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Skyler4856
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Wing area is not terribly connected to L/D. I mean, everything is connected to everything, but for L/D wing span is more important. Wing area (and airplane weight) determines wing loading, which has a lot to do with climb rate and stall margins.

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On 7/12/2022 at 11:03 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Mostly confined to amature rockets (for when you want  to go well past the pre-made Estes stuff).  While parafin+N20 is said to have the highest Isp for this type of thing HTPB tends to be far more popular (presumably thanks to burn rates, it sounds even easier to fabricate).  It gives you many of the advantages of liquid rockets with a much easier design, although pressure fed rockets (the limit of most amature designs) will of course have more dry mass leftovers.

For the big boys, hybrid rockets are non-cryogenic (N20 is non-cryogenic).  You could presumably use a turbopump (or use LOX if you were using a hybrid design for other reasons, such as a single carbon-fiber tank for a pressure-fed oxidizer).

- note that in the US, N20 is commonly available in large quantities spiked with "forum friendly" additives, typically for welding and drag racing/other car mods.

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I've posited this question before, but never gotten an answer (probably because it's not known)... but here goes.

With conventional explosives and powders, I've had the reactions described to me as less than an actual explosion, but rather they're described as burns with differing rates of propagation.  Example: the difference between black powder and modern smokeless powders (Cordite through WC844, etc): the advantage of the modern is far faster flame propagation, resulting in increased chamber pressure and a dramatically faster, flatter trajectory projectile.

Compare that to the much faster propagation of Det Cord or Composition B which, if used in a small arm would probably be lethal to the user.

The point of all of this is that we have the ability, through chemistry, to adjust the burn rate of 'explosives' to attain desired results... and use that knowledge in traditional, chemical rocketry.

...

With the talk of Orion on this forum and everyone searching for high energy density rocket propellants, and the difficulty in creating metastable metallic hydrogen... what is the likelihood of there being some kind of future 'sub-atomic-explosion' burn rocket?  Is there anything in the literature that makes it possible to 'slow down' or mediate a nuclear reaction such that it is not explosive per se - but rather has a controllable burn rate that might be useable in future interstellar rockets?

Edit - this thought arises because our current use of nuclear power is either crude (weapons; we explosively slam stuff together until it explodes) or slow (we bring stuff close, let it heat up something else to do work).  There's gotta be something between, one would think.

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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Just now, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

  Is there anything in the literature that makes it possible to 'slow down' or mediate a nuclear reaction such that it is not explosive per se - but rather has a controllable burn rate that might be useable in future interstellar rockets?

A nuclear reaction has three possible states:

Sub-critical: The reaction will peter-out and die without external support/neutrons

Critical: the reaction is exactly maintaining itself with excess neutrons being removed form the reaction to maintain this state

Super-Critical: the reaction is accelerating, usually in an exponential fashion

A nuclear reactor wants to maintain a critical state long-term, and switches to sub-critical to 'shut down'.

A nuclear bomb wants to initiate a super-critical state until the energy release blows the weapon into pieces too small for the reaction to continue.  The faster the reaction, the more energy it can release before it gets blown to pieces.

If you want to use the heat from an on-going critical reaction, that would be a Nuclear thermal deign or perhaps some sort of ion engine powered by a nuclear reactor.

If you want to slow down a nuclear bomb, that is called a misfire or a 'dud' and may not release even as much energy as a similar mass of TNT. 

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7 minutes ago, Terwin said:

A nuclear reaction has three possible states:

Sub-critical: The reaction will peter-out and die without external support/neutrons

Critical: the reaction is exactly maintaining itself with excess neutrons being removed form the reaction to maintain this state

Super-Critical: the reaction is accelerating, usually in an exponential fashion

A nuclear reactor wants to maintain a critical state long-term, and switches to sub-critical to 'shut down'.

A nuclear bomb wants to initiate a super-critical state until the energy release blows the weapon into pieces too small for the reaction to continue.  The faster the reaction, the more energy it can release before it gets blown to pieces.

