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Old July 22 2013, 08:41 PM   #75
Re: Federation vs The Dominiom: The Rematch.

Comparing 2nd and 3rd Generation drone vehicles with 70th and 80th generation manned aircraft is not quite equivalent.
Indeed, it completely preempts speculation, as we by default have no idea what 70th generation drones might look like.

But the comparison you don't appreciate here is the only one of any relevance. The drones of today can't fight anything that fights back - and the situation is not going to change if both the drones and their supposed prey keep on evolving "at the same rate". One or the other has to change in order for the gap to be closed, and everybody today seems to agree that it's gonna be the drones. They have to jump straight from being enlarged toys to being unpiloted F-16s or they're never gonna shoot down anything of worth.

Studies have shown that the same aircraft designed without pilots would have a $2-5 million savings without having to build a cockpit for the pilots and all the other redundant systems necessary to ensure the pilots survival.
Exactly. Which proves my point - current drones are a dead end in terms of combat, and pilotless versions of current piloted aircraft will rule, at least in the short term. Indeed, Sweden has already opted to make its future UCAS out of optionally piloted Gripens, rather than playing with toy aircraft...

However your planets and stationary facilities (Starbases, dockyards, research stations, etc) don't have that ability so they would be destroyed should you not choose to defend them.
In Trek terms, you wouldn't defend them with starships. Curiously enough, a starship in Star Trek has never defended a planet!

Starships attack planets. Planets are either undefended, or then (at least in DS9) fixed fortifications defend them, with a few ships hanging around and joining the fray. Fixed fortifications are extremely good at multitargeting and can blow weak units out of the sky with single shots (say, DS9 when fighting Klingon Birds of Prey or Dominion small craft). So you swarm the fortifications with hundreds of full-sized starships... Trying to swarm them with weaker units would just mean you needing millions of them, apparently. Drones would cost you more than crewed ships, or optionally crewed ships.

Timo Saloniemi
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