You've been using your frigates wrong

You’ve got thrusters that can propel 95 000 tons of mass at 1 000 000 m/s outside of slipspace.

You can A) you strap a few prissy missile pods and a coil gun to it, and fill it up with people and life support systems and artificial gravity.

or B) Just fire the -Yoink!- thing headlong at the enemy, generating a force of 10191 Megatons of TNT, equaling a yield of 852 753 660 000 000 times that of Tsar Bomba, the largest explosion ever created by 20th century humans, or 2 030 036 587 142 857 153 times that of the city buster dropped on Hiroshima.

I calculated this by scribbling the kinetic energy equation on a piece of paper. The halo wiki says that the UNSC In Amber Clad can travel at the above speed. A weight figure was harder to come by, so I used the real life aircraft carrier USS Enterprise as a stand-in, which is actually 147 meters shorter than a UNSC frigate.

My earlier unmanned spartan thread got me thinking about this sort of thing. I guess the truth is that space warfare would unfold in ways to crazy too contemplate, and would not serve for an exciting FPS game.

The figures on Halo Nation are not sources, so I wouldn’t take them seriously. Considering a Frigate’s MAC fires a projectile at 30,000 m/s, it seems extremely unlikely that a Frigate is going to move faster.

Plus, you’re going to run out of ships pretty quickly if you adopt that strategy.

Considering how expensive it is to build a UNSC SHIP, I dont think they can just throw around frigates like that. Money is a problem, even in 2500.

> The figures on Halo Nation are not sources, so I wouldn’t take them seriously. Considering a Frigate’s MAC fires a projectile at 30,000 m/s, it seems extremely unlikely that a Frigate is going to move faster.

> Plus, you’re going to run out of ships pretty quickly if you adopt that strategy.

> Considering how expensive it is to build a UNSC SHIP, I dont think they can just throw around frigates like that. Money is a problem, even in 2500.

i think these all pretty much cover it. its not sensible economically, strategically, perhaps physically or a combination of all three.

> The figures on Halo Nation are not sources, so I wouldn’t take them seriously. Considering a Frigate’s MAC fires a projectile at 30,000 m/s, it seems extremely unlikely that a Frigate is going to move faster.

Anything less than 1 000 000 m/s would take over 168 days to travel from earth to the edge of the sol system. If it traveled at the speed of a MAC round it would take as much 5588 days.

Those travel times for in system transit are not congruent with the lore. So if anything a ship must be going even faster,

“Considering how expensive it is to build a UNSC SHIP, I dont think they can just throw around frigates like that. Money is a problem, even in 2500”

If you have thrusters with that much juice, why not just churn out missiles that are nigh guaranteed to blow up a covvie fleet whole like sausages instead of spamming entire battle groups of frigates just to loss them all to superior covvie firepower?

Stripping the life support and crew would save you a fortune as well.

all of the above are good reason to not do it but you could just say instead of a frigate lets just launch a big rocket or some type of huge bullet, the real reason is that (apart from Infinity wich does’nt have a human made engine) slipspace is just a thing of luck and no ship can predict the exact amount of time to travel to a place and the distance you pop out vs the place you wanted to be, making the use of slipspace as a weapon really useless because you just can’t aim right.

> Anything less than 1 000 000 m/s would take over 168 days to travel from earth to the edge of the sol system. If it traveled at the speed of a MAC round it would take 5588 days.

That depends on how you define the edge of the Solar System, besides, that’s why they use slipspace, laws of physics are different there.

> If you have thrusters with that much juice, why not just churn out missiles that are nigh guaranteed to blow up a covvie fleet whole like sausages instead of spamming entire battle groups of frigates just to loss them all to superior covvie firepower?
>
> Stripping the life support and crew would save you a fortune as well.

the UNSC’s most powerful Nukes (Shivas) and most powerful ballistic weapons (MACs) fail to penetrate Covenant shields even with combined firepower. and simply making a huge freaking missile is a waste of money. Simply because it’s bigger doesn’t mean it’s more powerful.

why don’t modern Militaries just make Oversized Missiles instead of having a Naval fleet with this logic? because it’s a waste of money, is not tactically useful, and it doesn’t work.

a large missile can be very easily shot down before it hits, and the required thrust it would require to move a missile would just waste money

plus, Frigates aren’t used JUST for combat, they’re also used to move troops, something you can’t do with a missile.

> > The figures on Halo Nation are not sources, so I wouldn’t take them seriously. Considering a Frigate’s MAC fires a projectile at 30,000 m/s, it seems extremely unlikely that a Frigate is going to move faster.
>
> Anything less than 1 000 000 m/s would take over 168 days to travel from earth to the edge of the sol system. If it traveled at the speed of a MAC round it would take 5588 days.

