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Lunar combat


Souper
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Hello everyone. I'm starting this thread to discuss how combat on the lunar surface would take place. Specifically;

-How to armor soldiers? What would a military spacesuit look like and function?

-How to solve the logistical issues efficiently? (Earth/Moon transport, the delay between arrival and departure, getting around the moon itself, etc.)

-Stealth and detection? (How to hide something on the moon, and find something that's hiding on the moon?

 

And how would forces change on the lunar surface? How would:

-snipers

-artillery

-assault forces

-aircraft

-spacecraft

differ from those on Earth?

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Manned spacecraft, as you may know, needs to support life, and it is bulky the way it is. Adding armor, means more mass, which means more fuel to move around...same goes with armored spacesuits, really not a great idea. And the fact that weapon firing has recoil is bad for a spacecraft/spacesuit..

As per getting there, I think how space agencies get there is already pretty good. Also, I don't really *think* you need stealth because if you are close enough to be seen by the sensors, you are already close enough to be shot at..

And no, I dont think aircraft work on the moon... :)

Edited by Atlas2342
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46 minutes ago, Souper said:

Hello everyone. I'm starting this thread to discuss how combat on the lunar surface would take place. Specifically;

-How to armor soldiers? What would a military spacesuit look like and function?

-How to solve the logistical issues efficiently? (Earth/Moon transport, the delay between arrival and departure, getting around the moon itself, etc.)

-Stealth and detection? (How to hide something on the moon, and find something that's hiding on the moon?

 

And how would forces change on the lunar surface? How would:

-snipers

-artillery

-assault forces

-aircraft

-spacecraft

differ from those on Earth?

Seriously?

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53 minutes ago, Souper said:

-snipers

-artillery

-assault forces

-aircraft

-spacecraft

All but 2 of those would be worthless: the artillery and spacecraft. Artillery could be used for immediate retribution, since the Moon has no air a projectile can be launched into sub-orbit and strike halfway around the Moon. Spacecraft have the obvious advantage of orbital strike capability anywhere on the orbital trajectory. Though thinking about this even spacecraft are at a disadvantage to artillery, because it takes to much energy to adjust inclination. A mass-driver might be turnable in lunar gravity.

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10 minutes ago, lobe said:

All but 2 of those would be worthless: the artillery and spacecraft.

I wouldn't go that far.  You can't exactly capture things with artillery and ortillery; you'll always need boots on the ground.  Or robots, I suppose.

Things in orbit are sitting ducks to ground fire, unless they've got a lot of delta-v to burn.  The reverse is also true, for anything out in the open on the surface.  Active defenses are probably going to be critical if one is going to move around where an opponent can see you.  I'm not sure what would serve for the 'aircraft' role up there... maybe really-expendable jump-up drones?

Stealth is going to be problematic at best for anything mobile.  Everything is going to be lit up like a beacon in the infrared.

A combat-rated spacesuit would be an interesting challenge to design.  On the downside, you need to maintain a sealed environment when the other guy is determined to unseal your environment in the worst possible way.  On the upside, you've got about six times more carry-weight for armor.  I'd suspect they'd want to design something around a mechanical-pressure spacesuit-if they ever work the kinks out of that idea-since they'd be a lot less bulky.

Man-portable weapons don't change much.  Someone's going to need to come up with a thing to replace flashbangs, though.

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1 minute ago, qeveren said:

You can't exactly capture things

This might be an issue of perception between us: I figure if one facility is going to cause problems to another facility, immediate eradication is required. While some intel might be lost, the loss would be much less than the benefit of destroying the facility that would have perfected the weapons the intel would have shown. So, with no need to capture bases all that is needed are high velocity penetration rounds to turn the base into a crater.

9 minutes ago, qeveren said:

I'm not sure what would serve for the 'aircraft' role up there

Nothing, there is no air :P. I kind of pictured a lunar battle being like shooting bullets with bullets mixed with MAD doctrine.

However, as I concluded in my last post, the base with the steerable mass driver has the check-mate in this scenario.

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33 minutes ago, lobe said:

All but 2 of those would be worthless: the artillery and spacecraft. Artillery could be used for immediate retribution, since the Moon has no air a projectile can be launched into sub-orbit and strike halfway around the Moon. Spacecraft have the obvious advantage of orbital strike capability anywhere on the orbital trajectory. Though thinking about this even spacecraft are at a disadvantage to artillery, because it takes to much energy to adjust inclination. A mass-driver might be turnable in lunar gravity.

So..... lunar military bases, civilian targets and mining platforms can be captured with artillery. Awesome! Artillery tech has advanced so much!

I wonder, should we use robots or humans as footsoldiers?

 

 

50 minutes ago, PB666 said:

Seriously?

What's the issue?

 

 

 

1 minute ago, lobe said:

This might be an issue of perception between us: I figure if one facility is going to cause problems to another facility, immediate eradication is required. While some intel might be lost, the loss would be much less than the benefit of destroying the facility that would have perfected the weapons the intel would have shown. So, with no need to capture bases all that is needed are high velocity penetration rounds to turn the base into a crater.

