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Re: Fighter surviability...

From: Jerry 'Ghoti' Han <jhan@i...>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 16:29:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Fighter surviability...

Binhan Lin wrote:
>	  We still use fighters today even though a CIWS can hit targets
> approaching faster than Mach 1 and knock them out of the sky.  But
> to hit a missile further than 2 km away with the system is almost
> impossible.  Fighters in the future will follow a similar pattern,
> will be armed with weapons that have a chance to damage a capital
ship, be
> able to be fired from a range outside the effective range of
> defenses (except other fighters) and will be relatively cheap compared
> the big guys (not including the carrier cost.)

See, this is where my problem is.  Fighters right now can carry 
weapons that can damage enemy targets many times their cost.  As well,
they are still survivable enough to avoid enemy air defences; indeed,
it can still be argued that the best defence is another fighter.

However, in the future, with the coming of shields, of high quality
armor, active point defence systems that can blot targets out at 
3000k; can the concept of the small, maneuverable, one-three man attack
ship survive?  I guess I believe that starships (if we ever get 
starships) will have such powerful defences that fighters don't have
a hope in hell of getting through their active defences or that,
even if they do get through the actives, the passives will prevent
damage to their target.

To use an example given earlier, if a modern fighter comes within 2km 
of a modern warship, and the warship is equipped with a modern CIWS, 
that fighter is toast.	 Now, expand the envelope out for a futuristic
CIWS.  I think you begin to see my concern.

I guess what it comes down to is that, in most concepts of the future,
the balance between offense, defence and maneuverability stays the
same so that fighters are viable.  The more I look at the technology
curve, and the more I look at possible starship futures, the less I
think this, and the more I think that fighters will not be
cost-effective, survivable weapons on the battlefields of the 

And given that I'm a real Air Force nut, this really hurts to say.


 *** Jerry Han - - ***
       "And we will raise our hands, and we will touch the sky; 
	      Together we will dance in robes of gold; 
    And we will leave the world remembering when we were kings..."
      When We Were Kings - Brian McKnight/Diana King - TBFTGOGGI

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