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Old 10-01-2017, 07:59 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

Originally Posted by Crystalline_Entity View Post
[*] Are TL10 infra-red cloaking and chameleon systems sufficient to hide surface ships from high-altitude sensors (either satellite or stratospheric drone, possibly with hyperspectral sensors), or would all warships end up being submarines so they couldn’t easily be found by passive electromagnetic sensors?
I suspect a lot of the problem with stealthing ships is less about the ships than the water. Even if you could hide the ship when it is sitting still, what do you plan to do about the wake? You can't install stealth gear on it.

[*] Would there still be a role for manned combat aircraft or would drones operated by remote teleoperation or non-volitional AI completely take over the role?
Would there still be a role for manned *ships*? The problem of what humans are good for in a world with AI is much more general than any particular role.

[*] What would subsurface warfare look like at TL10? There’s a notable lack of effective underwater weaponry in Ultra-Tech, no torpedoes, and even blue-green lasers have rather lacklustre performance underwater, though the supercavitating mini-sub can mount a blue-green strike laser (according to the text on UT228, I'm not sure if this is useful though).
This is pretty close to an insurmountable problem. Water is just too close to the properties of the stuff you'd like your weapons to be able to kill - if it interacts strongly with the target it probably will with the water too.

[*] Would warships bother with significant armour, or given the power of missiles and railguns and aircraft-mounted lasers would they assume the best defence is not to be found in the first place?
Armor is not likely to get much better unless you can make it out of something other than atoms. And anything that can shoot through water can probably shoot through armor too. Armoring against incidental threats is still worthwhile - it'd be really embarrassing to lose a warship to drug smugglers with a machine gun - but as a defense against serious heavy weapons it's already fairly limited.

[*] Tilt-rotors, vertols and hovercraft are all possible options for personnel transport, the first two replacing the helicopter, is one of these clearly superior to the others?
For what? The reason people build all of them in the first place is there are things any of them are better at than any alternatives - even if that's sometimes just "adequate for the job and costs less". For example an advantage of helicopters over tilt-rotors and vertols is uses less fuel/energy - a bigger air moving device means you get the same thrust moving more air less quickly, and the linear energy consumption increase for moving more air is swamped by the quadratic savings for slower.

[*] Is there any useful defence against bombardment from orbit?
The same point defense as against missiles fired from nearby? There's nothing especially magical about orbit.
MA Lloyd
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