Author Topic: Newtonian Fighters  (Read 9075 times)

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Online Elouda

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2011, 12:46:05 AM »
That isn't the point.  To my knowledge, nobody has ever done this.  Several navies have at one time or another had LSDs or equivalent ships, but nobody has ever used them to transport light craft to battle.  Not now, not during the cold war, and not during world war 2.  Why not?  I'd speculate it simply isn't worth it.

I think this is moreso because of the medium/environment of operations that make it a problem; the 'terrain' of the high seas (domain of the blue water navies) and coastal areas (domain of littoral forces) is vastly different. Sea states, radar clutter from land formations, visibility, etc, etc, all mean that taking a ship designed for one into the other is inadvisable and not cost effective. A FAC would have issues with stability and likely be unable to make use of its speed somewhere like the North Sea, while being just as exposed as larger vessels to radar. Conversely, in a place like the Baltic, a FAC is not limited by draft the same way a heavier ship would be, allowing it to hide from long range detection amongst the terrain while making full use of its speed to react to the opponents moves. No sane CO takes a FAC into an open ocean, just like no sane CO would take a Ticonderoga into waters 10 miles off a coast (unless it was for NGFS bombardment, in which case that region would have been comprehensively swept by air assets, etc).

tldr; navy ships arent the best example here because the medium imparts different advantages to the craft. In space the medium is all the same.
 

Offline Panopticon

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2011, 12:53:26 AM »
Kinda what I was thinking, it seems rather silly to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can't be done in space.
 

Offline HaliRyan

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2011, 02:01:09 AM »
Kinda what I was thinking, it seems rather silly to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can't be done in space.

Or to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can be done in space.
 

Offline byron

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2011, 07:10:47 AM »
tldr; navy ships arent the best example here because the medium imparts different advantages to the craft. In space the medium is all the same.
Um, that was exactly why I used the example in question.  Both big ships and FACs operate on the water, while fighters operate in the air.  A hypothetical FAC carrier is much closer to an Aurora carrier then an aircraft carrier is.
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Offline Yonder

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2011, 08:04:29 AM »
To put it simply, a fighter's logistical advantages are virtually nonexistent.  I'm going to take one of the more common scenarios, using a fighter as the first stage of a missile.  Let's assume that we wish to launch our missiles at 50% of exhaust velocity.  That gives us a starting mass ratio of about 1.65 (e^.5 if you wish to be pedantic).  That means that about 40% of starting mass is fuel to accelerate.  After we launch the projectile, we need 40% of what's left to decelerate to a stop, and then however much we want to get home.  I'll assume that missile throw weight is 30% of launch weight.  That leaves us with .3 launch weight to return.  .12 of that is spent coming to rest.  I'll lastly assume that we wish to return at 25% of exhaust velocity, which gives .072 fuel and .108 bringback.  So, for 100 tons launch to put 30 tons on target, we spent 59.2 tons of fuel.  Yes, a carrier might have a larger magazine, but that will be more then offset by the fuel requirements.  And don't forget we have to cram engines, tanks, structure, and maybe crew into the last 10.8 tons, which likely means low accelerations and thus long cycle times, reducing throw weight farther.  In comparison, for the 89.2 tons, if we chose to fire straight rockets, we would get 54.1 tons throw weight.  That's an 80% increase.  I know that a decent bit of that might be engines and tanks, but assuming we're firing kinetics, that doesn't matter.
That is a very limited analysis of the scenario.
1. You aren't considering that the larger fighter engines will be more efficient, aka have a higher exhaust velocity.
2. You are just looking at one scenario, and I'm not sure how plausible it is. 50% of exhaust velocity in NA is probably way more than you are going to be able to get, or want to get (Actually there is a pretty big issue here that needs to be addressed, I calculated the exhaust velocity of the Daring's propulsion system at 1.5c... ignoring that for now...). If you rerun all of those numbers with assuming a combat speed of 10% Ve and a coasting speed of half that then your same fighter will carry 77.2 tons of missiles, from there using missiles is only a 17% increase in delivered payload, once again ignoring any different efficiencies.
3. Now we are getting into the part I said we didn't have enough information to really model. You are saying that 1kg of long range missile delivered payload is equivalent to 1kg of short range fighter delivered payload. What if that's not true? What if, because of the fighter's closer sensors, or the shorter amount of time the enemy has to intercept a munition, a fighter's munitions are 10x more effective than longer range ones? That changes everything, and we don't know if that will be the case.
4. What about your own casualties? What if in high velocity fighting any one of your ships that enters enemy firing range has a 70% chance of being destroyed. Your first thought is "Well I guess that means those fighters won't be getting the 4 attack runs they need to be cost-effective." Your second thought should be "wait a second, if I'm not sending my fighters into the 70% suicide zone, then I am sending my cruisers and battleships into the 70% suicide zone."

