The Fate of Naval Combat

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

I've got a question for all you future-tech buffs out there:
Is Wet Naval Combat doomed to become obsolete?

Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed? Or will
they still exist, and what will be the tactical, economic, and practical
reasons to allow them to remain?

Thanks!

--
Francois
Prime Directive Online
http://www.primedirectiveonline.com
45 answers Last reply
More about fate naval combat
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 18:23:40 -0600, Francois
    <NOSPAMfrancois@primedirectiveonline.comNOSPAM> wrote:

    >I've got a question for all you future-tech buffs out there:
    >Is Wet Naval Combat doomed to become obsolete?
    >
    >Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    >and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    >liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed? Or will
    >they still exist, and what will be the tactical, economic, and practical
    >reasons to allow them to remain?
    >

    Well, ocean shipping isn't going anywhere. "Cheap" is relative, and
    even "cheap" into orbit is going to be more expensive for moving large
    masses than moving things with container ships and tankers on the
    water. That being the case, it would be surprising if wet navies
    totally vanished either. In particular, it would be especially
    surprising if submersible craft disappeared since being under a
    thousand feet of water is the best concealment and protection from
    space to ground attack short of being under a thousand feet of rock,
    with the added bonus of actually being mobile. Additionally small,
    highly mobile patrol vessels would remain useful for a wide variety of
    functions. If you have a space opera ships with reactionless drives,
    they are likely to operate underwater as well, but the oceanic ships
    will be cheaper. I can see big surface ships becoming obsolete as
    space to ground weaponry and surveillance improves....but even then if
    you wanted a really big mobile heavily protected weapons platform from
    which to shoot into space, making it aquatic is the only way to go.
    Those Ogre/Bolo super tanks are actually impractical. They are simply
    too large to function on land. There's no way they could get enough
    traction to move at more than a glacial crawl. There's a reason why
    blue whales dwarf even the largest dinosaurs.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Francois schrieb:
    -snip
    > Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    > and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    > liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed?
    -snip

    Not if the future will take the "hard science" option. :-)

    Lifting payloads into orbit "cheaply, easily and reliably" requires
    orbital elevators ("beanstalks"), as these are the only practical
    solution that we can imagine and that could really be build with
    near-future technolgy.(Building 36.000+ km long cables would require
    working mass-production of nanotechnology, wich itself would change
    economy and society radically, but thats another thing.)

    The most economic way to transport goods is on the water, and the most
    practical way for non-liquid and non-bulk dry goods is in standard
    containers. Most of the classic tramp freighters have vanished, and the
    container ships will become bigger and bigger. The greatest container
    ships today can carry 9,000+ containers and are more than 300 meters
    long. There are currently plans for monsters with capacity for more than
    16,000 containers. (These ships would be way to big for most of todays
    harbors or the Panama Canal.)

    Once I read a book about ship building. It stated that new technologies,
    materials and certain circumtances could change shipping in the future.
    One problem in the future would be the lack of fossil fuels, esp. oil.
    This could bring back the steamers (with improved steam engines, of
    course), and ships that would take the "slow but cheap" option and would
    use "assistance sails" to save fuel. So future shipping routes could
    follow the winds again...

    Surface warships would be another thing. The introduction of stealth
    technology would make them look different, maybe a crossbreed between a
    stealth fighter and a turtle.
    Maybe fossil fuel made from oil would be reserved for them. Or they
    could be devided into two groups - ships and boats. Ships would use
    nuclear reactors, so they would be big - the size of a contemporary
    cruiser and up. These ships would be armed with a variety of missiles
    against other ships and (maybe) beam weapons for anti-aircraft defense.
    Ships would use a lot of remote controlled drones for perimeter defense.
    Boats would be the size of patrol boats and would use combustion engines
    (that would use alcohol), fuel cells or maybe nuclear power cells. Boats
    would be used to fight lightly armed opponents, e.g. pirates, so they
    would be armed with a few "brilliant missiles" (see Ultra Tech) and
    heavy machine guns or gauss guns.


    So imagine this background:
    Turtles and kites.
    In the not-so-far future (100 - 200 years, maybe), Earth has changed.
    Global warmings changed the coast lines and the ocean currents. The old
    economy with it's thousands of factory (most of them produced only a few
    goods that where needed in other factories) is gone, and now the
    robofacs and nanofacs produce everything that is needed. Cheap food,
    clothing and housing are produced from allmost nothing. All you need -
    food, clothing, even housing - is there, order it online and it will be
    delivered in few hours.If you are one of the lucky ones in the old first
    world.
    Only the former "western nations" had the wealth, knowledge and
    technology to build the robofacs - the rest of the world was written of.
    The introduction of the nanofacs caused a massive economic collapse, and
    the only companies that survived where the ones that build and
    maintained the robofacs. The rest went belly-up, which of course led to
    millions of unemployed world-wide, which worsened the collapse. Whole
    countries vanished, as the angry mobs looted and plundered. Finally,
    large part of the former third world fell into thousands of petty
    kingdoms of various warlords, with the exception of the beanstalk bases
    and places with "ressources of strategic interest" for the leading
    countries. This areas are now de-facto colonies of the first-worlders.
    To make sure that the natives will follow their orders, the "black
    turtles of death" will show flag in the harbors of the world. When not
    intimidating the hungry masses, the turtles control the shipping lanes.
    Each capital ship is placed in a special sea area, wich has the size of
    a about 500,000 square kilometers. Here, it escorts the slow cargo ships
    that carry the goods from the robofacs and the raw materials from the
    colonies and the beanstalk bases.
    These cargo ships are giant container ships that are driven by steam
    engines and large kites that pull the ships across the oceans. Each of
    these "kite ships" would - thanks to computers and robots - only
    require a very small crew of four to six seaman, the perfect size for an
    adventure group.
    Player characters could be sailors aboard a kite ship, or daring pirates
    planning to loot the modern galores of the colonialists, or marines
    fighting the pirates, or confused spacers on sigthseeing on earth...
    Other suggestions?

    Bye
    Ingo
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <41F27957.49249060@web.de>, Ingo Siekmann <Ingo-Siekmann@web.de> wrote:
    >Francois schrieb:
    >-snip
    >> Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    >> and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    >> liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed?
    >-snip
    >
    >Not if the future will take the "hard science" option. :-)
    >
    >Lifting payloads into orbit "cheaply, easily and reliably" requires
    >orbital elevators ("beanstalks"), as these are the only practical
    >solution that we can imagine and that could really be build with
    >near-future technolgy.(Building 36.000+ km long cables would require
    >working mass-production of nanotechnology, wich itself would change
    >economy and society radically, but thats another thing.)

    Unless you have some sort of Reactionless drive or AntiGravity

    >
    >The most economic way to transport goods is on the water, and the most
    >practical way for non-liquid and non-bulk dry goods is in standard
    >containers. Most of the classic tramp freighters have vanished, and the
    >container ships will become bigger and bigger. The greatest container
    >ships today can carry 9,000+ containers and are more than 300 meters
    >long. There are currently plans for monsters with capacity for more than
    >16,000 containers. (These ships would be way to big for most of todays
    >harbors or the Panama Canal.)
    >

    With AG, think SkyTrains of Containers

    >Once I read a book about ship building. It stated that new technologies,
    >materials and certain circumtances could change shipping in the future.
    >One problem in the future would be the lack of fossil fuels, esp. oil.
    >This could bring back the steamers (with improved steam engines, of
    >course), and ships that would take the "slow but cheap" option and would
    >use "assistance sails" to save fuel. So future shipping routes could
    >follow the winds again...
    >
    >Surface warships would be another thing. The introduction of stealth
    >technology would make them look different, maybe a crossbreed between a
    >stealth fighter and a turtle.
    >Maybe fossil fuel made from oil would be reserved for them. Or they
    >could be devided into two groups - ships and boats. Ships would use
    >nuclear reactors, so they would be big - the size of a contemporary
    >cruiser and up. These ships would be armed with a variety of missiles
    >against other ships and (maybe) beam weapons for anti-aircraft defense.
    >Ships would use a lot of remote controlled drones for perimeter defense.
    >Boats would be the size of patrol boats and would use combustion engines
    >(that would use alcohol), fuel cells or maybe nuclear power cells. Boats
    >would be used to fight lightly armed opponents, e.g. pirates, so they
    >would be armed with a few "brilliant missiles" (see Ultra Tech) and
    >heavy machine guns or gauss guns.
    >
    >
    >So imagine this background:
    >Turtles and kites.
    >In the not-so-far future (100 - 200 years, maybe), Earth has changed.
    >Global warmings changed the coast lines and the ocean currents. The old
    >economy with it's thousands of factory (most of them produced only a few
    >goods that where needed in other factories) is gone, and now the
    >robofacs and nanofacs produce everything that is needed. Cheap food,
    >clothing and housing are produced from allmost nothing. All you need -
    >food, clothing, even housing - is there, order it online and it will be
    >delivered in few hours.If you are one of the lucky ones in the old first
    >world.
    >Only the former "western nations" had the wealth, knowledge and
    >technology to build the robofacs - the rest of the world was written of.
    >The introduction of the nanofacs caused a massive economic collapse, and
    >the only companies that survived where the ones that build and
    >maintained the robofacs. The rest went belly-up, which of course led to
    >millions of unemployed world-wide, which worsened the collapse. Whole
    >countries vanished, as the angry mobs looted and plundered. Finally,
    >large part of the former third world fell into thousands of petty
    >kingdoms of various warlords, with the exception of the beanstalk bases
    >and places with "ressources of strategic interest" for the leading
    >countries. This areas are now de-facto colonies of the first-worlders.
    >To make sure that the natives will follow their orders, the "black
    >turtles of death" will show flag in the harbors of the world. When not
    >intimidating the hungry masses, the turtles control the shipping lanes.
    >Each capital ship is placed in a special sea area, wich has the size of
    >a about 500,000 square kilometers. Here, it escorts the slow cargo ships
    >that carry the goods from the robofacs and the raw materials from the
    >colonies and the beanstalk bases.
    >These cargo ships are giant container ships that are driven by steam
    >engines and large kites that pull the ships across the oceans. Each of
    >these "kite ships" would - thanks to computers and robots - only
    >require a very small crew of four to six seaman, the perfect size for an
    >adventure group.
    >Player characters could be sailors aboard a kite ship, or daring pirates
    >planning to loot the modern galores of the colonialists, or marines
    >fighting the pirates, or confused spacers on sigthseeing on earth...
    >Other suggestions?
    >
    >Bye
    >Ingo
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 21:38:53 GMT, bb_43@hotmail.com (Brian Bunin)
    wrote:

