Homepage Forums General Transition Issues Focus Fusion Rail Gun

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3017
    AvatarDuke Leto
    Member

    There is absolutely no way the exchange begun by the post immediately above is going to end well.

    I’m just going to duck behind some cover an wait until the it subsides.

    #3022
    AvatarLerner
    Participant

    Two replies to Duke:

    First, I think you are completely on target about Kanazawa

    #3024
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Brian H wrote:
    Damn few, actually, by comparison with the ongoing toll of the regime. And, if you’re up on the news (which you won’t get from the news outlets, of course), things are going just swimmingly over there now. Outrage fueled by ignorance is quite distasteful, thankyouverymuch.

    Can you quantify “damn few?” There must be a number.

    The “outrage” concept comes from a book on risk assessment whose title I forget. It says that what most people do is take actual probabilites of risk for an event, and then multiply by an outrage factor to determine their action or feelings on the matter. This outrage factor, is, of course, completely subjective. Different things outrage different people to different degrees. The upshot is, of course, that perspective on actual risk is lost. Everyone nurses their confirmation bias and calls each other names. And then spends or frets disproportionately on certain pet areas of outrage.

    So now, based on false information about “outrageous” weapons of mass destruction we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives on Iraq, which wasn’t even where the 9/11 attacks originated from. Saudis and Egyptians. Our allies.

    Well, what’s done is done. I say, let it go and get on with the work ahead. I have no perspective. Lumpy outrage and denial. As you can see from this post on my new website, I even have a tendency to trivialize these matters. I like to think of it as strategic trivialization. the “Life is beautiful” use of denial as a stand against violence.

    Also, the title of that book : “The Sling and the stone: On war in the 21st century” by Thomas Hammes

    For many military strategists, including those presently running the Defense Department, this new world order amounts to a call to newfangled technological arms, but for Hammes, smart bombs and spy drones are not the answer. The solution is to study our enemies as they have studied us and build a networked, flexible, and, here’s the kicker, less hierarchical military structure that employs humans to fight the humans fighting us.

    In this context, railguns are yet another technological approach, which the author above finds less relevant to the nature of warfare today. The middle easterners aren’t lobbing nukes (much as Iran would like to have them) so what use are rail guns against them (whew. I got back on topic)

    #3027
    AvatarDuke Leto
    Member

    Well Rezwan, the study cited assumes the ICBMs are gonna stay there to keep the great powers honest. As long as that stays true and cash keeps rolling in making the elites richer, there will be no general war. It’s been so long since WWII that we’ve forgotten how truly horrible a “real war” is. Not to trivialize Iraq, but it’s a parlor brawl by comparison to the big one.

    Now that I’ve thought about it, I really hope Eric is right. It would be a tragedy if FF stopped Peak Oil and Global Warming only to bring back the bad old days of nation state power jockeying.

    #3030
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Duke Leto wrote:
    Now that I’ve thought about it, I really hope Eric is right. It would be a tragedy if FF stopped Peak Oil and Global Warming only to bring back the bad old days of nation state power jockeying.

    Never mind nation states. It’s all these pesky ethno-national sub-groups. Big hairy problem, and FF won’t make it go away. How about nation time-sharing? Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, this patch of land will be Iran, this patch Iraq and this patch Turkey. Wednesdays Saturdays and Fridays they will all be Kurdistan. Sunday, we all fight…or play football! Yeah. Whoever wins the game gets Sunday. If you commit your crime on this soil on a Monday, you’ll go to Turkish prison. Wait ’til Wednesday, the Kurdish system is more lenient. Maps of the world will be digital to show the ebb and flow of national identity over the week. Lovely irridescent effect, like rippling butterflies clustered on trees against the blue sky of the ocean.

    This won’t solve anything, of course. Outrage will ensue in perpetuity. Ill will will simmer. (heh! aliteration). But for it to spill over into violence (but will it spill?), usually there’s a valuable resource at stake. And FF should take the wind out of that. Creating space for cooperation and creative conflict resolution. You’ll have people who aren’t so worried that resources are going to run out, that they need to jockey for power and position. People who can relax, take a deep breath, appreciate life, renewal, regeneration, create a home where they’re at. Or get plastic surgery and take drugs. Brave new world. That’s the fantasy, at any rate.

    #3031
    AvatarDuke Leto
    Member

    That’s not alliteration.

    Only outright overrepetition of one initial letter is alliteration.

    #3055
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Oh, obliterate oxymoronic obfuscations! Onwards!

    #3062
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    Now lets get back to topic.
    What defence can you use against a railgun?

    #3065
    AvatarDuke Leto
    Member

    Breakable wrote: Now lets get back to topic.
    What defence can you use against a railgun?

