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Old 05-03-2018, 02:03 PM   #1
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

So I am designing a SICASAV for a campaign. Basically, it's an aircraft designed to insert, extract and support small tactical squads. It is using magic to cram more thing into itself, but magic can't reduce it's weight, but it can make it run silent. It is a TL 8 aircraft with early TL 9 computer technology available.

I've been thinking on basing it off the Osprey, replacing the rotors by reactors powered by fire elemental, giving it eternal fuel supply. Lightly armored, fast, able to hover and VTOL, heavily armed with GAU-8 Avenger minigun turrets to deal with aircrafts, a missile and countermeasure system, and a TL 9 supercomputer on board charged with communications, encryption, hacking and electronic warfare in general and precision bomb dropping (counts as best TL 8 for these tasks). There is a command post here the crew mans the remote controlled turrets and the Squad Tactical Liaison communicates with HQ and monitors the squad in real time, and an armory able to hold and maintain common TL 8 gear like common guns, explosives, ammunition, and such, with room to spare for specialized equipment in case the mission requires it.

The purpose of the aircraft is to insert a small elite squad somewhere and support it in unconventional warfare, against non government but heavily equipped foes, in all territory. Enemies run the spectrum from terrorists, mafias and such to corporate mercenaries armed with military grade equipment, it is specialized in covert actions but can take part in pen combat if needed, say if a class 4 pathogen lab has been attacked by a non government force it could insert a squad to destroy every sample and data while zeroing on radio jammers and bombing them so the can get back in contact with the squad. It operates without government sanction but doesn't engage government targets, only paramilitary targets. It is operated by a "paranormal police" type of organization.

Did I miss something this craft could use, and how much would one cost?
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:48 PM   #2
Sorenant
 
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

GAU-8 Avenger is for armored ground targets like a tank, it's more than overkill against planes. I'm assuming you're cramming it in an Osprey though magic, if so I'd suggest swapping it for some smaller AA gun (preferably flak or laser if available) and reduce the size of the craft for the sake of stealth and smaller target area. If you're going to operate as a small squad, being inconspicuous is more important than being armed with superior firepower. Your armed-to-the-teeth Osprey won't be any good when it gets shot down by some Javelin missile while its batteries were occupied dealing with two super-hinds.

About the cost, you could try building something though Spaceships. Spaceships 1 doesn't have any kind of larger-inside superscience/magic module but I hear Spaceships 7 is full of these stuff.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

That's going to be a hell of a lot of weight.

To start with: "GAU-8 Avenger minigun turrets". Plural, even. Well, the closest we have to that is the Goalkeeper CIWS, which weighs almost eleven tons. And you've got at least two of them. So that right there is more weight than a V-22 can carry (It's also more than the aircraft weighs empty).

An armory with enough space and equipment to maintain lots of different gear is going to be fairly sizable. I'd guess several tons at a minimum, going up as you add more equipment.

Between the electronics warfare, communications, and computing power, you've probably got a couple of tons of electronics.

You've also got it dropping bombs. That's going to be at least a quarter-ton per bomb, and that's only if you're okay with using the smallest bombs generally available and are okay with them being mounted externally, compromising stealth. Assuming you want this internal and you want more than a single round, you'd be looking at a few more tons.

And only then do you get to the squad and its equipment. Normally that'd be around ten people, but even if we go with a smaller team (Say, six individuals), that's going to be a few more tons, including the wiggle room for extra or unexpected material. Plus the people manning the command post.

So you're looking at a VTOL that can lift the equivalent of a medium-sized tank and carries an extreme price tag. At least hundreds of millions of dollars, possibly more than a billion, and that's before accounting for the expense of magic or stealth. It would be the heaviest VTOL aircraft ever produced by a significant margin. And this is without giving it any armor at all. Possible (With magic), but extremely expensive.

Though wandering a bit from the original request, I think this might be a case of throwing too many eggs in one basket. This probably shouldn't be a single aircraft. You'd probably do much better by having multiple vehicles. A small and nimble VTOL (Littlebird to Blackhawk sized) with just enough capacity to carry a squad and equipment can handle insertion, while retaining the speed, agility, and small size necessary to make those insertions. It's also much less value lost if you get shot down on insertion, and at a small size, might even be moderately armored. Then you can have a command aircraft high above (Maybe VTOL, possibly fixed-wing) giving command and control, as well as surveillance and electronic warfare support. A dedicated aircraft (Such as a small multirole fighter) can handle both CAS and air superiority much more effectively. And all the support and maintenance equipment, such as the armory, can be either back at a base or in a non-combat transport aircraft that you keep safely away from any combat. It requires a couple more pilots, but runs a fraction of the cost even if you get an extra insertion vehicle and fighter, and the individual aircraft are more effective at their job than the single monster VTOL. You also don't lose absolutely everything the first time you come across manpads or AAA, or your LZ ends up being a little spicier than you expected.

I know the flying base is a common theme, and it works well for RPGs, but even they usually have a separate, smaller aircraft doing the actual landing and combat while all the bulky maintenance and storage stuff remains safely off the battlefield.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:45 PM   #4
tanksoldier
 
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

Trying to cram fire support, logistics, command and transport into one vehicle is inefficient.

It can only do one at a time, and while itís doing one job the other roles and their gear are dead weight and cause the vehicle to be larger, more expensive and less capable overall than a specialized platform would be.

Look at contemporary equivalents. There is nothing in any military force today that does what youíre trying to do... for a reason.

At best there are platforms that have modular capability to be outfitted for each role.

The M113 series APC can be a command post, an ambulance, a troop transport, a maintenance/ light recovery vehicle, smoke generator, mortar carrier or a light fire support vehicle.... but not all at once.