If you want to use the heat from an on-going critical reaction, that would be a Nuclear thermal deign or perhaps some sort of ion engine powered by a nuclear reactor.

If you want to slow down a nuclear bomb, that is called a misfire or a 'dud' and may not release even as much energy as a similar mass of TNT. 

Ah cool - did not know these distinctions.

So - I'm guessing that the plutonium 'batteries' used on some spacecraft are sub-critical?  Native waste-heat of the decay being harnessed for power?

Using my new vocabulary: my understanding of the critical reaction engines in rocketry are very high ISP, but not a lot of TWR.  With the hammering away at Orion Project stuff over these last few months, I was hoping there was something between Critical and Super Critical that could be harnessed for space travel.

(Now that I know the words, I can start googling)

Thanks!

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Having looked into this for a brief second*, I guess what I was looking for was some kind of mediated supercriticality that would allow us to use the fissile materials directly like a rocket vs something crude like the Orion Project pusher-plate idea.

Yet - I'm gathering that that won't exactly work.

Although, perhaps using a powdered fissile and combining it in a bell in a way that causes the mediating/moderating material to change rapidly from a liquid or solid to a gas might provide the expansion necessary for thrust?

(Thanks guys - I'll keep playing with the idea... lots more reading).

 

 

*6985126 (osti.gov)

 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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36 minutes ago, Terwin said:

A nuclear bomb wants to initiate a super-critical state until the energy release blows the weapon into pieces too small for the reaction to continue.  The faster the reaction, the more energy it can release before it gets blown to pieces.

According to the open Western sources, a nuclear bomb wants to prolong the supercriticality growth, to let the fission fuel become as supercrtitical as possible, before the reaction reaches maximum.
Say, by combining Pu and U layers in the levitating pit, as U is more lazy.

21 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

plutonium 'batteries' used on some spacecraft are sub-critical

They aren't about the criticality at all. They are just decaying, without chain reactions.

21 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

I was hoping there was something between Critical and Super Critical that could be harnessed for space travel.

A "subcritical" nuclear test is in between. Very popular for several decades.
When you ignite only one point in the two-point initiation charge, and the charge splashes out once the chain reaction just had started.
So, the yield is in  hundreds kg rather than in hundreds kt.
Thus, you formally haven't violated the treaty, but  got enough physical data to ensure you get the picture right.

In that US veteran article even considered as the 5th gen. super-low-yield tactical nuke.
https://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/2015/09/04/vt-nuclear-education-the-uranium-hydride-bomb/

Hypothetically, this could be used in some way, but is obviously ineffective for propulsion.

Edited by kerbiloid
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1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

I've posited this question before, but never gotten an answer (probably because it's not known)... but here goes.

With conventional explosives and powders, I've had the reactions described to me as less than an actual explosion, but rather they're described as burns with differing rates of propagation.  Example: the difference between black powder and modern smokeless powders (Cordite through WC844, etc): the advantage of the modern is far faster flame propagation, resulting in increased chamber pressure and a dramatically faster, flatter trajectory projectile.

Compare that to the much faster propagation of Det Cord or Composition B which, if used in a small arm would probably be lethal to the user.

The point of all of this is that we have the ability, through chemistry, to adjust the burn rate of 'explosives' to attain desired results... and use that knowledge in traditional, chemical rocketry.

...

With the talk of Orion on this forum and everyone searching for high energy density rocket propellants, and the difficulty in creating metastable metallic hydrogen... what is the likelihood of there being some kind of future 'sub-atomic-explosion' burn rocket?  Is there anything in the literature that makes it possible to 'slow down' or mediate a nuclear reaction such that it is not explosive per se - but rather has a controllable burn rate that might be useable in future interstellar rockets?

Edit - this thought arises because our current use of nuclear power is either crude (weapons; we explosively slam stuff together until it explodes) or slow (we bring stuff close, let it heat up something else to do work).  There's gotta be something between, one would think.

