The Hokum - Chapter 6

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The Hokum - Chapter 6

Postby Zume on Sun 30 Aug 2015 17:33

Located in the southern portion of Crimson Expanse’s main continent was a region called Rampart by the Comensal colonists. There was work in progress before the war to make the region ready for inhabitants. One structure already completed was a hydroelectric dam, nestled in the low mountains of the Rampart Range. It was to provide power to what would eventually become the region’s capital, Copper Medic. Only a few scattered buildings were evident in Copper Medic, chief among them was a plasticrete plant. Surrounding it were piles and rows of rock, gravel and weather treated metal bars. From above it looked like an incomplete maze, surrounding the plant out to a distance of two kilometers. Streets were leveled and already had a plasticrete foundation as well as sewer work and power runs for an initial population of 20,000. Over 500 foundations for buildings have been completed, ready to be built upon. Now native ferns have taken hold of the far more numerous empty lots, giving the yet-to-be city the look of a test farm writ large.

Up on a hill six kilometers from the plasticrete plant was a Mongoose armored vehicle named Loaded Vice by its crew. Sitting head and shoulders out of the turret’s cupola hatch was 2nd-Class Sergeant Furdex. His gaze wasn’t on the structure but on the horizon. Puffy cumulus clouds drifted on the wind with scattered cirrus above like streaks of white paint on a blue canvas. In the distance he could make out the Rampart Range. Just out of sight was the dam, and reason why the Mongoose platoon, along with two Bear tanks and two companies of infantry in Kangaroo transports, were at Copper Medic.

The dam had been set to automatic operation by the Comensal just after the Hokum landed their troops. All the microwave power transmission towers were destroyed and two inspections revealed no booby-traps or hidden power taps. Yet the investigations apparently weren’t thorough enough. Set to produce just 2% power the dam had inexplicably went from 2.5% to 10% power at irregular intervals ranging from 5 minutes to over an hour. As the dam didn’t need that much power it was deduced that the colonists had powerlines ran deep in the rock leading away from the hydroelectric station. Ground sensors, deployed for Eagle Eye drones, were dropped all around the dam up to a distance of 20 kilometers. In conjunction with a satellite survey an underground map was slowly built up. Now, months later, the specialists at the Puzzle Palace had deduced several possible termination points of those power runs.

“Hey, Sarge,” said 3rd-Class Sergeant Pendex, the driver, over the comm system. “Those intel guys have been keeping an eye on Copper Medic for months. If there was any bonehead activity we would know. Those deer herds that have taken residence would have made some fine vittles, given how the boneheads like to hunt.”

Furdex fixed his gaze on the plasticrete plant, putting a pair of high-power binoculars up to his eyes. “True, and the boneheads have to figure such activity around places like Copper Medic will be monitored. All the deer that have been killed was done so by local predators such as sprint cats. But recall the briefing. Given all the work already done in the city there’s every reason to believe there’s a command bunker or even a weapons factory hidden underground.”

“So that’s why we’re sending in the Weasels?” This was 1st-Class Vara Licus, the sensors and comm tech. A Weasel was a 2-man, 4-wheel tactical utility vehicle. Three platoons were deployed along with the Mongooses. “Why couldn’t they just deploy crawlerbots from the Eagle Eyes?”

“They could have, but Piton Corsun wanted them armed just in case.”

“Yeah, Weasels make for great shot magnets,” said 1st-Class Vara Spuran, the gunner. “Twelve of them might just be enough temptation for the boneheads to attack.”

Furdex adjusted his binoculars and followed the path of one Weasel as it made its way towards the plasticrete plant. Dust was kicked up by the vehicle as it took a meandering route, sensors and eyesballs taking in and evaluating what was seen. “They’re more expendable than us, Spuran, and we’re more expendable than the Bear tanks. The Weasels can carry a lot more crawlerbots than an Eagle Eye. If there are any bolt holes for boneheads to use those bots will find them.”

“Weasel 41 has reached the plant,” Licus said over the comm system. “Eagle Eye data stream on your main plot, Sarge.”

“Thank you.” Furdex lowered his seat back down into the turret. On his main screen he watch as the Weasel made a complete transit around the plasticrete plant, detaching crawlerbots from its sides until none were left. Some of the bots made their way into the plant itself, looking for infrared hotspots and chemical hints in the air that will indicate the presence of Comensal.

