Submarines: Did WC miss the "boat"?

rtheriaque

Rear Admiral
Since WC models many aspects of WWII combat in space, it would seem logical there would be a submarine equivalent. It would likely fit best into the earlier years of the war before the Strakha (which fits better as an F-117 equivalent, just ahead of its corresponding technological time in the WC universe).

It's not a stretch within the science established in the game for a submarine concept to work. "Submergence" would, of course, be a cloak. If the cloaking technology were assumed to work both ways (ie, the cloaked vessel was blind to the outside), a pinpoint window could be opened for observation (periscope equivalent). Power drains would require slow speeds (since we're talking WWII we're thinking about diesel boats, not glowboats). The fuel scoops, as an energy field, would likely need to be shut down to avoid detection, thus giving a limited period cloaked before the fuel runs dry (the analogy breaks down here somewhat, as Newton's laws now apply and the cloaked vessel could continue on its course indefinitely without further energy expenditure). The ultimate goal of the submarine is, of course, relative pinpoint accuracy with a torpedo attack, and possibly made with more potent torpedoes than what a bomber could carry.

Defensive countermeasures are somewhat trickier to figure out. A depth charge concept could be as simple as an area burst. A sonar equivalent, however, seems more difficult to pin down.

I'd guess that this has been discussed in the long history of this forum, but I can't seem to track down a thread using the search function. Just something I think about when I'm bored (or building my boats!).
 

McGruff

Banned
Yeah, and it would have really cheesy sonar pings and everything, Good thing they never did anything like that......right?
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Yeah, and it would have really cheesy sonar pings and everything, Good thing they never did anything like that......right?

Don't be an idiot.

Since WC models many aspects of WWII combat in space, it would seem logical there would be a submarine equivalent. It would likely fit best into the earlier years of the war before the Strakha (which fits better as an F-117 equivalent, just ahead of its corresponding technological time in the WC universe).

It's not a stretch within the science established in the game for a submarine concept to work. "Submergence" would, of course, be a cloak. If the cloaking technology were assumed to work both ways (ie, the cloaked vessel was blind to the outside), a pinpoint window could be opened for observation (periscope equivalent). Power drains would require slow speeds (since we're talking WWII we're thinking about diesel boats, not glowboats). The fuel scoops, as an energy field, would likely need to be shut down to avoid detection, thus giving a limited period cloaked before the fuel runs dry (the analogy breaks down here somewhat, as Newton's laws now apply and the cloaked vessel could continue on its course indefinitely without further energy expenditure). The ultimate goal of the submarine is, of course, relative pinpoint accuracy with a torpedo attack, and possibly made with more potent torpedoes than what a bomber could carry.

Defensive countermeasures are somewhat trickier to figure out. A depth charge concept could be as simple as an area burst. A sonar equivalent, however, seems more difficult to pin down.

I'd guess that this has been discussed in the long history of this forum, but I can't seem to track down a thread using the search function. Just something I think about when I'm bored (or building my boats!).

By it's nature space has more common with underwater as it is. The capships are already self-contained units with a lot of similarities to the way a submarine works. THe stealth aspect is an interesting concept. A sonar equivalent already exists though in the ships sensors, as McGruff so eloquently pointed out.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I can't remember...in the WC movie, doesn't the Tigers Claw act like a submarine in one scene?

For the most part the Tiger's Claw in in the movie was designed to be like a submarine/ Aircraft Carrier combination compared to the Battleship style of the other confed ships seen in the movie.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
For the life of me, I can't remember where, but I read some intriguing WC fan fiction some time back that was exploring this very concept.

I may not be remembering all of it, and I think some of this I may have made up as well, but the basic premise was similar to what you described:

After the Kilrathi war, cloaking technology became fairly commonly used, to the point where everyone from Confed to the Border Worlds to pirates to rogue Kilrathi factions had "submarines": large topedo-carrying bombers (like Crossbows) or small corvette-sized capships that could be cloaked, get close to a convoy, get a torpedo lock, de-cloak, launch their torps, and then re-cloak to escape. But because of the cloaking field interference, they had to sneak real close to the target ships to get a lock--within a couple thousand klicks or closer.

At the same time, anti-cloaking technology had been developed--special "destroyer" sensor ships with highly sensitive passive detection systems that had roughly a 25% chance of detecting minute emmissions from cloaked ships if they got close enough, strong, but directional sensor bursts (kind of analogous to sonar pings) that could detect a cloaked ship if you had a rough idea of where to look, and an EM-pulse generator that could cause all ships very close by to de-cloak, at the cost of messing up all radar for a while (so you didn't use it unless you were pretty sure a cloaked ship was on top of you). And "depth charges"--proximity nuclear weapons that you just target at an area and hope that your target is nearby.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
For the life of me, I can't remember where, but I read some intriguing WC fan fiction some time back that was exploring this very concept.

