Apollo system

Apollo pod (right) with eight Mk.23 missiles (center) and the Mk.23-E control missile (left)

Apollo was an advanced missile system developed by the Star Kingdom of Manticore in the early 20th Century PD.

In this revolutionary system, the salvo from a single missile pod contained two types of missiles; eight of the missiles were standard Mark 23 three-stage MDMs with a variety of warheads and ECM. The second type was a single larger Mark 23-E missile fitted with a faster-than-light telemetry link instead of a warhead; this missile acted as a control node for the other eight missiles in the pod and allowed a Keyhole II equipped ship to provide effectively real-time control to the missiles across their range envelope, resulting in exceptional accuracy and ECM resistance. If the Apollo missile were destroyed, the rest of the cluster could continue on with whatever their last telemetry had given them.

The Apollo control missile could also analyze the readings from the sensors on its clutch of missiles, and report back via FTL to the Keyhole II platforms, essentially allowing it to act as a high-speed recon platform as well. A tactic developed by Battlecruiser Squadron 106 was to fire two extra pods, one ahead of the salvo, and one behind the salvo. The initial clutch would act as the recon platform, allowing them to both confirm their targets, and refine targeting data (since most ship-based sensors would be far out of range for precise targeting), while the follow-up clutch would be in position to observe the actions of the main salvo, allowing a ship commander real-time analysis of the enemy's battle-damage.

A system-defense Apollo variant, the Mark 23-F, was developed for the new four-stage Mark 25. (HH11, SI2)

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