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Missile Pods

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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:11 am

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Maldorian wrote:
This thread brings to mind the sinking of HMS Repulse and HMS Prince Of Wales on December. 10, 1941. The Japanese had been using carrier planes for several years against the Chinese, and the British dismissed the threat because the Japanese had a second rate Navy, they could not possibly harm a BRITISH battleship. A lot of people died that day of arogance.


If I remember correct, they had a carrier with them, but the carrier was damaged near south africa. The stupidity of the british admirality was, to send the battleships without their air cover.

There were contingency plans to send the HMS Indomitable to Singapore, and she did strike a coral reef near Jamaica in November 1941, during her maiden voyage. But the decision to send her had not been made and been by the time of the grounding it's unclear if there was time to get her there before the battleships arrived. Even without the grounding she likely would only have been sent as part of some second set of reenforements. (After all Singapore had fighters and the initial BBs were supposed to be a deterant and help defend the base there - you might not expect them to need mobile air cover.

Also the British knew darn well that torpedo aircraft could be a threat to battleships. They're swordfish had sunk Italian BBs docked in Taranto harbor, and crippled Bizmark in the open seas.
However they had over a years combat experience in the .Media that seemed to show that land planes were not serious threats to warships w/o air cover provided that the warships were free to manouver and didn't run out of AA ammo. They also believed (correctly) that the Japanese carriers were nowhere near Singapore when force Z sortied.
Unfortunately they didn't count on the Japanese having the world's best and longest ranged land based torpedo attack squadrons.
So they were hot by heavy and effective land based bomber and torpedo attacks in an area they barely expected lightly loaded aircraft to be able to reach. And, of course, the Britsh totally screwed up coordinating and providing the land based fighter cover. So they got their Mediterranean experience against the Italians and Germans totalky upset against the Japanese.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Theemile   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:41 am

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munroburton wrote:
Are they really that old? :shock: I don't remember any textev pinning it down. I've been guessing, based on RFC's 100-year rule comment and examining the evolutionary progress of Manticore's earlier waller classes in HoS, that the Scientist is a late 1700s/early 1800s design with the follow-up, slightly modified, Vega class arriving recently(ie, the late 1800s/early 1900s).

http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/si ... gton/202/1

That pearl also explains the SLN at one time built dreadnoughts instead of SDs, but later made the switch to SDs only. When they made that switch, they also disposed of most of the dreadnoughts in the Reserve.

HoS also provides another reason to doubt a Scientist older than ~175 years. In the description for the Manticore-class SD, it says:

The original design requirements for the Star Kingdom’s first superdreadnought called for a ship “fit to engage and defeat any ship-of-the-wall now in commission or under construction,” and for their time, their design proved more than sufficient in that regard. With greatly improved active defenses and twice the graser broadside of the Ad Astra-class, the Manticore-class was a powerful, modern unit that compared favorably to even the most advanced Solarian design of the day.


Manticore-class superdreadnought
Mass: 6,515,500 tons
Broadside: 22M, 18L, 24G, 8ET, 12CM, 24PD
Service Life: 1742–1905

Scientist-class superdreadnought
Mass: ~6,800,000 tons
Broadside: 32M, 24L, 26G, 16CM, 32PD

It's very close, but I wouldn't call that "compared favourably". That suggests the Scientist is actually the immediate successor to the "Solarian design of the day" which the Manticore-class was measured against.


Theemile wrote:[I'm not certain where the quote is, but the Scientist design is ~ 250 years old currently.


While not a date, I found this in MoH:

There was an impressive uniformity among the superdreadnoughts, as well. All but seven of them were Scientist-class ships, and all seven of the others were members of the Vega class, which were basically only repeat Scientists with a couple of additional missile tubes in each broadside. By the standards of the prewar Royal Manticoran Navy, they weren't that bad a design, although the first of the Scientists had been built long enough ago that they'd still been equipped with projectile-firing point defense systems. At least all of these ships seemed to have been upgraded to laser clusters since, judging from the detailed passive scans Augustus Khumalo's Ghost Rider platforms had pulled in.


One of the most important date indicators is the PD Guns. If, you look in HoS, The Manticore Class is never mentioned to have underwent a modernization post 1850 (beyond the Manticore being refitted as a flagship), so the weapons stats we see is their original fitout - WITHOUT PD guns. Which, as the text above us claims, was part of the original Scientist design. since so many were made without PDLCs, this places their original build date much earlier than the Manticore's 1742, and the PDLC's original design.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just about as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by munroburton   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:07 pm

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Theemile wrote:While not a date, I found this in MoH:

There was an impressive uniformity among the superdreadnoughts, as well. All but seven of them were Scientist-class ships, and all seven of the others were members of the Vega class, which were basically only repeat Scientists with a couple of additional missile tubes in each broadside. By the standards of the prewar Royal Manticoran Navy, they weren't that bad a design, although the first of the Scientists had been built long enough ago that they'd still been equipped with projectile-firing point defense systems. At least all of these ships seemed to have been upgraded to laser clusters since, judging from the detailed passive scans Augustus Khumalo's Ghost Rider platforms had pulled in.