Nothing, there is no air :P. I kind of pictured a lunar battle being like shooting bullets with bullets mixed with MAD doctrine.

However, as I concluded in my last post, the base with the steerable mass driver has the check-mate in this scenario.

since on the moon, "air" and space are kinda the same thing, it would be a good idea to use rocket VTOLs that can enter orbit or sub-orbit.

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Nothing is captured with artillery, it is just vulnerable to easy destruction. How about, "surrender, or you become the newest crater?" I'm not seeing capture as terribly reasonable. 

You say 2016 tech. So that means very near future. Side A has a base, then side B decides to capture base A. Unless the 2 powers are already at war on earth, side B sends some guys over to visit, they get let in, and they have guns inside their suits, and take the place without a shot. If the sides had enough time to prepare and were already at war, then you drop a lander (unmanned) on the other base. Game over.

I'm not seeing a plausible scenario.

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Wait, why are we even fighting over the moon in the first place? Territory and resources. We want to colonise and exploit it. There's going to be people on it, mines on it, and research bases and farms on it. Stuff i don't really think artillery and spacecraft are gonna fill out.

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3 minutes ago, Souper said:

Wait, why are we even fighting over the moon in the first place? Territory and resources. We want to colonise and exploit it. There's going to be people on it, mines on it, and research bases and farms on it. Stuff i don't really think artillery and spacecraft are gonna fill out.

I dont think a fully self-suficient lunar colony would be completely possible in today's technology...

So maybe something like this, earth stops sending supplies, moon dies....

Edited by Atlas2342
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So the terrestrial nations involved have decided that the Moon is a free-fire zone, and they are not fighting at home? There are few plausible combatants in the very near future (a few decades out maybe the US and PRC), or are you suggesting that perhaps 2 factions within NASA are combating each other?

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Just now, tater said:

So the terrestrial nations involved have decided that the Moon is a free-fire zone, and they are not fighting at home? There are few plausible combatants in the very near future (a few decades out maybe the US and PRC), or are you suggesting that perhaps 2 factions within NASA are combating each other?

US and China.

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2 minutes ago, Souper said:

So..... lunar military bases, civilian targets and mining platforms can be captured with artillery. Awesome! Artillery tech has advanced so much!

Military bases- most certainly, total destruction guaranteed. Civilian and mining platforms- well, how loyal are they to the current leaders? Having certain death on the other end with no hope of rescue is certainly a motivation to switch sides. If not that, look to Military bases for the outcome. I think MAD doctrine reigns supreme and it would be more likely the Lunar humans separate from us than wage war amongst themselves.

 

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>have military base on moon

>enemy base with steerable mass-driver artillery says "Give us your stuff or you die"

>send a few rocket-powered VTOL bombers to kill them

>they launch artillery

>Fire guided missile defense

>artillery blown to pieces

>Bombers kill them all

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Just now, Atlas2342 said:

Well, military lasers are not *really* 2016 techology plus they take lots of energy ...

Sorry, allow me to clarify: All experimental stuff made before April2016 is now fully researched and industrialized.

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9 minutes ago, Souper said:

or i could just shoot it down with a laser

http://www.rense.com/general31/art.htm

LOL. You do not need to shoot it down, you need to entirely vaporize it. Nothing left but plasma, and at a good distance.

Once on its trajectory, it will hit the target. There is no "shooting it down" short of vaporization.

Edited by tater
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3 minutes ago, Souper said:

>send a few rocket-powered VTOL bombers to kill them

 

5 minutes ago, Souper said:

>Bombers kill them all

I don't think it would work like this. Obviously the attacking base with the steerable mass driver is going to defend that with the equivalent of anti-air weapons, just like they would if there were spy satellites flying over the base. Same with the base who launched the bombers, except that base might get impacted because they don't have a steerable mass driver to deflect or destroy the shot. You didn't include this but saboteurs might have an increased role in this kind of warfare, purely because it is extremely hard to get a hit in a battlefield so obvious. 

 

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13 minutes ago, Souper said:

Sorry, allow me to clarify: All experimental stuff made before April2016 is now fully researched and industrialized.

Yay! EM drives for everyone! Lol

Edited by Atlas2342
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9 minutes ago, tater said:

LOL. You do not need to shoot it down, you need to entirely vaporize it. Nothing left but plasma, and at a good distance.

Once on its trajectory, it will hit the target. There is no "shooting it down" short of vaporization.

So, alter its trajectory? Or vaporize it? What about turning it into a million little pieces so that only a teeny little fraction of it will hit its target?

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Just now, Souper said:

So, alter its trajectory?

To affect it so it won't hit the base might require so much energy it would vaporize

2 minutes ago, Souper said:

Or vaporize it?

It might just continue as a plasma, into your base

3 minutes ago, Souper said:

What about turning it into a million little pieces so that only a teeny little fraction of it will hit its target?

That would require exploding the target, I would suggest kinetic impacter, otherwise known as the steerable mass driver.

 

So, I really think artillery is the best option about anything in space. Maybe a missile or two, maybe some lasers, but I think they are included in artillery.

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