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[spoiler] The future of missile combat

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Re: [spoiler] The future of missile combat
Post by Annachie   » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:26 pm

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Dauntless wrote:we've drifted a bit (hardly a surprise) so lets start again.

a world with near SL core world tech and industry has decided it wants its own empire and doesn't care if worlds join willingly or are forced.


I'm not sure such a world could defend itself from the GA for the next few decades.
Well not without wall to wall missile pods anyway.

They would have to do it politically. Benign dictators as it were.
When the political system collapses, there's nothing wrong with empire building if you make things better for all your subjects.
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You are so going to die. :p ~~~~ runsforcelery
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Re: [spoiler] The future of missile combat
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:07 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:A primary benefit of the Apollo system is the multiplication of control channels.

Develop a two-stage missile by bolting together two standard missiles of any class and a contrive a control missile with an AI/fire-control repeater and the same drives. Build a pod-nought to dispense the pods that launch the DDCM and brood (the brood can be any size you're willing to build a pod big enough for) and Bob's Your Uncle. You've got a system that will both out-range and out-gun anything except a SD(P) with KH-II and Apollo pods.

Another factor in RMN/GA superiority is the destructiveness of missile warheads on a class-for-class basis. Where the Cataphract design (with a CM based second stage) had to downsize warheads to make the missiles tube-launchable, the RMN found ways to improve grav-pinching warheads and squeeze bigger lasing rods into smaller missiles.

Any "world with near SL core world tech and industry" should be able to increase the power of their warheads in some way. Put bigger warheads on smaller missiles would let you stack more stages fire-able from tubes. (or stack more DDMs in a DDCM pod's brood.)

Smaller ships, DDs and CLs shouldn't ever really need DDMs, though. They have no business standing up to CLs and bigger and their normal missions aren't worth the cost of shrinking a DDM to fit. Bigger warheads are probably a different story, though.


Yup, extend the Apollo sublight control capability--make a missile that commands 8 missiles and can accept command from another missile. Any ship can then fire a salvo capable of taking down anything. Decide how many missiles you want, put that many in space, if you can't control them you send out enough control missiles so you can, then send them all on their way. They would also have a better chance of hitting.
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Re: [spoiler] The future of missile combat
Post by Theemile   » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:24 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:A primary benefit of the Apollo system is the multiplication of control channels.

Develop a two-stage missile by bolting together two standard missiles of any class and a contrive a control missile with an AI/fire-control repeater and the same drives. Build a pod-nought to dispense the pods that launch the DDCM and brood (the brood can be any size you're willing to build a pod big enough for) and Bob's Your Uncle. You've got a system that will both out-range and out-gun anything except a SD(P) with KH-II and Apollo pods.

Another factor in RMN/GA superiority is the destructiveness of missile warheads on a class-for-class basis. Where the Cataphract design (with a CM based second stage) had to downsize warheads to make the missiles tube-launchable, the RMN found ways to improve grav-pinching warheads and squeeze bigger lasing rods into smaller missiles.

Any "world with near SL core world tech and industry" should be able to increase the power of their warheads in some way. Put bigger warheads on smaller missiles would let you stack more stages fire-able from tubes. (or stack more DDMs in a DDCM pod's brood.)

Smaller ships, DDs and CLs shouldn't ever really need DDMs, though. They have no business standing up to CLs and bigger and their normal missions aren't worth the cost of shrinking a DDM to fit. Bigger warheads are probably a different story, though.


Yup, extend the Apollo sublight control capability--make a missile that commands 8 missiles and can accept command from another missile. Any ship can then fire a salvo capable of taking down anything. Decide how many missiles you want, put that many in space, if you can't control them you send out enough control missiles so you can, then send them all on their way. They would also have a better chance of hitting.


Essentially, the RMN doesn't "need" to do that now - each ACM in a salvo is networked with each other and the take given to one ACM from the mothership should be shared by all. If the launch platform is not in FTL control mode, all a mother ship would need to do is update the attack profiles of as many ACMs as possible over the RF links and let the ACMs do the grunt work.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just 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: [spoiler] The future of missile combat
Post by Fox2!   » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:46 am

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Annachie wrote:
They would have to do it politically. Benign dictators as it were.
When the political system collapses, there's nothing wrong with empire building if you make things better for all your subjects.


Isn't that how Gustav Anderman started his little empire? Conquest, at least to the extent of having an unscheduled change in management, at the same time, fixing whatever problems the previous political power structure allowed to accumulate. IIRC, that's what happened when he took over New Potsdam to be, resolving a planetary plague while he was at it.
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Re: [spoiler] The future of missile combat
Post by ywing14   » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:33 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:A primary benefit of the Apollo system is the multiplication of control channels.

Develop a two-stage missile by bolting together two standard missiles of any class and a contrive a control missile with an AI/fire-control repeater and the same drives. Build a pod-nought to dispense the pods that launch the DDCM and brood (the brood can be any size you're willing to build a pod big enough for) and Bob's Your Uncle. You've got a system that will both out-range and out-gun anything except a SD(P) with KH-II and Apollo pods.

