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Old 10-01-2017, 07:21 PM   #21
Phantasm
 
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

Let's not forget the role of materiel transport (modern-day Military Sealift Command). Some things will be too heavy to transport by air, and require transport across oceans. Ships designed for anti-piracy/anti-insurgent actions will also be needed (and pirates are a danger even today; see: Somali pirates in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean).

I don't think everything will go full-on submarine. The physical and psychological standards for submariners are much higher than those of the surface ships, so what you gain in stealth you'd lose in overall eligible manpower. At some point someone will say "our Navy is under-manned because our standards are too high", at which point the reason those standards are in place will surface when people not suited for sub service gets assigned to one and flip out for some reason or other, which will raise some (probably very public) questions as to why the standards were lowered in the first place(!).
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:34 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

At TL 10, who knows what will be transportable by air, but you are right, there may still be a role for transporting very heavy material. Another role I forgot is operations like the US Coast Guard---basically waterborne law enforcement.

And I agree, everything probably won't be full submersible, there will always be a role for things like Coast Guard cutters. At TL 10, there are just so many options and possibilities, it is hard to make any firm statements at all. I see at TL 10 spacecraft making a lot of wet naval craft obsolete.
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:14 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

With the submarine vs. surface ship question, another possibility is that everyone is visible, but the water provides decent protection, so everyone hides beneath it. Its like having a bunch of armor.

I suspect that with TL10 technology, all wars are either nuclear doomsdays where only truly stealthy forces survive, asymmetric conflicts where navies provide support roles, or limited engagements where the naval forces are used for bluster rather than starting anything that could trigger nukes. We don't know what the winning strategy for TL8 is, let alone TL10. The poster who suggests a number of strategies without knowing which one is right has a solid scenario.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:09 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

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Originally Posted by a humble lich View Post
At TL 10, who knows what will be transportable by air, but you are right, there may still be a role for transporting very heavy material. Another role I forgot is operations like the US Coast Guard---basically waterborne law enforcement.

And I agree, everything probably won't be full submersible, there will always be a role for things like Coast Guard cutters. At TL 10, there are just so many options and possibilities, it is hard to make any firm statements at all. I see at TL 10 spacecraft making a lot of wet naval craft obsolete.
Actually, the coast guard cutters might need to go submersible regardless of whether the warships do.

Criminal use of semi-subs at least is well proven, and going to full minisubs is extremely plausible. Frequent legal civilian use of subs is less likely, but not impossible.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:14 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

Heheh haven't posted here in years but dropped in for a browse and happen to have been looking at a lot of naval stuff recently.

What is a naval task force going to look like?

Different.

Just off hand, TL10 gives you cheap and very stealthy 1kt 64mm mini nuke drone mines and million ton orbital weapons platforms with lots of great big lasers. You get the full spectrum of TL10 sensor technology and clouds of microbots. Chances are you'll be able to detect and track anything you could reasonably describe as a warship on, over, or beneath the surface and direct overwhelming firepower at it one way or another. In this scenario, you're probably dealing with swarms and networks of small or tiny platforms fighting it out. More like ant colonies fighting rather than naval task forces battling it out.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:17 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

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Originally Posted by Phoenix_Dragon View Post
Something like the modern SM-3 is designed to take out de-orbiting threats such as ballistic missiles
Yes. Remember that a modern ballistic missile is a remarkably fragile target, and that's what an SM-3 is designed to kill.

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and would probably find this TL10 reentry vehicle an average target
To hit, likely. But hitting something isn't necessarily sufficient to kill it (as we already saw with Patriots intercepting SCUDs way back in the first Gulf War).

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Further, being a solid kinetic-kill warhead provides no benefit here; most intercepting missiles would probably be kinetic-kill as well
The first point isn't true, nor follows from the second. If both missiles are kinetic kill, then factors like relative mass and energy come into play, as well as the structure of the impactors. The SM-3 LEAP warhead is designed to have about 130 MJ of energy at impact, or 31 kg of TNT equivalent, and itself masses about 23 kg. An 8000 kg solid tungsten rod, a la Project Thor, isn't going to be discomfited in the slightest by something that tiny. You could set off 31 kg explosions next to it all day without bothering it. The energy just from hitting the atmosphere is worse, and that's not enough to stop the bombardment (unless the bombarding weapon is simply terribly designed). A 31 kg explosion (or the equivalent energy in the form of several tiny tungsten rods, a la the LEAP) is bad for a ballistic missile that has internal structure, a fragile skin, and vulnerable electronics, but not for a "rod from God" or deorbiting asteroid rock sort of kinetic-kill weapon, which is essentially a solid lump of armor.

