Sinking the Unsinkable: Destroyers

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The modern-day destroyers, as we know, are very sophisticated,complex and invulnerable!

We do know that due to its defense systems and its detection systems which are beyond comprehension, Nothing can hit it.

Question is; how to sink it?

What possible tactics can you do? What weaponry do you need?

 
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Originally posted by wargamer1000:


Question is; how to sink it?

Holes.

 
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Originally posted by FlabbyWoofWoof:
Originally posted by wargamer1000:


Question is; how to sink it?

Holes.

Yes, holes. Better yet, is to blow the whole thing up.
But its impossible, because it will just shoot down all incoming projectiles anyway.

 
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Isn’t that the role of submarines?

 
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Lazers.
/thread

 
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Originally posted by FlabbyWoofWoof:

Isn’t that the role of submarines?

You referring to torpedoes? Bleh. An even easier target than a missile since its slower.

 
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Small rubber boats slowly going to them and using it’s own waves to cover yourself. Then put some C4 on it and blow it up. It’s low tech but it probably would work.

 
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Originally posted by wargamer1000:

and invulnerable!

No. Sorry. Try again.

We do know that due to its defense systems and its detection systems which are beyond comprehension, Nothing can hit it.


Okay. Because it’s you: one more try.
Go for it!

 
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Most war vessels don’t run alone….they are part of a carrier battle group. A carrier alone is highly vulnerable…..even w/ all of the high-tech defense systems.
Destroyers have their specific part…they are fast & protect the larger ships in the group.
The carriers use their planes to protect the whole fleet via early, far out detection….including deep sonar planes ….and now drones.
Our modern submarines do excellent work below the surface.
It’s the combination of various “work horses” that contributes greatly to their survivability.

We wouldn’t build ‘em if they were so easily sinkable.
Plus, there isn’t today an “enemy” w/ enough strenght to launch more than a laughable attack.
The most feared is one from “inside”.

 
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well, if you study the development of classes of ships, something interesting arises.

Destroyers, in theory, are merely Torpedo Boats with anti-aircraft guns. their purpose, in theory, is to be a cheap ship, that protects the Frigates (and possibly Cruiser, but only three countries in the world still uses Cruisers), as a screening unit (yes, it’s supposed to soak damage for it), and with auxiliary firepower.

however modern Destroyers are no cheaper than Frigates and serve much more of a main role, now that what used to be auxiliariy weapons have made traditional guns obsolete.

however, the way they are built, and the way they behave tactically is still with that purpose in mind, a purpose it no longer serves.

so, rather than employing strategy, we’ve just rusted in old traditional tactics. shouldn’t we try to use more ingenuity in this?

i mean, Battleships are no longer used, Cruisers are hardly ever used, and only Frigates are still seen, because we’ve seen the downside to big, bulky ships. however, Frigates are now the size of Battleships of old. all three of these classes have only constantly bulked up in size.

can you see how incredibly stupid military strategists must be?

funny thing, if you look at history, in the Middle Ages, everything was about the cavalry. we typically employed them on the flanks of the infantry ranks, so the cavalry would first face eachother, and than the victor of the cavalry skirmish would then face infantry. heavy cavalry has better chances against light cavalry, and if it’s slightly more heavy than enemy cavalry (heavyer armors, bigger horses etc), it would have an advantage.

so, our heavy cavalry became heavyer and heavyer, all at the cost of mobility and finesse. then came the Mongols with their light and medium cavalry, and we could do nothing against their tactics because all our cavalry had become so sluggish, we couldn’t counter their mobility.

what i’m saying is…original thought. it gets underemployed.

i thought considering the topic i could venture into possibly boring you with this shameless tangent.

 
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LOL, well…I wasn’t bored,,,even tho I well know all of this already.
AND, ya summed it up nicely….even tho extremely cursory.

Yes, “original thought” is hugely underemployed in the military…for the most part.
It took//takes bold, charismatic, relentless men to push forward improvement in this area.
My thinking on this is: TRADITION. And, a bit of: If it ain’t broke (works), don’t “fix” it.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

so, our heavy cavalry became heavyer and heavyer, all at the cost of mobility and finesse. then came the Mongels with their light and medium cavalry, and we could do nothing against their tactics because all our cavalry had become so sluggish, we couldn’t counter their mobility.

what i’m saying is…original thought. it gets underemployed.

i thought consider the topic i could venture into possibly boring you with this shameless tangent.

