The Ion Cannon coming to an orbit near you!

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
Intriguing- though an orbital ion cannon strikes me as another taxpayer "handout" project for the US military-industrial complex. SDI was (and the current ABM shield is), IMO, a ridiculous waste of money that was little more then a thinly veiled excuse for massive billion dollar corporate handouts.

Military research should, IMO, always be conducted, even in peace time- for practical, useful weapons and developing innovative new ways to fight. However, the US squanders billions on pointless non-functional super weapons when it already has a military that is funded at a level nearly equal to the rest of the world combined (http://globalsecurity.insightful.com/jsp/rs.jsp (click the top link on this page)).
Yet, despite this massive funding, it still has deployed troops who are forced to buy their own body armor, partly because of silly non-feasible or unuseable super weapon projects. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-26-body-armor_x.htm

Honestly, when you have massively more military power in terms of equipment, weapons, and training (and soldiers, with a few exceptions like China, which is incapable of projecting those men in any meaningful way outside of it's own borders)- what is the purpose of building such a device anyway? Especially since 21st century combat doesn't even involve traditional warfare to begin with- for example, an ABM shield or an ion cannon won't stop a suitcase nuke delivered by a civilian boat to a major US harbor. (Which, given the fact that drug smugglers from Latin America and refugees from Cuba regularly make the trip undetected to US shores in less then stellar watercraft, isn't all that unfeasible.)

Last, I wouldn't go so far as to say that the US economy in its entirety is fueled primarily by foreign debt. The US government certainly is though (guess who holds nearly half of US treasury bonds? http://www.econstats.com/index_us.htm (check the debt and deficit of the US Fed Gov link)) and part of the reason is projects like the one this thread is about.
 

Wake

Spaceman
All I have to say is, if Nukes go away because we now have more accurate laser beams that can pinpoint what it wants to destroy, without leveling the population surrounding or causing fallout, I'm all for it.

Nukes scare me more than a laser beam that'll only be aimed at military targets (hopefully).
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Wake said:
All I have to say is, if Nukes go away because we now have more accurate laser beams that can pinpoint what it wants to destroy, without leveling the population surrounding or causing fallout, I'm all for it.
There's no way that the rise of orbital precision laser beams will have this effect on nukes. As people have already mentioned a million times in this thread, the main purpose of these things is to act as a huge deterrent by creating the potential for massive horrible widespread destruction. We're not going to decommission Trident subs because we have space lasers.
 

Wake

Spaceman
Did I say it would have that effect? I said "IF." I know it won't have the effect I'd wish for but if it did I'd be all for it. But all the same, while nukes would act as a deterrent the satellite could actually be used without loss of civilian life.

Don't assume I mean it WILL when I say IF. You are being discouraging to posters.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
Intriguing- though an orbital ion cannon strikes me as another taxpayer "handout" project for the US military-industrial complex. SDI was (and the current ABM shield is), IMO, a ridiculous waste of money that was little more then a thinly veiled excuse for massive billion dollar corporate handouts.
I'm glad to see someone talking some sense here. The B-2 and F-22 were similar wastes of money.
 

Halman

PSY-YI-YI
Fatcat said:
I'm glad to see someone talking some sense here. The B-2 and F-22 were similar wastes of money.
I honestly wonder how people like you feed and clothe yourselves.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Wake said:
Did I say it would have that effect? I said "IF." I know it won't have the effect I'd wish for but if it did I'd be all for it. But all the same, while nukes would act as a deterrent the satellite could actually be used without loss of civilian life.

Don't assume I mean it WILL when I say IF.
I think I'll pretty much assume whatever. Certainly by creating an IF statement and concluding it with the present tense "I'm all for it," you implied the strong possibility, of which there is no chance.

Wake said:
You are being discouraging to posters.
Help a couple thousand people in the tech support forum before you accuse me of having a negative impact on Crius.net.
 

