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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: [GZG] Revised Salvo Missiles Update

From: Oerjan Ariander <oerjan.ariander@t...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 19:28:56 +0200
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: [GZG] Revised Salvo Missiles Update

JKL wrote:

>Given that for most weapon systems, you move your SHIP into position to

>have an enemy within firing arc and then roll dice to hit/damage a
>why does the player having to additionally guess where the target will
>as he drops a missile salvo onto the table make any sense?  If the
>was a gunnery officer, wouldn't he also have to do more to fire his
>weapons?  Like lead the target?  The direct fire weapons are ALL 
>abstracted into a die roll resolution.  Why are *homing missiles*
>to use?

You're thinking of *anti-tank* homing missiles, which typically are
on to their target before they ever leave the launch tube - and which
launched at such short ranges (a few miles at most) that the target
have time to move very far while the missile is in the air.

FT's salvo missiles are more akin to many of the long-ranged *anti-ship*

homing missiles in service today, which can fly quite far (eg., the
versions of our RBS15 anti-ship missile has an unclassified range of
120 miles") and usually don't turn on their target seekers until they
to the general area where the target is supposed to be located. If the 
target has moved outside the missile's sensor footprint by the time the 
missile gets to the supposed target area, well...

(FWIW "smart" - ie., target-seeking - anti-tank artillery rounds like 
STRIX, SADARM or BONUS have similar problems with long flight times and 
limited seeker footprints.)

>Also, there is the fact that they are PSB'd as HOMING missiles. 
>today can be directed at a specific target, and for the most part,
>zip off and hit something that's kind of nearby if the target happens
>move.	They *home* on the target that they are directed towards.

Again you're describing *anti-tank* missiles. Short ranges, no time
no line-of-sight issues. They might miss, but they don't veer off to
some *other* target than they're supposed to... because they are never 
allowed to select their own target.

The problem with *anti-ship* missiles (and target-seeking anti-tank 
artillery rounds too, for that matter) is that they tend to be launched 
against targets beyond the horizon. If you can't see the target, you 
*can't* direct your missile towards it -instead you have to equip the 
missile itself with powerful enough sensors that it will be able to find

and attack the target on its own. Unfortunately today's navies have a
of tricks to play on incoming missiles, including the US Navy's "Banzai 
Jammer" tactic where the frigates of a CVBG deliberately try to make 
themselves look like carriers in order to draw the missiles onto
and away from the real carrier.

In space there's (usually) no horizon to block your line of sight, so if

your missiles carry enough on-board fuel you'll be able to guide them to

the *general* area of the target. ('Course, that "if" might not be
trivial...) However, instead of the horizon you start to get significant

time lags in the communication between the launching ship and the
so the missile still needs good enough target seekers - and enough
- to find the target on its own.

Trouble is, as soon as the missile has *any autonomy at all* wrt target 
selection it also runs a risk of attacking some other target than its 
parent ship intended...



"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."

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