Friday, February 25, 2011

Weapons Technology of the Future


"Weapons Technology of the Future"

by Jordan Bassior,
(c) 2000, 2006, 2010


What Will Weapons Technology Be Like ...

... 100 Years From Now?

A combination of:

1) Personal body armor designed to keep you alive and unhurt in the "heavy damage" zone of a nuclear explosion, and containing sealed life support capability. Probably with strength augmentation.

2) A direct-fire weapon capable of firing through moderate terrain obstacles, such as trees and small boulders, and at least having enough energy to damage. Probably a high-frequency laser or magnetic gun.

3) An onboard computer, neurolinked to the operator, and enabling him to control a variety of semi-autonomous drone weapons systems, which would be used to deliver:

4) Indirect fire in which the missiles would actively seek out targets, and could be launched in a "loiter" mode and recovered if they did not find worthwhile target. Warheads would be up to tactical nuclear firepower.

5) Partially because of (4), the inidividual soldier would have interception weapons (small lasers or machine pistol caliber firearms) mounted on his armor as point defense systems, but still:

6) Anything which you see you can usually kill. So the soldiers would use networks of drone sensors, datalinked to their onboard computers, to enable them to see the enemy without being seen. Still:

7) Mobility would be vital. So the soldiers would probably also have some sort of personal transport system; perhaps an ATV bike, or an aerodyne flight pack. All movement would be under cover of terrain where possible; if by flight, the onboard computer would enable high-speed terrain following. Additionally:

8) AFV's would still exist, but would fight at over-the horizon ranges. They would range from small armored utility vehicles to massive Bolo-like "landships", and would in all cases carry significant anti-projectile defensive weapons. Some of these would be point defense, some area defense. Their main armament would be "brilliant" missiles and recon drones, similar to but more capable and longer ranged than the types the infantry would carry.

9) In general the size levels of combatants would extend farther both up and down.  Some of the units would serve as "carriers" for smaller units, which in turn might serve as "carriers" for still smaller units, ranging all the way up from the aforementioned "landships" down to clouds of mini-, micro- and nano-scale drone combatants.  Escort and interception tactics would become vital.

10) Aircraft would either be very high-performance terrain-following gound attack types, or very high altitude (probably orbital) fighter types.

I think you can see from this, by the way, why I don't think we'd stand a chance against an intelligently planned interstellar invasion!

... 200 Years From Now?

1) Personal infantry arms would be able to shoot through heavy terrain cover (large rock formations). The brilliant missiles and drones would be capable of ranging anywhere within thousands of miles.

2) AFV's would be mostly gigantic and triphibious (able to fly or submerge). A single such vehicle, unopposed, could dominate a continent.

3) Soldiers would not fight in their own organic bodies, but rather download edited copies of themselves to command the war machines.

4) Combatant forces would be clouds of vehicles ranging from the gigantic triphibious ships all the way down to swarms of nanodrones, with smaller vehicles basing from and escorting the bigger ones; by now the doctrines would have been developed in detail.

... 500 Years From Now?

Surface and space combat merge, as do infantry and armor. Combat is between "vessels" capable of air, space, land, and water mobility. A single such vessel can dominate a whole planet with ease. The "people" who do the fighting (and for that matter form the society) are vast Personalities of what we would consider superhuman intellect and emotional scope; if they use organic bodies, they would do so purely as "devices" (in the computer jargon sense) ... and that sort of "device" would be poorly suited to combat in this era!

END.

35 comments:

  1. If we ever do achieve true interstellar travel (and, at the same time, a true ansible), there is one weapon that we really need to worry about -- and any foe from another system should worry about, too: an asteroid about the size of Ceres (~ 500 km in diameter) aimed at an enemy world. The impact of such a bolide would destroy all but microbial life well below the surface of that world (2-4 km below its surface), thoroughly sterilizing its surface; it would leave that world's atmosphere filled with vaporized rock for at least a year, and it would take about 3,000 years for the water vaporized from its oceans to finally begin raining down on its seared surface and restore its oceans (at which point the microbes deep in its bedrock could return to the surface and begin to evolve toward complex life). This is not a weapon to be used lightly, obviously, but it is conceivable that at some point, somebody would at least consider its use on an enemy world. Perhaps you might want to add that possibility to your timeline.

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  2. But what would be the point of directing an asteroid into a planet?