    >In article <41F27957.49249060@web.de>, Ingo Siekmann <Ingo-Siekmann@web.de> wrote:
    >>Francois schrieb:
    >>-snip
    >>> Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    >>> and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    >>> liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed?
    >>-snip
    >>
    >>Not if the future will take the "hard science" option. :-)
    >>
    >>Lifting payloads into orbit "cheaply, easily and reliably" requires
    >>orbital elevators ("beanstalks"), as these are the only practical
    >>solution that we can imagine and that could really be build with
    >>near-future technolgy.(Building 36.000+ km long cables would require
    >>working mass-production of nanotechnology, wich itself would change
    >>economy and society radically, but thats another thing.)
    >
    >Unless you have some sort of Reactionless drive or AntiGravity
    >

    Reactionless drives and AG still draw power and they are going to draw
    more power than than simple lateral movement, not to mention have
    drives that are themselves more expensive than those required to
    propel oceanic vessels.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <41f27271.959163308@news.telusplanet.net>, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston) wrote:
    >On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 21:38:53 GMT, bb_43@hotmail.com (Brian Bunin)
    >wrote:
    >
    >>In article <41F27957.49249060@web.de>, Ingo Siekmann <Ingo-Siekmann@web.de>
    > wrote:
    >>>Francois schrieb:
    >>>-snip
    >>>> Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    >>>> and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    >>>> liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed?
    >>>-snip
    >>>
    >>>Not if the future will take the "hard science" option. :-)
    >>>
    >>>Lifting payloads into orbit "cheaply, easily and reliably" requires
    >>>orbital elevators ("beanstalks"), as these are the only practical
    >>>solution that we can imagine and that could really be build with
    >>>near-future technolgy.(Building 36.000+ km long cables would require
    >>>working mass-production of nanotechnology, wich itself would change
    >>>economy and society radically, but thats another thing.)
    >>
    >>Unless you have some sort of Reactionless drive or AntiGravity
    >>
    >
    >Reactionless drives and AG still draw power and they are going to draw
    >more power than than simple lateral movement, not to mention have
    >drives that are themselves more expensive than those required to
    >propel oceanic vessels.
    >

    So? Your handy dandy Fusion Cell(tm) will take care of the power problem.
    Or, alternatively, highly efficient Solar Cells, with decent lightweight
    batteries..

    Gotta think outside the box, here....
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 23:34:29 GMT, bb_43@hotmail.com (Brian Bunin)
    wrote:

    >In article <41f27271.959163308@news.telusplanet.net>, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston) wrote:
    >>On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 21:38:53 GMT, bb_43@hotmail.com (Brian Bunin)
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>>In article <41F27957.49249060@web.de>, Ingo Siekmann <Ingo-Siekmann@web.de>
    >> wrote:
    >>>>Francois schrieb:
    >>>>-snip
    >>>>> Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    >>>>> and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    >>>>> liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed?
    >>>>-snip
    >>>>
    >>>>Not if the future will take the "hard science" option. :-)
    >>>>
    >>>>Lifting payloads into orbit "cheaply, easily and reliably" requires
    >>>>orbital elevators ("beanstalks"), as these are the only practical
    >>>>solution that we can imagine and that could really be build with
    >>>>near-future technolgy.(Building 36.000+ km long cables would require
    >>>>working mass-production of nanotechnology, wich itself would change
    >>>>economy and society radically, but thats another thing.)
    >>>
    >>>Unless you have some sort of Reactionless drive or AntiGravity
    >>>
    >>
    >>Reactionless drives and AG still draw power and they are going to draw
    >>more power than than simple lateral movement, not to mention have
    >>drives that are themselves more expensive than those required to
    >>propel oceanic vessels.
    >>
    >
    >So? Your handy dandy Fusion Cell(tm) will take care of the power problem.

    It might make power cheap. It won't make it free. Here's a
    fundamental secret:
    Power is never "too cheap to meter".
    Particularly for commercial purposes, even the most minute saving of
    expense converts into a significant competitive advantage


    >Or, alternatively, highly efficient Solar Cells, with decent lightweight
    >batteries..

    Solar cells can't give you more power than the available surface area
    even with 100% efficiency.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    What I think Francois is asking though has nothing to do with economics or
    society. Think strictly military. There will ALWAYS be a requirement for
    some sort of wet navy. That is the cheapest way to get massive amounts of
    troops on the ground. The only way to win is to occupy, and the only way to
    occupy, AND KEEP IT, is with the basic infantry trooper. There will ALWAYS
    be a need for a wet navy.
    "Francois" <NOSPAMfrancois@primedirectiveonline.comNOSPAM> wrote in message
    news:54hId.1183$sJ4.170@fe06.lga...
    > I've got a question for all you future-tech buffs out there:
    > Is Wet Naval Combat doomed to become obsolete?
    >
    > Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    > and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    > liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed? Or will
    > they still exist, and what will be the tactical, economic, and practical
    > reasons to allow them to remain?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > --
    > Francois
    > Prime Directive Online
    > http://www.primedirectiveonline.com
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 03:23:44 GMT, "Scott" <shensch@satx.rr.com> wrote:

    >What I think Francois is asking though has nothing to do with economics or
    >society. Think strictly military. There will ALWAYS be a requirement for
    >some sort of wet navy. That is the cheapest way to get massive amounts of
    >troops on the ground.

    Actually only if the massive amounts of troops are already on the
    ground. Assuming that they have to arrive by spaceship, just landing
    or being dropped where you want them to go is cheaper. And of course
    militaries don't generally give a damn about cheapness as a tradeoff
    for speed of deployment. Wars aren't fought at a profit.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    From: rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston)

    >On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 03:23:44 GMT, "Scott" <shensch@satx.rr.com> wrote:
    >
    >>What I think Francois is asking though has nothing to do with economics or
    >>society. Think strictly military. There will ALWAYS be a requirement for
    >>some sort of wet navy. That is the cheapest way to get massive amounts of
    >>troops on the ground.
    >
    >Actually only if the massive amounts of troops are already on the
    >ground. Assuming that they have to arrive by spaceship, just landing
    >or being dropped where you want them to go is cheaper. And of course
    >militaries don't generally give a damn about cheapness as a tradeoff
    >for speed of deployment. Wars aren't fought at a profit.

    I can envision one wet navy unit that may still be used in a spacefaring
    civilization: Submarines.

    A fixed ground installation can be located and attacked, especially if it's
    shooting at ships in orbit. How ever, if you take those same weapons and
    put them on a sub, then the attacker has a problem, especially if sensors
    can't see much below the water's surface.

    Submarines are mobile. They can pop to the surface, shoot at a convenient
    target (orbiting ship, landing craft, etc) then pop back in the depths before
    the enemy can effectively reply. The enemy never knows where the subs will
    pop up. The only way to effectively reply is to deploy their own subs to hunt
    down the defenders.

    I imagine these subs would be used on worlds with large, open bodies of
    water. Like Earth.

    - Nopporn Wongrassamee

    Homepage: http://hometown.aol.com/evilauthor/myhomepage/index.html
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Nopporn Wongrassamee wrote:

    > I can envision one wet navy unit that may still be used in a spacefaring
    > civilization: Submarines.
    >
    > A fixed ground installation can be located and attacked, especially if it's
    > shooting at ships in orbit. How ever, if you take those same weapons and
    > put them on a sub, then the attacker has a problem, especially if sensors
    > can't see much below the water's surface.
    >
    > Submarines are mobile. They can pop to the surface, shoot at a convenient
    > target (orbiting ship, landing craft, etc) then pop back in the depths before
    > the enemy can effectively reply. The enemy never knows where the subs will
    > pop up. The only way to effectively reply is to deploy their own subs to hunt
    > down the defenders.
    >
    > I imagine these subs would be used on worlds with large, open bodies of
    > water. Like Earth.
    >
    > - Nopporn Wongrassamee

    I believe we already have a variety of sensors which can see through
    quite a bit of water, in the form of extremely low frequency radar. One
    imagines that such technologies will only improve with time, so probably
    by the time there are starships, water won't be much good for hiding in.

