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Old 2016-02-23, 08:06   Link #1961
Gentranum
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Oh my! Thanks for all the info! I'm still relatively new to the series, newer still to actual military and actual application of information! So in theory, if say an Assault Cannon that belonged to say, a Tornado, if the group salvaged some spare rounds from downed TSFs in decent condition they can, in theory, just join them up in a mag to save money? That is, of course, if they get to the scrap before the actual army does.

I wanted to ask. Since the Balalaika is a somewhat of a knock-off of the F-4, is it plausible to have interchangeable parts for serviceable use? Like, a Balalaika arm for say, an F-4 or it's lighter European Export cousin the Tornado? I was thinking that the mainstay unit are essentially F-4 derivatives with various parts from salvaged scrap here and there.

Is it also plausible to assume that rock bands that are American existed at that time? Like say, Black Sabbath or DIO? Given the state of the world itself, would it even have time to indulge in such?

Also, if your unit is light and maneuverable enough with excellent radar, would it be possible to avoid Laser-Class fire as a means of distracting a pod of say, Laser Classes?

One more thing: what details do we have of Operation Palaiologos? Do we have more info on the matter? Also, is there a specific military slang for 'cleaning up' after the dead? Sorry for all the questions~
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Old 2016-02-23, 10:17   Link #1962
Heir of the Void
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Originally Posted by Gentranum View Post
Oh my! Thanks for all the info! I'm still relatively new to the series, newer still to actual military and actual application of information! So in theory, if say an Assault Cannon that belonged to say, a Tornado, if the group salvaged some spare rounds from downed TSFs in decent condition they can, in theory, just join them up in a mag to save money? That is, of course, if they get to the scrap before the actual army does.
The Assault Cannons are more or less completely interchangeable. In Total Eclipse, at one point when the gang is running low on consumables (fuel and ammo, basically), they discuss resupplying at a Soviet base. Gennerally, the ammo is kept standardized for the same reason, so I see no reason why that wouldn't work.

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Originally Posted by Gentranum View Post
I wanted to ask. Since the Balalaika is a somewhat of a knock-off of the F-4, is it plausible to have interchangeable parts for serviceable use? Like, a Balalaika arm for say, an F-4 or it's lighter European Export cousin the Tornado? I was thinking that the mainstay unit are essentially F-4 derivatives with various parts from salvaged scrap here and there.
So, the first generation basically consists of Phantoms and Phantom Localizations. The U.S. couldn't keep up with the explosively growing demand for TSFs from around the world, so they came up with the F-5 Freedom Fighter, basically a Phantom design simplified for ease of production that traded armor and operational range for ease of production, and licensed the Phantom technology to basically everyone. The aforementioned basically everyone made some modifications to the design to suit their local needs, and thus we have the first generation.

This gives us the F-4 and F-5 (obviosuly), the Mig-21 and the Su-11 and Su-15 (neither of which ever reached mass deployment, unlike in the real world), the European Tornado and Mirage, and the Japanese Type-77 and Type-82 (though I don't believe Japan was ever in the export business during the 20th century).

Ergo, I think it would be safe to say there would be a lot of interchangeable parts. Not all of them, but they're from the same family and were built to be rugged.

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Originally Posted by Gentranum View Post
Is it also plausible to assume that rock bands that are American existed at that time? Like say, Black Sabbath or DIO? Given the state of the world itself, would it even have time to indulge in such?
I think a better question would be how there is any other music.

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Also, if your unit is light and maneuverable enough with excellent radar, would it be possible to avoid Laser-Class fire as a means of distracting a pod of say, Laser Classes?
One of my pet peeves is that we really have no idea how Laser-class acquire or track targets. Given that they fire their beams from their eyes, optics would suggest that their eyes would then be terrible for wide-angle searches, but optics is weird. I'd guess it's some sort of tight-beam LIDAR, with an effective networked targeting, but I have very little to support that.

The big problem with dodging lasers is that they propagate at the speed of light, which is the same as any information that they're firing can reach you, which at a Laser-class' normal peak engagement range of thirty-odd kilometers, is going to happen effectively instantaneously. Ergo, dodging in the conventional sense is impossible, and trying to be like Char dodging beam weapons isn't going to work because:
  1. You are not the Red Comet.
  2. You can't really see where the laser is pointed, given that it has no telltale 'barrel'.

The best way to distract Laser-Class is to shoot lots of howitzers at them, then ripple fire an MLRS battery or three once they're engaged. That said, if someone had solid sensors and a Squad Support Gun, basically TSF-mobile artillery, there might be a way you could make it work by not giving the lasers a line of fire.

