History Analysis / SpaceFighter

25th Sep '17 5:55:47 AM GTOM
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While Star Wars isnt hard-sci, Death Star like scenes can be put to hard SF too, if the target is a lunar base, or an asteroid mine. Lets see the lunar base scenario. Taking advantage of horizont, prepare to be attacked from multiple directions, by multiple types of threat (lasers, missiles, drones) requires something more than a simple missile. If one build a smart enough missile, why dont give it a few more km/s delta-V, so it can return after a succesful mission? In the aseroid mine scenario, it can be possible to enter into big enough shafts, and fight like a river boat. The celestial body offer cover from single missiles, fighters can decelerate, and fire at point blank range, or if they can handle lasers strong enough to harm point range defence at least, or fire really fast coilgun slugs, they dont necessary have to decelerate. Yes big ships can come close also, but a metallic asteroid offers lots of hiding places, even for big guns. Would you rather risk your battleship, or a fighter squadron? In case of a planet, while it is plausible to land surface units, if nuke everything isnt the desirable outcome, but in this case, the shuttles carry the troops are vulnerable when they try to land. A battleship on high orbit cant react fast enough to an inbound threat, unless there are very strong and well-focused lasers. A battleship on low orbit is a huge and barely maneuverable target, stripped from its main advantage, superior range.
Even if a battleship could do everything better even on low orbit combat, why would someone waste a battleship for bombing down guerillas, capture smuggler ships, eliminate pirates, if theese tasks can be easily handled by fighter squadrons, that dont require so special infrastructure?

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While Star Wars isnt hard-sci, Death Star like scenes can be put to hard SF too, if the target is a lunar base, or an asteroid mine. Lets see the lunar base scenario. Taking advantage of horizont, prepare to be attacked from multiple directions, by multiple types of threat (lasers, missiles, drones) requires something more than a simple missile. If one build a smart enough missile, why dont give it a few more km/s delta-V, so it can return after a succesful mission? In the aseroid asteroid mine scenario, it can be possible to enter into big enough shafts, and fight like a river boat. The celestial body offer cover from single missiles, fighters can decelerate, and fire at from point blank range, or range. Or if they can handle lasers strong enough to harm point range defence at least, or fire really fast coilgun slugs, they dont necessary have to decelerate. Yes big ships can come close also, but a metallic asteroid offers lots of hiding places, even for big guns. Would you rather risk your battleship, or a fighter squadron? In case of a planet, while yes it is plausible to land surface units, if nuke everything isnt the desirable outcome, but in this case, the shuttles carry the troops are vulnerable when they try to land. A battleship on high orbit cant react fast enough to an inbound threat, unless there are very strong and well-focused lasers. A battleship on low orbit is a huge and barely maneuverable target, stripped from its main advantage, superior range.
Even if a battleship could do everything better even on low orbit combat, why would someone waste a battleship for bombing down guerillas, capture smuggler ships, eliminate pirates, if theese tasks can be easily handled by fighter squadrons, squadrons (or gunboats, corvettes, in W40k, even a 70m long ship is classified as a fighter), that dont require so special infrastructure?
25th Sep '17 5:52:23 AM GTOM
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No cover, no hiding place, no horizont, entirely true in deep space, not if you want to capture something. If you want to capture an asteroid mine for example, mobile defender units can move behind the asteroid, or even hide in a shaft, missiles are a waste against them. Fighters can attack behind cover, and one don't have to bring the big ones close -- the later sacrifices the advantage of superior laser range, and make the big ships also quite vulnerable.

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No cover, no hiding place, no horizont, entirely true in deep space, not While Star Wars isnt hard-sci, Death Star like scenes can be put to hard SF too, if you want to capture something. If you want to capture the target is a lunar base, or an asteroid mine for example, mobile defender units can move behind mine. Lets see the asteroid, or even hide in a shaft, missiles are a waste against them. Fighters can attack behind cover, and one don't have to bring the big ones close -- the later sacrifices the lunar base scenario. Taking advantage of superior laser horizont, prepare to be attacked from multiple directions, by multiple types of threat (lasers, missiles, drones) requires something more than a simple missile. If one build a smart enough missile, why dont give it a few more km/s delta-V, so it can return after a succesful mission? In the aseroid mine scenario, it can be possible to enter into big enough shafts, and fight like a river boat. The celestial body offer cover from single missiles, fighters can decelerate, and fire at point blank range, and make the or if they can handle lasers strong enough to harm point range defence at least, or fire really fast coilgun slugs, they dont necessary have to decelerate. Yes big ships also quite vulnerable.
can come close also, but a metallic asteroid offers lots of hiding places, even for big guns. Would you rather risk your battleship, or a fighter squadron? In case of a planet, while it is plausible to land surface units, if nuke everything isnt the desirable outcome, but in this case, the shuttles carry the troops are vulnerable when they try to land. A battleship on high orbit cant react fast enough to an inbound threat, unless there are very strong and well-focused lasers. A battleship on low orbit is a huge and barely maneuverable target, stripped from its main advantage, superior range.
Even if a battleship could do everything better even on low orbit combat, why would someone waste a battleship for bombing down guerillas, capture smuggler ships, eliminate pirates, if theese tasks can be easily handled by fighter squadrons, that dont require so special infrastructure?



