Weapons that changed the world

Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:05 pm

Thorin wrote:
McAvoy wrote:Yes you can paint something to make it stealthy. But if you really look at the Super Hornet very carefully, there are other things on it that is stealth based. However there is more to that stealth paint than a can of paint. It's painted in layers. Abit more than a coat of paint.


Okay well I am going to flat out tell you you're wrong; the shape, aerodynamics, and engine output/signature all play a major part in stealth technology - particularly, getting the shape right to lower a planes radar cross section (this is extremely difficult), and reducing the engine signature as much as possible. A 20 foot long jet of superheated gas shows up pretty easily on a whole lot of tracking equipment.



You are correct. But you are wrong about one thing. Nuclear powered ships are different then their conventional counterparts. I assuming you are intelligent enough to know that a conventional powered ship and a nuclear powered ship requires a entirely different layout in their propulsion machinery. In the case of surface ships, they do not require a funnel.

In addition, something for carriers is the extra steam the nuke ships generate. This is essential to the catapults that launch off of the planes off of the carriers. Small things here and there.

No, a weapon is a collection of it's parts. A gun with it's bullet. A ship with it's propulsion, damage control, weapon outfit, defense and so forth.

Part of the argument about nuclear power was the fact did a CVN (Enterprise/Nimitz) change the world or did it's original CV counterpart (Forrestal) change the world. Not semantics. Nuclear power changes alot and for the good on how a aircraft carrier operates. The two biggest obvious is range, and aviation fuel carrying capacity.


It's still semantics. So is the missile launcher on the deck of a frigate not a weapon? If you had it on the back of a truck (soviet-style) you'd call it so, but not on a ship? What about on a truck on the ship? It's all rather arbitrary (and slightly beside the point)[/quote]

Ships carry weapons. A stable weapons platform in conjunction of it's mission/job makes up for the whole of a ship. Same goes for the plane. The plane itself is not a weapon either until you put weapons on it.

It''s impossible to come to a solid conclusion. I'd always say the 'first' is the one that changes most. That 'first' weapon changes the world more not only because of its inherant properties, but because it gives rise to its very successors. So you could say the Forrestal was the most revolutionary because it was the first nuclear powered ship and it gave rise to the Nimitz.


Incorrect. I hope that was a typo or you are betraying your lack of knowledge of the subject. The Forrestal class was not nuclear powered.

You need a discrete and significant 'jump' in technology for it to do something major and world changing. Or have some form of unconventional revolutionary aspect (like the AK-47 and its black market).

Having said all that, I still don't think that any nuclear powered ship/submarine significantly improved on its predecessor enough, to be considered a single point of world changing weaponary.


Incorrect. A nuclear powered submarine is a huge step over it's coventional counterpart. Simply put it can stay underneath the water far, far longer. That is a submarine's main weapon, stealth.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:42 pm

McAvoy wrote:You are correct. But you are wrong about one thing. Nuclear powered ships are different then their conventional counterparts. I assuming you are intelligent enough to know that a conventional powered ship and a nuclear powered ship requires a entirely different layout in their propulsion machinery. In the case of surface ships, they do not require a funnel.

In addition, something for carriers is the extra steam the nuke ships generate. This is essential to the catapults that launch off of the planes off of the carriers. Small things here and there.


Agreed, I am not disputing these facts.

Ships carry weapons. A stable weapons platform in conjunction of it's mission/job makes up for the whole of a ship. Same goes for the plane. The plane itself is not a weapon either until you put weapons on it.


So putting multiple weapons onto a plane makes the plane a weapon? Then putting multiple planes (weapons) into a flight formation makes the flight formation a weapon? I know this is slightly beside the point, but a lot of it does come down to arbitrary and personal decisions and, essentially, semantics.

Incorrect. I hope that was a typo or you are betraying your lack of knowledge of the subject. The Forrestal class was not nuclear powered.


I am no expert on matters of technical aviation/military history, but that is a rather separate matter to what we are discussing. Pretend I said the name of the actual first nuclear powered ship, which is what I meant.

Incorrect. A nuclear powered submarine is a huge step over it's coventional counterpart. Simply put it can stay underneath the water far, far longer. That is a submarine's main weapon, stealth.


Huge - arbitrary, qualititive, opinion. And while I agree it's advantages are, essentially, huge, it doesn't change the fact that being able to stay under water for longer and further away hasn't "changed the world".