There might well be ways to stop massive KE bombardment projectiles or at least render them mission-ineffective, but they won't look like an SM-3.
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:01 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

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Originally Posted by Crystalline_Entity View Post
Iím trying to work out what a naval task force would look like at TL10 as a thought experiment, and Iím having trouble deciding which options presented by Ultra-Tech are most effective. Iím concentrating on a safe-tech TL10, so no superscience or volitional AIs, and only limited genetic engineering (so it differs from Transhuman Space).

Depending on your interpretation, the principle component of a naval force (i.e. at the top of the admiralsí wish list when governments look at funding and procurement) could change from a surface aircraft carrier to a heavily stealthed battleship with a 160mm railgun and/or heavy missile armament with point defence lasers, or a drone-carrying submarine, which packs most of its offensive punch in non-volitional AI-controlled drones, which it launches before creeping back under the waves.

Iím not sure thereís any firm answers to these, but I wondered what everyone thought and how other factors Iíve not thought of might influence matters.
One issue which does not seem to have been mentioned is that as industrialized navies have gotten more and more expensive and irreplaceable they fight each other less and less, which means more and more naval developments are based on theories which have never been tested in action. The number of times that a fleet has fought another fleet since WW II is not very large. So whatever they use in your setting, some things will probably go horribly wrong the first time they are used in earnest, like in the Falklands War. And of course, procurement decisions rarely make sense outside of a particular bubble.

My impression is that the atmosphere gives small, fast-moving things a reasonable defence against THOR and similar projects. The faster they go, the more they overheat and damage their control services and surround themselves in a sheath of plasma which blocks signals from the controller.
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:23 AM   #28
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

In a fight between roughly equal parties, orbital assets are extremely vulnerable, so rather early in the fight one or both parties won't have any. It's quite possible that one of the jobs of naval forces is the removal of orbital assets (this is dependent somewhat on your tech assumptions. Firing missiles up a gravity well is not that effective, but a beam duel likely favors the ground forces by a large margin). This will generally make things like Thor strikes moot, if your enemy is in a position to attempt that you're already in a bad place. The forces you'd use for that purpose will likely be submersible to make it hard to take them out with a first strike.

Naval forces against a superior foe are just a big 'blow this up first' sign, so you don't use them at all (just imagine if ISIS got hold of an aircraft carrier. It would die so very fast). Naval forces against an inferior foe means you can assume the foe doesn't have orbital forces.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:22 AM   #29
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

At TL11 you just remove the water and put it back when you are finished :)
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:06 AM   #30
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] What would naval warfare at TL10 look like?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
With the submarine vs. surface ship question, another possibility is that everyone is visible, but the water provides decent protection, so everyone hides beneath it. Its like having a bunch of armor.
Is it? In WWII, you needed 1000 lbs of HE hitting the underside of the hull to reliably kill a 2000 ton destroyer, but 3 hits from Hedgehog projectiles, at 30 lbs each, could kill a 700 ton U-boat. Water is only armor when the enemy is using saturation attacks to compensate for stealth; if the enemy can manage to get an explosive into contact, than water is a force multiplier for him.

Water also complicates the PD for the sub, because the sub's blue-green lasers are only effective out to 150 yards. Versus a supercavitating torpedo approaching at 100 yds/s, that only gives the sub 1.5 seconds to destroy it. It's not impossible, but it's a lot tighter than the 10+ seconds PD gets on the surface against Mach 10 missiles.

Quote:
I suspect that with TL10 technology, all wars are either nuclear doomsdays where only truly stealthy forces survive, asymmetric conflicts where navies provide support roles, or limited engagements where the naval forces are used for bluster rather than starting anything that could trigger nukes.
Some type of MAD convention could linger for WMDs. You could have full scale naval engagements over limited objectives with neither side considering the issue important enough to deploy nukes. Something like the Russo-Japanese War is limited enough that neither side is going to risk nuclear annihilation.
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