It was the invention of the composite bow that made the Mongol horde so successful. In a way it was mobility, as it provided the power of a longbow in a bow small enough to use on horseback, but it wasn’t just the mobility itself, it was the bows they used that led to success. So I agree with the original thought

Originally posted by wargamer1000:

The modern-day destroyers, as we know, are very sophisticated,complex and invulnerable!

We do know that due to its defense systems and its detection systems which are beyond comprehension, Nothing can hit it.

Question is; how to sink it?

What possible tactics can you do? What weaponry do you need?

I don’t know what the defence and detection systems are on modern destroyers but I am now interested in them as they sound unbelievably good if “nothing” can hit them

 
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yet we’d already seen recurved composite bows before. Huns had used them to similar success almost 1000 years earlyer. the reason we didn’t use them is our humid conditions were not ideal for the glue required to make composite bows.

but anyway, you get my point about the strategic trap of a linear arms race.

 
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Originally posted by bjjdude:

Lazers.
/thread

THEL artillery?
I dig it.

 
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Perhaps a way to tackle the ships might be in a swarm of drones. As Karma says, each ship has it’s strengths and weaknesses, and is designed to tackle different threats and complement one another. Therefore we would need to look at methods of hitting hard in the cracks.

Providing too many targets to get them all would be one method of doing that. 500,000 semi-autonomous robotic torpedos, each costing less than $10,000 to build, having a single warhead charge on board, and programmed to ram anything above a set depth that does not move in the same way they do would do it.

Too many targets for the fleet to hit, a kamikaze attack designed to cripple their fleet. It doesn’t matter how accurate their targeting systems are if there are simply too many targets to hit. Transport the drone fleet on an old freighter or a cheap retired oil tanker. Retrofit the sides to spew them out as quickly as possible, and just point at the fleet.

It would only work once (or every release ship would need to look very different) but it would only need to work once. You could conceivably sink an entire carrier group in a single hit.

You’d lose tens of thousands yes, but hundreds of thousands would get through, and with shaped charges designed to inflict maximum damage on the hull below the waterline, it would be devastating. Even water-tight seals won’t help if the entire length of the hull is blown.

 
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Why use drones if you’re swarming them in such large numbers? You’d probably be just as well off using dumbfire weapons.

 
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Because they’d need to be intelligent enough not to hit one another, and intelligent enough to change course as the ships move. You could use machine vision well enough in the top 20 feet of water or so, to discern fluid dynamics patterns around a shape – and classify it as another drone, which should minimalise self-collisions.

Ideally they should also be intelligent enough to self-orient against the ships, so they strike head-on each time, maximising the damage of the shaped charge. With current fabrication tech, you’re not adding significantly to the construction cost by adding the additional circuitry, so the benefits outweigh the cons.

But ultimately you want something that can react to changing circumstances and defensive movements, like a physical-world particle swarm.

The major downsides I can see are:

It would massacre the local wildlife, being unable to tell them apart from ships.
It would be unusable near islands, as the solid mass would look like a ship to them.

EDIT:

As a secondary benefit with drones versus dumb-fire, if the drones leave the target area (use a simple pedometer for distance to avoid the need for outside sensing), they can turn around and come back in, maximising impacts. Their machine vision again works to minimise collisions with other drones, and you get two strikes for the price of one.

That will be enough to tip the scales in favor of drones versus dumb fire.

A possible downside is if lifeboats are launched, or sailors jump overboard, they will be targeted just the same as the ships. Whether it is a downside depends on your objectives. As a shock and awe campaign it would be to your benefit if you sank an entire pacific fleet, near guaranteeing all hands lost.

 
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No, I mean, why use computerized guidance systems in the actual projectiles. For your launch system, yeah, it makes sense, but if you’re filling the water/air with explosives anyway, there’s not much benefit to having complex systems on the weapon itself.

But ultimately you want something that can react to changing circumstances and defensive movements, like a physical-world particle swarm.

You’re overestimating the speed and maneuverability of oceanic vessels, I think. That’s true for aircraft, sure, but a destroyer or carrier group wouldn’t be able to dodge on a dime.

It would massacre the local wildlife, being unable to tell them apart from ships.
It would be unusable near islands, as the solid mass would look like a ship to them.

Neither of which are quite as much of an issue with a swarm of dumbfire weapons.

EDIT:

Their machine vision again works to minimise collisions with other drones, and you get two strikes for the price of one.

