It is a scifi space opera setting skewing more towards realistic consequences of its breaks from the reality - quite similar to The Expanse.
Considering the situation outlined below, would it be feasible for piracy to exist in any capacity in this setting (of any kind, from the classic space pirates being their own faction, to something closer to real-life Somali piracy)?
The setting has the following conditions of space flight:
- Spaceships fly obeying physical laws - and distances, - the only things being handwaved away are the FTL, propulsion efficiency, and heat generation.
- Only relatively large spaceships can go FTL (60m in length and larger). There are no man-manned fighters, but there are drone ships trying to fill a similar role (Expected to be expendable).
- Usual weaponry target range is from several thousand kilometers up to one light second of distance.
- FTL is not instantaneous and is of "shortcut through a wormhole" variety, travel time takes from a few days to a week of transit, and you arrive in a random spot within a sphere of up to 1 au in diameter from your targeted destination location in the system (More expensive ships have much better accuracy, but the precision limits are still at tens of thousands of kilometers in ideal conditions). To go from one star system to the other, the spaceship must chain several jumps, each of which should end not too far or too close to a star or other similarly massive body (no more than 60 au and no less than 5 au for a star of a solar mass, the local large scale spacetime curvature is the deciding factor). Before proceeding with the jump, the spaceship must match the predicted orbital velocity and vector of the destination's star as close as possible, and there should be no planetary objects in the vicinity, on in the line between here and the destination. Most ships travel out of the ecliptic for a week before making the jump.
- Considering the massive scales involved, there are no defined routes or lanes of travel, even if ships tend to use relatively small portions of galaxy to travel between two known destinations.
- STL speeds are defined by the ship's acceleration capabilities; most ships don't risk accelerating faster than 2G under normal circumstances.
- typical length of the journey can clock up to a couple of months of travel, and in extreme cases up to a year.
- There are no FTL communications except dedicated messenger ships, and no FTL sensors.
- There are virtually no privately-owned spaceships sans for few rich assholes. Every spaceship is rented along with the crew from either the government or licensed companies. Furthermore, spaceship maintenance is quite expensive.
- All ships and all space stations can't reach true self-sufficiency and need to renew their resources.
- Since any ship in the setting can accelerate for months at a time fast enough for that to be used as means to simulate gravity onboard, this means that every ship is a potential relativistic kill missile capable of wiping out continents. Any suspicious activity in an inhabited system immediately gets the attention of police forces and defense systems, with reactions up to immediate termination of the suspiciously acting vessel.
- The only kind of stealth in the setting is "go on a passive ballistic trajectory with a shutdown reactor and pray your current position won't be extrapolated out of your last known positions and velocity or be spotted against CMBR by chance anyway"
- Space is explored very sparingly, out of a few billion star systems technically within reach, only a fraction of a percent was ever even visited by a passing ship or a mapping probe. Planets with biospheres are relatively rare, not all of them have friendly biochemistries.
- Most spaceships are not designed for an atmospheric flight, shuttles are used to get to and from the surface. Shuttles are vulnerable during reentry.
- There is a unified UNN-like government handling interactions between civilizations and police actions, but a large travel time coupled with a lack of instantaneous communication means that every star system far enough from the administrative centers is de-facto a self-governed independent nation.
- Interactions between these various civilizations are more or less peaceful, there's no open hostility or competition for the resources.