Licus suppressed a yawn. “So what the idea for this operation?”

“We’re going to deny them power.” Fudex kept an eye on a panel that displayed a comprehensive list of what the crawlerbots detected so far. “At the hydroelectric plant an engineering platoon is hooking up capacitors to the power outputs of each generator and disabling all the safeties manually just before activating them. For 12 seconds the powerlines will be overloaded. Whatever efforts they made to hide themselves the boneheads here can’t very well deal with dozens of circuit breakers going off at once. Our crawlerbots will detect that and give us an idea of just how extensive a set-up they have. It’ll make finding their bolt holes easier too in the long run.”

Pendex was incredulous. “Long run? Are we going put these guys under siege?”

“With no power they very well can’t use AC or heaters. And we all know boneheads don’t like the heat and humidity. The weather wizards say that it’ll be downright uncomfortable for the next few weeks. With batteries they have the choice of either making more weapons or suppress the urge to turn on their fans and AC.”

Spuran looked away from his gunners sights. “Hey, Sarge, I can’t help but think the way the boneheads placed those plasticrete blocks and panels remind me of the urban exercise field back home. There’s no clean sight lines.”

“Plenty of spots to hide behind, but not from our Eagle Eyes, Spuran.”

“Not if those piles have cavities in them and push-away blocks. Plasticrete is a fine insulator. Remember that last exercise back home? Why didn’t they send an engineering brigade and level all those piles?”

“They had no reason to suspect such a thing, I suppose, and it would’ve been a waste of….” Furdex stopped when the video feed displayed Weasel 41 being lifted up three meters into the air by an explosion. It came down on its side in a bone-jarring impact before coming back down its wheels, two of which were shredded into uselessness.

“Able Amber! Able Amber!” came the call from Piton Corsun, commanding from his Weasel the Hard Boiled. “All Weasels and Mongooses to prep their mine clearance rockets and position themselves upon receipt of my fire control plan. Bears, prepare to fire anti-laser aerosol rockets.”

Loaded Vice confirms,” said Furdex while Spuran went to work on the master fire control panel.

“Datalink reestablished with Weasel 41.” Licus updated Furdex’s master screen. “Both crewmembers are alive but injured. Their turret and 7mm railgun are still functional and on automatic.”

“Fire control plan received, Sarge,” Spuran broke in. “Transferring fire control authority for the rockets to Hard Boiled.”

“We got our placement.” Pendex’s voice was eager. “Moving now on the Piton’s order.” Loaded Vice lurched in response to Pendex’s lead foot on the accelerator, breaking through the thin reactive camo plaspaper that surrounded it and sped up to 60 kph. Broken ferns were kicked up by the vehicle’s passage and was replaced by dirt as it reached the basic plasticrete road. Piton Corson’s placement had the Loaded Vice on a direct line to 41, now just 4 kilometers distant.

The moment after the vehicle stopped in its proper orientation the crew expected Corsun to fire the rockets. Instead they heard the voice of Corsun over the comm system. “Furdex, you’re going to rescue the crew of 41. What forces I have on hand will assist but yours will be the only vehicle going into Copper Medic proper.”

“Mines won’t be the only thing waiting for us, Piton Corsun,” Furdex said calmly. “Infantry could be hiding under those plasticrete blocks, and I doubt even our Eagle Eyes can get them all before they unload a bopper-gun round into our side or a suicide sapper hugs the front armor.”

“It gets better, Sergeant. Those circuit breaker pops brought down the thermal shielding the boneheads were using. There’s a collection of underground chambers and tubes connected to that oversized sewer system. Big connections. Divisional has informed us that we can expect a break in any part of that sewer line to allow the egress of IAVs.”

