mass driver or the laser. For the majority of the past two decades, no other energy blaster was able to provide an equivalent level of destructive capability. The down side is that neutron guns heat up rapidly and eat up power at an alarming rate. The neutron gun's lack of range has led many foolhardy and underskilled pilots into close-quarter combat for which they were ill-prepared; some never made it home.
Recently Terran scientists have been able to come up with new energy weapons with more hitting power, longer range and less power drain, in effect making neutron guns all but obsolete. As of right now, Confed is in the process of now retiring all neutron guns in service and replacing them with particle cannons.
The particle cannon is perhaps the most significant energy technology we possess. Prototypes were first developed three years into the war, when a similar cannon was extracted from a captured Kilrathi fighter. Engineers built a comparable version capable of hurling minute nuclear particles at high speeds. Any impact results in a small nuclear explosion that gives off blast, heat and radiation damage. This gun is useless, however, in atmospheric conditions.
When Terran forces first went to war, the photon cannon was the most popular gun next to the standard laser. It emits laser pulses and solicits similar effects upon impact. However, the photon cannon drains more energy and has a slower refire rate. This gun requires little maintenance - the mirror robotics are the only adjustable component - and functions best in deep-space combat.
The plasma gun was originally developed to attack heavy fighters and corvettes with light armor. It uses electrically charged hydrogen molecules that are in a state of near-fusion. These molecules are similar to those found in the inner plasma of most young stars. Upon impact, plasma projectiles cause radiation, blast and heat damage.
The reaper cannon evolved from the standard ion cannon, and its refire rate is slightly faster. This gun delivers high-speed pulses of charged atomic particles that give off energy and radiation damage. Fighters find this gun especially useful against ships with shields that regenerate quickly, and any ship with slow shield generation is sure to take damage.
A power-hungry blaster, the tachyon gun is the most devastating energy gun found on Terran fighters. It slows down tachyon particles, which naturally travel faster than the speed of light. Once these particles ore decelerated and forced into streams, their potential damage increases monumentally. In several documented cases, the powerful tachyon gun has been used to attack the shields of capital ships.
A simple weapon, the Dart dumbfire (DF) missile is a point-and-shoot weapon carried on almost every fighter in the Terran and Kilrathi fleets. It is unjammable due to the absence of guidance systems, and costs less than any other missile type. The dumbfire doesn't require any type of lock and has no homing capability. Pilots find it most useful against targets with predictable reactions - at close range, a single dumbfire can diminish shields enough to plant a few devastating shots from an energy gun.
The Spiculum image-recognition (IR) missile uses computer imaging to identify and "memorise" a targeted ship. Once a fighter gains a lock and launches the IR, electronic and visual signatures specific to that target are copied to the missile's AI program. It's difficult to evade.
IFF The Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) missile was developed once ship systems were able to distinguish between friendly and enemy ships. Capable of identifying the distinctive Confederation (or Kilrathi) ship signal, it makes a beeline for the nearest ship that isn't broadcasting that signal. This has resulted in the destruction of several friendly ships whose communications systems were damaged. In spite of this inherent danger, both sides continue to use the FF as standard armament for medium and heavy fighters. This missile doesn't require a lock, and it will acquire a new target if the current one is destroyed before detonation.
The Javelin heat-seeker (HS) is an inexpensive, simple weapon that has served in various armed forces since the late 1900s. The engines of fighters and capital ships generate significant heat, a fact that the HS uses to its advantage. The operation is simple - the missile tracks down the thermal signature of the target's engines. This requires the lock to be acquired from the rear. Heat-seekers, along with dumbfire missiles, are the most common missile carried on fighters.
TCN weapon engineers developed the leech missile in order to capture Kilrathi fighters intact without damaging them. The leech is not an explosive, rather it is a sophisticated EMP-based missile capable of disrupting a target and draining its energy. Power drains slightly upon impact, but soon leaves targets dead in space. Fighters are rendered immobile for a long period of time, but capital ships soon recover after only a few seconds.
Mines are useful for booby-trapping areas that the enemy may pass through such as jump points, gaps in asteroid fields and pulsar shadows. The Confederation and Kilrathi's latest mines have simplified guidance systems that can seek out disabled ships. Since mines move so slowly and have a low radar cross signature, ship detection systems are hard pressed to track them with sensors or radar. This deadly device has limited homing capabilities and built-in proximity sensors; detonation does not require contact.
A mainstay in both Terran and Kilrathi fleets, the torpedo is a large, maneuverable warhead used against capital ships and bases. It has a built-in image-recognition system that locks onto the target, and even laser turrets can't shoot it down. Although the lock time is longer than that of any other missile, the torpedo is the only fighter weapon that can easily destroy carriers.
Deployed exclusively from capships, the CapShip missile is a huge, lockable missile that carries a powerful anti-matter warhead capable of taking out other capital ships and tactical planetary targets. Mostly found on launch batteries aboard modern warships, it is best used for long range and standoff attacks. This missile is highly effective and not easily destroyed by point defense weaponry.
The Kilrathi’s Image Recognition technology has been on the same par with the Terrans, it is a top-of-the-line dogfighting warhead that has both a powerful punch and is extremely difficult to avoid or dupe with countermeasures.
The Kilrathi’s new IFF missile was first deployed during the violations of the False Peace. The new missile had a longer range and loitering time, more reliable tracking systems that were less likely to be duped by countermeasures, and the ability to re-lock on another target if the original lock was lost. The news of this new missile teached ConFleet Intel, who soon developed their own variant of this missile.
When the Terrans first started improving their Dart dumbfire rockets with heavier warheads, the Kilrathi were also quick to retrofit their inventory as well. The result is that the newest dumbfire missiles are more likely to be used as heavy rockets for strike missions rather then light missiles. The Kilrathi Paw can be carried on any fighter when there is need for quick and easy firepower.
The Kilrathi version of the heat seeker uses the same simple and reliable technology deployed by the Terrans with all the attached pros and cons. The missile tracks down the thermal signature of the target's engines, and lock must be acquired from the rear. Heat-seekers, just like the Terrans, are the most common missile carried on Kilrathi fighters.
Just like the Terrans, the Kilrathi love to deploy mines as well. Mines can be used to channel enemy forces into an ambush zone, deter enemy shipping, sabotage jump points, or just be tossed off the back towards that fighter that’s on your tail. Just like the Terrans, the Scratch mine has a powerful warhead and has limited guidance systems that let it seek out any nearby targets.
The Spear is the Kilrathi’s default shipkiller torpedo. Just like the Terran Lance, it is a powerful weapon with a megaton nuclear warhead designed to penetrate phase shielding and attack the ship’s armor and hull directly. A single Kilrathi bomber with a full loadout of these weapons can destroy multiple Terran capships if left unchecked.
The Kilrathi’s version of their capship missile is a long range, tactical cruise missile that can be deployed from the tinest corvette to the largest dreadnought. It’s anti-matter warhead also allows it to destroy Terran capital ships and planetary installations. Expect spreads of these missiles to be launched from Kilrathi capital ships during missions.
The KM-19Y missile, codenamed "Skipper", is a highly modified CapShip missile developed by the Kilrathi. Able to be launched by most Kilrathi warships, it uses a cloaking device during flight to avoid point defenses and enemy fighters. During flight, it drops out of clock to update its target lock and vector, and then it re-cloaks. This feature makes the missile "skip" in and out of visibility, hence the designation.