Just so we all get this: I am not disputing the greatness of some technological innovations. I am, however, discussing how great an impact these innovations had on the world. Yes, the Nimitz is the biggest and most powerful supercarrier on the world with technology beyond any other military and a great improvement on its predecessors. Yes, *insert weapon here* is the best *insert technological phrase* in the world and a great improvement over its predecessors. But such an improvement needs to lead something more than solely being an improvement (regardless how great an improvement). In the context of this topic, it needs to be revolutionary.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:57 pm

Thorin wrote:
McAvoy wrote:You are correct. But you are wrong about one thing. Nuclear powered ships are different then their conventional counterparts. I assuming you are intelligent enough to know that a conventional powered ship and a nuclear powered ship requires a entirely different layout in their propulsion machinery. In the case of surface ships, they do not require a funnel.

In addition, something for carriers is the extra steam the nuke ships generate. This is essential to the catapults that launch off of the planes off of the carriers. Small things here and there.


Agreed, I am not disputing these facts.


Ok.

Ships carry weapons. A stable weapons platform in conjunction of it's mission/job makes up for the whole of a ship. Same goes for the plane. The plane itself is not a weapon either until you put weapons on it.


So putting multiple weapons onto a plane makes the plane a weapon? Then putting multiple planes (weapons) into a flight formation makes the flight formation a weapon? I know this is slightly beside the point, but a lot of it does come down to arbitrary and personal decisions and, essentially, semantics.


What is a warplane without weapons? Just a plane. Yeah there are planes without weapons like recon planes. But that is besides the point. A plane specifically designed to carry weapons, guns, bombs, and missiles is a warplane. That warplane needs to be designed to carry these weapons effectively.

You are not getting the whole concept. But I think you are thinking in small terms. Individual weapons. Instead of the bigger picture of what makes a plane a warplane and makes a ship a warship.

Incorrect. I hope that was a typo or you are betraying your lack of knowledge of the subject. The Forrestal class was not nuclear powered.


I am no expert on matters of technical aviation/military history, but that is a rather separate matter to what we are discussing. Pretend I said the name of the actual first nuclear powered ship, which is what I meant.


Ok. But we are discussing nuclear power. The Enterprise is the first nuclear powered carrier. The fact that you mistaken the Forrestal class (in a topic that has been discussing this very subject) leads to some to believe you may not know exactly what we are talking about.

Incorrect. A nuclear powered submarine is a huge step over it's coventional counterpart. Simply put it can stay underneath the water far, far longer. That is a submarine's main weapon, stealth.


Huge - arbitrary, qualititive, opinion. And while I agree it's advantages are, essentially, huge, it doesn't change the fact that being able to stay under water for longer and further away hasn't "changed the world".


That is exactly what makes the submarine. Staying underwater unable to be detected, so it can launch it's payload at something. It is far, far more capable of achieving this then it's coventional counterparts.

Just so we all get this: I am not disputing the greatness of some technological innovations. I am, however, discussing how great an impact these innovations had on the world. Yes, the Nimitz is the biggest and most powerful supercarrier on the world with technology beyond any other military and a great improvement on its predecessors. Yes, *insert weapon here* is the best *insert technological phrase* in the world and a great improvement over its predecessors. But such an improvement needs to lead something more than solely being an improvement (regardless how great an improvement). In the context of this topic, it needs to be revolutionary.


Nuclear power is revoluntionary more so for the submarine than the surface ship. You are not getting this.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:06 pm

McAvoy wrote:I assuming you are intelligent enough to know that a conventional powered ship and a nuclear powered ship requires a entirely different layout in their propulsion machinery.


Since when? Other than the obvious lack of a funnel the drive train is identical aft of the boilers. Enterprise in particular simply copied the entire machinery fit of the Kitty Hawks, swapping eight oil-fired boilers for eight reactors.

In addition, something for carriers is the extra steam the nuke ships generate. This is essential to the catapults that launch off of the planes off of the carriers. Small things here and there.


Useful, but not essential obviously, otherwise non-nuclear carriers wouldn't have steam catapults.

Incorrect. A nuclear powered submarine is a huge step over it's coventional counterpart. Simply put it can stay underneath the water far, far longer. That is a submarine's main weapon, stealth.


I'd dispute whether a nuke sub is more stealthy than a non-nuke, given that they're handicapped in that respect by having to keep the pumps running constantly. I'd describe their main advantages as submerged endurance and speed.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:17 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
McAvoy wrote:I assuming you are intelligent enough to know that a conventional powered ship and a nuclear powered ship requires a entirely different layout in their propulsion machinery.


Since when? Other than the obvious lack of a funnel the drive train is identical aft of the boilers. Enterprise in particular simply copied the entire machinery fit of the Kitty Hawks, swapping eight oil-fired boilers for eight reactors.


