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Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose

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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:35 am

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Brigade XO wrote:Why do you think Kingsford is sitting in front of Honor, possibly having gone somewhere and having been captured? Kingsford isn't likely to be leaving the Sol system, probably not even Earth so unless she sends him some kind of "diplomatic note" communication, she is going to have to go where he is.

We saw her do this to go and make a "request" of President Pritchard- backed up by a RMN Fleet.

How about a combined fleet shows up well outside Sol's hyperlimit sometime after a DD has sneaked in near the Sol system and dropped a FTL bouy plus sent a few Ghost Rider drones in to lurk near Earth? Then Honor would be calling Kingsford from a distance he can't scramble an attack against in any kind of usefull timeframe.

That would make a real interesting practical and psycological demonstration several things.

1) that RMN really does have FTL communications.
2) RMN can put really sneaky drones right into the heart of the Sol system, nobody either saw them comming, and probably nobody is getting a good position lock on them now.
3) RMN (and probably accompanying RHN) ships can get to the heart of the League with no apparent problem.
4) Honor can also have the entire exchange broadcast in-clear thought the system so EVERYBODY gets to hear exactly what she is there to say and Kingsford's respone.

What she has to say and the reaction by Kingsford is the tricky part. She really wouldn't be able to hang around long because if her message is essentialy an offer to call off the war if the SL stands down and it is rejected she will have to do something about it.
Maybe. But even an FTL video conference doesn't really seem, to me, to be a in person conversation; and RFC emphasized that phrase.

Another possibility is the (since my understanding is that this book is supposed to tie up the SL war arc) that we end up skipping forward in time more than in the other books (possibly even harkening back to David's first novel, Insurrection, which showed a war through a series of fairly isolated vignettes) and this meeting in face to face, in person, at nearly the end of the book when the League (of what's left of it) has agreed to sit down and negotiate terms for a peace treaty to end the war.
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:42 am

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cthia wrote:I can't really see Kingsford leaving the system either. If he does, he deserves to be captured. How idiotic would that be? A state of de facto war -- at least -- exists, plus the League, he, has dispatched a "commerce raiding" force. Surely he knows how the game is played. Tit for tat!


Kingsford doesn't have to leave the Sol system, but he does need to make an occasional trip out to the SLN base at Mars.

The RMN could put a stealthed ship (CLAC?) into the system for SIGINT gathering. Intercept an inspection schedule -- a la Yamamoto -- and snatch him back to Manticore for sinner with Honor (and other GA notables.)

Then send him back to Old Chicago to cower in his quarters or lead a coup against the Mandarins, or just announce his capture to the media and promise a similar bloodless decapitation of the SLN as required.
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:43 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:Why do you think Kingsford is sitting in front of Honor, possibly having gone somewhere and having been captured? Kingsford isn't likely to be leaving the Sol system, probably not even Earth so unless she sends him some kind of "diplomatic note" communication, she is going to have to go where he is.

We saw her do this to go and make a "request" of President Pritchard- backed up by a RMN Fleet.

How about a combined fleet shows up well outside Sol's hyperlimit sometime after a DD has sneaked in near the Sol system and dropped a FTL bouy plus sent a few Ghost Rider drones in to lurk near Earth? Then Honor would be calling Kingsford from a distance he can't scramble an attack against in any kind of usefull timeframe.

That would make a real interesting practical and psycological demonstration several things.

1) that RMN really does have FTL communications.
2) RMN can put really sneaky drones right into the heart of the Sol system, nobody either saw them comming, and probably nobody is getting a good position lock on them now.
3) RMN (and probably accompanying RHN) ships can get to the heart of the League with no apparent problem.
4) Honor can also have the entire exchange broadcast in-clear thought the system so EVERYBODY gets to hear exactly what she is there to say and Kingsford's respone.