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  3. Asteroid bombs would make capital strategic weapons, especially in interplanetary warfare. One advantage of such a weapon is that one could emplace defenses upon it to render the interception of the bomb far more difficult; even merely using its own mass as a passive defense, it would be a lot harder to stop a weaponized asteroid than it would be to stop a mere missile.

    Ceres is kind of large for the purpose, and would take a lot of energy to get moving. Smaller asteroids might work better. Indeed, the Dinosaur Killer might be an example of the size range for which one was looking.

    Why would one do this? Well, presumably either as a Doomsday Weapon, if both combatants lived on the planet, or as a more conventional strategic weapon, if only your enemy lived on the planet. The point would be to wipe out one's enemy: obviously, one would only do this in the most total of total wars. But such a total war would hardly be impossible: we humans were, historically, preparing to do our worst to one another during the period from the early 1950's through the end of the 1980's, and though the death toll from a full-scale strategic thermonuclear strike would not have been absolutely total, it would have killed the majority of people in any nation targeted, and quite a lot of people even in neutral Powers, owing to the side effects.

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  4. But that would render the planet useless for the next million years at least. What's the point of doing it?

    Wars aren't fought to utterly exterminate the enemy, they usually fight to get something out of it.

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  5. First of all, a Dinosaur-Killer impacter would only render the planet (relatively) uninhabitable for a matter of years, at most decades. A Ceres-sized impacter would be worse, but "useless" is a relative term: for instance, all the mineral resources the planet originally had would still be present, many of them in easily-minable form from the ruins of the planetary civilization.

    Secondly, wars are sometimes fought "to utterly exterminate the enemy." Sometimes they are even fought to the completion of this goal (this is especially true in primitive societies, where the "enemy" may be a tribe of a few hundred individuals. Most often, the enemy unconditionally surrenders before this point is reached, and civilized societies have ways of gaining from surrendered enemies, so such surrenders are ususally accepted.

    I find nothing unbelievable in the notion of a hatred between factions so intense that one faction is willing to utterly exterminate the other. This is even more true if the two factions are or perceive themselves as being utterly incompatible races, such that long-term peace is forever impossible.

    For a good science-fictional example of this situation, note the relationship between Seaton's alliance and the Fenachrone in the Skylark series. Seaton's attitude was probably justifiable, too, given the extreme hostility of the Fenachrone.

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  6. The heavier metals would have sunk to the bottom when the crust melted.

    The reason why people would fight to utterly exterminate the enemy is because the enemy is sitting on resources they want. They can try to justify it any way they like, but it always comes down to resources.

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  7. And humans don't suffer from a sex imbalance if the temperature drops due to an impact like reptiles do. Maybe a chicxulub could kill 90% of the humans, but the 10% remaining will do their best to make life miserable for the occupiers, especially when it's clear to them that the occupiers want them all dead.

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  8. On 4 -- have you ever read the Hoka stories by Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson? A courier succeeds in boarding a ship because all the missiles have circuits to keep from homing in on each other, and the courier is about their size.

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  9. Jordan, you are very optimistic about power sources. I'll take whatever the Soldier Boy of 2111 is using to run his armor, power assist, guns and so on - bet I can run my 2011 house on that for a few years.

    Also - battle fields of that era are not going to be parks, but places to fence off as a hazard. I hope the technology used to clean up hazmat spills in that time is up to the job.

    Tactics could be interesting: evenly matched opponents spend time in their citadels, lot of maneuvering back and forth for position, retreat of one side or the other when position is lost. Actual battles would be rare when both sides realize the long-term cost, winning or loosing, is ruinous. For environment and soldiers alike.


    Maybe a chicxulub could kill 90% of the humans, but the 10% remaining will do their best to make life miserable for the occupiers,

    They've spent hundreds of years (objective) getting here. Rock Droppers can be patient.

    Spot a power source? Rock. Gathering of people? Rock. A big sign saying 'we surrender'? Rock. Rocks, rocks and more rocks. Repeat for a few generations and there won't be enough people left to make _babies_ let alone trouble.

    Then they can move in and take over. This might take a few hundred years, but they've got time and resources on their side.

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  10. Getting Ceres About the Matter

    Lilac and Datura and Yama said:

    The heavier metals would have sunk to the bottom when the crust melted.