Another factor in RMN/GA superiority is the destructiveness of missile warheads on a class-for-class basis. Where the Cataphract design (with a CM based second stage) had to downsize warheads to make the missiles tube-launchable, the RMN found ways to improve grav-pinching warheads and squeeze bigger lasing rods into smaller missiles.

Any "world with near SL core world tech and industry" should be able to increase the power of their warheads in some way. Put bigger warheads on smaller missiles would let you stack more stages fire-able from tubes. (or stack more DDMs in a DDCM pod's brood.)

Smaller ships, DDs and CLs shouldn't ever really need DDMs, though. They have no business standing up to CLs and bigger and their normal missions aren't worth the cost of shrinking a DDM to fit. Bigger warheads are probably a different story, though.


Yup, extend the Apollo sublight control capability--make a missile that commands 8 missiles and can accept command from another missile. Any ship can then fire a salvo capable of taking down anything. Decide how many missiles you want, put that many in space, if you can't control them you send out enough control missiles so you can, then send them all on their way. They would also have a better chance of hitting.

Essentially, the RMN doesn't "need" to do that now - each ACM in a salvo is networked with each other and the take given to one ACM from the mothership should be shared by all. If the launch platform is not in FTL control mode, all a mother ship would need to do is update the attack profiles of as many ACMs as possible over the RF links and let the ACMs do the grunt work.


In Storm From the Shadows, Gold Peak is doing a sim with Apollo and what she did was fire one Apollo off at ships located I think it was 84 Million kms away. Then delayed a full lanch by 30s. The as soon as the first Apollo pod reported its sensor readings they updated the full lunch with its targeting info.
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Re: [spoiler] The future of missile combat
Post by Annachie   » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:07 am

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Actually, yeah that does sound like Gustav.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are so going to die. :p ~~~~ runsforcelery
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
still not dead. :)
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Re: [spoiler] The future of missile combat
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:40 pm

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Apologies for the necro-post
munroburton wrote:This is why I mentioned the Viper. It might be restricted to the GA currently, but how difficult is it really to fit a small warhead+rod on a countermissile?

Especially if ships are being redesigned to fire multi-drive missiles and the traditional single-drive shipkiller begins to disappear. I can't see a viper type missile being more expensive than an ERM or DDM from the same manufacturing tech base.

Probably not too hard. OTOH without the extended drive endurance of a Mk31 a nuke equipped CM only has a powered range of 1.6 - 2.2 million km. Against a target without a sidewall an energy mount has an effective range of about a million km. If you're close enough for a CM drive delivered warning shot you're almost close enough for the vastly cheaper energy mount warning shot.


(OTOH the RMN doesn't have exclusive access to that enhanced endurance tech. The 2nd stage of a Cataphract is CM derived and has the same 75 second burn time of a Mk31 or Viper. Though way less acceleration, and consequently shorter range)


As for future of missile combat - I'd expect the baffle tech to get out there sooner or later. But I also expect the RMN to continue improving their version. An exchange with RFC here a little while back led to the interesting statement that the current baffle only works if all the drives are set to the same acceleration profile - currently if you launch an MDM with the first drive set to full power the next 2 also have to be full power or unspecified bad things happen. Oddly without FTL fire control most MDM combat happens are ranges that are short enough that a mixed acceleration profile (if possible) would actually work better. So a breakthrough that provided even better shielding might allow mixed acceleration settings.

Also at some point I'd expect the RMN to combine the drive tech for increased endurance with multi-drive. That alone could give a DDM like the Mk16 50% more range (45 million km vs 30)

But that's the easy technical upgrades.

From a tactics standpoint Hasta or Mistletoe will probably become more common to try to strip away towed pods before they can be launched. That should put more pressure on podlayers to hold back from massive Alpha strikes and make it riskier for smaller units to rely on external missiles to make up their throw weight. So more pressure for long ranged internally launched missile or pod laying designs.


As others have pointed out Hasta is a SLN realization that much better sensors and AI can to a significant degree compensate for being beyond effective control range. While I suspect the Apollo FTL control will be one of the last GA advantages to fall I'd expect more autonomous control missiles / link multipliers to become common far more quickly. The advantages they give are just too large to be ignored while chasing the holy grail of FTL control.

I'm also wondering who will be the first to experiment with uni-directional FTL commands to missiles. I'm assuming that the receiver would be significantly smaller and easier to design than the transmitter (since a ship's normal grav sensors can read FTL transmissions). So a missile, or control missile, able to receive updates via FTL still seems to have an advantage over one that's light-speed both ways. The RMN may focus on shrinking FTL tranceivers to the point where they can be used with DDMs but other navies may settle for an expedient half a loaf.


The RMN hasn't chosen to pursue this but I also wonder some other navy will find it worthwhile to mount one or two FTL missile control channels onto their CAs or BCs. That would give a squadron that was towing their version of Apollo pods a "sniper" capability to even the odds at extreme range before closing within effective light-speed control range of the enemy. Sure with only the ability to control 1 or 2 pods you'd probably need several ships working together to deliver effective weight on a target, but it might be worth the opportunity cost to carry the control link even when your normal missiles can't use it.
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