It should be no surprise by now that McFini is working hard on his MCPS revival. This thread is intended as a technical documentation over how this unusual weapon works.
Model: MCPS Quarter Scale Prototype
Crew: 12, skeleton 8
Body: 3D (starfighter scale)
Fire Rate: 1/5
Fire Control: 2D
Blast Radius: 300 meters
This is the MCPS prototype. As we will find out here, it's noticeably different from the field version of the weapon.
The MCPS was first researched in a project lead by Doxin. The first working prototype produced a field that effectively worked over about one percent of the target surface area.
The Jedi Academy Sourcebook wrote:The MCPS field alters the crystalline structure of metals, essentially causing metals to break down into fine powder. The MCPS can penetrave conventional shielding and, in theory at least, turn starship hull plats into powder.
Doxin used a focusing lense from the Death Star project to project his field.The Jedi Academy Sourcebook wrote:Even so, the field has a devastating effect on ship hulls, becase it leaves pinhole structural failures over the entire surface. The resulting hull breach and loss of hull integrity is enough to destroy most ships.
The first firing of the MCPS in live combat resulted in a corvette breaking up, and the MCPS was rendered unable to fire again.Because the dish wasn't designed to do anything like this, the field is relatively weak. Eventually, Doxin plans to produce a larger prototype using a custom-designed lens which he hopes will result in a full-powered generator.
Champions of the Force wrote:Next, Doxin slurped his hot beverage and gave a report of a new weapon his scientists had been testing. "It's a metal-crystal phase shifter," Doxin said. "MCPS for short."
"Hmmmm," Tol Sivron said, tapping his chin with a long claw. "We'll have to think of a catchier name before we present it to the Imperials."
"It's just a working acronym," Doxin said, embarrassed. "We've constructed a functioning model, though our results have been inconsistent. The tests have given us reason to hope for a successful larger-scale implementation."
"And what exactly does it do?" Tol Sivron asked. Doxin scowled at him. "Director, I've filed several reports over the past seven weeks. Haven't you read them?" Sivron flinched his head-tails instinctively. "I'm a busy man, and I can't recall everything I read," he said.
"Especially about a project with such an uninspired name. Refresh my memory, please."
Doxin grew animated as he spoke. "The MCPS field alters the crystalline structure of metals-e.g., those in starship hulls. The MCPS can penetrate conventional shielding and turn hull plates into powder. The actual physics is more complicated, of course; this is just an executive summary."
"Yes, yes," Tol Sivron said. "That sounds very good. What were these problems you encountered?"
"Well, the MCPS worked effectively over only about one percent of the surface area on our test plate."
"So it might not be terribly useful?" Tol Sivron said.
Doxin rubbed his fingers across the polished table surface, making a squeaking sound. "Not exactly true, Director. The one percent effectiveness was distributed over a wide area, leaving pinhole failures over the entire surface. Such a loss of integrity would be enough to destroy any ship."
Sivron grinned. "Ah, very good! Continue your studies and continue filing those excellent reports."
Champions of the Force wrote:"This is too easy," Wedge said. A desperate signal came from one of the corvette captains. His image flickered as he beamed a transmission on the emergency channel. "Something's happening to our hull! Shields aren't effective. Some new kind of weapon. Hull walls are weakening. Can't pinpoint where was-
The transmission cut off as the corvette became a ball of fire and shrapnel.
"Back off!" Wedge shouted into the open channel, but the second corvette plunged forward, choosing instead to use his full complement of dual turbolaser cannons as well as a pair of proton torpedoes that had been specially installed for the occupation mission.
"Captain Ortola! Back off!"
The captain of the second corvette blasted the nearest planetoid. Proton torpedoes sizzled with uncontained energy. Turbolaser blasts ignited volatile gases and flammables, reducing the small planetoid to incandescent dust. "That won't be a problem anymore, sir," Captain Ortola said. "You may deploy the strike forces at your leisure."
Champions of the Force wrote:Hanging above Maw Installation, the Rebel ships looked like nightmarish constructions, brushing aside the Installation's defensive lasers as if they were mere insect bites.
Doxin sat by an interlaboratory communication station and cheered as he saw one of the Rebel corvettes crumble, disintegrating into a cloud of pulverized metal plate and escaping fuel and coolant gases.
"It worked!" Doxin said. "The MCPS worked!" He tapped the receiving jack in his ear, listened, and frowned with his enormous lips. When Doxin wrinkled the brow on his bald head, the ridges rippled all the way up to his crown like rugged-terrain treads.
"Unfortunately, we won't get a second shot, Director. The MCPS seems to have malfunctioned," Doxin said. "But I do believe the original success against an actual target has proved the system worthy of additional development."
"Indeed," Tol Sivron agreed, looking admiringly at the expanding cloud of debris from the corvette. "We must have a follow-up meeting."
"The system is presently off-line," Doxin said.
The second Rebel corvette came in with all weapons blazing, and the asteroid housing the offices and labs of the high-energy concepts incinerated under the barrage.
"It appears to be unquestionably out of commission," Sivron said.
Doxin was deeply disappointed. "Now we'll never conduct a post-shot analysis," he said with a sigh. "It's going to be hard to compile a full report without actual data."
Points of interest: The first MCPS was located in one of the Maw Installation's clustered asteroid labs (Lab Module A), with its power generated from two power plants in another lab (Lab Module D).
It produces an energy field rather than a beam, 300 m wide. It has a maximum range of 300 (space units), which is 3 times longer than the Death Star (100) and 4 times longer than a typical heavy turbolaser battery (75). Conventional shields offer no protection against it, leaving the MCPS to directly strike ship hull metal and pulverize it. It also has an abmyssal fire rate and was only able to destroy a corvette during its debut. It is not designed to affect other materials than metal.