    Geophysics doesn't work that fast. Density differentiation happens slowly because the mantle is "fluid" more in the manner of a gelatin than in the manner of a liquid -- objects move very slowly and are pushed and pulled around by convection currents.

    Slapping a 950-km wide spherical impactor into a terrestrial planet would of course stir things up pretty fierce, which would work both ways. Some dense material would be pushed down toward the core, but other dense material would be pushed up. If the object's velocity was sufficient, it might actually smash through the terrestrial planet, like the Theia impactor did to Earth, perhaps eventually forming a moon. That would redistribute material with a vengeance!

    Mind you, I think that an enemy who was willing to smack a dwarf planet into an inhabited terrestrial world would have extreme prejudice against the inhabitants, and the issue of mining resources afterward might thus be mere icing on the cake. In the Lensman Universe, Civilization only does this sort of thing to the most heavily fortified or irredeemably evil (or both) Boskonian worlds.

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  11. Killing Various Classes of Land Tetrapods

    Lilac and Datura said:

    And humans don't suffer from a sex imbalance if the temperature drops due to an impact like reptiles do.

    The problem with this theory is that we have no particular reason to think that dinosaurs determined the sex of their chicks on the basis of incubation temperations. Of the two surviving archosaur groups, crocodilians do, and avians don't. Avians are more closely related to the saurisuchian dinosaurs than the orinthosuchians were (and yes, I know why that terminology and relationship is very confusing!), and they determine the sex of their chicks at conception, by the type of female chromosome (rather than male as with mammals). The crocodilians are, compared to either birds or dinosaurs, distant cousins among the archosaurs. They determine their sex by incubation temperature. On the other hand, they also survived the Dinosaur Killer.

    A "Mammal Killer" (which might or might not kill off all mammals, but then the "Dinosaur Killer" didn't kill off the avian dinosaurs, either) would do its work by setting the world's forests on fire and releasing enough dust from the combined impact and fires to blot out the Sun for a year or more. This would kill off most plant life on Earth, cutting the food chain at its base and thus also killing the herbivores and eventually carnivores. Possibly the surviving mammals -- probably mostly rodents, moles etc. -- would then evolve into something which the sapient beetles of 65 million years hence would not at first realize had any kinship with the great Mammals such as the mammoths and baluchitheria, just as we at first did not realize that the modern birds are kin to the allosaurs and tyrannosaurs.

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  12. The Man-Killer

    Lilac and Datura said:

    Maybe a chicxulub could kill 90% of the humans,

    If a Mammal Killer was to strike the Earth today, it would kill far more than 90% of the human race. The reason why is that our civilizations are still very much dependent on open-air agriculture, and there would be very little food produced by such means while the dust and smoke clouds continued ot shroud the Sun. If I were to guess, I would wager that the death toll would be 99% or more of our species, with the survivors being divided between those in high-tech shelters and crazed cannibals outside the shelters (and not very many of the latter, either).

    Now, a more advanced civilization, say the Earth of 2100 or 2200 or 2500, might fare better, because their energy production might be less dependent upon transportation networks (distributed fission or fusion reactors would require only occasional refuelling) and their food production less dependent on sunlight (it could be indoor artificial-light hydroponics and chemical carniculture, or even direct chemical food synthesis). Even then, the meteorite, causing an 80 teraton (80,000-gigaton or 80 million megaton) explosion on impact, would devastate most of a continent, or a large part of a big continent, causing immense loss of life and industrial capacity.

    but the 10% remaining will do their best to make life miserable for the occupiers, especially when it's clear to them that the occupiers want them all dead.

    If the occupiers do, in fact, want them all dead (and smacking a Dinosaur Killer into the planet is a good sign that they probably do) then they can simply continue the bombardment, possibly with smaller (nuclear or kinetic) space-based weapons, until they have destroyed all significant military capabilities and population concentrations. At this point, the ability of the survivors to resist effectively would probably be marginal.

    I don't think it would be an "occupation" such as you are probably imagining, with occupiers walking among a conquered people. That's what victors do when they mean to subjugate or enslave, rather than annihilate, the vanquished.

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  13. Brian Dunbar said:

    Jordan, you are very optimistic about power sources.

    I may be, and I may have been even more optimistic in 2000 when I wrote the first version of this. I do think that by 2111 we'll have developed even chemical fuel cells or batteries of at least an order of magnitude greater power storage density than is today the case.

