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Subject: Space Based Rail Gun
11b10    2/20/2003 12:25:35 PM
Would it or a kinetic energy system be practical in leu of nuclear deep penatrators. Would they sidestep taboo on use of nukes.
 
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Vulture    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   2/20/2003 12:32:56 PM
well there is the fact you need a nuke power plant for one. Try THOR Tactical Hemispherical Orbital Retaliation You put a bunch of JDAM guided Depleted Uranium rods (1.5 meters in length ,2cm. diamter) in Geo-Synch. And when you have a target you just let them fall to earth. Call it realizing your Potential Energy ;)
 
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11b10    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   2/20/2003 1:18:29 PM
Rumsfeld is talking about studying the feasibility of nuclear deep penatrators for use on underground installations and caves,even if developed it would seem that just the fact they were nukes would keep them from being used.While there would be no such inhibtion on a kinetic energy weapon based in space.
 
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Final Historian    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   2/20/2003 1:21:40 PM
Yeah, orbital kinetic interdiction strikes are the way to go. You get the same bang as a nuke strike, but no nuclear fallout. Of course, Leftists will complain about militarizing space... but who cares about their fantasies?
 
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hec031    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   4/29/2003 6:53:17 AM
While there is no denying that kinetic energy and mass can equal the explosive power of a nuclear tipped bunker buster, it must be pointed out that the orbital velocity for a surface to surface missile would probably have to exceed orbital break away speed, which would be a problem especially at reentry. Other problems because of the speeds involved, would be heating and angle of reentry, which would probably make the vehicle bounce off the earth atmosphere at those speeds. If dropped from synchronous orbit the angle can be alleviated, however for both cases the temperature and frictional forces would require some pretty exotic solutions, which historically are not cheap. The idea is sound the execution is difficult.
 
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AzureCity    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   7/8/2003 10:08:01 AM
The real problem is not so much friction as ram pressue, this super heats the leading edge of an object entering atmosphere. One possible solution is to incorporate this in the design of the munition. Perhaps capsulizing the round so afterinitial rampressure is over comethousands of rounds in a tight formation, of high velocity material. Perhaps ceramic coated rounds?
 
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HunterSThompson    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   11/14/2003 12:31:18 PM
They are going to be testing in a few years something called the Common Air Vehicle. It's essentially a rentry vehicle that can carry a number of warheads. Either penetrators, jdams, or cluster munitions can be carried. The CAV is suppose to be carried on boosters built by Orbital Sciences and eventually they plan on converting MinutemenIII's for a launcher. I wonder if they could strap a couple of these on the MX Peacekeepers they just retired.
 
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TankboiKelarius    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   12/11/2003 5:42:50 PM
A space-based railgun is an interesting concept, but there are a few flaws to it. Power. A railgun requires ENORMOUS amounts of power to work, which simply cant be generated by solar panels. You could put a nuclear reactor up there, but the ones that we CAN put in orbit dont really generate that much power and there is also the danger of them falling back to earth. So what it really comes down to is a "is it worth the cost" question. And the simple answer to that is no. For this to be feasable, you would have to send multiple rockets up with different components and have it assembled in orbit, probably by multiple shuttle missions. Then you have to keep it in orbit which is remarkably difficult. Whenever you fire this thing it will push the weapon out of orbit and you will have to fire rockets on the back end to stabalize the orbit again, and its likely going to require quite a bit of fuel for that. So, therefore, you have to refuel it alot, which also adds to the cost. Then you also have the original development costs, which undoubtedly number in the TENS of BILLIONS, which, when added all together, makes the development and use of a B-2 childsplay. All in all, the functions of this orbital weapon can already be done by conventional aircraft at a much lower cost, and witht he exception of deep penetration bunker busting, can be done much more efficiently. Which also goes to say that this will probably be done anyways since the government isnt much interested in efficiency. :D
 
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919    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   12/13/2003 8:45:26 AM
I question the entire point of the bunker busters. If there is no body to hang on a meat hook, you have just made things worse. And if you got the head nutbag cornered and cowering in a hole, just cover the hole and wait. As long as you can prevent El Supremo from communicating, there is no EL Supremo. Saddam only gives orders to his chemical toilet nowdays. From a practical political POV, having his person for a show trial would be a good thing. From the Military POV, it makes no difference. I challenge anyone to prove that the irregulars are fighting for Saddam. They are fighting, but finding Saddam will not make them stop. Making a martyr out of him will not either. No, this whole deal is just a bigger bang thingy. Certain people just like big explosions. The fact that there is no purpose behind those explosions makes no difference to them. The explosion is a means AND an end. Other then making some people rich, neither the rail gun or smart rods has a purpose. The US Military has enough weapons looking for missions. 919
 
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TankboiKelarius    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   12/13/2003 4:42:35 PM
Well the purpose behind a bunker buster is to DENY the enemy the use of the facility entirly. Take, for instance, the president of the US. He has DOZENS of bunkers he can go hide in in the event of a nuclear war. Now, lets say, we follow your isolation idea. We dont want him to sit in a hole unable to do anything. But for that to work, we have to know where he is, and if he has dozens of bunkers to hide in, we'd have to monitor each one, which is time consuming and expensive. So, instead of sitting there watching 30 different holes, you blast 29 of them into oblivion before he gets there, therefore limiting his options on where he can go and you will know where he is. Easy Isolation. Having said that, I do like bunker busters, just not ones based in space. It's simply not worth the cost of developing and maintaining it.
 
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TankboiKelarius    RE:Space Based Rail Gun   12/13/2003 4:43:30 PM
correction in wording on previous statement, we DO want him to sit in a hole and do nothing.
 
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