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Old August 10 2013, 01:32 PM   #106
Robert Comsol
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

^^ I just uploaded the first part (other items will be addressed in the second and third part) of my Oberth Class treatise in a new Trek Tech thread.

I wasn't aware of previous Oberth Class discussions here at the BBS, so I do not know which items in my treatise may be of interest or not. However, I do not reflect what FASA or somebody else might have come up with. According to my experience / correspondence with role playing game companies like West End Games and FASA they may be competent when it comes to creating games. In terms of devoted treknological research and aiming for accuracy my opinion is less favorable.

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Old August 10 2013, 03:13 PM   #107
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
However, TOS did rip off "Enemy Below" and alternated between gun and torpedo with specific constraints that did not emulate 1960's contemporary naval combat.
Which means guided missile cruisers of the early/mid 1960s operated the same way as starships: guns at close range, missiles at longer range. This is very much UNLIKE the WW-II analogy, where guns are used at medium range and torpedoes ... are used at suicidally close range
In TOS, phaser guns were used from as close as 50m to 75,000km and beyond - which also was about the same as their photon torpedoes. Their "specific constraints" that gave them variable power output and equal ability to destroy gives them a flexibility not present in any 1960 (or WW2) comparison. (Well, the torpedoes in TOS and presumably TMP were weaker than the phasers, but I digress.)

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Desperation tactic is desperate.
...
Not a desperation tactic, but part of the pattern that submarines only use the stern tubes "defensively" (if you can call it that) when on the surface.
...
Much more to the point: this is not what the stern tubes were INTENDED for, nor was such use either common or particularly successful.
Whatever. You stated, "Those submarines did not use those torpedoes against pursuers" and I only provided instances when they did.

As for "intended", from U-85 link:
"he kept his ship slightly off the fleeing U-boat’s starboard quarter. The Roper gradually overtook the U-boat. As the range decreased to 700 yards and contact was imminent, the U-boat captain reacted predictably, like a cornered rabbit. He fired a torpedo from his stern tube and tried to hit the destroyer "down the throat."
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
But if the forward tube has some kind of autoloader or a quick-launch magazine, it doesn't matter whether you have one tube or twelve, you still launch all twelve torpedoes one at a time until your target dies.
Yes that's true. That might be the difference between the TOS and TMP launcher or at least explaining the observed firings.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Unfortunately Trek never kept up with the times, even their own, IMHO. Even AbramsTrek doesn't really make a change as it still keeps phasers and torpedoes.
OUR ships still have 5" guns, do they not? And again, the broadside launchers in STID would count as a timeline update to the design IMO.
They're still phasers and torpedoes in STID, are they not? I suppose VLS (or Broadsides Launching System ) could count as something new but did they use that to replace AbramsTrek Enterprise's other torpedo launchers? Or was this a one-time, story-specific thing?

Oh- back to the OP's question. The Enterprise and Reliant could be compared to the F-14 and F-18. The F-18 was cheaper to maintain, was more economical and could take on more roles. The Reliant's boxy structure lent itself better to different missions and could have modules bolted on easier than the Enterprise's more specialized design, IMHO. So the Enterprise and her sisters were retired. If we look at a contemporary like the Stargazer/Constellation-class it also appeared to have a massive cargo capacity as well and served to TNG.
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Old August 10 2013, 08:53 PM   #108
J.T.B.
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Which means guided missile cruisers of the early/mid 1960s operated the same way as starships: guns at close range, missiles at longer range. This is very much UNLIKE the WW-II analogy, where guns are used at medium range and torpedoes ... are used at suicidally close range
In TOS, phaser guns were used from as close as 50m to 75,000km and beyond - which also was about the same as their photon torpedoes. Their "specific constraints" that gave them variable power output and equal ability to destroy gives them a flexibility not present in any 1960 (or WW2) comparison. (Well, the torpedoes in TOS and presumably TMP were weaker than the phasers, but I digress.)
These comparisons break down because they aren't good parallels. A torpedo was a ship killer, or at least had a good chance at knocking one out of the game with one hit. Unlike photon torpedoes.

