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Old 11-15-2017, 01:53 AM   #321
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
"Your determination to avoid making any concrete statement about the premise you're arguing from is quite impressive."

As the premise is space combat which has not taken place yet, making concrete statements is difficult. And any statement about a possible future war is necessarily speculative. Could you perhaps tell me what details you wish given rather then asking for a nebulous premise.
You're constantly talking about some kind of scenario that calls for the AI to make wide-ranging but unspecified assessments of supposedly civilian but suspect vessels, engage in both command decisions over a multi-element force and intelligence analysis, and generally perform what seem to be wider duties than are normally placed on a single human.

Considering that the specific activity previously in question was piloting a fighter, what the model you're proposing that puts any of the above, let alone all of them, on the metaphorical shoulders of our poor computer is a rather vital point to me.
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"No, it has some rather distinct implications about fitness to engage other fighters in combat."

Which implication is irrelevant for planes which spend most of the time in ground attack and is in any case ahistorical and would be like demanding that the Grenadier Guards be the only regiment in the British Army that uses grenades.
Um, fighters are both presently and historically designed with air-to-air capability as a priority - including the ones for which ground attack is also a significant priority.

You might argue that that's a misplaced focus, but to deny it's there is simply wrong.

I don't know what you're going for with the last sentence.
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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
"If you want to define every bomber, ground attack aircraft, AWACS, military transport, gunship and so forth in the world as an 'oddity' you have perhaps gone a great deal too far."

Dedicated bombers and ground attack aircraft are seldom built, transports are not intended for combat, AWACS is a command aircraft, and gunships are not planes. So yes the word fighter becomes obsolete when nearly all warplanes are fighters in designation and fighter-bombers in function.
Gunships.

Anyway, yes, once you handwave lots of very important military aircraft away, nothing but fighters of various sorts (basically all multirole to some extent) remains.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:12 AM   #322
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
You're constantly talking about some kind of scenario that calls for the AI to make wide-ranging but unspecified assessments of supposedly civilian but suspect vessels, engage in both command decisions over a multi-element force and intelligence analysis, and generally perform what seem to be wider duties than are normally placed on a single human.

Considering that the specific activity previously in question was piloting a fighter, what the model you're proposing that puts any of the above, let alone all of them, on the metaphorical shoulders of our poor computer is a rather vital point to me.

Um, fighters are both presently and historically designed with air-to-air capability as a priority - including the ones for which ground attack is also a significant priority.

You might argue that that's a misplaced focus, but to deny it's there is simply wrong.

I don't know what you're going for with the last sentence.

Gunships.

Anyway, yes, once you handwave lots of very important military aircraft away, nothing but fighters of various sorts (basically all multirole to some extent) remains.
Actually what I had in mind was more a drone operator then a combat vehicle in any event. But impression I had was that you were saying it was possible to eliminate almost every human operator below flag.

And the decisions I am talking about are regularly placed on junior officers and have been for thousands of years.

And where I am going "with that last sentence" is that fighter is just a name and militaries change names more to allude to past glories then to make a description. A hussar regiment is a tank regiment not a regiment of Hungarian cowboys.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:37 AM   #323
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Fighter does presume the existence of bombers. Otherwise it just means, "really fast aircraft." With the exception of interesting oddities like the B-52 and the Stealth(which is ridiculously called a fighter) and the warthog all warplanes are fighters even though most of their missions are ground attack. But once you stop making dedicated attack aircraft then the term fighter is just generic. When there is for all practical purposes just one type of warplane which is fighter-bomber then the term fighter is nostalgia not precision. Just like paratroopers is just another word for infantry with attitude problems when all infantry are infantry.
Are you perhaps thinking of Interceptors? Interceptors are aircraft specifically designed to intercept bombers and often place very high importance on speed. Without the existence of bombers "really fast aircraft" would be a good descriptor for many interceptors.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:57 AM   #324
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Are you perhaps thinking of Interceptors? Interceptors are aircraft specifically designed to intercept bombers and often place very high importance on speed. Without the existence of bombers "really fast aircraft" would be a good descriptor for many interceptors.
No I am thinking of the mere fact that warplanes are in fact unusually fast even though some are faster then others. Just like Spitfires are faster then Beaufighters but both are faster then horses and equally both are faster then pan am clippers. My point was simply that fighter is now simply a designation and need not have more then a loose relation to the function of a platform with a similar name. Just to start with, when all platforms are capable of 3d the distinction between plane and ship is more like that between boat and ship then plane and ship.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:03 AM   #325
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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No I am thinking of the mere fact that warplanes are in fact unusually fast even though some are faster then others. Just like Spitfires are faster then Beaufighters but both are faster then horses and equally both are faster then pan am clippers. My point was simply that fighter is now simply a designation and need not have more then a loose relation to the function of a platform with a similar name.
Fighters are a specific designation, much like gunships and such.