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One more thing: what details do we have of Operation Palaiologos? Do we have more info on the matter? Also, is there a specific military slang for 'cleaning up' after the dead? Sorry for all the questions~
It was more like the fighting you see in Schwarzesmarken than Total Eclipse, with lots of conventional forces and relatively little Tactical Armor. In general, the whole thing was an abysmal failure, but the Soviets were able to poke around inside the Hive for a while before dying horribly; the data they gathered, nicknamed the 'Volk Data', proved somewhat useful.

As for the other thing... Not sure. Crows do that, or at least are reputed to, so maybe something involving them?
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Old 2016-02-23, 16:06   Link #1963
Gentranum
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Very, very informative! What I feel about Muvluv is that it's richness is just how amazing yet tragic the world is. I personally enjoyed SM and the TSFiA series moreso than Total Eclipse because it shows a good viewpoint of the world itself. It's a shame there isn't much else about it, there's so much to read into. Your input on the Laser idea is great, thanks alot! I want to portray some sense of realism instead of making two people Full Frontals in crappy TSFs. Thanks for that!

I take it there's no detailed account of what went down in Operation Palaiologos? I read about the whole sudden counterattack, but I couldn't really find any more than that. Shame, if there was something written about that it would have been amazing.

Also, where did a bulk of the East and West German civilian populations go? I read TSFiA #39 and can't help but think about that. I know that even to that day the two Germanies are still somewhat separated (I read somewhere that the NVA still use Soviet derivatives) though I wonder if there's more info on that. If only I can read Japanese. OTL

Also, how viable is say, a single-file approach when it comes to say, trying to break through an entire mass of BETA? If you can count on the front being a very skilled Gunsweeper and the sides are kept safe by the members of the conga line, is it viable? All I see are Chevron formations in what I am watching, though I feel the idea in this is to conserve the ammunition of the unit as a whole by forcing alot more bullets to be spent on the front-runner, who would be armed similar to a Storm Vanguard. Or is there a more effective approach that minimizes contact possibilities within the squad?
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Old 2016-03-01, 05:37   Link #1964
Wild Goose
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@Heir of the Void:

The underbarrel 120mm is a smoothbore gun so that you can use sabot ammo on the Tanks. It's implied that it's the same 120mm sabot shells used in the Rheinmetall 120mm tank gun that basically became NATO standard. Standardisation of ammo yo.

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Originally Posted by Gentranum View Post
Also, where did a bulk of the East and West German civilian populations go? I read TSFiA #39 and can't help but think about that. I know that even to that day the two Germanies are still somewhat separated (I read somewhere that the NVA still use Soviet derivatives) though I wonder if there's more info on that. If only I can read Japanese. OTL
Basically, pretty much everyone in Europe was evacuated to Britain. The UK is now playing host to the EU (albeit the French have their own place somewhere, bugger if I can remember). The Adoration sidestory takes place at Dover, where the 44th "Cerberus" Battalion is based, and they're a West German unit.

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Also, how viable is say, a single-file approach when it comes to say, trying to break through an entire mass of BETA? If you can count on the front being a very skilled Gunsweeper and the sides are kept safe by the members of the conga line, is it viable? All I see are Chevron formations in what I am watching, though I feel the idea in this is to conserve the ammunition of the unit as a whole by forcing alot more bullets to be spent on the front-runner, who would be armed similar to a Storm Vanguard. Or is there a more effective approach that minimizes contact possibilities within the squad?
Single file does jack and shit all because you are relying on a single TSF in the front to keep the way clear. Chevron and arrowhead have the advantages of having more guns in the fight covering a larger frontage; if you tried advancing single file the BETA could encircle you and attack you with overwhelming force all along your file (which happened on a macro scale in Operation Market Garden in WW2).

As for Extra/Alternative, there's very little known about what's going on in Southeast Asia. What we do know is as follows:

- The ASEAN nations have created COSEAN, the Consolidation of South East Asian Nations and apparently have a joint command structure.
- The BETA are currently being stalemated at South Thailand, which is a more or less natural chokepoint. No word on the state of the west Malaysian peninsula.
- Indonesia is so far untouched.
- Brunei is untouched. Presumably they're supplying fuel to COSEAN and the Strayans.
- Vietnam is completely overrun, and the USN rotates carrier groupsat Yankee Station to mount periodic raids into Vietnam to keep the BETA from achieving breakout. RAN and Phillipine Navy assets are also assisting there.
- As of September 2001, COSEAN had selected the F-18E Super Hornet to be the TSF it would consolidate around, and maintained Garuda Test Flight at Project Prominence, flying the F-18E.

@Heir of the Void: another issue with regard to distracting lasers, btw. Trying to distract lasers with arty is a losing proposition. Lasers basically mean that a Warsaw Pact-style artillery battalion can till that battalion runs out of ammo, and the Lasers will have intercepted damn near all of their rounds.