For standard explosions we have detonations who have an detonations who generate an supersonic shock wave, last seen in the SpaceX superheavy engine test fail. 
That one was fuel air but high explosives like TNT and dynamite detonates. 
Gunpowder or black-powder and lots of other stuff explodes as in the shock wave is slower than sound. 
And for gunpowder you want more like powder for an short barreled pistol and sticks for artillery with their long barrels giving them longer time to accelerate heavy shells. 
However standard explosives contains much less energy than chemical rockets as they need to be stable long term while rocket fuel and oxidizer are mixed in the engine. 
That is outside of solid fuel who is pretty much like gunpowder but optimized as rocket fuel

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11 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Having looked into this for a brief second*, I guess what I was looking for was some kind of mediated supercriticality that would allow us to use the fissile materials directly like a rocket vs something crude like the Orion Project pusher-plate idea.

Yet - I'm gathering that that won't exactly work.

Although, perhaps using a powdered fissile and combining it in a bell in a way that causes the mediating/moderating material to change rapidly from a liquid or solid to a gas might provide the expansion necessary for thrust?

(Thanks guys - I'll keep playing with the idea... lots more reading).

 

 

*6985126 (osti.gov)

 

This does sound kinda like the nuclear salt water rocket. Here's the obligatory Atomic Rockets link:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/enginelist2.php#nswr

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7 hours ago, monophonic said:

does sound kinda like the nuclear salt water rocket

Yes it does.  I am a bit confused by the line in your link about people using it on earth ('leave a glowing blue crater for hundreds of years') - I'd never suggest that... But as a space only ship? 

Seems like an engineering problem. 

 

(that website is interesting... But it also seems like a hot mess!) 

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8 hours ago, monophonic said:

This does sound kinda like the nuclear salt water rocket. Here's the obligatory Atomic Rockets link:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/enginelist2.php#nswr

Scott Manley had a video on that as well: 

 

 

I think the title screen sums up his opinion of it.  But it is clear that the answer wanted isn't "can we make a nuclear reactor more like a bomb (supercritical)", but really "can we increase a nuclear reaction at a level that remains stable but at a higher rate of energy production".  I believe this does this, but maintaining that stability is questionable.

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On 7/14/2022 at 7:31 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

With conventional explosives and powders, I've had the reactions described to me as less than an actual explosion, but rather they're described as burns with differing rates of propagation.  Example: the difference between black powder and modern smokeless powders (Cordite through WC844, etc): the advantage of the modern is far faster flame propagation, resulting in increased chamber pressure and a dramatically faster, flatter trajectory projectile.

When you talk about explosive combustion, there are two main types:

  • Deflagration, where the burning front is moving at subsonic speeds.
  • Detonation, where the burning front is a shock wave moving at supersonic speeds.

Low explosives are easier to ignite, but they burn via deflagration.

High explosives are harder to ignite and can often be safely burned.  But with an appropriate low explosive detonator, can detonate violently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflagration
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detonation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflagration_to_detonation_transition

Edited by Jacke
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29 minutes ago, Jacke said:

When you talk about explosive combustion, there are two main types:

  • Deflagration, where the burning front is moving at subsonic speeds.
  • Detonation, where the burning front is a shock wave moving at supersonic speeds.

Low explosives are easier to ignite, but they burn via deflagration.

High explosives are harder to ignite and can often be safely burned.  But with an appropriate low explosive detonator, can detonate violently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflagration
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detonation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflagration_to_detonation_transition

Yeah - funny thing; I used the chemistry analogy to describe what I hoped would work via nuclear... Buuuut, apparently it does not work that way.  No slow burning a stick of uranium as a candle (rocket).  Interestingly enough, the closest thing to what I was looking for appears to be the NSWR.  You use a moderator to feed the fissiles into the combustion chamber - they go supercritical and flash the water to steam and you use the expansion as thrust. 

Nasty... But potentially effective. 

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7 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

And here we come to the antimatter-powered water-boiler rocket, and the thread gets merged to the "AM Orion SSTO" megathread.

