Solomani Confederation (Military)

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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Infojunky » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:09 am

Condottiere wrote:Ten pay grades is a sort of artificial limitation for an interstellar military.
I always have kinda liked old naval ranks from the age of sail.

I mean that 6 levels of for enlisted covers the range pretty well.

5-6; Chiefs/Warrant Officers
3-4; Petty Officers (Mates, i.e. Electrician's mate, Etc. etc...)
1-2; Spacers

A lot of this also depends on how big you individual commands and departments are.

I tend to stick with the whole Age of Sail/Early steamship model with smaller crews and ships. I take a lot of inspiration from the Far East Squadrons/Yangtze Patrol.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat May 16, 2015 8:45 pm

Starships: Adventure Class and Off The Shelf

Besides the easy availability and eased maintenance, another reason the Solomani Navy may have either come up with an increased dependence on this metaclass of ships, could be an increased emphasis on deep penetration and disruption of enemy lines of communication, which means that a substantial number of the ships commissioned will bear more than a passing resemblance to standard commonplace Imperium commercial ships, or would do so with a few minor cosmetic changes.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Tue May 19, 2015 9:16 am

Military Contractors

Look very much forward to revival of the Solomani aerospace corporation Junkers, famous for their trimotor configured starships, and fast tactical gunships.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Wed May 20, 2015 5:44 pm

Naval Doctrines

At some point, the Solomani Naval Staff is going to wake up, and ask themselves the question, "How do we deal with overwhelming numbers of Imperium destroyers and cruisers?"
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby GamingGlen » Wed May 20, 2015 8:07 pm

Condottiere wrote:Naval Doctrines

At some point, the Solomani Naval Staff is going to wake up, and ask themselves the question, "How do we deal with overwhelming numbers of Imperium destroyers and cruisers?"
Pilot-less "kamikaze" drones that also fire multiple smaller missiles to overwhelm defenses? The drones could aim for the larger ships while the missiles target the escorts.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Wed May 20, 2015 10:52 pm

Which is why you have point defence.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun May 24, 2015 9:33 pm

Solomani Navy: Adventure Class Ships and Confederalization

One thing independently minded worlds don't want is a central authority telling them what to do, so it must drive he Confederation Naval Staff crazy trying to maintain standards of training and equipment across the board.

One strategy they could employ is order lots of two thousand tonne or less spaceships and starships, that after a relatively brief period are found to be excess to their needs, and then sell them off at a discount to member worlds, who'd find themselves delighted to get such bargains of fairly high tech equipment.

This ensures that shipyards will get a steady supply of orders, that can be ramped up just before and during an armed conflict, as well as providing the navies of member worlds with standard size and configured warships, and local crews with standard training and doctrines, that once the bovine byproduct intercepts the ventilator, the Confederation Navy can easily hoover up with little expectation of disruption in their (expanded) order of battle.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Tue May 26, 2015 2:04 pm

Solomani Navy: Capital Ship Design Aesthetics and Philosophy

Since we have this impression of a slightly authoritarian regime based on an exclusionary ideology, and since illustrators would like to differentiate between factions (and since I dislike the current aquatic theme), the Solomani capital ships should resemble Kriegmarine ships, especially:

Image

I considered the Nippon Kaigun, but outside of the Yamatos:

Image

they seem overly clunky.

This should remove any Star Wars influence, and make them more long and elegant; also, I don't think that the Naval Staff would invest in a Tigress sized superdreadnought, nor in allocating tonnage to anything but a dreadnought sized hull to absorb damage, and keeping roles separate, whether line of battle, troop transport or smallcraft carrier.

Counting battlecruisers as capital ships, they'd be along the lines of:

Image

hardworking and everywhere.

Carriers are an interesting dilemma, in my conception of Solomani naval doctrine. I don't see them going for a super carrier, because they'd still have to assign a proportionally sized escort to protect it, and that would be at minimum a heavy cruiser, and apparently cruisers are rather rare, and would have better things to do. A capital ship would be overkill, especially in such a passive role.