For context, a WarPac arty battalion is on the order of 57 guns.
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Old 2016-03-01, 11:18   Link #1965
Heir of the Void
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The underbarrel 120mm is a smoothbore gun so that you can use sabot ammo on the Tanks. It's implied that it's the same 120mm sabot shells used in the Rheinmetall 120mm tank gun that basically became NATO standard. Standardisation of ammo yo.
Okay, then why are they using smoothbore cannons? IRL, tanks use them because of fin-stabilized discarding-sabot and HEAT rounds (where the spinning would mess up the jet of plasticized metal). But neither of them really offer anything of worth aginst the BETA; an APFSDS round still can't front-pen a Destroyer without consecutive hits, and there's really nothing ot use a HEAT shell against.

An AP/HE shell is going to be good for taking down Fort-class, but those aren't all that common. I would think that (by far) the most useful round would be canister shot (because what 120mm caniter does to anything without heavy vehicle aror is just terrifiying), and it doesn't really require either barrel type.

Also, looking at the Assault Cannon pictures, the cannon barrel seems extremely short; no more than 2.5-3 meters long if the weapon as a whole is ~8 meters (compare to the Abrams/Lepord main gun, which is 5 meters and change). With that kind of barrel length, the internal ballistics are going to be more like a mortar.

Considering that, it would need a much larger propellant charge to achieve anywhere near similar muzzle velocity. This makes sense in light of the absurdly small magazine size; in most of the Assault Cannons shown, the Chaingun mag seems only slightly larger than the cannon magizine. If my slide rule isn't lying to me, a 120mm shell should be about 37 times larger than a 36mm round, meaning you could theroitically pack 54 of them in the same volume as 2000 chaingun rounds. Packing efficiency will drop because of the larger shell and the mag isn't quite as big, but I'd still expect at least four or five times as many rounds per mag, which fits with the idea of a larger powder charge.

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Another issue with regard to distracting lasers, btw. Trying to distract lasers with arty is a losing proposition. Lasers basically mean that a Warsaw Pact-style artillery battalion can till that battalion runs out of ammo, and the Lasers will have intercepted damn near all of their rounds.

For context, a WarPac arty battalion is on the order of 57 guns.
Well, how else are you going to reduce the threat? Throw the ships of the UN 3rd fleet one by one into the path of the lasers?

Anyway, each laser has a minimum interval of 12 seconds between shots. Assuming perfect accuracy, that means it can shoot down five shells a minute.

The standard WarPac piece (2S19 MASTA) in U/A has a peak fire rate of 8 rpm, meaning that a 57 gun battalion fires a peak 456 rounds per minute, meaning it's going to need at least 91 lasers to stalemate it.

But that's Warsaw Pact. A U.S. Crusader SP Gun has a peak rate of fire of 12 rpm (with active barrel cooling for sustained rapid-fire), meaning it's going to need at least 2.4 lasers to stalemate each gun. That's at least 136 lasers.

But this, of course, is forgetting the MLRS. 12 rockets in 'less than forty' seconds for the real-life version, presumably the designers of the U/A version would be aware of the presence of lasers and thus spec their system to do at least as well. Once you have the lasers focusing on the howitzers, you hammer them with a MLRS battery, dumping several dozen rockets on them in the time they can fire maybe twice. And if you can wear down the number of lasers present, that makes the whole job a lot easier.

And them there's AL rounds. Laying down a heavy metal cloud makes artillery more effective, though I cannot find any hard-and-fast rules on the extent.
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Old 2016-03-01, 19:16   Link #1966
Wild Goose
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Okay, then why are they using smoothbore cannons? IRL, tanks use them because of fin-stabilized discarding-sabot and HEAT rounds (where the spinning would mess up the jet of plasticized metal). But neither of them really offer anything of worth aginst the BETA; an APFSDS round still can't front-pen a Destroyer without consecutive hits, and there's really nothing ot use a HEAT shell against.

An AP/HE shell is going to be good for taking down Fort-class, but those aren't all that common. I would think that (by far) the most useful round would be canister shot (because what 120mm caniter does to anything without heavy vehicle aror is just terrifiying), and it doesn't really require either barrel type.
...have you actually played the VN? Because they do score frontal kills against destroyers, using sabot.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is in the sabot construction - the US presumably uses DU sabot and sells it to everyone who'll buy it, but more than a few nations are using... steel. And nobody's loading HEAT into a TSF. That said, I think something like MPAT would actually work pretty well on Fort-classes, but eh. If you're using DU sabot, not only are you firing an arrow into whatever you're shooting, you're firing an arrow that shatters after penetration into a cloud of razor sharp fragments that are on fire.