    --
    Aaron Boyden

    The main division between the so-called Continental and Analytic
    traditions has been disputes over whether the task of being unclear
    should be carried out in natural language or in a formal system.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Once a sub surfaces, won't it take just as long for it to scope out
    the space target as it would for the target to lock on to the sub?
    Doesn't that mean they'd fire at roughly the same time?

    Something in a fixed orbit would probably be predictable enough for
    the sub to "snap shot" at, but I don't see how subs would help much
    against space ships.

    Also, what are the effects of firing weapons two and from the planet?
    It would seem that you could load a LOT more stuff on a space station,
    because you don't have to worry about losing bouyancy, but instead
    just expand your orbit a little.

    If the subs use projectile or missile weapons, it would seem that they
    wouldn't have a chance in heck of reaching the space targets without
    being shot down. Furthermore, IF the space target doesn't use beam
    weapons, it still doesn't have to worry much, because all it's attacks
    still hit the planet anyway.

    Too many questions?

    -- Matt Jozwiak
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <gah7v09l6f89vn8knv4m7n47dh10p83ls8@4ax.com>,
    Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com> wrote:
    >Once a sub surfaces, won't it take just as long for it to scope out
    >the space target as it would for the target to lock on to the sub?
    >Doesn't that mean they'd fire at roughly the same time?

    Why does the sub need to scope out its own targets? a distrubited network
    of observers (both human and automatic on land and sea) could supply targeting data

    >Something in a fixed orbit would probably be predictable enough for
    >the sub to "snap shot" at, but I don't see how subs would help much
    >against space ships.

    The advantage of a sub is that, it is mobile, its hidden (depth charges are
    only effective if the location of the sub is known), and water
    makes very good armour (beam weapons would just make huge clouds of steam,
    projectile weapons a big splash)

    >Also, what are the effects of firing weapons two and from the planet?
    >It would seem that you could load a LOT more stuff on a space station,

    A space station would be a good first line of defence, but its location is
    known and its armour is limited to what is shifted into orbit, dump a few
    thousand titanium half-bricks in a retrograde orbit and the space station
    could be in real trouble

    >because you don't have to worry about losing bouyancy, but instead
    >just expand your orbit a little.

    and expanding the sub is not an option?

    >If the subs use projectile or missile weapons, it would seem that they
    >wouldn't have a chance in heck of reaching the space targets without
    >being shot down.

    Your next sentence implys the existence of beam weapons why can't the
    sub's use beam weapons?

    > Furthermore, IF the space target doesn't use beam
    >weapons, it still doesn't have to worry much, because all it's attacks
    >still hit the planet anyway.

    The attack hit the planet, has it hit anything that matters?

    >Too many questions?
    >
    >-- Matt Jozwiak


    --
    Michael
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    NPC rights activist | Nameless Abominations are people too.
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:53:41 +0000 (UTC), mlush@hgmp.mrc.ac.uk (Mr.
    M.J. Lush) wrote:

    >Why does the sub need to scope out its own targets? a distrubited network
    >of observers (both human and automatic on land and sea) could supply targeting data

    All of the points you made seem to depend on a single space station
    going up against an entire continent's defenses. Of course it would
    lose in a situation like that. But what if a space-based targeting
    and attack system were already in place?

    But to actually answer your question: Subs, at least today, have very
    limited ways of receiving information when they're hidden underwater.
    To get the targeting data to the sub, they need to either... [1] know
    where the sub will surface (pattern behavior is easy to anticipate by
    the space station's side), [2] wait for the sub to send a data request
    after surfacing (which might be detected by the station's side), or
    [3] give the sub all commands through a slow medium like ELF (which
    might not be good enough for up-to-the-second tracking information).


    >The advantage of a sub is that, it is mobile, its hidden (depth charges are
    >only effective if the location of the sub is known), and water
    >makes very good armour (beam weapons would just make huge clouds of steam,
    >projectile weapons a big splash)

    Water limits the sub's attack options just as much as the station's.


    >A space station would be a good first line of defence, but its location is
    >known and its armour is limited to what is shifted into orbit, dump a few
    >thousand titanium half-bricks in a retrograde orbit and the space station
    >could be in real trouble

    Such a tactic would be almost as avoidable as a submarine dodging
    anti-ship mines dumped in its path. Both methods are neutralized IF
    the victim can detect the problem in time.

    In order to guarantee a hit in either case, the attacker has to put
    himself in a poisition to drop his weapon at *effectively* point-blank
    range -- so close as to make the collision unavoidable. Doing that,
    however, almost certainly tips the victim off to the attacker's
    presence and/or intention (catch-22).


    >and expanding the sub is not an option?

    Not beyond a certain point, no. The bigger you get, the slower you
    have to react to prevent buckling your own hull. If you make a sub
    into an underwater aircraft carrier, it'll have to turn like one too.

    On the other hand, vacuum doesn't bog you down when you want to move a
    space station. It does have its own unique problems, just as with any
    large construct, but displacing thousands (or millions) of tons of
    water in order to dive isn't one of them.


    >Your next sentence implys the existence of beam weapons why can't the
    >sub's use beam weapons?

    There's no reason a sub can't use beam weapons, but a space station is
    certainly more suited to large ones. There's just no good way to have
    giant heat sinks on a sub and still keep it maneuverable.

    On a space station, there's no water resistance to break things off
    when you move, so all you really have to worry about is making the
    parts strong enough to resist the stresses of station maneuvering.


    >The attack hit the planet, has it hit anything that matters?

    With a beam weapon, there might not be much effect, though I'm sure
    instantly vaporizing a ton of water would certainly shake up the sub a
    dozen yards away.

    Projectile weapons are another matter. What do you think would happen
    if a house suddenly landed in your back yard -- at a thousand mph?


    -- Matt Jozwiak
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On 23 Jan 2005 10:31:55 GMT, evilauthor@aol.com (Nopporn Wongrassamee)
    carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > I can envision one wet navy unit that may still be used in a spacefaring
    > civilization: Submarines.
    >
    > A fixed ground installation can be located and attacked, especially if it's
    > shooting at ships in orbit. How ever, if you take those same weapons and
    > put them on a sub, then the attacker has a problem, especially if sensors
    > can't see much below the water's surface.
    >
    > Submarines are mobile. They can pop to the surface, shoot at a convenient
    > target (orbiting ship, landing craft, etc) then pop back in the depths before
    > the enemy can effectively reply. The enemy never knows where the subs will
    > pop up. The only way to effectively reply is to deploy their own subs to hunt
    > down the defenders.

    So, how do the subs target those orbiting craft? And what will they be
    shooting with?


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <7j17v05dp9nusk8n2oohpm1s0meaftsp2m@4ax.com>,
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
    >On 23 Jan 2005 10:31:55 GMT, evilauthor@aol.com (Nopporn Wongrassamee)
    >carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    >> I can envision one wet navy unit that may still be used in a spacefaring
    >> civilization: Submarines.
    >>
    >> A fixed ground installation can be located and attacked, especially if it's
    >> shooting at ships in orbit. How ever, if you take those same weapons and
    >> put them on a sub, then the attacker has a problem, especially if sensors
    >> can't see much below the water's surface.
    >>
    >> Submarines are mobile. They can pop to the surface, shoot at a convenient
    >> target (orbiting ship, landing craft, etc) then pop back in the depths before
    >> the enemy can effectively reply. The enemy never knows where the subs will
    >> pop up. The only way to effectively reply is to deploy their own subs to hunt
    >> down the defenders.
    >
    >So, how do the subs target those orbiting craft?

    Optical and/or radar.... using a drone sub located some 100 miles away

    >And what will they be shooting with?

    Probably a peashooter or perhaps an air rifle if they can afford one.


    --
    Michael
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    NPC rights activist | Nameless Abominations are people too.
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Red Beard wrote:

    >Such a tactic would be almost as avoidable as a submarine dodging
    >anti-ship mines dumped in its path. Both methods are neutralized IF
    >the victim can detect the problem in time.
    >
    The obvious upgrade to the space station killer is to make your "bricks"
    guided. It is hard to hide in space.

    >
    >>Your next sentence implys the existence of beam weapons why can't the
    >>sub's use beam weapons?
    >>
    >>
    >
    >There's no reason a sub can't use beam weapons, but a space station is
    >certainly more suited to large ones. There's just no good way to have
    >giant heat sinks on a sub and still keep it maneuverable.
    >
    Water is excelent at removing heat. It has an anomalously high heat
    capacity and heat of evaporation. You don't need enormous heat sinks if
    you are in a sub - just pump the coolant fluid through the outer hull
    next to the ocean, and any heat you could expect to generate with any
    reasonable beam weapon would disappear.

    On the other hand, space is horrible at removing heat. There is no
    fluid to dump it to. You have to radiate it away which is really really
    slow unless (a) your radiating surface is huge or (b) you have extremely
    high temperatures. Option (b) works for stars, but material limits
    prevent you from going very far this way with mechanical devices.
    Option (a) leaves large vulnerable structures.