The primary ship-board guided missiles in the '60s were SAMs because enemy aircraft, booming along at 10 or 15 times a surface vessel's speed, were a greater danger to surface warships (and especially the carriers that DLGs, CLGs, DDGs escorted) than other surface warships. Not really good Trek parallels there.

Photon torpedoes were originally supposed to be more like torpedoes, depth charges or mines as the plot required. But as it developed, for real-world comparisons, it's more like the age of sail and phasers are guns, and photon torpedoes are a guns with a few tricks.
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Old August 11 2013, 01:27 AM   #109
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Whatever. You stated, "Those submarines did not use those torpedoes against pursuers" and I only provided instances when they did.
Then I reiterate: that is NOT why submarines were fitted with aft torpedo tubes, and was not a typical or even effective use for them.

I mean, some ships could (and do) use their 5" deck gun as an alarm clock, but that sure as hell isn't their intended use, right?

They're still phasers and torpedoes in STID, are they not? I suppose VLS (or Broadsides Launching System ) could count as something new but did they use that to replace AbramsTrek Enterprise's other torpedo launchers? Or was this a one-time, story-specific thing?
I don't know if it's a replacement, exactly, but it might be an indicator that the Enterprise now carries TWO types of photon torpedoes and the broadside launchers fire a much longer range model with a heavier warhead and inferior maneuverability. In a modern warship, the neck launcher would have been removed and replaced with the multi-tube system; on a Starfleet ship, they probably just reduced the size of the neck launcher's magazine and moved most of its torpedoes and/or probes to the "weapons bay" where the broadside tubes were located. That means the neck launcher is probably now equipped with a high-velocity antiship torpedo that works best when fired directly at a straight line towards the target (kinda like the old Sea Sparrows) while the broadside tubes carry longer range, fire-and-forget homing types used in planetary bombardment or "sick 'em, boy!" attacks.

Oh- back to the OP's question. The Enterprise and Reliant could be compared to the F-14 and F-18. The F-18 was cheaper to maintain, was more economical and could take on more roles. The Reliant's boxy structure lent itself better to different missions and could have modules bolted on easier than the Enterprise's more specialized design, IMHO. So the Enterprise and her sisters were retired. If we look at a contemporary like the Stargazer/Constellation-class it also appeared to have a massive cargo capacity as well and served to TNG.
And Iran is still flying F-14s to this day.

Aha! So there's our answer to the Wolf-359 question: the Constitution class that got wrecked in the battle was one of the ships that was originally sold to the Romulans back when they were still friends.
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Old August 11 2013, 01:36 AM   #110
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Which means guided missile cruisers of the early/mid 1960s operated the same way as starships: guns at close range, missiles at longer range. This is very much UNLIKE the WW-II analogy, where guns are used at medium range and torpedoes ... are used at suicidally close range
In TOS, phaser guns were used from as close as 50m to 75,000km and beyond - which also was about the same as their photon torpedoes. Their "specific constraints" that gave them variable power output and equal ability to destroy gives them a flexibility not present in any 1960 (or WW2) comparison. (Well, the torpedoes in TOS and presumably TMP were weaker than the phasers, but I digress.)
These comparisons break down because they aren't good parallels. A torpedo was a ship killer, or at least had a good chance at knocking one out of the game with one hit. Unlike photon torpedoes.

The primary ship-board guided missiles in the '60s were SAMs because enemy aircraft, booming along at 10 or 15 times a surface vessel's speed, were a greater danger to surface warships (and especially the carriers that DLGs, CLGs, DDGs escorted) than other surface warships. Not really good Trek parallels there.

Photon torpedoes were originally supposed to be more like torpedoes, depth charges or mines as the plot required. But as it developed, for real-world comparisons, it's more like the age of sail and phasers are guns, and photon torpedoes are a guns with a few tricks.
The reason I used the guided missile comparison is that even in the 1960s they were finding ways to direct those SAMs at surface targets, primarily because their guns were puny and weak and both naval officers and casual observers were wondering what the hell a missile cruiser was supposed to do if another warship started attacking it (this was before the Harpoon and the Exocet, of course).

