Book should be available now so this is the final snippet.
Out Of The Dark – Snippet 21
Well, either way, it wasn’t going to be his problem. The infantry might usually get to have the fun dirt- side, but at least shuttle pilots got to sleep in nice, clean bunks every night. And they had access to hot showers, too, for that matter. Of course, he was going to be too busy to be enjoying his bunk or any hot showers anytime soon. There were never enough Starlanders, especially during the initial phases of a landing. At the moment, he and the rest of the 9th Heavy Transport Group’s triple-twelve of shuttles — almost a full twelfth-part of the fleet’s heavy lift landing capability — were headed for a preselected landing zone west of what had once been the capital of something called the United States. They were bringing in the first half of Ground Base Two, tasked with establishing control of the eastern seacoast of this continent. Ground Base One, with overall responsibility for the entire continent, was being landed by the 11th Heavy Transport, much farther west. In something called the “state of Iowa,” by the locals.
Fardahm grimaced at the bizarre-sounding words. He was glad he wasn’t going to have to learn “English.” Even if his vocal apparatus had been designed for making such peculiar sounds, it seemed to him that it was a very strange language. For that matter, if these creatures — these “humans” — were going to have planet-wide communications, why in Dainthar’s name couldn’t they have settled on a single language? Was that really asking too much? Just one language, and one that didn’t have so many sounds that sounded just like other sounds. It was a good thing their personal comps were going to be able to handle the translation for anyone who actually had to communicate with them. Which, praise Dainthar, he wasn’t!
He checked his position again. About another tenth of a segment. Of course, he was sixteenth in the landing queue, so —
Shuttle Commander Fardahm’s thoughts were interrupted with shocking suddenness as an AIM-120-D Advanced-Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile’s forty-pound blast-fragmentation warhead detonated less than five feet from his shuttle’s fuselage.
Alarm systems howled, onboard fire alarms shrieked, lights began to flash all over his cockpit, and crimson danger signals appeared on his cornea projected HUD.
None of them did Fardahm any good at all. He was already reaching for the ejection button when the entire shuttle blew up in midair.
Eat your heart out out, Will Smith!
Despite everything, “Longbow” Torino felt his lips curling up in enormous smile. These alien shuttles obviously didn’t have any force fields protecting them. Not only that, but they clearly hadn’t had a clue what was heading for them. His four fighters had launched twenty-four Slammers, and their missiles’ performance had done Raytheon proud. Twenty of them had scored clean hits or detonated within lethal distance of their targets, and each of them was a hard kill.
He heard someone else — “Killer” Cunningham, he thought — howling in triumph. The same savage, vengeful satisfaction flamed through his own veins, but it was a cold, burning fire, not hot, and his brain ticked like an icy machine.
The range was down to fifty miles, still dropping at better than ten miles a minute, and there was no sign of any defensive fire. For that matter, there weren’t even any decoys or flares.
“Flight, Longbow,” he said flatly. “Sidewinders.”
The Shongair formation disintegrated in confusion and wild panic. No Shongair shuttle had ever been downed by hostile fire — not even a Deathwing, which routinely provided close support, far less one of the Starlanders! — and the pilots had no idea what to do. They’d never been trained in combat techniques, because there’d never been any need for them. They were transport pilots, and their shuttles were transport vehicles, optimized for maximum cargo capacity. The Starlander was better than six hundred and forty feet long, a variable geometry design capable of relatively high Mach numbers on a reentry profile but designed for economic, subsonic flight in atmosphere. It was capable of vertical takeoff and landing operation on counter-grav but used conventional air-breathing engines in actual flight, and its designers had never intended for it to stray into reach of any armed opponent. And for all its size, it was fragile. Tough-skinned enough to resist muscle-powered projectiles, perhaps, it didn’t respond well when the warheads of vastly more sophisticated weapons tore holes in that same skin or white-hot fragments of those same warheads were thrown into its completely unarmored fuel system.
The survivors watched in horrified shock as twenty of their fellows plunged down to catastrophic rendezvous with the ground below, and they didn’t even know who was shooting at them! Lockheed Martin had described the F-22s’ radar cross-section as “the size of a steel marble,” which was a remarkable achievement, but this time it didn’t really matter. Not as far as the Starlanders were concerned. Their air-to-air radar was designed primarily to avoid aerial collisions between aircraft with transponders — aircraft which wanted to be seen — not to locate highly stealthy, heavily armed fighters less than a tenth their own size. Nor had it ever occurred to anyone to fit rear-area cargo-haulers intended for operations against crossbow-armed adversaries with radar warning devices. They were literally blind, totally unable to see Torino’s small flight as the four Raptors streaked in behind them.
