Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by runsforcelery   » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:04 pm

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

Posts: 2215
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:39 am
Location: South Carolina

kzt wrote:You misunderstand. They were not “controlling” them. They were launched in fire and forget mode. What they sent them was a flight plan and target cueing, and then told them ‘now go get em!’. Everything after launch was up to the missiles. That’s why David brought up the control missiles the way he did.



Yes.

Something that's been part of the Honorverse from the get go was the problem of any individual missile visualizing the entire battlefield, especially with all the various decoys, jammers, deception mode EW, etc., cranked in. In addition, because of wedge interference, it was really difficult for missiles to communicate with other missiles, especially after evasive routing and maneuvers were cranked in. I'm not saying that any of those things were flat out impossible; I'm saying that the ability to do any of them was severely constrained by these factors. In addition, missile defense was good enough to nail almost any pre-laserhead missile well before it reached attack range. This results in a situation in which missile design philosophy was: these things are going to have minimal hit chances once they get beyond the envelope where their profiles can be updated by someone who can see the entire battlefield, so build them cheap enough (and small enough) we can use them en masse to have a chance of swamping the missile defense.

Recall, BTW, that we're talking about points on a spectrum here, a process in evolution. If you are reading the Travis Lee novels, for example, you will see a huge difference between Travis's missiles and those of Honor's time in terms of relative size, acceleration rates, and general capabilities. Remember, however, that the development of effective laserheads (and the stand off range they permitted) was a relatively recent development as of Basilisk Station.



By the time Roger launched his R&D programs, the missile paradigm had translated (wisely or not) into missiles which had minimal sensor capability as individuals. None of them tried to communicate with each other, except at extremely short range, but each of them carried telemetry links to the launching platforms which allowed those platforms to correlate the take from all the other missiles in the salvo (i.e., from dozens of sensor platforms in a dispersed array). That meant the ships which had launched them were able to do very sophisticated modeling of the tactical environment, then direct the missiles to attack most effectively so long as they were within close enough range that transmission lag was manageable. Beyond that range, hit probabilities dropped off dramatically, which is one reason no one had poured a lot of effort into developing the equivalent of the Saganami-B's extended range missiles. The extra expense and size wasn't worth worth it in weapons which would have very little chance of scoring a hit at their maximum powered range.

This was a well understood model at the beginning of the Havenite Wars. The impact of laserheads in combat was less well understood, because the combatants were sort of in the position of the Royal British Navy in 1914, hypothesizing about the effectiveness of torpedoes based on the experience of the Russo-Japanese war. There was a lot of theoretical analysis and not a lot of hands-on "Oh my God, they're shooting at us!" data to go around.

Project Gram unbalanced the prewar concept of missile doctrine in oh, so many ways. Range was vastly increased, but the MDM's much greater range made the existing "cheap-but-myopic" missile design increasingly less useful. The first step was to improve the individual missile's sensors and onboard computer capability, which allowed hit probabilities at extreme range (which was now much more extreme than it had ever been before) to remain within combat-effective levels, although they were considerably lower than they'd been when the combat ranges were such as to allow effective shipboard control. This is essentially where the RMN was at the time of Operation Buttercup and where the RHN was at the time of Operation Thunderbolt.

When the basic research for Ghost Rider was combined with the MDM, the telemetry range was enormously increased, as well, which restored that portion of the earlier missile paradigm, using the far more capable missiles which had been developed in the meantime. When you couple that with the more powerful laser heads being mounted aboard the missiles, missile combat at what was once extreme range (but would now be considered moderate range, at worst) became really, really deadly. At extended ranges, it was more lethal than it had ever been before, but the possibility of extended missile exchanges (assuming that one side didn't have a "kill-them-all-twice" superiority in pods at the beginning of the engagement) became feasible.

The real killer aspect of Apollo comes in three stages:

(1) The vast range and energetic terminal maneuvers possible for a three-stage MDM. (There is also a four-stage system defense missile, but it had not been put into volume production before Oyster Bay and the decision was made to focus Beowulf's missile production capability on the standard Apollo that could be carried aboard warships.) This particular part of what I think of as the "Apollo Triad" is shared with all other MDMs, of course, but the other two legs of the triad give it enormously more impact in Apollo's case.

(2) The FTL telemetry link, which continues to tie shipboard control (and the greater "reach" the controlling ship and all her consorts possess) into the targeting process when it comes to analyzing the battlefield and directing attack assets as effectively as possible "on-the-fly" at ranges which were previously unimaginable.

