Though legally an independent corporation, Illium Naval Engineering is owned almost entirely by the Free Worlds government, its status a piece of financial and legal trickery to avoid some of the budgetary problems associated with a multi-billion eagle project like the Eagle, Thera and Zechetinu WarShip programs. Ostensibly a “non-governmental agency,” Illium has a freer hand with financing and materials procurement, avoiding potential interference by Parliament as provinces jockey for lucrative contracts. In practice, the operation is a joint FWLM-SAFE affair with substantial Blakist involvement.
Detachments of troops and vessels guard the orbiting shipyards and component assembly plants on Ionus with a level of watchfulness matched only on Atreus and Marik, while a dedicated SAFE task force screens all personnel working on the projects (and many in supporting roles). Reporting directly to the LCCC, Brant Optin — a retired admiral — has so far achieved every benchmark laid out for him, producing a succession of vessels that are the pride of the League’s growing fleet. Much of the work is only possible thanks to the assistance of Word of Blake personnel; outside of Gibson, Ionus has the largest Blakist population in the League.