The Šarratian Special Defense Force is the primary branch of the Šarratum Circle's armed forces, and the only branch which heavily incorporates modern technology into its forces. It is composed of primarily ground forces, supplemented by naval forces, and is geared almost entirely towards defense, composed to be capable of repelling attacks by far more numerous opponents.
The SSDF was formed first under Tamar Rysavan, great-grandfather of Vahagn Rysavan and the first emperor of what is considered the "modern" Šarratum Circle. Tamar sought to secure his rule from outside intervention, and in addition to implementing many of the isolationist policies that formed the Circle's core tenets, he formed the SSDF to better prevent any foreign nations from taking advantage of the Circle's inactivity. Under Vahagn, they have been reinforced with more advanced weaponry, and have become more actively trained, despite being constricted to their bases most of the time.
The SSDF is the most secretive branch of the Circle's military, sequestered on large fortified ships, nearly islands, for extensive training, to make the relatively small group elite in battle. These Naval Bases are organized around the Circle's outer perimeter, nearly in sight of the shore, and are designed so that they have easy access to any paths likely to be taken by invading forces. In the case of small breaches of security, they send out smaller ships to handle the situation, or deploy tanks tot he shore if the issue is on land. In the case of a more major attack, the bases may be moved to better address the assault, whereas if there is a large scale invasion or threat of one, Operation Gabriel may be initiated, pulling security to its tightest.
The SSDF relies on the government-funded military company, Terrikriss, for exclusive production of their equipment. The naval forces of the branch are made of speedy transport ships, and a number of Atlantis-class Fortress-ships, a class of ships made for usage as marine bases. They are considered the epitome of defense-ships, heavily armored, with the larger ones serving as veritable fortresses, and are partially submergible, with only the very top remaining above the water. They are perfect for equipping with weaponry, and for long-term stationing, and are nearly impossible to assault when counterattacks are being made.
The main focus of the SSDF is on the ground forces. The SSDF is made up of two main divisions: the Infantry and the Armored Forces. The Infantry consists of fighters on foot, armed with weaponry and for the most part protected by magic-enhanced shrouds, which provide as much protection as the bulkier gear of most other infantries. They utilize special "smart" weaponry created by Terrikris, which includes special bullets which lock on to a target and scan their environment before firing using a system of laser sensors, and use an on-board computer to determine their trajectory as they go, allowing them to strike their target. The Smart Weaponry also includes grenades which detect when they are at the correct proximity to their target to detonate. These are used exclusively by specially trained small units, due to their expense.
Historically, the Infantry's officers were members of the Circle's cavalry, which used horses and armored rhinoceroses, but the cavalry has been disbanded as technology advanced. Their replacements, the Special Armored Forces, are unaffiliated with the Infantry, unlike their predecessors. The SAF use tanks and other armored vehicles. The current favored class of tanks, used for most generic units in the SAF, is the Arkatsen, a heavily armored, slower-moving tank, although there are lighter tanks used for speed. Another highly favored war gear used by the SAF is the Rosemar X Annihilator, a system, attachable to tanks or other vehicles, which uses a system of of scanners and sensors to detect the glint of sun off of a reflective surface, such as a gun or even an enemy's retinas, and target it with a bright red laser, allowing for easy picking off. The device also has a highly advanced defense system, which uses microphones to detect the shot, and can determine the speed and direction of the bullet, pinpointing the location of the shooter and type of gun. The final touch to the Rosemar X is a system that sends out a pulse in the direction of the shot, intercepting and prematurely detonating or halting the progress of the assault. While the expense of this device causes it to be rare, it is extremely formidable, and very difficult to defeat.