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Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?

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Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:13 pm

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I had a thought while pondering some of the threads about new ships or technologies, and I'm wondering how accurate CMs are when the do connect.

Is it always a wide miss or a near direct hit, or are most of the wedge to wedge contact 'glancing' where only the outer 50% of the CMs wedge would ever have made contact with the incoming missile's wedge?


Could Manticore apply their vaunted miniaturization skills to make a smaller CM (with presumably somewhat less range and a narrower wedge)? Kind of the opposite of the extended range CMs they made for their starships.

One of the big problems with using LACs as anti-missile defense is how quickly they run out of counter missiles. If you could substantially shrink their CMs, they could carry more of them. There would obviously have to be a benefit analysis: if the smaller CM is only 75% as effective per shot but you can carry twice as many that's probably a good tradeoff. If they're 50% as effective and you can only carry 50% more that's a horrible trade-off.


To be clear, I'm only proposing them for LACs for the fleet anti-missile role. Starships just went to a lot of trouble to get more range out of (apparently) slightly bigger CMs. I see no reason to reverse that for them.


So given that speculation
1) does anyone think it's possible?
2) does anyone think it's a good idea? :D
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by SWM   » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:33 pm

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It seems unlikely.
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by Theemile   » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:54 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:I had a thought while pondering some of the threads about new ships or technologies, and I'm wondering how accurate CMs are when the do connect.

Is it always a wide miss or a near direct hit, or are most of the wedge to wedge contact 'glancing' where only the outer 50% of the CMs wedge would ever have made contact with the incoming missile's wedge?


Could Manticore apply their vaunted miniaturization skills to make a smaller CM (with presumably somewhat less range and a narrower wedge)? Kind of the opposite of the extended range CMs they made for their starships.

One of the big problems with using LACs as anti-missile defense is how quickly they run out of counter missiles. If you could substantially shrink their CMs, they could carry more of them. There would obviously have to be a benefit analysis: if the smaller CM is only 75% as effective per shot but you can carry twice as many that's probably a good tradeoff. If they're 50% as effective and you can only carry 50% more that's a horrible trade-off.


To be clear, I'm only proposing them for LACs for the fleet anti-missile role. Starships just went to a lot of trouble to get more range out of (apparently) slightly bigger CMs. I see no reason to reverse that for them.


So given that speculation
1) does anyone think it's possible?
2) does anyone think it's a good idea? :D


Really when you get down to it, a CM is 3 things:
1) drive
2) capacitors
3) sensors

without a tech jump:

Making the drive smaller usually means making the wedge smaller - which means fewer intercepts
Making the capacitor smaller, usually means less power, which means less range to intercept - which means fewer intercepts
making sensors smaller means they are even more myoptic - which means fewer intercepts.

None of which is good.

However I was wondering if what was essentially a shoulder launcher missile had the chops to take out a missile's wedge. If so, I was envisioning a CM sized canister with 2-3 dozen 100 pound (normally) anti-air missiles. They would split into a pre-set pattern sweeping the area "close" to the ship, as an intermediate zone defense.

The questions on such a system would be what the effective range of a shoulder launched missile would be in space and if their wedges would be powerful enough to knock out a "real" missile.

Somehow, I think the range question would be just a little more can a capitol pdcl (or about 70-100,000 km) and the wedge question would be not strong enough.
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:24 pm

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Theemile wrote:Really when you get down to it, a CM is 3 things:
1) drive
2) capacitors
3) sensors

without a tech jump:

Making the drive smaller usually means making the wedge smaller - which means fewer intercepts
Making the capacitor smaller, usually means less power, which means less range to intercept - which means fewer intercepts
making sensors smaller means they are even more myoptic - which means fewer intercepts.

None of which is good.
True. Now we do know that Manitcore has made breakthroughs in other drive related areas (beta squared nodes), but whether that would translate into reducing the size of the drive w/o massively reducing it's strength is an unknown.

As for the others, yep, those are concerns...
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by kzt   » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:02 pm

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Theemile wrote:However I was wondering if what was essentially a shoulder launcher missile had the chops to take out a missile's wedge. If so, I was envisioning a CM sized canister with 2-3 dozen 100 pound (normally) anti-air missiles. They would split into a pre-set pattern sweeping the area "close" to the ship, as an intermediate zone defense.

The questions on such a system would be what the effective range of a shoulder launched missile would be in space and if their wedges would be powerful enough to knock out a "real" missile.

Probably not, but they could certainly destroy the actual missile body if they struck it with their wedge. We discussed at Honorcon how a tank could defend itself against impeller based AT missiles and the fact that the wedge doesn't protect the missile body seemed like a pretty good starting point.
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by Michael Everett   » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:40 am

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Can they be made smaller?
Yes.

Can they be made smaller without impacting on performance?
Not at this time.
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by Lord Skimper   » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:35 am

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They - them, have shoulder fired wedge missiles. Honor was playing dodge the wedge with one on Grayson.
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:46 am

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Lord Skimper wrote:They - them, have shoulder fired wedge missiles. Honor was playing dodge the wedge with one on Grayson.
Yes... :?
And shuttles use a slightly bigger version as an air-to-air or air-to-ground missile (see how, in IEH, Metcalf used the captured assault shuttle's impeller missiles to take out the cargo shuttle sent up from Hades to investigate the issue aboard Tepes).

But those wedges are too weak, and the missiles too slow (40,000g for the shuttle version), to take out a anti-ship missile's wedge. That makes them too small for useful CM work.
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by TheMonster   » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:29 am

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kzt wrote:they could certainly destroy the actual missile body if they struck it with their wedge. We discussed at Honorcon how a tank could defend itself against impeller based AT missiles and the fact that the wedge doesn't protect the missile body seemed like a pretty good starting point.
The way CMs work is via deliberate wedge collisions. DW has laid out how this works out -- if one of the wedges is significantly stronger then the weaker wedge burns out (and on something the size of a missile that means it's destroyed completely) and if they're close enough in strength, they both burn out.

If the CM's wedge is making contact with the missile body, it's because the missile has gone into a ballistic phase. Long before such contact can occur, the two wedges have already collided, and one or both are already destroyed.
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Re: Speculation: Can LAC CMs be made smaller?
Post by thinkstoomuch   » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:31 am

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Well when they were designing the Medusa-B one of the things that happened was it used "smaller (and longer-ranged) counter-missiles," which I think we decided were the Mark 31. But I don't recall RFC weighing in on the discussion.

So most likely not going to be possible, IMO. That design was not that long ago in universe time, I think.

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