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SLN Energy Weapon Oddity

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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:00 pm

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Crown Loyalist wrote:Might not be a product of any kind of technical analysis for optimizing combat capability. It's the Solarian League - it might be a military equipment contractor lobbied the Navy to adopt an all-graser mount because it was more profitable for the company to solely produce grasers and not produce both grasers and lasers.

Could be.

OTOH a mixed battery gave up maximum hitting power against a few targets in order to mount more individual energy mounts; letting you engage more enemies simultaneously. But SLN BCs operate in sufficient numbers that they're very unlikely to fight outnumbered - and even the League should be noticing that improving missiles make is less likely for a swarm of smaller ships to reach energy range of BCs. So what's the point of keeping all those lasers at the expense of total broadside damage?

However that might just be the post hoc justification used after the contractor realized they could get higher profits on an all graser design :D
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by HungryKing   » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:05 pm

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Warship evolution was reductive: the standard pattern formed as technologies or their replacements were eliminated. At one point there may have been energy torpedo broadside destroyers and light cruisers, which ceased making even theoretical sense in 1750 PD. The energy battery used to be one of the defensive layers on its own in missile defense, and when you have as many mounts as missile tubes per broadside they might as well be grasers, especially when you decide that the PDLC is probably enough on its own and you want to maintain three well defined layers. Then comes the next generation design, the current warhead comes in fast enough that the PDLC and energy battery baskets overlap even with grasers, and suddenly trading two grasers for two lasers and a PD cluster or CM tube sounds like Good Idea.
It is entirely possible that Battle Fleet, given that we know that they do favor using BCs to some extent, and, even if they never acknowledge it, could assume that they would bring twice as many to the party, had a graser only BC design that was meant to be released to cut down fleeing survivors, even though its missile defense contribution was decreased. The realization that the laserhead actually works and will get better comes around and the SLN, especially Battle Fleet, panics and decides to hide a reactive update as a progressive enhancement program and one of the implications is that the energy battery should not be relied upon for missile defense, and had an eureka moment. Of course, it is also possible that the SLN actually ran the numbers like Grayson did and realized that lasers do not serve a significant role anymore, or even that someone in their SysDev or TecAn read some mention of the concept in the copious amounts of data they received before they started trashcan filing everything related to the largest war in history. Though the corruption idea is entirely workable as well.
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:10 pm

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Crown Loyalist wrote:Might not be a product of any kind of technical analysis for optimizing combat capability. It's the Solarian League - it might be a military equipment contractor lobbied the Navy to adopt an all-graser mount because it was more profitable for the company to solely produce grasers and not produce both grasers and lasers.


Might also be that BCs and below are the province of Frontier Fleet. FF is much more realistic about the balance of power and what other navies are doing. Not realistic and timely enough, obviously, but far more realistic that the BF side of the SLN.
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by Theemile   » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:04 pm

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Crown Loyalist wrote:Might not be a product of any kind of technical analysis for optimizing combat capability. It's the Solarian League - it might be a military equipment contractor lobbied the Navy to adopt an all-graser mount because it was more profitable for the company to solely produce grasers and not produce both grasers and lasers.


Or it could be a situation like the HMS Vanguard - weapons had been overproduced for another, usually cancelled project, so enough were laying around to produce a new class cheaply using the existing hardware.
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by pappilon   » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:04 pm

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Theemile wrote:
Crown Loyalist wrote:Might not be a product of any kind of technical analysis for optimizing combat capability. It's the Solarian League - it might be a military equipment contractor lobbied the Navy to adopt an all-graser mount because it was more profitable for the company to solely produce grasers and not produce both grasers and lasers.


Or it could be a situation like the HMS Vanguard - weapons had been overproduced for another, usually cancelled project, so enough were laying around to produce a new class cheaply using the existing hardware.



Facing no real enemy, having no combat experience, It's hard to imagine what would drive changes in armament and weapon mix. Probably the slow realization that grazers make more sense on capital ships facing capital ships than lasers do.
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by feyhunde   » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:22 pm

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pappilon wrote:
Facing no real enemy, having no combat experience, It's hard to imagine what would drive changes in armament and weapon mix. Probably the slow realization that grazers make more sense on capital ships facing capital ships than lasers do.



On a tangent of this. The SLN is inexperienced, corrupt, and sluggish. It's not completely stupid. They have a technical core that's pretty good compared to the pre-war era. The big differences have been R&D driven by the war, stuff Grayson basically reinvented, and few areas of true breakthroughs.

The few true breakthroughs are FTL coms and high density microfusion. Those give FTL C&C loops and allow for more powerful ships and more powerful missiles & drones.

