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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #71  
Old October 30th, 2020, 02:08 PM
Proneutron Proneutron is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post

Or just maybe small virus outbreaks have happened before, so fully automated ships are strictly banned?
We currently have the ability to fully automate weapons systems on our mil craft today, for many years actually. We don't because final responsibility must be able to be placed with an entity that can be held to account...
  #72  
Old October 30th, 2020, 02:11 PM
boomslang boomslang is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post
Or just maybe small virus outbreaks have happened before, so fully automated ships are strictly banned?
I think it is an ethical issue for the IRoW.

It would seem that using any means available to save sophont life is morally permissible, but building machines capable of automatically taking sophont life on their own initiative is not. (This would include prohibiting land mines as well, for instance. In contrast, deadfall bombs and other targeted WMDs are permissible if launched manually.)

So, Anti-Missile Fire and Return Fire are probably characterized as self-defense, but using the Target program requires input from either a sophont Gunner or the Return Fire program. (Optionally, have Target require a sophont Gunner either way, leaving Anti-Missile Fire as the only automated software option. That seems limited and reasonable as it eliminates the grey area of whether externally-triggered Return Fire is truly "automated" or not.) Missile and Sand launches cannot be automated at all with the default, legal software, of course.

(I should note that ECM, Auto/Evade, and Maneuver/Evade-6 also function relatively autonomously and automatically, but they are not offensive-fire programs.)

Last edited by boomslang; October 30th, 2020 at 02:44 PM..
  #73  
Old October 30th, 2020, 02:52 PM
AnotherDilbert AnotherDilbert is offline
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We don't because final responsibility must be able to be placed with an entity that can be held to account...
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Originally Posted by boomslang View Post
I think it is an ethical issue for the IRoW.
I suspect such moral qualms would melt away rather quickly in the next major war...


I think the IRoW only limits others, not the Imperium itself. According to the novel the Imperium routinely sterilises inconvenient worlds, or so I have heard.
  #74  
Old October 30th, 2020, 02:56 PM
AnotherDilbert AnotherDilbert is offline
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Originally Posted by boomslang View Post
So, Anti-Missile Fire and Return Fire are probably characterized as self-defense, but using the Target program requires input from either a sophont Gunner or the Return Fire program. (Optionally, have Target require a sophont Gunner either way, leaving Anti-Missile Fire as the only automated software option.
Return Fire and Anti-Missile software does not automate the tasks, they just allow fire in the Laser Return Fire Phase at all, I believe. A gunner is still necessary.

The Gunner can probably be a robot, automating the turret completely.
  #75  
Old October 30th, 2020, 04:05 PM
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I suspect such moral qualms would melt away rather quickly in the next major war...
Not in the USA unless it was a nuc war. As it stands now no country that is a potential enemy would last on the seas (therefore cannot project non-nuke power needed for a large scale war) thus there would not be the pressure needed in the USA to change that policy.
  #76  
Old October 30th, 2020, 05:44 PM
AnotherDilbert AnotherDilbert is offline
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Not in the USA unless it was a nuc war. As it stands now no country that is a potential enemy would last on the seas (therefore cannot project non-nuke power needed for a large scale war) thus there would not be the pressure needed in the USA to change that policy.
Controlling the seas is nice, but not enough. Letting a peer power control the rest of the world would be seen as a massive victory for that other power.

A major war would see the army and air force engaged in a land war in Eurasia, otherwise it would not be a major war. After a few months of heavy losses quite a few holy cows might be reevaluated.


While I believe it is correct that the US Navy can't be challenged at sea it might be wrong. We simply don't know how a modern war would work. Air defences might be more or less effective than be currently believe. High velocity anti-shipping missiles may be more or less effective than we believe. Missile storms launched at carrier groups might be effective or completely ineffective.

The US Navy recently remembered that they had ignored coastal ASW operations, leaving them vulnerable to coastal diesel subs. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...-carrier-72196
I'm sure that is adressed by now, but how many other threat vectors have been discounted as irrelevant, that an enemy might exploit?
  #77  
Old October 30th, 2020, 06:11 PM
boomslang boomslang is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post
Return Fire and Anti-Missile software does not automate the tasks, they just allow fire in the Laser Return Fire Phase at all, I believe. A gunner is still necessary.
Since Anti-Missile Fire does not allow interaction from a Gunner and does not use the Target program while exceeding normal turret fire control limits, it is more like ECM in operation than it is Return Fire. Thus, it is automated in function. (Like most effective point-defense systems need to be.)

(Personally, I always prefer to use ECM anyway; it has a better To Hit roll and can take out an effectively unlimited number of missiles. In my operational doctrine, Anti-Missile Fire is only for last-ditch backup if ECM doesn't get the job done and you have a large-enough computer to run both simultaneously.)

As to the 3I's unappetizing habit of sterilizing entire worlds, note that that process always involves a high-authority sophont decision-maker and forcedly-obedient subordinates to implement. (MWM explicitly deals with this process and its moral consequences -- for better or worse -- in AotI.)

The IRoW prohibition against warbots is probably just another irrational over-reaction to known Zhodani practices -- I imagine it's in the same vein as the Psionics Suppressions.

Also, the formulation "Warbots = Evil = Enemies" helps support the mythology of moral superiority the unabashedly feudal 3I tells itself.
  #78  
Old October 30th, 2020, 06:28 PM
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Controlling the seas is nice, but not enough. Letting a peer power control the rest of the world would be seen as a massive victory for that other power.

Not possible with no control over the seas. Thus not a possible scenario. The VAST majority of Earth's population lives a short distance from the oceans. Unless you control that you can NEVER control much of the Earth. Sorry, not an issue. The evidemce is that no country without control of the oceans has EVER been able to do so. Ipso facto
  #79  
Old October 30th, 2020, 06:54 PM
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The Mongol Empire had a pretty good stab at it... their naval victories were...
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  #80  
Old October 30th, 2020, 07:35 PM
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The Mongol Empire had a pretty good stab at it... their naval victories were...
They were not able to hold what they had. That was because lines of communication were poor because they all involved land lines across inhospitable geography. Makes my point even more.
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