Fleet carriers could be based on a battlecruiser hull, and I think that a hundred thousand tons would be optimum for either of them.

The Germans had no carriers to speak of, though I like to think the QE would be a model for that.

Image
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Wed May 27, 2015 7:11 am

Solomani Navy: Medium Ship Design Aesthetics and Philosophy

Whereas the Solomani would be conservative with capital ship design, anything goes for cruiser size, since they seem to be fairly uncommon, and as long as it's financially feasible to do so, they'll keep them in service until they fall apart and the yard dogs tell them it's time to put it out of it's misery.

New construction would lack consistency as well, as each new hull, even that of a class, gets tinkered with while still in the yard, as designers get a free reign to improve features and try out new doctrines.

So any encounter with Solomani cruisers could be with a refurbished tech level twelve relic, to a tech level fifteen prototype. This could include Armed Merchant Cruisers, not so much as that the Solomani Navy really needs one at this point in time (though they do need cruiser sized hulls), more trying to figure out exactly how to utilize them in the event that they do.

The Solomani try to squeeze in at least one heavy fighter squadron in each cruiser, together with a suite of other smallcraft.

The Solomani don't normally maintain smallcraft carriers at this tonnage, except for multi-role assault carriers, operating a mix of assault craft and fighter squadrons. They feel dedicated troop transports in this size range are far too tempting targets.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Wed May 27, 2015 9:34 pm

Solomani Navy: Intermediate Ship Design Aesthetics and Philosophy

I'm sorta surprised that the Solomani would neglect this particular tonnage niche; it covers destroyers, frigates, escort carriers, and troop transports.

After the free for all in the cruiser allotment, the Solomani moved back to standardization. The destroyers would be relatively powerful multi-role platforms, the larger ones acted as flotilla leaders. They were to be used aggressively, and their outward appearance would reflect that, their rakish lines intimidating opponents, and they would be fitted with as many offensive weapon systems as possible.

While Solomani cruisers might give the impression of aimlessness, and a lack of direction, Solomani destroyers demonstrate confidence, capability, modernity, and power, on a smaller scale, much like their larger cousins, the capital ships. While cruisers were largely being used in a variety of roles and functions, the destroyers could fulfil many roles, though be optimized for one, and it's main function was presence.

Destroyers would be organized into flotillas, led by a leader, and whose primary functions would be to protect the capital ships from medium, intermediate and adventure class ships, serve as armed forward reconnaissance, or to ambush unsupported cruisers or capital ships.

Frigates are more followers than leaders, and present a much less intimidating profile, being optimized for s single function, but capable of performing other roles sufficiently well. They tend to act as escorts for non capital ships, as perimeter pickets, and occasionally given an independent mission, where showing up or being there is sufficient. When organized as flotillas, they are usually led by a destroyer. Frigates can act as command ships for flotillas of adventure class ships.

Solomani doctrine regarding fighters is to deploy them in overwhelming numbers, hence a preference for fast fleet carriers. Naval staff recognize the need for smaller numbers in most other missions, which is why a small contingent is present in most cruisers, and a larger one in assault carriers. Light carriers are considered a waste of resources, but escort carriers fulfil the need without the same investment in personnel or money, and can easily be assigned to protect convoys or small task groups.

Solomani are disinclined to risk divisional sized or larger ground forces in single troop transports, as being too much of an easy target. Assault carriers have sufficient capacity to carry a heavily reinforced brigade and all it's associated equipment; the next stage being a dedicated troop transport that can deliver a heavily reinforced battalion to it's deployment zone.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu May 28, 2015 7:08 pm

Solomani Navy: Small Ship Design Aesthetics and Philosophy

The Solomani Navy finds itself with an embarrassingly large number of small ships, sometimes referred to collectively as the Adventure class, whose defining characteristic would would be unisectional hulls.This is due to the fact that shipyards find this the easiest type of hull to construct, and have influenced local Solomani party members to actively lobby to throw some business their way, to stimulate the planetary economy. Since this sentiment has become widespread, Naval staff found it necessary to start building programmes in order to alleviate political pressure, but under rather strict guidelines and quality controls, though they would have preferred to use the money to build more intermediate sized ships, and regard small ship building on an ad hoc basis.

