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I'm wondering about one thing in the Macross universe guys ...


Macross007
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The Valkyrie gun pod is a firearm used within an action/adventure drama for the purposes of entertainment. It's use (and misuse) is to be expected within certain boundaries of implausibility, same as firearms in other similar entertainment like Transformers, Star Wars, Serenity or Live Free or Die Hard.

Moral of the story: all hail endless ammunition until the script demands an empty! :lol::)bigun2.gif

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Zinjark

Sharks with fricken lasers! :):lol:

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There's still far less room for evolution than in other weapon technologies. Lasers are in their infancy, and we have yet to create a viable energy weapon.

Actually Macross has been fairly conservative on it's evolution of the kentic projectile weaponry. There are caseless rounds, "smart" rounds that could alter their course, non-chemical propellants (i.e rail-guns), etc... The Laser or energy weapons are a bit more restrictive in their evolutionary potential.

And I remain convinced that a gun is a poor choice of prikary weapon for space combat once alternatives are available.

I disagree. Kinetic weapons and missiles are more economical and as effective (if not more) as energy based weapons, so why fix what isn't broken?

But then, the VF-1 was a poor space fighter. Otherwise the FAST packs wouldn't have been made.

The FAST packs are combat augmentation that allowed the fighter to carry larger amounts of "missiles" and greater afterburner speeds.. the Valk was holding it's own quite well in the beginning of SDFM.

A. We don't really know the energy consumption of the lasers used in Macross, so making claims about the resources needed to fire one is a bit iffy.

Not so. Unless the gunpods are rail-guns, they have self contained propellant in the rounds and can shoot at greater rate of fire compared to the Zentreadi energy weapons, which do require an energy source. Essentially all the excess power can be channeled into the SWAG system as opposed to sharing the output with weaponry.

B. Beam weapons rapidly dissipate in atmosphere, but not space.

All energy dissipates, just at different rates in different enviroments. A kinetic weapon will keep its inertial energy much longer than an energy beem will keep it's potency over the same distance.

C. Trajectory adjustment isn't possible for bullets either. And lasers have the advantage of reaching the target MUCH faster. In fact, the laser will always be the first weapon to hit a target thanks to the 1c speed limit imposed by relativity.

If you read what I posted you'd realized that "missiles" course correct. However in time projectiles could evolve into "smart" bullets that course correct to a certain degree. When a laser will hit a target is not the issue, it's the cost benefit ratio that matters. How much resource is needed to hit and destroy that target at lightspeed with an energy weapon as opposed to how much is needed to hit it at a slower kinetic speed with a projectile to get the same result?

It is NOT possible, as both the YF-19 and YF-21, as well as their production variants, mounted pin-point barriers without sacrificing conventional lasers, "converging energy cannons," and "beam guns"(depending on which specific plane you look at).

Did you ever see them use both systems simultaneously? I haven't, which is what my later point was, that possibly in the 2040's both systems could not be used at the same time, eventhough they were available to most modern fighters of the day.

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A Note About...Lasers

Probably no future weapon in all of science fiction has been abused more than the laser. Sadly, the Macross franchise is no exception. Real lasers are continuous beams, they are invisible in a vacuum and they propagate at the speed of light, much faster than the eye can see. Exsedol's joke makes an excellent point in fact; so many fictional energy weapons are called lasers, yet do not function as such. Such inconsistencies precipitated many early fan debates as to the true nature of fictional "laser" weapons. You can well imagine the viciousness of the arguments :) Personally, when I use the term laser within the context of Macross it should be understood the fictional laser of the Macross franchise is not a true laser weapon. As such, going further into the nature and function of Macross "lasers" is really opening up big pandora's box of speculation. Needless to say, the function of lasers in Macross as they appear in the anime is good enough for me.

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Macross energy weapons would be better described as DEW's or Directed Energy Weapons.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread36894/pg1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directed_Energy_Weapons

With how the DEW's are portrayed in Macross it is difficult to ascribe what actual DEW was employed by the Zentreadi and later by Spacy.

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Real lasers are continuous beams, they are invisible in a vacuum and they propagate at the speed of light, much faster than the eye can see. Exsedol's joke makes an excellent point in fact; so many fictional energy weapons are called lasers, yet do not function as such.

LoL thank you. That's my point. Thing is the macross universe might have some wierd Ray style lasers that actually impact, but that is what plasma does in a condensed form. Lasers are the ace in the hole for cartoons because they don't have to explain them lol

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I disagree. Kinetic weapons and missiles are more economical and as effective (if not more) as energy based weapons, so why fix what isn't broken?

The problem with missiles is this: They can be avoided by mecha with higher acceleration and fuel capacity than the missile.

We've seen this in SDFM, Macross Plus, and the Macross Frontier Trailer.

They are also finite.

I'd rather have an energy based weapon propagating near the speed of light with no ammo constraints, which should be more difficult to dodge and detect.

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The problem with missiles is this: They can be avoided by mecha with higher acceleration and fuel capacity than the missile.

We've seen this in SDFM, Macross Plus, and the Macross Frontier Trailer.

They are also finite.

I'd rather have an energy based weapon propagating near the speed of light with no ammo constraints, which should be more difficult to dodge and detect.

You'll eventually run out of energy as well unless you have some sort of generator. A energy blast goes in a straight line unlike missiles that lock on.

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Cmon, we all know that the Zents were basically cheap expendable soldiers that the PC didn't give a rats ass about. I saw the lack of shields as #1 a cost saving measure #2 an ability for them to ensure they're weapons were superior to the Zents. If I were to speculate I'd say that Reaction weaponry was another technology that the P.C. were keeping to themselves so that they could use it against the zents if they ever got a bit big for their britches.