What she has to say and the reaction by Kingsford is the tricky part. She really wouldn't be able to hang around long because if her message is essentialy an offer to call off the war if the SL stands down and it is rejected she will have to do something about it.
Maybe. But even an FTL video conference doesn't really seem, to me, to be a in person conversation; and RFC emphasized that phrase.

Another possibility is the (since my understanding is that this book is supposed to tie up the SL war arc) that we end up skipping forward in time more than in the other books (possibly even harkening back to David's first novel, Insurrection, which showed a war through a series of fairly isolated vignettes) and this meeting in face to face, in person, at nearly the end of the book when the League (of what's left of it) has agreed to sit down and negotiate terms for a peace treaty to end the war.


Another bus ticket I don't mind buying.

And what persuades them to sit down and talk?


Eighth Fleet and Protectors Own coming to dinner.

Don't worry, Honor isn't rude. She brought her own bottle, missiles and dinner.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by runsforcelery   » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:12 am

runsforcelery
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kzt wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:But more extensive and realistic testing could have turned up these flaws before they were exposed in combat. But that's hard to get budget for, can be tricky to set up, and test that don't provide conclusive results due to something going wrong often end up as black marks against the officers in charge. (So there's a subtle, or not so subtle, perverse incentive against doing more tests because it more changes to get an 'oh shit' while tests that work, even ones the find problems are less likely to gain 'attaboys'.


But luckily in the Honorverse you apparently don't have to worry about those sorts of things, and you can deploy into combat the first generation of missiles made by newly trained people on newly assembled productions lines using new fabrication gear controlled by newly designed and constructed fire control systems running just written code deployed on newly built computer hardware. Which is what they seem to plan to do at Beowulf.



What makes you think any of the above occurs? As a matter of fact, I'd argue that you've seen a lot more evidence that successful warfighting systems are the result of long, intense development and testing in the Honorverse than in the vast majority of military science fiction

Present Manticoran technology is the end result of R&D programs (and skads of testing, for which the budget has always been available, thank you) which began before Honor Harrington was even born. The Mycroft system planned for Beowulf uses no new technology; it takes existing technology, whose parameters are thoroughly known, and applies it in a static role rather than as deployed (and rigorously tested and proven) mobile systems. Its components -- all of its components--- have been tested rigorously in combat, as well as in the developmental process. The components may be being built in new production lines in Beowulf (and in some instances, where the tech falls within the existing infrastructure's reach, the RoH), but those facilities have been producing similar types of hardware for a long, long time, and the people supervising the introduction of the new hardware are Manticorans who are thoroughly familiar with the new systems and how they're built. not just how they're actually used in combat.

When the pod-laying concept was introduced, it had been thoroughly tested before the first capital ship using it was laid down, and some weaknesses had been detected in actual combat (and corrected) along the way. (Honor Among Enemies. anyone?) The Shrike and the CLAC were the result of developmental programs (and testing) which went back over 15 years and incorporated combat experience. (Again, Honor Among Enemies). They were also thrown into combat for the first time when a dreadnought-sized ship built expressly as an evaluation/development test bed found itself unexpectedly in the middle of a flipping battle no one on Manticore's side had seen coming. Before Apollo was first deployed in combat it had been thoroughly tested --- in live-fire exercises, as well as computer simulations. The RMN's quandary wasn't whether or not it represented a tested and proven technology, but rather that the production facilities to which you refer were still in the process of spinning up and availability numbers would be low, meaning that it would be impossible to deploy it generally.

If you really want me to, I can write you an entire novel about the testing procedures employed in the Honorverse. I can also go step by step through the combination of tested technologies in new applications or show you the Manty supervisors and trainers working with the Beowulfan labor force to put new hardware into prodouction. Unfortunately, only the true techno wonks among us --- like the people who are discussing how wet-navy battleships were designed on a thread which began as a teaser/present for one of my fans --- would buy the book to see it!

