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RailX
20-10-2008, 08:14
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24522183-401,00.html

Could be an interesting development. Looks like they really are the beginning of real-life drop pods...

Marshal Argos
20-10-2008, 08:38
Yeah, that's really not all that new though. It's been in the news off and on over the past few years. One "far future" report was to build a sort of space station that could hold up to a platoon in rotations, allowing them to deploy from space at anytime to anywhere... Although this is the first time that I've seen them mention Rutans ideas in an article in quite a few years...

Coasty
20-10-2008, 08:44
Hmmm. That design would be of rather limited use in the real-world without being made considerably larger. As an insertion vehicle it's just too obvious for special forces- who would have to rely on more conventional means of extraction- and too small for conventional troops.

Octavius_Maximus
20-10-2008, 08:47
Hooray, nice to see that money, which is fast becoming a rare resource, is being spent on something worthwhile.

destroyerlord
20-10-2008, 09:32
They think they would have caught Bin Ladin if they had one of these? :wtf:?
Sounds like a waste of time to me.

RexTalon
20-10-2008, 09:41
Yea, stick a squad in the middle of nowhere totally unsupported. Great idea... Next!

GodofWarTx
20-10-2008, 09:54
Yea, stick a squad in the middle of nowhere totally unsupported. Great idea... Next!

Well, i would agree that its a bit risky, but you dont win wars by being risk adverse.

Green Berets in Afganistan do plenty of Ops out in small groups for long patrols i would imagine.


I think this has its uses. In a rapidly developing situation of critical importance, having boots on the ground within a few hours anywhere in the world could help immensely.

Also, the outside benifits of this technology and use is great. Making space travel more accessible, affordible (after years and decades of government use), and better understood only helps our goals of travel among the stars.

Octavius_Maximus
20-10-2008, 10:01
Also, the outside benifits of this technology and use is great. Making space travel more accessible, affordible (after years and decades of government use), and better understood only helps our goals of travel among the stars.

And is using space as another way to attack ourselves (as if the universe isnt hostile enough) really all that?

Imagine the cost of keeping the marines in rotation? How much does it cost to take Marines up there? Then drop them back?

You have to rotate them every few weeks, is it really that worth it?

Unless you have a space Elavator, its not going to work

GodofWarTx
20-10-2008, 10:10
And is using space as another way to attack ourselves (as if the universe isnt hostile enough) really all that?

Imagine the cost of keeping the marines in rotation? How much does it cost to take Marines up there? Then drop them back?

You have to rotate them every few weeks, is it really that worth it?

Unless you have a space Elavator, its not going to work


A lot of the inventions we take for granted were developed first with military applications in mind. Military usefulness is an engine of development. Take for example this innerweb thingy we are using now ;)

Coasty
20-10-2008, 10:14
Well, i would agree that its a bit risky, but you dont win wars by being risk adverse.

Green Berets in Afganistan do plenty of Ops out in small groups for long patrols i would imagine.


Even by American standards, using this method to deploy such forces would be ridiculously wasteful in terms of money and equipment. They have plenty of helicopters for that, or (if they're feeling particularly energetic) they have two legs each.

And you do lose wars by taking too many risks.



I think this has its uses. In a rapidly developing situation of critical importance, having boots on the ground within a few hours anywhere in the world could help immensely.


Too few boots to be any of any real use, I'd say. They'd be seen on the way in and wiped out on or shortly after their arrival.

Octavius_Maximus
20-10-2008, 12:06
Too few boots to be any of any real use, I'd say. They'd be seen on the way in and wiped out on or shortly after their arrival.

Then the pod can be sold back

Znail
20-10-2008, 13:02
Its a falacy to asume that any orbiting platform will be everywhere at once. Its the same as any other orbiting satelite and it will at best be on a path passing over the desired spot and at worst need major readjustment and several orbits before it can do so. Dropping something from orbit is hardly stealthy either.

As for the article, its just some excuse by the military for their failure so not to be taken seriously. There is already a well known alternative to helicopters and its a high altitude drop with parachutes. This is probobly how they plan to use the space-marines anyway, so the only diffrence is the reach and transit of the plane. But if they had paratroopers/special forces on standby somewhere near so would that have worked just as well as the space plane.