“Fox two! Fox two!” Major Torino snapped as the two AIM-9X all-aspect Sidewinders popped out of their briefly opened weapons bay doors. The shorter-ranged heat- seeking weapons streaked away, guiding on the brilliant thermal beacons of the alien shuttles’ engines, and he watched them racing in on their targets.
All four F-22s launched within seconds of one another, sending eight more missiles into the chaos of the disintegrating Shongair formation. Two of them were targeted on the same victim; within minutes, four more of the big shuttles were plunging to the earth in flames while another three staggered onward with heavy damage. One of the wounded craft trailed a broad ribbon of smoke, and even as Torino looked in its direction, he saw a river of fire joining the smoke.
“Flight, go guns!” he snarled.
It was a nightmare.
Of the thirty-six Starlanders transporting Ground Base Two, twenty-four had been destroyed and three more were going down. The pilots of the nine undamaged survivors had only a single thought: escape. Unfortunately, they’d never been trained for this situation. It wasn’t supposed to arise. They were on their own, with no evasive doctrine or tactics to call upon, and almost in unison, they swept their wings and went to full power, accelerating to just over the speed of sound and bolting straight ahead.
The Raptors were out of missiles.
Each of them mounted a single twenty-millimeter M61A2 Vulcan Gatling gun in its starboard wing root, normally concealed by a carefully faired popout door to preserve the smoothness stealth required. It was intended solely as a last-ditch weapon, with only four hundred and eighty rounds of ammunition — enough for no more than five seconds of sustained maximum rate fire. Neither Torino nor any of his other pilots had ever really expected to go guns in air-to-air combat, but now that the opportunity was here….
The Starlanders never had a chance.
At their best air-breathing speed, they were barely half as fast as the Raptors in dry thrust. Worse, they were huge targets, unarmored, unarmed, and little more maneuverable — even with counter-grav — than a human-designed heavy transport aircraft. The vectored-thrust F-22s, on the other hand, had been designed for high-gravity agility second to none, and they slashed in on their huge targets like barracuda attacking whales. They fired in short, mercilessly accurate bursts, ripping the shuttles’ fuselages open, butchering the construction troops and base admin personnel in their passenger bays, spilling heavy construction equipment over the Virginia countryside.
It was over in less than six minutes.
“Flight, Longbow.” Torino’s voice sounded drained, even to him. “Go home.”
The acknowledgments came back again, and the four Raptors turned away from the funeral pyres of their victims. Now if only Plattsburgh would still be there when they got there.
And so they died.
So they are trying to conquer an alien planet with “construction troops and base admin personnel?” I’m confused.
1/12 of the fleet’s total landing capability already gone? When it’s noted that what they had was never enough? Ouch! >:D
Addendum: And we don’t even know yet if this was the ONLY contested landing!
Like I said 747’s transporting troops.
@2 They were counting on basically fear tactics and maybe light infantry guards on the base, not combat personal.
I’d say they’re planing on basically bombardment to scare the locals then follow up with landing admin personal to administrate to new planet, their plans never included serious combat on the planet service
I’d say these are dual drive craft jets for when they can use them and rockets for when they can’t
Just read the ebook… With this and Mission of Honor, Weber sure has gotten fond of Deus ex Machina endings…
Can someone from the US check my geography.
SE from Pennsylvania is roughly right for going to DC but SE from Virginia is the sea?
Ah, expectedly stupid.
Why would an alien think that someone would surrender when you held the orbitals? If you haven’t been reliably in space, it is possible that you don’t realize the significance of that fact…
If you know you’re facing a Class-2 civilization, why would you expect to land unopposed, considering that the barbarians of lower class civilizations attack you wherever you appear? You already know all the weapons capabilities of your enemies by hacking into the computer systems… ah… these guys are idiots.
I wonder if they have anti missile defenses on those starships… or are they also sitting turkeys waiting for an ASAT or ICBM to cook their big fat gooses.
Johnny, I know you’re not giving the exact end away but that’s still pretty spoilery for a lot of people who haven’t read the whole book yet.
