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What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste Not

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What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste Not
Post by rdelorme16   » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:35 pm

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I was wondering if this topic would violate your fan-origin rule?

In the course of several battles the Empire has captured 156 SD; approximately 131 other warships and 79 "support ships. The "Support ships" will be valuable as they can be used as it and this pool of ships will contain 2-4 fleet repair vessels, which are especially valuable at this time. However most pendants will quickly suggest that the warships are obsolete and should be scrapped. Although the first part of the statement is true: the question really is can a star nation that has no shipbuilding capacity rush to hastily discard usable ship before exploring ways to refit them into useful additions to the fleet.
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by RedBaron   » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:24 pm

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The problem with your post is that way too many people suffer from the "can't disease - meaning that instead of thinking of way to make something work, they simply resort to telling you it can't be done.
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Would you pull that kind of crap on someone like Harrington? Or Zilwicki? Or Cachat?
Then what makes you think you can get away with pulling it on ME?
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by rdelorme16   » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:02 pm

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I tend to agree: in part.

The USN (the US military in general) has become very attached to everything new and shinny. This was not always the case. Historically, militaries refitted a ship until it totally and hopelessly out of date. Some rebuilds were true make overs, others "minor updates".

Many moons ago; I served in the USN reserves and part of my job was to keep some WWII era destroyers functional. It was not until mid 1980's that all those old ships were sent to the breakers. But at least the USN had these ships in the reserves, the Spanish navy had them on active duty and were flying modern jets off a Independence class carrier. Which was a feet the USN thought was impossible. Therefore one can do! IF you have the will.

Richard
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by The E   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:42 am

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rdelorme16 wrote:Many moons ago; I served in the USN reserves and part of my job was to keep some WWII era destroyers functional. It was not until mid 1980's that all those old ships were sent to the breakers. But at least the USN had these ships in the reserves, the Spanish navy had them on active duty and were flying modern jets off a Independence class carrier. Which was a feet the USN thought was impossible. Therefore one can do! IF you have the will.


The will and the need. Are there things that could be done with the captured SLN ships other than selling them to other star nations, scrapping them for raw materials, or using them as target drones? Sure. Theoretically, there are a lot of things that could be done with them. But doing them requires that there be a need for those things to be done that cannot be met out of other, more accessible ressources.

As much as RedBaron likes to complain about "can't disease", it's actually something he misnamed: It's less "can't" and more "shouldn't".

Let's go through the most popular proposals in order and discuss why these are ideas that are not practical.
1. Repair the ships and put them in GA service
Fairly straightforward, and it's not like the RMN and GSN haven't had some success with this approach. Several problems with it however:
A) current GA warfighting technology is so far ahead of the capabilities of the SLN ships that using them in combined formations is difficult at best.
B) SLN ships require crews far larger than what the already thinly spread RMN or GSN can provide
C) Given the disparity in combat power between, say, a squadron of RMN CAs and a full Battle Squadron of the SLN (as in the CA squadron wins handily, every time), there is little of value that these ships add to the GA's capabilities
D) Given said disparity, there is currently no pressing need for garrison forces (as that is the only thing these ships would be good for) that cannot be met out of a combination of LAC squadrons and system defense pods.

2. Rebuild the ships into something else
Proposals that have been floated so far: Freighters, Cruise liners, LAC/Cruiser tenders, Hospitals, Schools, Space Stations.
None of those are remotely worthwhile. The GA doesn't need freight capability, because the largest merchant fleet in the galaxy is already available to them. Tender duties can be carried out just as well with normal freighters or ships explicitly designed for that purpose (aka Freighters with sidewalls and military compensators). Hospitals and Schools are easily built planetside.
Furthermore, the GA doesn't have the building capacity to actually perform the remodelling. Yards capable of servicing capital ships are rare, and all of them are put to better use building new, state of the art vessels or replicating themselves.
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:34 am

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Thank you for an insanely sensible post. Thank you, thank you thank you!
The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by robert132   » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:27 pm

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One last thing that MIGHT be done with the Solarian warship prizes ...

Turn them over to someone who might be able to either use them as is or refit them to something approaching more "modern" standards and doesn't face the same heavy manpower restrictions the RMN/GN face ... Haven for instance.

Just a thought.
****

Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by user 666   » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:28 pm

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This question came up after the battle of Manticore. At that time we were debating what to do with the captured Havenite ships, and I think the suggestion I made then still applies now.

Why not give the light combatants to allies?

The GA now has a bunch of single system allies which just freed themselves from Solarian control. Those allies could really use some ships so they can protect themselves against pirates, Sollies, and other ills. Sure, the ships are junk by modern standards but they're better than nothing, which is what the newly-freed worlds have right now.

Good idea?
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:13 am

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robert132 wrote:Turn them over to someone who might be able to either use them as is or refit them to something approaching more "modern" standards and doesn't face the same heavy manpower restrictions the RMN/GN face ... Haven for instance.


Why would Haven want them? Everything Haven has is comparable to RMN equipment -- or at least far closer to RMN standards than SLN standards.

Torch is working up the remains of the PNE which are comparable technology to the captured SLN ships, but they don't have the shipyard capacity to deal with repairing or modifying SDs -- at least not yet.

The Kingdom of Meyers, and the remnants of the Madras sector have the former Frontier Fleet ships, and may want the smaller prize ships, but they don't have the shipyard capacity to deal with SDs either.

The problem is mainly the SDs. RFC/MWW/"The Creator" has said doing anything to an SD requires the same shipyard capacity required to build a NEW SD from scratch. Nobody has solved the catch-22 that nobody who can man or modify them needs them, and anyone who might have a use for them doesn't have the trained manpower to even ferry them, let alone maintain/repair/modify them.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by robert132   » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:27 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
Why would Haven want them? Everything Haven has is comparable to RMN equipment -- or at least far closer to RMN standards than SLN standards.