    If we don't, leg infantry may vanish as a viable frontline troop type, surviving only for light-fighting purposes. The weapons of a century from now will be hideously deadly to anyone not protected by at least light all-over body armor. I'm reminded here of the Ogre/G.E.V. world of Steve Jackson, in which you have relatively few infantry, but that infantry is very capable (and still gets crunched by the tanks!)

    (by the way, didn't you write articles on that game, way back in the 1980's?)

    Also - battle fields of that era are not going to be parks, but places to fence off as a hazard. I hope the technology used to clean up hazmat spills in that time is up to the job.

    Very true. It's already starting to be that way: note the hazards of unexploded munitions and especially of land mines. The silver lining here is that we're making rapid strides in post-battle mine-clearance technology.

    (and no, I don't put much faith in land mine treaties: they strike me as sick jokes more than practical guides to military action).

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  14. Brian Dunbar said:

    Tactics could be interesting: evenly matched opponents spend time in their citadels, lot of maneuvering back and forth for position, retreat of one side or the other when position is lost. Actual battles would be rare when both sides realize the long-term cost, winning or loosing, is ruinous. For environment and soldiers alike.

    (*nods*)

    There would be a tremendous small-scale tactical defensive advantage (due to the anti-missile capabilities of lasers) coupled with a tremendous operational offensive advantage (due to the ability to vector in immense missile or "torpedo" (nuclear-pumped beam) strikes on a single area). I think in consequence the command units (human officers/soldiers or sapient military aints) would tend to hang back and control swarms of smaller robot vehicles, eventually ranging all the way down to nanotech, trying to penetrate to the enemy HQ while avoiding the same happening to themselves. Hmm, very chesslike! If chess were hyper-violent with nuclear explosions and zapping energy beams, that is! :)

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  15. Couldn't they just accomplish the same thing with a gamma ray burst? Not that anyone who isn't from a John W. Campbell sanctioned story would do that either.

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  16. Yama said:

    Couldn't they just accomplish the same thing with a gamma ray burst?

    For numerous orders of magnitude of energy more, which they might not have, sure.

    Not that anyone who isn't from a John W. Campbell sanctioned story would do that either.

    What is your (negative) obsession with John W. Campbell? He didn't invent science fictional war stories, nor did he invent genocide or attempted or contemplated genocide stories, and both sorts of stories were written many, many times after his death in 1971. Forty years ago.

    Furthermore, if you believe that the concept of genocide, attempted, successful or otherwise was invented by science fiction writers, you need to plug in a new history module. Humanity committed at least one cross-species genocide of another sapient race (Neanderthals) and possibly many more.

    Real combatants might very well commit genocide in the future. Whether justified or unjustified, it's a definite possibility, and if science fiction refused to examine this where appropriate to the story, it would be a definitely unrealistic genre.

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  17. By the way, Yama, your assumption that "it all comes down to resources" when it comes to war (genocidal or otherwise) is most clearly untrue. The reason(s) why is that it perfectly possible to hate another group, and even to destroy it, without reference to its possession of resources that one wants; furthermore, one can obtain the resources of another without killing them for it. It's called "trade."

    The reasons why a society defines one group as "enough like us" that they can and should be traded with, while another group are "monsters" who should be slain to obtain their resources may have little to do with the resources themselves. Though I will grant you that a society may feel particlarly motivated to find reasons to hate another society if that second society is (1) weaker and (2) sitting on valuable resources. But this is not the only possible motive for hate: the possible motives for hate are multifarious.

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  18. The problem with Campbell is that he's responsible for the aliens must be eeeeeeeeevil trope. And I'm bringing him up because most of the works you reference are from that era.

    Nobody's going to drop an asteroid large enough to liquefy the crust on a planet ever. There's no point to it.

    Also, blogspot sucks. No, I can't just select my profile, type in the captcha and be on my merry way, I have to go through some dumb bollocks.

    And whatever happened to that mdt1k or whatever it is?

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  19. Nobody's going to drop an asteroid large enough to liquefy the crust on a planet ever. There's no point to it.

    Uh-huh. By that bit of "reasoning," nobody's ever going to drop a nuclear bomb on a city - there's no point to it.

    Except that it's already been done. Oops.

    Twice. Double oops.

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  20. A few nukes won't render an entire planet uninhabitable.