Book only available now in U.S. UK Release date is 4th November and not only that – ebook will NOT be available.
This happened with A Mighty Fortress.
David really has to sort the ebook problem out – he’ll be losing lots of $$$.
@7 It’s not the authors, as I understand it it’s the screwy legacy international copyright system which hasn’t caught up with modernity yet. Give it a decade or 4. Seriously what kind of an industry has customers who want to give them money and makes it difficult for them to do so?
This is the same industry which pisses and moans about piracy and insists on drm. Okay, end rant now. *grin*
Interesting that they have a 12 base arithmetic, was it the finf (?) in Pournelle and Niven’s Footfall who had an 8 base? So I suppose these guys have six digits per limb.
e-books, so why can I buy Baen e-books from the UK if not TOR- well who knows!
See you all when the next Flint,Weber,Drake volume comes out, thanks Drak.
About the eBooks, Baen has it’s head screwed on right Eric commented on in the past, one thing he did say has that titles with no ebook release have the worst levels of digital piracy, somebody just runs a physical copy through an OCR machine, instant digital copy ready to go up on pirate bay :) another was that a lot of authors don’t get that people want the eBook available on day one, and that authors/publisher don’t get that the market won’t support eBooks costing anywhere near hardcopies
The Shongair, even for the new kids on the block, seem to have a lack of technical sophistication They have had star travel for 900+ years. Before that they had to have been tooling around their star system for most likely hundreds of years more. Surely they would, being hunters, have picked up some better techniques from their fellow level one civilizations.
The Starlander uses counter-grav for VTOL, which is most likely an energy hog. Otherwise they would not have bothered to make the Starlanders a variable geometry design. To then use combustible fueled conventional air-breathing engines on them makes my teeth ache, A small, compared to the size of the craft, fusion or fission reactor powering a ducted fan/impeller for atmospheric flight is the rational answer. Water can be user as shielding, if no other technique is used, & can also be used for reaction mass. Water would also be easy to find. A combustible fuel would have to be at least stored & transferred, on any vessel that is a failure point.
Well David wrote it this way, no doubt, for the drama.
@ TimC They use a base 12 arithmetic because it makes more sense than base 10. I really wish I could go back in time and kill the idiots that forced base 10 on us.
@ B.B. Wolf 359, it’s entirely possible that they can’t make a fusion power plant that will fit withing their craft.
A couple of comments, besides that the US Space Command’s radar/optical sensor stations are spread out all over the world, and if something happened, they could try the V-SAT or hard line and call everyone in the DoD telephone book until they got someone.
1. If Cheyenne Mountain is gone (and it would have taken more than one KE, the place was designed to take a 20MT hit and keep working), the regional air defense centers would have taken over. They are, for the most part, not on major installations. They would have what’s left of the defense radar network, the FAA and NWS radars and the commercial airport radars. They would have a couple hundred of aircraft to work with, mostly mid-block F-16C, but some F-15C/F-15E. The Naval and Marine Air Reserve Wings are at major installations and airports so they probably didn’t survive. There might be some active elements, OCU, test or R&D aircraft at training and R&D air bases not thought worthy of a KE, like Edwards or Pautuxent or Eglin/Pensacola. Fuel would be no problem and there would be some ammo, as since 9/11 the AFR/ANG have maintained elements on high alert. Strike aircraft would be some A-10s, some B-1B, Army AH-64s, some As, mostly Ds. Here ammo may be a problem, though there are ammo storage points at multiple locations out west, like Dugway, which is also the Army’s chemical warfare test site. Air defense elements would be ANG Patriot, I-Hawk and Avenger batteries. There would also be Stingers spread through the force and maybe some M163 Vulcans left around. There could be a flight or squadron of German Tornado IDVs at Holloman and some other German combat aircraft there.
2. The ground defense would center on the ARNG and the USAR. Keep in mind that even after BRAC, there will be over 200 Army/Armed Forces Reserve Centers and even more ARNG arsenals spread out all over the country. If the Shongairi didn’t waste KE, there would be an AC HBCT or SBCT at Irwin and combat MPs and engineers at Leonard Wood. There would be ammo at various training installations (Hunter-Ligget, McCoy, Dix, Lee, etc). Bliss, Benning and Polk wll be gone so no help there. The main force will be pieces of 7 HBCTs (M1A2 SEP/M1A1 AIM and M2A3/M2A2 ODS, M109A6, MLRS), 3 SBCTs and 20-23 IBCTs across the country. Resistence would start at the company/battalion level but would quickly coalesce at brigade level. Ammo would be available at the local ARNG training sites (Camp Atterbury, Shelby, Smith, etc). Any landin not in overwhelming force is going to have a hard time in the US, regardless. Then imagine for the moment what would happen to a Shogairi landing force at Mogadishu?