    Being somewhere other than where it’s pointing, or having a lot of matter between you and the point of impact.

    #3067
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Rezwan wrote:

    The solution is to study our enemies as they have studied us and build a networked, flexible, and, here’s the kicker, less hierarchical military structure that employs humans to fight the humans fighting us.

    In this context, railguns are yet another technological approach, which the author above finds less relevant to the nature of warfare today. The middle easterners aren’t lobbing nukes (much as Iran would like to have them) so what use are rail guns against them (whew. I got back on topic)

    The younger and COIN-experienced military is doing quite well at that, and its guru, Petraeus, has just been given command of the entire theater.

    The major indirect effect I see of FF on the ME regimes is that their Money Tree will be chopped down for kindling. The Sauds and Mullahs et al will have a lot less wherewithal to stoke jihad and create reactionary Back To The Ummah movements elsewhere. They’ll be lucky not to go down in flames because of their sheer incompetence. Some of the Gulf States have aggressively diversified in anticipation of some such development.

    BTW, another MegaloWannabe whose rentier regime will take it in the ear is Putin. And, come to think of it, Chavez.
    And China will no longer need to aggressively reach for power and influence wherever some spare oil is to be found, like Sudan and Burma.

    __________

    As for the railgun anti-ICBM defenses, I repeat that dropping a crowbar or twenty from orbit on them will take them out quite handily. And relatively cheaply.

    #3070
    Avataramanasleep
    Member

    Some observations about railguns:

    @ Brian H:

    While you are correct that ground based railguns would be vulnerable to orbital weapons (including orbital railguns!), the implementation time for for orbital weaponry is prohibitive and subject to treaty by all nuclear armed powers. Since as Lerner rightly points out railguns will not be able to stop ICBM’s, nobody will be able to deploy space based weapons without being subject to prohibition by MAD brinksmanship. In fact, the implementation of railgun ground-based ABM tech (or any ABM tech) would be subject to the same prohibition should it work in the first place. IMO all technological attempts to break the MAD stalemate are so inherently destabilizing that they represent the most significant risk of general nuclear war occuring in the near future. Only by reducing deterrents to protected, non-redundant levels and securing precursors and weapons worldwide can this threat be reduced.

    That leaves railguns free to be implemented in ground forces. However, the practical implications of this are not all that groundbreaking if the nuclear geopolitical situation does not change. Essentially, nuclear armed powers cannot face each other in conventional combat lest escalation lead to nuclear war. The result is as it is today: Nuclear armed powers can fight non-nuclear armed powers, who can also fight each other. In the first instance the weaker power is likely to engage in asymetrical warefare (to have any chance at all) rendering the railgun advantage negligible compared to current tech. In the second example, neither power is likely to have access to railguns (or both are). Either way such battles will almost certainly be largely fought by infantry at close range, making railguns not much better than conventional artillery (what would the Janjaweed do with cruise missiles in Darfur? probably not a lot).

    Railguns are essentially only effective when used by two large, technologically sophisticated militaries on one another. Such an eventuality is highly unlikely to say the least. If they are used, it will be in future actions similar to US intervention in Iraq: as a cheaper, more effective alternative to existing tech. But it won’t change the dynamics or outcome much.

    #3957
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    3 quick thoughts about railguns-

    1. Best use is probably as a high-tech replacement for the steam catapult, allowing heavier planes to operate from shorter runways.
    2. Wouldn’t the aerodynamic friction of a projectile moving through the atmosphere at nearly Ve burn it up, making it essentially useless?
    3. How are you planning to turn an orbiting rail gun into a recoil-less rifle?

    btw- what is the weight of a FF reactor and shielding? I’ve been all over the search results and have only been able to find 1 reference to the MASS being 2 tons (means I couldn’t find it in the search results). I’ve also seen a guess that the weight is 2 tons, which looks more in line with my estimates. I need to resolve this to make Jolly Roger’s 747-400 carry some paying freight, lol.

    Also, any ideas what 10MW or 20MW electric output tweaks would do to size and mass? Thanx.

    #3958
    AvatarDuke Leto
    Member

    Just so we’re clear on this, my only two interests in starting this discussion were:

    1) Could a Gauss cannon (which a friend has since explained to me is what I have in mind instead of a rail gun, all solenoid and no rail) powered by FF screw up the military balance of power by making ICBMs ineffective? The consensus answer is a resounding no.

    2) Would such technology invalidate missiles and bombers as weapons systems and ensure at the very least that if the US insists on wasting money to have firepower they can do so with a mush lesser percentage of GDP? (No more Reagan/Bush II military driven deficits.)

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.