Is the military becoming obsolete?

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This topic contains 58 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 1 week ago.

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  • #52566

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’m not talking only about the American military. I mean national militaries in general. The reason I ask is that lightly-modified consumer products are turning out to give unbelievably better “bang for the buck” than the traditional military hardware of ships, planes, tanks, and sad and scared men in heavy boots.

    Ukraine has knocked off a large part the Russian navy with tiny attack boats (sea drones) based on jet skis anyone can buy on the open market. With a remote control system and bomb added—rather simple mods—a drone costing a mere several thousands of dollars can sink a ship costing millions and tens of millions of dollars. Military suppliers are starting to join in, you can bet on it.

    ypersonic missiles can take out ships and are virtually impossible to stop, as are high-speed maneuverable torpedoes which lurk deep in the water emitting no signals and waiting for a ship to wander into range. Far more effective than mines.

    Consumer market-based aerial drones are now dropping grenades on enemy troops and military vehicles, including tanks, in Ukraine witih devastating results. As a bonus, they are reusable. The military suppliers are very much joining in with attack drones that cost a very small fraction of a 4th or 5th generation fighter.

    The low cost of drone technology allows for something unavailable before: swarming. Even a gattling gun that can be effective taking out a missile before it hits a ship is probably going to let a few get through confronted with five, ten, or twenty of them.

    So, the question is this: Is it becoming not worth the risk (or expense) of building the usual military aircraft, ships, tanks, etc., when the cost of countering them effectively is basically pennies on the dollar?

     

    #52567

    Unseen
    Participant

    #52578

    unapologetic
    Participant

    You’ve probably heard this (I think I am misquoteing this)
    “This [psudoscience] actually works.” To which you answer:
    “No, if it did it, would become mainstream science”

    New tech will not make the military obsolete. The new tech just becomes mainstream military.
    The a-bomb did not make the military or war obsolete.

    #52579

    Unseen
    Participant

    You’ve probably heard this (I think I am misquoteing this) “This [psudoscience] actually works.” To which you answer: “No, if it did it, would become mainstream science” New tech will not make the military obsolete. The new tech just becomes mainstream military. The a-bomb did not make the military or war obsolete.

    I take your point, but now game changing technology is in civilian hands and is available on the open market.

    #52583

    unapologetic
    Participant

    This is related to a theory I’ve had. (OK a paranoid conspiracy theory)
    You’ve seen those ‘fidget spinners’ with 4 ball bearings.
    One in the center, and 3 more on arms, to add weight/inertia (but not much else).
    I’ve read they use ceramic balls, not metal, for less friction.
    State of the art for ball bearings. And they are all made in China.
    Why use 4 state of the art ball bearings in a toy, when one will do, and any hunk of metal will do for the weight?
    My theory is that the Chinese need state of the art ball bearings for the military,  and overproducing them for consumers X 4, brings the cost down.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  unapologetic.
    #52585

    unapologetic
    Participant

    now game changing technology is in civilian hands and is available on the open market.

    Like GPS was made public.

    #52591

    _Robert_
    Participant

    China, Russia, India, Europe and Japan all have their own global positioning satellites and systems. This is why star wars will be real. Knock out their satellites and then go into encoded military mode with your own.

    Drones are beatable. You can jam their control signals or intercept and redirect the drone right back to who is controlling them. Airports use ‘net-guns’ to grab them. You would think the ground troops involved in the Ukraine war would at least have shotguns and some training. A 12-gauge with medium bird shot would shred a drone about to about 100 feet. I have seen video taken from the incoming kamikaze drone of the doomed Russian hopelessly shooting his ak-74 and even throwing it at the drone just before becoming fertilizer.

    #52592

    Unseen
    Participant

    @ Robert

    In almost every case, the defense against a weapon is far more expensive or complicated than the weapon it’s designed to counter. There are exceptions, of course. There have to be ways to counter your every objection that are lower tech and less expensive. For example, a drone guiding itself with internal AI will be impervious to countermeasures designed to interrupt control signals coming from a launching point.

    So far, the Russians haven’t come up with an adequate defense against the sea drone attacks and have lost several valuable ships due to the lack of a reliable defense. I don’t expect there will be one anytime soon, and American ships can be sunk, too.

    The private sector is full of geniuses who’d love to take on the military-industrial complexes of the world.

    And don’t forget cyber warfare. Most countries are woefully unprepared to handle such an attack and it’s probably the mutually assured destruction concept that keeps such a general attack from happening, though I expect we’ll experience the occasional reminder. Shutting down a water purification or electricity generation plant, for example.

    #52595

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I’d say drone jamming transmitters (a radio) or a crate full of shotguns are a lot cheaper than having hundreds of tanks tossing their turrets, each costing 100 million rubles, not to mention the trained crews.  BTW, a self-guided drone is not cheap; at that point it is more like a cruise missile. GPS signals are jammable, inertial based navigation requires expensive gyros and accelerometers and are affected by temperature, and any camera good enough to navigate from a given altitude, coupled with an image-based landscape database is gonna cost a lot and will be prone to bad weather.

