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For the mission, see Chandelier (mission)
For the song, see Chandelier (song)
"So this is what they used to try and blast that meteor..."
Stephen McCarthy[2]

The Chandelier was a giant railgun created by Estovakia capable of firing capsules containing multiple cruise missiles. It was one of many large-scale weapons constructed to combat the 1994XF04 Ulysses asteroid. However, it was not completed in time and was not operational upon the asteroid's impact, which devastated Estovakia's infrastructure.

The Chandelier was further developed during the Estovakian Civil War, but it wasn't completed by the war's end. The railgun was finally completed around the Emmeria-Estovakia War, and used as a retaliatory weapon against Emmeria following their liberation of Gracemeria. It was subsequently destroyed by the Republic of Emmeria Air Force.

History

Early development

The Ulysses asteroid was initially believed to only impact the Usean continent, but new data acquired in July 1998 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) indicated that Ulysses would split into two large fragments and partially strike the Anean continent as well as Usea. The FCU's Stonehenge was too far in construction to be modified, leaving Anea defenseless. This led to numerous protests in Anea against the IAU and FCU.[3]

Following this revelation, Estovakia's armed forces created the concept of the Chandelier to defend their country from Ulysses. As the Chandelier would prove to be very large, Estovakia chose to construct the weapon on a glacier, which would allow it to rotate and sail to different locations.[1] However, as development went on, the railgun's barrel and base mechanisms increased in size to compensate for the shells it would fire (see #Design). The complexity of construction prevented the railgun from being completed in time; only part of the barrel was built when Ulysses struck in July 1999. Afterward, the facility remained dormant for a decade.[4]

In the middle of the Estovakian Civil War, the Eastern Faction decided to complete the Chandelier and use it against the Lyes United Front. They completed the base by attaching a magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) module to an ice block 13.23 square kilometers in size. The barrel was simultaneously completed as well. However, complications with electricity consumption and heat generation prevented the railgun from being used. The civil war ended, but the Chandelier's development continued.[4] The Chandelier's main structure and facilities were completed by 2014, however, its heating problems still rendered the weapon inoperable.[1]

Completion

Chandelier Doomsday Weapon

The operational Chandelier

"There is a plan of operations designed to destroy everything in [Gracemeria] and all the people in it. I read the order myself."
Victor Voychek[5]

Sometime by March 2016, Estovakia solved the Chandelier's electricity and heat problems by adding numerous cooling units throughout the facility. During the Emmeria-Estovakia War, Gustav Dvornik, leader of Estovakia's armed forces, sought to use the Chandelier as a retaliatory weapon. It was fully developed and functional by this time, and was rapidly put into operation.[6]

The Chandelier was first used in battle on the night of March 31, 2016, hours after Emmeria liberated their capital, Gracemeria. Backed by stealth fighters and escorts, several cruise missiles were fired at the city within special delivery shells. The missiles were intercepted by the Emmerian Air Force, who were performing a defensive patrol at the time.[6] Shortly after the attack, Lieutenant Colonel Victor Voychek was convinced that Estovakia's plans were far too evil to continue, and he revealed the Chandelier's existence and data to Melissa Herman, Matilda Herman and Ludmila Tolstaya.[5]

Destruction

"So this is the Chandelier... What a freak show."
Republic of Emmeria Air Force pilot[2]

Emmerian military traced the cruise missiles back to the Chandelier, which they had thought was abandoned. A strike team comprised only of fighter units led by Garuda Team flew to Sonne Island the next morning, arriving just as the Chandelier completed preparation for another wave of attacks. Melissa and Matilda Herman made contact with the Emmerian forces through Zed Waters's radio station, sending Voychek's data on the Chandelier to AWACS Ghost Eye, who then sent it to the rest of the strike team. With the data in tow, the Emmerians began assaulting the facility.[2]

Chandelier After Destruction

The Emmerian Air Force over the destroyed Chandelier

Despite support from the Estovakian Navy, the Estovakian Air Force, and Strigon Team, the Emmerians managed to destroy the Chandelier's main cooling systems. Talisman and Shamrock then worked together to destroy the Chandelier's backup cooling unit, although Shamrock had to bail out due to battle damage. Talisman then flew into the Chandelier's barrel to destroy its core. The destruction of the core shook the whole facility, causing the Chandelier to slowly fall apart in pieces.[2]

Design

Chandelier Barrel

The Chandelier's barrel

The Chandelier was an anti-asteroid railgun, many times larger than any of Stonehenge's cannons. However, unlike the latter, the Chandelier was not a turreted design and thus its orientation was fixed.[4] As a result, the Chandelier itself was built atop an iceberg, giving the entire facility the ability to rotate.[1] Its construction on the glacier also allows the entire facility to sail.[1] It was intentionally built on arctic terrain to utilize MHD by using conduction of seawater to generate electrical power.[4]

The facility was backed by a series of cooling units sealed by protective plates. A small airstrip connected to an internal hangar was built at the front of the complex.[2] The large glacier that the Chandelier was built upon was reinforced with silicon molecules, giving it a higher strength and melting point to withstand the railgun's tremendous weight, heat, and recoil.[4]

The Chandelier fires individual shells named Stauros, which are loaded with cruise missiles designed to cause direct damage to a target. Stauros shells were loaded through an internal conveyor belt beneath the railgun, which led into an elevator that raised the shells to the firing chamber. Chandelier's barrel was outfitted with a slide mechanism to handle the force of recoil, and had the capability to widen to fire a "charged" shot.[2]

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Chandelier is the largest railgun in the Ace Combat series.
  • It is possible for the Chandelier to shoot down the player if they fly too close to the barrel when it fires. The resulting explosion effect can cause extreme stress on older Xbox 360 processors, slowing the game to a crawl.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Aces At War: A History 2019, page 065.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Chandelier, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.
  3. GAZE: Last Christmas.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation Complete Guide, page 173.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cutscene following Gracemeria Patrol, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gracemeria Patrol, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.
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