There's Godwin's Law and then there's the Dyson-Zubrin Law.

project_orion.png

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Some questions-

1. How would military aircraft design look if the Vietnam War didn’t occur? It’s said that the Teen Series were greatly influenced by its events, but at the same time, while the Su-27 and MiG-29 came about in response to the Teen Series, the Soviets did not copy anything from the Americans and came up with their designs pretty hassle free, which suggests lots of what went into 4th gen fighters came from aerodynamic studies that had nothing to do with Vietnam.

2. Do all spacecraft need to do a “barbecue roll” in deep space? Animations often depict them as static in flight. I suppose those with proper thermal control wouldn’t need to but what about Starship and Orion?

3. Would it be possible to modify the ISS into an MTV? It would require extensive modification and be dangerous but the basis for a Mars spacecraft is basically there.

In regards to No. 3, a lot of 60s and 70s Mars spacecraft designs were either closely related to space stations or literally just modified space station modules.

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1 hour ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Some questions-

1. How would military aircraft design look if the Vietnam War didn’t occur? It’s said that the Teen Series were greatly influenced by its events, but at the same time, while the Su-27 and MiG-29 came about in response to the Teen Series, the Soviets did not copy anything from the Americans and came up with their designs pretty hassle free, which suggests lots of what went into 4th gen fighters came from aerodynamic studies that had nothing to do with Vietnam.

2. Do all spacecraft need to do a “barbecue roll” in deep space? Animations often depict them as static in flight. I suppose those with proper thermal control wouldn’t need to but what about Starship and Orion?

3. Would it be possible to modify the ISS into an MTV? It would require extensive modification and be dangerous but the basis for a Mars spacecraft is basically there.

In regards to No. 3, a lot of 60s and 70s Mars spacecraft designs were either closely related to space stations or literally just modified space station modules.

3 IIS is very heavy for an Mars ship as its an orbital lab with lots of research equipment. in short it would be much better to build an new smaller and lighter hab for the Mars trip even if you conserved ISS past decommission. 
Last IIS is probably not safe enough either, Its much easier to fix stuff with regular supply runs, you could do an emergency resupply pretty fast and evacuate if the worst happen. 

2 Don't think modern ones does, dragon 2 has solar panels on one side and radiators on the other side for one.  The Soyuz has extendable solar panels but they can not be rotated 
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Soyuz_MS.jpg

1 probably less focus on dog fighting probably until air to air missiles got better.  The other large air to air fights was the Israel - Arab wars who would get much more interest. 
 

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7 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

1. How would military aircraft design look if the Vietnam War didn’t occur? It’s said that the Teen Series were greatly influenced by its events, but at the same time, while the Su-27 and MiG-29 came about in response to the Teen Series, the Soviets did not copy anything from the Americans and came up with their designs pretty hassle free, which suggests lots of what went into 4th gen fighters came from aerodynamic studies that had nothing to do with Vietnam.

I had to dig into this a bit, as aviation history isn't my strong suit.  What I'm gathering is that in the years leading up to Vietnam, the Century Series aircraft were part of the Cold War 'equation'; specifically designed to intercept nuclear bombers or deliver nuclear weapons.  That seems to me to be the US deciding on both an internal strategy and a 'turn the map around' expectation of what the Soviet's might do - with the designs supporting that.

The advent of Vietnam is that the US and Soviet Union got to engage with each other in a proxy war.  Proxy wars are interesting things.  Each side gets to see their technology in action; but they don't always get to personally apply the tech (and your tactics/employment) against the intended/anticipated adversary.  Thus you get analogies of the classic Soviets' claiming that their 'tanks are good, but Arabs can't fight' arguments coming from the Arab-Israeli wars.  (Anyone who's been on the WOT forums knows this well).  Interestingly, while Americans and Russians of the time might have claimed the Vietnamese weren't as scary or disciplined as the Russians... the Soviet fighter jets proved formidable against Americans fighting in American equipment and applying our tactics.  The efficacy of the Soviet equipment in anyone's hands was sufficiently devastating that the Vietnam experience forced a sea-change on the American design philosophy.   

