The USN verses The Swarm

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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby Crucis on Fri 19 Mar 2010 12:52

Club wrote:by machine guns, do you mean something like this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mk_47
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mk_19_grenade_launcher


Quite possibly.

I don't know what sort of range those things have (didn't read the articles yet), and I don't know what sort of range would be preferable for anti-swarm weapons on an LCS... so those particular weapons might not have sufficient range.

I suppose that one thing to consider in LCS vs swarm combat is that the LCS is still a "ship". Not as expensive as its larger ocean-going cousins, but still a ship. And in an era where one hit may mean one kill (don't know if the missiles carried by those swarm speedboats have 1H=1K punch or not), I'm not sure that one even wants to be getting into knife fights with swarms... in which case, those LCS' would either need longer ranged weapons or more armed helicopters to deal with swarm speed boats at a far greater range than the swarm's weapons range.

Weapons like those in the links may be better used on some sort of anti-swarm swarm ship of our own, were such a craft to exit... like a modern day PT boat.
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby krenshala on Fri 19 Mar 2010 13:34

heh, instead of a pair of MH-60s they should use about half a dozen, a dozen, armed ROV helicopters instead. :twisted:

another option, but one that would require designing a new ship, would be a "speed-boat carrier". :lol:
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby Crucis on Fri 19 Mar 2010 14:39

krenshala wrote:heh, instead of a pair of MH-60s they should use about half a dozen, a dozen, armed ROV helicopters instead. :twisted:
ROV? Drone helicopters? I guess that the question I'd have is how big (or small) does a drone copter have to be to be able to carry a useful weapons load?

The concern that I'd have is that the big armed drones that we're using around Afghanistan seem (from my admittedly limited knowledge) to be aimed more for strikes where limited loads aren't an issue. That is, carrying 1-2 missiles isn't a problem when you're only trying to hit a single house or a car/truck. But if you need to deal with a swarm, you're going to need a lot of weapons, or possibly a lot of small drones each carrying a couple of missiles.

Alternatively, I suppose that if you had a number of smaller, lighter recon drones, you could use them to target the swarm ships from a greater distance from the LCS... as long as it had enough missiles to get the job done.

another option, but one that would require designing a new ship, would be a "speed-boat carrier". :lol:


Well, don't some of those Marine assault ships have the ability to carry a number of hovercraft internally that launch from the rear? I could see coming up with some sort of armed hovercraft. Of course, if one of those ships is in the area, its helicopters (and perhaps even harriers) might be more useful than armed hovercraft...
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby Club on Sat 20 Mar 2010 14:09

Not sure how hot an idea UAVs are. Given that the USA is still the best at hardware, I question how hard it would be for someone with actual resources - like, say, a certain unnamed state that uses swarm tactics - to play radio games with them.

Apparently the fine fellows in Iraq have figured out how to partially tap predator feeds - to at least tell if they're present. While I doubt taking control of them is possible, I wonder if jamming is. Even degrading the signal significantly would do bad things to their combat potential. You need to get real-time video out in order to target something. Unless you're willing to let a dogbrain pick it's own targets, of course. In the middle of some of the most congested waters out there.

Pick up the old Rigger 3 book for the shadowrun RPG. It's for an old edition, but it has rules for riggers (Remote vehicle operators) to play games with each others toys. Some of the ideas in there are downright nasty. Not that I've ever seen them used; I wanted to at one point, but the party voted me down, as it would've hogged a ton of time
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby Crucis on Sat 20 Mar 2010 15:35

Club wrote:Not sure how hot an idea UAVs are. Given that the USA is still the best at hardware, I question how hard it would be for someone with actual resources - like, say, a certain unnamed state that uses swarm tactics - to play radio games with them.

Apparently the fine fellows in Iraq have figured out how to partially tap predator feeds - to at least tell if they're present. While I doubt taking control of them is possible, I wonder if jamming is. Even degrading the signal significantly would do bad things to their combat potential. You need to get real-time video out in order to target something. Unless you're willing to let a dogbrain pick it's own targets, of course. In the middle of some of the most congested waters out there.


Club, I agree with you here. This is a big reason that I've never been terribly fond of UAV's. A. Radio-controlled ones could either be jammed into uselessness or even taken over. or, B) you end up needing to make them somewhat artificially intelligent. Personally, I'd much rather have a manned aircraft in charge of weapons than an unmanned one. Oh, I'm not so bothered by using UAV's as unmanned recon drones, though as you suggest, even that may come with risks.

I suspect that this current fascination with armed UAVs will come to an abrupt end when someone remotely hijacks an armed UAV and uses it against its owner.
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby Cralis on Sat 20 Mar 2010 16:56

Club wrote:Not sure how hot an idea UAVs are. Given that the USA is still the best at hardware, I question how hard it would be for someone with actual resources - like, say, a certain unnamed state that uses swarm tactics - to play radio games with them.

Apparently the fine fellows in Iraq have figured out how to partially tap predator feeds - to at least tell if they're present. While I doubt taking control of them is possible, I wonder if jamming is. Even degrading the signal significantly would do bad things to their combat potential. You need to get real-time video out in order to target something. Unless you're willing to let a dogbrain pick it's own targets, of course. In the middle of some of the most congested waters out there.

Pick up the old Rigger 3 book for the shadowrun RPG. It's for an old edition, but it has rules for riggers (Remote vehicle operators) to play games with each others toys. Some of the ideas in there are downright nasty. Not that I've ever seen them used; I wanted to at one point, but the party voted me down, as it would've hogged a ton of time


Actually without wandering into secret territory, the control circuits for all but the smallest UAVs cannot be tapped or jammed in the normal sense. They use a frequency hopping technology that jumps as many times per second as you have hairs on your head (figuratively). Without the proper key, starting frequency, frequency range, and other stuff...there is ZERO chance of detecting anything more than a slightly elevated noise floor.

The video feeds don't have that kind of security and need more bandwidth, so a more detectable method is used. I'm sure it is being re-evaluated in light of the recent findings, but the truth is that right now all they can do is detect the presence of a signal. I'm pretty sure fake signals are being used now to give them a headache about 50 times a day.
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby aramis on Sat 20 Mar 2010 18:50

Cralis,
a wide frequency jammer can still jam such a scheme. It does, however, render the entire spectrum useless. One merely has to figure which frequency bands to jam.
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby Cralis on Sun 21 Mar 2010 06:11

aramis wrote:Cralis,
a wide frequency jammer can still jam such a scheme. It does, however, render the entire spectrum useless. One merely has to figure which frequency bands to jam.


Sometimes. Depends upon distance, power, and directionality. I doubt a jammer that could be mounted in or on a speedboat can out range a hellfire missile (or anything like it).

But more importantly, a jammer doesn't allow you to monitor or control a UAV :)
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby dazrand on Sun 21 Mar 2010 07:08

Crucis wrote:This is a big reason that I've never been terribly fond of UAV's. A. Radio-controlled ones could either be jammed into uselessness or even taken over. or, B) you end up needing to make them somewhat artificially intelligent. Personally, I'd much rather have a manned aircraft in charge of weapons than an unmanned one.


Don't worry, we have nuts like this: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781420085945 making sure it won't happen.

As for jamming or taking them over, not that likely as Cralis pointed out. Add on top of the technical issues of matching frequency jumps and breaking encryption, you would still have to mimic the correct control inputs so would need a copy of the software as well.
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Re: The USN verses The Swarm

Postby PracticalM on Sun 21 Mar 2010 15:32

I'm just hoping we turn into the world from the board game Rivets.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2192/rivets

Very hilarious game.
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