As to why smoothbore guns, I will again state the reason of ammunition commonality. If you use the same ammo as the tanks, then you simplify your logistics by shipping everyone the same rounds. Note that Britain is seriously considering going to the Rheinmetall L56 120mm smoothbore gun for their next tank (if they don't just buy the Leopard 3) because nobody makes 120mm rifled ammo anymore. Same issue, really.

Canister would be great on BETA infantry forms, but it would have issues with the larger beta strains, and in the massed BETA attacks we see you really need 36mm since it's pretty much the best jack of all trades round. Sure, canister or DPICM could kill Grapplers, but 36mm DU API kills them a lot faster. (While the official sources state that TSFs are using 36mm HVAP, my own perusal of the description of the round's construction has led me to believe it's essentially an upscaled PGU-14/B, the 30mm round used in the A-10's GAU-8 Avenger cannon and the Bushmaster II.)

Quote:
Also, looking at the Assault Cannon pictures, the cannon barrel seems extremely short; no more than 2.5-3 meters long if the weapon as a whole is ~8 meters (compare to the Abrams/Lepord main gun, which is 5 meters and change). With that kind of barrel length, the internal ballistics are going to be more like a mortar.

Considering that, it would need a much larger propellant charge to achieve anywhere near similar muzzle velocity. This makes sense in light of the absurdly small magazine size; in most of the Assault Cannons shown, the Chaingun mag seems only slightly larger than the cannon magizine. If my slide rule isn't lying to me, a 120mm shell should be about 37 times larger than a 36mm round, meaning you could theroitically pack 54 of them in the same volume as 2000 chaingun rounds. Packing efficiency will drop because of the larger shell and the mag isn't quite as big, but I'd still expect at least four or five times as many rounds per mag, which fits with the idea of a larger powder charge.
Well, with tank guns they're as long as they are so that you can throw rounds out to 2km plus and be sure they'll hit. I do freely admit that the short barrel is a problem - I can only speculate that it was considered an acceptable tradeoff in light of the fact that TSFs tend to fight closer to BETA than tanks should. *shrug* Military design is full of tradeoffs, in the end. I should also add that your math is a liiitle iffy, and that trying to pack in that many 120mm rounds into an underbarrel magazine would lead to weight distribution and balance issues for the rifle. :V Remember, it's the difference between a single stack magazine carrying 120mm rounds with casings and all - and don't forget the casing is wider than 120mm! - and the difference between 36mm caseless rounds.

A shorter barrel means less muzzle velocity, which is going to adversely affect people using tungsten and steel sabot, because they need muzzle velocity to pen. Because the US uses DU sabot, and DU is significantly denser than tungsten, you can get similar penetration with less velocity. (Now I need to go back to Spacebattles to find Connor MacLeod's many posts about this.) But yes, sabot rounds aren't going to perform as well fired out of the underbarrel 120mm compared to the full length tank gun. But they're still going to work better than any other round you could load in.

IMO anything more than 10 rounds is kinda pushing it for a single stack mag (plus the question of how the hell are the rounds feeding into the breach - it's not like they've got a team of fairy loaders there :V).

Quote:
Well, how else are you going to reduce the threat? Throw the ships of the UN 3rd fleet one by one into the path of the lasers?
When I say losing proposition, what I really should have said was that it is not sustainable beyond a single engagement, because if you're going to try and spam arty at lasers, you're going to run out of shells, you'll wear out your barrels, and your entire arty battalion is now combat ineffective.

Also, Ouka is not a good support for your argument, given that they did conduct AL bombardment, but the Superior, having assumed direct control, ignored the AL smoke to focus on the HSSTs. This is also what fucked the divers; they landed, and then the dense metal cloud rounds landed on top of them and acted as KE projectiles. (This is because these rounds are designed to vaporise into AL smoke when shot at by lasers. When lasers don't shoot them, they're basically inert metal. This is an oversimplification.)

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Anyway, each laser has a minimum interval of 12 seconds between shots. Assuming perfect accuracy, that means it can shoot down five shells a minute.

The standard WarPac piece (2S19 MASTA) in U/A has a peak fire rate of 8 rpm, meaning that a 57 gun battalion fires a peak 456 rounds per minute, meaning it's going to need at least 91 lasers to stalemate it.

But that's Warsaw Pact. A U.S. Crusader SP Gun has a peak rate of fire of 12 rpm (with active barrel cooling for sustained rapid-fire), meaning it's going to need at least 2.4 lasers to stalemate each gun. That's at least 136 lasers.
I want to point out the major flaw in your assumption here: you assume that Lasers fire in pulses. That's not correct. They fire in sustained beams. So a Laser is going to be able to kill more than 5 rounds per minute. The lasers fire and sweep the sky - that's how they take out the bombardment. Hell, Sadogashima: the lasers basically no sell'd a sustained bombardment and the hive was undamaged. Goddamn where the hell is that gif when I need it...

