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Old 10-06-2017, 11:12 AM   #45
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

Originally Posted by Crystalline_Entity View Post
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
It sounds like you have the general outline of the relevant technologies:
* Stealth works, but isn't absolute. It's probably at the "price of admission" level: if you don't have stealth, you lose, but stealthed forces can still be detected. Deep diving submarines are more stealthy than surface ships, but some combination of increased price / reduced effectiveness per unit means that surface ships are still viable.
* Armor works enough for it to be worthwhile. Hordes of cheap disposable drones may be able to overwhelm PD, but not carry enough of a destructive load to damage a well armored ship.
* Utility aircraft still exist, though strike and interceptor aircraft may have been replaced by drones. Large aircraft that need long runways are still viable.
* Orbital facilities can roughly locate surface fleets and subs near the surface, but without enough precision to destroy them.
* Orbital bombardment is ineffective against moving targets, targets with stealth, or targets with adequate PD.

I think you may have to work on more reasons why subs aren't the dominate force and surface forces still exist. Quick math against GURPS Vehicle 2nd edition suggests that a sub that carries the same payload and armor as a surface ship has about 4-6% more weight devoted to armor and internal structure, and is slightly more expensive. The sub is going to be 80% as fast with the same power plant as the surface ship. Is that enough to make a difference? I'm not sure.
Read my GURPS blog:

Last edited by mlangsdorf; 10-06-2017 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Math is hard
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