(3) The Mark 23-E. The Echo is the most important part of the entire Apollo system. Not only is it the FTL relay through which the firing ships communicate with the attack missiles, but because the Echo is following along behind the attack birds, it is screened and protected by their wedge interference, which means it doesn't have to maneuver erratically even as the salvo approaches its target. Its onboard AI is the best in the business, and while it has no sensors of its own, it gets superb input from the highly capable sensors now mounted in the individual Mark 23s. And all of the Mark 23-Es talk to each other, sharing the data from "their" attack missiles. They are, in effect, capable of performing the function of the controlling starships in the traditional, pre-MDM combat environment, even at maximum powered and ballistic range. One of the key points here is that they can perform that function for any starship that launches them. They are most effective when they can combine with all of the launch platforms' telemetry, as well, since in really big salvos — and I believe we can safely say that we have seen some REALLY Big Salvos in recent years — not even Mark 23-Es have the lateral "reach" to access and process the sensor take from every missile in the salvo.

What this means is that as long as a salvo of Mark 23s is in effective FTL telemetry range of the launching ships (that is, close enough range that the upgrade and performance outweighs the degradation of the transmission lag), an Apollo-armed ship equipped with Keyhole-Two is a sniper armed with a Barrett against anyone without comparable technology. The Mark 23-E, even without Keyhole-Two, is probably the equivalent of a sniper armed with a Springfield in the same range bracket. Beyond that range, when even FTL telemetry is taken out of the equation, the Mark 23-E turns a salvo of Mark 23s into infantry armed with rifles with iron sights up against matchlock-armed musketeers. Large salvo size is still required in order to penetrate capable defenses, but missiles which do penetrate score far, far higher percentages of hits.

This is why there are passages in the books which comment on the fact that extreme-range Apollo launches are much less accurate than closer-ranged launches . . . only enormously more accurate than anyone else's launches.

This is what bit Capriotti at Beowulf even after Mycroft was taken off the table. As I believe I said before, Mycroft is effectively the cherry on top of a system defense capability — the MDM and Apollo — which would already be decisive against almost any attack. In a very real sense, Apollo has returned attacks launched from inside the hyper-limit of a heavily defended star system to the days when Horatio Nelson said "A ship's a fool to fight a fort."

Now, no one says the missile paradigm is going to stay where it is, of course! :twisted:


Edited to add:

I might point out that the reason Honor used Hermes against Tourville at Manticore was because she wanted to make sure the missiles missed and then to convince him — because of her FTL communications capability — that she could kill every one of his ships with impunity. Which happened to be true.

What Shannon and Sonja come up with in this book that does marry the Hermes buoy to Ghost Rider drones is a jury-rigged lash-up designed to provide a sort (a rather limping, staggering sort) version of Apollo's extended targeting capability to Mark 16-armed BC(P)s. It's nowhere near as capable as Apollo; it's only a lot more capable than anyone else has.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by kzt   » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:00 am

kzt
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 9545
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:18 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

A thought has occurred to me reading the explanation: So while the MA's little silver bullet surprise didn't work out they way they planned, they still got their money's worth out of it. It was someone else's ships that got all blowed up showing them they still didn't fully understand what they were facing and giving them another big piece of data.
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by runsforcelery   » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:36 am

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

Posts: 2215
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:39 am
Location: South Carolina

kzt wrote:A thought has occurred to me reading the explanation: So while the MA's little silver bullet surprise didn't work out they way they planned, they still got their money's worth out of it. It was someone else's ships that got all blowed up showing them they still didn't fully understand what they were facing and giving them another big piece of data.



Eyup.

The truth is, they're already a heck of a lot better informed about MDMs in general and — especially — Apollo, in particular, than the SLN ever was. They don't begin to have all of the pieces, of course; one reason they expected Silver Bullet to be even more effective than it was. But unlike the SLN, nobody in the Alignment would have been interested in stepping on someone like al-Fanudahi simply because he challenged the accepted wisdom. And, also unlike the SLN, the Alignment wasn't invested in a massive fleet of ships which would have been rendered obsolete overnight if all of those preposterous lies coming out of the Haven Sector had contained a single grain of accuracy. And, as I trust was evident from the manuscript, the Alignment does, indeed, have agents planted in the infrastructure of many star systems, including Beowulf. So it's virtually certain — I mean, I'm only guessing here, :roll: you understand — that the Alignment has gotten at least a pretty good peek at the Grand Alliance's technology. Not necessarily inside the nuts and bolts or the maintenance manuals, since both sides are pretty fanatical about security where that's concerned, but they've got at least as much of an idea about current Alliance military capabilities and where their own R&D programs need to go as the Grand Alliance has now about the streak drive, courtesy of Herlander Simões.

On the other side, Shannon and Sonja and their people have pretty much worked out what the spider drive does; they just don't have a clue yet how to do it themselves. Of course, with the Demonic Duo involved, the "how" will probably follow fairly closely on the heels of "what." ;)


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by lyonheart   » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:53 am

lyonheart
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4792
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:27 pm

Hello RunsForCelery!

Wow!

Very interesting times for everyone indeed! ;)

Once the demonic duo have a spider drive, decent detectors ought to also follow soon after.

