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Commodor
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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   16.09.08 10:32

lkm wrote:
Cruise missiles will always have an edge in terms of guidance and range.

Not when weighed against cost. A tomahawk was priced a million, because they are in fact aircraft themselves. The KE projectiles used by rail guns are just metal slugs, and are quite accurate, and can be make just a accurate as missiles when equipped with a terminal phase guidance package.

Also, they require no explosives for warheads or propellant.

lkm wrote:
I was under the impression that rail guns were to be used for point defense, but I couold be wrong.

They use quite a bit of energy, I can't see it being practical for point defense. The best point defense is an overwhelming number of defenders. The massive missile armadas intended to overwhelm US fleets in the latter decade of the Cold war can be countered a combination of aircraft, laser, and new inexpensive RAM missile system on small patrol boats dogging them the whole length of their flight path, combined with existing shipborne Standard missiles, and CWIS terminal defense platforms.

lkm wrote:
Personally I feel that just as WW1 was won by naval superiority, and WW2 was won by air superiority, WW3 will be won by space superiority. Anything that can be seen will be killed pretty quickly. Your destroyer, your battleship will not last long in that war.

When faced over the horizon space based weapons, maybe. But they are not defenseless. Our missile test on the failed spy sat this year proves that. Nothing gets into orbit without our knowledge anyway. If such a platform were launched, it would be the first target.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   16.09.08 11:22

A KE projectile will never be able to massively change its course, nor will be able to switch from a primary target to a secondary target midflight, nor could it loiter over a target until needed or fly a an optimized flight path to avoid detection. These are all things a cruise missile can be capable off, if desired. Thus as I said, they will always have a tactical edge.
I was thinking along the lines of a rail gun version of metal storm, but you're right, the first implimentation will probably be an electric replacement for the main gunnery.
I wasn't talking specifically about spaced based weaponry, though it can't be discounted, but about the game changing nature of existing military space assets. I'm talking about the vast amount of command and control funneled through satallites, how the eyes and ears of any military are its spy satallites, the massive reliance on GPS, etc, etc. Whoever possesses space superiority can see everything that can be seen, and can guide a wide range of ordinance and missiles to kill it. Whoever doesn't cannot. And will die. America currently has the greatest number of such satallites, and thus the greatest reliance on them, but absolutely no defence for them, save their numbers. The successful kill of the failed NRO satallite was impressive organisationally but only possible because it was a failed launch, the orbit was low and degrading hence shooting it down. It couldn't have killed anything in an operational orbit. Unlike the Chinese ASAT weapon.
Surface vessels, regardless of the thickness of the point defence, are inherently vulnerable, as they are very large and very slow. Faced with any sufficiently large missile barrage, the vessel will die. Face with a ballistic missile, it will die. In most war games against a submarine, the vessel dies. Navies like them because they don't feel right without them, but come WW3 they will be weeded out fast.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   16.09.08 11:56

lkm wrote:
Cruise missiles will always have an edge in terms of guidance and range. I was under the impression that rail guns were to be used for point defense, but I couold be wrong. Personally I feel that just as WW1 was won by naval superiority, and WW2 was won by air superiority, WW3 will be won by space superiority. Anything that can be seen will be killed pretty quickly. Your destroyer, your battleship will not last long in that war.
In modern warfare the priority is air superiority, sea superiority, ground superiority, then eliminate pockets of resistance.  In a hopefully hypothetical WW3, although space superiority will be the priority, the necessity to achieve superiority on the other three "dimensions" will still as necessary as always.  Denying these other "dimensions" to the enemy are important but you can't win unless you can take and hold and control the land.  Also in modern warfare the lines between these four "dimensions" becomes so fuzzy that it is better to have a consolidated military with no separate branches, which goes back to my first post in this thread.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 6:06

I agree absolutely that total superiority will be a necesity but the point I was making is that in the previous wars it was naval superiority that allowed land domination, and air superiority that allowed naval and thus land superiority. And thus by the same measure it will require Space superiority to enable domination in the next war.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 9:13

Agreed, space is the new "high ground" and is definitely the priority in future wars.
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Commodore



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 10:05

The question is just how does one wage war in space with near term technology? Particularly without making space defacto off limits for all?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 10:11