Torch is working up the remains of the PNE which are comparable technology to the captured SLN ships, but they don't have the shipyard capacity to deal with repairing or modifying SDs -- at least not yet.

The Kingdom of Meyers, and the remnants of the Madras sector have the former Frontier Fleet ships, and may want the smaller prize ships, but they don't have the shipyard capacity to deal with SDs either.

The problem is mainly the SDs. RFC/MWW/"The Creator" has said doing anything to an SD requires the same shipyard capacity required to build a NEW SD from scratch. Nobody has solved the catch-22 that nobody who can man or modify them needs them, and anyone who might have a use for them doesn't have the trained manpower to even ferry them, let alone maintain/repair/modify them.


Hi Harold.
I had intended this more as a "thinking out loud" kind of posting, nothing more.

RFC is quite correct about the yard capacity and capabilities necessary to open up and in essence rebuild a heavy ship. A 21 year Navy vet, I took a couple of ships (one was an assault ship similar in size and tonnage to a WWII Essex CV) through overhauls.

The work we did or had done wasn't nearly as extensive as the work would be that involved converting an SLN SD or BC to something useful to the RMN or RHN, but we still needed to get the bloody things out of the water and cut open the hulls so the engineers (shipboard and shipyard) could get inside and play with the ship's innards, powerplants and so forth.

Much of that work couldn't be done alongside a tender or repair ship or even at a forward base with floating drydock and repair ships at hand, or at least not done as thoroughly and efficiently.

I suspect we will find that RFC will stipulate at some point that those old style SLN space-going paperweights would be broken up for the value of the materials that can be recycled. It HAS to be easier, faster and cheaper to recycle megatons of refined metals than to create new from freshly mined ores.

Be well sir.
****

Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: What to do with all those captured SLS ships? OR "Waste
Post by rdelorme   » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:30 am

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I have been amused by the rush to reject any thought of using captured ships. Well I would like to remind everyone that recycling is not an option as Manticore lost most of its space docks and that includes most of the recycling facilities. At the end of the last book, Manticore has more than enough scrap floating around the home system to keep it reduced space industries busy for several years. Thus scrapping the ships would be accomplish nothing.

I agree that there is no yard capacity to do major refits, thus any refits need to be "simple". The point of any "refit" would be to provide ships for picket duty; system defense and convoy escorts; duties where the ships would have "back up" in the form of system defense pods or where speed and missile ranges are less critical. The object is to build ships for temporary duty; stop gap measures until Manticore can recover its shipbuilding capacity. I suspect the most valuable ships would be the light units as there they could take over convoy escort and duties in Silisia and thus free up more capable ships

The SD are big, have lots of life support, lots of power. I can think of two uses for these monsters that would require no major yard work.
1) they can be the core of a Greyson style disperse yard. They have loots of cubage to put workshops in (like missile storage facilities and marine barracks. They have some internal repair capacity already. Thus the ships would basically become the core for shipyard providing power, workers quarters and some space for fabrication shops. In this role any modification would be internal and not ripping through the armor. For those that argue that it would be more efficient to build new space station: my answer is who is going the build them? Beowulf is building space stations to operate system defense pods. Thus I would place these a few such SD-stations in the Talbot systems and use them to rebuild a the "light" SLN units.

2)The requirements for the proposed system defense stations is that they operate a SD powered drone for the FTL com and have fire control systems for the system defense pods. The SLN DN already have the capacity to power a large drone and they have lost of space to add fire control systems. Thus any refits would be mostly internal: new telemetry links could be routed through existing missile tubes or the new systems could be build in an existing boat bay; thus avoiding the need to cut through the armor. Personally I favor the boat bay concept as the whole unit could be manufactured on an assembly line and fitted into the bay. Such a refit would negate any need for yard work. Yes the SD would be vulnerable, but a space station is a sitting duck to C-fraction missiles, where as the SD could move out of the way. Besides the only purpose of the unit is to control the system defense pods.

LIGHT UNITS:
So let us look at what are usable assets in a CA or BC and what is not usable. Through out the books League hardware is praised for being very advanced and high tech. Thus the core computers are most likely very good; but SLN software was poor. Thus the computer need to be reprogramed: this refit does not need a shipyard. The EW is very poor, and would need to be replaced; EW units are by their very nature near the surface of the ship and they have to have access through the armor to broadcast. Thus updating these system would not require major yard work.

The ships lack FTL and a full up system would require extensive rebuild. But the Alliance has FTL com in missiles, thus it should be possible to make small units that can be mounted externally or in drones keep near the mother ships. Drones may in fact be the best option for adding limited FTL capacity, but this area will significantly limit the ships to rear line duties.

It is not really practical to increase the speed and sidewalls, but a bow and stern wall could be added externally, as this was the original approach that Manticore took.

Point defense systems are laughable, but these systems are by their very nature outside the main armor belt, thus they could be replaced using limited yards.

There is no point in replacing the internal missile launchers, but one could a some pods to the exterior of the ships. The ships control links would have to be upgraded.

Thus it is possible to refit these so that out class and SLN or pirate ship and do so limited yard work. I suspect that one could use a disperse yard concept build around the old SD and the work could be done in Talbot, using imported components. The work does not have to be efficient as long as the units are put into service in a few months.

SLN Destroyer
The only use I can think of for the capture destroyers is as scout and survey ships. The "Empire" need to explore and survey its new acquisitions. The work is generally non-combat and tedious work that can take years. But that attack on Maniticore space-stations has clearly shown the need to find possible places to build it own "secret" shipyard. And survey work is an ideal job for small old ships that have no place in the line of battle.
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