Full Item Description
Nanofoam bombs have no specific appearance. They can appear as typical gravity bombs, warheads on missiles or similar devices. The foam itself before use is generally a thick, translucent liquid of varying colors (added to help in identification). When expanded, the foam appears as white foam with a faint tinge of the color it was tagged with.
The initial use of Nanofoam Ordinance on large scale was clearly credited to the Army of Redemption, the militaristic offshoot of the Salvation Army. Though unafraid of using military force to address wrongdoing in the colonies, the AIR is always looking for less-lethal weapons.
The weapon has been derived from the same research that went into the RR80 Corpsman‘s Envelopment foam.
Since the initial introduction of gas-permeable impeding foam, other military groups have added their own formulations with varying effects and ranges of lethality.
The primary property of this substance is significant impediment to movement within an area. Secondary properties of the foam vary greatly with different applications in mind. The foam is quite stiff and adhesive in nature once activated. Fibrous linkages within the foam serve to impede movement of infantry as well as wheeled and legged vehicles.
Both expansion and subsequent collapse are triggered by nanobots included in the foam. Upon activation, the bots release catalysts which trigger rapid expansion or disintegration of the foam.
The foam can be produced in formulations with differing levels of gas-permeability. Foam which is gas-impermeable is vary dangerous to any air-breathing lifeforms as they can be easily suffocated by sufficient quantities. Even small quantities can be dangerous to individuals in low or enclosed places.
1. Insulating Foam
While powered armor and environmental suits can prevent suffocation by the foam, when enclosed by heavy insulation suits and vehicles can experience dangerous to deadly heat-buildup unless most systems are powered down.
2. Conductive Foam
This foam is highly conductive to electricity and when combined with shock discharge devices imbedded in the foam can serve numerous roles depending on the severity of the discharges used. It can be used for crowd control or as a lethal weapon with the advantage that much less foam is required.
3. Obscurative Foam
This foam is far less rigid then normal foam and is little more then a long-lasting smoke. It would be laid heavily into an area prior to orbital drops. The foam serves to block IR and can block radar with the correct additives. Soldiers dropped into the foam are somewhat protected from being targeted before they recover from the drop. It can also be used in any situation where smoke would be used, but with much more controlled persistence.
4. Bioactive Foam
This foam is laced with other chemical or biological agents. It is not generally dense enough to seriously impede movement, but is resistent to dissipation by wind. As a result, it can deny areas for much longer then typical chemical agents.
5. Pyrotechnic Foam
Related to Napalm, this foam is generally somewhat impeding in nature but will ignite on command once expanded.
The foam can be delivered by a wide range of systems, from hand thrown grenades, AFVs, mines, gravity bombs, missiles, etc. It can be used pretty much wherever conventional explosives would be used against land targets. The foam expands too slowly to be of much use vs fast-moving targets.
A pillbox even occupied by power-armored infantry can be neutralized without casualties by a well-thrown Foam grenade - it will fill the entire interior of the fortification immobilizing the defenders.
AFVs can use Foam Grenades in place of smoke grenades to obsure themselves. The foam in this case would be electrically conductive and IR blocking to aid in hiding the vehicle in question.
An airfield or planetary spaceport can be greatly impeded by a thin coating of adhesive foam.
Use in crowd control is an obvious use, with political concerns determining the level of lethality employed.
With sufficient enemy intelligence available, the command signals for the nanobots can be ‘hacked’ and the foam can be deactivated. These singnals are of course heavily encrypted and difficult to hack, but not impossible. The processors carried by the nanobots have limited capability.
A suit or vehicle can have counter-foam chemical sprayers installed.
Infantry can actually carry foam grenades of the permeable type to create ‘bubbles’ of non-lethal foam around themselves to survive until the hostile foam dissipates. The foam bubble would still only have a limited oxygen supply.