|Stonehenge Turret Network|
Federal Republic of Erusia
Planetary defense complex
x8 120mm electromagnetic launchers
Usean Continental War
The Stonehenge Turret Network, alternatively called STN or simply Stonehenge, was an anti-asteroid railgun network built in the central-eastern sector of the Usean continent.
Developed by the FCU (Federation of Central Usea) in response to the impending planetfall of the Ulysses 1994XF04 asteroid, it was the first in a series of superweapons designed to stop the celestial body upon its arrival to the Earth.
In 1994, the International Union of Astronomers (IUA) sighted a large asteroid on a collision course with the planet. It was expected to make a fall on the planet sometime in the year 1999. First labeled '1994XFO4', and later renamed 'Ulysses 1994XF04', this asteroid was theoretically large enough to wipe out life on the planet. The FCU government called for the world's nations to meet on the subject. After days of discussion on how to deal with this threat, a decision was finally made. As part of the asteroid defense scheme, many countries on the Usean Continent, including Erusea, North Point, and other nations joined in an effort to build a weapon capable of destroying Ulysses.
It was agreed that conventional nuclear missiles would be unable to stop an asteroid of Ulysses' size, so a new technology was created. The Useans designed a battery of railguns that would use electromagnetic energy to launch payloads, which happens when a very strong magnet is placed behind, attached to the shell, and an electric current is sent throw a strong magnet at the breech, greatly increasing range and velocity. These massive cannons were designed to fire 120cm rounds through gunpowder and electromagnetic launching sources.
On July 3rd 1999, five years after it was identified, Ulysses passed the Roche limit and split into more than a thousand pieces, which then plummeted to Earth. The World's nations did not anticipate this, but reacted quickly. Stonehenge engaged the larger fragments of the Ulysses and did its best to protect the planet. Over 500,000 people perished within the first two weeks, and damage was estimated to be the equivalent of 18 months of the total GDP for the entire continent of Usea. Smaller meteorites continued to fall for several more years. Although the end of civilization as portrayed in science fiction literature did not occur, financial turmoil and the mass flows of refugees caused panic throughout the Usean Continent, which had taken the majority of the impacts.
Stonehenge had performed very well, considering the circumstances, and continued to engage passing Ulysses fragments for a few more years after the incident. However, talks of it being used as a military weapon began to circulate among the creators of Stonehenge. Meetings were called and sanctions forbidding Stonehenge to be used by any country as a superweapon were enacted.
Suddenly, after the Usean Refugee Dispute and other hostilities, Erusian Military personnel embarked on an operation to take over Stonehenge. They succeeded, and Stonehenge fell into Erusian hands. Despite the disposition of the ISAF, Erusea declared Stonehenge theirs. The ISAF decided to destroy Stonehenge rather than let it be used to fuel war, but they failed.
In early 2002, Erusian Military forces crossed their far eastern border and drove across the continent. ISAF Forces were caught off guard and were pushed back quickly. The Erusians used Stonehenge in major air battles, shooting down large numbers of ISAF aircraft. Combined with the operations of the large and capable Federal Erusian Air Force, this gave Erusea near-total air supremacy over Usea. The ISAF was pushed all the way back to the far eastern coastline of the Usea. Although this region was out of Stonehenge's engagement range, Stonehenge was an instrumental device in the opening days of the war and the years after.
During the ISAF counter-offensive which began in January of 2005, Stonehenge suppressed most ISAF air attacks on the mainland, but was not capable of stopping the advance of ISAF Ground Forces and all ISAF Air Forces. Istas Fortress, the centerpiece of the Erusian South-Eastern Defense Line, known as the "Tango Line", fell and ISAF Forces retook their Headquarters in Los Canas. Once sufficient ISAF Forces were gathered, Stonehenge itself was targeted for a long range air-strike. With the defection of Stonehenge designers and their families to the ISAF, an attack was quickly organized.
After three years of war the ISAF launched another operation against Stonehenge. This was known as "The Stonehenge Offensive", but was officially called "Operation Stone Crusher". During the attack a single ISAF fighter only known as Mobius One destroyed every Stonehenge Railgun and effectively disabled the superweapon for good.
Stonehenge was destroyed on April 2nd, 2005 at 1000hrs.
The Stonehenge Turret Network was designed as a planetary defense weapon. It was built on the Salisbury Plain, an isolated plateau located just south of the capital of San Salvacion. The site's railguns are built on a large circular complex, divided into eight sectors.
The site's main weapons are eight large railguns, referred to as "electromagnetic launchers" by the development staff. The guns, officially named "120cm-Caliber-Anti-Surface-And-Air Gunpowder-And-Electromagnetic-Propelling Semiautomatic-Fixated Guns"
The railguns are controlled by a large complex of supercomputers located beneath the site. In total, there are 8,192 of them, separated into 1,024 sets of eight which are linked by high speed networks. Each individual computer is capable performing nine billion floating point arithmetic operations per second, which equals a total of 100 trillion operations per second with all computers combined. The system employs data gathered from orbiting satellites and observatories across the globe to simulate the atmospheric conditions of Usea to calculate an asteroid's impact point. After this step, the weapons track a target and fire.
The Stonehenge launchers use an hybrid of electricity and gunpowder to launch their ammunition, in which the latter provides the initial acceleration, and electromagnetic energy accelerates the round. The speeds achieved by fired rounds can reach a maximum of 6 kilometers per second. The electricity is supplied by an underground capacitator. The choice of hybrid energy comes from the fact that the Joule heat generated by electricity alone would melt the gun barrels after constant use. Moreover, the use of electricity as the sole propellant of Stonehenge's shells would make non-stop operation too expensive, thus making the combination of energy and powder a more cost-effective choice.
The railguns fire 120cm Armor Piercing Explosive (APE) Ammunition shells, which burrow into a target and detonate inside.
- The Meson Cannon complex in Ace Combat X has a similarity in appearance to the Stonehenge. The only differences is that it is surrounding a city, fires lasers, and may not have radar jamming (depending on if the player destroys the Nevera jammer first.)
- The concrete structure in the center may be the inspiration for base of the nuclear missile silo doors in mission 17 'Sanctify' of Ace Combat X2.
- The air base stucture, on the left of the aerial view photo, next to the gun network is in fact a photo exact replica of Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs Colorado. The base is only transposed onto a desert-like enviroment. (presumably from elsewhere on earth)