But if you make that first strike count, a second isn’t as important. Also dumbfire are cheaper weapons, and often have more space for explosives.

 
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I think I edited after you replied. There are a few main points you have not addressed.

Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

No, I mean, why use computerized guidance systems in the actual projectiles. For your launch system, yeah, it makes sense, but if you’re filling the water/air with explosives anyway, there’s not much benefit to having complex systems on the weapon itself.

See the point about self-orientation, and about avoiding self-collisions. You need enough to sink an entire 100-ship plus fleet, and it has to be done in one go. A half a million drones as a rough estimate should be enough.

You’re overestimating the speed and maneuverability of oceanic vessels, I think. That’s true for aircraft, sure, but a destroyer or carrier group wouldn’t be able to dodge on a dime.

No, but I am trying to take into account the effects of the tides, and the chances of a mis-aiming from the battered freighter that would be necessitated as a launch platform. It has to look non-military to stand a chance of getting within range. Likely disguised by being near a commercial shipping lane at a point the fleet crosses.

I’m also taking into account that there will be a considerable delay, perhaps as long as seven or eight minutes between the impacts on the lead ships and the impacts on the rear ships. We need the swarm to be able to change direction as needed, for even slow targets will move a surprising distance given a few minutes’ warning. The carriers would be the slowest to move of course, but the destroyers would cover several lengths.

Neither of which are quite as much of an issue with a swarm of dumbfire weapons.

However dumbfire torps effectively create a minefield when their fuel runs dry. They drift wherever. That’ll still happen with drones, but in far, far fewer numbers. You’re looking to minimise the legacy as much as you are to give a solid hit. The drones’ll tend to change course and charge when they see a shadow in the water, so relatively few will survive to a point where there is nothing left to hit, for their fuel to then run dry.

 
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See the point about self-orientation, and about avoiding self-collisions. You need enough to sink an entire 100-ship plus fleet, and it has to be done in one go. A half a million drones as a rough estimate should be enough.

100 ships in a fleet is waaaay more than a typical fleet (or even entire navy) would have in current times. Are they all destroyers? Because if so, that’s an escort ship, designed mostly for countering subs and acting as a missile platform. What would be the point of them all being there? In a fleet that size I’d assume they’d have several aircraft carriers, several dozen battleships, and probably a lot of transports. Why does the whole fleet have to be gone in one strike? Why not open up their defenses, then send in battleships/your own destroyers to mop up any further defenses? Half a million drones seems like a number you just pulled out of your ass, to be quite frank.

No, but I am trying to take into account the effects of the tides, and the chances of a mis-aiming from the battered freighter that would be necessitated as a launch platform.

…which could be done with a dumbfire weapon anyway…

It has to look non-military to stand a chance of getting within range. Likely disguised by being near a commercial shipping lane at a point the fleet crosses.

Enlighten me, how does this benefit from being a drone? I’m pretty sure that your rival ship is going to have enough technology to say “hey that’s a bomb” to even a smart weapon.

I’m also taking into account that there will be a considerable delay, perhaps as long as seven or eight minutes between the impacts on the lead ships and the impacts on the rear ships.

If the fleet is that size, why not blow up a nuke in the upper atmosphere to act as an EMP disabling their electronic systems, or even use it against the ships themselves? Not many countries would be that strongly against hitting an actual military target.

However dumbfire torps effectively create a minefield when their fuel runs dry. They drift wherever. That’ll still happen with drones, but in far, far fewer numbers. You’re looking to minimise the legacy as much as you are to give a solid hit.

Do you even know what you’re talking about?

 
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100 ships in a fleet is waaaay more than a typical fleet (or even entire navy) would have in current times. Are they all destroyers?

No. A typical fleet is composed of a wide range of different vessels. I would think you would know this, if not from general knowledge, then from posts above mine, talking about how a carrier (which is not a destroyer) acts as the centrepoint for a navy, a weak ship (relatively) that requires others to defend it, and keeps out of actual combat.

In a fleet that size I’d assume they’d have several aircraft carriers, several dozen battleships, and probably a lot of transports.

See, you say the idiotic thing above, asking if a typical fleet is all destroyers, then you prove you do know what a fleet is composed of. I don’t understand how your mind works, sometimes.

Why does the whole fleet have to be gone in one strike? Why not open up their defenses, then send in battleships/your own destroyers to mop up any further defenses?