The arguments are strong, that missiles are superior for a single fleet battle. How about a dozen fleet battle, maybe maintain peace and order on captured colonies? It does matter, whether an attack craft can be only used at once, or multiple times. Especially, if smaller rockets can also have advanced hardware, nuclear heat engines for example. Unlike missiles, fighters can return, if you can gather resources in space, refueling is much cheaper than getting new missiles.

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The arguments are strong, that missiles are superior for a single fleet battle. How about a dozen fleet battle, maybe maintain peace and order on captured colonies? It does matter, whether an attack craft can be only used at once, or multiple times. Especially, if smaller rockets can also have advanced hardware, nuclear heat engines for example. Unlike missiles, fighters can return, if you can gather resources in space, refueling is much cheaper than getting new missiles.
missiles. Yes it is also possible to build lots of new missiles with advanced electronics and drives, if you can get every kind of rare material just as easily as fuel, that can be produced even from ice comets.


Added DiffLines:

Updated A12 for counterarguments.
16th Jul '17 5:23:27 PM nombretomado
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You cannot really distinguish a space fighter and a space frigate if it is operational with a 2 man crew, or even less than 10 like the heavy bombers of WW2, while having much larger ships in your fleet.

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You cannot really distinguish a space fighter and a space frigate if it is operational with a 2 man crew, or even less than 10 like the heavy bombers of WW2, [=WW2=], while having much larger ships in your fleet.
12th Sep '16 11:41:12 AM sith15
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!!A14. Time Lag

As noted in B9, space combat may take place at extreme ranges measuring in light seconds or even minutes. At such ranges, even lasers have to lead and predict the movements of their targets, making lasers more akin to naval artillery shells, and the overall battle much like an old fashioned battleship duel. A large craft like a battleship or even a cruiser would have its ability to maneuver and change course limited by its mass and volume. However, small craft could use its size to its advantage to make it significantly harder to lead. Thus, space fighters could get much closer to the enemy than its larger companions while maintaining the same relative ability to evade incoming fire, while having an advantage in their own accuracy due to the decreased range.


31st Jul '16 12:20:29 AM GentlemensDame883
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Another issue related to B8 is acceleration. InertialDampeners aside, a small space fighter may be able to reach a higher acceleration than, say, a capital ship but the former having small fuel reserves will stuck at a certain velocity (you'd better save fuel to brake or maneuver in both cases), while the larger ship even if it had a far worse acceleration could maintain it for a longer time as it has far more fuel, eventually overtaking the fighter.

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Another issue related to B8 is acceleration. InertialDampeners InertialDampening aside, a small space fighter may be able to reach a higher acceleration than, say, a capital ship but the former having small fuel reserves will be stuck at a certain velocity (you'd better save fuel to brake or maneuver in both cases), while the larger ship even if it had a far worse acceleration could maintain it for a longer time as it has far more fuel, eventually overtaking the fighter.
31st Jul '16 12:12:54 AM GentlemensDame883
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Another issue related to B8 is acceleration. InertialDampeners aside, a small space fighter may be able to reach a higher acceleration than, say, a capital ship but the former having small fuel reserves will stuck at a certain velocity (you'd better save fuel to brake or maneuver in both cases), while the larger ship even if it had a far worse acceleration could maintain it for a longer time as it has far more fuel, eventually overtaking the fighter.



Another issue related to B8 is acceleration. InertialDampeners aside, a small space fighter may be able to reach a higher acceleration than, say, a capital ship but the former having small fuel reserves will stuck at a certain velocity (you'd better save fuel to brake in both cases), while the larger ship even if it had a far worse acceleration could maintain it for a longer time as it has far more fuel, eventually overtaking the fighter.