The zentaedi DID have access to nukes, but they never had control over the production of them.

The PC destroyed the weapon factory to deny the zentraedi that resource. Hence why they're a legendary weapon now.

I disagree. Kinetic weapons and missiles are more economical and as effective (if not more) as energy based weapons, so why fix what isn't broken?

Recoil is the primary reason. Yes, there's workarounds. These workarounds also complicate the weapon and require significant maintenance to keep them functioning properly.

It's not much of an issue in a terrestrial environment, but in space every tiny bit of recoil you absorb has to be countered by your reaction mass, which reduces your operating time.

Economical is still highly debatable, given that electricity is so plentiful as toe be essentially free in a Valkyrie.

The FAST packs are combat augmentation that allowed the fighter to carry larger amounts of "missiles" and greater afterburner speeds.. the Valk was holding it's own quite well in the beginning of SDFM.

The FAST packs also add... what, 20 verniers and a metric butt-ton of reaction mass?

They do NOT add greater afterburner speed, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is they're rockets, not jety engines

Top speed isn't even a valid concept in space.

The main rockets on the FAST packs increase the Valk's "delta-v". More reaction mass = more velocity changes = longer operating times. They also increase it's acceleration, due to the ability to expend more reaction mass at once.

The fact that the FAST pack was even DEVELOPED speaks to a deficiency in the original design.

The VF-1 was under-armed, under-fueled, and under-thruster'ed for the situations it found itself in.

And the fact that the main FAST pack engines are offfset from the fighter's center of mass accents their jury-rigged hack status.

They can't thrust straight backwards, because it would send the fighter spinning in circles instead of straight. When they're in use part of the reaction mass is completely wasted just keeping the fighter level(which is likely why the design has the rocket bells angled upwards instead of pointed straight back). Had they been an intended design feature, a mounting point level with the plane's body would almost certainly have been provided for more efficient thrust.

Not so. Unless the gunpods are rail-guns, they have self contained propellant in the rounds and can shoot at greater rate of fire compared to the Zentreadi energy weapons, which do require an energy source. Essentially all the excess power can be channeled into the SWAG system as opposed to sharing the output with weaponry.

Even if they were railguns, they would likely operate on self-contained batteries.

The zentraedi DO have high-rate-of-fire energy weapons. See the QRau's arm guns for an excellent example.

Also note that lasers/beam guns/energy cannons can be fired in fighter mode, while SWAG is a battroid/GERWALK-only feature.

All energy dissipates, just at different rates in different enviroments. A kinetic weapon will keep its inertial energy much longer than an energy beem will keep it's potency over the same distance.

A real laser will only lose power as a function of focus. Photons retain energy even after billions of years in space. (I'm ignoring doppler as Macross has avoided high-fraction-of-C travel, and has yet to show combat occuring during a fold, which operates under different laws of physics anyways). A perfectly-focused laser would be equally potent years after being fired, but that wouldn't be very useful except for bragging rights.

Similarly, a kinetic energy weapon in space will lose power only due to the influences of gravity(solar wind being negligible in a combat scenario).

If you read what I posted you'd realized that "missiles" course correct. However in time projectiles could evolve into "smart" bullets that course correct to a certain degree.

You listed things as if trajectory correction was ONLY an issue for lasers.

And a smart bullet would need a rocket engine, verniers, and reaction mass to correct course in space. Which would make it.... a missile with no warhead.

When a laser will hit a target is not the issue, it's the cost benefit ratio that matters. How much resource is needed to hit and destroy that target at lightspeed with an energy weapon as opposed to how much is needed to hit it at a slower kinetic speed with a projectile to get the same result?

How does speed not matter?

You can see FAR farther in space than an atmosphere. You can, and WILL, have engagements where targets are separated by light-seconds. Good luck leading an enemy target with your bullets.

Let's explore this situation a bit.

Math, meet discussion.

Discussion, meet math.

The Voyager 2, the fastest object mankind has ever made, travels a mere 16 km/s. Light travels 299,792.458 km/s. Light is 18, 737 times faster than the fastest object ever made by man.

Or to put it another way, it takes the Voyager over five hours to travel 1 light-second. A laser will travel that distance in one second.

The fastest bullets now in existence travel MUCH slower. I'm seeing a pokey 1.5 km/s as the general top speed for bullets. This class includes the depleted uranium penetrators fired from the Abrams battle tank. It'd take one such shot 2 days to travel one light-second if it were fired in space.

The GAU-8, for comparison, fires at 990 m/s. Not even a kilometer per second.

Three and a half days per light second.

If you are one light second away from a target, it will take DAYS to hit the target. A laser will do it in one second.

Your enemy will also see your muzzle flash one second after you send your bullet on it's half-week journey. Evasive action is inevitable. You will miss.

Conclusion: Guns are PATHETIC in space.

Missiles don't fare much better. The fastest in existence is a recently-developed russian ICBM that can travel 3.35 km/s. That's about ten times the speed of sound.

Of course, this is full-throttle until it runs out of gas, against gravity. One hand.... thrusting the whole way is NOT how you operate in space, as you burn all your reaction mass. On the other.... no gravity to fight in space.

It's still an ICBM, and crazy large.

You can get near that with fighter-launched missiles.... sort of.

The un-produced AIM-47 Falcon missile, also known as the GAR-9, would have had a top speed of mach 4.

BUT it was going to be mounted on the also un-produced F-12 interceptor.