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But this, of course, is forgetting the MLRS. 12 rockets in 'less than forty' seconds for the real-life version, presumably the designers of the U/A version would be aware of the presence of lasers and thus spec their system to do at least as well. Once you have the lasers focusing on the howitzers, you hammer them with a MLRS battery, dumping several dozen rockets on them in the time they can fire maybe twice. And if you can wear down the number of lasers present, that makes the whole job a lot easier.
This actually assumes you can find the lasers, though. Remember, air recon is pretty much out because the Lasers home in on electronics and silicon - the more high tech it is, the more Lasers assign targeting priority to it. (My pet theory is passive electrolocation, though the other answer of "Lasers are bullshit" is also acceptable. :V)

That's the whole reason Laserjagd is such a thing: use sat recon or other assets to try and figure the general location of the lasers, then send Laserjagd squadron to take them out. In that respect it's not that different from Wild Weasel/DEAD missions.

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And them there's AL rounds. Laying down a heavy metal cloud makes artillery more effective, though I cannot find any hard-and-fast rules on the extent.
Sure, but this requires you to drop dense metal rounds on them in the first place, and you then need to alternate between AL smoke and HE, and eventually you're going to hit diminishing returns with how much AL smoke you can fire.
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Old 2016-03-01, 21:43   Link #1967
Heir of the Void
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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
As to why smoothbore guns, I will again state the reason of ammunition commonality. If you use the same ammo as the tanks, then you simplify your logistics by shipping everyone the same rounds. Note that Britain is seriously considering going to the Rheinmetall L56 120mm smoothbore gun for their next tank (if they don't just buy the Leopard 3) because nobody makes 120mm rifled ammo anymore. Same issue, really.
See, you're assuming the switch to smoothbore happened, though. Near as I can tell, it was late-60s early-70s; at that point, the BETA would be clearly established as a threat (as they were killing everyone on the moon), even if they had yet to land on Earth. Maybe this ammo commonality fixation would make sense in a purely modern context, but the BETA threat goes back too far to be ignored in weapon geologies.

And in a larger sense, with only six cannon rounds per mag, you can't be wasting shells on a single target except Fort-class and maybe Heavy Lasers. Sure, you can front-kill a destroyer, maybe even with one round. Problem is, it has friends.

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Canister would be great on BETA infantry forms, but it would have issues with the larger beta strains, and in the massed BETA attacks we see you really need 36mm since it's pretty much the best jack of all trades round. Sure, canister or DPICM could kill Grapplers, but 36mm DU API kills them a lot faster. (While the official sources state that TSFs are using 36mm HVAP, my own perusal of the description of the round's construction has led me to believe it's essentially an upscaled PGU-14/B, the 30mm round used in the A-10's GAU-8 Avenger cannon and the Bushmaster II.)
No, you're using canister so you don't have to start hitting them with a knife. Even if the chaingun is more efficient, it's not faster for reasons that really should be obvious; the gun has to move to each target, and that is only shown to be able to happen so quickly. Canister gives you spread and multi-target engagement capacity with a single system motion.

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Well, with tank guns they're as long as they are so that you can throw rounds out to 2km plus and be sure they'll hit. I do freely admit that the short barrel is a problem - I can only speculate that it was considered an acceptable tradeoff in light of the fact that TSFs tend to fight closer to BETA than tanks should. *shrug* Military design is full of tradeoffs, in the end. I should also add that your math is a liiitle iffy, and that trying to pack in that many 120mm rounds into an underbarrel magazine would lead to weight distribution and balance issues for the rifle. :V Remember, it's the difference between a single stack magazine carrying 120mm rounds with casings and all - and don't forget the casing is wider than 120mm! - and the difference between 36mm caseless rounds.
No, no, that is not correct. A tank gun needs a long barrel to allow full practical acceleration of the round; a larger-caliber shell needs a longer barrel so as to have the same proportional gas expansion as a lower-caliber weapon will with a proportionally shorter barrel.

Therefore, either an Assault cannon round must accept reduced muzzle velocity, and thus must be built to function effectively at lower speeds (which changes the aerodynamics) but could share a propellant charge with the tank shells, or would need to have a larger charge to achieve the same muzzle velocity, and thus could share a shell with the tank, but need a different propellant charge for each shell. Most likely, they would accept some reduced velocity and some increased charge and thus be able to share neither at the same caliber, but that's fine because you generally mate the charge and shell at the factory anyway, and trying to do so on the front is a terrible idea for a multitude of reason.

Plus, the fact that the 120mm magazine is too big to reasonably use springs and that the magazine box is disposable means it would probably be best to ship the rounds in the magazine, so that kind of renders the whole thing somewhat pointless. Ammo stacking is addressed blow.

