Tom Derrick wrote:Hm, so if we assume conventional sensors, working at light speed, then you see the target on your computers with 6.6 second delay. If you fire your lasers, it takes them as much time to reach that target. Let´s round up and say we have a 15 second delay (at 2 mio. km). That´s actually not so far off of shell travel times in world war 2 naval combat.
The sailors back then also had to shoot at where they assumed the target would be in 15-20 seconds.
In a sci-fi story I can well imagine some sophisticated targeting computers, maybe even an AI that would figure out the most probable location of the target ship by analysing its previous maneuvers or something like that.
I would think that a big enough ship would only have limited possibilities to change course in 15 seconds.
Yes, world war 2 ships had shitty hit rates, but I think in a sci-fi story, that´s actually a good thing. I mean, even todays targeting systems would have 100 % hit rates with lasers at 50 km range.
Although I doubt Laser based energy weapons will ever exist as they do in Elite.
I do find it amusing I can sit parked a few ls from a neutron star and suffer no ill effects. But a few seconds of a laser burst shred me apart...
AI targeting and target prediction is going to become insane. Especially if the system can incorporate known previous tactics of a given target damn near spooky prescient.
And current research, as mentioned is working on railgun slugs with the ability to adjust trajectory after launch, although I would expect this to be around the use of controlled fins, and or affecting spin on the projectile which is doable in atmosphere. Space projectiles would need some form of RCS, which also would need fuel.
But can't see how these projectiles couldn't be large.
Heck they would likely be multistage and clustered.
Can almost see it. A railgun firing multistage missiles with smart targeting that release a few hundred mini-nukes each..
Yeah that a scary thought.
And of course current level tech and warfare make for not very interesting stories.
A fighter planes engagement range to another fighter is already several miles, and is mostly defined by radar range and what plane has the better stealth systems.
Radar screen, lock target, release boom.
Egg on my face regarding the distance to the moon, I can't fathom why but I was convinced there was a K between Mm.
So my bad.