Fox: Your ship would likely be housing a mix of craft from what we might consider like frigates, destroyers, and maybe even cruisers as well as various types of strike craft.
Your crew could be anything from people needed for the ship to like Taira suggested a compliment of grunts for ground work.
What I would suggest is take base estimate of totals. The big numbers and then tweaking the percentages. So say the ship has a higher ratio of crew and other necessities. It also has a larger assortment of craft of varying types and sizes. The crew compliment could be only 55%-65% less while the craft count would be 85-90% less. You would still have a lot of craft even at that high a reduction of the original estimate. The trade off being variety and type of craft and more varied capability in deployed forces.
Basically this is a fleet ship. It carries the vessels to where they operate and then sends them out. It is a mother ship basically.
Now Taira did also have a good point about being a big target so I would still support this vessel with at least a protective fleet of ships to keep the enemy from just hammering it directly or give it time to deploy its onboard craft and crew as needed.
I am thinking of things like the massive super ships in Warhammer 40k for comparison. They get pretty massive in that verse.
Something else to note is the Gerald R Ford is looking at potential series of upgrades that could reduce the required crew compliment by up to 25% so say this ship already has that sort of upgrade you can shave off 25% of the needed crew and the extra space can go to other things including larger crew accommodations.
Flanker: For the linked weapon that are also some cons for linking a weapon directly to a suit. If your weapon runs out of ammo or goes out of action it makes it a it harder without stopping to calibrate to get a new weapon off of one or your own who may be dead, wounded, or incapacitated.
Since the HUD just uses the sites as a reference point and gives adjust corrections you just need to pick up another of your guys rifles and your good to go.
The enemy may be able to pick up and use your weapons if they have the same tech but it also makes it easier for a guy in suit to grab another weapon and keep on fighting rather then dinking with calibration equipment.
Think of how busy infantry are especially compared to most pilots. Not only are you often constantly moving your constantly communicating, moving, tracking threats, and navigating. Sometimes all at once. It gets even worse in fire fight. The only way to dial back on info overload is dial back how much you have hud doing.
IIRC most fighter craft focus on orientation references and targeting for the HUD and the rest of the info is built into the dash itself. They offer little in the way of things like zoom and NVG which is why pilots often wear separate visual enhancement gear that clip onto their helmets or are integrated part of the headgear in general.
Now having some of that built into a HUD isn't a bad idea, but if you are switching from orientation and navigation to shooting displays you are losing some of the information you need to effectively move and navigate which is just as crucial in a fire fight as it is in aerial fighting. These guys are encased in a suit meaning their natural field of view is likely limited and they have to rely on display info to move about accurately and quickly.
Now you could hand wave it saying they worked the kinks out of a all in one HUD display and the troops are trained to manage and handle info overload. I see that mentioned in certain pieces of fiction like in Hammers Slammers where their various visual systems in their vehicles have a large variety of capabilities. Same for the John Ringo Aldenata books.
If a in suit HUD can't integrate NVG, Thermal, or zoom they could do what I have seen in various real robot and other sci-fi settings. A suit mounted multi-lense device that swings down over the key visual ports and provides the view. In Armored trooper Votoms they have a multi-lense eye piece that can swap between various display modes depending on the number of eye pieces.
Now if you use the optics on weapon function I mentioned you could possibly free up the HUD for othe functions like you said tracking and cueing and it just overlays the info on the hud and through the targeting sight.
Now for the sight this is from both a real life project and represented in the Call of Duty Games is a multi-part swing up optics system. Basically you have a multi-part scope mount. You need magnification you flip up a compact ACOG lense set up. You need NVG or thermal you flip up one of those You need a combo of zoom and one of those you flip up the acog and visual enhancement in front of it. Its all rigged to work together and provide a single sight piece.
For back up sights it can be just a simple aiming device to help make up for the of aid from the HUD and could be a single item mount. It could be the multi-function mount I just discussed, or it could be a multitude of scopes like you mentioned. If they are back ups this something you would carry in pack or out of the way container for just in case.
Tom pretty much has it for the vehicle idea. The Soviets did keep in mind lessons learned from WWII but adjusted things to suit the modern war and fight against the US.
There was a gentleman from the Army who did an examination of how Soviet armor moves and fights vs US armor. The Soviets tended to move en masse in large sections preserving not only total fire power supremacy but also the number of targets you have to fight at once. The US for some odd reason applied the bounding over watchnote
to vehicles. Which as they move divide up the fire power and their numbers. Which means until your counter parts catch up to you, your forces and fire power are now divided and easier to take out then if you were all in a coordinated whole.
From what I can recall the Soviets were big on large coordinated movements that could brings lots of fire power to bear all at once. Which makes sense as the Soviets seem to be rather big on hit it at as hard as you can the first time and you won't need to hit it again a second time.
For example say we have 4 Bradley's moving into combat. They use bounding fire watch. For the majority of their movement their fire power is reduced by about half. The Soviets are doing the same thing with some BDRM's but they are moving in coordinated 4 vehicle group. They maintain a larger visual and contact area as well presenting more fire power on the enemy as they move.
There were some catches to the to the Soviet movement namely they needed to move quickly together and relied very heavily on terrain. Terrain could break up their formation but they would try to quickly rejoin. Basically they really didn't like dividing their firepower up.
edited 25th Mar '14 5:28:14 PM by TuefelHundenIV