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Space mines were weapons deployed in realspace to inflict damage upon enemy targets. Variants of this umbrella term include standard mines, proximity mines, sleeper mines, seeker mines, and ion mines. Usually around one meter in diameter, these devices activated when spacecraft (usually starfighters) came within a certain predefined range.
Many different types of mines have been employed throughout the history of the galaxy. Ever since the beginning of space travel, proximity mines, sleeper mines, seeker mines, and ion mines have been utilized in space combat.
- Standard mines were frequently deployed in large amounts, creating a large minefield and rendering entire areas of space impenetrable. Requiring actual contact for ignition, these weapons would release a highly explosive chemical charge that indiscriminately damaged or destroyed anything nearby. These mines were effective against vehicles of all types.
- Proximity mines were similar to standard mines insofar as they used explosives to damage enemy spacecraft. Whenever an enemy craft would enter a predetermined range, it would trigger a detonation sequence within the mine. The resulting blast would spray a cloud of shrapnel in a violent blast cloud, ranging from ten to one-hundred meters in diameter. Proximity mines were ideal for use against starfighters.
- Sleeper mines were very similar to standard mines, yet possessed stealth technology that rendered them difficult to detect on sensors.
- Once a target entered the radius of a seeker mine, the weapon would home in on the vehicle at a moderate speed and collide, causing an explosion. Though less powerful than a standard mine, seekers were very hard to detect. These mines were used to devastating effect against starfighters and capital ships alike.
- Ion mines were used to disable enemy craft flying nearby. Working in the same manner as proximity mines, ion mines would ignite a large ion cloud, disabling all electronic equipment caught in the blast area.
- The Galactic Empire also used special antimatter mines on rare occasions. These were dormant, tiny capsules of antimatter without propulsion, more or less undetectable and small enough to slip through certain particle shields. As they were extremely destructive, but also completely uncontrollable once released, they were not typically used in frequently traveled space.
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