We have been doing it for quite a while with GPS targetting which has been extremely effective. There is also reconnaissance with spy satellites. It's a good start.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 10:18

I would suggest automated ASAT's like DART? that can approach an enemy satallite, clamp onto it and then perform a rentry burn taking the satallite down with it. That would certainly minimise debris, and would be even better if the ASAT was able to calculate a safe point beyond which the enemy satallite couldn't recover its orbit but the ASAT could.
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Commodore



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 11:10

lkm wrote:
I would suggest automated ASAT's like DART? that can approach an enemy satallite, clamp onto it and then perform a rentry burn taking the satallite down with it. That would certainly minimise debris, and would be even better if the ASAT was able to calculate a safe point beyond which the enemy satallite couldn't recover its orbit but the ASAT could.

It would work the first time.

But weapons development is an on going battle between armor and the ability to penetrate that armor.

The enemy would deploy means to defeat your deorbit module, maybe a laser targeting the seeker, or the fuel tank. You could armor the module, but the enemy could always deploy means to defeat it so long as the debris field does not threaten their platform.

The only reliable way is a ground based laser, as any preempted strike would already be an act of war.

Space I think is one place were your much better off controlling access from the atmosphere on down.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 15:13

Given that the chinese single handedly managed to increase orbital debris by a quarter by shooting down a single satellite, and given that any successful space strategy must leave your enemy deaf blind and dumb without endangering youur own senses. Simply shooting at satellites will quickly endanger your own orbits, the only sensible tactic is to deorbit them safely. Arming satellites to shoot at any aproaching ASAT is most likely only going to create a shower of shrapnel in its orbit.
The only really safe method is going to unvolve using some sort of, potentially reusable, tug to shove them out of orbit.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 15:42

A satellite could be created with the capability to "cannibalize" enemy satellites, using plasma beams to convert it into energy and raw materials. No debris to damage your satellites.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 15:48

Forget plasma beams. Think james bond. Launch giant satellite eaters, ala You Only Live Twice. Once inside they can be robotically disasembled and recycled. I'm sure DIRECT could launch something big enough to eat most satellites.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 15:51

The problem is in war, social responsibility goes out the window. All's fair in love and war and I guarantee the last thing either side is going to worry about is how much crap is out in space. Sad but true.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 15:55

They'll worry about how much crap is in space when they're satellites start plummeting to Earth after being hit with chunks of debris traveling at ten kilometers per second. It would be in their best interest.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 15:59

So would not dropping bombs on each other, but that doesn't seem to work very well either! There really is no winner in a war just one side loses less that the other. War is hell!
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 16:07

Bombing can be in the best interest of a nation.

Suppose your government created a highly contagious pathogen that kills in days, and sends it off to the enemy. If for some reason your own country started getting infected, wouldn't you provide them with vaccines?

Long analogy, but it's the same with satellites. Protect your own at all costs.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 16:14

That's not strictly true, America came out very, very well from WW2, it had a massive manufacturing boom, huge trade surplace, a vast number of new customers who suddenly found everything they owned bombed out from under them and it was owed vasts sums of money by all its allies. It really was in a far better position than it was pre war.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 17:24

We may have looked good in comparison to other countries but there was still a high price to pay. Billions of dollars in resources lost, the government lost almost all of it's reserves and thousands of soldiers dead. That's not a win. However, the US did recover very quickly and since it's industrial machine was in full swing, the process of rebuilding the rest of the world was very profitable.
If, on the other hand, wartime urgency had been applied to construction rather than destruction and the world had been galvanized toward a common goal rather than toward destroying each other, the potential would be unimaginable. We could easily have a colony on Mars by now, Fusion power, a cure for cancer and so on and so on.
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Commodore



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   18.09.08 20:25

lkm wrote:
Given that the chinese single handedly managed to increase orbital debris by a quarter by shooting down a single satellite, and given that any successful space strategy must leave your enemy deaf blind and dumb without endangering youur own senses. Simply shooting at satellites will quickly endanger your own orbits, the only sensible tactic is to deorbit them safely. Arming satellites to shoot at any aproaching ASAT is most likely only going to create a shower of shrapnel in its orbit.
The only really safe method is going to unvolve using some sort of, potentially reusable, tug to shove them out of orbit.

