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Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 11:30:51 -0500
Subject: Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

> The other problem with the argument is that there really isn't a whole
> lot of options in space combat.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but in space you have to deal with gravity 
(if fighting near a gravity well) which could be greater than 
Earth's gravity, other cosmic phenomena, the ability of fighters to 
spin on their axis and fire back in your face or thrust up down or 
sideways (even better than vectored thrust) and you have to cope with 
advanced weapons, electronics, and defensive systems. I don't 
necessarily think this all adds up to easier. 

> >	The drone fighter would be a very, Very, VERY high price
> >item and the loss of even a single squadron could be a disaster.
> I disagree with this, too. One of the highest costs in a modern
> fighter squadron are the humans. They take a long time to train, they
> require food and water (expensive not just in the raw materials but in
> the logistical nightmares they cause) and when you lose them there are
> major political and social repercussions.

OTOH, they have more initiative, decision making ability, and a 
flexibility that no one would be capable or find worthwhile to 
engineer (especially considering cost and performance) into an AI or 
computer. Straight out drone fighters may be fine if you KNOW who 
your enemy is, and know that you are going to a fight. Otherwise, 
human pilots (even factoring in errors) allow you a lot more 
discretion and innovation in unknown situations. 

 Computer pilots, on the
> other hand, are incredibly cheap to build once you work out the
> dogfighting routines, essentially a one shot cost. 

I ask: Have you ever seen the maintenance cycle on large scale (1 
million plus lines) computer programs? On high tech hardware, the 
likes of which you are referring to if you talk AI or bio-organic 
technologies? The training required to work on these.... Don't doubt 
that there would still be a huge (if different) logistics branch 
required to support such devices in an operational setting. 

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