The Atlantic Federation, how ironic that their name contains an ocean, but when you go there you don't find them. Nyet, you find them in the sky, in the stars, on moons scattered across the solar system. But in their own ocean, nyet. You don't find them there.
Cyril, Eurasian Admiral
The aquastat is the marine counterpart to the aerostat. The typical Neo-Sovie podvadom is a flattened bell shape, similar to a jellyfish. The central and upper portions of the hull are heavy and reinforced, capable of withstanding significant damage without losing integrity. The bottom of the bell is the least armored portion, but is also where the ports in and out of the city are. Each podvadom has a series of tethers that anchor it to the seafloor. These are not rigid, fixed structures, but are flexible cables, and can be changed in length. During bad storms, a podvadom can pull itself deeper, avoiding the waves and surface turbulance. When the sun is bright, they can loosen until half the hull is out of the water, and residents can go out on the top of the structure.
Earth is a water world. We forget this living on the land. It is 70% water, we could triple the size of the continents and still not fill all the oceans. There is even more space when you realize that living on the land is two dimensional. So you build up, you dig down, but there is so much work to do all of this, and the things that are built, they are very large, and cannot move. There is the air, the sky. But what goes up must come down, or it must go high enough to go into orbit. Aerostats are too small, too vulnerable, too useless. Our podvadom, our submarine cities, they float through buoyancy. Water is so very much denser than air, so our cities can be very large, and be very strong.
The Neo-Soviet podvadom only superficially resembles the Federation's aerostats. The aquastat has the benefit of buoyancy on it's side, and rather than being built to be as light as possible, the soviet submarine cities can be built for size and strength. Most of the construction operations are done underwater by seacology factories, where the superstructure, shell, and core components are built and assembled. Once this phase is complete, the structure will be finished out on the inside by work crews and then hauled into location by a Kachalot II tow and construction submersible. The tow sub will typically stay with the podvadom until it has finished it's operational trials, working as a potential lifeboat, a materials hauler, and a taxi between the aquastat and the often bottom hugging supply submarines that fuel the construction effort.
The Federation knows nothing, and we can tell them, and they will still know nothing. We can tell them that we have fleets of submarines, big ones, little ones, very powerful ones, scientific ones, and it doesn't matter. They think that the greatest threat to them is our army, our legions of tanks and combat walkers, our brigades of heroes and companies of patriots. Nyet. Our great asset matches theirs, but where theirs are naked in the sky, or in the darkness of space, our ships are deep under water, and they do not have missiles that can reach the sea floor, they do not have lasers that can shoot through two kilometers of water.
More than one third of the Neo-Soviet population lives underwater. There are over a hundred podvadom scattered across the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Arctic, and the seas around the world. For every raft city, for every ark, we have a dozen. For every submarine they have, we have two dozen. Our soldiers can breathe underwater and see in the dark. We are not afraid of them.
Roles of the Morepolozhinye
Residential - there are not many aquastats that are purely residential. There are some, but these are generally found in networks of multiple podvadoms , tethered to each other and the sea floor, like a semi-submerged urban complex.
Military - almost all podvadom have the ability to service and tend Neo-Soviet submarines, including refueling and repairing them, as well as offering the crews a place to get some relaxation outside of their ships.
Industrial - few of the floating domes are involved in any sort of heavy industry, this is typically handled by seacologies. The aquastats can and are used extensively for logistics, aquaculture food production, and tourism.
Interaction with other Sea Structures
Raft Cities are primitive compared to the aquastat, and are also much more prone to damage. Given the flexible and surface nature of the cities, they are constantly on the move to avoid foul weather, find a friendly or neutral harbor, and have a larger reputation for being scum barges, dens for pirates, and otherwise unsavory. Except for the government regulated and sanitized resort cities. As such, the two structures avoid each other, a raft city hitting an aquastat would seriously damage the raft city, possibly even causing it to sink if the hit were large enough. (Point of reference, two structures in the vicinity of a kilometer across hitting each other, even at only a few knots, would be an impressive and hull cracking hit.
Demi-Ark ships are fairly common in the Cosmic Era, especially favored by the ACPS and the Chinese. Half the size of the original Ark class ships they emulate, these 600 to 800 meter long ships are floating self propelled cities. The ACPS uses these vessels to facilitate internal island to island trade as well as functioning as projections of Chinese will. Each ship has it's own marine complement, as well as helocraft and other equipment. A Federation admiral once compared the Chinese demi-arks to the offspring of luxury cruise liners and aircraft carriers from the previous era. Most Aquastats have submarine patrols that protect them, and should something hostile get too close, the podvadom has the ability to simply sink down out of weapons range. If this isn't an option, most have a degree of protection in the form of torpedoes, guided missiles, and sub fighters; one or two man combat submersibles.
Seacologies are the predominant form of sea construction, and all of the podvadom start out as a frame being built by one. Once constructed, the aquastats keep their distance from seacologies as a collision between the two could be catastrophic. Most seacologies are also in shallow and coastal waters, while the large and often deep hulled aquastats prefer to be in water more than 250 meters deep, and that's shallow for them.
The submarine and the podvadom were made to go together. The Eurasian submarines travel from aquastat to aquastat, destinations and defenders. The other world powers have fallen drastically behind on this front, often to the point that they do not know how far behind they actually are. The Federation's handful of surface ships and submarines have languished in the shadows of the flying warships, and the Neo-Soviets have already claimed significant portions of the seafloor, carving out entire new underwater city-states and nations.