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and DU is significantly denser than tungsten

Depleted Uranium has a density of 19.05 grams per cubic centimeter, and tungsten has a density of 19.25 grams per cubic centimeter.


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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
IMO anything more than 10 rounds is kinda pushing it for a single stack mag (plus the question of how the hell are the rounds feeding into the breach - it's not like they've got a team of fairy loaders there :V).
First of all, why the hell are you using a stick mag? The proportional geometry is basically the same as 12.7mm rounds for an infantry weapon, but with the notable advantage that we're talking about a scale large enough that active, powered loading systems actually are practical, because you don't need excessively miniaturized electrical components. You could do something a bit like a helical magazine, though the size means that the drum mags used for feeding aircraft autocannons is a better engineering comparison, as most of the problems with helix mags are not applicable or relativity easily solved at this scale.

You don't have Fairy Loaders, but solid engineering is even better.

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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
I want to point out the major flaw in your assumption here: you assume that Lasers fire in pulses. That's not correct. They fire in sustained beams.
The Heavies do, yes, but there aren't that many of them. To me sure, I just went back checked; there is not nearly enough animation of lasers firing in the VN Operation 21st to have any reason to believe the TE or Schwarzesmarken portrayal of the lasers is incorrect. Especially considering that a short-duration series of rapid pulses is exactly how you make a working laser. They intercepted the artillery because the had a lot of lasers and a lot of heavy lasers, and they reserved them through the initial bombardment.

The sweeping might work if the lasers were arbitrarily powerful, but then when a regular laser class hit, say, a TSF, it would be gone. I don't mean OHKO, and I don't mean 'blown up by exploding fuel'. To borrow a quote:

Quote:
If you were standing in the path of the beam, you would obviously die pretty quickly. You wouldn't really die of anything, in the traditional sense. You would just stop being biology and start being physics.
The fact that standing in the general vicinity of someone who is hit by a laser isn't an immediate danger means we can assume this is not the case. Maybe the laser shoots you next, but at least you don't have to worry about being caught in the explosion from your wingman being converted into stellar plasma.

So, Heavy Lasers can probably intercept multiple shells per shot, but they have three times longer in-between shots, so they can probably only effectively intercept a couple of times more shells than the normal lasers.

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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
This actually assumes you can find the lasers, though. Remember, air recon is pretty much out because the Lasers home in on electronics and silicon - the more high tech it is, the more Lasers assign targeting priority to it. (My pet theory is passive electrolocation, though the other answer of "Lasers are bullshit" is also acceptable. :V)
If you can't pinpoint the lasers as soon as they start firing, you really just aren't trying. In an atmosphere, there is going to be some beam scattering from the atmosphere, as well as minor heating of the atmosphere. You point a wide(ish)-angle passive system, one component looking for the scattering, one from the photons, and use the dual phenomenology to isolate results. The fact that lasers are... laser straight... and light-speed weapons means that you only have to isolate one portion of the beam to trace it back to the source.

Also, lasers in general will produce a lot of waste heat. Some are more efficient than others, but at high energies, even at the really efficient ones still produce a ton of waste heat. So spotting them with orbital IR, or surface IR observing the large plume of heated air from sustained firing, really isn't going to be that hard.

...Wait. Can the characters see the lasers, or is that just us?

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When I say losing proposition, what I really should have said was that it is not sustainable beyond a single engagement
Then what the hell is sustainable? Certainly not a strategy that doesn't involve lots of artillery; the BETA can replace all their combat units far more easily than Tactical Armor can be replaced. Expending ten thousand shells and sundry to not lose one modern TSF is a solid trade, even just on the basis of cost.

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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
Sure, but this requires you to drop dense metal rounds on them in the first place, and you then need to alternate between AL smoke and HE, and eventually you're going to hit diminishing returns with how much AL smoke you can fire.
You're coming at this the wrong way. The AL is a force multiplier for the HE and ICM, and you use the AL coverage to reduce the laser positions, then go to full ICM once they're gone.
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Old 2016-03-02, 03:03   Link #1968
Wild Goose
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Generally speaking, on the subject of barrel length for assault cannons I don't think that's such an issue for the 36mm. The Bushmaster II is 2.4 meters long. A 3 meter barrel should be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heir of the Void View Post
See, you're assuming the switch to smoothbore happened, though. Near as I can tell, it was late-60s early-70s; at that point, the BETA would be clearly established as a threat (as they were killing everyone on the moon), even if they had yet to land on Earth. Maybe this ammo commonality fixation would make sense in a purely modern context, but the BETA threat goes back too far to be ignored in weapon geologies.

