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Missile Pods

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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Maldorian   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:35 pm

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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.


I'd say for the SLN it was the tech imbalance. Manticore can make their missiles go farther, faster and hit harder then the SLN's so they just couldn't get it through their heads that such powerful missiles could fit in a pod small enough to be used in ship to ship combat in large enough numbers.

Its also indicative of the sheer mental laziness and arrogance of SLN flag officers. From their standards missile pods are old tech, not useful in modern ship to ship combat. So why even consider the idea, they "knew" without a shadow of a doubt that they have the best tech around and some podunk navy wasn't going to beat them.

And if I remember correctly they were the only ones to have a real problem with believing pods were useful. After manticore started using them haven picked up the idea fairy quickly, and the andermani's sawed missile pods in half and bolted then to their ships if I remember correctly.


You shouldn´t forget the conversation between Honor and Hamish at Grayson shortly before Honor became a prosinor of war.
Hamish thought that pods are a bad idea of Sonja Hemphill. Honor explain him why pods are a good idea. Both were experied members of a navy in war but only one saw the potential of pods. So, what are expecting from solly admirals?
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Weird Harold   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:29 pm

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Maldorian wrote:You shouldn´t forget the conversation between Honor and Hamish at Grayson shortly before Honor became a prosinor of war.

Hamish thought that pods are a bad idea of Sonja Hemphill. Honor explain him why pods are a good idea. Both were experied members of a navy in war but only one saw the potential of pods. So, what are expecting from solly admirals?


Hamish didn't object to pods, he objected to podlayers. Honor, OTOH, was one of four RMN commanders with pod-laying experience and experience with parasite LAC squadrons.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Fireflair   » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:50 pm

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Hamish wasn't objecting to the podlayers, even. Not directly. He was cautious about laying down a completely radical design of ship in the midst of a shooting war where resources were stretched thin. Now his objections sprang from both doctrinal concerns and a knee jerk reaction against the jeune ecole.

Honor jerked him up sharply at that point and explained the reality of the new designs to him, which lead to him realizing how much she'd matured and how his approval and respect had slipped over toward a more caring feeling for her.

At the time Honor pulled him short, he had not read the appendices of the report so he didn't know the details of the SD(P) or the CLACs, and didn't have a proper appreciation of what the new force mix would bring to the table. His concerns are valid in many ways. Untested and tried weapons being shoved into a known force mix will complicate matters for the commanders in the field. Honor has a better appreciation of them from her experiences with the Q-ships, something very few other officers can say at that time.

I think that if Hamish had read the appendices and paused for a breath, to think, he's smart enough to realize how deploying pods continually while scootering around in your SD(P) during the battle would be a real advantage over broadside weapons.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by Jeroswen   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:38 am

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ThisName1 wrote:I'd say for the SLN it was the tech imbalance. Manticore can make their missiles go farther, faster and hit harder then the SLN's so they just couldn't get it through their heads that such powerful missiles could fit in a pod small enough to be used in ship to ship combat in large enough numbers.

Its also indicative of the sheer mental laziness and arrogance of SLN flag officers. From their standards missile pods are old tech, not useful in modern ship to ship combat. So why even consider the idea, they "knew" without a shadow of a doubt that they have the best tech around and some podunk navy wasn't going to beat them.

And if I remember correctly they were the only ones to have a real problem with believing pods were useful. After manticore started using them haven picked up the idea fairy quickly, and the andermani's sawed missile pods in half and bolted then to their ships if I remember correctly.


The Sollies should be at about where Manticore and Haven were at the first war with missile accuracy. Anything above 6 million clicks is not going to have great accuracy. Both Haven and Manticore have improved their missile seekers, attack profiles and probes drastically in the last 20 some odd years. Truth is even when the Sollies throw missiles at 30million km they are for all intents and purposes blind fired. The light speed lag and targetting data will be so old that the missiles will have to depend on pre-programmed solutions.

In short my point is they could throw dozens of pods of missiles at a target and it wouldn't do any good.

It would be cool to see a Sollie squadron with longer range missiles going up against older Manticoran or Havenite ships with Ghostrider and older 6 million km range missiles.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by kzt   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:04 am

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Jeroswen wrote:The Sollies should be at about where Manticore and Haven were at the first war with missile accuracy. Anything above 6 million clicks is not going to have great accuracy. Both Haven and Manticore have improved their missile seekers, attack profiles and probes drastically in the last 20 some odd years. Truth is even when the Sollies throw missiles at 30million km they are for all intents and purposes blind fired. The light speed lag and targetting data will be so old that the missiles will have to depend on pre-programmed solutions.

In short my point is they could throw dozens of pods of missiles at a target and it wouldn't do any good.

No, they have seekers. You don't need updates, you need to know where the target will appear (if your sensors can't detect it at launch - which they can if the target is a warship maneuvering and with active PD fire control sensors - x^4 is nasty when X is a radar able to track missiles at a million KM) and hopefully some idea how to deal with countermeasures and suchlike.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by WLBjork   » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:37 pm

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munroburton wrote: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.


Still doesn't add up. The Scientist appears too heavily armed (especially defensively) for any ship built by the SLN. We know it's old enough that it was built originally with autocannon instead of PDLCs, and the impression given by IFF is that PDLCs were rapidly adopted - which makes sense really, as instead of having to fire several seconds in advance at a predicted target (and using up ammunition into the bargain), they could fire directly at the incoming missile pretty much in real time - a very distinct advantage. So that is certainly indicative of a pre-1800 design.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by kzt   » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:58 pm

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WLBjork wrote:Still doesn't add up. The Scientist appears too heavily armed (especially defensively) for any ship built by the SLN. We know it's old enough that it was built originally with autocannon instead of PDLCs, and the impression given by IFF is that PDLCs were rapidly adopted - which makes sense really, as instead of having to fire several seconds in advance at a predicted target (and using up ammunition into the bargain), they could fire directly at the incoming missile pretty much in real time - a very distinct advantage. So that is certainly indicative of a pre-1800 design.

Shooting at 5 meter wide missiles that are maneuvering at an acceleration of 60km/sec^2 iOS still a huge issue for lasers. The cone of possibility that the missile can be is enormous at range. This shrinks hugely as the missile closes, but at the thousands of KM standoff for early laser heads (or sidewall burners) it's hard. It's a lot harder with autocannon at that range, but I would not be surprised if autoconnon are superior against sidewall penetrators.
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Re: Missile Pods
Post by WLBjork   » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:34 pm

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kzt wrote:Shooting at 5 meter wide missiles that are maneuvering at an acceleration of 60km/sec^2 iOS still a huge issue for lasers. The cone of possibility that the missile can be is enormous at range. This shrinks hugely as the missile closes, but at the thousands of KM standoff for early laser heads (or sidewall burners) it's hard. It's a lot harder with autocannon at that range, but I would not be surprised if autoconnon are superior against sidewall penetrators.


Still going to be more accurate than putting a piece of metal on a trajectory that may intersect the incoming missiles course several seconds down the line. Considering pulse rifles have a muzzle velocity of around 2kps, the PDAC can easily have a velocity of 10 or even 20kps - how early do you have to fire the weapon in order to have a chance to destroy a missile, say, 20km outside the side wall? About the only reasons i can see to not switch immediately are bulk and energy supply.

Side wall penetrators are also covered by IFF. Not something that would affect either weapon differently.


Edit: On further reflection, I seem to remember the first generation NDEW had been fielded, with a stand-off range of 50km+, meaning interception at 75km+ would be required.
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