    >With a beam weapon, there might not be much effect, though I'm sure
    >instantly vaporizing a ton of water would certainly shake up the sub a
    >dozen yards away.
    >
    Forseable beam weapons are not going to be instantly vaporizing tons of
    water. For one thing, no beam projector is 100% efficient. A
    significant fraction of the energy going into the beam will end up as
    heat the space station has to get rid of. See my previous statements
    about the difficulty of getting rid of heat in space.

    Yes, space based beam weapons can be useful in many circumstances. The
    pinpoint accuracy of lasers makes them nice for picking off any targets
    you can sense optically. If you can see the sub, it is going to be in
    trouble if you can train some hefty lasers on it. Misses are not going
    to bother it much, though. If the sub also has a laser, you will be in
    even more trouble, because (a) the sub can dive if things start going
    badly, (b) you can't, (c) even if unable to dive, the sub can throw up a
    spray of water droplets to block your beam and do so continuously, and
    (d) you can't. Note that surface ships can also take advantage of (c)
    and (d) to gain total protection from lasers. They will not be able to
    shoot back while doing this, of course.

    >Projectile weapons are another matter. What do you think would happen
    >if a house suddenly landed in your back yard -- at a thousand mph?
    >
    Houses have this small problem that they are unable to get very far through our atmosphere at a thousand mph. You'd just get a bunch of kindling tumbling down at subsonic velocities.

    To cause significant damage, you need large masses that can survive re-entry at hypersonic velocities. Even then, if unaimed these will not cause much problem until you get into dinosaur killer territory. A 10 kT explosion in the middle of the ocean or Kansas farmland or the Yukon tundra is not going to cause much of an effect. You need those masses to strike targets of military importance.

    If we are hypothesizing serious beam weapons, these giant chunks could end up being vulnerable during their decent phase. The hypersonic passage through the atmosphere places enormous loads on large objects. The masses must be very strong and aerodynamically built. If a beam weapon can damage the aerodynamics, the stresses will increase and could blow the mass apart high in the atmosphere, where it will not do anything. The major issue with this technique is if the beam weapon can get through the shock generated obscuring plasma sheath generated by extreme hypersonic velocities.

    Luke
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    The Sophist wrote:

    > I believe we already have a variety of sensors which can see through
    > quite a bit of water, in the form of extremely low frequency radar.
    > One imagines that such technologies will only improve with time, so
    > probably by the time there are starships, water won't be much good for
    > hiding in.

    We can never foresee the future, of course. But "hard science"
    extrapolations don't show any way of sensing through long distance of
    water other than with sonar or possibly by picking up passive emissions
    of neutrinos given off by fission (not fusion!) powered subs. We have
    already explored the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and the only part
    that can go through much water are the extreme low frequency (ELF)
    waves. Unfortunately, these waves are pretty near useless for detection
    and ranging because of a fundamental physical restriction imposed by
    their long wavelengths. Sonar, of course, is quite difficult for space
    stations to use*. This argues that subs will be able to hide from
    orbital bad guys for quite some time.

    But who knows? Maybe next week someone will discover a completely novel
    physical effect that can be used for remote sensing**. At this point,
    we must ask "but then what." If the space station can sense the sub, it
    still must be able to blow it out of the water somehow, and once again
    this is difficult to do with submerged vessels, especially with the
    armaments likely available to spacestations. Lasers will either be
    absorbed right at the surface or, for certain frequencies, penetrate a
    few tens of meters (subs can dive deeper). Hypersonic projectiles will
    explode at the surface. You would need depth charges that could be
    slowed down to subsonic velocities before splashdown. This takes time
    and allows the sub to maneuver. Unless of course the amazing new
    discovery of remote underwater detection and ranging from space can also
    be turned into a weapon. Fun stuff for science fiction, but by no means
    inevitable or even probable.

    Luke

    * Not impossible, though. We could envision the space station blasting
    the water's surface with lasers to produce sound waves. These would
    then be sensed with ladar when they propagated back to the water's surface.

    ** One possible such discovery is the prediction that quantum entangled
    photons can give a resolution better than unentangled photons. For
    example, if you entangle two photons, you could resolve objects twice as
    small as with one photon of the same frequency. Last I heard, this
    prediction was still controversial and unverified by experiment. Even
    if it did work, you would have a long way to go before you could
    entangle on the order of 1000 ELF photons in order to get useful
    resolution on your entangled ELF radar. Note that ELF radar will also
    require a multi-kilometer long antenna.
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    "The Sophist" <sophist@brown.edu> ha scritto nel messaggio
    news:htPId.75057$Wo.3816@lakeread08...

    >
    > I believe we already have a variety of sensors which can see through
    > quite a bit of water, in the form of extremely low frequency radar. One
    > imagines that such technologies will only improve with time, so probably
    > by the time there are starships, water won't be much good for hiding in.

    The night skies seemed not a good place to hide in, when radar became
    fashionable. You will have noticed we've been developing stealth technology
    to counter that. For that matter, we've been hearing through water for quite
    some time, with sonar - and the subs have become more and more noiseless.
    One imagines that if a sub remains an otherwise valuable weapons platform,
    stealth technologies will also only improve with time.
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:27:35 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    wrote:

    >On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:53:41 +0000 (UTC), mlush@hgmp.mrc.ac.uk (Mr.
    >M.J. Lush) wrote:
    >
    >>Why does the sub need to scope out its own targets? a distrubited network
    >>of observers (both human and automatic on land and sea) could supply targeting data
    >
    >All of the points you made seem to depend on a single space station
    >going up against an entire continent's defenses. Of course it would
    >lose in a situation like that. But what if a space-based targeting
    >and attack system were already in place?

    Then it would probably belong to whoever owns the planet. At least
    until it gets destroyed by the attackers, which would be the very
    first thing to happen.

    >
    >But to actually answer your question: Subs, at least today, have very
    >limited ways of receiving information when they're hidden underwater.
    >To get the targeting data to the sub, they need to either... [1] know
    >where the sub will surface (pattern behavior is easy to anticipate by
    >the space station's side), [2] wait for the sub to send a data request
    >after surfacing (which might be detected by the station's side),

    I suspect that the sub shooting at the orbital side will also be
    detected.

    or
    >[3] give the sub all commands through a slow medium like ELF (which
    >might not be good enough for up-to-the-second tracking information).
    >
    >
    >>The advantage of a sub is that, it is mobile, its hidden (depth charges are
    >>only effective if the location of the sub is known), and water
    >>makes very good armour (beam weapons would just make huge clouds of steam,
    >>projectile weapons a big splash)
    >
    >Water limits the sub's attack options just as much as the station's.

    Which is why subs spend most of their time hiding and waiting for the
    moment of opportunity.


    >>Your next sentence implys the existence of beam weapons why can't the
    >>sub's use beam weapons?
    >
    >There's no reason a sub can't use beam weapons, but a space station is
    >certainly more suited to large ones. There's just no good way to have
    >giant heat sinks on a sub and still keep it maneuverable.

    Why do you need giant heat sinks on a sub when you have an ocean to be

    a heat sink?
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 21:12:15 GMT, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David
    Johnston) wrote:

    >On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:27:35 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    >wrote:

    <snip>

    >>There's no reason a sub can't use beam weapons, but a space station is
    >>certainly more suited to large ones. There's just no good way to have
    >>giant heat sinks on a sub and still keep it maneuverable.
    >
    >Why do you need giant heat sinks on a sub when you have an ocean to be
    >a heat sink?

    Because that creates a "heat bloom" in the ocean, which can be picked up
    in space using modern-day instruments. All the invader would need to do
    is target the centre of the heat bloom, and suddenly there's no more
    submarine...

    --
    Rob Kelk <http://robkelk.ottawa-anime.org/> robkelk -at- gmail -dot- com
    "And really, you think people who watch Japanese cartoons would be a
    little more understanding of the seemingly odd hobbies of other fringe
    groups." - Chris "Blade" McNeil on rec.arts.anime.misc, 20 Jan 2004
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 21:41:44 -0500, Rob Kelk <robkelk@deadspam.com>
    wrote:

    >On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 21:12:15 GMT, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David
    >Johnston) wrote:
    >
    >>On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:27:35 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    >>wrote:
    >
    ><snip>
    >
    >>>There's no reason a sub can't use beam weapons, but a space station is
    >>>certainly more suited to large ones. There's just no good way to have
    >>>giant heat sinks on a sub and still keep it maneuverable.
    >>
    >>Why do you need giant heat sinks on a sub when you have an ocean to be
    >>a heat sink?
    >
    >Because that creates a "heat bloom" in the ocean, which can be picked up
    >in space using modern-day instruments.

    I would expect that your position would be given away by the fact that
    you are radiating fantastically powerful beams of energy regardless of
    whether you have a heat bloom in the ocean. Although really for
    shooting through atmospheres I'd go with missiles in preference to
    beam weapons anyway.
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Depends on Time to Target delivery of firepower and personnel. If
    Orbital jumps can provide the capabilities of a fleet arriving of the
    coast, faster, then the "Wet Navy" will become obsolete.

    This is not simply putting personnel there or conversly, demolishing a
    target from orbit, but would include a large number of other things,
    including on the spot communications.

    A "wet Navy" will probably still exist under any future envisioned
    situation simply because there is the requirement to patrol/protect the
    country's shipping, which will NOT go away. Can't really envision
    Orbital jumps to the middle of the ocean!