This is sort of like the question about where AI is in the Honorverse. Brilliant software is fricking everywhere in the Honorverse; it's just running in the background. I've explained elsewhere why I chose not to include genuinely self-aware AI in the Honorverse's DNA for storytelling reasons. (God knows I've used it enough in other stories/series!) I've explained the in-universe the rationale for it (which, admittedly, is driven at least as much by those storytelling constraints as by my reservations about the more optimistic claims in favor of its eventual evolution). I haven't chosen to tell the story of the uncountable failed efforts to develop artificial sentience in-universe because there was no driving need to do so and because it would be way, way outside the everyday thoughts and experiences of the characters in the book. Sort of like the R&D to develop the LED is of such driving interest to the majority of 21st century humans.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by lyonheart   » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:24 am

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Hi Jonathan_S,

It was my impression that the magnetic imploder was only live tested once in the 1930's [as then perfected] before being ordered into production, which it failed but was ruled a success by its supporters, who then stonewalled requests for details as unnecessary because it was 100% perfect, when the testers knew it wasn't; but were willing to ruin anyone questioning their brilliant product, regardless of the results.

Always willing to learn new things,

L


Jonathan_S wrote:
Castenea wrote:I would go for the reason a ship is generally designed to stand p to it's own guns are a bit more prosaic than just the jingoistic bit about our guns are the best in the world.

You know all specs on your own weapons, and if you have any questions about your new armoring scheme standing up to the guns, you only need to construct a sample and reserve range time. This may be a bit more complicated in practice than I make it sound, but your likely enemies are not going to make it easy to use their guns for testing.
To expand a bit on the "a bit more complicated in practice" a number of examples spring to mind where navies really should have diverted money away from other things to get some good, realistic, range testing time.

Though when you're dealing with naval rifles with 10,000+ yard range it's hard to do full up testing of armor piercing capabilities at those long ranges. And while you can do tests by inclining the target to simulate drop angle, and reducing charge to simulate terminal velocity, you're doing so based off of assumptions about terminal performance - and your data on penetration and post penetration detonation is no better than your assumptions (and you're vulnerable to effects that don't show themselves in that partially simulated testing - one example would be if shells developed an increasing wobble in flight). But if the British had done that work, they might have realized their pre-Greenboy shells had a marked tenancy to premature when hitting thick armor at long range and that might have spurred them to make improvements to shells and fuses a few years earlier (before Jutland).

Heck doing some high speed gunnery practice when the 'Cats were in acceptance trials might have shown the vibration issues made high speed combat problematic.


And then the US thought they had a good testing on their Mark 14 torpedoes; and therefore didn't need to spend their limited budget on additional tests but could instead put it towards weapon acquisition. Too bad a variety of failures meant that they were badly wrong about that.
IIRC the depth keeping problem was missed partly because the range equipment for measuring depth happened to have a offsetting miscalculation - and they weren't willing to risk damage to their expensive torpedo by firing it through a net or sheet that would provide simple physical evidence of it's running depth.

The (back) contact/impact exploder was viewed as a known good item carried over from the earlier torpedoes, and as such they didn't feel the need to spend their limited test budget retesting it. Unfortunately they didn't give sufficient allowance to the fact the Mark 14 was faster and the impact velocity the contact exploder was subject to was beyond it's tested envelope (and turned out to be beyond it's reliable operating envelope)

The magnetic exploder I actually give them more of a pass on. It worked fine in their trials and you'd need better knowledge than anyone had of how the Earth's magnetic field varied from place to place to even know you needed to perform tests and calibration in pretty much all of your expected combat zones - not just in the few well instrumented torpedo test ranges the they had. Pretty much everyone had problems with their magnetic exploders due to that.

But more extensive and realistic testing could have turned up these flaws before they were exposed in combat. But that's hard to get budget for, can be tricky to set up, and test that don't provide conclusive results due to something going wrong often end up as black marks against the officers in charge. (So there's a subtle, or not so subtle, perverse incentive against doing more tests because it more changes to get an 'oh shit' while tests that work, even ones the find problems are less likely to gain 'attaboys'.
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by ldwechsler   » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:08 am

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Kingsford doesn't have to leave the Sol system, but he does need to make an occasional trip out to the SLN base at Mars.