The navy advertised the fact that the missiles COULD be used against surface targets (and they still do) but stopped short of admitting that they are not at all reliable in that role (and, again, still do).

My thinking at this point is that phasers and torpedoes overlap way too much in terms of what they're used for and some effort should be made to separate their uses. In STXI in particular, we see phasers as a kind of "dual purpose" type weapon whose main advantage is their high accuracy and their ability to hit moving targets like enemy missiles or fighter craft; photon torpedoes would be exclusively offensive/antiship weapons, which means they should be the first (possibly only) choice for engaging another starship.
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Old August 11 2013, 04:11 PM   #111
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Whatever. You stated, "Those submarines did not use those torpedoes against pursuers" and I only provided instances when they did.
Then I reiterate: that is NOT why submarines were fitted with aft torpedo tubes, and was not a typical or even effective use for them.
"the U-boat captain reacted predictably, like a cornered rabbit. He fired a torpedo from his stern tube and tried to hit the destroyer "down the throat."
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
They're still phasers and torpedoes in STID, are they not? I suppose VLS (or Broadsides Launching System ) could count as something new but did they use that to replace AbramsTrek Enterprise's other torpedo launchers? Or was this a one-time, story-specific thing?
I don't know if it's a replacement, exactly, but it might be an indicator that the Enterprise now carries TWO types of photon torpedoes and the broadside launchers fire a much longer range model with a heavier warhead and inferior maneuverability.
We'll just have to wait for the next movie to find out.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
And Iran is still flying F-14s to this day.
What other options could Iran go to then? The US Navy had F-18s to switch to.
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Old August 11 2013, 08:02 PM   #112
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The Enterprise and Reliant could be compared to the F-14 and F-18. The F-18 was cheaper to maintain, was more economical and could take on more roles. The Reliant's boxy structure lent itself better to different missions and could have modules bolted on easier than the Enterprise's more specialized design, IMHO.
The F-14, Iran notwithstanding, really had one mission in life: To protect its carrier by being a big, fast platform for big long-range missiles. As the threat of an all-out naval war disappeared, so did the need for the Tomcat. If that need still existed the F-18 could not fill the void. Unless there was some strategic niche the Enterprise/Constitutions filled that disappeared at some point I'm not sure the two are parallel.
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Old August 11 2013, 08:20 PM   #113
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
"the U-boat captain reacted predictably, like a cornered rabbit.
And then he died predictably... ALSO like a cornered rabbit.

Tell me more about these deadly predatory rabbits that are capable of killing their enemies when cornered.



Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
And Iran is still flying F-14s to this day.
What other options could Iran go to then?
They could try buying Migs if they weren't so pissed off at the Russians. Lately, though, their main priority seems to be attempts to reverse engineer foreign technology to a capacity where they can manufacture it themselves.

I'm suddenly reminded of the Shatnerverse novel "Ashes of Eden" where the Federation first mothballed the Enterprise and then sold it to a bunch of colonists as part of their local militia. I'm thinking the Qualor-II depot might serve a similar purpose: it's an after-market junkyard where old Starships are held until somebody comes along and makes the Federation an offer. Arguably, that seems to be the case with those Vulcan ships; the only reason for the subterfuge seems to be the Romulans not wanting to leave a papertrail with the sale.
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Old August 11 2013, 10:15 PM   #114
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Hmmm...and to think that old Doug Trumbull wanted to build it even bigger to give the audience a massive impression of scale. The ILM folks should count their lucky stars that he didn't wind up getting budget approval for such an up-scaling of the TMP filming "miniature".[/QUOTE]

I wish they did build it. They would have blown it up for sure in ST III
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Old August 12 2013, 12:33 AM   #115
blssdwlf
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
"the U-boat captain reacted predictably, like a cornered rabbit.
And then he died predictably... ALSO like a cornered rabbit.