Because if we’re doing it this dirt-cheap way, it has to be somethingthat any country can do with modern technology. Many of our current enemies don’t have standing navies of any size. To deal with an enemy like the US, you have to hit hard in your initial blow, because there simply isn’t the infrastructure to back it up with warships.

This sort of approach is one that a private business could employ, to sink a naval fleet or at least cripple it severely. Even when they have no real military capability of their own.

Half a million drones seems like a number you just pulled out of your ass, to be quite frank.

Well it came out of mid-air. I was coming up with an example number of a drone swarm sufficient to overwhelm the defenses, and still deal sufficient damage to sink everything. If I didn’t give an actual number, one of the forum trolls would pounce in a fit of pedantry. Probably Omega, that’s his style.

You would have to build a hundred or so prototypes to the best of your capability, and see what their actual capabilities were, before you could come up with an actual number.

which could be done with a dumbfire weapon anyway

I’m trying to minimise the cost here, and maximise the damage.

An intelligent weapon costs negligibly more than a dumb-fire to create, if we’re using 3D fabrication techniques, without using additional materials or detracting from payload. You’d only need a single chipset, a visual system and a navigational capability. Whilst a dumb-fire could achieve the same destructive potential, you would have to manufacture a great many more of them to achieve the same effect. Likely at least double, which demands at least double the physical material.

You would also leave yourself vulnerable, as they would have to be launched in stages, else one ship could hide behind the bulk of another. This would give their weapons plenty of time to hit your freighter repeatedly. With a semi-intelligent system, they’ll swarm around the larger ship to hit the one behind it. The explosions of their sisters striking the first ship will work to push the others back and to the side. Many will clear the ship entirely, and then head straight for the nearest displacement. (at least they should do, if my suspicions aboutthe side-effects of using fluid dynamics as an underwater-vision system are correct.)

Also with a semi-intelligent system, you can launch the whole lot in one go, and let them sort themselves out. Your freighter will be as much of a target to them as any other vessel in the area, but that also works in your favor, as it’s a lot more difficult to identify who sent the vessel when it’s lying at the bottom of the ocean.

Enlighten me, how does this benefit from being a drone? I’m pretty sure that your rival ship is going to have enough technology to say “hey that’s a bomb” to even a smart weapon.

The freighter likely wouldn’t be a drone. It would make more sense to put an actual crew on it to maintain cover and ‘die for the cause’. There are enough radicals about at the moment, that you’d stand a good chance of putting such a crew together. Using what looks to be a commercial freighter or tanker, with a false registration, gives you a chance to get your launching mechanism within range of the fleet.

Modify it beforehand, with launching tubes anywhere you can bash and disguise a hole in the hull, and when the time comes to activate, just launch the drones in every and all directions. Letthem sort themselves out, and figure out where the closest targets are. Pump them out as fast as possible in theknowledge that your freighter is going to be one of the first to sink. So you don’t have time for second or third volleys.

If the fleet is that size, why not blow up a nuke in the upper atmosphere to act as an EMP disabling their electronic systems, or even use it against the ships themselves? Not many countries would be that strongly against hitting an actual military target.

Because as it stands, not every country with an ax to grind, or every paramilitary group has nukes in its arsenal. This would bea method of making a naval attack capability – and a potentially devastating one – accessible to every group with the resources to aquire a commercial off-the-shelf 3D fabricator, sufficient materials to build the things, common mining or military explosives, and an old derelict or stolen freighter.

Do you even know what you’re talking about?

I believe so, yes. In theory it would be a viable way to take down or at least heavilly cripple one of the US’ large naval fleets in open waters, with relatively minimal financial expenditure. It would be a fantastic weapon of terror, even considering it would be completely useless near land.

 
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There’s a reason that destroyers are nicknamed “Missile Sponges” at Naval Academics.
They are meant to take hits for the rest of the fleet- they’re not just not unsinkable, but they are entirely sinkable. Take the Cole Bombings- a single boat was able to punch a pretty big hole in a US Destroyer. You’ve got to consider Rules of Engagement, as well. And there is the fact that you can just use another naval vessel- planes with anti-ship missiles will do fine, and a submarine could take one out easily.