The RMN could put a stealthed ship (CLAC?) into the system for SIGINT gathering. Intercept an inspection schedule -- a la Yamamoto -- and snatch him back to Manticore for sinner with Honor (and other GA notables.)

Then send him back to Old Chicago to cower in his quarters or lead a coup against the Mandarins, or just announce his capture to the media and promise a similar bloodless decapitation of the SLN as required.[/quote]


I don't think they will capture Kingsford. More likely, there will be negotiations. And who better to deal with THE top GA naval admiral than the Sollie top admiral?

Yes, having Nimitz will help a lot. Honor can really learn quite a bit picking through Kingsford's brain.

It could probably be a great discussion also. Perhaps some info from Honor on how the Mesalliance compulsion system works. Also, she could simply ask why the Sollie navy had no idea of what was going on in the Haven quadrant, why they were so unprepared for what was waiting for them.
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:26 pm

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ldwechsler wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:Kingsford doesn't have to leave the Sol system, but he does need to make an occasional trip out to the SLN base at Mars.



I don't think they will capture Kingsford.


I don't really think they will capture him either. I'm just pointing out that they could if they wanted to.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by kzt   » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:56 am

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runsforcelery wrote:What makes you think any of the above occurs? As a matter of fact, I'd argue that you've seen a lot more evidence that successful warfighting systems are the result of long, intense development and testing in the Honorverse than in the vast majority of military science fiction

Present Manticoran technology is the end result of R&D programs (and skads of testing, for which the budget has always been available, thank you) which began before Honor Harrington was even born. The Mycroft system planned for Beowulf uses no new technology; it takes existing technology, whose parameters are thoroughly known, and applies it in a static role rather than as deployed (and rigorously tested and proven) mobile systems. Its components -- all of its components--- have been tested rigorously in combat, as well as in the developmental process. The components may be being built in new production lines in Beowulf (and in some instances, where the tech falls within the existing infrastructure's reach, the RoH), but those facilities have been producing similar types of hardware for a long, long time, and the people supervising the introduction of the new hardware are Manticorans who are thoroughly familiar with the new systems and how they're built. not just how they're actually used in combat.

When the pod-laying concept was introduced, it had been thoroughly tested before the first capital ship using it was laid down, and some weaknesses had been detected in actual combat (and corrected) along the way. (Honor Among Enemies. anyone?) The Shrike and the CLAC were the result of developmental programs (and testing) which went back over 15 years and incorporated combat experience. (Again, Honor Among Enemies). They were also thrown into combat for the first time when a dreadnought-sized ship built expressly as an evaluation/development test bed found itself unexpectedly in the middle of a flipping battle no one on Manticore's side had seen coming. Before Apollo was first deployed in combat it had been thoroughly tested --- in live-fire exercises, as well as computer simulations. The RMN's quandary wasn't whether or not it represented a tested and proven technology, but rather that the production facilities to which you refer were still in the process of spinning up and availability numbers would be low, meaning that it would be impossible to deploy it generally.

If you really want me to, I can write you an entire novel about the testing procedures employed in the Honorverse. I can also go step by step through the combination of tested technologies in new applications or show you the Manty supervisors and trainers working with the Beowulfan labor force to put new hardware into prodouction. Unfortunately, only the true techno wonks among us --- like the people who are discussing how wet-navy battleships were designed on a thread which began as a teaser/present for one of my fans --- would buy the book to see it!

This is sort of like the question about where AI is in the Honorverse. Brilliant software is fricking everywhere in the Honorverse; it's just running in the background. I've explained elsewhere why I chose not to include genuinely self-aware AI in the Honorverse's DNA for storytelling reasons. (God knows I've used it enough in other stories/series!) I've explained the in-universe the rationale for it (which, admittedly, is driven at least as much by those storytelling constraints as by my reservations about the more optimistic claims in favor of its eventual evolution). I haven't chosen to tell the story of the uncountable failed efforts to develop artificial sentience in-universe because there was no driving need to do so and because it would be way, way outside the everyday thoughts and experiences of the characters in the book. Sort of like the R&D to develop the LED is of such driving interest to the majority of 21st century humans.

