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SML Absorbers

From: "Thomas Barclay" <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 13:19:10 -0400
Subject: SML Absorbers

- ----- Original Message -----
From: Thomas Barclay <>
> I don't like the SML absorber technique for small ships. In the
> GZGverse, who the hell would ever want to crew an escort? I'd mutiny
> first. I don't mind a chance of getting killed doing my job, but not
> gaurantee of same. Small ships don't pack the point defence to
> this decoy task, and their is little in the way of ECM or
> countermeasures to aide them.

Ryan replied:

    This makes sense, but reality makes it untrue.  This is exactly
escorts are for in the U.S. Navy.  Specifically, Fast Frigates are
to emulate an aircraft carrier to enemy electronics and take hits for
even though a single hit is likely to destroy (mission kill at least)
They have a very short life expectancy (30-60 seconds or something
like that) and (comparatively) crappy electronics.  At best they are
supposed to fire a couple of missiles at the enemy then die taking a
hit for
the carrier.  This from my buddy who was stationed on one of these

    Protect the Carrier IS the modern Naval surface mission from what
understand (I am ex-U.S. Navy, but I am nuclear waste (didn't finish
field training, a GOOD thing)) and an ex-twidget (Electronics
so I can't speak with true authority (never set foot on a ship until
was medically discharged). I can only relay what I have been told,
and/or understand.

Tom comments:
I have no doubt this is the case. However note that this seems to have
been a safe career so far. If we got in a shooting war, you'd see
enthusiasm for these postings drop DRAMATICALLY. And the war dept.
would have to work damn hard to find some kind of ejectable decoy that
could draw off enemy missiles that didn't kill people. It isn't that
this can't be used as a strategy, but it just sucks from a trained
manpower point of view. I could almost see an ESU fleet using it...
but never a NAC fleet.

AI's I can buy, but again, the only place you'd see these is in a hot
war. Note that in RL specialized ships such as these tend to evolve
where there is a need (ah Darwin!) such as in a war where line ships
are going down from SMLs. In normal relatively-peaceful time
operations, they'd be pretty non-useful, and so would eventually
become decomissioned or mothballed. So it is a case where the nature
of the universe you have should define the nature of the fleets. FB
fleets (not optimized) seem very consistent with peace time roles.
Whereas SMR monstrosities or shrapnel SML absorbers seem like "hot
war" creations. I think they are viable in wartime, but in peacetime
your economics take them out of the fleet.

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