Questions tagged [space-warfare]

For questions relating to the physics and tactics surrounding combat outside all planetary atmosphere. This includes ship-to-surface, ship-to-ship, and personal combat (space walking). The tag is appropriate when asking about the consequences of tactics, technology, cheistry, and physics of weapons and defenses.

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33
votes
12answers
8k views

How would one design an undetectable nuke to hit the Moon with?

Colonists have set up a viable, long term lunar colony on the near-side of the moon in the mid-21st century. They are quickly reaching total self-sufficiency and the earth governments who sponsored ...
30
votes
16answers
7k views

Are nuclear-propelled shotgun slugs viable?

Would a nuclear bomb surrounded by large amounts of separate shotgun-like slugs be a good anti-fleet weapon in space? If yes, how could you counter it? (If there is a better StackExchange for this ...
25
votes
7answers
9k views

Chlorine Trifluoride as a Space Weapon?

Pretty self-explanatory. Could a spaceship use a "ClF3 Mortar" to fire copper shells at enemy vessels? At first glance, this seems like a good weapon: it can burn even in space and can set fire to ...
25
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20answers
7k views

Logical reason why a space navy would not utilize orbital bombardment?

Let’s say there’s a Human Space Navy, called the Terran Defense Force. They’re currently in a war with their interstellar neighbors. They’ve reached one of their enemies colonies at the very outskirts ...
25
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11answers
7k views

How would a lunar colony attack Earth?

I saw that there are many questions about how a lunar colony would defend itself. But in the not so near future the lunar colony might be stronger than Earth. They may have even suffered from attacks ...
25
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11answers
9k views

How would a lunar colony defend itself against aggression from Earth?

Assume that the with the technology level of the near future a self-sustainable colony has been established on the moon. For some reasons a conflict between this colony and some powerful nations on ...
25
votes
10answers
6k views

How much time does Earth need to repel interstellar attack?

Highly inspired by How would we fare against an interstellar RKKV Attack? Lets repeat the setup of the original question: In this hypothetical scenario, in the present day, astronomers detect an ...
21
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13answers
5k views

What are most likely to be the first space weapons?

I'm trying to write a mostly realistic space story, and kind of hit a wall when it came to weaponry, so here's the question: What would be the first weapons to be put on a spacecraft? Due to physics ...
19
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10answers
5k views

Planetary defense in an interstellar society

Let's say that you are some sort of tyrannical dictator of an inhabited world with futuristic technology (ex. railguns, a fully automated labor force, efficient space travel.) You know that within ...
16
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5answers
2k views

How would we fare against an interstellar RKKV Attack? [closed]

In this hypothetical scenario, in the present day, astronomers detect an object entering the heliosphere, at a distance of roughly 90AU, from the direction of the Proxima Centauri system. Observations ...
11
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3answers
911 views

Casaba Howitzer vs. Magnetic Shelds: Plausible Counter?

I'm trying to work through the mechanics of hard sci-fi space combat, and I came across the Casaba Howitzer. The basic idea is a nuclear shaped charge. The blast from a nuclear bomb is partially ...
10
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11answers
2k views

Harvesting automated war machines

Let`s say there is a planet on which fully automated machines capable of self replication, once belonging to several factions of highly advanced aliens, now extinct, are waging war against each other. ...
10
votes
7answers
540 views

What would grand strategy look like in a world with fast interstellar travel and slow interplanetary travel?

The specific situation is the tech in the Battletech universe. The Kearny-Fuchida hyperdrives are jump drives that can travel instantaneously up to thirty light years - being deposited (usually) at ...
10
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3answers
291 views

Relativistic Interstellar Combat

This question is heavily motivated by the details of my story, but it has a lot of free parameters to work with. I invite you to think creatively! Setting: You are in command of a constant ...
10
votes
2answers
206 views

Fortifications capable of withstanding atmosphere-clearing blast

On the Atomic Rockets site, there is a series of handy tables, the first of which is aptly named "The Boom Table", providing examples for a wide range of energy releases (in both Joules and TNT ...
9
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7answers
2k views

Ways to detect lasers from afar

In my sci-fi universe, spaceship shields are generated by capturing plasma between two electromagnetic fields. Projectiles are evaporated by the heat of the plasma, and charged particles are deflected ...
9
votes
3answers
783 views

Could an eruption be triggered at Yellowstone via kinetic bombardment?