Thus, as far as I'm concerned - absent Vietnam, what happens?  Does the US and Soviet Union find another proxy-war 'playground' in the intervening years, or not?  Part of me wants to think that it would be almost inevitable for the two powers to not find some place to fight in the intervening years... but it's entirely possible that it would have played out like the Arab-Israeli conflicts - with Nuclear War fears restricting any conflict to proxy wars - with proxies doing the fighting on both sides.  (One can argue that the Soviets learned nothing from the Arab-Israeli conflicts and other proxies, as they did not radically change their tank designs after seeing the sub-par performance... c.f. the current vulnerabilities retained in Soviet designs.).

I'm going to go with my gut on this.  Americans are every bit as arrogant as anyone else who's ever been a super power... and seeing as the Soviets did not learn much or adapt from their proxies' experiences... I'd say neither would the Americans.*  So absent a proxy war in which the Primary had to go up against a thoroughly armed Proxy** (a Vietnam analog)... the wars between respective proxies would be viewed as 'bush wars' and thus any lessons learned would not be determinative of possible super-power competition. 

So the result is that each side would continue to develop a peer-to-peer best guess/expectation and what do we want to do to them strategy.  Meaning, everything would have gone towards missiles, standoff systems and maybe IFF (universal implementation driven by Vietnam frustration/failure***) to support the Cold War peer-to-peer expectation.

Thus - would we have seen the Teen Series?  I think not.  I think you'd see faster, stealthier, farther flying nuclear strike/nuclear deterrent craft with a few things like A-10s for ground support.

 

*  It was the American fighter pilots' personal experiences with losses against Soviet Aircraft and SAMs that drove the sea-change.  They DEMANDED the change, and were listened to.  Back to the tank analogy: had Soviets in Soviet tanks gone up against American/British armed Israelis and fared as poorly, I suspect the Soviet tank design of the 80s would have been significantly different.

** Soviet vs Afghanistan doesn't count; the SAMs (Stinger) and TOWs were part of an infantry-heavy fight, and very few places in the world are analogous to the extreme mountainous terrain.

***Remember, in Grenada the US Forces were embarrassed by their lack of Joint communications strategy and poor Joint Ops planning...

 

Edit: going to add this...  The Russian 'Equation' is/was far different from the American one.  The American, self-centered pre-Vietnam / NATO posture is one of having to fly or sail long distances across oceans to combat a nuclear powered foe.  The Russian self-centered equation is completely different.  They not only had to anticipate / deal with the US threat... but they've got all of Western Europe to contend with as well.  Thus, their fighter development philosophy was clearly different in the pre-Vietnam timeframe, producing aircraft that were significant performers vs American designs in Vietnam.  Had the US and Soviets not had a proxy war in the 60s / 70s... the extension of design likely means that Soviet aircraft would have continued a more lethal air-to-air path than that of the Americans going into the 70s-80s.

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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2 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

(One can argue that the Soviets learned nothing from those wars, as they did not radically change their tank designs after seeing the performance... c.f. the current vulnerabilities of Soviet designs.).

Makes me wonder whether the Soviets themselves felt the arguments in defense of their tanks were valid, because while the main battle tanks didn't change, the design of the BMP-2 was influenced by the performance of the BMP-1 during those conflicts, and went on to become a much better performing IFV (relative to the BMP-1, that is. In contrast to how the T-72 still retains weaknesses of the T-62).

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23 minutes ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Makes me wonder whether the Soviets themselves felt the arguments in defense of their tanks were valid, because while the main battle tanks didn't change, the design of the BMP-2 was influenced by the performance of the BMP-1 during those conflicts, and went on to become a much better performing IFV (relative to the BMP-1, that is. In contrast to how the T-72 still retains weaknesses of the T-62).

American and British viewers of the Arab-Israeli and other proxy wars using Western vs Soviet tanks noted 'design flaws'... we weren't particularly interested in convincing them we were correct.  This really is one of those 'they just didn't know how to tank' things, IMO.  Institutional blindness.  Every Soviet Tankboi I've run into in WOT has argued vehemently that there's 'nothing wrong with T-72...80...90 + variants, and they're inherently better than all others'.