Grayson's improved compensators and fission plants work with the higher density microfusion plants to give higher acceleration ships and make LACs much more deadly.

The rest is improvements during wartime. The Haven powers saw much earlier the effect of laser heads and threw a bunch of R&D at making the laser head deadlier and better. Pods, ghost rider, etc. are all evolved out of an experience and focus on missile combat. LACs become more useful as part of the screen due to the increase of missile combat as well. EM warfare follows the missile tech.

The SLN due to a number of factors missed the boat on the fundamental change in warfare the laser head has done. They've thus spent little of the last 30 years that Haven sector powers have on improvements to missile warfare. Halo being too little too late.

But during the same time the SLN has still had R&D budgets and wargames. For someone who was a senior admiral before the laser head was a thing, energy weapons are still your main weapons. As a result having the heaviest energy weapon mix you can get just makes sense.
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by Erls   » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:27 pm

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I think there is a really simple explanation for why some SLN ships went all Graser - institutional inertia and experience.

My point is this: The SLN observers with the Peeps would have seen both the increase in SKM missile and energy powers, as well as the "new" all graser design. When they reported back to their higherups in the SLN, the higherups deems the missile reports wrong as they were beyond SLN tech - tech they "knew" was the best available. However, simply going to an all graser design was a modification they could readily envision and accept - and hence they did in new builds or retro-fits.

Basically, the SLN accepted as possible that which they could accomplish (going all graser) while dismissing that which they could not match (SKM missile speeds, distances, and power).
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:59 am

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Erls wrote:I think there is a really simple explanation for why some SLN ships went all Graser - institutional inertia and experience.

My point is this: The SLN observers with the Peeps would have seen both the increase in SKM missile and energy powers, as well as the "new" all graser design. When they reported back to their higherups in the SLN, the higherups deems the missile reports wrong as they were beyond SLN tech - tech they "knew" was the best available. However, simply going to an all graser design was a modification they could readily envision and accept - and hence they did in new builds or retro-fits.

Basically, the SLN accepted as possible that which they could accomplish (going all graser) while dismissing that which they could not match (SKM missile speeds, distances, and power).

Thoug( it doesn’t seem the SLN had any direct observers, not even “unofficial” ones. Even the transtellars tha5 were violating the weapons/tech embargo by selling to Haven don’t seem to have had observers directly there - not unless they all got PNGed when the ceasefire happened. During Haven rearmament Pritchard and her government were refusing to share their tech improvements or even hard observations of Buttercup era Mantie capabilities - something about a grudge about how they gouged the Peeps on the tech they needed for their survival.

So I don’t know whether any first, or even second, hand accounts of the tech or the change to an all graser armament did go back to the League or even the transtellars that might be proposing specific designs to be the basis of the new Nevada class BC.
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by Fox2!   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:42 am

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Theemile wrote:
Crown Loyalist wrote:Might not be a product of any kind of technical analysis for optimizing combat capability. It's the Solarian League - it might be a military equipment contractor lobbied the Navy to adopt an all-graser mount because it was more profitable for the company to solely produce grasers and not produce both grasers and lasers.


Or it could be a situation like the HMS Vanguard - weapons had been overproduced for another, usually cancelled project, so enough were laying around to produce a new class cheaply using the existing hardware.


Vanguard was armed with the twin 15 in turrets removed from two of the "Light Battle Cruisers" of the Courageous class (the third had actually been equipped with 18 inch guns!) before they were converted to aircraft carriers in compliance with the Washington Naval Treaty. The 15 inch guns had originally been procured for HMS Resistance, a battleship cancelled at the start of The Great War. So, four sets of guns, brought for one ship, but actually installed on two others, then coming together again on a fourth.
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Re: SLN Energy Weapon Oddity
Post by pappilon   » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:36 pm

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Fox2! wrote:
Vanguard was armed with the twin 15 in turrets removed from two of the "Light Battle Cruisers" of the Courageous class (the third had actually been equipped with 18 inch guns!) before they were converted to aircraft carriers in compliance with the Washington Naval Treaty. The 15 inch guns had originally been procured for HMS Resistance, a battleship cancelled at the start of The Great War. So, four sets of guns, brought for one ship, but actually installed on two others, then coming together again on a fourth.



Their ships are fighting the war that happened 300 years ago. We hearken back to the Jeune Ecole SLN planning, strategy and construction are "Old School" designs where SDs battered each other rather ineffectively with contact nukes until someone made the mistake of letting the enemy get within laser/graser range.

Half the ships of the like have autocannons instead of laser clusters for point defence. Not meaning to reprise old arguments in the uses for Obsolete SLN SDs topic.
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