Weapons pods are mobile turret used on some Star Army of Yamatai ships.
The ships has numerous launchers in its hull that can form discoid custom weapons pods. The weapons take about two minutes to form and usually fire some sort of transphased energy beams or scalar electromagnetic interferometric pulses, due to the abilities of such weapons to hit and destroy shielded targets. When the pods are deployed, they move fully out of and around the ship (they float) and adjust their position to obtain the maximum volume of fire. Should a Star Army ship be disabled or destroyed, the pods will jump to another suitable Star Army ship that passes close by.
A pod is about the size of a 6-person round dinner table and about three feet thick from top to bottom.
The Type-29 fleet program called for a streamlining of the Star Army's current fleets in adjustment to the method of warfare observed in the last couple of years. Greater emphasis was placed on Strategic Pool ship classes such as the Nozomi-class scoutships and the Sakura-class gunships for longer ranged missions away from the command core of a fleet raised a concern over a cheap and efficient way to provide the smaller vessels with more staying power as they were placed in situation with less support. The same could be said for civilian spaceframes that needed defensive systems of their own, but that it was undesirable to mount military grade weaponry.
The 'Variable Defense Pods', based on the Od-series of Starship Orbital Support Drones, allowed a relatively cheap way of changing the mission loadout of a vessel without giving existant Star Army vessels (both military and civilian) a need for an exhaustive overhaul while diversifying their capabilities.
These series of 'defensive pods' come in three varieties - similarly to their more offensive-oriented weapon pod counterparts : Point shield generator pods, which would serve to cover gaps in shielding or to add a second layer of protection over a vulnerable section of a vessel; Shield Augmentation pods, whom would serve to reinforce shield strength and effectiveness to insure the ship's shields would be able to survive harder hits; and Ablative Armor Repair pods, whom would repair the ship's ablative armor layer to cope for what hits did get through.
The pods otherwise function just like the variable weapon pods : they are generated the same way, dispatched to float around a vessel and adjust their position to react to threat or damage sustained.