Furdex suppressed a swallow. In the past two months the Comensal colonists added a new wrinkle to their arsenal: improvised armored vehicles. Unlike technicals, which were pickups with guns in the back, IAVs were built on the chassis of trucks and caterpillar treads and mounted oversized versions of pipe rifles and hard points for bopper-guns – ancient yet effective shaped charged warheads attached to solid-fuel rockets. One such vehicle was just 1.7 meters tall from roof to tread and mounted a 60mm gun in the bow that fired a round every 1.5 seconds. It was also armed with a turreted tri-barrel 30mm gun that fired at a rate that overwhelmed the limited number of point defenses strips, reactive armor blocks and turret-mounted 7mm rail guns on a Mongoose. Two Mongooses were destroyed in the first encounter of what was now called the Assassin IAV. Another vehicle, called the Archer, used the same hull as the Assassin but minus the main gun. It had a two vertical launch missile cells that held high-velocity anti-drone missiles and well as two triple-tubed dual-purpose rockets on the sides of the 30mm gun turret. Two of those shot down 20 Eagle Eye drones and well as destroying four Weasels. Worse, when the wrecks of the enemy vehicles were examined it was found the said vehicles were constructed recently. At least one workshop was producing these IAVs, and given Copper Medic’s access to a power supply…

“They’re compromised, Sergeant. Every toy in the box will be thrown at you. If you fail no other crew will be sent in. Divisional will have this place pulverized by a kinetic strike to reduce our losses.”

“Since we’re going in, can I made an addendum to the fire plan?”

“Yes, but be quick.” Corsun had to wait only a minute before getting Furdex’s response. A critical eye found nothing wrong with the additions and adjusted his plan accordingly. “You’ll go in on my signal. Rockets will be fired in 10 seconds. Five Gods bless, Loaded Vice.”

“Acknowledged, Hard Boiled.” Furdex checked his helmet strap and made it a little tighter. “Pendex, the anti-laser aerosol coverage is going to be thick, and we don’t have time to drive by braille.”

“I know the route.” Pendex’s forward pair of hands were firm on the butterfly steering grips. “I know the route.”


The Solid State system was still in a state of flux when it came to ownership. Axis forces had entered from the BRB-1 warp point and had scouted around. They found the Solid State/Fallowed Field warp point guarded by six bases and two ships. System Admiral Hensen, commanding Star Force 2, 2nd Advance Fleet, was given several tasks to do with the force given to him. To facilitate a more rapid advance there were no battleships or dreadnaughts in SF2. Speed, especially strategic speed, was necessary to reclaim Axis systems in the Nu’Chut sector. Along with cutting off Hokum lines of communication and supplies in the myriad of interconnected systems it was Hensen’s task to break into the Fallowed Field system to liberate the Axis colonies therein and take control of the Fallowed Field/Tire Iron warp point. Freighters filled with prefabricated base components were on hand to fortify that warp point.

It was a problem fit for the Economy of Force class Hensen took back in the academy. He had no idea how many of the six Hokum bases were fighter platforms, so he elected to conduct a bombardment with six capital missile-armed battlecruisers. One at a time a base would be singled out and destroyed. If a cruiser had its armor breached it would be pulled out of the line and sent to a repair ship. With 42 squadrons of Hatchet fighters embarked on the assigned carriers to provide protection there was every reasonable expectation of success.

As the task group closed in over the next several days the scout assigned to keep the bases under surveillance noticed several things. First was that a tug emerged from the warp point and pulled all six bases atop of it. Since the Solid State end of the point was closed it would’ve made sense to consolidate one’s forces, but all six were together to begin with, thus preserving their anonymity. There was tractor beam work as well as the Hokum appeared to rearrange their mine and buoy parks, or simply picking up what was now considered excess defenses and moving them to the Fallowed Field side. Both CA-hulled ships transited to Fallowed Field. As Redwire was reclaimed the only way the bases were kept in supply was from Fallowed Field, yet aside from the tug and the pair of retiring ships there was only sporadic courier drone traffic observed. With the time given to them the Hokum may have a force waiting in Fallowed Field. Considering the Hokum’s other commitments in the Nu’Chut sector, however, it couldn’t be much of a force.

From the auxiliary control room on a Firestorm BCA Hensen had the six missile ships close to within 10 light-seconds range of the warp point and engage ECM and EM. Some time earlier three pinnaces were launched from three bases, so Hensen chose one of these bases as the first to be attacked. Two volleys went unanswered, scoring 16 hits with laser-warhead SBMs. One of the pinnaces transited to Fallowed Field, putting Hensen on alert for when that happened three of the bases fired their first volley. While only three of the SBMs hit one of the Firestorms the laser damage done was twice that of Hensen’s own. 29 laser hits on the base still yield no armor breaches while the bases’ second salvo broke the armor of the selected Firestorm and wrecked both holds and the shuttlebay.