If Shogairi ground combat equipment and tactics are indeed psotulated on an enemy no more advanced than the 15th century, then they are in for a real shock. I wonder if they know what it’s like to get hot by an MLRS battery or 155mm artillery or 120mm mortars?
There used to be reserve centers spread around the country. Along with the cities they previously occupied, they are I suspect seriously gone. If it is a named military installation, it is I suspect gone, starting with Fort Niagara and Fort George. Did they Figure out Camp to target all of them? I am not sure.
With all respect,a nuclear reactor on an aircraft is Chernobyl waiting to happen.
Of somewhat more interest, how good are their rifles. I assume they have invented rifling. They are proabbly at least semiautomatic.
I suspect this does not matter a great deal, since their response to ‘their is resistance in Pennsylvania’ is likely ‘saturate Pennsylvania with nerve gas and black plague, and will they be surprised when they discover black plague was not the agent they thought it was’, and their response to ‘their is resistance on that hill’ is ‘hit the hill with a KE attack; is there still resistance in that valley?’
If we’ve just hurt them as much as it seems (and I would be REALLY surprised if anybody else hasn’t brought down at least a couple more of these landers), we should be preparing for a second round of KEW.
Keep in mind that the use of KE space projectiles creates enormous clouds of dust, much like a nuclear explosion. Given enough KEs, you get a “nuclear” winter without the nukes. Just how many pieces of ground are you going to grind up before you don’t have a viable slave population left, or one that can’t survive the environment you’ve just created?
If you only go up against opponents who are way under your weight class you are going to be in serious trouble when you finally run in to a more equal fight.
You want to get good, you have to train against some one better than you.
My experience is with chess and you need serious opposition if you want to play your best.
Every thing I’ve seen and read tells me it is the same with every thing else.
I love S.M. Stirling’s later works, but the Draka wouldn’t never have been up to conquering Europe because their opponents no matter how much they out numbered the Draka were not in the same league. You don’t need air superiority fighters, battleships, and main battle tanks to pacify the “natives” and suppress uprisings. While the Europeans would have all the experience of World War I in dealing with some one with the same technology, man power, and industrial might as you.
But needs of the story and all that.
Plus you shouldn’t talk bad about a man’s first wife or first book. ;)
My point every one is always planning and training to win the last “war”.
The lessons that stick are always the ones that HURT.
Sounds like they have never had a real challenge since they got off the home world.
What is happening to them is totally outside their experience and the experience of any of their Hegemony brethren.
Also if you remember my post about the 205th Infantry Brigade (Light) (Seperate), only the brigade HHC, the 3/3 INF HHC and a rifle company of the 3/3 were near a major city (Fort Snelling/Minneapolis-St.Paul). The other rifle companies of 3/3 and the 1/409 and 1/410 were in small towns spread across Minnesota and Iowa, as was the 3/5 FA. The cav troop was near Madison and the cbt engineer company near LaCross and support BN around Rochester. All are smaller cities. Here in Georgia, the Shongairi would have to take out every city and several towns to put the 48th BCT out of circulation. We’re talking over a hundred stikes just for the major cities and installations. It would probably take another 500 to get the medium cities and installations. At that point you just give up taking the planet because you’ve just created, as I pointed out, an environment the human race cannot survive in.
BTW I still do not believe the Shongairi would penetrate secure networks without either tapping commo or physically accessing the network. You just can’t get to the secure net from the unsecure side. Not that there isn’t alot of information in the public sector. The Army “Green Book” published by the AUSA would certainly give them a lot of info.
I propose that kinetic strikes are tunable. You change the rock size.
Worcester Armory — two buildings — rock size x pounds — and you have taken out the 17th and 18th century militia records.
All those companies you mentioned…are the weapons stored in one place, along with the ammunition? It then needs the equivalent of X for small X tons of HE.
With respect to nuclear winter, the important issue was fallout killing the forests, and the forests and cities burning.