A pre-production sample fired from a YF-12 would get mach 4 ON TOP OF the YF-12's mach 3 cruise speed, resulting in a fighter-fired missile travelling at mach 7.

The productoin AIM-54 Phoenix, which is based on the Falcon, can go mach 5. But there's no Blackbirds in service to drop them out of, much less ones with missile hardpoints(there's only even one YF-12 surviving).

But this is all tangental, and mainly fueled by my Blackbid lust.

Either way.... slow.

And missiles can be shot down on the way in, especially when you have so much time to find and target them.

Also tangental: if I were designing a space fighter, my missiles would be 2-stage weapons. There'd be a booster stage to get it moving towards the target(or launch it from a large gun). Once that first shot was used, the missile would float towards the target area quietly. The second-stage main engine would activate when the missile was much closer to the target, guiding it in for the kill.

Really, at long range, missiles are more like homing mines than missiles.

Now if you can mount a fold generator to your gun's muzzle, or piggybacked on your missiles, you've rendered the laser pointless. Otherwise... no.

Did you ever see them use both systems simultaneously? I haven't, which is what my later point was, that possibly in the 2040's both systems could not be used at the same time, eventhough they were available to most modern fighters of the day.

Hmmm....

I'd have to rewatch Macross Plus. Don't have Mac7 anymore.

LoL thank you. That's my point. Thing is the macross universe might have some wierd Ray style lasers that actually impact, but that is what plasma does in a condensed form. Lasers are the ace in the hole for cartoons because they don't have to explain them lol

The fact that Kawamori makes a distinction between lasers and beam gun implies that lasers are intended to be, well, lasers.

The problem with missiles is this: They can be avoided by mecha with higher acceleration and fuel capacity than the missile.

We've seen this in SDFM, Macross Plus, and the Macross Frontier Trailer.

No. We've seen ECM units confuse missiles enough for the pilot to shake them. And almost invariably shoot them down before they reacquire him.

More often, we've seen them just plain shoot down incoming missiles before they get close enough to detonate.

Lacking soft squishy crushable innards, the huge mass associated with a life-support system, or the potential for blacking out, a missile can out-accelerate any manned vehicle fighter you can field.

To actually just plain out-accelerate a missile would result in something similar to Macross Plus: Movie Edition's Ghost fight.

You may win, but you're still dead.

Edited by JB0
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A pre-production sample fired from a YF-12 would get mach 4 ON TOP OF the YF-12's mach 3 cruise speed, resulting in a fighter-fired missile travelling at mach 7.

That's not accurate in the atmosphere.

Even if you fire a missile at high mach, you don't get all of the added speed of the fighter that fired it. Once that missile is released, it no longer gets the propulsion from the aircraft, and it must rely on the thrust of its rocket motor/gravity for its acceleration.

A missile will only sustain a "Mach 7" number if it has the thrust to do so, but it will get some benefit from a higher launch speed.

The GAU-8, for comparison, fires at 990 m/s. Not even a kilometer per second.

Three and a half days per light second.

If you are one light second away from a target, it will take DAYS to hit the target. A laser will do it in one second.

Your enemy will also see your muzzle flash one second after you send your bullet on it's half-week journey. Evasive action is inevitable. You will miss.

Conclusion: Guns are PATHETIC in space.

The firing speed for a GAU-8 was probably tested on Earth, not in space where there is no air resistance and little gravity acting upon it. Like before, it all depends on the force that will propel the bullet.

You can see FAR farther in space than an atmosphere. You can, and WILL, have engagements where targets are separated by light-seconds. Good luck leading an enemy target with your bullets.

Let's explore this situation a bit.

The Voyager 2, the fastest object mankind has ever made, travels a mere 16 km/s. Light travels 299,792.458 km/s. Light is 18, 737 times faster than the fastest object ever made by man.

The distance between the Earth and the moon is a little over a light second, and engagements will never occur at that distance.

We are not even talking about those speeds here. To be basic, it's all about v = v0 +at, and a Valkyrie can only go a little over 3G in space in a clean configuration. If force is constant, then the Valkyrie will pick up a little more acceleration as its reaction mass depletes, but it won't be much if the mass of the reaction mass itself is relatively small. It's really not that fast.

And missiles can be shot down on the way in, especially when you have so much time to find and target them.

Also tangental: if I were designing a space fighter, my missiles would be 2-stage weapons. There'd be a booster stage to get it moving towards the target(or launch it from a large gun). Once that first shot was used, the missile would float towards the target area quietly. The second-stage main engine would activate when the missile was much closer to the target, guiding it in for the kill.

I'd rather have a large warhead that can cause damage over a wider area (unfriendly to friendlies though) so I am guaranteed a better probability of a hit.

Having a missile that has vectored thrust and maneuvering thrusters that can actually change its position as fast as the target (which has more reaction mass to expend) would be another plus.

No. We've seen ECM units confuse missiles enough for the pilot to shake them. And almost invariably shoot them down before they reacquire him.

More often, we've seen them just plain shoot down incoming missiles before they get close enough to detonate.

Lacking soft squishy crushable innards, the huge mass associated with a life-support system, or the potential for blacking out, a missile can out-accelerate any manned vehicle fighter you can field.

To actually just plain out-accelerate a missile would result in something similar to Macross Plus: Movie Edition's Ghost fight.

You may win, but you're still dead.

I've seen countermeasures deployed in Macross, but I haven't seen any ECM systems at work against missiles though.

A manned fighter can't out-G a missile in the atmosphere, but you can in space. If a Valkyrie is fired upon by a missile with 3G acceleration and it has more reaction mass than the missile, it can out run it.

