|This article, RIM-442 Anubis, was written by Specops306. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
Developed in 2551, the RIM-442 "Anubis" was an anti-ship missile designed by Sierra Space Systems for use against Covenant capital ships. Seeing its first combat use during the Battle of Minorca in 2551, the missile was scheduled to be adopted into full frontline service by 2553. The Battle of Reach destroyed much of the UNSC's production infrastructure, and the Battle of Earth destroyed the last of the production facilities in Seraph bombing runs. The design was later improved on to produce the RIM-442A Anubis Mark II missile, which entered service alongside the more common Mark I after the conclusion of the Human-Covenant War.
The Covenant's technological superiority has always been blatantly obvious, and in no case is it more apparent than their use of energy shields as defensive measures. Effectively rendering conventional Archer missiles obsolete, and offsetting the once-instant effect that a MAC had on a warship, the UNSC has long sought for methods by which they could render the shields a moot point, returning combat to a more even playing field. Working on a contract from Fleet Command, Sierra began work on 2549 on a ship-to-ship missile which, theoretically, could dramatically increase the ability of UNSC warships against the Covenant. The result of this was the XAShM 441, codenamed ANUBIS during development. Other companies made their own submissions; Bellum Aerospace Industries submitted the RIM-306 "HYDRA", a multiple warhead launcher, and the RIM-224 "ODIN," which increased the nuclear payload of then-current standard missiles. The HYDRA design would be put into production as the RIM-443 Interceptor Missile, and the ODIN would be dropped altogether, but the design that piqued FLEETCOM's interest the most was the ANUBIS, which immediately earned Sierra the contract.
Rather than carrying a conventional payload, the Anubis was a radical redesign of the concept of spacewarfare. In tests conducted by Naval Special Weapons and other civilian contractors, it was readily apparent that the only efficient means by which a shield could be penetrated was by producing a powerful localised electromagnetic pulse. The concept was incorporated into the extremely successful Switchblade and Anaconda Surface-to-Air Missiles, but had yet to be tested in true ship-to-ship combat. Equipped with a powerful EMP generator, the Anubis was designed specifically to be used in conjunction with standard UNSC armaments, especially the Archer fusion missiles and Magnetic Accelerator Cannon - rapidly closing with the target, the Anubis would generate an EMP field powerful enough to collapse a small portion of a ship's shields, allowing a MAC projectile or a cluster of Archer missiles to penetrate and strike the unprotected hull. The first prototypes, the XAShM 441, were essentially an Archer missile with the fusion warhead removes and replaced by the EMP generator - later developments, such as the Mark I and Mark II, would use dedicated fuselages to carry their payloads.
Field testing produced mixed results - while proving beyond doubt that the Anubis had the potential to disrupt enemy shield systems, the tests also showed that the risk towards nearby fighters and missiles was also great - originally, the developers had intended the Anubis to serve a dual purpose, lowering the shields and then guiding nearby Archer missiles to the vulnerability. However, the EMP also disabled the following Archer missiles, and even the Anubis prototypes themselves, forcing the developers to rethink. Eventually, it was decided that EMP-hardening the fighters and missiles aboard ships that carried the Anubis was the only available option, and the problem was solved for the short-term. The first production units were assigned to the UNSC 30th Fleet, a combat tested during the Battle of Delta Pavonis - unbelievably successful, a single cruiser, the UNSC Galadriel, managed to destroy a number of ships with Archer missiles before the enemy was forced to retreat, proving once and for all the effectiveness of the design.
More of the design would be used by the fleet during the Minorca campaign, allowing the fleet to make an effective orbital defence of the planet, and a few were present among the regular fleet when the Covenant attacked reach - every resource available to the UNSC was used in that fight, including most of the available Anubis's. A number were present on the ground, where they were used by ground forces to disable enemy vehicles and, to a limited extent, starships. By the Battle of Earth, almost all of the Anubis's had been destroyed, including the main production factories of Misriah on reach. Misriah's Martian facilities continued to churn out Anubis missiles, and a number were available to the defending UNSC fleet - when the Covenant attacked Mars, these factories were among the first targets to be destroyed. After the war, production was resumed, and the design was updated to the Mark II design.