I agree that there should not have been a penetration of secure networks, not unless non-material computer hacking machines were propagated down the net.
Approximately. Pennsylvania is large enough that in places SE would not be an ideal description. SE from VA might also take you into North Carolina.
Unfortunately the books aren’t in at Chapters (at least Ottawa)….
I wonder if its on the publisher side or if Chapters is delaying paying their bills.
I just ordered it from Amazon… need to wait until Monday/Tuesday now.
23. Doesn’t work that way. At a certain point, mass drops below that required to survive re-entry as a cohesive projectile. Ask any astronomer about metorites. That means at a certain point you’re hitting flies with a hammer.
If you’ve seen any large ground level explosion (HE or nuclear), dirt and dust are kicked up. With large nuclear or KE impacts, immense amounts of dirt and dust clouds will be propelled into the mid- and upper atmospheres. The result will be to filter or even block the sun. That will destroy vegetation both on land and sea that require sunlight to generate food. Once the vegetation is gone, the herbivores go down, then the carnivores and finally the omnivores. In the meantime, average temperatures drop sufficiently to cause a new “Ice Age”. Keep in mind the impact that volcano explosions like Krakatoa have on the world’s environment.
You would ened for small projectiles to use formed projectiles rather than small objects of random shape, though even really small ones do get through the atmosphere — except they slow down enough to be not doing much damage. And, for ask any physicist, I did turn off the screen and look at my reflection.
It is possible to have a really large meteor–creating a crater many miles across–that throws up huge amounts of rock. These appear not to qualify. The current best estimate of the result of the huge rock is that the sky is filled with incandescent dust, roasting things, but that modeling is difficult. However, I am aware of the nuclear winter model — which has not lasted well — and the blockage was ash from killing all the plant life over large areas with fallout.
Of course, if the aliens expected humans to surrender, it might have been clever of them to announce that they are there, and that there is someone to whom we might wish to surrender.
Can you send formed objects through an atmosphere at huge speed — ICBM warheads do it all the time, though those are made of depleted uranium, at least from some sources.
Mike: Yes, but what that mass is depends on the composition of the projectile in question. And if you are capable of calculating the amount of mass lost to re-entry… which the Shongairi certainly should be able to at least reasonably approximate, you just fire off a projectile big enough that after it’s burned off its outer layers in the atmosphere what’s left when it hits is about the size you wanted.
Ballistic missile re-entry vehicles are protected, like manned spacecraft, with ablative shields to protect not the fission warhead, but the circuitry in the guidance and fuzing computer. And the destruction caused is not from kinetic energy of the projectile but the fission nuclear warhead. I know that the USSR/Russians and US have explored the use of alternative warheads, chemical, biological, deep penetrators, improved explosives for various missions.
On the other hand, if the Shongairi ships do not have armor or some sort of electro-magnetic shield, boosting a dozen ICBMs into their path wouldn’t require fuzing. The kinetic result of the couple hundred pound metal shielded warheads impacting the hulls of the ships should be catastrophic enough.
Just using a major internet search engine, using the term military + whatever was relevant would yield large chunks of useful information. A month of study of political and military history, and weapons, and they’d probably opt to either skip us entirely, or just incinerate the planet and say “It was like that when we got here.” But apparently they were in too much of a rush to stop and do proper analysis of the civilization they were about to invade that was more advanced than expected.
@28 Precisely. The calculation is less painful if the amterial is uniform and well made.
Given what survived the initial KE bombardment, the Shongairi are in for a shock.
I have extensive experience with stationing and manning for the California National Guard, and most heavy equipment and ordnance is not kept in cities.
Personnel might be a problem; MBTs, IFVs, SPGs, etc and ammo for same would not be. If that Admiral’s space tracking installation survived Camp Roberts and installations like it would have survived as well.
You know, it suddenly occurred to me that the Shongairi missed something significant from that battle in the survey recording: even when at a strategic disadvantage, humans are still willing to fight. And sometimes they’ll even win.
Does anyone here know how many USNG armories and units there are?
For example, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin all have Fighter Wings, Missouri has a Bomber Wing. Plus all of the Armories for the Army NG, and all of the reserves.
Most states have better equipped and larger armies than many countries.
If the command that was given to the F22 squadron to disperse was passed on to the Air National Guard units, nothing will survive the initial landings in the US. Especially in the midwest, where as anyone knows that lives here, the entire place is one huge airport. Mostly flat and straight paved roads everywhere.