That's why I think lasers are the best of any option, they don't automatically break things into many uncontrollable pieces. Failing that, detecting a launch and colliding something with it before it reaches required velocity to intercept is the best way for a satellite to defend itself.

With legitimate concerns of orbital debris, its probably only a matter of time before military satellites are armored and powered by something other than fragile solar panels.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   19.09.08 3:32

I would imagine the ASAT tug's I described would have been launched prior to any conflicted and parked until needed. So any sort of boost-phase anti-missile defence wouldn't really be an option.
I really don't think you could get away with shooting down everyone elses space launches in peace time.
I'm not sure how armoured a satellite can get, short of sending up 50mt on DIRECT, even if you go nuclear over solar, like several russian sattellites, you just replace fragile solar panels with fragile radiators.
Perhaps an ASAT with a reusable NNEMP that it deploys from close range. Though that is about the only threat the average sattellite has any protection from.
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Commodore



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   23.09.08 14:14

lkm wrote:
I would imagine the ASAT tug's I described would have been launched prior to any conflicted and parked until needed. So any sort of boost-phase anti-missile defence wouldn't really be an option.
I really don't think you could get away with shooting down everyone elses space launches in peace time.

Unless you launch a cluster of deorbit modules at the start of hostilities, your going to spend a lot of money and show your hand in peace time.

Maybe instead of a full deorbit, a robotic device that grabs, physically disables the target, and releases, without making a million pieces. You know, snap off the antenna, or drill a hole in the camera. Then it could move on to another target.

davamanra wrote:
Also in modern warfare the lines between these four "dimensions" becomes so fuzzy that it is better to have a consolidated military with no separate branches, which goes back to my first post in this thread.

No matter how much your doctrine incorporates combined arms, you still need separate branches so that each can do what it does best. Duct taping all the tools in the tool box together does not make one super tool, it makes a sticky behemoth that isn't good at much of anything.

If anything, we need to take close look at the things we have trouble with, such as combat engineering, R&D, military intel, logistics, space, and dedicate resources to those too become tools to be applied.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   23.09.08 14:37

The NNEMP idea would be the best way to eliminate orbiting threats. Basically turning a satellite into a orbiting chunk of metal that is easier to manage than millions of orbiting chunks of metal.
As for the separate militaries I don't agree. With the transportation and communication technologies we have, as well as the extensive crossover that already exists, it is better to have a coordinated strategy that involves all the different "dimensions" at once. For example an army field commander having to call in an airstrike from a an air force unit would have difficulty coordinating as opposed to the same field commander having his own air force unit to deploy.
I don't look at it as duct taping all the tools together as much as getting all the tools that are spread out and difficult to account for grouped together in one toolbox that is at the ready and easily accessible. It does call for retraining commanders in a different way of planning warfare,but once it has been practiced enough the new method can work very well. This would also eliminate a great deal of redundancy that goes on between the different services, something that I have experienced first hand. Also it wouldn't become a big behemoth. The entire US military today is smaller than the Army alone was during Vietnam, and with the transportation and communication technology we have today it would be very manageable.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   23.09.08 14:58

Surely the US marine corps is effectively a combined service within the US military given it operates on both land, sea and air?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   23.09.08 15:12

I guess the Marines would be a template to start with. From there a similar consolidation could transform the entire military over time. A Marine-esque military could be formed and have different units with the same configuration. In other words, instead of having Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, you would have several separate "Marine-esque" divisions.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   27.09.08 13:00

I bet they would just love that. Everyone becoming marines.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   28.09.08 13:24

Hoorah!! LOL
I wouldn't say everyone becoming Marines, more like a versatile force similar to marines but signficantly less gung ho! The transition certainly couldn't be done overnight, but over a period of say ten years.
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Commodore



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   28.09.08 16:40

But how is a Marine commander calling in an air strike from a Marine air support squadron different from an Air Force air support squadron.

Each branch covers a different battlefield. The Air force has the air, and the is split up into many missions. Among them are recon, transport, deep and strategic strike, air superiority, and finally close air support. Those missions will still exist if you merge.

The issue is not administrative, its political. A nation has to field and deploy enough forces to the theater. Then they can assign enough aircraft to directly support ground troops.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   29.09.08 3:55

Except that in modern warefare there is increasingly only one battlefield. There are very few operations requiring only a single branch, if the majority of missions break down into a land force with logistic and air and artillery support from air and sea, the question is wouldn't they be more efficiently carried out if done by a single service?
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Commodore



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   29.09.08 9:26

Militaries are always built to win the last war. Basing the military on a conflict instead of the current model will leave you dangerously unsuited for a different conflict.