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  21. John W. Campbell and Wars Against Aliens

    Lilac and Datura said:

    The problem with Campbell is that he's responsible for the aliens must be eeeeeeeeevil trope.

    Was he? H. G. Wells wrote The War of the Worlds in 1898, which was 12 years before John W. Campbell was born, and 32 years before Campbell had his first story published ("When the Atoms Failed," 1930). The first Campbell stories to deal with aliens was the trilogy of "The Machine," "The Invaders" and "Rebellion (1935) -- which, you will note, were published after such alien-invasion stories mentioned here as Hamilton's "The Star-Stealers" (1929) and Williamson's "Prince of Space" (1931). Skylark Three, by E. E. "Doc" Smith, presented one of the first clear-cut cases of allegedly-justifiable xenocide in science fiction: it was first serialist in 1930. For a really terrifying alien invader, you can't beat Cthulhu: Lovecraft wrote "The Call of Cthulhu" in 1926 and it was published in 1928. So it's more reasonable to see John W. Campbell's alien-invasion stories as part of a science-fiction conversation that had already started.

    What's more, Campbell's aliens were usually not among the nastiest of the type: while it's true that the Thing from "Who Goes There?" (1938) is a horror that has remained vivid in our nightmares to the present day, the Thing was actually atypical of Campbell aliens. Most John W. Campbell aliens were imperial expansionists, who wanted to educate or at worst oppressively exploit, rather than utterly annihilate, humanity. And most of Campbell's "humans vs. aliens" stories end not in the defeat and perhaps humiliation, rather than annihilation, of the aliens.

    Read the trilogy "The Machine," "The Invaders," and "The Rebellion." Or the two stories "Out of Night" and "Cloak of Aesir." Or, for one of his most famous and best short stories, "Forgetfulness." The aliens in these stories are arrogant, and in some of the stories do terrible things to their human subjects, but in none of them are they trying to wipe us out, and in none of them do we wipe them out.

    Neither your chronology nor your opinion of Campbell's concept of aliens is correct. Campbell did not invent the concept of war against aliens, and while he liked stories of Man winning against aliens, he had no particular fondness for stories of Man wiping out aliens.

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  22. Nobody's going to drop an asteroid large enough to liquefy the crust on a planet ever. There's no point to it.

    Sure there is. A smaller asteroid might not be able to penetrate your enemies' hypothetical defenses. And an attack which failed to liquefy the crust might fail to destroy your enemies' shelters. You were the one arguing that if any enemy were left alive they could resist the planet's occupation and exploitation.

    Mind you, one must make certain, perhaps not the most probable, social and technological assumptions to create such a situation. Most obviously, most enemies would be willing to unconditionally surrender before suffering such a fate. But it's hardly impossible.

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  23. Oh, and while destroying a habitable planet strikes me as more than a bit wasteful, that doesn't mean that a combatant wouldn't do it, especially if he came from a civilization which had many planets. We've done some pretty wasteful things in real-life war, ourselves -- Battle of the Somme, anyone?

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  24. That would be a good idea, to surrender and then amp up the resistance once they've established a foothold on the planet.

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  25. That would be a good idea, to surrender and then amp up the resistance once they've established a foothold on the planet.

    That would be a horribly BAD idea, if you're dealing with an occupier who was ruthless enough that he would have killed you all if you hadn't surrendered. Need I explain why?

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  26. I think your 100 year time horizon might be a decade away. Powered armor suits just need to shrink the battery, and the Barret M82 family of sniper rifles kind of already meets your direct weapon specs.

    Once you have the powered armor battery worked out, and maybe all that money thrown at ARPA-E will make that happen, a common infantryman will have no problem carrying a Barret-sized rifle.

    Your warhead requirements may be met by thermobaric bombs.

    Indirect fire: The Javelin antitank missile is already pretty close. I guess you'd want to put a glider on it, like the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, and maybe it would loiter around a bit.

    Soldiers in Afghanistan already ride ATVs.

    Your "landships" would probably be ground effect vehicles like the so-called Caspian Sea Monster.

    Probably none of that stuff will be difficult thirty years out. I just kind of wonder why a human would have to be in the loop at all.

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  27. Oh, I think that the first powered armor, as special equipment for elite raiding forces, will show up within the next 10-20 years. The first powered armor will probably have very limited endurance. As batteries get beter, eventually (decades later) powered armor will become standard for Great Power infantry forces, and eventually universal for all troops. There will almost certainly be specialized types of powered armor, from minimal suits designed merely to let infantry function in an area-effect-weapon saturated environment, to assault suits able to resist anything short of support weapons fire.