And in a larger sense, with only six cannon rounds per mag, you can't be wasting shells on a single target except Fort-class and maybe Heavy Lasers. Sure, you can front-kill a destroyer, maybe even with one round. Problem is, it has friends.
Development of the Rheinmetall L44 gun began in 1964 and ended in 1974, with production beginning that year. The Soviets meanwhile were already fielding smoothbore guns since 1965. It's kind of surprising to think of how many things still in use were designed so long ago.

I'd also argue that with only six rounds per magazine, it's more important that whatever rounds you fire have the best chance to penetrate and do damage. Sabot fired out of rifled guns just isn't that as effective as sabot fired out of smoothbore guns.

I should also point out that pretty much everybody in NATO standardised around the 105mm L7 gun and the 120mm Rheinmetall L44 gun during the Cold War. Plus everyone using either 105mm or 155mm for arty... ammunition commonality isn't as new a thing as you think.

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No, you're using canister so you don't have to start hitting them with a knife. Even if the chaingun is more efficient, it's not faster for reasons that really should be obvious; the gun has to move to each target, and that is only shown to be able to happen so quickly. Canister gives you spread and multi-target engagement capacity with a single system motion.
*shrug* There's nothing keeping you from loading canister in the 120mm underbarrel if you need it, though I should point out that we can infer that canister is going to be relatively short ranged, based on AARs from the Iraq war, and the fact that the tungsten ball bearings are expelled from the muzzle.

That said, you are aware that the Gun Sweeper configuration is a thing, right? And that nothing really stops you from using more than a single gun at once (save perhaps the lack of extra guns to carry, but if you only have one gun that you're already fucked in more ways than one). PLus y'know, the chaingun is a fully automatic weapon, so it's got the ROF to deal with the follow on BETA coming behind the one that just got killed.

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No, no, that is not correct. A tank gun needs a long barrel to allow full practical acceleration of the round; a larger-caliber shell needs a longer barrel so as to have the same proportional gas expansion as a lower-caliber weapon will with a proportionally shorter barrel.
Yes, and because you have all that you mentioned above, that long barrel allowing you full acceleration and your max muzzle velocity, you can reach out and touch someone 2km away and penetrate him.

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Therefore, either an Assault cannon round must accept reduced muzzle velocity, and thus must be built to function effectively at lower speeds (which changes the aerodynamics) but could share a propellant charge with the tank shells, or would need to have a larger charge to achieve the same muzzle velocity, and thus could share a shell with the tank, but need a different propellant charge for each shell. Most likely, they would accept some reduced velocity and some increased charge and thus be able to share neither at the same caliber, but that's fine because you generally mate the charge and shell at the factory anyway, and trying to do so on the front is a terrible idea for a multitude of reason.

Plus, the fact that the 120mm magazine is too big to reasonably use springs and that the magazine box is disposable means it would probably be best to ship the rounds in the magazine, so that kind of renders the whole thing somewhat pointless. Ammo stacking is addressed blow.
At any rate, I do agree that firing 120mm shells out of a shorter barrel won't be as effective as if you were firing them out of a real tank. Deffo there'd be less muzzle velocity. *shrug* I do think it's quite possible that you have different flavors of the same 120mm sabot rounds, just with different casing sizes for TSF and tank use, with the TSF rounds having more casing in order to pack in more propellant to try and mitigate the shorter barrel.

As for how the magazine feeds, I have no fucking clue. At least with 36mm it's all on a linked feed. Like a giant ammo can for a Bushmaster.

Yeah, my bad. I was thinking of adiabatic shear and got them mixed up. (I really should keep this bookmarked.) Basically comparing US DU sabot to tungsten sabot, more of the muzzle velocity and momentum is devoted to a bigger, longer round that is also self-sharpening and burns on contact with air.

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First of all, why the hell are you using a stick mag? The proportional geometry is basically the same as 12.7mm rounds for an infantry weapon, but with the notable advantage that we're talking about a scale large enough that active, powered loading systems actually are practical, because you don't need excessively miniaturized electrical components. You could do something a bit like a helical magazine, though the size means that the drum mags used for feeding aircraft autocannons is a better engineering comparison, as most of the problems with helix mags are not applicable or relativity easily solved at this scale.

You don't have Fairy Loaders, but solid engineering is even better.
I dunno. THe VN and anime don't show TSFs using stick magazine either; the underbarrel uses a single-stack curved magazine. Single stack meaning that the rounds are all arranged in a single stack that's 1 x 6 rounds tall. Compare this to say a double stack magazine, which is where you have rounds arranged inside the mag, 2 x 15 rounds.

As for why is the magazine shaped the way it is? Probably so that it can fit inside the storage blocks. *shrug* A drum mag would probably be too big to fit (and those tend to have jamming issues).