A YF-21 has three times the thrust to weight ratio of a Valkyrie, so that is a distinct possibility. All VFs don't have the thrust output of a YF-21.

Edited by l_e_m
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A manned fighter can't out-G a missile in the atmosphere, but you can in space. If a Valkyrie is fired upon by a missile with 3G acceleration and it has more reaction mass than the missile, it can out run it.

The YF-21 was able to do so. :)

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It's not much of an issue in a terrestrial environment, but in space every tiny bit of recoil you absorb has to be countered by your reaction mass, which reduces your operating time.

Economical is still highly debatable, given that electricity is so plentiful as toe be essentially free in a Valkyrie.

However, we are not discussing Valkyries exclusively are we? They never came with PPB or primary DEWs.

The FAST packs also add... what, 20 verniers and a metric butt-ton of reaction mass?

They do NOT add greater afterburner speed, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is they're rockets, not jety engines

Top speed isn't even a valid concept in space.

Sigh, OK, if the only argument is a semantic one then let me re-phrase "Thrust". Speed IS a factor in space battles as there are greater distances to be traversed as opposed to atmospheric engagements.

The fact that the FAST pack was even DEVELOPED speaks to a deficiency in the original design.

The VF-1 was under-armed, under-fueled, and under-thruster'ed for the situations it found itself in.

"Deficiency in the original design" or "unanticipated enemy capabilities and numbers"? As already stated, they fared quite well after the Pluto jump, however combat experience showed that their weapons systems fell short in dealing with the volume of enemy aircraft they were facing. It is fair to reasonably assume that they were out numbered at least 10 to 1 in a dogfight situation. In a fleet situation, the need for FAST packs may not have been seen as critically necessary as the Macross found out they were relatively early on.

And the fact that the main FAST pack engines are offfset from the fighter's center of mass accents their jury-rigged hack status.

They can't thrust straight backwards, because it would send the fighter spinning in circles instead of straight. When they're in use part of the reaction mass is completely wasted just keeping the fighter level(which is likely why the design has the rocket bells angled upwards instead of pointed straight back). Had they been an intended design feature, a mounting point level with the plane's body would almost certainly have been provided for more efficient thrust.

Then please explain the design of the VF-11 FAST packs? The VF-11, a much more advanced fighter, post VF-4 (energy based primary weapons system), yet the FAST pack basic design relatively unchanged.

Even if they were railguns, they would likely operate on self-contained batteries.

That's a mighty large assumption. A rail gun may not require the same amount of power as a DEWs, but it would require more than what a "battery" could provide. It isn't a clock radio...

The zentraedi DO have high-rate-of-fire energy weapons. See the QRau's arm guns for an excellent example.

As far as I am aware that is the only unit with such capability. If you recall it utilized a large battery of missiles as a secondary weapons system. Why, if it's DEWs were so much more efficient as you are proposing?

Also note that lasers/beam guns/energy cannons can be fired in fighter mode, while SWAG is a battroid/GERWALK-only feature.

On the Zero and possibly the VF-1, however later generations could have benefited from the SWAG system in all modes....

Math, meet discussion.

Discussion, meet math.

The Voyager 2, the fastest object mankind has ever made, travels a mere 16 km/s. Light travels 299,792.458 km/s. Light is 18, 737 times faster than the fastest object ever made by man.

Or to put it another way, it takes the Voyager over five hours to travel 1 light-second. A laser will travel that distance in one second.

The fastest bullets now in existence travel MUCH slower. I'm seeing a pokey 1.5 km/s as the general top speed for bullets. This class includes the depleted uranium penetrators fired from the Abrams battle tank. It'd take one such shot 2 days to travel one light-second if it were fired in space.

The GAU-8, for comparison, fires at 990 m/s. Not even a kilometer per second.

Three and a half days per light second.

If you are one light second away from a target, it will take DAYS to hit the target. A laser will do it in one second.

Your enemy will also see your muzzle flash one second after you send your bullet on it's half-week journey. Evasive action is inevitable. You will miss.

Conclusion: Guns are PATHETIC in space.

Missiles don't fare much better. The fastest in existence is a recently-developed russian ICBM that can travel 3.35 km/s. That's about ten times the speed of sound.

Of course, this is full-throttle until it runs out of gas, against gravity. One hand.... thrusting the whole way is NOT how you operate in space, as you burn all your reaction mass. On the other.... no gravity to fight in space.

It's still an ICBM, and crazy large.

You can get near that with fighter-launched missiles.... sort of.

The un-produced AIM-47 Falcon missile, also known as the GAR-9, would have had a top speed of mach 4.

BUT it was going to be mounted on the also un-produced F-12 interceptor.

A pre-production sample fired from a YF-12 would get mach 4 ON TOP OF the YF-12's mach 3 cruise speed, resulting in a fighter-fired missile travelling at mach 7.

The productoin AIM-54 Phoenix, which is based on the Falcon, can go mach 5. But there's no Blackbirds in service to drop them out of, much less ones with missile hardpoints(there's only even one YF-12 surviving).

But this is all tangental, and mainly fueled by my Blackbid lust.

Either way.... slow.

And missiles can be shot down on the way in, especially when you have so much time to find and target them.

Also tangental: if I were designing a space fighter, my missiles would be 2-stage weapons. There'd be a booster stage to get it moving towards the target(or launch it from a large gun). Once that first shot was used, the missile would float towards the target area quietly. The second-stage main engine would activate when the missile was much closer to the target, guiding it in for the kill.

Really, at long range, missiles are more like homing mines than missiles.