    Of course, as troops carry more armor, they will switch from light-caliber high-magazine weapons to more accurate heavy-caliber weapons. Such will score fewer hits, but more decisive ones. To deal with smaller and less well armored antagonists (such as missiles and micro-drones) infantrymen may carry secondary weapons with higher-capacity magazines and smaller calibers.

    Eventually, humans (in the sense of unmodified organic ones) won't be in the loop. I don't know when the computer systems will get good enough to take over. But a non-sapient computer will have problems commanding a battle, so I think that when old-style humans are fully out of the loop it will be only because "new-style humans," aka "aints" in my stories, are put in there.

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  28. @typewriterking

    I dunno. Expense may be as much of a limiting factor. Few powers can afford batallions full of armor-suited supersoldiers with grenade launchers and heavy caliber rifles. Like it or not, you need a certain numerical parity to take and hold territory, even against comparatively primitive opponents.

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  29. Because they can't melt the planet's crust when they're on it.

    And it wouldn't be that difficult to keep them from leaving.

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  30. Lilac and Datura said:

    Because they can't melt the planet's crust when they're on it.

    Somehow, I suspect the invaders can inflict levels of destruction between "melt the planet's crust" and "flick peas at you with rubber bands." And unless the invaders are very, very stupid, the first thing they probably do is to seize control of your own main military arsenals.

    And it wouldn't be that difficult to keep them from leaving.

    I think you're assuming now that all the invaders have to land at the same time. They presumably had spaceships -- and quite large and powerful ones -- if they were able to threaten you with a Ceres-sized impactor. What prevents them from leaving a guard force in orbit with orders to bombard you from space if you betray your surrender?

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  31. I forgot to address the 'personal interception weapons' thingy. You probably know about the CIWS gatling-based mortar interceptors deployed in Iraq.

    These may be unnecessary if the individual has explosive reactive armor, as Israeli tanks have used since the early 1980s.

    But if a firearm is necessary, there's no forgetting the demonstration weapon that Australian manufacturer Metal Storm built in the 1990s. Their little demonstration volley gun shows us there's no limit on rate-of-fire.

    Presumably each round could have a proximity fuse, a technology we've had since the 1940s.

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  32. @sianmink

    Give it some time and it will all be off-the-shelf technology soon enough (not ground effect vehicles). You can just wait passively for the combination of Moore's Law and the trend of market economies doubling in output every 35 years, and what's expensive now simply won't be in a generation.

    I suspect the earliest 'indirect brilliant loitering' munitions will be simple retrofit kits on some stockpiled Cold War relic like the Dragon anti-tank missile. It will be as simple a refit as the GPS-enabled tail fin that makes a dumb iron bomb a JDAM, which costs about as much as an economy car.

    Let's assume future transnational groups bid better than modern governments, and can get this stuff for half the price. Cost no longer looks all that prohibitive.

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  33. I think that like all technologies, weapons and otherwise, powered armor will start out as the expensive tool of the elite and wind up as absolutely standard. In (say) 2030, some elite First World special forces units will have powered armor; in (say) 2130, even Third World troops will have some sort of power-assisted full-body armored combat suits. Think of the usage of machine guns in 1911 as opposed to 2011, by way of example.

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  34. While I'm sure that "underground bunkers" would be part of any planetary resistance against an utterly-hostile enemy who controlled our orbital space, the problem is that in the long run in most scenarios the enemy could destroy the bunkers faster than new ones could be built or the bunker population could grow. Underground bunkers could be destroyed either by nuclear or kinetic weapons: it's just more difficult than if they were on the surface.

    The only hopes for the defenders would be if either (1) the attackers had very limited resources (small numbers or slow production capabilities, possible in an interstellar-invasion-by-starship scenario), (2) the attackers were stupid (the Niven and Pournelle Footfall scenario), (3) the defenders were close to completing some special weapon that would gain them the advantage (both the Footfall and the Space Cruiser Yamato scenarios, or (4) some other enemy of the aliens might intervene against them (also the Space Cruiser Yamato scenario). It is also possible that (5) the invaders might have political divisions which would tear open under the stress of a long campaign (the V scenario).

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