Don't get me wrong; they're capable tanks.  And the Soviet philosophy was always 'good enough, cheap enough and in enough quantity'.  They just weren't as good as they believed.  

Re: BMP-1... it was kind of a prototype.  Ripe for improvements based on its first fielding, and the lessons learned when the specialist crew (meaning trained, not conscript cargo) were killed.

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

2. Do all spacecraft need to do a “barbecue roll” in deep space? Animations often depict them as static in flight. I suppose those with proper thermal control wouldn’t need to but what about Starship and Orion?

Unless they are asymmetric, with radiator panels in shadow and solar panel and heat protection at another one.

Say, a spaceplane with its thick heatproof belly, or TKS with radiator panels on the lower tanks and solar panels on the upper tanks in addition to the extendable ones.

As TKS was to be orbiting together with OPS Almaz, and the latter was always oriented with belly down (because its eyes are in the belly), TKS would be always turned to the sun with its upper, solar side, and to the Earth with its lower, radiator side.
So, if it was flying to the Moon, what could change?

8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

3. Would it be possible to modify the ISS into an MTV? It would require extensive modification and be dangerous but the basis for a Mars spacecraft is basically there.

In regards to No. 3, a lot of 60s and 70s Mars spacecraft designs were either closely related to space stations or literally just modified space station modules.

On ISS you don't need to store food and clothes for 3 years, and they can any time escape and return.

The Martian ship should be equipped with everything needed on start, and have a lot of redundant systems, because they can't just abort the flight.

So, the orbital station is just a lesser part of a Martian ship, which needs moar.

8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

1. How would military aircraft design look if the Vietnam War didn’t occur? It’s said that the Teen Series were greatly influenced by its events, but at the same time, while the Su-27 and MiG-29 came about in response to the Teen Series, the Soviets did not copy anything from the Americans and came up with their designs pretty hassle free, which suggests lots of what went into 4th gen fighters came from aerodynamic studies that had nothing to do with Vietnam.

Was the B-1A design caused by the Vietnam war? In no way.
It's a progress of engine and aerodynamics, allowing to break through the anti-aircraft defense on supersonic speed either below radars or above the rockets, drop a huge bomb, and escape from its heat radiation.

Did the Myasishchev bombers (one of which turned into Tu-160) and Tupolev's Tu-22M have any relation to Vietnam? In no way. The objective was the same.

Was SR-71 made for Vietnam war? No, it was a response to the anti-aircraft missiles. And MiG-25/MiG-31 were a response to SR-71 and faster bombers.

The Vietnam war was a local war between tactical planes, mostly on short distances. The supersonic features were a bonus.

So, the aviation would anyway follow the B-52 to B-1 way, and the fighter shape would change in absolutely same manner.

3 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Thus, as far as I'm concerned - absent Vietnam, what happens?  Does the US and Soviet Union find another proxy-war 'playground' in the intervening years, or not? 

Usually they were trying to avoid collisions, sell the weapon, and watch what happens to it. 

The Vietnam war was a particular specific case, where both parties were drawn into to not let the opponent be the first.

3 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

but it's entirely possible that it would have played out like the Arab-Israeli conflicts with Nuclear War fears restricting any conflict to proxy wars with proxies on both sides.  (One can argue that the Soviets learned nothing from those wars, as they did not radically change their tank designs after seeing the performance... c.f. the current vulnerabilities of Soviet designs.).

 

1 hour ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Makes me wonder whether the Soviets themselves felt the arguments in defense of their tanks were valid, because while the main battle tanks didn't change

The best part of Abrams are Apache and Thunderbolt, and the best part of Leo is TOW.
While the local conflicts were mostly between the Soviet tanks, while the Western armored barns were mostly following the choppers or wachting am Rhein respectively.

The epic battles between T-72 and Merkavas with burning hundreds of them (depending on the narrator's side) are legendary, while the documented facts say that they have never met in battle.
Once there was a situation when a column of the Arab T-72 was ambushed by the Israeli forces and left destroyed there, and in the evening a column of Merkavas stumbled on the detroyed tanks and "killed" them once again.