Hensen had the missile ships move out of range and for a good reason. During the fourth salvo six Hokum ships emerged from the warp point – all them small carriers. They launched 18 squadrons of fighters, and combined with 30 squadrons from the three other bases he was at a disadvantage. He had the carriers sitting 3 light-seconds behind him, three fleet and six light, launch their Hatchets. All ships went to full speed with the six assigned escort DDs departing from the carriers and attaching themselves to the missile ships. It was a stern chase and when the range closed to 1.25 LS the Hatchets attacked. With active jammers on two of the escort destroyers the more numerous Spear fighters lost 184 of their number while 88 out of 252 Hatchets were splashed. FRAMs and gunpacks were used on both sides but the Hokum jettisoned their remaining ordnance and turned tail for the bases.

Sensing an opportunity Hensen has his remaining Hatchets, each still armed with a FRAM and gun pack, to close on the warp point and destroy the missile bases. With said bases destroyed or crippled it would make completing the siege operation that much quicker. The Spears wouldn’t have time to rearm by the time the Hatchets arrived; indeed, the six carriers returned from Fallowed Field and took 36 Spears back with them, leaving just 68 rearming on the bases. All of this encouraged Hensen even further.

The Hokum were not through. Seeing the Axis commit their ravaged Hatchet squadrons to attack the bases the Hokum commander sent another pinnace to Fallowed Field. The enemy was facing a deadline due to his commitment to attack, so when the Hatchets were 2.25 LS out they saw six ships emerge from the warp point. Four of them were light carriers and two were light cruisers. All were of Terpla’n construction. The quartet of Larikems launched 12 squadrons of Shark fighters and transited back to Fallowed Field. As for the two cruisers they were anti-fighter escorts, activating their jammers to ruin whatever fire control coordination the Hatchets had left. Twelve armed pinnaces were launched from the bases as well, but the Axis pilots were committed to their orders. Of the 164 Hatchets that went in only 49 raced away, dropping their gun packs to achieve that extra kernel of speed. In their wake they left two destroyed missile bases and the third with superficial shield damage.

Hensen kept 48 Hatchets and two light carriers with him, sending the rest of the carriers along with the damaged Firestorm to the support group waiting at the Solid State/BRB-1 warp point. He had his five missile cruisers move in once again to engage the sole missile base at a range of 10 LS. Just out of range were six destroyers and six destroyer escorts. The Terpla’n escort cruisers had transited out but the 72 Shark fighters remained. Along with the 68 Spears on the bases Hensen was almost outnumbered 3-to-1 in fighters. But as it was shown many times before the side with datalink jammers invariably came out on top. So it was the missile cruisers began their bombardment. At no time did the fighters intervene, though before it succumbed the base almost denuded two cruisers of their armor. Again Hensen sent both damaged ships to the support group. From his perspective it appeared totally plausible to capture the three fighter bases with boarding parties. He mulled the idea of recalling three Stalwart cruisers from Ampere and using their force beams to batter down the shields of one base while missile fire would occupy the point defense systems of the other two when the shuttles made their run.

In this instance prudence prevailed. Hensen withdrew, leaving the scout to keep tabs on the bases. He couldn’t perform SAR operations to retrieve those pilots that happened to eject due to being in such close proximity to the fighter bases as even a partially loaded fighter could catch up and destroy any shuttle and cutter. His missile cruisers were loaded exclusively with laser-tipped SBMs and he had nowhere near enough salvos remaining to destroy one fighter base even at optimal firing range. In less than a month the mobile yards in his support group would uncrate and prep enough fighters to fill his empty fighter bays and there were additional reinforcements enroute in any event. The appearance of Commonwealth ships was a new factor to consider, but if the enemy had a more substantial mobile force in Fallowed Field then he would have used it in this battle. Six weeks from now, barring the unexpected, the way into Fallowed Field will be opened.

As for the Hokum defenders they knew that the Axis would’ve had a decisive victory had they been stronger. Moreover this Axis commander didn’t act recklessly to decide the battle here and now. Fallowed Field wasn’t going anywhere, much less the trio of fighter bases. With at least a month to regroup the Hokum could easily replenish their flightgroups as the main elements of the Expeditionary Fleet’s support group was in Fallowed Field. Nine warships undergoing refit there, like the six small carriers, will be available in a month’s time as well. Additionally the assault elements of the Expeditionary Fleet, sans carriers, were enroute and arrive in three weeks. The Terpla’n convoy in the system, containing troopships and transports, had landed their passengers on FF-A-3 in a region far removed from the Axis colonial population of 16,000. Two of the big troopships were undergoing refit over that planet to enhance their combat capabilities. It may have the appearance of wasting resources but anything to enhance the defenses was considered worthwhile.