Wake

Spaceman
Even though my whole sentence is quantified by the word "IF" you still assume whatever you want.
Well good for you. Make assumptions and be a jerk about it. You always are to every new poster to this site. You're creating a wonderful community here. My post was harmless but for some reason you got a wild hair up your butt to be a jerk about it.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Wake said:
You always are to every new poster to this site. You're creating a wonderful community here. My post was harmless but for some reason you got a wild hair up your butt to be a jerk about it.
This has nothing to do with you being new. He simply disagreed with you, and you used it for some stupid "He's rude to me because his postcount is higher, feel sorry for me everybody" rant.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
I honestly wonder how people like you feed and clothe yourselves.
Explain to me how spending 2 billion each for a bomber we don't need and 160 million each for a fighter we don't need is a good idea.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Wake said:
My post was harmless but for some reason you got a wild hair up your butt to be a jerk about it.
You're new here but if you've been on the internet for any amount of time, its not a good idea to keep talking that way to moderators of the board you're posting on. Best to bite your lip and move on.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
Halman said:
I honestly wonder how people like you feed and clothe yourselves.
I'm with Halman on this one. You're way off base. Why on earth would you think the F22 (the most technologically advanced fighter in active service today) is a waste of money? The F22 can shoot down anything that flies today. Or perhaps you think we should keep flying 30-40 year old planes?
 

ck9791

Rear Admiral
You'd change your mind regarding missile defense and wouldn't call it a waste of money if we ever need such a system to stop an incomming ICBM.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
ck9791 said:
You'd change your mind regarding missile defense and wouldn't call it a waste of money if we ever need such a system to stop an incomming ICBM.
When the system actually works as advertised, than it's not a waste of money. Right now... existing systems don't. The orbital lasers and flying lasers may work properly, but with the current flying laser systems, to have a hope of stopping an ICBM with MIRV warehead, you have to hit it pretty much at the launch phase, which means putting the laser's carrier deep in enemy territory... which is a problem.
 

Wake

Spaceman
Dyret said:
This has nothing to do with you being new. He simply disagreed with you, and you used it for some stupid "He's rude to me because his postcount is higher, feel sorry for me everybody" rant.

He wasn't rude. He was condescending. And the fact that he references how many posts he's made in just Tech Support suggests it is because I am new that he is acting that way towards me.

Anyways since I didn't have time this morning to make a proper post, here. The U.S. Missile Subs that carry Nukes could easily have those nukes replaced with conventional long range missiles. If you had an ion cannon, you wouldn't need to use Nukes but at the same time you didn't have to tell anyone that you're not carrying nukes. So the idea of the nukes would be a deterrent but you wouldn't actually need them for any specific purpose. Also, a government who would use a nuke when they have something more precise and less devastating to a population wouldn't remain in power very long through either upheaval by it's own people or other nations taking the opportunity to oust you through force.