A prime example is the up armored Hummer. This political monstrosity protects against one particular threat. But if someone doesn't have the forethought to make that armor removable, those things are going to get stuck the next time we have to fight somewhere with mud.

Concentrate on controlling the land, seas, skys, and space, and then apply those tools as needed.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   29.09.08 10:41

I am not basing this concept on the last war. In fact I would consider this idea highly adaptable for any conflict. All I can say is if you saw the things that I saw in the military, you would understand my point. I estimate that by consolidating the military branches, the overall cost of the military could be reduced by twenty percent.
Your Hummer example is a good one. Another would be the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
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Commodore



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   29.09.08 10:57

If your referring to administrative things, then certainly consolidating the pencil pushing is a good idea.

I'm talking about the weapons design, training, and operational end of things.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   29.09.08 12:24

No, I'm talking about everything. You have in a certain area let's say an Air Force Base, a Naval Air Station, and Marine Air...whatever they call it and an Army Air... whatever they call it!
Close down three of the bases and you have one base to handle all of this.
As for weapons design, they're doing that right now with the Joint Strike Fighter. Training, same thing, teach the army guys to swim, the navy guys to jump out of a plane and the air force guys to walk and chew gum at the same time, you got your integration!! LOL Not as simple as that, but along those lines!!
The fact is, WWI was the last time there hasn't been some kind of interdependence between the different branches. This is just taking it to it's ultimate derivative.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   29.09.08 13:23

I suspect the next war will be network centric, whom ever can most fully intergrate their armed services into a single fighting force willl emerge triumphant. It is, as the man said, all just logistics.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   29.09.08 13:33

Very true. With all the advances in information, transportation and communication technology, the next war will have to coordinate all aspects. If the logistics could be handled somewhat competently in WWII, today a fully integrated force would be relatively easy to coordinate.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   08.10.08 9:16

I'm not sure if this is the right thread to ask this on, but if it was ever used for anything it would be for the military. Besides the obvious pollution issue, is there any good reason nuclear submarines don't use underwater versions of nuclear thermal rockets where the working fluid is the sea water it moves through?
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   08.10.08 20:19

the salt would tend to clog the engine. A definite "bring a plumber" circumstance.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   09.10.08 3:47

The sea water solutes could be removed in a preheater prior to entering the reactor, alternately the reactor could just run hot enough that everything boils, for example a nuclear lightbulb opperates inside a quartz container at a temperature 0f 25,000 degrees, or 23,500 degrees higher than the boiling point of salt.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   09.10.08 13:10

Wasn't this the technology that was the basis of Jules Vernes' Nautilus propulsion in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   11.10.08 9:11

Wiki says no. Apparently that was sodium mercury battery cells. It's much closer to what would be required by some sort of high speed supercavitating submarine such as DARPA's underwater express progream or the fictional Deep Angel aircraft carrier submarine, currently there are only torpedos such as the shkval, the barracuda and the hoot which utilize supercavitation, but they are all rocket powered.
What would be exceptionally cool though would be that with some cunning design of submarine and engine you could manage a sea/air transition from seawater to internal tanks such that you could take your submarine from 2 k down to orbit with a single stage. Assuming you didn't give a hoot for radiation and that. And you could build a light enough sub. And you could hold enough remass while still being bouyant. and a hundred other things I haven't thought of.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   12.10.08 0:49

Well, keep these ideas alive and eventually the technology will catch up to them! Many of the issues about going to the moon were addressed about a hundred years before we even came close to going there.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   12.10.08 5:56

And yet we seem as far away from being on the moon as we ever where. Sigh.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   13.10.08 0:32

Well, maybe some forward thinking leaders will look at the potential for space technologies and take some kind of action. I feel your frustration, lkm. We should be so much farther along than we are.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   14.10.08 9:36