It's just that modern technology allows some blending of roles so today's fighters can often play as light-to-medium bombers as well. Something that would've required a dedicated aircraft back then can now mostly be done by mode4n fighters due to size and technology.

Speaking of size, a lot of people don't realize just how large modern fighters are compared to WW2 fighters. I would imagine any "space fighters" would be a good deal larger than modern atmospheric fighters instead of the really tiny fighters we often get in visual science fiction.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:28 AM   #326
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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No I am thinking of the mere fact that warplanes are in fact unusually fast even though some are faster then others. Just like Spitfires are faster then Beaufighters but both are faster then horses and equally both are faster then pan am clippers. My point was simply that fighter is now simply a designation and need not have more then a loose relation to the function of a platform with a similar name.
So, this is simply not accurate of modern aircraft. While it's true that the actual work that modern fighters get to do is mostly ground attack, they are (perhaps excepting some outliers like the F-117) designed for air-to-air combat to a greater or lesser extent.

If you're saying that by the time space fighters have a chance to be a thing the 'fighter' label will be used to mean something different...well, that's possible, but I don't think that's what anybody else has been discussing.
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:54 AM   #327
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Speaking of size, a lot of people don't realize just how large modern fighters are compared to WW2 fighters. I would imagine any "space fighters" would be a good deal larger than modern atmospheric fighters instead of the really tiny fighters we often get in visual science fiction.
Modern fighters are close to a WWII PT boat in size, and approach them in weight. They weigh rather more than a WWII twin-engined medium bomber.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:56 AM   #328
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Fighter does presume the existence of bombers. Otherwise it just means, "really fast aircraft." With the exception of interesting oddities like the B-52 and the Stealth(which is ridiculously called a fighter) and the warthog all warplanes are fighters even though most of their missions are ground attack.
The existence of air-to-air combat aircraft presumes a tactical use of aircraft which you want to deny to the enemy or prevent the enemy denying you. Fighter aircraft (at the time typically called scouts) were originally developed largely to attack and defend reconnaissance aircraft.

As to warplanes that aren't fighters, you need to add the B-1, B-2, EA-6, EA-18, AV-8, several combat variants of the C-130, and attack helicopters. Some of those are capable of defending themselves to varying degrees, and the B-1 has been proposed for conversion to an anti-air missile bus, but none of them are actually fighters.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:18 AM   #329
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by warellis View Post
Speaking of size, a lot of people don't realize just how large modern fighters are compared to WW2 fighters. I would imagine any "space fighters" would be a good deal larger than modern atmospheric fighters instead of the really tiny fighters we often get in visual science fiction.
The "fighters" in CJ Cherryh's Downbelow Station et al have a crew of four or five people. But I've always thought they were more like PT boats or small battleriders than like fighter aircraft. Mostly weapon systems and engines, but with some space to move around in. Needed because you may be deployed for days.

They are four to a "carrier" which is much much larger than them, because the carrier not only has a FTL drive but facilities to keep things running and the crew functional and hopefully sane for months to years.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:56 AM   #330
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Good question. How do you tell any of the thousands of decisions you make every day that are far more complicated then "what is the silhouette of this vehicle?" How do you tell when it is safe to cross the street or not?
I'm pretty certain a space fighter AI is going to be looking at more than just a potential target's silhouette. It's going to analyze the way it's moving, the markings on the hull, its current vector and speed, and so forth, while running this against a database to see if it matches the data on, say, a registered merchant vessel. That's assuming you're using such craft for police work, which is well outside the use cases that have been discussed in this thread. Note also that in space, unless heavy superscience is involved, you likely have hours if not longer to make a shoot/don't shoot determination, so even if the AI can't be trusted to do so, it can send all the relevant data to command to let them do it (you could even have fairly simply AI running on cheap hardware send the data to an advanced AI - one that can be relied on for such decisions - running on a cutting-edge supercomputer back at base).
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