My fault. I should of mentioned the Nimitz class. Yeah you are right though the Enterprise's machinery spaces are very similar to the Kitty Hawk.

In addition, something for carriers is the extra steam the nuke ships generate. This is essential to the catapults that launch off of the planes off of the carriers. Small things here and there.


Useful, but not essential obviously, otherwise non-nuclear carriers wouldn't have steam catapults.


Yeah they both have them. Extra steam means faster launching periods. This a small point since it's not really steam that causes delays but machinery failures.

Incorrect. A nuclear powered submarine is a huge step over it's coventional counterpart. Simply put it can stay underneath the water far, far longer. That is a submarine's main weapon, stealth.


I'd dispute whether a nuke sub is more stealthy than a non-nuke, given that they're handicapped in that respect by having to keep the pumps running constantly. I'd describe their main advantages as submerged endurance and speed.
[/quote]

I am not going to dispute this because my knowledge of current submarine technology is sorely lacking. I just know 1960's and before.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:20 pm

McAvoy wrote:What is a warplane without weapons? Just a plane. Yeah there are planes without weapons like recon planes. But that is besides the point. A plane specifically designed to carry weapons, guns, bombs, and missiles is a warplane. That warplane needs to be designed to carry these weapons effectively.


Listen, I'm playing devil's advocate here, I get what you are saying, but thinking a matter like this is black and white is just plain bonkers.

Ok. But we are discussing nuclear power. The Enterprise is the first nuclear powered carrier. The fact that you mistaken the Forrestal class (in a topic that has been discussing this very subject) leads to some to believe you may not know exactly what we are talking about.


Indeed, when you are discussing the history of names and classes of various ships, I am, I'm afraid, lacking. But that doesn't matter. It's like me talking about the workings of a fission reactor onboard a nuclear powered ship. Yes, I know the technical details, but if we were, for example, talking about what a nuclear reactor powering a ship actually allows the ship to do, it doesn't require my technical knowledge to say "nuclear reactors are reliable and requires little refueling".

It doesn't require a knowledge of specific names of ships to be able to discuss the topic of how important nuclear reactors powering said ships are.

That is exactly what makes the submarine. Staying underwater unable to be detected, so it can launch it's payload at something. It is far, far more capable of achieving this then it's coventional counterparts.


It is. Unquestionably. You are stating facts I have never disputed and have even, myself, put forward. Doesn't change its lack of true impact on a global scale, though, does it?

Nuclear power is revoluntionary more so for the submarine than the surface ship. You are not getting this.


No, I do get it. Yes, it is more revolutionary for submarines. You keep spouting facts to me which I am in agreement with, and yet you never address the fact that these weapons haven't (or have) changed the world.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:24 pm

I am going to say this because I am tired. Submarines in general were huge deal during the Cold War and nuclear power made them a big threat. Especially when it came those subs with nukes onboard.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:26 pm

McAvoy wrote:My fault. I should of mentioned the Nimitz class. Yeah you are right though the Enterprise's machinery spaces are very similar to the Kitty Hawk.


Even for Nimitz, or for any nuclear powered vessel for that matter, the drive trains are fundamentally the same - the only difference is the method of generating steam.

I am not going to dispute this because my knowledge of current submarine technology is sorely lacking. I just know 1960's and before.


It isn't a matter of age, but of the basic technology - nuclear reactors require a constant flow of coolant through the primary loop to avoid a meltdown. In most designs, this is done via pumps, which is a source of noise. Since electric motors don't need cooling in this manner they're inherently stealthier.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:29 pm

Thorin wrote:No, I do get it. Yes, it is more revolutionary for submarines. You keep spouting facts to me which I am in agreement with, and yet you never address the fact that these weapons haven't (or have) changed the world.


You wouldn't, I hope, dispute the fact that having a completely secure second-strike capability was vital to maintaining MAD during the 70s and 80s. If it weren't for the nuclear-powered and armed bombers there's a good chance that the Cold War would have gone hot, with terminal results for civilisation.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:45 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
McAvoy wrote:My fault. I should of mentioned the Nimitz class. Yeah you are right though the Enterprise's machinery spaces are very similar to the Kitty Hawk.


Even for Nimitz, or for any nuclear powered vessel for that matter, the drive trains are fundamentally the same - the only difference is the method of generating steam.

I am not going to dispute this because my knowledge of current submarine technology is sorely lacking. I just know 1960's and before.


It isn't a matter of age, but of the basic technology - nuclear reactors require a constant flow of coolant through the primary loop to avoid a meltdown. In most designs, this is done via pumps, which is a source of noise. Since electric motors don't need cooling in this manner they're inherently stealthier.


