Bedlam is the code-name for a weapons system built by the Foundation and fielded during the Kamian Succession Wars, though the technology was also lend-leased to the Alliance, and its not unreasonable that the Kamians were working on a variant.
In concept the Bedlam is effectively a belt-fed machine gun. A VERY large belt-fed machine gun, in which the bullets have been replaced by missiles. The inner workers of the main firing hardware are effectively the same, though there is no firing pin involved. Typical Bedlam systems aimed to fire around 1200 rounds per minute, while some variants reached 2,000, and it was claimed that a few of the larger capitol ships fielded late in the war possessed bedlam systems capable of reaching 6,000.
Officially, the Bedlam was designed to launch dumb-fire kinetic missiles, effectively unguided, rocket-propelled hunks of dense mettle. This made the weapon preform very much like the gigantic machine gun it resembled, while also being very effective against large fleets: each projectile, usually traveling at relativistic velocities, could often tear through more than one ship once it got going. Alliance vessels that carried Bedlam systems loaded them exclusively with this type of ordnance.
The Foundation, meanwhile, had a tendency to load theirs with something considerablly more deadly. Specifically, N2 missiles. On Crimson Blade ships, the Bedlam was less 'a giant machine gun' and more 'a way to saturate space with missiles'. The Foundation was frequently condemed for using Bedlams in this manner, but their brutal effectiveness(on par with the Boing-Boing), made them a vital part of the war effort.
A typical battleship might have several hundred missile tubes, capable of firing a missile every few seconds. But a ship armed with a Bedlam system could put over twenty a second out. Usually Bedlams were mounted on the 0/0 axis, as opposed to 0/90 or 90/0 as was typical of missile tubes. While collectively reffered to as "bedlam", each ship usually had two to six independent launching systems of the bedlam design. Each launcher was capable of a minimum 1200 rounds per minute.
Since larger capitol ships typically carried a missile armament in the millions, the high rate of fire could be sustained for quite some time, and could also be considerably more devastating than Compressed Energy Weapons. Still, the Bedlam was often considered "a weapon of last resort" since they could so easily deplete a ship's stockpile of weapons. Each missile required about four-hundred man hours to go from base materials to explosion, making it a very highly resource-intensive weapon.
Late in the war, the Foundation began to field "super-heavy dreadnaught" ships designed to go toe-to-toe with the biggest Kamian capitol ships. While never openly disclosed, it was known that these ships could carry as many as ten million missiles and would definitely be equipped with Bedlams. The largest dreadnaughts probably carried at least six of the fastest Bedlam systems. SOme even speculate that a turret-mounted variant was designed, but never fielded.
The Bedlam was based on the success of the Guided Missile Frigates in use since early in the war, ships designed to fire over 4,000 missiles at a time. These ships were so useful and so effective that, despite the enormous resource cost, it was felt the same capability could be replicated on less specialized ships.