    Regards-
    Roger

    Francois wrote:
    > I've got a question for all you future-tech buffs out there:
    > Is Wet Naval Combat doomed to become obsolete?
    >
    > Once we've got space-bound navies, with the ability to cheaply, easily,
    > and reliably get to orbital space, are the days of ocean shipping
    > liners, wet navy warships, and other water-based craft doomed? Or will
    > they still exist, and what will be the tactical, economic, and practical
    > reasons to allow them to remain?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    "Red Beard" <Akahige@HotPOP.com> ha scritto nel messaggio
    news:agc8v09nnurmv0mgsgq25ohgl8sq6rtrpk@4ax.com...
    > On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:53:41 +0000 (UTC), mlush@hgmp.mrc.ac.uk (Mr.
    > M.J. Lush) wrote:

    Subs, at least today, have very
    > limited ways of receiving information when they're hidden underwater.

    > Water limits the sub's attack options just as much as the station's.

    Right now, subs can launch fairly long-ranged missiles without surfacing.

    Right now, missiles can be smart enough to be just launched in the general
    direction of the enemy - then their course can be updated in various ways,
    including independent in-missile sensors.

    See what I mean? The sub just needs a simple ELF message saying "launch
    now". It doesn't surface, and by the time the missiles leave the water, it's
    already changing position. And the missiles will find their targets on their
    own.

    This of course shifts the problem to: what anti-missile defenses are
    available to the space vessel? If orbital stations have sure ways to defeat
    missiles from the planet's surface, then not only the subs but also any
    land-based force has little in the way of anti-orbital effectiveness. OK,
    land-based stations could possibly resort to beam weapons, more easily than
    subs.

    If, however, anti-orbital missiles are in any way effective, the procedure
    above is a good way to deliver them into the orbit from a relatively safer
    platfrom than an immobile land-based station.
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    "LukeCampbell" <lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> ha scritto nel messaggio
    news:ct32hm$2m1$1@news.service.uci.edu...
    >
    >
    > Red Beard wrote:
    >
    > >Such a tactic would be almost as avoidable as a submarine dodging
    > >anti-ship mines dumped in its path. Both methods are neutralized IF
    > >the victim can detect the problem in time.
    > >
    > The obvious upgrade to the space station killer is to make your "bricks"
    > guided.

    "Stupid" bricks is what I would never use anyway if I were a space-faring
    owner of the planet. Think about it. In order to remove say five offending
    spaceships in my orbit, I have to sow a few hundreds of thousands of space
    mines - where? In my orbit. Supposing I win, I end up with a minefield
    surrounding my home.
    I need a way to get rid of that. At the really very least, I need a smart
    delivery system that throws the bricks on an in-built decaying orbit, and
    they need to be small enough to just burn in the upper layer of my
    atmosphere.
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:20:28 GMT, "Michele Armellini"
    <don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > See what I mean? The sub just needs a simple ELF message saying "launch
    > now". It doesn't surface, and by the time the missiles leave the water, it's
    > already changing position. And the missiles will find their targets on their
    > own.

    ISTR that ELF transmitters are rather large, and have massive
    antennas, so requiring ELF comms to your subs means the subs could
    well never get the launch order.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <85bcv0pk0f7u099eo3pici9r120njramte@4ax.com>,
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
    >On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:20:28 GMT, "Michele Armellini"
    ><don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    >> See what I mean? The sub just needs a simple ELF message saying "launch
    >> now". It doesn't surface, and by the time the missiles leave the water, it's
    >> already changing position. And the missiles will find their targets on their
    >> own.
    >
    >ISTR that ELF transmitters are rather large, and have massive
    >antennas, so requiring ELF comms to your subs means the subs could
    >well never get the launch order.

    The ELF transmitters are large, but resemble 28 mile long power lines
    string them along real powerlines or bury them and they would be
    hard to find and destroy.

    Since the system has been discontinued and the US navy have
    switched to 'using a combination of satellites and
    Very Low Frequency (3-30kHz) transmitters' there is clearly
    More Than One Way To Do It

    <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/30/elf_us_navy/>
    --
    Michael
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    NPC rights activist | Nameless Abominations are people too.
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 10:02:07 -0500, LukeCampbell
    <lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> wrote:

    >The obvious upgrade to the space station killer is to make your "bricks"
    >guided. It is hard to hide in space.

    Well, if you want to go that route, then my side of the argument must
    resort to making the naval mines into torpedoes. Once again, both
    instances have similar difficulties.


    >Water is excelent at removing heat. It has an anomalously high heat
    >capacity and heat of evaporation. You don't need enormous heat sinks if
    >you are in a sub - just pump the coolant fluid through the outer hull
    >next to the ocean, and any heat you could expect to generate with any
    >reasonable beam weapon would disappear.

    That could work, but it would double the complexity of the sub and
    make it easier to track besides.


    >On the other hand, space is horrible at removing heat. There is no
    >fluid to dump it to. You have to radiate it away which is really really
    >slow unless (a) your radiating surface is huge or (b) you have extremely
    >high temperatures. Option (b) works for stars, but material limits
    >prevent you from going very far this way with mechanical devices.
    >Option (a) leaves large vulnerable structures.

    The lack of wind-chill in space is countered by the fact that stuff in
    the shade gets a couple-hundred degrees below zero out there. Even in
    sunlight, heat sinks could be placed behind shields or solar panels,
    making the best of a problematic situation.


    >Forseable beam weapons are not going to be instantly vaporizing tons of
    >water. For one thing, no beam projector is 100% efficient. A
    >significant fraction of the energy going into the beam will end up as
    >heat the space station has to get rid of. See my previous statements
    >about the difficulty of getting rid of heat in space.

    But space-to-earth beams are more effective. A laser fired from
    ground level has to go through the entire atmosphere to get to the
    space target, and it's diminished by the time it gets into the vacuum.
    Though the space station's laser would be similarly reduced trying to
    hit a ground target, it also has the option of shooting down aircraft
    instead of losing its effectiveness on the lowest-lying targets.


    >to bother it much, though. If the sub also has a laser, you will be in
    >even more trouble, because (a) the sub can dive if things start going
    >badly, (b) you can't, (c) even if unable to dive, the sub can throw up a
    >spray of water droplets to block your beam and do so continuously, and
    >(d) you can't. Note that surface ships can also take advantage of (c)
    >and (d) to gain total protection from lasers. They will not be able to
    >shoot back while doing this, of course.

    With any sort of targeting assitance, neither side would seem to have
    an advantage to me. The sub could aim and fire just as fast as the
    station, and neither would be effective after the sub dives deep.

    The sub has limited weapons capability, but is can hide under a shield
    of water. The station is moving too fast for conventional weapons,
    and has many odd benefits and troubles that are hard to guage.


    >Houses have this small problem that they are unable to get very far through our atmosphere at a thousand mph. You'd just get a bunch of kindling tumbling down at subsonic velocities.
    >
    >To cause significant damage, you need large masses that can survive re-entry at hypersonic velocities. Even then, if unaimed these will not cause much problem until you get into dinosaur killer territory. A 10 kT explosion in the middle of the ocean or Kansas farmland or the Yukon tundra is not going to cause much of an effect. You need those masses to strike targets of military importance.
    >
    >If we are hypothesizing serious beam weapons, these giant chunks could end up being vulnerable during their decent phase. The hypersonic passage through the atmosphere places enormous loads on large objects. The masses must be very strong and aerodynamically built. If a beam weapon can damage the aerodynamics, the stresses will increase and could blow the mass apart high in the atmosphere, where it will not do anything. The major issue with this technique is if the beam weapon can get through the shock generated obscuring plasma sheath generated by extreme hypersonic velocities.

    I was being figurative about the houses. And if you want some really
    dangerous falling weapons, lift the ban on flachettes. (Those
    regulations are awfully strange -- you can't shoot a jumping
    paratrooper with a machine gun, but you can blow his legs off with a
    grenade once he lands...)


    -- M.J.
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 21:12:15 GMT, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David
    Johnston) wrote:

    >Why do you need giant heat sinks on a sub when you have an ocean to be
    >
    >a heat sink?

    Umm... because you need to get the heat out of your vehicle before
    your crew melts? (I'm assuming you want the biggest possible
    submarine-based anti-space laser imaginable, though. :)

    -- M.J.
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:20:28 GMT, "Michele Armellini"
    <don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> wrote:

    >Right now, subs can launch fairly long-ranged missiles without surfacing.

    The tracking technology is fine, but getting the missle to leave the
    atmosphere and strike a fast-moving space station before the station
    shoots at it with a beam weapon...

    -- M.J.
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 01:11:21 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    wrote:

    >On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:20:28 GMT, "Michele Armellini"
    ><don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> wrote:
    >
    >>Right now, subs can launch fairly long-ranged missiles without surfacing.
    >
    >The tracking technology is fine, but getting the missle to leave the
    >atmosphere and strike a fast-moving space station before the station
    >shoots at it with a beam weapon...