Now if you can mount a fold generator to your gun's muzzle, or piggybacked on your missiles, you've rendered the laser pointless. Otherwise... no.

Math meet physics...

All those stats are fine..."in an atmosphere..." what are those same stats in space without the affects of gravity and friction? Those questions need answering before dismissing any kinetic weapons' effectiveness in space?

Now there is another aspect that this academic, theoretical debate that has yet to address, "actual combat situations".

In a perfect world the pilot would have ample time to track and fire his primary Energy Weapon and strike an enemy aircraft or missile at the speed of light for a long enough period of time to destroy it as proposed, however in a dogfight situation where a pilot has a reaction time of approximatey 200 - 225 milliseconds (measured reaction time of topgun pilots), that doesn't leave a lot of time to line up a shot and get that one shot kill. Especially when they are being fired upon by multiple enemys. This often results in wasted / missed shots due to pilot error, enemy evasive manuevers, etc... With DEWs this kind of behavior will deplete energy reserves quite quickly if not burn out the emitter units or worst case, disable the power systems of the fighter even temporarily.

However, with kinetic weaponry the cost is less and coupled with secondary fire and forget missiles allows the pilots more flexibility in combat furballs. Adding DEWs to fighters only adds to the available weaponry at the pilots disposal. As a secondary weapons system in combat, the DEWs would serve quite well and would most likely be responsible for allowing the pilot to get back to base for rearming in one piece. I would suspect that is why the VF-17, 19 & 22 are all equipped with DEWs, to enhance the survivability of the fighters in combat.

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The YF-21 was able to do so. :)

I thought that Guild used the same trick that he used against the new maneuver missiles at the beginning of the OVA series.

He accelerated before the missiles could arm or something to that effect.

He did out-G the "Ghost" missile though. Is that what you are referring to?

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Whatever happened to reflex(or was it reaction?) armor like Focker used in the naval battle in M0? I thought it was understood that a nicer-looking variant was used in the VF-1, or was that just the 'armored' variant as it was? I kinda got the impression that would be important.

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Whatever happened to reflex(or was it reaction?) armor like Focker used in the naval battle in M0? I thought it was understood that a nicer-looking variant was used in the VF-1, or was that just the 'armored' variant as it was? I kinda got the impression that would be important.

"Reactive" Armor is similar to the idea of ablative armor where the armor destroys itself in order to defeat the kinetic or explosive energy of a projectile or missile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_armour

The reactive armor on Roy's Zero really wasn't activated before he discarded the armor in combat.

The GBP was the VF-1 version but I don't believe it had reactive armor properties in the design, only additional bolt on armor and missile magazines.

Edited by Zinjo
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That's not accurate in the atmosphere.

Even if you fire a missile at high mach, you don't get all of the added speed of the fighter that fired it. Once that missile is released, it no longer gets the propulsion from the aircraft, and it must rely on the thrust of its rocket motor/gravity for its acceleration.

A missile will only sustain a "Mach 7" number if it has the thrust to do so, but it will get some benefit from a higher launch speed.

The firing speed for a GAU-8 was probably tested on Earth, not in space where there is no air resistance and little gravity acting upon it. Like before, it all depends on the force that will propel the bullet.

Touche, and touche again.

Was quick and sloppy math.

Though for the bullets I was assuming the numbers I found were muzzle velocity, which should reduce error.

The distance between the Earth and the moon is a little over a light second, and engagements will never occur at that distance.

We are not even talking about those speeds here. To be basic, it's all about v = v0 +at, and a Valkyrie can only go a little over 3G in space in a clean configuration. If force is constant, then the Valkyrie will pick up a little more acceleration as its reaction mass depletes, but it won't be much if the mass of the reaction mass itself is relatively small. It's really not that fast.

Why WOULDN'T engagements take place at a light-second? There's nothing getting in the way of visibility or anything, and we DO have weapons that are quite usable at those distances.

Though the only space battle with a really goof scale reference was in Daedalus Attack. Saturn's rings are a usable measure, though they're relatively tiny(like .12 light-seconds from the innermost to outermost edges). Though.... that was a pretty tight fit. The Macross is almost as tall as Saturn's ring system.

The final battle took place somewhere between the Earth and the Moon(since the moon was spared the orbital bombardment). No real sense of scale.

And I know we aren't talking Voyager speeds. I was getting the real-world upper limit for ballistic VS photon comparison out of the way.

I'd rather have a large warhead that can cause damage over a wider area (unfriendly to friendlies though) so I am guaranteed a better probability of a hit.

Having a missile that has vectored thrust and maneuvering thrusters that can actually change its position as fast as the target (which has more reaction mass to expend) would be another plus.

Seconded on both counts.

Especially since there's nothing to pollute in space. Nuclear weapons become viable options for a lot more operations.

And while there's no atmosphere to help shock wave propagation, the EM radiation isn't hindered one bit by lack of atmosphere.

I've seen countermeasures deployed in Macross, but I haven't seen any ECM systems at work against missiles though.

*checks*

Huh. I THOUGHT there was an ECM package listed in the VF-1 specs, but I don't see one.

A manned fighter can't out-G a missile in the atmosphere, but you can in space. If a Valkyrie is fired upon by a missile with 3G acceleration and it has more reaction mass than the missile, it can out run it.

A YF-21 has three times the thrust to weight ratio of a Valkyrie, so that is a distinct possibility. All VFs don't have the thrust output of a YF-21.

Inertia cares not for gravity.

The advantages of the missile's smaller mass and lack of squishy operator still work in it's favor just as effectively.

