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What happens to all that debris?

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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by tlb   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:45 am

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cthia wrote:This discussion reminds me of a question I have had for quite some time.

Missiles lose lock and reacquire. What prevents them from acquiring a friendly? What would prevent a g-torp from destroying an LD in its endless search for a target?

We know that the mines query an IFF signal, I believe. In a normal missile fight just the geometry is sufficient to guard against an incident; although there could be problems if an enemy was trapped directly between two friendly forces.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:05 pm

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:This discussion reminds me of a question I have had for quite some time.

Missiles lose lock and reacquire. What prevents them from acquiring a friendly? What would prevent a g-torp from destroying an LD in its endless search for a target?

We know that the mines query an IFF signal, I believe. In a normal missile fight just the geometry is sufficient to guard against an incident; although there could be problems if an enemy was trapped directly between two friendly forces.
And even then, until MDMs came along, you weren't likely to have a situation where an enemy was trapped between two friendly forces less than 7 million km apart - so the missiles fired by each friendly force would have burned out and been traveling ballistic long before they cross the track of the other friendly force. Odds would be astronomically low for one of them passing within warhead range of a friendly ship.

But generally missiles that lose lock are millions of km away from friendly forces and receding fast.

Plus they've been programmed with approximately where the enemy fleet is expected to be. I suspect they self-destruct once they get some reasonable range beyond that target locus.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:30 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:And even then, until MDMs came along, you weren't likely to have a situation where an enemy was trapped between two friendly forces less than 7 million km apart - so the missiles fired by each friendly force would have burned out and been traveling ballistic long before they cross the track of the other friendly force. Odds would be astronomically low for one of them passing within warhead range of a friendly ship.


And there would be sufficient time to send a disarm code to them. It would take 20 seconds of light-speed lag, but it could be done.

But generally missiles that lose lock are millions of km away from friendly forces and receding fast.

Plus they've been programmed with approximately where the enemy fleet is expected to be. I suspect they self-destruct once they get some reasonable range beyond that target locus.


I think cthia is thinking of a mêlée case, where the LDs are mixed with their targets. This hasn't happened in Naval warfare. In fact, it's one of the distinguishing characteristics between Naval and Aircraft warfare.

This could've happened once LACs mixed in with the enemy's larger ships, but LACs wouldn't be targetting the enemy LACs, so it should be pretty easy to set a minimum mass threshold to attack.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:22 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:And even then, until MDMs came along, you weren't likely to have a situation where an enemy was trapped between two friendly forces less than 7 million km apart - so the missiles fired by each friendly force would have burned out and been traveling ballistic long before they cross the track of the other friendly force. Odds would be astronomically low for one of them passing within warhead range of a friendly ship.


And there would be sufficient time to send a disarm code to them. It would take 20 seconds of light-speed lag, but it could be done.

But generally missiles that lose lock are millions of km away from friendly forces and receding fast.

Plus they've been programmed with approximately where the enemy fleet is expected to be. I suspect they self-destruct once they get some reasonable range beyond that target locus.


I think cthia is thinking of a mêlée case, where the LDs are mixed with their targets. This hasn't happened in Naval warfare. In fact, it's one of the distinguishing characteristics between Naval and Aircraft warfare.

This could've happened once LACs mixed in with the enemy's larger ships, but LACs wouldn't be targetting the enemy LACs, so it should be pretty easy to set a minimum mass threshold to attack.

Indeed TM. Submarines traditionally operate autonomously. They are not in the habit of being in constant communication with the rest of the fleet. Even our own navy are not aware of the location of subs.

The LDs probably will not be broadcasting any transponder or any other signal that with distinguish them from the enemy. So, if g-torps don't have a way to distinguish an ally, then an ally might get acquired.

The first time my brain asked this question was when White Haven hypered into the Yeltsin System and fired on Thunder of God while locked in battle at knife-fighting range. Of course, it was only a desperation shot because White Haven was out of range. But still. I remember thinking, "Careful White Haven, you might hit Honor!"

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: What happens to all that debris?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:38 pm

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cthia wrote:The LDs probably will not be broadcasting any transponder or any other signal that with distinguish them from the enemy. So, if g-torps don't have a way to distinguish an ally, then an ally might get acquired.

The first time my brain asked this question was when White Haven hypered into the Yeltsin System and fired on Thunder of God while locked in battle at knife-fighting range. Of course, it was only a desperation shot because White Haven was out of range. But still. I remember thinking, "Careful White Haven, you might hit Honor!"


The LDs and the regular ships of the wall have a very, very distinctive difference: the wedge. The g-torps can easily be programmed not to shoot at anything that doesn't have a wedge. The only GA ships that wouldn't have a wedge in normal conditions are those so badly damaged that it collapsed. The MAN can sweep up later. Those aren't running.

No one is going to test the theory that the g-torps don't attack if you have no wedge. That's the same as standing up to a bully and saying they won't hit you if you wear glasses. They might not, but would you take the chance?

