Mercenary Coalition had deployed to the area and has been provoking Providence Bloc by reinforcing infrastructure. This led to a series of battles, with both sides trading losses. On the 16th, a Raitaru engineering complex belonging to Providence Bloc was scheduled to exit its invulnerability phase after being reinforced by Mercenary Coalition. Providence Bloc gathered a 250 pilot Nightmare battleship fleet with an electronic warfare and capital wings to defend the structure.
Seeing this force, Mercenary Coalition declined to form up, allowing the engineering complex to safely repair and resume its regular invulnerability cycle. Not content with this, Providence Bloc traveled with its Nightmare fleet to the Hasateem system, where Mercenary Coalition has been staging. Once in system, the fleet warped to a Mercenary Coalition tower and started reinforcing it in an attempt to get the alliance’s attention.
Mercenary Coalition saw this, and decided to form up. It managed to assemble a 100 pilot Machariel battleship fleet with a combat carrier and force auxiliary squadrons. After forming up, the alliance kept its fleet docked up, instead warping first a Ninazu force auxiliary from its citadel to the station in the system. The ship exited warp too far from the station’s docking range. This was an obvious bait by Mercenary Coalition to lure Providence Bloc into an engagement away from its tower. Providence Bloc recognized this but decided to take the fight regardless and warped its Nightmare fleet in as scouts scrambled to tackle it.
The Nightmare fleet landed near the capital ship and started targeting it, the battleships loading close range ammunition in the meantime before they finally opened fire. The force auxiliary managed to tank the initial barrage well, allowing Mercenary Coalition to warp in a squadron of force auxiliaries to it while the rest of the Machariel fleet and its combat carriers landed 40 kilometers away from the stranded ship. As the Mercenary Coalition fleet landed, it unleashed its fighter squadrons while the Machariels opened fire, coordinating artillery strikes against the Providence Bloc battleships.
Providence Bloc was ready. It lit a cynosural beacon 40 kilometers in the opposite direction of the Mercenary Coalition fleet, allowing its own capital wing to jump into the system. 2 squadrons of combat carriers and a squadron of force auxiliaries entered the system, adding to the already considerable Providence Bloc firepower. The combat carriers were equipped with capital energy neutralizers and quickly deployed space superiority fighters. The space superiority squadrons targeted the Mercenary Coalition fighters while the energy neutralizers were applied across the Mercenary Coalition force auxiliary squadron.
First to go down was the Ninazu, the Providence Bloc Nightmare fleet destroying it on its own. Next came the turn of the many Apostle force auxiliaries brought to the field. One after the other the capital ships were brought down, the combat carriers’ energy neutralizers draining their capacitors and switching off their armor hardeners and armor repairers, making them easy targets. At the same time, the space superiority fighters destroyed many Mercenary Coalition fighter squadrons, nullifying its combat carrier support.
The Machariel fleet attempted to return the favor but was unable to overwhelm the Nightmares’ shields. Whats more, Providence Bloc’s logistics wing proved to be on point during the engagement, keeping many of the ships alive. The Machariel fleet was able to inflict only minor casualties on Providence Bloc, destroying mainly support and tackle ships. The Nightmare fleet in the meantime kept burning through the Apostles. With losses mounting and unable to inflict adequate damage on its opponent, the Mercenary Coalition fleet decided to bail. The Machariel fleet warped out with several of its remaining force auxiliaries and combat carriers.
Providence Bloc anticipated this and had several of the capital ships tackled. The remaining capital ships were dispatched with leisure. With the final Apostle destroyed, Providence Bloc forces looted the field before extracting their capitals and withdrawing their main fleet as well as well. Thus the battle of Hasateem ended.
Battle report for the Hasateem system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 8 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 370 pilots at the height of the fighting.
Mercenary Coalition lost 14 ships including 8 force auxiliaries and 3 combat carriers for a total of 25.88 billion ISK damage.
Providence Bloc lost 16 ships, mostly tackle and support for a total 0.32 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden