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A letter from David Drake

From: Mikko Kurki-Suonio <maxxon@s...>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 15:15:34 +0300 (EEST)
Subject: A letter from David Drake

 When I get started, I rarely leave things half-done. Thus I wrote a
letter to David Drake, asking about the guided missile controversy. 

 The following is his reply, in verbatim:

Dear Mr. Kurki-Suonio,

	You're both right.

	Which shouldn't be a surprise. You're both intelligent people
after all. 

	The Slammers' armored vehicles are described as having an
automatic defense system triggered by the approach of incoming. A charge
blasts high-density pellets at the missile (etc).

	For more distant threats, the main and secondary armament
protection which within reasonable limits is complete. Slewing rates,
for the tribarrel, make this inadequate in close terrain.

	Targeting the operator of command-guided weapons is specifically
noted (and is a great technique against command guided weapons even if
can knock down the missile. [This bit was handwritten, I hope I
it correctly --Mx]) in _The_Warrior_ and probably elsewhere. However, a
VTOL platform even with fire-and-forget missiles would be suicide as the
platform's signature (even in defilade) provides warning to the target
vehicle and allows the armament to prepare for pop-up (and the missile

	Rmember two things: I started writing the stories in 1972 (which
means, I think, that the Automatic Defense System antedates real-world
of explosive-reactive armor). The fictional tech advances over the

	Second, even today not everybody has the highest tech available
_somewhere_. Fire-and-forget missiles are very expensive and beyond the
capacity of any but a handful of countries to produce. Wire guidance has
been around since WW II, and there are going to be planets out there to
whom it is cutting edge technology. (Indeed, there's a lot to be said
Man-in-the-Loop even in US today.)

	In Nam we faced mostly B-40s (RPG-2s), with the occasional B-41
(RPG-7) being a nasty surprise. The latter had been deployed in Europe
back in the '50s (about the time our M48s were being built). When you
think, "There's better available," you've got to add the question, "But

	Thank you for your lucid and enjoyable letter. All the best,

					(signed) Dave Drake


Nothing further, your honor.

"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought or
deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet hurt
anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance which
does harm."  -- Marcus Aurelius

-- (Mikko Kurki-Suonio) 	   | A pig who doesn't
+358 50 5596411 GSM +358 9 80926 78/FAX 81/Voice   | is just an ordinary
Maininkitie 3C14 02320 ESPOO FINLAND | Hate me?    |	      - Porco
Rosso      | hateme.html |

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