In the case of White Haven and BatCruRun 17 coming to Honor's help, Honor's ship had IFF running. The missiles wouldn't attack Fearless. I'm actually more surprised that they managed to get into range of Thunder of God to attack in the first place. Those missiles were flying ballistically, they wouldn't be able to close with the battlecruiser if it weren't where White Haven expected it to be.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:58 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:The LDs probably will not be broadcasting any transponder or any other signal that with distinguish them from the enemy. So, if g-torps don't have a way to distinguish an ally, then an ally might get acquired.

The first time my brain asked this question was when White Haven hypered into the Yeltsin System and fired on Thunder of God while locked in battle at knife-fighting range. Of course, it was only a desperation shot because White Haven was out of range. But still. I remember thinking, "Careful White Haven, you might hit Honor!"


The LDs and the regular ships of the wall have a very, very distinctive difference: the wedge. The g-torps can easily be programmed not to shoot at anything that doesn't have a wedge. The only GA ships that wouldn't have a wedge in normal conditions are those so badly damaged that it collapsed. The MAN can sweep up later. Those aren't running.

No one is going to test the theory that the g-torps don't attack if you have no wedge. That's the same as standing up to a bully and saying they won't hit you if you wear glasses. They might not, but would you take the chance?

In the case of White Haven and BatCruRun 17 coming to Honor's help, Honor's ship had IFF running. The missiles wouldn't attack Fearless. I'm actually more surprised that they managed to get into range of Thunder of God to attack in the first place. Those missiles were flying ballistically, they wouldn't be able to close with the battlecruiser if it weren't where White Haven expected it to be.

Honor's comms were out. Doesn't that include the IFF? At any rate, your point about the wedge is solid.

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: What happens to all that debris?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:03 pm

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cthia wrote:Honor's comms were out. Doesn't that include the IFF? At any rate, your point about the wedge is solid.


I suppose short-range, navigational transponders don't require high-power transceivers that can communicate clear across the star system.

And there were exactly two targets in this system. The emissions of a PN Sultan-class BC are very different from a Star Knight-class CA.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:08 pm

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cthia wrote:Indeed TM. Submarines traditionally operate autonomously. They are not in the habit of being in constant communication with the rest of the fleet.
Except the Kriegsmarine during WWII -- where Dönitz insisted, to the U-boats' ultimate detriment, on centralized control with all the radio traffic that entails.

The British 'Y' service and Western Approaches Command (and later also Bletchley Park) quite appreciated that lack of U-boat autonomy. :D


I think the Japanese were a bit better about radio traffic from submarines, but look at what USS England (DE-635) did on 20 May 1944 when she rolled up an ambush line of IJN subs, sinking 5 of them. The subs weren't, as far as I know, broadcasting. However the orders assigning them locations to stake out in wait of US carriers were intercepted and decoded and so USN anti-submarine forces showed up there to greet them. Her performance led Admiral King (incidentally, no great fan of the British) to declare "There'll always be an England in the United States Navy."
(Though there hasn't been solid follow through on that. It was 18 years after her decommissioning before a new USS England was commissioned. And she was decommissioned in '94 so it's been another 27 years without an England)
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:10 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Honor's comms were out. Doesn't that include the IFF? At any rate, your point about the wedge is solid.


I suppose short-range, navigational transponders don't require high-power transceivers that can communicate clear across the star system.

And there were exactly two targets in this system. The emissions of a PN Sultan-class BC are very different from a Star Knight-class CA.

I am none too sure of that. Recall scenes when forces hyper into a system. It would take a long time before the blood-red icons of enemy ships to change to the color of friendlies.

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: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:21 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:Indeed TM. Submarines traditionally operate autonomously. They are not in the habit of being in constant communication with the rest of the fleet.
Except the Kriegsmarine during WWII -- where Dönitz insisted, to the U-boats' ultimate detriment, on centralized control with all the radio traffic that entails.

The British 'Y' service and Western Approaches Command (and later also Bletchley Park) quite appreciated that lack of U-boat autonomy. :D


I think the Japanese were a bit better about radio traffic from submarines, but look at what USS England (DE-635) did on 20 May 1944 when she rolled up an ambush line of IJN subs, sinking 5 of them. The subs weren't, as far as I know, broadcasting. However the orders assigning them locations to stake out in wait of US carriers were intercepted and decoded and so USN anti-submarine forces showed up there to greet them. Her performance led Admiral King (incidentally, no great fan of the British) to declare "There'll always be an England in the United States Navy."
(Though there hasn't been solid follow through on that. It was 18 years after her decommissioning before a new USS England was commissioned. And she was decommissioned in '94 so it's been another 27 years without and England)

Thanks for that. I really appreciate these glimpses into history.

It may be possible for an LD to simulate "surfacing" to establish communication by use of a stealthy drone to communicate. Then the drone can rendezvous back with the LD after breaking radio-silence only for a short time. Of course, it would have to be a very stealthy drone so it won't lead the enemy back to the LD.

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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