Sorry for the delay in responding, things got interesting at work today.

The issue of building well known and well understood products on new equipment by new personnel is probably best encapsulated by the story of FOGBANK. You've probably heard it, but I'll recap anyhow for anyone not familiar.

From 1975 to 1989 Oak Ridge made a substance code named FOGBANK that is used in critical parts of US W76 fusion weapons. "The material is classified. Its composition is classified. Its use in the weapon is classified, and the process itself is classified." It is generally considered to be an aerogel that becomes part of the plasma that helps trigger the second (fusion stage) of a fusion bomb.

By 1993 Oak Ridge had demolished the production plant and left just the pilot plant, and virtually all the employees involved had retired by the early 2000s. Which is when the NNSA decided they needed more FOGBANK to refurbish weapons. So they built a new facility to make more, using the equipment in the pilot plant as a model, planed for completion in 2005, to turn out FOGBANK in to deliver refurbished weapons in 2007. Since they had a pilot plant and the production process documentation this wouldn't be very hard, even without the mast majority of the production personnel, right?

The plant was late in completion And the process to manufacture FOGBANK didn't work. It turned out that documentation of the manufacturing process were not complete, and despite having a pilot production plant they couldn't produce useful quantities. Two years, in 2007, and a lot of additional R&D later they finally were able to manufactured FOGBANK. Unfortunately it didn't work in the weapon. So after another year and $69 million, they eventually determined how to make it work.

It turned out that a feedstock material that was being used in the new plant was the issue. A "minor impurity" that was in the original feedstock was in fact absolutely essential to produce working FOGBANK but due to improved purification process that were developed since 1975 it was being removed from the feedstock.

So yeah, making old stuff on new equipment by new employees can be a very non-trivial problem.


Then we have the Saturn V problem.

We have all the blueprints, design documentation and production documentation all nicely stored away. But it is impossible to pull them out of the NASA archives and build one because the entire supply chain doesn't exist. The carefully selected parts that are specified are not made an more and the companies that made them often doesn't exist. So you can't even build the sub-assemblies to build the components. You'd need to redesign a very large portion of the entire vehicle using parts that are currently available.

And now that you've done that now you have re-qualify the all the parts of the entire vehicle, starting from individual components and sub-assemblys and running up to full scale test flights.


In the case of Beowulf and Mantiocore, I really doubt that the entire RMN production chain was based on Beowulf manufacturers. So, for example, everywhere the plan for a fusion reactor specifies a particular Manticoran made pump you have to replace that with a different part. Or you have to obtain the design documentation for the pump and build it from scratch. Which might be a bit of problem if that documentation no longer exists due to being blown up, along with the designers. So instead you have to find one built on Beowulf that fits the space available, or build one from scratch, and then either way you have to re-qualify the whole reactor and the vehicle or system it goes into.

And it isn't just physical parts like that. Someone has to port all the computer code designed to work on what I would assume are proprietary computer hardware (since most civilian systems are probably not designed to work when being exposed to the radiation from hundreds of nuclear detonations per second) to whatever the closest Beowulf equivalent is. And then you would probably want to find all the subtle weird problems introduced by these changes before you deploy a system controlling thousands of missiles moving at close to the speed of light in a system you are very fond of.

Now if you and just pour sand in one end and get Mk23 missiles out the other that isn't a huge issue. Of course that means when someone obtains the plans for a RMN system they can just pour sand in one end and get Mk23s out the other end too.

