In times of strife, one of the most significant threats to a modern town or city is an attack from the air when hostile raiders, having breached a planet’s orbital defences, descend to wreak havoc on population centres. To deter these aerial assaults, especially in the less-policed sectors of the galaxy, many cities deploy anti-aircraft defences in the form of anti-air batteries and Surface-to-Air Missile, or SAM, launchers.
SAM launchers are essentially a static defence tower or emplacement located in an area with a good view of the sky and an unrestricted field of fire, allowing the concussion missile launchers mounted on the platform the maximum freedom to engage incoming aircraft. A typical SAM platform will consist of two missile tubes and a magazine containing a dozen or more concussion missiles. The launchers can either be manually sighted by an operator with computer assistance, or fully autonomously utilising a droid brain to track targets, prioritise threats, and fire the missiles. Older launchers require manual reloading, but more modern platforms use automated systems to quickly reload the launch tubes after firing.
In cities located on fringe or conflict worlds, SAM launchers are often located along the perimeter wall that surrounds most cities. On more civilised worlds, SAM launchers are usually built onto retractable platforms that can be quickly deployed to face a threat, but when retracted during times of peace, can blend easily into a crowded cityscape.