Kinda what I was thinking, it seems rather silly to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can't be done in space.
Or to talk about what is done with wet navy stuff and then say it can be done in space.
How about we use critical thinking skills to apply useful lessons from a variety of different combat environments to space warfare, while at the same time screening out incorrect conclusions caused by the different environment?

Both big ships and FACs operate on the water, while fighters operate in the air.  A hypothetical FAC carrier is much closer to an Aurora carrier then an aircraft carrier is.
No, because the only reason FACs have fallen out of favor is because an alternative combat system that does operate in an entirely different medium is able to take its niche in fight. Applying that case to Aurora would be saying "See, we don't need FACs and Fighters because these extra-dimensional phase-blinking drones that don't use space as a medium of transit fullfill their role much better!"

If you look back to WWI when airplanes didn't exist with their z plane of movement (although submarines still did) then you see a much wider spectrum of combat naval vessels. In fact, the current "Destroyer" platform evolved out of the "Torpedo Boat Destroyer" moniker. FACs and torpedo boats filled a similar role to what many of us are proposing with fighters.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2011, 08:43:24 AM »
That isn't the point.  To my knowledge, nobody has ever done this.  Several navies have at one time or another had LSDs or equivalent ships, but nobody has ever used them to transport light craft to battle.  Not now, not during the cold war, and not during world war 2.  Why not?  I'd speculate it simply isn't worth it.

How were Japanese midget submarines deployed to Pearl in WWII?  This wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_submarine seems to indicate they were deployed from a mother ship, which is what I suspected.  This seems to fit the criteria for transporting light craft to battle, and for the same reason one would do it in Aurora - the smaller craft have a lower detection probability.

John
 

Offline UnLimiTeD

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2011, 08:44:15 AM »
So, I suppose we now need small craft Hyper Engines with a size limit to make "Aircraft"-carriers possible again? X-D
 

Offline scoopdjm

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2011, 08:54:07 AM »
no, it would be feasible without them.
 

Offline chuckles73

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2011, 09:00:45 AM »
Why are people still arguing about this? You will be allowed to create small craft. You will be allowed to dock them as long as the larger craft has hangar space. You will be able to put weapons on the craft.

Wait until the game comes out to see whether or not fighters are useful. This is just getting annoying.
 

Offline byron

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2011, 09:07:25 AM »
That is a very limited analysis of the scenario.
1. You aren't considering that the larger fighter engines will be more efficient, aka have a higher exhaust velocity.
They don't have an inherently higher exhaust velocity.  You can set it up that way, but you can't assume it will be.

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2. You are just looking at one scenario, and I'm not sure how plausible it is. 50% of exhaust velocity in NA is probably way more than you are going to be able to get, or want to get (Actually there is a pretty big issue here that needs to be addressed, I calculated the exhaust velocity of the Daring's propulsion system at 1.5c... ignoring that for now...). If you rerun all of those numbers with assuming a combat speed of 10% Ve and a coasting speed of half that then your same fighter will carry 77.2 tons of missiles, from there using missiles is only a 17% increase in delivered payload, once again ignoring any different efficiencies.
This might be true.  However, it doesn't change my point that a fighter requires more fuel for a given throw weight.  And that means a bigger carrier with more engines...

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3. Now we are getting into the part I said we didn't have enough information to really model. You are saying that 1kg of long range missile delivered payload is equivalent to 1kg of short range fighter delivered payload. What if that's not true? What if, because of the fighter's closer sensors, or the shorter amount of time the enemy has to intercept a munition, a fighter's munitions are 10x more effective than longer range ones? That changes everything, and we don't know if that will be the case.
I think we can reasonably assume they will be roughly similar.  The "fighter's closer senor" argument makes no sense.  You won't send out the fighters unless you know what's there, and you will probably have a decent idea of what you're shooting at.  As for longer time to intercept, that's actually a bad thing.  The time when they might intercept the missile?  They can intercept the fighter instead.