I may not be remembering all of it, and I think some of this I may have made up as well, but the basic premise was similar to what you described:

After the Kilrathi war, cloaking technology became fairly commonly used, to the point where everyone from Confed to the Border Worlds to pirates to rogue Kilrathi factions had "submarines": large topedo-carrying bombers (like Crossbows) or small corvette-sized capships that could be cloaked, get close to a convoy, get a torpedo lock, de-cloak, launch their torps, and then re-cloak to escape. But because of the cloaking field interference, they had to sneak real close to the target ships to get a lock--within a couple thousand klicks or closer.

At the same time, anti-cloaking technology had been developed--special "destroyer" sensor ships with highly sensitive passive detection systems that had roughly a 25% chance of detecting minute emmissions from cloaked ships if they got close enough, strong, but directional sensor bursts (kind of analogous to sonar pings) that could detect a cloaked ship if you had a rough idea of where to look, and an EM-pulse generator that could cause all ships very close by to de-cloak, at the cost of messing up all radar for a while (so you didn't use it unless you were pretty sure a cloaked ship was on top of you). And "depth charges"--proximity nuclear weapons that you just target at an area and hope that your target is nearby.

While interesting, this doesn't really jive with what we know about cloaking. By the time of WC4, while you still lose targeting of the cloaked ships, if you fly the Lance then you can still visually target other cloaked ships.

I don't remember if it's specifically stated in released fiction and would have to check star*soldier on this, but the idea in Prophecy was that the technology was somewhat widespread on Confeds fighters but that it was relatively useless against the nephilim. So like the Phase SHields/Torpedoes relationship, cloaking seems to have been at least conceived as something that would continually be rendered obsolete as the technology behind detection methods advanced, and vice versa.
 

rtheriaque

Rear Admiral
One could make the argument that something similar has happened with submarines over time. At first, simple submergence was sufficient. When escorts could fight back, subs went deeper. As active sonar got better, subs went yet deeper. As passive sonar got better, subs got quieter. As aircraft and radar got better, subs had to stay submerged (German schnorchels). Nuclear power eventually removed the need to surface (or get close to it) at all, and SOSUS, MAD, etc started to counter.

For every measure, there will be a countermeasure, then a counter-countermeasure...

I'd imagine something similar would happen in our hypothetical game. The first cloaks eliminate only certain wavelengths from detection, and are countered by searching for others. Other methods might be employed- I believe in Fleet Action Hunter overloads a cloak with a burst signal. A counter might be shielding against such a burst... A "future" detection method might be to flood an area with something easily detectable (perhaps hydrogen?) and look for the void (somewhat similar to "hole in the water" sonar).

I've probably put too much into this already, especially at work!
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
While interesting, this doesn't really jive with what we know about cloaking. By the time of WC4, while you still lose targeting of the cloaked ships, if you fly the Lance then you can still visually target other cloaked ships.

I don't remember if it's specifically stated in released fiction and would have to check star*soldier on this, but the idea in Prophecy was that the technology was somewhat widespread on Confeds fighters but that it was relatively useless against the nephilim. So like the Phase SHields/Torpedoes relationship, cloaking seems to have been at least conceived as something that would continually be rendered obsolete as the technology behind detection methods advanced, and vice versa.

This was actually cut from WCP, there was a line where Cloaking was attempted and it failed against the Nephilim.

However, Star*Soldier makes several mentions of cloaked ships appearing in useful roles - so it's possible that some new technology has been developed by this time that allows ships to cloak from Nephilim forces.
 

Deadman_ny

Spaceman
Closest fanfic I can think of is with the TCS Orion. It had as much stealth tech as you could put into a carrier. Strong 'passive' sesors and active sesor jamming. The "black" hull made up of radar absorbing materials and the shape of the hull was modified aswell with strange angles to deflect radar that wasn't absorbed off harmessly into space and away from the source. Like the modern day 'stealth' ships.
1984710340

Build for long duration patrols behind enemy lines the ship was also equiped with recycling systems...
 

ELTEE

Rear Admiral
I'd imagine something similar would happen in our hypothetical game. The first cloaks eliminate only certain wavelengths from detection, and are countered by searching for others. Other methods might be employed- I believe in Fleet Action Hunter overloads a cloak with a burst signal. A counter might be shielding against such a burst... A "future" detection method might be to flood an area with something easily detectable (perhaps hydrogen?) and look for the void (somewhat similar to "hole in the water" sonar).

I've probably put too much into this already, especially at work!


I think this is right. I posted an article on this site a few years ago, but I cannot seem to find it. It was from a university (MIT, maybe?) that has been experimenting with cloak technology the past few years. So far, they seem to be able to do it - one wavelength at a time.