Tell me more about these deadly predatory rabbits that are capable of killing their enemies when cornered.
LOL. It's funny but it doesn't take away the fact that stern tubes were used against pursuers.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
And Iran is still flying F-14s to this day.
What other options could Iran go to then?
They could try buying Migs if they weren't so pissed off at the Russians. Lately, though, their main priority seems to be attempts to reverse engineer foreign technology to a capacity where they can manufacture it themselves.
The Klingons flew those battlecruisers for an even longer time. Perhaps they were took ticked off at the Romulans and Federation to buy a newer design as well
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Old August 12 2013, 12:34 AM   #116
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The Enterprise and Reliant could be compared to the F-14 and F-18. The F-18 was cheaper to maintain, was more economical and could take on more roles. The Reliant's boxy structure lent itself better to different missions and could have modules bolted on easier than the Enterprise's more specialized design, IMHO.
The F-14, Iran notwithstanding, really had one mission in life: To protect its carrier by being a big, fast platform for big long-range missiles. As the threat of an all-out naval war disappeared, so did the need for the Tomcat. If that need still existed the F-18 could not fill the void. Unless there was some strategic niche the Enterprise/Constitutions filled that disappeared at some point I'm not sure the two are parallel.
The only thing we know of is the mothballing of the military program of Starfleet from "The Undiscovered Country". I'm still leaning to the Enterprise as being part of that mothballing.
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Old August 12 2013, 01:41 AM   #117
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post

Tell me more about these deadly predatory rabbits that are capable of killing their enemies when cornered.
You mean vorpal bunnies?

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Old August 12 2013, 02:12 AM   #118
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
"the U-boat captain reacted predictably, like a cornered rabbit.
And then he died predictably... ALSO like a cornered rabbit.

Tell me more about these deadly predatory rabbits that are capable of killing their enemies when cornered.
LOL. It's funny but it doesn't take away the fact that stern tubes were used against pursuers.
Which, like the teeth of a cornered rabbit, is not their intended use, nor is it even their typical use, and as per the examples you cited, turned out to be a highly ineffective use after all.

There are reasons why starships and submarines might be equipped with aft torpedoes, but "discouraging pursuit" isn't really one of them. In the case of submarines, it's mainly because there simply isn't any room in the bow to fit more torpedo tubes and adding them in the stern saves time for the loaders. In the case of starships, probably a time-saving measure where a starship attacking an enemy vessel can maintain offensive tempo while still maneuvering effectively in space.

The Klingons flew those battlecruisers for an even longer time. Perhaps they were took ticked off at the Romulans and Federation to buy a newer design as well
Actually I've been of the theory for a while that the bird of prey is actually a Romulan design that the Klingons bought/stole from the Romulans during the 23rd century, then reverse engineered and upgraded for a hundred more years. They probably got their battlecruisers the same way. The later Vorcha design might be their very first "indigenous" starship design.
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Old August 12 2013, 03:31 AM   #119
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Which, like the teeth of a cornered rabbit, is not their intended use, nor is it even their typical use, and as per the examples you cited, turned out to be a highly ineffective use after all.
Your definition of highly ineffective is either off or you just didn't bother to read the articles. Stern tubes were of use to discourage and potentially sink pursuing ships. The intended use of a torpedo is to sink the enemy ship. Firing your stern tubes at a ship behind you works for using it to discourage pursuit either by forcing the enemy to evade or by sinking them outright. Obviously stern tubes could also be used for attack as the sub turns to leave and open distance after attacking with her bow tubes.

The U-85 missed with her stern torpedo and was eventually sunk.

The Tang successfully used her stern tubes against ships that attempted to ram her and also against a destroyer firing on her as she was making her escape.

The O-21 used her stern torpedoes against the following, then pursuing U-95.

The Spadefish missed with her stern torpedoes but forced a destroyer to zig and attempt to depth charge her but she escaped.

Also interestingly, the Germans thought of using torpedoes to take out escorts. They had some kinks to work out but apparently got it to work near the end of the war.

http://www.uboat.net/technical/torpedoes.htm
The Zaunköning (Wren) came into service during the autumn of 1943. Intended to be an escort-killer, it achieved some early minor success only to be countered by the allied Foxer noise-making decoy. It was scoring hits against escort and merchants to the end of the war though.