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However, we are not discussing Valkyries exclusively are we? They never came with PPB or primary DEWs.

But they come with SWAG, which seems to be fairly expensive. And the head lasers seem to get significant usage in fighter mode(which is where they're most conveniently mounted).

Sigh, OK, if the only argument is a semantic one then let me re-phrase "Thrust". Speed IS a factor in space battles as there are greater distances to be traversed as opposed to atmospheric engagements.

No, the primary argument was that they added a buttload of maneuvering thrusters. The VF-1 was rather clearly a terrestrial fighter first and foremost.

"Deficiency in the original design" or "unanticipated enemy capabilities and numbers"? As already stated, they fared quite well after the Pluto jump, however combat experience showed that their weapons systems fell short in dealing with the volume of enemy aircraft they were facing. It is fair to reasonably assume that they were out numbered at least 10 to 1 in a dogfight situation. In a fleet situation, the need for FAST packs may not have been seen as critically necessary as the Macross found out they were relatively early on.

A little of column A, a little of column B.

At the time the VF-1 was developed, humanity had VERY little experience in extra-planetary conflict. They were just guessing at what a space fighter needed.

The zentraedi had mecha designed by a race with centuries of space warfare experience. They were, understandably, far better suited to the environment than the VF-1, and at the same time far less suited to terrestrial combat.

Then please explain the design of the VF-11 FAST packs? The VF-11, a much more advanced fighter, post VF-4 (energy based primary weapons system), yet the FAST pack basic design relatively unchanged.

An unfortunate side-effect of basing the plane off the VF-1? Maybe a compromise to ensure a simpler transformation(stick them on the sides of the legs and it seems they'd tend to jam into the wings with a VF-1-styled transformation, and cut into hardpoint space).

Though it's worth noting that the VF-11's FAST packs are wider and squatter than the VF-1's, which reduces the effect. By using two smaller rocket bells isntead of one large one, they keep the thrust closer to the center of mass. And removing the "drip tray" under the nozzles lowers them further.

Sot ehre's some subtle differences that reduce the effect.

Really, the booster they used in MacPlus for the YF-21 missile dodging scene was a lot better design. One above, one below, end result is balanced thrust.

Of course, the fact that it interfered with transformation made it pretty darn useless.

That's a mighty large assumption. A rail gun may not require the same amount of power as a DEWs, but it would require more than what a "battery" could provide. It isn't a clock radio...

It's an assumption made not on tech level, but on form factor. If the gunpod were a rail gun, it would HAVE to be self-powered, asimply because there's no good way to connect it to the fighter's electrical system in GERWALK and battroid mode.

...

And now I get the idea of putting an induction system in the hand and grip. Which solves the issue nicely.

*kicks self*

As far as I am aware that is the only unit with such capability. If you recall it utilized a large battery of missiles as a secondary weapons system. Why, if it's DEWs were so much more efficient as you are proposing?

Why, if bullets are so much better, do NO zentraedi mechs carry ballistic weapons? Electron beams, lasers, "impact cannons"(Whatever the hell those are, they aren't set up so ammo feeds are possible), but not a bullet in sight.

Missiles are pretty useful secondaries.

I was arguing was bullets VS lasers. Not lasers VS everything.

Also: The Quel-Quallie has rapid-fire electron beams.

But no one likes it.

Math meet physics...

All those stats are fine..."in an atmosphere..." what are those same stats in space without the affects of gravity and friction? Those questions need answering before dismissing any kinetic weapons' effectiveness in space?

They still leave the bullets and missiles far slower than photonss.

Now there is another aspect that this academic, theoretical debate that has yet to address, "actual combat situations".

In a perfect world the pilot would have ample time to track and fire his primary Energy Weapon and strike an enemy aircraft or missile at the speed of light for a long enough period of time to destroy it as proposed, however in a dogfight situation where a pilot has a reaction time of approximatey 200 - 225 milliseconds (measured reaction time of topgun pilots), that doesn't leave a lot of time to line up a shot and get that one shot kill.

And the computer's ALREADY in the line ready to adjust things for the pilot. He just has to designate his target and fire.

(See Macross Zero's anti-missile sequence)

I assume there's a bit of adjustabilty in the guns even in fighter mode.

Especially when they are being fired upon by multiple enemys. This often results in wasted / missed shots due to pilot error, enemy evasive manuevers, etc... With DEWs this kind of behavior will deplete energy reserves quite quickly if not burn out the emitter units or worst case, disable the power systems of the fighter even temporarily.

However, with kinetic weaponry the cost is less and coupled with secondary fire and forget missiles allows the pilots more flexibility in combat furballs. Adding DEWs to fighters only adds to the available weaponry at the pilots disposal. As a secondary weapons system in combat, the DEWs would serve quite well and would most likely be responsible for allowing the pilot to get back to base for rearming in one piece. I would suspect that is why the VF-17, 19 & 22 are all equipped with DEWs, to enhance the survivability of the fighters in combat.

I'd tend to believe it's because the VFs are jacks of all trades.

Bullets are better in an atmosphere, lasers and particle beams are better in space. Slap both on the same fighter and call it a day.

As technology advances that's becoming less the nature of the VF.

The VF-4 was mankind's first attempt at purely energy weapons, and the 17 and 21/22 use them heavily.

....

Hmmm... The special forces planes depend on energy weapons and the mainline fighters depend on gunpods(VF-4 excepted). That's an odd coincidence, though I don't think it really says anything.

Also: Harder to make, but particle beams are pretty spiffy.

Most of the velocity of a laser, but with the added benefit of mass. Especially once you step up from electrons to protons.