@24 my point was the from where the shuttles were and the direction they were going they couldn’t get to DC
Why would they want to go to DC? That’s the DC crater, at this point.
Speaking from a military standpoint, even if they never intended the Starlanders to get anywhere near a combat zone or anyone who might hurt it seriously, didn’t they train their pilots in basic tactics? I mean, at all? Furthermore, if you don’t intend something massive to be anywhere near a combat zone, shouldn’t you, I don’t know, put up a perimeter that IS capable of handling actual opposition? I’m sure that someone in this alien race can fight its way out of a paper bag, so you’d think that said person would be guarding against the possibility of reprisal.
Donald from Fast Weight Loss
Re: Book availability
Only in the US I’m afraid. Actually probably only in the US or in digital\pirated formats.
@36 I quote
were headed for a preselected landing zone west of what had once been the capital of something called the United States
if they aren’t headed for DC were are they headed?
I can see a few possible reasons for the ‘stupidity’ of sending in Starlanders without escort.
A) Most races are herd or pack in nature, kick the shit out of the Alpha and you ‘keep what you kill’. IOW they expected ‘shock and awe’ to keep any significant response from acting till long after they landed. I suspect their problem is that humans are gear for a tribal set up, and they killed everyone that could order a mass surrender and be followed. In short they did the exact opposite of what was needed for a ‘short victorious war.
B) The Shongair thought they got everything, or at least everything significant, that could contest a landing even if the natives were crazy enough to try. And AFAICT for CONUS they damn near did, at least anything that could be scrambled if four Raptors and maybe a handful of naval aviators down in SC are all there is to defend the US. It is possible there are other dispersed flights, but the trick is communicating with and vectoring them to an intercept.
C) The Shongair model for military command could be more Soviet than NATO. In the Soviet system you were trained for your job, and only your job, and only did it when explicitly ordered to do so. The ‘Western’ or NATO model can be summed up as ‘when in doubt you can do little wrong marching to the sound of the guns’. They could have thought that with command so vigorously decapitated there was no one left who had the authority to order a counter attack, where as Western military training emphasizes initiative if contact with higher command is lost (or higher command is lost period) rather than sitting in place waiting for orders that may not come.
OTOH some of the celebration is premature. This is a tactical victory, with logistic/strategic implications for the invasion. But the fleet still holds the orbitals and if they really wanted to they could flatten the whole planet with rocks. I believe the rule of thumb is we are no more than nine missed meals (72 hours) from anarchy, and if they just start potting infrastructure they aren’t gonna want in the long run anyway…
Also consider this is probably the best human interceptor on the planet against their trash haulers, things could have gotten dicier if ‘Deathwings’ were the target instead, and they seem to be at least for the lander a combination ‘transport/gunship’. With I suspect actual passive and active defenses as well as weapons to fire back with.
@41 – your analysis of Russian tactics is extremely idealized. The official rule in Russia may be that you do only what your superiors tell you, but the reality is nowhere near that neat. These guys did what was necessary, after all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaaP7bQglcU – basically took a tank on a vodka run. :)
I think you are quite correct about the celebration being premature. At least because the humans need a way to get out of the atmosphere at some point in order for the book/book series to get anywhere.
However, I doubt that the Deathwings will be that good. Remember that they are only 20% faster than the transports – which means that during normal operations they can’t do more than Mach 1.2 (without afterburners, if they have them). Furthermore, remember that they are almost certainly far less maneuverable, are larger, and the pilots probably have very little understanding of combat tactics & strategy. If they knew what’s what, the trash haulers wouldn’t have been unescorted. So while the Deathwings will be better, they will still be inferior in many (most?) respects to modern fighters.
As a practical matter, what is the appropriate tactic for a large transport aircraft against a crossbow? You probably do not want hostile aliens standing on your landing strip..they might get sucked into the air turbines, unless you make a VTOL landing, in which case, well, there is literally nothing to do.
Yes, a trebuchet at your landing point would be a bad deal, though at 15 or 30 minutes a round it better hit something the first time.
@41 The Deathwing is significantly slower than an F-101. Of course, it is armored, and if we know what it was armored against we might have an idea if it was really a problem or not.
You are absolutely right. If this is the only victory, it does not matter. On the other hand, if bad things happen all over the place life might be more interesting.
Where are they headed?