Where possible, commercial, off the shelf, standardized components are used, and to prevent the circus that prevails in the cruiser classes (or lack thereof), hull tonnages are standardized two thousand, one thousand, six hundred, four hundred, three hundred, two hundred tonnes. This in turn has had an influence on commercial construction, and become ubiquitous throughout the entire Confederation.

Solomani scouts, dispatch boats and couriers are built on two hundred tonne hulls, allowing greater range and capabilities to be built in, and allowing their conversion to more commercial activities (though this is based more on my perception that under current rules, the hundred tonner is a dead end), and the Navy have integrated a jump five express boat network to increase their capability to rapidly react.

The hundred tonne hull is available, but rarer than in Imperium space, considered as commercially non-viable and too small for military needs. In fact, Solsec tend to take an inordinate amount of interest in jump capable hundred tonners. There are exceptions, as hobbyists and enthusiasts construct and maintain them for the thrill of piloting your own starship.

The standard tonnages help ease maintenance issues that result for trying to keep parts for differing engines, as well as docking bays.

Two thousand tonne hulls are popular with the Navy, more in the sense that if they're forced to use small ships, they might as well use the largest one that they can find; one role being general purpose patrol ships.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat May 30, 2015 12:19 pm

So what happens if PCs buy ex-Solomani vessels and flies them into Imperial Space?
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat May 30, 2015 1:08 pm

Well, like in real life, it depends.

The Solomani Navy surplus dedicated warships would only be released to their members' militaries or client states. Or scrapped, since the nature of the design don't leave much potential for commercial, and be rather suspicious for private use. The exception might be like Oberlindes Azhanti for cases that show an actual need and benefit the Solomani state.

Auxiliaries or dual use hulls could be converted to civilian use, but probably will attract the scrutiny of Imperium intelligence services if they cross the border. Actual covert operations would be carried out in ships that attract less attention.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun May 31, 2015 8:19 am

Solomani Navy: Small Ship Design Aesthetics and Philosophy

A study by the Solomani Naval Staff came to the conclusion that it was pointless to purchase alphabet engines for small ships beyond four hundred tonnes, capital class engines being more economical in weight and cost, the sweet point being achieved at six hundred tonnes, the second most common starship in their inventory.

The most common starship being the two hundred tonner, a large enough hull that allows a big enough crew to fully utilize the sensor equipment onboard and able to outgun any similar encounter with the typical Imperium scout, since the Navy prefers some redundancy and greater survivability for their ships and crews.

Small ship hulls and configurations, especially for non-combat roles like the scouts, were chosen to look comfortable and reassuring, since their off the shelf nature means that the hulls were adapted from commercial hulls available, and a little guidance to civilian designers and naval engineers ensures that these hulls are very much dual purpose from inception. The accompanying large orders allows shipyards to produce these hulls very much below the cost that Imperiumn shipyards can achieve, and are encouraged to pass on these savings to consumers.

Commonality ensures that operational costs and maintenance of the Solomani standard scout makes it nearly as cheap as the Imperium Scout, bar crew costs, and the larger sensor suite certainly outclasses almost anything the Imperium tends to deploy.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:20 am

Solomani Navy: Emergency Jump Capable Catamaran Mark One

Because of the possible consequences of a misjump landing ships into empty or barren regions, the Solomani Navy has instituted a rule that larger ships must have a jump capable secondary ship onboard, if possible.

All medium and large sized ships keep hangar space available for a standard two hundred tonne scout, as do most largish modern intermediate sized ships. For the older or smallish sized ships, they tend to squeeze in the smallest size jump capable ship, that may also be used for more utilitarian roles.

The problem for finding a configuration that would present the least problem in equipping an existing ship with a Lifeship was kicked to the Warfare Advanced Research Projects Solutions Proposed Effectively Easy Division. This as passed down to some young naval officers who were yachting enthusiasts.

