The return of WarShips to the battlefields of the Succession Wars has prompted a re-evaluation of military priorities across the Inner Sphere, most particularly within the Federated Suns, which is currently the only nation facing hostile warships in battlespace. However, the question of how long the Federated Suns Navy (FSN) will retain this unhappy distinction is questionable. The CCAF and the AFFS have had a long rivalry in the aerospace field, dating back to the naval battle over Capella at the very dawn of the Confederation’s history, through to the Great Lee Turkeyshoot of the last century. However, more than sixty years after the current First Prince’s grandfather was murdered, for advocating aerospace’s priority over the ‘Mechwarrior Cult’ of the AFFS, has the Federated Suns really taken onboard the value of controlling the skies?
Production of WarShips is still an open question, but decisions made by the Department of the Quartermaster may suggest that there are issues. The Federated Suns manufactures more JumpShips than any other state (except possibly the Lyran Commonwealth classifies the exact numbers being constructed). However, reliable estimates of the four states whose DropShip manufacture can be determined (the efficiency of the ISF makes comparison with the Draconis Combine difficult), shows that the Federated Suns lags by at least 30% behind the other states and sometimes more. This makes the current priority given to supplying the FSN with new transports rather than combat vessels understandable, but may suggest long term problems as the latter type of vessel may be needed in order to confront the Capellan fleet.
In terms of aerospace production, it is clear that Prince Davion sees the need for greater production, with a newly established factory constructing additional Sparrowhawks and Centurion fighters for the AFFS. This new source of fighters will counter the existing shortage of interceptors, but overall numbers remain low, with the AFFS building barely 250 aerospace fighters each year. Fortunately, the available information on production by the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation suggests that this is approximately the same for the former and well in advance of the latter. Allowing for diversion of DCMS equipment to their Lyran front, the AFFS is probably at no significant disadvantage in aerospace production, but the relative dearth of larger craft may well result in a significant deficiency in the future.
The message here is clear: the Federated Suns Navy needs a shot in the arm or many brave soldiers will fall en route to the worlds that they fight on, unable to hit back effectively on the suddenly dangerous field of battlespace.