And then on to atomic ions, and up the periodic table to heavier ones!

Someday you'll be able to smack someone upside the head with a stream of relativistic uranium. And it will be glorious!

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Very interesting points, but I'd just like to add a few considerations to the discussion.

Laser weapons do dramatically increase the speed of attack and the effective range, but you still have to detect and aim the weapon. Once outside visual range, lasers can only hit what the radar system can detect. Mecha combat in Macross still takes place at visual range for the most part (with a few exceptions like the opening of DYRL). This is likely due to factors such as point defense and evasion. Variable fighters can interdict long range weapons like missiles with gun pods or lasers and stealth systems allow craft to avoid detection over long ranges. Within visual range, the performance of the Valkyires are such that aiming is even more difficult except at anything other than point blank range (which pretty much describes the vast majority of mecha combat in Macross).

Speaking of detection it's likely variable fighters have neither the size of radar required nor the power needed to detect objects over vast distances. Whereas the SDF-1 Macross and other space ships can detect each other at least a light second or more out, it's likely Valkyrie radar can't even reach a light second. I think the furthest we've ever seen a Valkyrie detect anything was when Diamond Force found City 7 in Macross 7, which appeared under 10,000 kilometers away. I think only specialized Valkyrie units, such as the VE-1 Elint Seeker, can detect objects over long ranges.

Aiming a weapon over vast distances becomes more difficult the further the target. A very small fraction of a degree adjustment in the direction the laser weapon itself can mean a difference of several kilometers or more by the time the laser travels a light second. When attempting to fire upon a 12 meter tall Battroid some 300,000 kilometers away, being off by even a small fraction means you won't come anywhere near hitting the target. Even space ship combat in Macross doesn't seem to take place much further than a light second, likely due to the practical problems described above (and big, slower moving space ships are much easier to hit at long ranges than tiny fighters). The SDF-1 Macross typically fired at targets less than a light second out such as the initial battle of Space War I when it destroyed two Zentradi scouts 280,000 kilometers away (Episode 1, "Booby Trap").

Edited by Mr March
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  • 3 months later...

/me Casts Minor Necro Thread One

Questions you think about on watch, part 171:

How many Flight-Hours does a typical VF have? I'm talking about the Airframe itself, how long can a typical VF remain in service before being retired to the perverbial Bone Yards in Nevada ?

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I think the primary reason for having a gun pod on Valkyries is for fan aesthetics lets face it the sound of and look of a gun pod is just considered cooler than a laser in anime. Heck rumor was the YF-22 beat the YF-23 in the realworld due to aesthetics and old world thinkers. And it gives the Valkyrie a more familiar feel to it when it uses something based on technology from our world that is common (projectile technology) ( we have laser technology but nothing on par with the Macross World) and makes the series feel more real to you like Top Gun than say Star Wars.

But if we are looking for a realistic reason it boils down to production cost. A gun pod is simply cheaper to produce and gets the job done from a practical point. Do you really need a 1000 dollar Five-seveN pistol at a 20 yard gunfight when a cheaper 500 dollar Springfield XD will do the roughly the same job (yep I have both). Add the fact you can use a gun pod in both atmosphere and space (though to a lesser ability than a laser) and it has the added bonus of being able to lead targets in atmospheric combat which is probably a concern to UN Spacy as everything really boils down to how they can protect their home world if it ever intruded on again.

Plus the Valkyrie was built to be a jack of all trades anyway, it does the job of a fighter, soldier and helicopter. That is further testified to by the destroids being obsolete thanks to the multi role ability and upgradeability of a Valkyrie. But for any multi-role military hardware to be truly effective for military use it must be not only a jack of all trade but have an acceptable cost for the military it serves to shoulder. Say you have a F/A-18E that can do the job of a fighter, recon, tanker, and bomber for less than the cost of building an equivalent number of specialized aircraft which as a nation would you rather have 100 recon planes, 100 bombers, 100 tankers and 100 fighters or 400 multi-role planes that you can switch out to do which ever task you need more of at the time for the same if not cheaper cost. The cost and multi-role ability of a gun pod over a beam weapon adds to that that argument and the bottom line. UN Spacy must be concerned with its bottom line. Funds and resources are finite and there are a lot of planets, patrol fleets, controlled and protected space territory and colony fleets that need Valkyries and that takes a lot of money, time (its more than likely faster to build gun pods too and you already have a ton of ammo stockpiled for them that needs to be used up too) and resources plus the gun pod system is probably easier to maintain and my or n=may not have less parts. Oh did I mention the contacts and kickbacks that are probably involved with the companies and government that may date back to the days of the VF-0 (not very unusual stuff it pretty much common place).

I concede though the beam/laser weapons are better in technical terms but realistically they aren’t better for a large still expanding and developing Government like UN Spacy until the laser gets cheaper.

But to be honest like it has been said before why not get the best of both worlds and mount gun pods and beam/ laser weapons if the cost and operability provides without sacrificing performance.

EDIT: All that being said I sometimes enjoy throwing my 2 cents in while others throw in their 98 cent to keep a good argument and discussion going that leads to the parties involved all gaining knowledge and understanding from the affair.

Edited by Sorata
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Projectile weaponry vs directed energy weapons has been debated already, and we'll agree to disagree on that point.

Thus far it is unclear whether destroids were completely phased out since somewhere in the Frontier Manga (I believe) the Colonial President would not authorize the deployment of destroids to deal with the Varja bug threat on the Islands and left that to the SMS to deal with.