Perhaps someplace in the Shenandoah Valley, away from all the ruckus they stirred up.
@Drak B: OUT OF THE DARK, so far, is a good read, significantly different from the short story, as one would expect from a novel. On another topic: just read again MISSION OF HONOR. Can you say when the next HONORVERSE novel is to come out? Anxious to see how the Manticore/Haven partnership develops, what happens with the Solar League, will the truth about the Mesan Alliance be revealed to all, what effect will this knowledge have on the Solar League, how will everyone trash the Detweiler Dream? Oh, what can you reveal? Now back to OUT OF THE DARK and what all the undestroyed armed forces on Earth will do to the Shongairi!
“Given enough KEs, you get a â€œnuclearâ€ winter without the nukes.”
No evidence supports a nuclear winter. It is a prime example of science being perverted for politics and greed. If a heavy cloud cover lowers temperature why is Venus 800 F or so? The earth is a radiating body. A heavy cloud cover would trap in more thermal energy then it keeps out. Sort of like Venus does. Energy from Sol arrives in different wave lengths and is converted to thermal energy by the atmosphere. Nuclear Winter is a theory designed to make a certain person lots of money. Nothing wrong with lots of money. There is no law against gaining money by scaring people with junk science. There is no requirement to believe that sort of junk.
BTW the term (jargon) used by pilots when it’s time to go back home is “RTB” for return to base. Correct radio ( not that the F-22 uses a radio exactly, having a data link) would be ‘Longbow. Winchester. RTB. Over.’
That would mean Longbow, who is transmitting,
Winchester means out of ammo.
RTB meaning I’m coming home.
Over meaning I’m done with this message and I’m listining for you’.
If he says ‘out’ that means he is not going to listen for you, don’t bother calling.
Radio Protocols were developed in WW2 because when there are hundreds of pilots trying to talk on the same channel at the same time messages have to be short and precise. Voice com protocols were kept thru Vietnam that I am aware of. No real need for them nowadays. Data links are more secure and as long as you have the bandwidth, move more data. Just because it isn’t needed doesn’t mean the military hasn’t kept them anyway. As a former naval person, I assure you the military mind is a marvel.
I will discount the though of a fusion reactor for a shuttle, because there is no data on which to base it. On the other hand there is data to support a fission reactor powered shuttle. The USAF experiments in the 1950s, however clunky, points to a possible answer. When the ICBM killed the program, research came to a stop. If the thorium fueled molten salt reactor is replaced with a thorium fueled external neutron source reactor it would be feasible.
This would make a Chernobyl imposable. Very shortly after the neutron source was shut down or separated from the thorium, all but a miniscule amount of fission would stop.
If this were politically possible, a project could have this up to a working prototype in a decade, but too many idiots would have a cow. If not for the â€œnukesâ€, then for the cost.
When the reactor is flying and slams into the ground, its contents are dispersed. Fission stops, exactly as at Chernobyl. Unfortunately, all the fission products are spread out everywhere, spreading being done by the KE of the aircraft when it hit the ground, and there is a lot more of them than from even a large nuclear weapon.
If you inject vast amounts of dust into the way upper atmosphere, the reflectivity in the visible goes way up and the earth will get colder, as seen measurably after pinatuba, tambora, and other events. Dust in the lower atmosphere is another question. Large meteor is dust eject at some mpsecond, leading to huge amounts of dust re-entering and becoming and incandescent layer in the upper air, frying things.
Thoughts on the KE strikes.
Some time back, before the collapse of the USSR, I read an article about KE weapons for use against tank divisions & ICBMs. From orbit bundles of small projectiles (named wrecking bars?) would be deorbited, & when in range a cheep dumb terminal guidance system would go for any tank in sight. A larger version would be used on hardened silos.
The thing is that the projectile itself didn’t have to be solid at impact to transfer its energy. A compact ball of hot gas, with enough velocity, would do the job. There is something to be said for the heat of fusion of two solid objects impacting at very high speeds to make for a spectacular explosion.
The Shongair could have KE weapons to take out single vehicles from orbit. They could have them large enough to take out nations. I may find out after I pick up the book Friday.
@ 8 : There is no one left able to fire the ICBMs, even assuming that there are ICBMs left or that they could damage the starships.
@ 30 : The starships have to have some kind of EMP/radiation shielding, or they would not be able top survive in space, which is full of all sorts of nasty radiation