    #52597

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Of course, drone-killing AI drones will immediately be released following AI killer drones, LOL.

    #52598

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’d say drone jamming transmitters (a radio) or a crate full of shotguns are a lot cheaper than having hundreds of tanks tossing their turrets, each costing 100 million rubles, not to mention the trained crews. BTW, a self-guided drone is not cheap; at that point it is more like a cruise missile. GPS signals are jammable, inertial based navigation requires expensive gyros and accelerometers and are affected by temperature, and any camera good enough to navigate from a given altitude, coupled with an image-based landscape database is gonna cost a lot and will be prone to bad weather.

    I don’t know why any of those problems you mentioned can’t be solved inexpensively, worked around, oe otherwise overcome, if not by individuals, then by a minor political power, as Ukraine is showing us.

    #52600

    Here is a link to a Iranian Shahed drone in southern Ukraine recently. Turn your volume up high before playing it to get a greater sense of it. One more here – recorded by my friend as he fired at it.

     

    #52602

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Ukraine is working on net guns and Russia has drone jammers but not nearly enough of them it seems. Multiple drone boats were able to hit and sink the Russian warship Ivanovets. She was armed with radar-controlled gatling guns; something is fundamentally wrong with Russia’s military. I don’t think it’s all because of their equipment sucks either. Seems like their command is inept, throwing wave after wave of small, armored columns without aircover into minefields that are within range of drone-sighted artillery.

    Meanwhile the US military is watching all of this…..If NATO was truly a threat to Russia, why the fuk wouldn’t it just slam Russia-with-their-pants-down right now, LOL. Everyone knows that’s not what NATO wants and well Russia is a nuclear power anyways. No, that’s not it. Putin just could not stand watching Ukraine become a thriving democracy right next door. A few Russians are finally figuring out their Fuhrer is a class-A douchebag.

    #52603

    Unseen
    Participant

    Ukraine is working on net guns and Russia has drone jammers but not nearly enough of them it seems. Multiple drone boats were able to hit and sink the Russian warship Ivanovets. She was armed with radar-controlled gatling guns; something is fundamentally wrong with Russia’s military. I don’t think it’s all because of their equipment sucks either. Seems like their command is inept, throwing wave after wave of small, armored columns without aircover into minefields that are within range of drone-sighted artillery.

    So, now it’s you selling Ukraine short. LOL The Ukrainians are using innovation based on hobby store and sporting goods store technology to beat a major power. The Russians are way behind the U.S. in terms of military technology and maybe the Chinese as well (though the Chinese, despite, great leaps forward in terms of military hardware development, are totally untested in modern warfare, and like Russia are hampered by a top-heavy pathologically-authoritarian command structure).

    Meanwhile the US military is watching all of this…..If NATO was truly a threat to Russia, why the fuk wouldn’t it just slam Russia-with-their-pants-down right now, LOL. Everyone knows that’s not what NATO wants and well Russia is a nuclear power anyways. No, that’s not it. Putin just could not stand watching Ukraine become a thriving democracy right next door. A few Russians are finally figuring out their Fuhrer is a class-A douchebag.

    Russia is losing its navy to low-tech weaponry, and while many of their tanks have been destroyed with military-grade antitank missiles, not a few have been destroyed by a grenade dropped through an open hatch by a reusable modified consumer-grade drone.

    With low-cost drone-type weapons, one side can flood an area with a mix of armed drones and “placebo” drones forcing the enemy to waste ammunition on drones posing no threat while letting some of the armed ones get through. I believe swarming will play a huge role in future conflicts.

    You have pointed out some of the problems but, “wherever there’s a will there’s a way,” and the Ukrainians are showing the way, whether or not they ultimately can beat the Russians in the end. Their accomplishments will serve as an inspiration for many others.

    #52604

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen and Robert,

    Funny, Unseen. For nearly two years now, you’ve been saying that Ukraine was as good as defeated and that Zelenakyy had might as well give up Donbass and negotiate with Putin. Now you’re saying what I’ve been saying all alone, that Ukraine is the mouse that roars. So which is it? 🤔

    By the way, to both you and Robert, Gatling Gun is spelled with a capital, after the genius Richard Gatling who invented it. In it’s 20 mm caliber version used on attack helicopters and fighter planes, it’s called the Vulcan Cannon, and any who would cross the Vulcan Cannon’s line of fire are out of their Vulcan minds.🖖🏻

    Drones could use Spread-Spectrum Transmission and strong encryption to be radio-controlled without interference and could be equipped with on-board micro-computers to steer it to a fixed trajectory and target if cellular or satellite communications are knocked out by the enemy.

    While shotguns with 12 Gauge or smaller Gauge small pellets can take out drones, there are also innovations in Nanotechnology that can produce light plastic plating that can resist a .357 Magnum bullet from as little as 10 feet away and of course can resist shots from even further distance. Equipping drones with this Nanotech armor would make them more resilient and harder to defeat.

    Even without these higher-tech additions, drones are giving Putin’s Putineers an awful time, so Putin really needs to acknowledge his defeat and back the Hell off. Otherwise, he’s next.

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