While the MAlign figures out the 'splitter tech' even sooner.

The next story arc begins in 20 years, given the new paradigms, Raul is going to have to unlearn a lot right after he graduates from the academy, maybe this is where Hamish's own life lessons come in handy. ;)

Very interesting times for everyone.

L


runsforcelery wrote:
kzt wrote:A thought has occurred to me reading the explanation: So while the MA's little silver bullet surprise didn't work out they way they planned, they still got their money's worth out of it. It was someone else's ships that got all blowed up showing them they still didn't fully understand what they were facing and giving them another big piece of data.



Eyup.

The truth is, they're already a heck of a lot better informed about MDMs in general and — especially — Apollo, in particular, than the SLN ever was. They don't begin to have all of the pieces, of course; one reason they expected Silver Bullet to be even more effective than it was. But unlike the SLN, nobody in the Alignment would have been interested in stepping on someone like al-Fanudahi simply because he challenged the accepted wisdom. And, also unlike the SLN, the Alignment wasn't invested in a massive fleet of ships which would have been rendered obsolete overnight if all of those preposterous lies coming out of the Haven Sector had contained a single grain of accuracy. And, as I trust was evident from the manuscript, the Alignment does, indeed, have agents planted in the infrastructure of many star systems, including Beowulf. So it's virtually certain — I mean, I'm only guessing here, :roll: you understand — that the Alignment has gotten at least a pretty good peek at the Grand Alliance's technology. Not necessarily inside the nuts and bolts or the maintenance manuals, since both sides are pretty fanatical about security where that's concerned, but they've got at least as much of an idea about current Alliance military capabilities and where their own R&D programs need to go as the Grand Alliance has now about the streak drive, courtesy of Herlander Simões.

On the other side, Shannon and Sonja and their people have pretty much worked out what the spider drive does; they just don't have a clue yet how to do it themselves. Of course, with the Demonic Duo involved, the "how" will probably follow fairly closely on the heels of "what." ;)
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by noblehunter   » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:04 pm

noblehunter
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:49 pm

lyonheart wrote:Hello RunsForCelery!

Wow!

Very interesting times for everyone indeed! ;)

Once the demonic duo have a spider drive, decent detectors ought to also follow soon after.



Apparently even the Alignment has trouble spotting ships under spider drive. I think the main problem is that gravitrics is the most reliable way to detect ships. Spider drives have no impeller wedge which can be seen across a solar system. Instead of trying to spot a bonfire at midnight, you're trying to see candles at noon.
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by Weird Harold   » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:03 pm

Weird Harold
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4296
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:25 pm
Location: "Lost Wages", NV

noblehunter wrote:Apparently even the Alignment has trouble spotting ships under spider drive.


The MAlign doesn't have FTL comm technology anywhere hear as sensitive as Manticore's (if they've cracked that problem at all. FTL comms with any significant bandwidth have to incorporate very sensitive Gravitic sensors -- exactly what is needed to detect a spider drive's interaction with the alpha wall.
.
.
.
Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by Annachie   » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:42 pm

Annachie
Admiral

Posts: 2329
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:36 pm

It feels like once the Dynamic Duo crack it enough to know what to look for, they'll be able to spot them, well easily is the wrong word but at that point it's just engineering/coverage.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are so going to die. :p ~~~~ runsforcelery
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
still not dead. :)
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by kzt   » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:43 pm

kzt
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 9545
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:18 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Annachie wrote:It feels like once the Dynamic Duo crack it enough to know what to look for, they'll be able to spot them, well easily is the wrong word but at that point it's just engineering/coverage.

Realize that the other side continues to innovate too.
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by Eagleeye   » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:56 am

Eagleeye
Captain of the List

Posts: 685
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:41 am
Location: Halle/Saale, Germany

kzt wrote:
Annachie wrote:It feels like once the Dynamic Duo crack it enough to know what to look for, they'll be able to spot them, well easily is the wrong word but at that point it's just engineering/coverage.

Realize that the other side continues to innovate too.


Right. And because both sides play funny things with the alpha wall it is more than possible that both get successful in their goals. That means, Manticore get the spider drive and the MAlign FTL. But somehow I think the GA could be a little bit more successful in detecting existing spiders simply because they already have the sensitive sensors needed; maybe these sensors only need some kind of recalibration to be spider detectors.
Top
Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by Peregrinator   » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:17 pm

Peregrinator
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:50 pm

Weird Harold wrote:The MAlign doesn't have FTL comm technology anywhere hear as sensitive as Manticore's (if they've cracked that problem at all. FTL comms with any significant bandwidth have to incorporate very sensitive Gravitic sensors -- exactly what is needed to detect a spider drive's interaction with the alpha wall.

Of course, but unless I have read things wrong, the MAlign's Silver Bullet seems to be able to detect the grav pulses that allow those sensors to communicate with one another.
Top

Return to Honorverse