With Mycroft you also have a lot of new code being written for equipment that doesn't even exist in prototype form. Just the change between having your computer node maybe a thousand KM away from the control node to having them up to light minutes away will produce interesting effects that forces changes to a huge amount of the codebase.
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by munroburton   » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:40 am

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kzt wrote:In the case of Beowulf and Mantiocore, I really doubt that the entire RMN production chain was based on Beowulf manufacturers. So, for example, everywhere the plan for a fusion reactor specifies a particular Manticoran made pump you have to replace that with a different part. Or you have to obtain the design documentation for the pump and build it from scratch. Which might be a bit of problem if that documentation no longer exists due to being blown up, along with the designers. So instead you have to find one built on Beowulf that fits the space available, or build one from scratch, and then either way you have to re-qualify the whole reactor and the vehicle or system it goes into.

And it isn't just physical parts like that. Someone has to port all the computer code designed to work on what I would assume are proprietary computer hardware (since most civilian systems are probably not designed to work when being exposed to the radiation from hundreds of nuclear detonations per second) to whatever the closest Beowulf equivalent is. And then you would probably want to find all the subtle weird problems introduced by these changes before you deploy a system controlling thousands of missiles moving at close to the speed of light in a system you are very fond of.

Now if you and just pour sand in one end and get Mk23 missiles out the other that isn't a huge issue. Of course that means when someone obtains the plans for a RMN system they can just pour sand in one end and get Mk23s out the other end too.

With Mycroft you also have a lot of new code being written for equipment that doesn't even exist in prototype form. Just the change between having your computer node maybe a thousand KM away from the control node to having them up to light minutes away will produce interesting effects that forces changes to a huge amount of the codebase.


They're not all dead and the documentation isn't lost. Weyland's staff was evacuated during a training drill and those R&D efforts were copied to groundside bases. One on Gryphon and probably Admiralty House on Manticore.

Manticore lost +90% of its manufacturing capability, true, but they only lost around 60-70% of their manufacturing personnel and maybe 10% of their R&D personnel. Disastrous but not quite apocalyptic.

Your point about Beowulf manufacturers not quite being set up to produce Manticoran components is valid, but bear in mind those Manticoran personnel have a lot of experience in getting other people set up to build their tech. Grayson, Zanzibar, Alizon, Erewhon and very recently, the Andermani. As long as the Manticorans involved in these exchange programs are still alive, there is a chance they can make all this work together.

At the very least, they have a roadmap to follow. The Sollies have a thousand different scattergun R&D projects to start assessing and integrating under completely new conditions they're not used to. Which's harder?
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Re: Uncompromising way out of order snippet for Rose
Post by saintonge   » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:52 am

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[quote="Jonathan_S"]But more extensive and realistic testing could have turned up these flaws before they were exposed in combat. But that's hard to get budget for, can be tricky to set up, and test that don't provide conclusive results due to something going wrong often end up as black marks against the officers in charge. (So there's a subtle, or not so subtle, perverse incentive against doing more tests because it more changes to get an 'oh shit' while tests that work, even ones the find problems are less likely to gain 'attaboys'.[/quote]

It depends on your military. The U.S. had a sacred tradition of gutting the military budget the moment a war ended, so there was a strong incentive not to 'waste' money on 'unnecessary' testing.

Besides, everyone knew the U.S. and Britain had nothing to fear from their potential enemies.

And of course when the torpedo exploders didn't work, no one was court martialed over it, or assigned to the worst possible postings with orders that the person was never to be promoted again, under any circumstances, and were first on the list to be RIFfed after the war. Neither did anyone in the Army or Navy who'd denigrated intelligence, assigned people thought to be second rate to it, and starved it of funds pay for the resulting massive intelligence failure of Pearl Harbor with their career.

The Imperial Japanese Navy knew damn well they'd be up against countries with bigger economies, and they made far more tests, and more realistic ones.

The Star Kingdom was facing a hugely greater Navy in size, with experience in fleet combat that Manticore mostly didn't have. Not surprising they'd concentrate hard on making sure their tech was superior, and test it very rigorously. They knew their survival depended on it.

Not all militaries are run by complacent idiots and fools, though admittedly many are.
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