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Another issue related to B8 is acceleration. InertialDampeners aside, a small space fighter may be able to reach a higher acceleration than, say, a capital ship but the former having small fuel reserves will stuck at a certain velocity (you'd better save fuel to brake in both cases), while the larger ship even if it had a far worse acceleration could maintain it for a longer time as it has far more fuel, eventually overtaking the fighter.
6th Jun '16 2:50:15 PM ScorpiusOB1
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to:

Another issue related to B8 is acceleration. InertialDampeners aside, a small space fighter may be able to reach a higher acceleration than, say, a capital ship but the former having small fuel reserves will stuck at a certain velocity (you'd better save fuel to brake in both cases), while the larger ship even if it had a far worse acceleration could maintain it for a longer time as it has far more fuel, eventually overtaking the fighter.
20th Jan '16 4:00:30 AM GentlemensDame883
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As for the cloud thing, you don't need fighters to overcome. You can send recon drones or infantry spotters. If defences are so strong that even those can't get through, you should still be working on orbital superiority rather than bombing.

Anything you need to capture intact, or is placed somewhere you can't bombard from air or orbit ''a la'' Literature/TheGunsOfNavarone, you should be sending in the {{Space Marine}}s anyway.

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As for the cloud thing, you don't need fighters to overcome. You can send recon drones or infantry spotters. If defences are so strong that even those can't get through, you should still be working on orbital superiority and destroying orbit-to-surface defences rather than bombing.

whatever else you need more precise aiming for.

Anything you need to capture intact, or is placed somewhere you can't bombard from air or orbit ''a la'' Literature/TheGunsOfNavarone, you should be sending in the {{Space Marine}}s anyway.
anyway. Precision guided munitions can only be so precise after all, so if it's something that precious, you should be using boots on the ground, not fire support.
4th Jan '16 2:58:22 PM GentlemensDame883
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By simple physics, a small fighter just can't carry as much fuel and ammo as a larger warship. And unlike naval gun fire support, where targets can be far enough inland that a fighter can reach but a ship's guns cannot, almost everything planetside can be hit with the right orbit. Maybe for some reason you can't or don't want to dedicate an all-up battleship to fire support, but some kind of corvette or gunboat equivalent would still be able to remain on station longer than a fighter squadron.

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By simple physics, a small fighter just can't carry as much fuel and ammo as a larger warship. And unlike naval gun fire support, where targets can be far enough inland that a fighter can reach but a ship's guns cannot, almost everything planetside can be hit with the right orbit. Maybe for some reason you can't or don't want to dedicate an all-up battleship to fire support, but some kind of corvette or gunboat equivalent would still be able to remain on station longer than a fighter squadron.
squadron, which would have to more frequently return to the safely-distant carrier for refuelling and rearming.

As for the cloud thing, you don't need fighters to overcome. You can send recon drones or infantry spotters. If defences are so strong that even those can't get through, you should still be working on orbital superiority rather than bombing.



Yes, you can refuel a fighter. But what about its ammo? Unless it's purely armed with energy weapons and unguided, non self-propelled cannon, the MobileFactory converting {{Asteroid Mine|rs}}d resources into munitions will also need to produce complicated electronics for drives and sensors. And from there it's a stone's throw to producing missiles.

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Yes, you can refuel a fighter. But what about its ammo? Unless it's purely armed with energy weapons and unguided, non self-propelled cannon, the MobileFactory converting {{Asteroid Mine|rs}}d resources into munitions will also need to produce complicated electronics for drives drives/engines and sensors. And from there it's a stone's throw to producing missiles.
31st Dec '15 2:30:21 AM GentlemensDame883
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By simple physics, a small fighter just can't carry as much fuel and ammo as a larger warship. And unlike naval gun fire support, where targets can be far enough inland that a fighter can reach but a ship's guns cannot, almost everything planetside can be hit with the right orbit. Maybe for some reason you don't want to dedicate an all-up battleship to fire support, but some kind of corvette or gunboat equivalent would still be able to remain on station longer than a fighter squadron.

to:

By simple physics, a small fighter just can't carry as much fuel and ammo as a larger warship. And unlike naval gun fire support, where targets can be far enough inland that a fighter can reach but a ship's guns cannot, almost everything planetside can be hit with the right orbit. Maybe for some reason you can't or don't want to dedicate an all-up battleship to fire support, but some kind of corvette or gunboat equivalent would still be able to remain on station longer than a fighter squadron.



!!B12. A13 is not actually an argument for or against fighters, merely against missiles

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!!B12. A13 is not actually an argument for or against fighters, merely against missilesmissiles. And not a very strong one either.
Yes, you can refuel a fighter. But what about its ammo? Unless it's purely armed with energy weapons and unguided, non self-propelled cannon, the MobileFactory converting {{Asteroid Mine|rs}}d resources into munitions will also need to produce complicated electronics for drives and sensors. And from there it's a stone's throw to producing missiles.

Back on topic, if said MobileFactory can produce fuel and ammo for fighters, it would merely be a matter of scaling up to produce supplies for larger warships too. Unless, of course, there are arbitrary restrictions on this.
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