One of the most important date indicators is the PD Guns. If, you look in HoS, The Manticore Class is never mentioned to have underwent a modernization post 1850 (beyond the Manticore being refitted as a flagship), so the weapons stats we see is their original fitout - WITHOUT PD guns. Which, as the text above us claims, was part of the original Scientist design. since so many were made without PDLCs, this places their original build date much earlier than the Manticore's 1742, and the PDLC's original design.


As you say, no dates. HoS is a bit vague about the extent of the Manticore-class's refits and modernisation programs.

IIRC, PDLCs certainly existed long before the laser-head came along. However, they involved a trade-off in rate-of-fire for extended interception range.

I believe the autocannon was(and may still be) a far more effective weapon than the PDLCs - but only against pre-laserhead 'contact' missiles, in the extreme-close in envelope. Unfortunately for the SLN, when the laser-head came along it made those autocannon useless and eventually forced the use of PD lasers capable of stopping missiles at +50,000km rather than 1,000km.

Perhaps a helpful analogy is automatic shotgun versus bolt-action sniper rifle.

You pointed out a few posts ago that the SLN carried out the original laser-head tests and considered them a failure. I don't see why the SLN would have adopted PDLC by 1850, never mind 1750. The Scientists might have been upgraded to PDLCs only in the last forty or fifty years.

After all, Manticore only got around to replacing the autocannon on its Ad Astra class ships in the 1880s.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by kzt   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:15 pm

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munroburton wrote:After all, Manticore only got around to replacing the autocannon on its Ad Astra class ships in the 1880s.

It's been noted that the autocannons on the Grayson ships in HoQ were reasonably effective against the threat they faced. It's also worth noting that "autocannon" is shorthand for grav mass driver, these have a pretty significant MV.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by pnakasone   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:38 pm

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The reason missile pods capable of actually hurting SDs came as surprise to SLN because they have a deadly case of arrogance combined with not invented here syndrome. Surely if such a thing was possible the SLN would have invented it already and have it inventory. Neobarbs could never invent technology superior to Solarian League.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by ericth   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:45 pm

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I recall a prior post from RFC regarding how slow the strategists were to fully grasp what game changers technologies such as the laserhead and pod were.

IIRC himself said that pod launched pre-mdm laserhead missiles might have been enough to tilt the strategic calculation on deep strikes and attacking well defended systems, but strategists on both sides took a while to believe the implications.

For example the RMN took years to build up confidence in the laserhead mine for the junction, and while pod swarms quickly gained traction in fleet combat, nobody seemed to trust it enough to consider deep strikes against hard targets before Operation Buttercup added the MDM and Ghost Rider to the mix.

Another post here on the forums did a good job of laying out the timeline. By 1895 or so the RMN was building equal to the SLN, but it was 1912 where the gap was blown wide open.

Prior to the introduction of the SDP and Mark 23, the SLN had a realistic chance of using sheer numbers to overwhelm the RMN. That strategic calculation fell apart once the RMN had enough ships capable of single-salvo killing the SLN from beyond effective range. By 1920, with new generations of each tech in service it just got worse.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Theemile   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:41 pm

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munroburton wrote:
As you say, no dates. HoS is a bit vague about the extent of the Manticore-class's refits and modernisation programs.

IIRC, PDLCs certainly existed long before the laser-head came along. However, they involved a trade-off in rate-of-fire for extended interception range.

I believe the autocannon was(and may still be) a far more effective weapon than the PDLCs - but only against pre-laserhead 'contact' missiles, in the extreme-close in envelope. Unfortunately for the SLN, when the laser-head came along it made those autocannon useless and eventually forced the use of PD lasers capable of stopping missiles at +50,000km rather than 1,000km.

Perhaps a helpful analogy is automatic shotgun versus bolt-action sniper rifle.

You pointed out a few posts ago that the SLN carried out the original laser-head tests and considered them a failure. I don't see why the SLN would have adopted PDLC by 1850, never mind 1750. The Scientists might have been upgraded to PDLCs only in the last forty or fifty years.

After all, Manticore only got around to replacing the autocannon on its Ad Astra class ships in the 1880s.