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4. What about your own casualties? What if in high velocity fighting any one of your ships that enters enemy firing range has a 70% chance of being destroyed. Your first thought is "Well I guess that means those fighters won't be getting the 4 attack runs they need to be cost-effective." Your second thought should be "wait a second, if I'm not sending my fighters into the 70% suicide zone, then I am sending my cruisers and battleships into the 70% suicide zone."
This assumes that fighters and battleships have both the same the same threat environment and the same survivability.  Both are almost certain to be catastrophically wrong.  A battleship's missiles have to face the same threat environment as a fighter.  But 70% suicide on missiles doesn't bother me at all.  A battleship has to face the enemy's long-range missiles, but it will be far better equipped to defend itself.  A larger ship can have more redundancy, more armor, and more defenses.  

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How about we use critical thinking skills to apply useful lessons from a variety of different combat environments to space warfare, while at the same time screening out incorrect conclusions caused by the different environment?
This sounds like an excellent idea.  Fighters seem to have come about from reasoning by analogy to aircraft carriers.  Let's look at a case in which all vessels operate in the same medium...
Oh.

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No, because the only reason FACs have fallen out of favor is because an alternative combat system that does operate in an entirely different medium is able to take its niche in fight. Applying that case to Aurora would be saying "See, we don't need FACs and Fighters because these extra-dimensional phase-blinking drones that don't use space as a medium of transit fullfill their role much better!"

If you look back to WWI when airplanes didn't exist with their z plane of movement (although submarines still did) then you see a much wider spectrum of combat naval vessels. In fact, the current "Destroyer" platform evolved out of the "Torpedo Boat Destroyer" moniker. FACs and torpedo boats filled a similar role to what many of us are proposing with fighters.
You're still not getting it.  My point with respect to modern FACs and torpedo boats is that nobody has ever found it useful to carry them on offensive operations.  Ever.  The phrase I bolded is exactly my point.  I can see their use in planetary defense.  They're cheap and provide a high punch-to-cost ratio.  Taking them on offensive operations is another matter.

How were Japanese midget submarines deployed to Pearl in WWII?  This wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_submarine seems to indicate they were deployed from a mother ship, which is what I suspected.  This seems to fit the criteria for transporting light craft to battle, and for the same reason one would do it in Aurora - the smaller craft have a lower detection probability.

John
That's a bit different.  For one thing, the minisubs were designed to attack harbors.  They were not used in open-water operations.  The same is true of all submersible small craft used during the war.  Also, if you look at their success rate, it might suggest that it was a bad idea.
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Offline Yonder

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2011, 09:56:33 AM »
So, I suppose we now need small craft Hyper Engines with a size limit to make "Aircraft"-carriers possible again? X-D

No, I don't want any special rules for fighters, the current FAC and Fighter engines and their weird constraints bug me, and I'm really glad that NA is dispensing with that. If the mechanics get fleshed out to be moderately realistic and internally consistent and fighters turn out to be woefully poor combatants that is fine with me. I am just arguing that it is much too soon to categorically state that that will be the case.

Why are people still arguing about this? You will be allowed to create small craft. You will be allowed to dock them as long as the larger craft has hangar space. You will be able to put weapons on the craft.

Wait until the game comes out to see whether or not fighters are useful. This is just getting annoying.

I agree with you, and that is what I'm trying to get across, however I don't think that these sort of discussions are worthless. Since the mechanics of the game are still getting fleshed out I think (hope?) that these sorts of discussions can help Steve with his brainstorming of what sorts of mechanics are worth exploring. Four or five of us can do a lot more brainstorming and researching than just Steve himself.