    The initial post assumed high-g reactionless drives. I don't see the
    problem as long you launch multiple missiles
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    "David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> ha scritto nel messaggio
    news:41f6de9e.1249043587@news.telusplanet.net...
    > On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 01:11:21 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:20:28 GMT, "Michele Armellini"
    > ><don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> wrote:
    > >
    > >>Right now, subs can launch fairly long-ranged missiles without
    surfacing.
    > >
    > >The tracking technology is fine, but getting the missle to leave the
    > >atmosphere and strike a fast-moving space station before the station
    > >shoots at it with a beam weapon...

    That would be a problem for _any_ anti-space missile fired from the planet
    surface, be it from the water or on land.

    >
    > The initial post assumed high-g reactionless drives. I don't see the
    > problem as long you launch multiple missiles

    Or bus missiles. The first stage to get out of the well, then *10 or *100
    smaller, faster, smart warheads to engage. Why, the exit from the well and
    the atmosphere can even be done while the target is below the horizon, so
    that the target can't engage the larger, slower missile while it climbs out.
    Though, if you have a full enemy navy out there this won't work.
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Red Beard wrote:

    >On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 10:02:07 -0500, LukeCampbell
    ><lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>The obvious upgrade to the space station killer is to make your "bricks"
    >>guided. It is hard to hide in space.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >Well, if you want to go that route, then my side of the argument must
    >resort to making the naval mines into torpedoes. Once again, both
    >instances have similar difficulties.
    >
    Not really. As I said, it is hard to hide in space. The orbit of the
    space station is known, course changes will be known, meaning intercept
    solutions are easy. None of this is true underwater. Where are you
    going to drop your torpedos? What do they try to hit? You can't see
    your target.

    >>Water is excelent at removing heat. It has an anomalously high heat
    >>capacity and heat of evaporation. You don't need enormous heat sinks if
    >>you are in a sub - just pump the coolant fluid through the outer hull
    >>next to the ocean, and any heat you could expect to generate with any
    >>reasonable beam weapon would disappear.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >That could work, but it would double the complexity of the sub and
    >make it easier to track besides.
    >
    How would it be easier to track? Remember, it is only emitting heat
    when the beam weapons are on. Otherwise, it is as cool and silent as
    any other sub. Once the beam weapons are on, you don't need to track it
    by its heat, you've got megawatts of coherant light incident on your
    hull telling you where the sub is.

    >>On the other hand, space is horrible at removing heat. There is no
    >>fluid to dump it to. You have to radiate it away which is really really
    >>slow unless (a) your radiating surface is huge or (b) you have extremely
    >>high temperatures. Option (b) works for stars, but material limits
    >>prevent you from going very far this way with mechanical devices.
    >>Option (a) leaves large vulnerable structures.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >The lack of wind-chill in space is countered by the fact that stuff in
    >the shade gets a couple-hundred degrees below zero out there.
    >
    But verrry slowwwly. It is not the final temperature that counts, but
    the rate at which you remove heat. If a sub can get rid of ten
    megawatts of heat but the station can only get rid of 100 kilowatts of
    heat, the sub wins even if the sub can only get to 10 C while the
    station could eventually reach -270 C.

    >Even in
    >sunlight, heat sinks could be placed behind shields or solar panels,
    >making the best of a problematic situation.
    >
    Not heat sinks, heat radiators. But yes, that's the preferred option.
    Still, you need huge structures to get rid of lots of heat in space.
    Consider - modern laser weapons are on the order of 20% efficient. Lets
    be generous and say near future lasers are 50% efficient. Our 10
    megawatt beam still needs to dump 10 megawatts of heat. Lets assume we
    can build our radiators and our laser out of materials that can handle
    600 K (thats 327 C) and that the radiator is close enough to a black
    body to make no difference to our calculations. This will radiate 7.4
    kw per square meter, so we will need 1351 square meters of radiators to
    get rid of that heat. The hotter we can run your radiators, the better,
    but that means we need our laser to be that hot as well. Can the solder
    and wires and lasing crystals take the heat?

    We are not even considering the power source, here. A nuclear reactor
    in the station is likely to be about 40% to 60% efficient - lets say it
    is also 50% efficient. It will need to produce 20 megawatts of power
    for the 10 megawatt laser (10 MW goes into the beam, 10 MW gets lost as
    heat). This means you've got another 20 MW to contend with, and you
    need to dump 30 MW total so you need three times the radiator area.

    >But space-to-earth beams are more effective. A laser fired from
    >ground level has to go through the entire atmosphere to get to the
    >space target, and it's diminished by the time it gets into the vacuum.
    >Though the space station's laser would be similarly reduced trying to
    >hit a ground target, it also has the option of shooting down aircraft
    >instead of losing its effectiveness on the lowest-lying targets.
    >
    And sub lasers can also be used against airborne targets - for instance
    as area defence against station launched hypervelocity impactors. They
    can also be used against enemy subs and surface ships (a blue or green
    laser can penetrate tens of meters of clear water, so if you just get
    close enough you will not have to surface).

    >>to bother it much, though. If the sub also has a laser, you will be in
    >>even more trouble, because (a) the sub can dive if things start going
    >>badly, (b) you can't, (c) even if unable to dive, the sub can throw up a
    >>spray of water droplets to block your beam and do so continuously, and
    >>(d) you can't. Note that surface ships can also take advantage of (c)
    >>and (d) to gain total protection from lasers. They will not be able to
    >>shoot back while doing this, of course.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >With any sort of targeting assitance, neither side would seem to have
    >an advantage to me. The sub could aim and fire just as fast as the
    >station, and neither would be effective after the sub dives deep.
    >
    This isn't about targeting - with a laser if you can see it you can hit
    it, pure and simple, no questions asked. As soon as the sub is surfaced
    and the station is above the horizon (and assuming clear weather) then
    ZAP they can start blasting each other with beams that do not miss.

    No, the issue is that the sub can choose when it is exposed and the
    station cannot. Diving or sprays of water droplets will effetively
    shield the sub when things are going badly. It can then get away, or
    perform emergency repairs before lowering its "shields" and beaming away
    again.

    >The sub has limited weapons capability, but is can hide under a shield
    >of water. The station is moving too fast for conventional weapons,
    >and has many odd benefits and troubles that are hard to guage.
    >
    "Conventional weapons" against stations are sub-orbital missiles, and
    no, stations are not moving too fast for these. In fact, their very
    speed is their liability. A sub-orbital missile gets above the
    atmosphere to orbital height, but it does not have orbital velocity.
    All it has to do is maneuver into the path of the station, and the
    station's own velocity of roughly 8 km/s (plus maybe another km/s from
    the missile's velocity) dooms it to be blasted into smithereens from the
    impact.

    You could argue that the station could maneuver, and this is true
    against a few missiles. However, each time it maneuvers it is usuing up
    precious propellant. A general rule with thrusters is that the more
    fuel thrifty they are, the less thrust they provide. A missile does not
    need to be fuel thrifty - it burns out in one high acceleration mad dash
    blaze of glory. It can get all the acceleration it needs. To match
    this acceleration the station will need to be extravagant with its
    propellant. It cannot keep this up. After one or two or perhaps a
    handful of dodges (depending on its propellant capacity, and if it gets
    lucky and does dodge) it will have empty tanks and be a sitting duck for
    the next missile.

    Speed does absolutely nothing against lasers. Stations will be easy to
    track and blast with lasers as long as they are above the horizon. At
    much longer ranges (light seconds to light minutes) acceleration (not
    speed) can be used to dodge lasers, but this also uses lots of
    propellant, forcing you to run out even sooner and become a sitting
    duck or just to waste enough propellant staying alive that you no longer
    have enough to carry out your mission. (Also, ground based lasers will
    not have ranges to affect targets at light seconds to light minutes,
    anyway).

    >I was being figurative about the houses. And if you want some really
    >dangerous falling weapons, lift the ban on flachettes.
    >
    Flechettes are not banned. They are standard antipersonelle rounds in
    artillery and tanks. True, some pro-Palestinian groups have been crying
    foul, saying flechettes are indescriminant weapons of mass slaughter
    because the Israelis used them against Palestinians, but that does not
    make them illegal.

    I don't see station launched flechettes being particularly bad. At
    least, the antipersonelle darts will not be able to do much against
    hardened structures or armored vehicles. They'd just bounce off the
    submarine's hull. You could fire them into urban areas and kill and
    maim lots of people, sure, but you can also drop hypersonic projectiles
    on urban areas that explode with more violence than TNT from their speed
    alone that will kill and maim lots of people as well. Against military
    targets you need to contend with the minor detail that it takes a lot of
    time for projectiles to de-orbit and descend, and during their
    hypersonic descent through the atmosphere the shock they create heats
    the air to a plasma opaque to just about every form of sensor known
    (radio, radar, IR, visual) which makes guided projectiles impossible.
    Mobile targets (troops, say) can just march out of the way if they are
    alerted. In the 10 to 40 minutes it takes the projectile to reach the
    ground, it would be simple for troops to move, say, 100 meters and be
    out of any danger. The station can do saturation bombing of the troops,
    blasting a wide area with lots and lot sof projectiles, but there is the
    not-so-minor detail that stations are very difficult to resupply.
    Unlike a bomber they can't just land and fill up with bombs again.