Although I agree that cost would be a major factor with respect to the gunpods, not to mention mankind's confidence in reliability of known mechanical weaponry over somewhat new directed energy weaponry.

Edited by Zinjo
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Well thanks to pensive wetness' necro, i just caught this thread.

Just thought i'd comment:

"Reactive" Armor is similar to the idea of ablative armor where the armor destroys itself in order to defeat the kinetic or explosive energy of a projectile or missile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_armour

The reactive armor on Roy's Zero really wasn't activated before he discarded the armor in combat.

The GBP was the VF-1 version but I don't believe it had reactive armor properties in the design, only additional bolt on armor and missile magazines.

I think the only parts that were "reactive" were the arms and legs. And it did activate before he discarded the armour (in slow-mo too) showing the armour eject one of those square grids, smashing the bullet and later exploding.

And yes GBP-1 looks like normal fatso bolt on armour.

Why WOULDN'T engagements take place at a light-second? There's nothing getting in the way of visibility or anything, and we DO have weapons that are quite usable at those distances.

Dunno...cuz active radar can't span those distances and your visual range isn't that far?

But i'm sure JBO you'd appreciate the Starship Operators anime with realistic space combat. Cannons/guns are fired few lightyears away and when the enemy detects the fire, they know they can't change course to evade it so they just wait a few minutes/hours for their impending fate.

So the show is all about maneuvering/out-maneuvering the enemy and fire off 1 shot that hopefully hits.

And yes i do find it weird overall why the Macross universe didn't absorb the beam weaponry they could've gotten from the Zents.

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This is a good start. ''Space metal'' does not seem to have any connection with known materials on Earth. But hypercarbon seems to be a composite material from Earth according to its name.

Yeah, but I don't think they mentioned ''Energy Converting Armor'' in Macross Plus. Did they mention it in other Macross shows ?

A note on HyperCarbons and Energy Converting Armor: They might not be as sci-fi as previously thought.

While I'm sure the original reference to Hypercarbons in the canon universe was a suggestion of some sort of advanced carbon fiber based composite material, the advent of that material may be within the next few years. Carbon nanotubes, because of their structure actually have some of the highest theoretical tensile strengths of any material on the planet. Should nanotubes be mass-producable at high purity and in longer lengths (currently only .005-.01m in large scale) they would form the basis for a carbon fiber material stronger than Kevlar. The added benefit of ultralong carbon nanotubes, especially multi-walled ones with larger diameters, is that they're highly conductive, and have surface resistances lower than many conductive metals. Also, being pure carbon with relatively low density, it's lighter than many polymers.

While I have no idea how flow of electricity or thermal energy would increase strength of a material, a carbon-nanotube based armor would be able to rapidly transfer electricity or heat across its surface.

Final note, if hypercarbons are a pure carbon, then nanotubes are likely it as there's only a few possible orbital geometries of carbon molecules.

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Just a note about beam weapons, I think fans are being awfully presumptuous about the advantages and capabilities of beam weaponry, both in the Macross franchise and in science fiction in general. I think there is a lot unspoken about the beam weapons of Macross. They may have disadvatanges that many seem to dismiss outright. It's almost taken for granted that because a beam gun fires an energy beam, it's without fault, limitation or disadvantage. Surely, these are not reasonable assumptions.

Perhaps beam weapons have only limited destructive capability when scaled down to fighter size. It's definitely true that a lot of the big beam weapons in Macross are certainly large and very heavy. Beam weapons might require cooling systems that are cumbersome. All the Zentradi mecha that use these big beam guns are terribly heavy compared to the light, nimble Valkyries and sometimes weigh three times as much as a VF (most Zentradi mecha are in the 30-40 tons range). Beam cannons may only be capable of firing a certain number of times then need to cycle down before firing again. By far the most popular beam weapons are small and medium bore guns which suggests they are the most efficient. Perhaps beam weapons are just one of the OverTechnologies that has proven very difficult to build for use on on small, lightweight hardware like the Valkyries. I think it's also assumed that these energy guns are somehow firing faster than ballistic weapons. I don't know about too many other fans, but I don't see a lot of these mecha-scale beam guns in Macross being used at longe ranges and these "laser cannons" sure don't act like lasers. I'd be surprised if Kawamori and Co. ever state these weapons are even capable of light or near light speeds.

Anyway, just a few points to consider.

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Also Mr March a bullet has the ability to richochett and fragment in a target causing a greater wound cavity and extending the damage elsewhere within a target other than the initial impact point. Much like the NATO 5.56 round was designed to do.

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I've no doubt that the beam weapons of Macross are both very useful and possess advantages over ballistic weapons. It's clear they are powerful and even the head lasers on a Valkyrie are seen completely destroying mecha in several Macross animes. However, there's this perception that ballistic weapons in Macross are somehow antiquated in comparison. This is obviously not the case if the UNS/NUNS is still utilizing ballistic weapons after almost 50 years of OverTechnology development. Since these gun pods are still capable of penetrating the Energy Converting Armor of other modern Valkyries, they aren't using conventional ballistics or muzzle velocities because those wouldn't possess the penetrating power to defeat such armor.

The UNG has had working mecha-scale rail cannon technology since SDF Macross (see Destroid Defender and Destroid Monster) and I've no doubt advanced ballistics are continually used in Macross, especially as the rounds get smaller yet more destructive over time. I've mentioned this before and it remains relevant. Unfortunately, the only time we've ever been given a muzzle velocity was for the Destroid Defender in SDF Macross. Personally, I think a lot of this would be solved if Kawamori were to give a muzzle velocity for the gunpods, but I'm not holding my breath :)

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