They don't have an inherently higher exhaust velocity.  You can set it up that way, but you can't assume it will be.
Engine Size: You can now select the size of engine from 1 HS to 50 HS. Larger engines are more fuel efficient so Fuel Efficiency is modified by 1 - (EngineHS / 100). In simpler terms, each HS of engine reduces fuel efficiency by 1%, so a size 10 engine reduces Base Fuel Efficiency by 10% and a size 25 engine reduces it by 25%.
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I think we can reasonably assume they will be roughly similar.  The "fighter's closer senor" argument makes no sense.  You won't send out the fighters unless you know what's there, and you will probably have a decent idea of what you're shooting at.
Wow, that sort of sounds like the sort of thing that depends on the sensor rules doesn't it. Sort of like how now a fleet may spot a bunch of thermal sensor contacts, but have no way to actually fire at those contacts, so they send in fighters to intercept.
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This assumes that fighters and battleships have both the same the same threat environment and the same survivability.  Both are almost certain to be catastrophically wrong.  A battleship's missiles have to face the same threat environment as a fighter.  But 70% suicide on missiles doesn't bother me at all.  A battleship has to face the enemy's long-range missiles, but it will be far better equipped to defend itself.  A larger ship can have more redundancy, more armor, and more defenses.
I was applying the 70% suicide to the ships as well as the munitions, stating that if you are going to lose 70% of your ships it's better to send 200 fighters than 10 battleships. You are assuming that armor and defenses will save you, but when there are invisible 1 kg Gigaton shells flying around you aren't going to increase your armor to try to save you, you're going to be curling up in an ever smaller ball and hoping not to get hit.
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My point with respect to modern FACs and torpedo boats is that nobody has ever found it useful to carry them on offensive operations.  Ever.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT_boat
Edit: Removed my snarkiest sentence out of shame after Beersatron spoke great wisdom.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 10:34:43 AM by Yonder »
 

Offline Beersatron

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2011, 10:28:49 AM »
Lets keep the handbags out of this folks :)
 

Offline byron

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2011, 11:05:21 AM »
Wow, that sort of sounds like the sort of thing that depends on the sensor rules doesn't it. Sort of like how now a fleet may spot a bunch of thermal sensor contacts, but have no way to actually fire at those contacts, so they send in fighters to intercept.
I find that only vaguely plausible in the current version.  I would send in a radar picket, and have big fire controls.

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I was applying the 70% suicide to the ships as well as the munitions, stating that if you are going to lose 70% of your ships it's better to send 200 fighters than 10 battleships. You are assuming that armor and defenses will save you, but when there are invisible 1 kg Gigaton shells flying around you aren't going to increase your armor to try to save you, you're going to be curling up in an ever smaller ball and hoping not to get hit.
And how fast are these projectiles going again?  And what about your carriers?  Are they hiding behind their magical shield of "I want fighters"?  I find applying a flat number to be incredibly bizarre.  If active defenses are any use at all, a bigger ship will be more survivable ton-for-ton.  And Steve seems to be trying to avoid instant death for everyone.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT_boat
And?  I've specifically used PT boats repeatedly in my examples.  And if you notice, they always operated out of land bases or tenders, after being shipped in as deck cargo.  During the invasion of Okinawa, the US didn't load up an LSD with PT boats and use them to cover the landing against suicide boats.  They could have, and it might even have been useful.  But the didn't.  There is no mention of PT boats after about 1943, because that was when the war moved out across the open ocean.  Yes, they did exist, and were used largely as I suggest fighters will be.
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Offline scoopdjm

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2011, 11:12:15 AM »
so then what are we arguing about?
 

Offline jseah

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Re: Newtonian Fighters
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2011, 11:15:24 AM »
You are assuming that armor and defenses will save you, but when there are invisible 1 kg Gigaton shells flying around you aren't going to increase your armor to try to save you, you're going to be curling up in an ever smaller ball and hoping not to get hit.
Not happening at missile ranges (and also the ranges the carrier will be if you're using fighters at)

I think the main thread has conclusively proved that hit rate beyond a couple of light seconds is incredibly poor for unguided projectiles. 

Guided projectiles are missiles btw. 

And missile nukes trying to kill fighters will face much less PD but much more dodging.  Too bad that missiles are on a one way trip and thus can spend all the excess space fighters use for fuel to pack a more powerful engine.  Or apply the trade-off given in the main thread that less fuel efficient engines have higher power to weight ratio. 
This pretty much means that missiles will inevitably have higher accelerations than fighters and thus missiles will likely be able to catch them. 
 

 

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