Main Module
Bridge ten tonnes
- Tech level seven computer
- Standard sensors
- Standard airlock
- Standard ship's locker
Jump Drive aA ten tonnes
Manoeuvre Grav Drive aA two tonnes
Power Plant aA four tonnes
Fuel eleven point five tonnes
Two Docking Clamps two tonnes
Solar panels half tonne

Two Ballast Modules
- Anything that makes up a volume of thirty tonnes, whether a cargo pod, fuel tank, or a thirty tonne boat
- attached to the main module via docking clamp

The main module is usually stowed away in cargo, and traditionally only assembled together during a general inspection. Or by the survivors of any misjump.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:50 am

Solomani Navy: Express Ship Network.

The Solomani Navy maintain a separate interlocking communications network, that they've been persuaded to share with Solsec.

Fully aware of their vulnerability, as the Confederation has no strategic depth due to the large tongue of Imperium occupied space dissecting it's middle, and surrounded on three sides by potentially hostile interstellar political entities, the Navy realizes that it needs to be aware of any military manoeuvres that occur near it's borders, and their solution was the creation of a Jump Five communications network with set hard hubs catering to a series soft spokes that would be aligned with neighbouring systems.

The hubs are placed at five parsec intervals, with spokes radiating from the nearest systems that would comprise of their communications subnetwork.

The Navy's primary use is to receive intelligence of ship movements and relay orders, and the fast transfer of vital personnel between military districts. Solsec found it extremely helpful keep fairly uptodate tabs on political developments on member worlds, and the rapid transfer of agents and other persons of interest.

Hub stations hold extensive fuel farms and repair facilities for the Standard Solomani Scouts that act as express communications/packet/courier ships, as well as a squadron of SDBs and a platoon of Marines, to discourage attacks of opportunity or casual raids. Solsec is allowed to maintain a small, though separate complex. Naval Staff have clearly expressed their unease with the use of hub stations as black sites, and as such, Solsec only use them as just a watering hole on the way to a more remote location.

Spoke substations hold sufficient fuel for ongoing operations, easily regenerated by nearby hydrogen sources. Substations can find themselves the centre of Navy activities if there is no separate Naval base. Solsec maintains a restricted section.

The Hub stations may actually serve an additional purpose, using a series of drop tanks, they could help with the strategic movement of the Solomani battle squadrons, permitting them a five parsec transition each time.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:58 am

Solomani Navy: Semantics


Tech level fourteen:

Warships prefixes
Jump six - classified
Jump five - Strike
Jump four - Fleet
Jump three - Auxiliary, Escort, second class
Jump two - Convoy, third class
Jump one - S-cargo
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:34 pm

Solomani Navy: Light Fighter Design Aesthetics and Philosophy

A lot of this revolves around factors on that are given clear answers, as to what gee tolerances Traveller technology permits human fighter pilots to experience over short, medium or long stretches of time.

I tend to think of a more Soviet approach to Solomani fighter design, but it's not monolithic


Image

Ultra-Light or Light Fighters would be around ten tonnes or less, because what the Solomani require are basic/advanced trainers, point defence interceptors, light attack, light reconnaissance, and light fighters. Not exactly cheap and disposable, but economic to procure and maintain, and easily available.

They're not meant to be on extended patrols, which is why they'll use small non-grav engines for high performance, perhaps paired a low performance grav drive for cruise.

Their small size means compromises between protection, armament and manoeuvre, but lack of power limits the fighters to non-energy intensive weaponry.


Image

Point defence interceptor


Image

Close air support
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby dragoner » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:19 pm

Something to think about with real engines - http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/R ... ocket.html

Esp the fuel as payload problem.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:53 am

Is this for non-grav manoeuvre drives? I thought we'd use the Traveller formula, and for manned fighters, how much a human can endure.

Listening to Mote on audio tape, and if I heard it correctly, Niven and Pournelle believe you can get away with four gees in wheelchairs.

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