    Now if you wanted to get into giant flechettes - i.e. long rod
    penetrators at 2+ km/s - that would hurt subs anr armored vehicles if
    you hit. The problem here is that it will again take between 10 and 40
    minutes for these things to reach the ground (assuming reasonable
    extrapolations of rocket technology) giving mobile targets (like tanks
    or subs or surface ships) plenty of time to maneuver. During much of
    this time, the penetrators will again be blinded by the plasma sheath
    that surrounds them on their hypersonic descent through the atmosphere,
    so the penetrators will not be able to maneuver to track their targets.

    As for your original assertion that it does not matter what on the
    planet you hit because planets are big targets - with flechettes or
    hypersonic penetrators or whatever 99% of the time you will be impacting
    in places where there are very few people to kill, no structures of
    significant value to damage, and no military significance whatsoever.
    70% of your shots will land in the ocean, doing nothing. Most of the
    remainder will land in farmland, doing nothing, or perhaps putting a
    crater in a road (an annoyance for local drivers and taxpayers) or
    taking out a barn or possibly even landing on some poor family's house
    and killing and maiming a few people. None of this does anything to
    help you win the war. You have not destroyed major routes of
    transportation, knocked out factories, taken out power stations or
    communication stations, or blasted tanks, soldiers, aircraft, miliatry
    bases, suply depots, or the like. That's not much value you are getting
    out of your $100,000.00 each space based projectiles.

    Luke
  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <FZJJd.454981$b5.21730938@news3.tin.it>,
    Michele Armellini <don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> wrote:
    >
    >"David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> ha scritto nel messaggio
    >news:41f6de9e.1249043587@news.telusplanet.net...
    >> On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 01:11:21 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:20:28 GMT, "Michele Armellini"
    >> ><don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> wrote:
    >> >
    >> >>Right now, subs can launch fairly long-ranged missiles without
    >surfacing.
    >> >
    >> >The tracking technology is fine, but getting the missle to leave the
    >> >atmosphere and strike a fast-moving space station before the station
    >> >shoots at it with a beam weapon...
    >
    >That would be a problem for _any_ anti-space missile fired from the planet
    >surface, be it from the water or on land.

    We are thinking too small here, when anyone says anti-space missile I think
    of a single trident taking off a surface to space missile attack would be a truly
    massive affair involving thousands of missiles and millions of decoys
    unfolding in an intricate and dynamic choreography of hardware.

    >> The initial post assumed high-g reactionless drives. I don't see the
    >> problem as long you launch multiple missiles
    >
    >Or bus missiles. The first stage to get out of the well, then *10 or *100
    >smaller, faster, smart warheads to engage. Why, the exit from the well and
    >the atmosphere can even be done while the target is below the horizon, so
    >that the target can't engage the larger, slower missile while it climbs out.
    >Though, if you have a full enemy navy out there this won't work.

    It could work.

    Start off with a few dozen multi megaton air-bursts to provide cover for the following
    missiles along with a few nuke pumped X ray lasers (along with one shot
    optical ones to try and blind the target sensors). Follow up with a saturation
    bombardment high speed ECM drones, decoys and hunter missiles armed with kinetic,
    beam and nuke. (Having a mix of weapons systems is vital as to defend you have
    to take out the beam weapons first then the nukes then the kinetic kill
    since they would be designed to have the same sensor signature, choosing the wrong
    missile to fry could let another get into position.)

    This initial attack would hopefully knock out the ship(s) currently on station,
    now follow up with a few thousand bus missiles and start trying to widen the gap.
    The planet has an advantage here the attacking ships have to cart their
    supply's over light years. There is a maximum number of countermeasures they can
    take with them, if the planet has more missiles that the attacker antimissiles....

    This will cost Gigabucks, planetary defence is expensive, but then so is being
    invaded.
    --
    Michael
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    NPC rights activist | Nameless Abominations are people too.
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 08:49:29 -0500, Roger Connor
    <raconnor@email.unc.edu> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > Depends on Time to Target delivery of firepower and personnel. If
    > Orbital jumps can provide the capabilities of a fleet arriving of the
    > coast, faster, then the "Wet Navy" will become obsolete.

    It also depends on whether you can get the troops back out that way if
    you have to.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 06:31:58 GMT, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David
    Johnston) wrote:

    >>The tracking technology is fine, but getting the missle to leave the
    >>atmosphere and strike a fast-moving space station before the station
    >>shoots at it with a beam weapon...
    >
    >The initial post assumed high-g reactionless drives. I don't see the
    >problem as long you launch multiple missiles

    Then missiles of that caliber would be fine, though it would still be
    easy to shoot them down if they weren't also stealthy. If both sides
    have a detection/targeting network in place, anything but a warp
    missile has a reasonable chance of being thwarted.

    -- M.J.
  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 14:49:20 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    wrote:

    >On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 11:07:19 -0500, LukeCampbell
    ><lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>Not really. As I said, it is hard to hide in space. The orbit of the
    >>space station is known, course changes will be known, meaning intercept
    >>solutions are easy. None of this is true underwater. Where are you
    >>going to drop your torpedos? What do they try to hit? You can't see
    >>your target.
    >
    >To throw bricks into counter-orbit and have them *hit* the station, it
    >has to be done at *effectively* point-blank range so the station can't
    >avoid them.

    "stations" have a distinctly limited ability to manuever. Hence the
    name.
  37. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    I haven't been following this discussion too closely, but when I came
    across this article I noticed that either I'm misunderstanding you, or
    you have some misconceptions about conditions in space.
    I'll only reply to a few of your remarks about which I had this feeling.

    In article <a6nfv01v1uhnjh1un76tnl97sclcc0lr7s@4ax.com>,
    Akahige@HotPOP.com says...
    > On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 11:07:19 -0500, LukeCampbell
    > <lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> wrote:
    > >But verrry slowwwly. It is not the final temperature that counts, but
    > >the rate at which you remove heat. If a sub can get rid of ten
    > >megawatts of heat but the station can only get rid of 100 kilowatts of
    > >heat, the sub wins even if the sub can only get to 10 C while the
    > >station could eventually reach -270 C.
    >
    > That's why the station should use heat sinks (perhaps even pumping
    > liquid into them, somewhat as you suggested for the submarine). The
    > sub cannot afford to do that because of hydrodynamics. However, I
    > cannot provide any figures to prove my point, so I'm stuck. :)

    And what would happen to this liquid? If you let it boil off, you're
    going to run out sooner or later. If you just use it to pump heat to the
    radiators, this might increase efficiency somewhat, but I doupt you
    could decrease the required area very much; on earth, this kind of thing
    works because there's air outside to cool you liquid (in the radiators)
    by convection. you don't get that in space.

    > It doesn't really matter how heavy you make the station, because most
    > of what it will be shooting through is empty space. In fact, having a
    > massive installation would mean it has to be farther out, and so it
    > would have more time to detect incoming missiles.

    Why does a more massive installation have to be farther out? Am I
    missing something? (Serious question; I may have missed something
    upthread).

    > >We are not even considering the power source, here. A nuclear reactor
    > >in the station is likely to be about 40% to 60% efficient - lets say it
    > >is also 50% efficient. It will need to produce 20 megawatts of power
    > >for the 10 megawatt laser (10 MW goes into the beam, 10 MW gets lost as
    > >heat). This means you've got another 20 MW to contend with, and you
    > >need to dump 30 MW total so you need three times the radiator area.
    >
    > Maybe the wasted heat from the laser is reclaimed by a fluid, and
    > spins a turbine on its way to the radiators.

    How are you moving this fluid? Convection won't work in space, unless
    you rotate the station, which gives you problems with targeting.
    And if you're pumping it around, a turbine is useless.

    > >And sub lasers can also be used against airborne targets - for instance
    > >as area defence against station launched hypervelocity impactors. They
    > >can also be used against enemy subs and surface ships (a blue or green
    > >laser can penetrate tens of meters of clear water, so if you just get
    > >close enough you will not have to surface).
    >
    > Yes, *if* the sub can aim it's anti-space laser at a supersonic
    > falling target, it might blow the falling mass into chunks. It would
    > create a myriad of new trajectories for the remaining pieces, and so
    > instead of one area being obliterated, several square miles are pelted
    > by molten bits, starting forest fires and possibly poisoning the air
    > with a cloud of who-knows-what debris. Nice.

    Possibly; however, if the missile is explosive, destroying it so it
    doesn't explode may be useful. In any case, this reduces the chance that
    you (the vessel firing the laser) will get hit.

    > Shooting a missile will either alter its trajectory or explode it
    > (even if it's solid), causing the pieces to fly far apart. Any
    > smaller pieces still on course could also be destroyed.

    Depending on your materials technology, even very small pieces (too
    small to target effectively) will still be quite damaging to your
    station.

    > >targets you need to contend with the minor detail that it takes a lot of
    > >time for projectiles to de-orbit and descend, and during their
    > >hypersonic descent through the atmosphere the shock they create heats
    > >the air to a plasma opaque to just about every form of sensor known
    > >(radio, radar, IR, visual) which makes guided projectiles impossible.
    >
    > If you're in a geosynchronous orbit, why can't you just give your
    > flachettes a little shove out the door and let them hit the atmosphere
    > straight down? It would certainly minimize their re-entry contact,
    > unlike meteors that burn up because they take the long route.