And Fatcat your numbers are way off. Each bomber might be a maximum of $50 mil and each fighter is only $22 million. In the case of the F-22 the Government gave grants to 2 different companies to build a fighter meeting their design specs, the amount of the grant was enough for each company to build 2 separate aircraft, just in case. The rest of the costs were the individual companies. And the fighters that are in service today have designs that are well over 40 years old. As it is the F-22 is already around 20 years old. The Russians make leaps and bounds in Aircraft Engineering, unfortunately for them, they do not have the money to buy the aircraft to supply their military. Our current generation of fighters would be outclassed significantly if the Russians could afford these aircraft because we're using very old tech. As it is you're lucky the government has waited 30 years to replace the F-16's, F-15's, F/A-18's and Harriers with TWO aircraft. The government actually saved themselves money by replacing all 4 of those aircraft with two designs.
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Haesslich said:
When the system actually works as advertised, than it's not a waste of money.
Because, of course, new technologies should work immediately after building the prototype model(s), even though, historically, there's often a fairly significant gap between "theory" and "practice" in regards to a new system...
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
Wake said:
And Fatcat your numbers are way off. Each bomber might be a maximum of $50 mil and each fighter is only $22 million. In the case of the F-22 the Government gave grants to 2 different companies to build a fighter meeting their design specs, the amount of the grant was enough for each company to build 2 separate aircraft, just in case. The rest of the costs were the individual companies. And the fighters that are in service today have designs that are well over 40 years old. As it is the F-22 is already around 20 years old. The Russians make leaps and bounds in Aircraft Engineering, unfortunately for them, they do not have the money to buy the aircraft to supply their military. Our current generation of fighters would be outclassed significantly if the Russians could afford these aircraft because we're using very old tech. As it is you're lucky the government has waited 30 years to replace the F-16's, F-15's, F/A-18's and Harriers with TWO aircraft. The government actually saved themselves money by replacing all 4 of those aircraft with two designs.
No, your numbers are way off. The cost to the US military for one F22 Raptor is a great deal higher than $22M. In fact, an F15 cost around $25M while the F16 cost around $16M. The F22 in its current form is not twenty years old, the project or idea to design the F22 is about twenty years old. That's like saying that a Corvette is fifty years old because they started designing the first one way back when. The F22 may have began its life cycle twenty years ago but along the way its been redesigned, reconfigured and updated to make it the most sophisticated Fighter in active service today. You don't think it's operating on 1986 computer chips do you?
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
The problem with an ICBM shield is that it's stupid- it's easily circumvented by simply smuggling nukes onto shore and setting them off by remote (which happens to be far easier then developing the easily detected rocketry facilities needed for ICBMs), and for the few countries that do have ICBM silos (e.g. Russia), the ICBM shield as advertised isn't meant to stop a full scale nuclear attack- Russia could just overwhelm the shield with sheer numbers. Assuming the scenario that the ABM shield propenents envision- a rogue state actually somehow manages to build an ICBM facility without the US getting militant and blowing it up while its under construction, they would never launch, because to do so would be suicide- the US would turn said country into a nuclear wasteland. (One of the unproven grounds for invading Iraq was that Saddam was merely affiliated with 9/11, and the US was willing to seize an entire country because of it- and in this scenario, we're talking about a full blown nuclear strike that is easily traceable to the launching country- what do you think the US would do?)

In short, the US is spending billions of dollars on something that at best is a multibillion dollar security blanket that merely forces those with nuclear weapons to forego building rocketry facilities and turn to cheaper & easier methods of nuclear weapon delivery.

As for the B-2 and F-22, IIRC, the B-2 was meant as a first strike strategic nuclear bomber- which, even if they did strike first, wouldn't stop nuke subs from launching on the US. Pointless. It's now used as a stealth conventional bomber. Not quite so pointless, but when you consider the amount of money that went into it (2.2 billion dollars per aircraft) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-2_Spirit , as well as the advent of cruise missiles and advanced detection methods (for example, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/20/stealth_detection_system_disappears/ ) that can detect stealth aircraft, the aircraft becomes a bomber that does the job of a cruise missile and cannot be used against any comparatively modernized adversaries.

The F-22 isn't quite so guilty of being worthless, IMO, but then again, I also think it stands on the brink of being obsolete, even though it hasn't been really deployed yet. UAV's (unmanned aerial vehicles) are the wave of the future, and while they aren't quite there technogically yet, within 20 years I'm willing to bet that there will be UAV's piloted from remote locations able to outfly any manned vehicle because of the limits of the human body withstanding G forces.
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
Oh, last but not least- and I know this is a double post- I think some of the crazier ideas make for great sci-fi or videogaming (I mean, where would games like C&C or Wing Commander be without crazy government Black Ops projects?)- but when it comes to the real world, I'm more interested in getting the best result at the lowest price. Money spent on non-functional ABM shields could be better spent properly equipping troops, shoring up underfunded social programs, or staying in the taxpayer's pocket.
 
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