In certain circles, I've heard talk of applying this tech to limit IR signatures as a start - imagine an F-22 or an infantry soldier with no IR footprint. Pretty neat.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
It's not a stretch within the science established in the game for a submarine concept to work. "Submergence" would, of course, be a cloak. If the cloaking technology were assumed to work both ways (ie, the cloaked vessel was blind to the outside), a pinpoint window could be opened for observation (periscope equivalent). Power drains would require slow speeds (since we're talking WWII we're thinking about diesel boats, not glowboats). The fuel scoops, as an energy field, would likely need to be shut down to avoid detection, thus giving a limited period cloaked before the fuel runs dry (the analogy breaks down here somewhat, as Newton's laws now apply and the cloaked vessel could continue on its course indefinitely without further energy expenditure).

This is a concept used in Wing Commander, but not necessarily via cloak. There are several scenarios where we see ships rigged for silent running, including aboard the Tiger's Claw in the WC movie.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
In certain circles, I've heard talk of applying this tech to limit IR signatures as a start - imagine an F-22 or an infantry soldier with no IR footprint. Pretty neat.

Haven't they already applied tech to limit the IR signature of the F-22?
 

rtheriaque

Rear Admiral
This is a concept used in Wing Commander, but not necessarily via cloak. There are several scenarios where we see ships rigged for silent running, including aboard the Tiger's Claw in the WC movie.

Was the silent running immediately when they entered the area, or was it when they hid on the asteroid? I haven't watched the movie in ages.

If it was when they entered the system, I have some difficulty with it within the context of the WC universe (a running theme for me with the movie). Virtually anything could become a stealth fighter, capital ship, etc, just by shutting down external systems.

The concept of shutting down transmissions and using a large body to hide the mass of the ship, however is fantastic science fiction. Angel and Blair use that to their advantage in the asteroid field and I love it. Tiger Claw does it as well, though the shushing for silence is just preposterous.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Grrr, people - he doesn't shhh them because they're avoiding the Kilrathi. He does it so they can hear the space sonar ping (which they thought had stopped). There's nothing in the scene about needing to be quiet to avoid the Kilrathi. Stop repeating this imdb-grade nonsense.
 

rtheriaque

Rear Admiral
LOAF, I take some offense to calling it imdb-grade nonsense.

Regardless, needing to hear the ping is as foolish as shushing somebody. How is a sound wave supposed to travel through space, bounce off the Tiger Claw, and generate a return? Even in a debate about a fictional universe, that's just sloppiness.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
LOAF, I take some offense to calling it imdb-grade nonsense.

Regardless, needing to hear the ping is as foolish as shushing somebody. How is a sound wave supposed to travel through space, bounce off the Tiger Claw, and generate a return? Even in a debate about a fictional universe, that's just sloppiness.

It could be that the RWR systems on the Tigers Claw plays that sound when it detects a radar beam sweeping over it, you know. And that people talking on the bridge might make it impossible to hear that sound.
 

Deadman_ny

Spaceman
There could have been other reasons to tell the bridge crew to be quiet. When a bridge officer cries "they've found us" isn't very good for moral. Inciting panic isn't always good. ;)
Today we can use lasers to transmit sound. Point a laser at a window. Sound waves from the people inside talking make the window vibrate minutly. Those vibrations and be senced by the lazer and interpreted as sound. Yes space is "empty" but using similar more advanced tech I can see sending out powerful laser bursts to probe and with the Tiger(s) Claw 'sitting' on the asteriod and with a powerful enough burst, couldn't the sound be transmitted through the asteriod and into the hull of the ship? Or what Palidin was listening to was some sort of detector for that kind of sweep.
My theory to make the 'ping thing' prausible.
___________
"If you don't start treating my ships better mister I'm going to take you off the flight roster myself!"
-Do you think I'm out there yelling common 'buggies' shoot my ass to hell?! I want to die!?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
LOAF, I take some offense to calling it imdb-grade nonsense.

Oh boo-hoo. I take offense to you idioting up my forum.

Regardless, needing to hear the ping is as foolish as shushing somebody. How is a sound wave supposed to travel through space, bounce off the Tiger Claw, and generate a return? Even in a debate about a fictional universe, that's just sloppiness.

What are you even talking about? He's letting the bridge crew hear that the scanner is detecting a remaining Ralari. It's nothing more than that. Go away.
 

Deadman_ny

Spaceman
I take offense to you idioting up my forum.
That's the best part of a forum though BL. If there weren't idiots out there to make the dumb people look smart then we'd be lost. Think of a world without idiots. Who would dig the trenches, clean out toilets or run for office? It's all in fun.
___________
Winning isn't everything but loosing is NOTHING.
 
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