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The Fate of Naval Combat

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January 21, 2005 9:23:40 PM

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

More about : fate naval combat

Anonymous
January 22, 2005 12:33:41 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 22, 2005 8:03:35 PM

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
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 12:38:53 AM

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
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 12:59:51 AM

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.
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 2:34:29 AM

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....
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 5:52:02 AM

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.
January 23, 2005 6:23:44 AM

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
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 12:08:12 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 1:31:55 PM

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.htm...
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 1:38:54 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 1:55:19 PM

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
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 10:53:41 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 10:53:42 PM

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
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 3:12:54 AM

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."
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 3:12:55 AM

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.
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 1:02:07 PM

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
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 1:27:46 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 2:14:45 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 12:12:15 AM

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?
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 12:41:44 AM

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/&gt; 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
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 7:31:14 AM

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.
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 11:49:29 AM

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!
>
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 1:20:28 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 1:20:29 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 3:26:20 AM

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."
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 3:26:21 AM

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/&gt;
--
Michael
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NPC rights activist | Nameless Abominations are people too.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 4:04:30 AM

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.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 4:07:09 AM

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.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 4:11:21 AM

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.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 9:31:58 AM

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
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 1:07:33 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 2:07:19 PM

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
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 2:24:47 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 2:27:39 PM

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."
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 5:49:20 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 11:18:32 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 12:34:26 AM

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
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 2:46:40 PM

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."
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 6:17:49 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 7:14:40 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 7:17:57 PM

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.
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 11:27:44 PM

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
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 2:49:48 PM

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."
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 2:59:00 PM

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."
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 11:44:32 PM

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
!