Same with the UH-1: transport, ambulance, gunship, command post... but not at the same time.

However even most modular platforms are less efficient than a dedicated craft. The UH-1 gave way to the AH-1 in the gunship role. The M113 was modified into the M577 command post carrier, the M106 mortar carrier and several others and most canít easily perform the other roles.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:53 PM   #5
clu2415
 
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

Even being bigger on the inside, GAU-8s are 19 feet long and their ammunition is pretty huge. A-10s only carry 20 seconds worth of ammunition and fire in one or two second bursts. How many of those are you planning to carry? Most things hat threaten you will be anti-aircraft missiles, which could be fired from over the horizon. In other words, you’d have nothing to shoot at.

I assume the engines and fuel tanks would be replaced by a fire elemental reactor and it would still use rotors to generate lift. Your weight would still be limited by the amount of lift you can generate with the rotors. You can handwave more horsepower from the fire elemental engine, but rotors have diminishing returns after a certain speed. (This is why Ospreys tilt their rotors into propellers.)

Since weight is still a concern, every pound of bombs you carry is less cargo you can haul. External bombs create drag and higher radar cross section; internal bomb bays require extra weight for the opening mechanisms and limit the size of your ordnance. Something like a CBU-97 or especially CBU-105 could be pushed out a rear ramp on a sled without losing effectiveness.

If you have a bottomless power generator, it might be feasible to have a directed energy weapon! That would solve ammunition problems, and provide anti-missile defense.

On an aircraft, you aren’t going to carry an armory or any weapons you aren’t planning on using. Your weapons will be reliable enough that they won’t fail catastrophically enough to require special tools and if you’ve gotten back to the aircraft, then you are on the way to your base of operations which is not concerned with weight.

Interestingly, the Osprey can match a Chinook’s weight payload... if you have a long runway to take off from. As long as you ditch 8,000 pounds of stuff at your destination, you can VTOL back to base or ditch slightly less and use a short runway. I did not know the Osprey could carry that much! And it can do that while having twice the combat radius of a Chinook.

Last edited by clu2415; 05-03-2018 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:02 AM   #6
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

Laser weapons and point defense it is then. Didn't know lasers were that advanced already.

I've been thinking of an organization that has more money and equipment than people to throw at problems, which is why I wanted the kind of vehicle that could operate independently from base from long periods of time and do anything it ould to support troops, from handling hacking duties to destroying hard targets that block the ground troops' progress.

Last edited by WaterAndWindSpirit; 05-04-2018 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:19 AM   #7
Phoenix_Dragon
 
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
I've been thinking of an organization that has more money and equipment than people to throw at problems
That's another good reason to have a small collection of purpose-built vehicles rather than a single monolithic one. An absolutely massive cutting-edge VTOL that pushes the boundaries of engineering is probably going to require substantially more maintenance personnel than four or so much simpler vehicles.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:26 PM   #8
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

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Originally Posted by Phoenix_Dragon View Post
That's another good reason to have a small collection of purpose-built vehicles rather than a single monolithic one. An absolutely massive cutting-edge VTOL that pushes the boundaries of engineering is probably going to require substantially more maintenance personnel than four or so much simpler vehicles.
A small collection of purpose build vehicles requires a large group of pilots. Engineers are easier to find than people with magical power who can directly interface their minds with vehicles to take an already cutting edge design past beyond it's theoretical limits, and are trained into being ace pilots to boot.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Aiborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
A small collection of purpose build vehicles requires a large group of pilots. Engineers are easier to find than people with magical power who can directly interface their minds with vehicles to take an already cutting edge design past beyond it's theoretical limits, and are trained into being ace pilots to boot.
You only need 3-4 flight crews for the collection of purpose-built vehicles (And can potentially get away with less), and I imagine it would be much easier to get that than a single extremely-skilled flight crew that can use a rather exclusive control setup. I'm not seeing what needs such extreme means, especially since the monolithic heavy VTOL is going to have the maneuverability of a heavy transport (Which it is), not a nimble helicopter or fighter. In what ways is it expected to push the limits of its maneuvering that necessitates such a high level of skill?

And how are they affording a billion-dollar aircraft (Not to mention the ground force and equipment, or the expense and weight of carrying all those extra engineers needed to maintain the craft), but couldn't spend a fraction of that money to hire a few decent flight crews?

I mean, "because it's cool" works. There's no problem with that. But if it's intended to be realistic, it doesn't seem like a good way to do it.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:06 PM   #10
Apollonian
 
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Default Re: Designing a Squad Insertion, Command And Support Airborne Vehicle (SICASAV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
So I am designing a SICASAV for a campaign. Basically, it's an aircraft designed to insert, extract and support small tactical squads. It is using magic to cram more thing into itself, but magic can't reduce it's weight, but it can make it run silent. It is a TL 8 aircraft with early TL 9 computer technology available.
It sounds like what you're talking about is more a baby SHIELD Helicarrier than anything realistic, and should be treated as such instead of as anything vaguely plausible. Do you want realistic, or is Rule of Cool in effect?

If it were my campaign, I'd up the size to C-130 or bigger instead of Osprey-sized - it sounds like we're talking about a mobile PC base instead of something that's going to be used like the UH-60s in Operation Neptune Spear. (In other words, if this were a TV show, the vehicle would be an unofficial character, and if there was a toy line, it'd be the big box on the top shelf.) Then I'd give it a couple smaller vehicles that can be swapped out of the cargo bay which are more of the cheap and cheerful sort of thing for final squad insertion, close ground support, or simply running around.
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