That said theoretically if you wanted to do a gun that just shoots 120mm it's theoretically doable - we see that with the railgun and the feed on the 94 Second testbed.

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The Heavies do, yes, but there aren't that many of them. To me sure, I just went back checked; there is not nearly enough animation of lasers firing in the VN Operation 21st to have any reason to believe the TE or Schwarzesmarken portrayal of the lasers is incorrect. Especially considering that a short-duration series of rapid pulses is exactly how you make a working laser. They intercepted the artillery because the had a lot of lasers and a lot of heavy lasers, and they reserved them through the initial bombardment.

The sweeping might work if the lasers were arbitrarily powerful, but then when a regular laser class hit, say, a TSF, it would be gone. I don't mean OHKO, and I don't mean 'blown up by exploding fuel'. To borrow a quote:



The fact that standing in the general vicinity of someone who is hit by a laser isn't an immediate danger means we can assume this is not the case. Maybe the laser shoots you next, but at least you don't have to worry about being caught in the explosion from your wingman being converted into stellar plasma.

So, Heavy Lasers can probably intercept multiple shells per shot, but they have three times longer in-between shots, so they can probably only effectively intercept a couple of times more shells than the normal lasers.
TE and Schwarzesmarken go by the "immediately hit by pulse, killed" depiction, but going by the source VN, we learn two things: 1) TSFs have just about enough antilaser coating to last for about 5 seconds against a laser's beam, and 2) a laser can burn through your coating if you don't immediately drop out of the line of fire. SO yes, this does suggest to me that Lasers, and not just Heavy Lasers, use sustained beams.


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If you can't pinpoint the lasers as soon as they start firing, you really just aren't trying. In an atmosphere, there is going to be some beam scattering from the atmosphere, as well as minor heating of the atmosphere. You point a wide(ish)-angle passive system, one component looking for the scattering, one from the photons, and use the dual phenomenology to isolate results. The fact that lasers are... laser straight... and light-speed weapons means that you only have to isolate one portion of the beam to trace it back to the source.
Right, and what device are you going to use to do all of this detecting work?

Because if you have TSFs flying to where the lasers are... well those TSFs might as well kill them. It's partly why the OA-10 FAC concept didn't quite work out as planned since if you have an A-10 spotting targets it may as well just shoot those targets already.

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Also, lasers in general will produce a lot of waste heat. Some are more efficient than others, but at high energies, even at the really efficient ones still produce a ton of waste heat. So spotting them with orbital IR, or surface IR observing the large plume of heated air from sustained firing, really isn't going to be that hard.

...Wait. Can the characters see the lasers, or is that just us?
I dunno. In TE Episode 1 we see the drone looking for lasers and getting shot - the laser isn't appreciably that much hotter. On the other hand military FLIR is basically either white-hot or black-hot black and white and therefore we can't really see or measure appreciable increases in heat. Thermographic camera, a FLIR ain't.


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Then what the hell is sustainable? Certainly not a strategy that doesn't involve lots of artillery; the BETA can replace all their combat units far more easily than Tactical Armor can be replaced. Expending ten thousand shells and sundry to not lose one modern TSF is a solid trade, even just on the basis of cost.
Nothing is sustainable. That's the point, actually. The war with the BETA is an attritional war, and it is a war the humans are losing, because they have to spend their resources like water to draw even tactically with the BETA, and every stalemate - let alone a victory! - has a ruinous cost in material, ammunition, and lives.

So sure, for that one engagement you've shot yourself dry and your battalion's out and needs replacement. Do you have replacements? You'd have to arrange ammo resupply, rotating a fresh unit to replace your spent arty battalion and a thousand and one details... and the BETA are happily easily replacing their losses.

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You're coming at this the wrong way. The AL is a force multiplier for the HE and ICM, and you use the AL coverage to reduce the laser positions, then go to full ICM once they're gone.
When I mention diminishing returns, I'm talking about AL smoke disrupting comms and sensors, since y'know there's a thick cloud of heavy metal particles in the air. At that point, with disrupted comms, it's going to be pretty hard to call in a fire mission.

Also you can't use AL smoke to reduce Laser-class, you can only use it to counter them. But yes, that is the point of Laserjagd - find Lasers, kill them, roll strategic bombers and arty.

Anyhow, let me just say that so far I am enjoying this spirited discussion.
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Last edited by Wild Goose; 2016-03-02 at 06:15.
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Old 2016-03-07, 01:39   Link #1969
kaizerknight01
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replace BOS with A-10's TSF and Death claws as BETA shoe in
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Old 2016-08-07, 05:33   Link #1970
MrTerrorist
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New MuvLuv AU fanfic where the US helps Japan push out the BETA from Japan using a new type of TSF and Yuuya is veteran.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Solar Flare
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