 
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500,000 semi-autonomous robotic torpedos, each costing less than $10,000 to build

oh, just less than 5 billion dollars to sink a ship… :/

No. A typical fleet is composed of a wide range of different vessels. I would think you would know this, if not from general knowledge, then from posts above mine, talking about how a carrier (which is not a destroyer) acts as the centrepoint for a navy, a weak ship (relatively) that requires others to defend it, and keeps out of actual combat.

uhm…why would you be trying to take out the entire Armada? i really don’t think most operations are done by fleets of 100 ships. definitely not only counting proper ships. maybe if you count all life-boats and rubber ducks, and submarines, but proper ships? :/

and why would you even need to destroy every last resuplying and mine-seeking and torpedo-cleaning boat to begin with? all you need to destroy are the destroyers and frigates, which there should only be half a dozen of or up to a dozen at most if it’s a total armada, and some Cruisers if it’s an American or Russian fleet, and perhaps an aircraft carrier (which no country has more than 2 of, except for the USA which has 11, which are also all 11 of them the 11 biggest aircraft carriers…).

also, if you want to take out the entire fleet, you’d need to come up with other ideas for the subs.

though, the mechanical beeswarm attack is a really interesting idea. i don’t think collisions would be a problem, but priming the warheads so they never go off before hitting their target, and never cause chain reactions should be the focus.

Well it came out of mid-air. I was coming up with an example number of a drone swarm sufficient to overwhelm the defenses, and still deal sufficient damage to sink everything. If I didn’t give an actual number, one of the forum trolls would pounce in a fit of pedantry. Probably Omega, that’s his style.

lol. totally.

@online

Are they all destroyers? Because if so, that’s an escort ship, designed mostly for countering subs and acting as a missile platform.

these days, they’re seen as mostly anti-aircraft, i think. also the Frigates (or Cruisers) would be the missile platforms, unless by missile you mean torpedo.

 
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Originally posted by FlabbyWoofWoof:

Isn’t that the role of submarines?

this
submarines are tough to spot

forgot that they were equipped to deal with subs.

you can fight destroyers with artillery
cannons and stuff that cant just be shot out of the sky.

Originally posted by wargamer1000:
Originally posted by FlabbyWoofWoof:

Isn’t that the role of submarines?

You referring to torpedoes? Bleh. An even easier target than a missile since its slower.

how exactly is a destroyer going to stop a torpedo

Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

well, if you study the development of classes of ships, something interesting arises.

Destroyers, in theory, are merely Torpedo Boats with anti-aircraft guns. their purpose, in theory, is to be a cheap ship, that protects the Frigates (and possibly Cruiser, but only three countries in the world still uses Cruisers), as a screening unit (yes, it’s supposed to soak damage for it), and with auxiliary firepower.

however modern Destroyers are no cheaper than Frigates and serve much more of a main role, now that what used to be auxiliariy weapons have made traditional guns obsolete.

however, the way they are built, and the way they behave tactically is still with that purpose in mind, a purpose it no longer serves.

so, rather than employing strategy, we’ve just rusted in old traditional tactics. shouldn’t we try to use more ingenuity in this?

i mean, Battleships are no longer used, Cruisers are hardly ever used, and only Frigates are still seen, because we’ve seen the downside to big, bulky ships. however, Frigates are now the size of Battleships of old. all three of these classes have only constantly bulked up in size.

can you see how incredibly stupid military strategists must be?

funny thing, if you look at history, in the Middle Ages, everything was about the cavalry. we typically employed them on the flanks of the infantry ranks, so the cavalry would first face eachother, and than the victor of the cavalry skirmish would then face infantry. heavy cavalry has better chances against light cavalry, and if it’s slightly more heavy than enemy cavalry (heavyer armors, bigger horses etc), it would have an advantage.

so, our heavy cavalry became heavyer and heavyer, all at the cost of mobility and finesse. then came the Mongols with their light and medium cavalry, and we could do nothing against their tactics because all our cavalry had become so sluggish, we couldn’t counter their mobility.

what i’m saying is…original thought. it gets underemployed.

i thought considering the topic i could venture into possibly boring you with this shameless tangent.

i doubt the modern day governments could take the other countries by surprise by producing fast-moving skirmishing ships when the moment they start to use this tactic the other countries would have already come up with strategies of their own to deal with your Mongolian cavalry-archer-like ships.

 
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well i didn’t intend that as such direct of a parallel. also i’m not so convinced they would be so quick to create counter strategies.

but Destroyers are now more-or-less defined as having anti-air guns, torpedos and a higher speed than Frigates, while Frigates have uhm…well other things, Surface to Surface weapons i guess. but that’s just incedental developments. who’s to say these combinations like that are optimal?