Yeah I know the nuclear reactors basically replace the boilers in the steam engine. But there is something to be said about a ship that before, needed the same or even a different type of fuel than that of the planes, where a nuclear carrier can use that same fuel storage for planes only.

However, what I meant about the submarines is what advances have been put into submarines to reduce their noise since the 1960's.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:50 pm

McAvoy wrote:Yeah I know the nuclear reactors basically replace the boilers in the steam engine. But there is something to be said about a ship that before, needed the same or even a different type of fuel than that of the planes, where a nuclear carrier can use that same fuel storage for planes only.


Sure. It was the details I was disputing, rather than the general point that it's a significant advantage.

However, what I meant about the submarines is what advances have been put into submarines to reduce their noise since the 1960's.


There have, but ultimately they only reduce the vibrations transmitted into the surrounding water. The less noise a sub actually produces, the quieter it will be (obviously), and a non-nuclear sub will therefore always be quieter than a nuclear sub, assuming they're equipped with the same sound-reducing measures.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:56 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
Thorin wrote:No, I do get it. Yes, it is more revolutionary for submarines. You keep spouting facts to me which I am in agreement with, and yet you never address the fact that these weapons haven't (or have) changed the world.


You wouldn't, I hope, dispute the fact that having a completely secure second-strike capability was vital to maintaining MAD during the 70s and 80s. If it weren't for the nuclear-powered and armed bombers there's a good chance that the Cold War would have gone hot, with terminal results for civilisation.


I wouldn't necessarily dispute that, no. I've barely even given arguments for what, in my opinion, has changed the world, I've just be trying to explain the difference between "this is very powerful/important and a technological triumph" and "world changing".

You do bring up a good point, along the sort of lines that I was hoping others would bring, but they just seem to be fixated of the awesomeness of some weapon or technology, rather than its true impact on the world :shock:
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Reliant121 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:14 pm

@McAvoy: On the above note of nuclear/non nuclear submarines, I know for a fact that they must be used for different purposes. A navy that goes on long deployments naturally uses a nuclear submarine because of its insane strategic range and its increased power while underwater; Thats why the USN/RN etc. use them. But for smaller coastal work or for defensive purposes diesel electric are ideal. They are much much MUCH quieter: Nuclear power requires an awful lot of pumping which of course produces the vibrations. Not only that but travelling at any form of speed underwater is pointless because of cavitation of the screws. A diesel electric is virtually silent beneath the waves, much more so than a nuclear ship.

in short: Nuclear = Long range, fast and easy to fuel

Diesel-electric: MUCH quieter and therefore more combat effective. Just can't get very far.

Having met a very old helmsman of subs who was the helmsman of one of the RN's last diesel electrics before taking on one of the earlier nuclear subs, he would definitely take the diesel-electric. As would a lot of submariners. Yeah, they can't get that far but they do a far better job of keeping the crew alive.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Deepcrush » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:18 pm

With regards to Thorin, its pretty clear he's only in here to spam the thread so may be best to just ignore him. Works for kids in the time out corner and if we're lucky it will work here.

As to Nuc/non-nuc subs... Nons are far far quieter then Nuc-subs. Also, while running below the surface, tracking non-nuc subs by thermals is a hell of a lot harder. The difference comes from, just like the carrier, the operational range of the ships.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby McAvoy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:23 pm

Reliant121 wrote:@McAvoy: On the above note of nuclear/non nuclear submarines, I know for a fact that they must be used for different purposes. A navy that goes on long deployments naturally uses a nuclear submarine because of its insane strategic range and its increased power while underwater; Thats why the USN/RN etc. use them. But for smaller coastal work or for defensive purposes diesel electric are ideal. They are much much MUCH quieter: Nuclear power requires an awful lot of pumping which of course produces the vibrations. Not only that but travelling at any form of speed underwater is pointless because of cavitation of the screws. A diesel electric is virtually silent beneath the waves, much more so than a nuclear ship.

in short: Nuclear = Long range, fast and easy to fuel

Diesel-electric: MUCH quieter and therefore more combat effective. Just can't get very far.

Having met a very old helmsman of subs who was the helmsman of one of the RN's last diesel electrics before taking on one of the earlier nuclear subs, he would definitely take the diesel-electric. As would a lot of submariners. Yeah, they can't get that far but they do a far better job of keeping the crew alive.


Interesting. Thanks. To be honest my area of interest has only been 1960's and before that. Mainly cruisers and carriers, so my knowledge of subs are sketchy at best.
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