    Because a little shove will only minimally affect the flachettes' orbit
    (which is originally the same as yours, since you're carrying them).
    They'll just keep floating just below you.
    To hit a planet's surface with something from orbit, you'll either have
    to kill (nearly) all of its velocity yourself, or only kill some of it
    (still quite a lot, I think, from geosychronous orbit), and let the
    atmosphere do the rest (which makes targeting harder and the approach to
    the target longer).

    > >help you win the war. You have not destroyed major routes of
    > >transportation, knocked out factories, taken out power stations or
    > >communication stations, or blasted tanks, soldiers, aircraft, miliatry
    > >bases, suply depots, or the like. That's not much value you are getting
    > >out of your $100,000.00 each space based projectiles.
    >
    > But if you can get them to crack up a military landing strip, you'll
    > definately complicate the landing procedure for fighter jets. :)

    But Michele's point was:
    > > As for your original assertion that it does not matter what on the
    > > planet you hit because planets are big targets
    [etc..]

    So if you're going to hit an airstrip, either you're very lucky, or
    Michele's point stands.

    --
    Indigar
  38. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 01:11:21 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:20:28 GMT, "Michele Armellini"
    > <don'tspam.miarmel@tin.it> wrote:
    >
    > >Right now, subs can launch fairly long-ranged missiles without surfacing.
    >
    > The tracking technology is fine, but getting the missle to leave the
    > atmosphere and strike a fast-moving space station before the station
    > shoots at it with a beam weapon...

    Loft it when the station is still below the horizon, and have a
    warhead that consists of lots of pieces of junk. The missile boosts
    into a sub-orbital trjectory in the opposite direction to the
    station's on and interception course, then the warhaed breaks up.
    Shortly thereafter the station gets a few seconds to try and vapourise
    lots and lots of little bits of metal, and then it runs into the
    debris cloud at ~15 km/s. Good bye station - at that velocity a 1 kg
    object has the same energy as ~27 kg of TNT.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  39. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 20:18:32 GMT, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David
    Johnston) wrote:

    >"stations" have a distinctly limited ability to manuever. Hence the
    >name.

    I suspect that the term "station" was in use long before we considered
    space-based warfare. Just as the term "computer" no longer describes
    the full potential of our electronics.

    -- M.J.
  40. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 11:40:42 +1300, Rupert Boleyn
    <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:

    >Nope. In fact flechettes were not a feature of WWI.

    "Flechettes were used as an air-dropped weapon in World War I. These
    were about four inches long and weighed a couple of ounces. Dropped
    from an airplane over enemy trenches, these gravity missiles were
    capable of penetrating a helmet and the wearer's skull." -- Wikipedia


    >That's what field artillery is for, and has always been for. As an
    >ex-infantryman I don't like it, but that's the way it works.

    I kind of assumed that the point of a tank cannon was to attack other
    tanks, not to obliterate dozens of troops. (That's what the machine
    guns were for! :)


    >Bollocks. Right through an APC, perhaps, but even a WWII anti-tank
    >rifle can do that to some of the older APCs.

    The only data I could come up with on the Steyr AMR is this...

    "At 800 meters range this flechette has penetrated 40mm of rolled
    steel armor and then shattered behind the plate to give severe
    fragmentation damage."

    Unfortunately, that doesn't tell us much. Also, I certainly didn't
    mean to suggest that it could penetrate the front armor of a modern
    battle tank, but there are a few important parts that it could break
    through.


    >Because to de-orbit them stright down you'd need to have them lose all
    >their orbital velocity, or about 8km/s. IIRC loseing half that
    >velocity means they'll land at about 30 degrees off vertical, but even
    >that takes a fair bit of energy.

    For simplicity, let's assume they're dropped from geosyncrhonous
    orbit. In that case, they'd coast happily toward the target, maybe
    flip around a few times in the upper atmosphere, and come straight
    down on the target (if you calculated for wind, etc.).

    Alternatively, if your station is travelling at 8 km/h, then why not
    just shoot them out the rear of the station with a coil gun? That
    would put them back to negligible speed, and they'd fall into the
    atmosphere like nothing.


    -- M.J.
  41. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 11:46:40 +1300, Rupert Boleyn
    <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:

    >Loft it when the station is still below the horizon, and have a
    >warhead that consists of lots of pieces of junk. The missile boosts
    >into a sub-orbital trjectory in the opposite direction to the
    >station's on and interception course, then the warhaed breaks up.
    >Shortly thereafter the station gets a few seconds to try and vapourise
    >lots and lots of little bits of metal, and then it runs into the
    >debris cloud at ~15 km/s. Good bye station - at that velocity a 1 kg
    >object has the same energy as ~27 kg of TNT.

    The only problem is that the station would see the missile and/or
    debris coming for quite some time, even if it was already in space
    after being launched behind the horizon. Then the station moves.
    Fairly easy problem to fix.


    -- M.J.
  42. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <41f7a063.1298655802@news.telusplanet.net>,
    David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
    >On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 14:49:20 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 11:07:19 -0500, LukeCampbell
    >><lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Not really. As I said, it is hard to hide in space. The orbit of the
    >>>space station is known, course changes will be known, meaning intercept
    >>>solutions are easy. None of this is true underwater. Where are you
    >>>going to drop your torpedos? What do they try to hit? You can't see
    >>>your target.
    >>
    >>To throw bricks into counter-orbit and have them *hit* the station, it
    >>has to be done at *effectively* point-blank range so the station can't
    >>avoid them.
    >
    >"stations" have a distinctly limited ability to manuever. Hence the
    >name.

    "Station"ary?


    --
    "In any case, don't stress too much--cortisol inhibits muscular
    hypertrophy. " -- Eric Dodd
  43. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 16:14:40 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 11:40:42 +1300, Rupert Boleyn
    > <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
    >
    > >Nope. In fact flechettes were not a feature of WWI.
    >
    > "Flechettes were used as an air-dropped weapon in World War I. These
    > were about four inches long and weighed a couple of ounces. Dropped
    > from an airplane over enemy trenches, these gravity missiles were
    > capable of penetrating a helmet and the wearer's skull." -- Wikipedia

    Ah. I'd forgotten about those things. Unless you were really unlucky
    those things were a joke.

    > >That's what field artillery is for, and has always been for. As an
    > >ex-infantryman I don't like it, but that's the way it works.
    >
    > I kind of assumed that the point of a tank cannon was to attack other
    > tanks, not to obliterate dozens of troops. (That's what the machine
    > guns were for! :)

    It is, but tanks usually carry some kind of anti-personnel
    ordual-purpose round in case they need to attack infantry that are out
    of machinegun range.

    > >Bollocks. Right through an APC, perhaps, but even a WWII anti-tank
    > >rifle can do that to some of the older APCs.
    >
    > The only data I could come up with on the Steyr AMR is this...
    >
    > "At 800 meters range this flechette has penetrated 40mm of rolled
    > steel armor and then shattered behind the plate to give severe
    > fragmentation damage."
    >
    > Unfortunately, that doesn't tell us much. Also, I certainly didn't
    > mean to suggest that it could penetrate the front armor of a modern
    > battle tank, but there are a few important parts that it could break
    > through.

    40mm RHA means it _might_ penetrate a chink in the side armour of a
    modern tank. That's about it, and that means you'd be an idiot to try
    - the crew might notice and you'd then get Darwinized.

    > Alternatively, if your station is travelling at 8 km/h, then why not
    > just shoot them out the rear of the station with a coil gun? That
    > would put them back to negligible speed, and they'd fall into the
    > atmosphere like nothing.

    Because that takes energy, and lots of it, which means heat (and lots
    of it). Also it involves recoil, so you're changing your orbit as
    well.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  44. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 16:17:57 -0500, Red Beard <Akahige@HotPOP.com>
    carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > The only problem is that the station would see the missile and/or
    > debris coming for quite some time, even if it was already in space
    > after being launched behind the horizon. Then the station moves.
    > Fairly easy problem to fix.

    If my maths is correct you'll get to see the incoming debris cloud no
    more than 4000km away, assuming a 300km high orbit. That gives you
    about four minutes to dectect, identify, and compute the trajectory of
    the clound, and then boost out of the way. Remember, the cloud can be
    several hundred meters across if it's a ton of warhead and the pieces
    are 1kg or so in mass, and you'll be hit at least once unless your
    profile is only a few meters across (and even then you only give a
    chance of a miss). If the projectiles are homing you'll find it much
    harder - they can probably accelerate more than you can, and once you
    start thrusting any decent rocket makes detecting and tracking you
    trivial.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  45. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    > Luke
    >
    > * Not impossible, though. We could envision the space station
    blasting
    > the water's surface with lasers to produce sound waves. These would
    > then be sensed with ladar when they propagated back to the water's
    surface.

    I can picture another tactic for a space-based attacker who wanted to
    use sonar, esp. assuming miniaturization continues to improve for a
    while.

    In the early stages of the conflict, or prior to it if you're planning
    a surprise attack, drop small floating bouys into the body of water in
    question, equipped with passive (and maybe active) sonar systems. They
    could transmit their data to the orbital forces by laser or other
    electromagnetic means. There are a lot of possible variations on this
    technique.

    Depending on how small the bouys could be made and still do their work,
    they might be made relatively hard to detect, especially if they used
    passive sonar only. The tricky part would be spreading your network
    out without the enemy realizing what you were doing.
    Shermanlee
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