While similar questions have been asked, I don't believe kinetic bombardment was brought up, with focus centred around nuclear warheads. Considering the ability for a "rod from god" to embed into the ...
9
votes
1answer
292 views

Does the beam quality factor M2 really ruin long range laser warfare in space?

After doing a lot of reading on space warfare on Atomic Rockets, ToughSF and other websites, I was almost sold on laser dominance. Sure, a continuous wave laser could be countered by cooling the hull ...
7
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9answers
361 views

Would there be any place for nuclear powered spaceship in the world proliferated by antimatter propulsion?

Nuclear fission rocket is becoming obsolete and is superseded by the more efficient antimatter engine, in fact there will be no pollution and the efficiency is around 100%. I'm wondering if in a ...
7
votes
4answers
678 views

Using frozen light as a starship shield

Frozen/Solid light Shields I can't find much online; but after listening to an Isaac Arthur episode where he briefly mentions frozen light, I immediately thought about the Hardlight items from the ...
7
votes
5answers
431 views

Shooting down an enemy ship at FTL speeds

In the story I'm currently working on an alien race holds the monopoly on FTL travel. They're using a modified Alcubierre drive system, powered by Negative Mass. Humanity stumbles on a source of ...
7
votes
4answers
369 views

Optimal shape for hypervelocity kinetic projectiles from space

In my universe, coilguns/railguns are popular weapon in ship-to-ship combat. But, they also have a place in orbital bombardment, as a ship on low orbit can hit a ground target in few seconds using ...
7
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5answers
245 views

Preserving naval battle groups in space warfare

I want to have a somewhat realistic setting where space fleets have to close in to short distances, probably around 1000 km or less, in order to inflict damage. This will be only a few hundred years ...
6
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9answers
2k views

What could be used for orbital bombardment?

In my world Mars is fighting Earth. the problem is what would they (Mars and Earth) use for orbital bombardment. Things to know: set in the early 2100s both worlds are inhabited by humans both have ...
6
votes
6answers
791 views

How would the US re-conquer a Moon Base?

The year is 2030. The US has set up a moon base with about 2,000 people. The base can theoretically survive indefinitely, growing its own food and 3D-printing supplies, but in practice it needs ...
6
votes
3answers
542 views

Are trireme-like spaceships (spaceships with rams) possible? [duplicate]

This is a fairly simple question, and the heading is pretty self explanatory, but I have a feeling there are a lot of implications to it that I haven't thought of. To be more specific, would it be ...
6
votes
3answers
327 views

Hypervelocity projectile damage to spaceships

Next question about kinetic weapons in my universe: We have a coilgun/railgun, it launches a projectile at 30 km/s; if it meets a compartmentalized spacecraft on its path, does the projectile go ...
6
votes
5answers
413 views

Are laser-stars the better missile carriers in space warfare?

Laser-stars are war-spacecraft optimized to accommodate a huge laser weapon capable of eliminating an enemy thousands of kilometers away. They will usually have enormous radiators to deal with the ...
6
votes
2answers
201 views

Are there existing Earthly body plans that make trapezoid or hexagonal spacecraft volume efficient?

Volume efficiency is extremely important when it comes to minimising the targettable cross-section of a warship in space. Humans make pretty efficient use of spaces that are generally square or ...
6
votes
1answer
203 views

Kinetic weapons - establishing an upper limit when dealing with grey goo

This answer to my last question suggested, rightly, that there are targets dangerous, and large scale, enough that there is neither overkill nor spillover damage when it comes to attacking a planetary ...
5
votes
10answers
3k views

How can space-mines be improved as a viable weapons in interplanetary space warefare?

Set in the distant future, two factions are engaged in bitter conflict spread across the solar system. The Earth Federation wants to deprive the rebels hiding among the moons of the gas giants of ...
5
votes
4answers
282 views

Maximizing Nuclear Detonation Effects against a Lunar Colony

Nuke the Moon! Earth's had it with the Moon colony's insubordination and independence efforts. The situation has escalated to a hot war. The W90 nuclear warhead is nearing the end of development. ...
4
votes
9answers
284 views

Nuclear Space Defence!