Well, I guess The MAnticore class was updated at some point; In "In Fire Forged", I found the following:

The pure fusion warhead might have had more disruptive consequences if the impeller drive countermissile had not appeared on scene in 1701. Essentially a smaller version of the shipkiller, this weapon destroyed incoming missiles by wedge to wedge interaction. This added a new depth to the missile defense problem which allowed nearby ships to defend each other cooperatively as never before. The countermissile dramatically reduced the effectiveness of shipkillers. This was followed some eighty years later by the widespread introduction of numerous small point defense laser weapons.


So the PDLC was designed ~1780 - and any ship, like the Manticore Class, built before then would need to be refit to have them.

We've been throwing the 250 year line around for awhile - still looking for the source.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just about as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Kizarvexis   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:24 am

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Fireflair wrote:As I'm doing my most recent rereading of the series, I've started wondering about missile pods. Specifically why the SLN didn't know about them from the get go. When Honor is thinking about the pods, she notes that they've been around a long time. They're actually a standard feature that most people just tend to neglect due to their shorter range.

They don't have the benefit of shipboard grav launchers or the ship's momentum to get them going. And they're considered stationary, though obviously you can tractor some of to a ship. The other difficulty with them is having enough shipboard fire control links to handle the much larger initial salvo.

The RMN didn't really start using them until they got better launchers, thanks to their new tech but the pods had existed before they began using them full up. I'd have thought the SLN would have had no problem adjusting to the expectation of pod launched missiles. The PRH, as it turns out, adjust quickly to pod warfare. Not only that but they accepted the notion of the SD(P) without any trouble either, of course they saw it in action against them and had the reality beaten into them quick enough.

I guess the long and short of this thought is: Why did everyone have such difficulty with the idea of pods being used in warfare? Especially the SLN.



Chapter 17 of The Short Victorious War had this about the mass driver improvements to pods that made them relevant again.

The old pods' launchers had lacked the powerful mass-drivers which gave warships' missiles their initial impetus. That, in turn, gave them a lower initial velocity, and since their missiles had exactly the same drives as any other missile, they couldn't make up the velocity differential unless the ship-launched birds were stepped down to less than optimal power settings. If you didn't step your shipboard missiles down, you lost much of the saturation effect because the velocity discrepancy effectively split your launch into two separate salvos. Yet if you did step them down, the slower speed of your entire launch not only gave the enemy more time to evade and adjust his ECM, but also gave his active defenses extra tracking and engagement time.


So the old pods without the improved mass drivers couldn't synchronize the missiles with the ship launched ones and were not fast enough to keep the tracking from locking them up for good intercept solutions.

Missiles, in the Haven quadrant, also were getting faster over time as well which helped the penetration vs anti-missile defenses.

The big thing for your question is that the SLN also had blinders on to the fact that they were not the end all be all of naval fleets anymore. Junior offices who pointed this out to the senior admirals, who were well connected to the defense industry, were dismissed as naive and/or alarmist. Since the MAlign had heavily infiltrated the SLN naval intelligence and senior admirals (and I'm sure the defense contractors), they encouraged the SLN to stick it's head in the sand.

IIRC, it was mentioned, I think by RFC, but possibly in the books, that the various SL member planets sent officers from their Self Defense Forces to observe in the Haven quadrant. Since the SLN views the SDFs as jumped up militias who play at being a navy, they are dismissed. But we don't know how the SDF's view the advances in the Haven quadrant. There may be SDFs with plans for pod layers and FTL coms, or even ships in commission.

RFC did say in a Pearl, that one of the reasons the Manties had the R&D advantage was that they have a central nexus of traffic/news from all over the SL. That would not preclude some SDF from assembling the same info over a longer period.

http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/si ... ngton/67/1
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Lord Skimper   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:28 pm

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Missile pods started out on LAC. One shot missiles usually mounted outside the LAC. Kingdom Navy Missiles where mounted inside or partially so for ease of maintenance. Two to four sets per LAC fast enough to launch from a pre speed and very much like Missile pods are used now. Makes you wonder why LAC aren't launching MK 16 ship killers now. The answer is Missile pods.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Theemile   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:19 pm

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Lord Skimper wrote:Missile pods started out on LAC. One shot missiles usually mounted outside the LAC. Kingdom Navy Missiles where mounted inside or partially so for ease of maintenance. Two to four sets per LAC fast enough to launch from a pre speed and very much like Missile pods are used now. Makes you wonder why LAC aren't launching MK 16 ship killers now. The answer is Missile pods.

Yeah, traditional LACs used box launchers on their broadsides as cheap missile systems. Essentially, you are right, they are old fashioned pods permanently mounted on the sides of a ship. They have some kind of chemical or mechanical launcher to eject the missiles away from the launcher.

In effect, they kept that old tech alive into the modern era.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just about as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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