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
7k 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
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
votes
11answers
8k 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 ...
24
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 ...
19
votes
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
votes
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 ...
10
votes
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
514 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
votes
2answers
179 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
votes
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
399 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
363 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
290 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
735 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
495 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
298 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
2answers
185 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
174 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
4answers
268 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
254 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
400 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
2answers
224 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
163 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
341 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.) ...
1
vote
1answer
152 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
5answers
425 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
3answers
292 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
192 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 ...
-2
votes
3answers
154 views

Gravity canceling space gun vs black hole [closed]

Not sure how to say this simpler, so we'll try shorter. We have a big space gun. It makes gravity not be there where it shoots. It shoots at a black hole. Does black hole go boom? And for the ...