But there were no cases when the Western tanks were fighting against a comparable enemy without air superiority on their side.
On the other hand, this air superiority was never provided against an enemy with developed and maneuvering anti-aircraft field defense (so much beloved in the USSR) or when the airfields had been nuked on ground, or the fighters have to fly between mushroom clouds (same beloved).
We even don't know how many Abramses would be lost without the air superiority, or in the situation when this superiority is negligible (say, the battle happens in a Western populated area after a Red Army tank rush, when the population could not be evacuated).

There was heavy Tiger and medium T-34 and Sherman.
The former was stronger and harder, the latter ones were weaker but cheaper, and thus more numerous.
And as most of tanks were lost not in the tank duels, it's a big question is it worse to lose one excellent but expensive Abrams or a platoon of cheaper T.

Terrible?
There were ~60 000 Soviet and pro-Soviet tanks in Cold War, each with 3..4 men.
200+k men in total.
Compared to the million casualties in the WWIII, does it really change a lot?
Especially when they would otherwise anyway be in infantry.

In the counter-partisan conflicts any tanks stand behind and suffer only from ambushing.

In Afghanistan and Chechnya the tanks were suffering losses in mountains or in cities, what happened to any type of tank same way.

In the known current events most part of tank losses happened in the very beginning, mostly from ambushes against columns.
(And due to the we-all-know-whose spysat  info.)
Once the front line had established, the known oryx got on vacation, and the Bayraktar/Javelin/NLAW raptures quickly faded away.

(Now the same party finds ecstasy in the okroshka of decommissioned howitzers and the new toy, HIMARS (prudently lacking the long-range missiles, because you never know...).
A nice fact: all their self-congratulatory reports about the HIMARS usage are about destroyed storehouses.
Once again, slowly: the super-effective, futuristic, overkill rocket system looks to be good only in bombing of stationary, soft, non-protected objects... And only from the words of its hot fans.)

As T-72 and their 90 are a product of Soviet technologies, they still can be maintained in absense of the sanctioned modern hi-tech.

So, they are purposed for the mass rush to La Manche, medium quality but high quantity (against the high quality but poor quantity).
They are as good as any other tank agains armed peasants. (Some still use T-34, and are happy with them).
They suffer in a medium conflict (hardly imaginable in Cold War), but we don't know what would happen to the fancy Leo and Abramses if they were not an on-ground addition to the air forces, warding off the evil spirits from the airfields.

So, it's nothing radically wrong in the Soviet tank design, making it dramatically worse than the Western ones.

Edited by kerbiloid
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36 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Western tanks were fighting against a comparable enemy without air superiority on their side

And I'm proof of that.

Grin - no reason to ever fight fair.

37 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

nothing radically wrong in the Soviet tank design, making it dramatically worse than the Western ones.

I'll agree, in principle.  It can tank.  For most places in the world, they're efficacious.

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4 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Was the B-1A design caused by the Vietnam war? In no way.
It's a progress of engine and aerodynamics, allowing to break through the anti-aircraft defense on supersonic speed either below radars or above the rockets, drop a huge bomb, and escape from its heat radiation.

Did the Myasishchev bombers (one of which turned into Tu-160) and Tupolev's Tu-22M have any relation to Vietnam? In no way. The objective was the same.

Was SR-71 made for Vietnam war? No, it was a response to the anti-aircraft missiles. And MiG-25/MiG-31 were a response to SR-71 and faster bombers.

The Vietnam war was a local war between tactical planes, mostly on short distances. The supersonic features were a bonus.

So, the aviation would anyway follow the B-52 to B-1 way, and the fighter shape would change in absolutely same manner.

I should have been more clear. I meant tactical aircraft.

Indeed, the fate of bomber development was decided even before Gary Powers got shot down- arguably from the moment the first intelligence document containing a briefing on the S-25 and S-75 showed up on a variety of desks in various Air Force facilities across the country.

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