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Old 10-05-2017, 11:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: England
Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
Hey Crystalline_Entity, did you ever decide the environment your naval task was going to operate in and how the force itself was composed?
To be honest, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the options!

I take the point someone made upthread that all of this is going to be expensive - military hardware is very costly, and capital ships (in whatever form they take) will probably be considered irreplaceable by the countries which own them.

I think the two most contentious points are just how easy it is to defend from orbital bombardment, and how effective stealth is and consequently whether surface warships will still exist or everything will be submersible.

Someone made a good point that non-volitional AI would mean you can replace a good number of human crew (if I remember correctly, Transhuman Space has many human officers while enlisted personnel tend to be AIs?), which might make warships smaller.

I hadn't considered jamming (something mlangsdorf mentioned in his first post) as a threat (current TL8 drones don't seem susceptible to this, though I suspect that's a relative-tech-level issue); I like the idea of each ship having an accompanying drones for scouting, extending the radar horizon, etc, but I guess they'd be considered expendable if they were easily lost, so they'd be inexpensive and not filled with the latest toys.

I was assuming this was on Earth, and that there'd been no significant political changes such as a world government or widespread anarchy, so there was still a role for the navy. There was a good point made, what exactly is the navy for at TL10? My thoughts (rather early in the morning here so they might not be coherent):
  • Protecting civilian ships against unfriendly forces
  • Hunting and killing any platforms capable of destroying the host country (e.g. nuclear missile-armed submarines)
  • Showing the flag and influencing neutral and friendly nations
  • Protecting territory
  • Power projection - ability to strike enemies where there are no land bases in the region
  • Disaster relief, rescue, etc

I don't think this is really very different from a TL8 blue-water navy, so maybe I'm missing something, I'm not sure how the role of a navy would change between TL8-10 (apart from possibly operating on other planets) - even if there were some sort of world government there'd still need to be protection from smugglers, pirates, and some sort of disaster relief provision, but my list sounds rather uninspired.

I do have a few images in my mind, if that helps explain the sort of things I'm envisaging:
  • A stealth hovercraft delivering small numbers of troops and robots amongst icyislands
  • A fleet of railgun-equipped battleships in the open ocean escorting an aircraft carrier
  • A submarine cruising the depths of the ocean looking for illegal undersea settlements
  • An admiral disembarking from a vertol/tilt-rotor on the flight deck of a ship
  • An orbital space station scanning the ocean trying to find... something
Though they might all be impracticle!

Sorry, I don't think I've actually managed to answer your question, but I've got to get ready for work!

Last edited by Crystalline_Entity; 10-05-2017 at 11:57 PM. Reason: A few more thoughts as I drink my morning tea
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