During the testing phase, the Prototype Anubis was simply a repurposed Archer missile fuselage gutted of its internal components and with its warhead replaced with a powerful EMP generator. As suchm, it differed little from the UNSC standard armament except in capacity, and even then the fuselage was too narrow to incorporate the type of generator that would be preferred by its developers. Those problems were rectified by creating a dedicated fuselage for the purpose - internally, the Anubis Mark I possessed an advanced hall effect thruster, with smaller chemical rockets along its horizontal axis for three-dimensional thrust vectoring in space. Int he middle was its GGF7 target acquisition, tracking and guidance systems, and at the "top" was the payload - a GTZ-4427 Electromagnetic Pulse Generator. For a long time, producing an efficient EMP small enough to fit within such a relatively small missile without needing to use a nuclear warhead was the most difficult design feature of the Anubis, but several metamaterials developed concurrently by Bellum Aerospace Industries allowed the GTZ's creation.
The Mark II, introduced in 2553, was again different. It used a narrower fuselage, though still thicker than an Archer, and possessed a less devastaring payload, the GTZ-4432, but compensated by being coated in Tarnhelm metamaterial, an advanced stealth metamaterial, allowing it to go virtually undetected by enemy sensors. The Mark I continued to see use among the Navy, though the Mark II was used by specialist battlegroups for precision strikes. In addition, the Mark II was capable of being fired from orbit and entering a planets atmosphere, operating in a planetary environment to intercept targets - the EMP produced by the Anubis allowed it to be used against a wide variety of targets, ranging from ground vehicles to swarms of aircraft, to hovering warships.
Ideally, the Anubis would be fired just prior to a flurry of Archer missiles. Leading the Archers, the Anubis would also send out a radio signal detected by the Archers, supplementing their own guidance systems and coordinating them for the strike - once within approximately thirty meters of the target's energy shield, the Anubis deploy a fine spray of micron-fine titanium dust, intended to boost the range of the EMP in a vacuum, and activate its payload; the two EMP fields would interact, forcing the shield to collapse for a brief moment - simultaneously, the Anubis would transmit the coordinates to the Archers, which would use the opportunity to bypass the shields and strike the unprotected hull. Even should this fail, the Anubis was damaging in its own right - the EMP did more than just collapse energy shield containment fields, and could damage internal electronics and other vital systems, disabling it to varying degrees, depending on point of impact.
During the Minorca campaign, the Anubis pre-production test models saw another, unintended use - intercepting plasma torpedoes launched by the heavier capital ships of the Covenant fleet, using their EMP fields to collapse the magnetic containment fields of the torpedoes, allowing the plasma to dissipate harmlessly into space. Although less then practical, and used only under desperate circumstances, the tactic would later inspire the AIM-443C Wepwawet Mark III interceptor missile, which would see considerably action in Post-War engagements with Covenant loyalist forces that refused to remove the now nearly obsolete plasma weapons their ships carried.
- "Anubis would guide the souls of the dead to their judgement - kind of fitting name for a missile like this, isn't it?"
- "There isn't much when they go off - everyone imagines a big flash or shockwave, but nope, just the flicker of nearby shields and the sparking of electronics. A bit anticlimatic, but the results are arguably worth it!"
- "Say you fire a dozen Archer missiles - normally, they'd hit the shields and do nothing. Fire an Anubis, and the shield suddenly gets a hole in it - and the Anubis even guides the Archers in, making them more accurate!"
- "I heard that the Mark II is going to be made with stealth metamaterial coating - firing one of these and guaranteeing a hit? Epic. Win."
- "Even after the Unmoving Virtue campaign, the Covenant still refused to dismantle their plasma cannons and torpedo launchers. It would be "heresy," according to the Prophets. That doesn't mean they use them though - since 2552, they've brought energy projectors onto more of their ships, and raised the number of pulse lasers."