Lim Jyue (lim_jyue@pacific.net.sg)
Fri, 10 Nov 2000 02:42:32 +0800


At 09:56 11/08/2000 +0800, Zhou Tai An wrote:
>> Granted, as I said, MS do kill more ships because they are designed
>>to kill ships initially.
>Well, they were designed to be all-around fighters, not to kill ships.

        They were designed to be an equalizer to the Federation fleet
numbers, so initially the MS were clearly designed to sink Federation ships.

        It was AFTER the introduction of Federation MS that things got
interesting. =)

>I'm not denying that it would be useful, just that the cost and effective
>countermeasures would diminish it's usefulness.

        Right, just as the Israeli developed countermeasures for those
man-portable missiles the Arabs (was it the Egyptians?) used on them. It's
really an arm race whenever and wherever this happens.

>1. I can't believe I didn't think of this before - LASERS. Remember,
>I-Fields do NOT block lasers, and by UC 0090+ (which I believe is the time
>area we are talking about) a powerful laser should have been developed;
>surely powerful enough to take out critical areas of a ship.

        They did that in 0079 -- COLONY LASER.

        (^_^)

        Lasers are difficult weapons. They need crack shots because they are
pin-point weapons even worse than beam weapons, since at least beam weapons
seem to have a blast radius, but lasers won't. Lasers also require large
power input for an output that is destructive -- I seem to recall an article
a number of years back stating something like a half-ton of equipment to
damage a bus-size target. With the advert of E-caps, beam weapons truely
became the weapon of choice.

        
>2. Remember that I-Fields can be created with varying strengths? Well, then
>I propose a somewhat unorthodox weapons - beam discs.

        Effectively, you are creating a disk-shaped beam saber, so this
should be much of a problem. I'm thinking of how the plasma is stored though..

>3. Three words - All-range attack. Projectile weapons insufficient to your
>needs? Turn to Newtypes. Well-placed funnel shots can cripple anything. No
>Newtypes? (See, incentive to recruit!) Well, you've got quasi-psycommu
>systems and incoms, not to forgot the Enhanced Human system.

        Wow. You seem to consider Newtypes to be everywhere in UC, just pick
a 6-pack up off the street.

        First off, Newtypes potent enough to be a serious threat are rare --
we never saw more than a handful in any series, and there's never been a
true Newtype Corps aside from the White Base (AFAIK).

        Second, development of these psycommu system isn't cheap either. And
IIRC, the novelization mentioned that the psycommu is tuned specifically to
the user's brainwave, which implies a higher maintainence and lack of
flexibility.

        Third, the Enhanced Human project is probably more expensive than
any military hardware we are familiar with.

        Lastly -- just because you are a Newtype, Enhanced or not, doesn't
mean you can cut it as a pilot. Didn't someone just mentioned that Puru (or
was that Four?) was a lousy pilot?

>>>Hello, they will EXPLODE. ^_^ As as Edmund says again, shots to the critical
>>>areas of the ship will definitely cripple it.
>I'm not talking about fission, I'm talking about packing it with explosives.

        Sorry -- misunderstood you. I thought you meant normal railway
spikes out of a railgun will explode, not your explosive railgun bolts.

        I'll deal with your idea about composite railgun bolts here. IMO,
the requirement for a good railgun bolt is as follows:

        1. Magnetic (duh)
        2. Dense, and hence heavy
        3. Homogeneous in material.

        Why number 3? Because if you construct a railgun bolt with
components, the acceleration stresses of the launch out the barrel will
probably make your bolt disintegrate before it reaches the target.

        It is because of this that you can't really include any sensor gear
on the bolt, as the components will probably failed due to the above
stresses. Same for explosive, since some explosive explode under great
weight/ compaction.

        Not to mention that such rounds will be expensive, and as a result,
hard to find as compared to normal munitions. Heck, you can probably cut
armour up into strips and load it into railguns and try to shoot them out --
it won't be effective, but it *might* work.

>> And another problem -- missed rounds will continue coasting in
>>space, and will eventually impact into something. Do you really want a
>>railway spike to hit against the glass window of a colony?
>You misunderstand me...the alloy which forms the penetrative head should

        And you missed my point. Beam weaponry will dissipate over distance
as the mega-particles collides with minute star dust. Your proposed railgun
bolt is heavy enough to carry on for eternity until it hits something...
which could be a space colony. If your proposed round works, it could dig a
very nasty hole in the side of a colony.

>>>Nope, the round can still accelerate in space...
>With a spike travelling that fast, who needs additional thrust? So the spike
>slows down a bit in space - can't be any slower than a beam shot.

        I meant my reply as a direct response to your line saying the round
can accelerate in space, which I assumed you meant that you will want the
round to continue accelerating after the round leaves the barrel.

        I somehow doubt a railgun round will be as fast as a beam shot.
Mega-particles are born from a high-energy compacting of the I-field
lattice, which means the mega-particle will be heavy AND fast when they come
out. Not light speed, but a significant percentage of it, I think. A railgun
round is limited by a few things, key amongst them the rate of change of
magnetic flux in the barrel, as well as the weight of the round -- chances
are good that they are multi-Mach, but nothing near beam weaponry.

-------------
Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

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