The weapon was designed to lock onto the loudest noise after a run of 400m from its launch. This often proved to be the U-boat itself and standard issue-orders were to dive immediately to depth of 60m after launch from a bow tube while a stern shot was to be followed by a complete silence in the boat.
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Old August 12 2013, 10:00 PM   #120
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Which, like the teeth of a cornered rabbit, is not their intended use, nor is it even their typical use, and as per the examples you cited, turned out to be a highly ineffective use after all.
Your definition of highly ineffective is either off or you just didn't bother to read the articles. Stern tubes were of use to discourage and potentially sink pursuing ships.
I read the articles. Three of those were acts of desperation by a submarine commander could not use his vessel's PRIMARY defensive tactic of submerging and sneaking away. Two of those three cases resulted in the loss of the U-boat and enemy victory.

One of them wasn't a case of "discourage pursuers" but was a preemptive attack by a Norwegian submarine to sink what it suddenly realized was an enemy vessel.

The intended use of a torpedo is to sink the enemy ship.
Yes, OFFENSIVELY, at ships you have specifically targeted and are maneuvering to get a position on. "Discourage pursuers" is not what the designers had in mind when they installed them; you can use mines and fishing nets for that too, but those devices were also developed with a different purpose in mind.

It's really no different than the Romulans tossing an old-style demolition nuke out of their garbage chute. The nuke is designed for self-destruction, but a sufficiently desperate commander might rig one as a mine if he thought it was his only chance to survive.

Obviously stern tubes could also be used for attack as the sub turns to leave and open distance after attacking with her bow tubes.
That's the main scenario: a submarine running on the surface has a top speed of not more than 20 knots (usually much less), while in WW-II submarines mainly attacked while submerged where their top speed was not much more than 10 knots. A vessel at that speed doesn't "open the distance" as such; the attack maneuvers of such a vessel looks like a zigzag or sometimes a tight circle, where the submarine fires its bow tubes at the first target, then selects the next target and turns its stern tubes, then selects the next target and turns its bow tubes again. The trick is to get off as many fish as you can in the shortest amount of time before the escorts figure out where you are, then dive like hell and get out of sight.

This is how sub skippers were TRAINED to use their weapons. If they got caught on the surface and had to joust with enemy destroyers, it meant they screwed up somewhere and were now fighting for their lives. It's no different than a Marine fireteam that winds up picking up their rifles like clubs and beating their enemies to death with them. Sure, they might get lucky and have it actually work, but this would be an example of "You're doing it wrong!"

Also interestingly, the Germans thought of using torpedoes to take out escorts. They had some kinks to work out but apparently got it to work near the end of the war.
Wake homing torpedoes, IIRC, were used in this capacity in 1944 and 45 and were pretty effective. Significant to note that wake-homing torpedoes cannot be used in a "down the throat" attack and have to be fired from a rear aspect on an enemy ship or else they'll have nothing to guide on. The acoustic torpedoes you mention in your link were mainly experimental and from what I've read were only used a handful of times before Germany surrendered.

To be perfectly honest, wlf, this is something people just don't get about submarine warfare in general. Submarines' only EFFECTIVE defense is to dive and hide. The installation of deck guns, antiaircraft weapons and acoustic "sink the guy chasing us" weapons were all examples of wishful thinking and none were particularly successful. This is one of the reasons why a lot of the more advanced sub designs of the war omitted their AA guns altogether and replaced them with more powerful deck guns capable of limited offensive fire against merchant vessels; later generations omitted them altogether, with the Soviets installing some manpad AA missiles on their later designs.

To this day, in fact, no "defensive" torpedo weapon exists for submarine use. The closest thing we have to that is the SLAT anti-torpedo weapons the EU has been developing, which is basically a lightweight torpedo designed to intercept other torpedoes; this is being designed for surface vessels, and it is unclear if a sub-launched version is even being considered. My impression is that such a system may also be wishful thinking, but if the technology is advanced enough, who knows? The point is, submarines do not possess effective defense systems -- AT ALL -- except for stealth and acoustical countermeasures. The best sub commanders learn to use those two assets to their full advantage and survive that much longer; it's the ones who screw up and get caught who have to take desperation shots and hope to get lucky.
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