A SAR operation was conducted, resulted in the recovery of 51 pilots (including 2 from the Axis). The scout was kept at bay by three squadrons of Spears that escorted the pinnaces and shuttles. From that point on two squadrons were kept in space at all times, harassing the scout and forcing it out of definitive scanner range of the warp point. In the days that followed a comprehensive sweep by the other fighters destroyed six scanner buoys that ranged as far as two light-minutes from the warp point. That the Axis didn’t attempt to deploy additional scanner buoys, either by ship or shuttle, proved they didn’t feel the need to do so or that they were required elsewhere. Giving to what was happening elsewhere the Hokum gave credence to the latter. With firm resolve the long watch began again.


The additions to the Axis spaceport on Elotoshani Prime were complete. Over the next few days construction equipment and piles of materials were picked up and taken to other sites at the Comensal colonial enclave. Watching all of this was Trodanscu Vat. He had seen the work in progress for the past several months and had gotten an even better view for the past few weeks thanks to his new ghibli suit. A fast growing species of native bush has found fertile purchase in the ground stirred up by the Comensal construction around the spaceport. Along with a native grass that grew to a height of one meter (the seeds of which were spread by Trodanscu and fellow confederates) allowed the former wildlife ranger to move in much closer.

Having studied wildlife in a similar fashion for decades the old Eloto was prepared to spend days on end in a forward position and with minimal movement. He only consumed nuetriant-laced water and had a relief system built into his suit. The disturbed soil attracted insects which in turn brought in birds, making the Comensal ground sensors give plenty of false positive readings. The same thing happens at night when small rodents come out to forage for worms and greens. So when it came time to leave Trodanscu could effect his exit with confidence that he wouldn’t be detected.

Trodanscu was currently behind a bush that had a field of view of the western side of the spaceport. There was activity there that by all rights shouldn’t be happening, all things considered. It was venting port for waste heat and had been there since the spaceport was originally built. The old Eloto smiled as he recognized a senior Comensal foreman, looking constipated as usual and venting his spleen to a junior worker. If it wasn’t pilings that had collapsed after a rainstorm or plasticrete poured incorrectly then the foreman would’ve blamed his gas on just watching someone else eat. Two workmen came out of the three meter wide vent, carrying a two-meter tall heavy duty hatch. From what he could see Trodanscu noticed that the hatch had an open service panel where the usual data pad was located. About five minutes of tinkering the foreman, after cursing the hatch for not obeying his will, had the workmen go to a nearby truck and fetch a new hatch.

Trodanscu’s interest was heightened when saw that the new hatch had no data pad on it, just an old-fashion handle. To be sure an equally old-fashion lock would be placed on that hatch if only for procedure’s sake. With data from the resistance he knew of several ways to infiltrate the spaceport for his one-way mission. Now it appeared that one route was made easier all due to an impatient…

The sound of footfalls made the old Eloto even more frozen on the spot as he lowered the binoculars ever so carefully. From behind, perhaps no more than four meters, were two Comensal. They were talking that since the construction was over it was time to redo the landscaping around the spaceport. A belt two kilometers wide was to be flattened and planted with a grass species that didn’t grow taller than 8 centimeters. No doubt a security measure to go along with the unmarked minefields, camouflaged bunkers and pop-up weapon mounts. But it didn’t stop there, for one of the boneheads said it would add a visual appeal to the complex if vast patches of flowers were planted as well. This self-opinioned florist went on to regal his companion on how the governor of the colony was a flower aficionado as well, for the gardens at the governor’s mansion were practically works of art.