Even at only one per cent effectiveness, it can destroy any ship caught in its 300 m3 field.
Fire control effectiveness appears to be the same as standard. 5D damage isn't much even when you bypass shields, but this was an understrength prototype.
As an aside, the use of a lens for the Death Star suggests that the superlaser is indeed a LASER, but they also used such a lens for the very different MCPS weapon, so one can assume that the lens is not an optical device. Perhaps it simply refers to the shape of the device.
Next we're looking at the MCPS deployed in the field by Daala's Maw Irregular Fleet in the Second Battle of Fondor at 41 ABY, some 30-35 years after the deployment of the prototype MCPS.
1) The Chimaera still carried turbolasers as well as the MCPS.GALACTIC WARSHIP OCEAN, OFF FONDOR
Chimaera cut a swath through the battlefield and headed straight for the Anakin Solo, firing turbolasers.
"They always say that Daala tore up the strategy books." Niathal was still assessing the strength and fire-power of the eclectic fleet that had just fallen into her lap. Her immediate guess was that she now had 30 percent more hulls than the Moff-Jacen fleet, as she now thought of it. "She looks as if she's going to ram him."
"I'd get out of her way, "Makin said.
Several other commanders in Jacen's fleet must have had the same idea. They broke off attacks and headed for the Anakin Solo. There were now a six warships converging on the Chimaera, and Niathal tried to guess Daala's strategy. One advantage of having a completely unexpected and di-verse fleet suddenly emerge in theater was that it plunged everything into chaos, and each commander had to pause and take stock-but that included Daala's allies. It was crowded space. Niathal had an impression of an ancient maritime battle on Naboo, when ships had been packed too close together to move or fire safely.
"Yes, she's going to turn as late as she can, "said Niathal.
"Even so, I wouldn't be the frigate on that bearing there."
"Did she say Maw Irregular Fleet?"
One destroyer bearing down on Chimaera's port beam appeared to be targeting her bridge, and a cruiser was on an intercept course from starboard. Chimaera opened fire on both simultaneously, with apparently little effect, and held her course.
"What was that, Vio?" Niathal asked. "Turbolaser?"
"This isn't the time to admire what she's had done in refit, but I haven't seen anything like that. Sensors? Tell me what Chimaera's got by way of armaments. I just hope this isn't some massive bluff and she's just scrambled every-thing from the breakers' yard, because Jacen will sense that very fast."
Niathal, still monitoring the developing collision, moved to watch one of the holocam feeds from the remotes near-est the Anakin Solo. Chimaera was letting smaller vessels take pot shots at her, which her shields shrugged off, and then she simply targeted the same two vessels that she'd returned fire upon moments earlier.
Niathal waited for signs of impact. What she saw instead was the hull of one ship deforming and then simply burst-ing apart like a bag of grainmeal, with no accompanying explosion. The aft section was intact, but there was a large enough hole in the hull to span five decks, maybe more, and expose compartments to vacuum.
It was an oddly silent, unfit end for the cruiser. It rang a bell with Niathal.
"Oh, I think Daala's brought some of her toys with her, "Makin said. He'd been watching in silence.
"Yes, I do believe she has some novel weapons." Niathal commed the Maw flagship. "Ocean to Chimaera thank you for your assistance. Are you armed with unconventional weapons?"
"Ocean, confirm that, we have metal-crystal phase shifters.... among other things."
2) It destroyed one ship with an MCPS shot, meaning it carried at least one MCPS aboard. The Chimaera also fired on a second ship which is implied to have been from a second MCPS device.
3) It seems to have fired a beam rather than projecting a field, or it shouldn't have been confused for a turbolaser at all.
4) The damage seems to have been somewhat focused, given that the aft section of one of the ships - either a destroyer or a cruiser - was intact. The five decks hole suggests that the MCPS hit there. Again, it is implied that it may have been a beam or pulse rather than a field projection. This is merely an interpretation however, several sources claims it projects a field, the JAS and NEGtWT for instance.
5) The area of effect was basically half the ship with an entry hole of five or so decks. This could still be the 300 m3 of the prototype, which means it can't desintegrate a ship much larger than that in a single shot.
6) Ships hit by the MCPS more or less desintegrate rather than being ignited into "incandescent dust" by a turbolaser.
7) The Chimaera probably carried and could use two MCPS simultanously. It was the largest ship in the Maw Irregular Fleet, the rest were a Turbulent-class, a Venator, a Victory I, an Acclamator I, 2 Republic-class, some Scimitar-class frigates and 2 Crusader-class corvettes. All relatively small stuff, but this small fleet made a serious difference in the battle.
8) The Second Battle of Fondor had Caedus' 30+ ISDs plus support ships against ca 40 ISD equivalents. After the small Maw Irregular Fleet had made an impact, Caedus was said to be outgunned as well as outnumbered. Not strange really, even if Daala only had one ISD and a smattering of smaller vessels. Even if only the Chimaera carried two MCPS, they could turkey shoot Caedus' fleet in minutes. Which they did, he retrated with 30+ losses and 30% defectors.
Assuming that the Chimaera carried two, even medium ships like the Turbulent, Venator, Victory, and Acclamator should have been able to carry one in addition to regular armament - and the texts imply it was not the only vessel carrying such.
9) A conservative guesstimate suggests that the MCPS has an effective fire power ratio of 10:1 compared to conventional weaponry, all because it can bypass conventional shields, has four times the range, and 20% the rate of fire (that we know of). It could well be more, but the details are too fuzzy.