I'm not sure if I've suggested any of these ideas already but I thought they might be worth a chuckle.
A terahertz lidar uav for the battle field and urban warfare to help identify armed combatants with concealed weapons from civilians and also to spot IED's and such.
A new expanding foam explosive to be used from grenades to targeted munitions. Given that explosives are basically just compounds that readily decompose at great spead into gases exothermically, and spray foams are liquids that can be airated to set and form solids hundreds of times greater in volume than the initial liquid. Therefore it must be possible to create an explosively expanding foam airated by explosive decomposition and set within seconds thermally. Combined with nanofibres for strength such a material would be invaluable in reduced lethality combat. Imagine having a grenade that once thrown creates a boulder sized bullet proof piece of cover in open ground, or can block alleyways, doorways and windows in the urban enviroment. The great problem facing the outsider in urban warefare is that locals know their way around better, but with this you can instantly change the urban geometry. Now imagine larger bombs puting huge mounds of foam on critical highways rail tracks and runways, craters can be filled in, but what do you do with 30m of steel like foam? And then when the war is over you can just go about with a truck of your non-toxic solvent X spray all your foam and wash it away without having scratched the underlying infrastructure, no bombing a country into submission and then having to pay to fix up again.
Finally, ASAT goo. Disable other satelites by spraying them with an adhesive expanding goo that clogs up their antennas, solar panels and general functionality but doesn't shatter it into a thousand deadly pieces, some sort of expanding foam would also be quite good as an adhoc aerobrake to deorbit it.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   14.10.08 14:12

I like all these ideas. I was thinking about for an ASAT system having a directional NNEMP device might work pretty good as well. We really need to make a list of all these little ideas because the potential if we can make some of them workable is incredible.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   14.10.08 20:14

you could make a thread somewhere, and copy it in.

Maybe CS technology.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   16.10.08 6:50

Redsand11j wrote:
you could make a thread somewhere, and copy it in.

Maybe CS technology.

I would like to do that, but I'm not sure of an efficient format. Anybody got any ideas?
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   16.10.08 14:53

the best way would probably be to ask Mike for its own subforum. Maybe call it CS Brain Trust, as proposed earlier, or somethinf like that.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   17.10.08 4:58

Well, Mike, how about it? Perhaps a seperate thread or something we can use to list all these great ideas. I'm not sure what would be the best way to cross reference this but I think that trying to consolidate all these ideas in some kind of orderely manner would be good.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   27.10.08 10:59

It occurs to me that perhaps we should define what the next world war is going to be about before we work out how to fight it.
To my eyes WW3 will most likely be a pan asian war between China and it's satellite nations and the USA and its pacific rim allies.
Some time in the next ten to twenty years, lets say 2026, Taiwan's DPP will finally hold a referendum for final status of the Island which will support independence despite fierce Chinese pressure. China will fulfill its long term promise to invade the island should this occur, believing the US could not be serious about supporting Taiwan, just as the US believed China could not seriously intend to attack it. The US will however also do as it stated and will come to defend Taiwan. China will have to escalate to achieve victory because if it can subdue the island before the Americans can engage then it can cease hostilities so it will have to stall militarily the US fleet. Engaging the Americans will force will force S. Korea and Japan to fall in behind the US because they both host US troops and fear China. Then times will really get interesting. N. Korea will have to declare in support of China because S. Korea has, and Burma might join suit. China will start to face commodities shortages which will export conflict to Africa and the middle east, but may force it to go North and take Siberia. Pakistan will become a warzone caught between US and Chinese interests, India will at the very least have to mobilize. Russia will again be forced to choose sides being in the position of having to face off against a Chinese border threat and becoming a begrudging American ally. Europe will be able to maintain a certain amount of uninvolvement, it will politically and economically support the US but won't, by and large, militarily engage in it until it has dragged on for a bit.
Now how will that war be fought?
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Locksley



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Registration date : 2008-07-16

PostSubject: Re: clean-slate military   27.10.08 19:12

I imagine quite a bit of posturing before anyone takes any decisive actions.

The United Nations currently supports (perhaps "doesn't want to mess" with is a better phrase here) China's (PRC) assertion of ownership of Taiwan. Therefore, U.N. support of the U.S./Taiwan in the war would effectively alienate the PRC. Would having the entire U.N. against them be enough to prevent an invasion? I hope it would be.

If not, then I imagine the PRC's invasion force would strike unexpectedly, in the hopes that control of a large portion of the island would occur before anyone could do anything about it.

Fast, unexpected, covert.
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