Guided Proton Munitions

Imperial Department of Military Research.

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Guided Proton Munitions

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2014-03-19 03:35

Designation:
IDS Guided Proton Munitions (GPM)

Purpose:
To create a guided tank shell based off of the powerful proton bombs commonly used by bombers. The advantage of guided shells are threefold: first, they will guide themselves to their targets, thus allowing for an increase in effectiveness and accuracy of ground vehicles. Second, though shorter ranged than turbolasers, shells do sport a much bigger arc and thus can be used much more effectively as artillery, allowing tanks to indirectly fire over hills and ridges at enemies marked by spotters without fear of return fire. Third, lasers and turbolasers have zero guidance systems and cannot be equipped with any. While targeting computers and gunner skill can mitigate this to a large degree, coupled with a near endless supply of power and tibanna gas, having a guided shell will allow for more shots to land on the intended target, resulting in less time spent saturating an area with ineffective and wasted rounds for the enemy who kills with the first shot won't have to worry about having to take a second one.

Application:
Particle rounds already exist to some degree but, by and large, they're small yield and had fallen out of favor as laser technology became cheaper and more readily available as well as the Tibanna gas that provided fuel. Physical ammunition takes up precious space inside a vehicle while lasers can get nearly 25 additional rounds for the same volume of compressed gas one shell takes up.

Modifying a proton bomb into a shell is easy as a bomb is really just a shell with a different delivery method (size differences notwithstanding).

The delivery method for the GPM is simple: magnetic coils. Otherwise known as railguns. Railguns technology was chosen for several reasons:
  • Cheaper over time. While railguns cost more up front over a more traditional slug thrown projectile method, over the course of the weapon's life, replenishing ammunition is much less expensive as only the proton shell needs to be build but no casing filled with black powder. Plus there's less waste.
  • Because only the shell is fired, there is a substantial space savings allowing for more rounds to be stored compared to black powder fired particle rounds.
  • Railguns use energy. Most military vehicles are designed to fire lasers or turbolasers. The energy that would have powered them can go towards powering the railgun.
  • Railguns can modulate energy requirements to modulate the projectile acceleration (and thus exit velocity). With a railgun, the acceleration of each shot can be adjusted with ease compared to conventional particle rounds.
Railguns do have higher capital costs up front and take more for maintenance than most particle cannons but the advantages offered more than make up for these small shortcomings.

This system could be mounted either to a main battle tank for direct fire or to an artillery cannon for long-range, indirect fire.

The guidance consists of two parts: the guidance system and the guidance mechanism.

The guidance mechanism consists of fins and light thrusters (for use in vacuum) which receive corrections from the guidance system itself which utilizes both laser designation and GPS to plot the necessary course corrections in order to remain on target. This system makes the guided proton shells effective against even mobile targets.

Schedule:
2 months from concept to finalized design and end of prototype testing. Justification: proton bombs are already shells for all intents and purposes. Working in conjunction with the guided proton bomb project, applying the guided technology here shouldn't be complicated. Furthermore, railgun technology is also easy to acquire and produce thus a prototype could be built in a week after finalized designs are released.

Visual Description:
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Technical Specifications:
Guided Proton Shell
Damage: 500 DP
Speed: Varies (dependent upon the railgun it’s fired from)
Active Time: 120 s

Advanced Proton Shell
Damage: 850 DP
Speed: Varies (dependent upon the railgun it’s fired from)
Active Time: 120 s

Advanced Proton Spread Shell
Damage: 1200 DP
Speed: Varies (dependent upon the railgun it’s fired from)
Active Time: 120 s

Weaknesses:
  • Cost: GPMs are more expensive than tibanna gas on a per shot basis. This is due to the complexity of the munition (lasers just go pew pew while this thing is able to track its target).
  • Range: GPMs, even with the assistance of a railgun, will have a shorter range than comparable turbolasers. That said, mounted on tanks, it doesn’t matter a whole bunch if a turbolaser has a range of 100km when the gunner can’t even see past a 50km horizon.
  • Unfortunately, vehicles that wish to employ a GPM will need to either be built from scratch or modified to accept these proton shells. Vehicles that already rely on particle cannons will be cheaper and easier to convert but vehicles that rely on turbolaser technology will be expensive to the point it might be more cost effective to build a brand new vehicle instead. This could drive up the cost of adopting this technology.
  • The guidance systems aren’t infallible as smokescreens can scramble the lasers and prevent accurate targeting.
  • In order to utilize the system to the maximum extent, either a laser designator is required or a spotter/scout with the capability to relay GPS coordinates in real time in order to enable the guided proton shell to land on target.
Proposed Upgrades:
  • Modularize this technology with particle cannons or even turbolaser technology, allowing for hot-swapping of guns as a mission dictates.
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Re: Guided Proton Munitions

Post by Tom Saint » 2014-04-30 03:43

(well this project gets be the guinea pig)

Concept: 3
Redundancy: 3
Efficacy: 3
Tech requirements: 5 can do it in real life, SW should have no problem
Produceability: 2 see below *
Cost effectiveness: 2 turbolaser shots are way cheaper than guided munitions no way around it
Practicality: 4

Luciana Endivain wrote:Modifying a proton bomb into a shell is easy as a bomb is really just a shell with a different delivery method (size differences notwithstanding).
So then how big are these GPMs? Proton torpedo sized, heavy rocket?

* instead of needing specialty railguns to launch these shells, theres really nothing keeping you from firing them out of standard GPWLs, they're both linear accelerators. Then a lot of existing vehicles can utilize these shells too.

You may also want to add an INS guidance channel to these. Its cheap and un-jammable and while not as pinpoint as laser guidance, should still land ti within 5-10 meters or so.
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Re: Guided Proton Munitions

Post by Kurge » 2014-05-14 18:40

the size you mentioned Saint could be mitigated by the following:

Most SW vehicles are approximately the same size as an RL equivalent (excluding walkers). The shells could be a max size of a 1-meter in length and about 25-cm in width. The tech could be scaled down to allow for practical or tactical use by smaller\lighter vehicles. I do agree that the GPWL tech would be the best to start from. If modified that would allow for a rapid firing of rounds with precision from a "clip". The auto-reload mechanisms that are integrated (if I recall correctly) would allow a significant volume of precise fire onto an opponent.

Alternatively there should be a way as the US army has looked at in using a guided kinetic-kill projectile as a possible offshoot. There are situations were that would be more effective then a 'shell'.

Anyway, good to see you all!

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