So I'm going for a pretty realistic setting and I don't like shields, they break the style of realism I'm going for. So for the most part defence is accomplished by dodging (which at the incredible ...
4
votes
5answers
428 views

Any reasons for crew on space warships? [duplicate]

I was thinking why there would be crew on a space warships when everything can be automated by even basic AI. Without crew you can pull all the gees you want with your torch-drive and no need for ...
3
votes
13answers
5k views

Why would a very advanced Transhumanist Civilization ever need to have a military or wage wars?

My Setting First of all, let's define what a very advanced transhumanist civilization is in my setting: 1- Post-scarcity civilization (Kardashev level II or even III) where everyone has abundance in ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

Spaceship boarding drone

Military spaceship wants to perform a boarding action on another spaceship, while both are performing high G manevuers (about 2G let's say). It's too hard to immobilize the enemy ship, so they won't ...
3
votes
3answers
176 views

What might be the nature of interstellar warfare given access to instant communication and Alcubierre drive technology? [closed]

The title really speaks for itself. Given what we know about Alcubierre drives (and yes, I know they're extremely hypothetical, but for this question let's just assume they can exist as we currently ...
2
votes
5answers
369 views

Can we visually identify a fleet from Earth with modern technology?

Two fleets from opposing factions are approaching each other at sublight speed at the edge of our Solar System. The Earth is in a position to affect the outcome of the battle, (i.e, superweapon, etc.) ...
2
votes
3answers
144 views

How to tell it is a relativistic kugelblitz instead of other photonic attack?

Set in a quite distant future, intergalactic war is brewing and it is important to tell what form of attacks the enemy ship is using otherwise the battle will quickly become one sided. Anyway imagine ...
2
votes
4answers
125 views

What makes an unstoppable droid army? [closed]

So my question is what would make an army of droids unstoppable when facing against humanoid species? (specifically how would droids be designed) For context one person sets foot on a planet with ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Spaceship combat Similar to pre-airplane naval warfare? [closed]

In most Space operas, space wars involve battleships, fighters, energy shields, missiles , bombs and lasers (and sound in the vacuum of space). This largely mimics how planes and mother ships were ...
0
votes
2answers
138 views

How one should use the reality of realistic space combat as a world foundation? [closed]

many believe that space combat as it'll actually be instead of what you see in star wars is not exciting. with the show, the expanse for example, which made an effort to be true to reality, i heard it ...
0
votes
5answers
108 views

How a Kardashev type 2 civilization with no FTL would conquer an analog of the Federation from *Star Trek*? [closed]

Let's say a Kardashev type 2 civilization composed of a dyson swarm discovers a galactic federation, likes what they see, and decides to take it. However the Kardashev type 2 civilization lacks FTL, ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

Could alcubierre warp drives spell the end of fleet on fleet combat?

In this scenario let's assume that we have the technology, and exotic matter to build one and have the energy to reach the 0.62912863×10^11 GJ (700 kg mass energy equivalent) requirement under Harold ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

How to rock the universe without provoking intergalactic war?

Even in the distant future stupidly loud rock metal is being played and enjoyed by many humans, even those that finds it irritating still recognise it as a form of music alright... officially it's ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Probable way to send a moon on a collision course with its primary?

Background In my setting, there is some sort of cosmic war going on between two factions. This war climaxes in one of the warring sides having the moon of their home-planet being redirected into the ...
0
votes
3answers
354 views

What type of weapon makes the most sense for use on a spaceship [duplicate]

Supposing your spaceship was long and narrow, what type of weapon would be most practical on a spaceship made of the materials we make spaceships out of today with scaled hull thickness to equal the ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

How could a weaponized asteroid remain undetected until its too late?

So earth is at war with mars. Earth sends a trojan rocket ahead of time and declares war when its too late for mars, but wait the trojan is headed for phobos and so mars rig up stuff and when it ...
-1
votes
1answer
144 views

Q-ships as a solution to steath in space, how do you get back out?

Given that stealth in space is likely impossible, how could you design a Q-ship that could carry out operations that require stealth? The idea here is about building a warship that is disguised as a ...
-1
votes
2answers
205 views

Advantages reptiles would have over humans in battle? [closed]

So, Von Neumann probe from the galaxy Andromeda is invading the Milky Way, and most species are getting their asses handed to them. A few planets have already come under the invaders control, and the ...