Listening to boneheads talk about flowers wasn’t the most surreal thing Trodanscu experienced, but what followed next certainly was. More footfalls were made, and this time the Eloto sensed that one bonehead was right behind him. His mind ached on the implications of going for his knife and killing both Comensal right there or then, trusting his arthritic joints would behave themselves this one time. Even if successful the chances of escape were practically nil for it was broad daylight and the overwhelming number of security personnel, not to mention surveillance drones, on hand. After a moment there was the sound of a zipper followed by the sensation of rain falling on the back of his ghibli suit, but it wasn’t rain. The Comensal was answering the call of nature and relieving himself right there and then. Of the indignities the boneheads had inflicted on the Elotoshani over the years, from casual insults to vandalism of cultural heritage to institutional murder this was perhaps the most visceral example of the desecration and contempt the Comensal had of everyone else in the universe. It was only Trodanscu’s commitment to the cause that kept his rage, as well as his body, paralyzed.

Once done the Comensal joined his companion and started talking again, walking away towards an access road leading to the spaceport. The Eloto listened until they were out of earshot, and waited for nightfall. He was glad it was a night of a new moon so as to make his withdraw all the more unseen.


While Hensen dealt with the Hokum bases in Solid State another operation was underway at the Ampere system. At the warp point that lead to what the Hokum called system Com-14 the defenses in the form of minefield shells and weapon buoy parks were in place. A task group waited for the pinnace probes to reveal what was waiting for them in Com-14. The first pinnace went in and came back. It reported that there were no ships or bases in the immediate vicinity as well as buoys. Such findings proved nothing for a regular pinnace couldn’t detect mines unless it was already among them and buoys couldn’t be seen no further than one-quarter of a light second. So, the commander of the task group sent in a Dispersion escort. Two pinnaces came along just in case there were buoys further out.

After transit the Dispersion found a mine shell in the immediate vicinity of the warp point. Tactical scanners also found a ring of buoy parks 1.25 LS out and a solitary type-1 base 8 LS out. There was a total of 90 buoys, 3 per park, and the base armed and fired 18 of them. 10 hit, scouring off the lion’s share of the armor. Having seen what it came to see the ship transited out, leaving the pinnaces to begin the process of destroying the remaining buoys.

One pinnace stayed on the warp point while the other ventured out, escaping destruction in the first mine shell. Then it encountered a far thinner, but still dangerous, shell. A third and a fourth shell were entered and passed though without incident. Finally reaching one buoy park at point blank range the pinnace dodged a fifth mine. It blasted two of the three buoys and when it came to the third the pinnace was having the hardest of luck. Each miss increased the odds of the pinnace of being nailed by a mine but on the eight try it finally succeeded. Seeing that the ring of buoy parks would be equally protected the pinnace moved to 1.5 LS distance and engage the next park in line. There, too, was another shell of mines. Like the previous four it contained just one pattern in this particular patch, but fifty individual mines meant fifty opportunities to kill. Only one buoy was killed before a mine immolated the pinnace in a nuclear fireball. The other pinnace transited out to report this news.

Weighing his options the commander elected not to use his minesweepers at this point to absorb the remaining buoys. He sent instead eleven pinnaces. One at a time the crews ventured into the minefields, trusting in Providence to see them through this hazardous mission. Two pinnaces were destroyed even before they had to use their point defense mounts while another managed to destroy 10 buoys before it finally had its ticket punched. When the last pinnace transited back to Ampere it reported that only 38 buoys were left. Another Dispersion was sent in and, as expected, those remaining buoys fired their bomb-pumped lasers at it, totally destroying it. The commander was later chastised by Hensen for the frivolous use of the pinnaces to take out the buoys, especially after knowing the extent of the minefields, thin as they were. Sending in a small ship with a minimal crew made far more sense in material expended for results gained.

The Hokum only had that one base, which had self-destructed after the buoys fired with the crew fleeing to Com-14’s only other warp point. Scouts followed as a matter of course and whatever com and scanner buoys the Hokum had in the system were left to be found by the follow-up Pickets. Once the warp point to Com-7 was secured those buoys would fail due to a lack of maintenance if not found and destroyed beforehand. The shuttle rendezvoused with a small ship which in turn transited out. Minelayers came forward and fortified the warp point. Once done the Axis sent in the next probe and began the process anew.

Hokum Imperium Space Navy Type 2 Class Destroyer - TL 10 Refit
Art by Adam Kop
Type 2 destroyers were the most numerous class of warship in the ISN. Their role was to assist the capital ships in battering down the shields of enemy units and lance internal systems with needle beams. Type 2s also were the close escort of carrier groups. The TL 10 refit saw the incorporation of new shielding, an advance point defense mount, and a multiplex tracking system to improve combat flexibility.
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