McMullet
20-10-2008, 13:08
The limited capacity is a problem; of course, if the occupants had, oh, I don't know, some form of Powered Armour and perhaps really big guns...

It's not really clear how the thing would actually land. SpaceShipOne needs a runway to land on. Since the landing is by gliding, there's not really capacity to add vertical landing without increasing cost a lot. I guess either the thing would have to glide and belly land (messy, dangerous, only really doable in daylight) or parachute. If the actual plane parachutes then it's an easy target to shoot down or find with radar, but if the guys parachute out and let the plane crash (or even parachute to the ground) a couple of hundred miles away they might be OK.

Lame Duck
20-10-2008, 13:13
It's not cost effective, or for that matter even practical. I doubt it will ever be put into use, unless WW3 breaks out and it's all or nothing.

borithan
20-10-2008, 17:58
13 guys? What on earth are 13 guys going to do? OK, some special forces operations use small teams, but this doesn't sound it is really for special operations stuff, especially if it was the Marines asking for it.

Nah, not worth it, unless you get something like the Vigilance platform to go with it.

Brother Loki
20-10-2008, 18:15
I shouldn't imagine its meant to be used in isolation. Wasn't 13 the standard platoon size for MI cap troopers in Starship Troopers? Or was it 14?

Coasty
20-10-2008, 18:26
13 is only slightly larger than an American infantry section (or squad or whatever they call it), isn't it?

Archangel_Ruined
20-10-2008, 19:17
The russian BMP's are the best troop insertion vehicle for my money, yes they need an aircraft to drop them, but then you have a unit of men and a light tank on the ground, and probably not just the one.

RexTalon
21-10-2008, 06:41
In the Air Force we use 13 as a standard. That's 3 fire teams of 4 and a squad leader.

@ GodofWarTx : You have it wrong. You don't win by avoiding risk, but you also don't win wars by taking unnecessary risks. Launching a bakers dozen people into space to try to capture a guy who is probably surrounded by enough firepower to take out your ONE squad is just stupid. Sure, it sounds all awesome in the movies, but in practicality it's overly expensive.
If you're in theater then there's no reason you can't find a better way to mobilize your force based on good intel for a much cheaper price tag. If you're not in theater then you don't have anywhere to bring your "prisoner" back to anyway.
I know it sounds trite and cliché but I have been in the business of making war for quite some time. It's never as simple as it sounds.
Besides, if it comes down to deciding whether or not ONE squad is going to make the difference, then you've already waited too long to deploy them.

Brother Loki
21-10-2008, 13:50
Presumably though, that one squad is meant to act as spotters for Tomahawk missiles and the like, not necessarily to actually fight anyone.

Vepr
21-10-2008, 16:56
I doubt they are going to use this in an aggressive manner. They probably want it for cases when they want eyes and ears on site in short order to assess the area for targets, landing and extraction etc. The marines probably want it for their recon units that operate with limited resources to gather information. Plus they could be resupplied from the air at a later date by more conventional means. Large unit drops are not feasible right now but you have to start somewhere. If you are not moving forward with technology you are falling behind.

GodofWarTx
22-10-2008, 08:02
I think a lot of you guys fail to see the applications of this, but only the risks.

OF COURSE you dont win wars by making too many risks, but if you dont think this is a leap and bound for the vertical envelopment concept you "run the risk" of being shortsighted.

The 13 man team can observe any movement made, identify key targets, or destroy key pieces of equipment (escape vehicles) with strikes. Eyes on the ground would be critical. A team that small would know the vulnerabilities of being in such a small squad. I think they would be well trained on the "when and where" parts of combat.

Besides, i can imagine this being just the spearhead of a greater movement where multiple insertion vehicles could be used, bringing the boots on the ground to a much larger number.

I think with intelligent use this insertion method could be very effective.

Damocles8
22-10-2008, 22:13
One step closer to Starship Troopers.....the book anyway.....now all they need is the Marauder suits and *bam* you have a DAMN good reason to use the orbital deployment;

Stealthy? Maybe....Hard to hit??? absolutely!