Your point being? The fact is that the figure on Halo Nation’s site is wrong. And as M0aHerder pointed out: slipspace

The 1 000 000 m/s speed is ostensibly the speed in normal space, i.e for maneveouring within a star system. According to the lore a ship won’t normally risk exiting slip space inside a system, so they exit just beside it. They’d need to go at at least 1 000 000 m/s to get anywhere in that star system they tried so hard to get into in a timely fashion.

As for Twizzsted’s argument, the reason navies are viable is because our planet is so small a ship traveling at a mere 17 m/s can get where it needs to be in a few days, but would be too slow to be used as projectile. This isn’t a problem because the slow ship can carry faster missiles on board when it gets there.

In space however, you need to be going as fast as a missile to get anywhere anyway. Every space ship is already a super powered missile, so why not just use it as one instead of adding missiles to your missiles?

It’d be expensive, but so is getting that much mass to that speed to not even use it.

I’m not hating on halo or saying that it’s stupid, I’m just using it as a thought experiment. An awesome universe has inspired me to think scientifically about our own, and isn’t that what science fiction is supposed to do?

> As for Twizzsted’s argument, the reason navies are viable is because our planet is so small a ship traveling at a mere 17 m/s can get where it needs to be in a few days, but would be too slow to be used as projectile. This isn’t a problem because the slow ship can carry faster missiles on board when it gets there.
>
> In space however, you need to be going as fast as a missile to get anywhere anyway. Every space ship is already a super powered missile, so why not just use it as one instead of adding missiles to your missiles?

what if our modern Naval Destroyers had some science-breaking super-engines that make them go as fast a Fighter Jets?
Would you use them as missiles then?

No. because it costs too much money, not only make the Science-Breaking engine, but it costs money to make the hull, defense weapons, payload and any guidance computers the “Missile” (or in this case, Torpedo) would need to operate.

all this money would be better spent on a Ship that shoots missiles, rather than being one itself.

> It’d be expensive, but so is getting that much mass to that speed to not even use it.

as stated above, it costs less money making a SHIP that can be used to shoot things,
having a ship that can be reused and repurposed to do different things, many times within it’s life, will be a better use of money than to make a super-expensive mega-missile that can be used only Once.

> I’m not hating on halo or saying that it’s stupid, I’m just using it as a thought experiment. An awesome universe has inspired me to think scientifically about our own, and isn’t that what science fiction is supposed to do?

no one here is calling you out here, we’re just giving counter-arguments and reasons why this isn’t a viable tactic for the UNSC

It’s a nice idea in principle. With the UNSC’s level of technology they should be capable of producing some pretty nasty but quite cheap 66 ton rockets (The same mass as a scorpion tank) with half the killing power needed to destroy a Covenant ship. At 1 million m/s, Covie point defences wouldn’t really mean anything as all it would do is produce a funnel of wreckage racing towards your ship at high energies, and the killing power of the weapon isn’t in the explosive potential of its nuclear/chemical innards like todays missiles but the speed of the mass of the weapon itself.

However it has one fatal flaw I think, and that is manoeuvrability. These things would require a “build up” time from when they are launched so that they can accelerate to the required speed. They will also need enough distance to do it within. The UNSC could probably make something that does that within a minute or so, and arc them around the enemy fleet so that they can pick up speed, but the enemy will know they are coming and move out of the way. At those speeds I don’t think they will be too manoeuvrable. I also doubt that attaching stealth systems would work with thrusters as powerful as that; against the 3K vacuum of space the missile would be lit up like a Christmas tree by its fuel trail on a passive scan.

They would however offer a worthy distraction for the enemy. Not only do they have to dodge MACs from in front but they also need to worry about lethal missiles from the sides. Ultimately though the MAC is better I think, as it gives you ship killing kinetic energies instantly and at much closer ranges giving the enemy less chance to avoid fire. Not as powerful as what you could do with missiles, probably due to engineering limitations of the coil guns and the ship’s mainframe, but ultimately you would score more hits because it can be done at closer range and fired at lethal velocity without warning.

In fact it may have been better to strip away everything - crew, life support, artificial gravity, slipspace drives, sub-light engines - and just leave the coil gun and the reactor, and then mass produce orbital nets of ship grade guns. The ODP’s of Reach and Earth were overkill.

Once the efficiency of Human slipspace technology vastly improves from it’s current state, and becomes a lot cheaper, I think that weapons like relativistic missiles would be absolutely terrifying. Like the equivalent of the atomic bomb in the 50’s. Just think about it, strapping a slipspace drive to them and sending them to obliterate the surface of planets and entire fleets. They could arrive out of slipspace right in front of the bow of your ship, or just a few kilometres above a planet’s surface, and you’re dead before you even see them.

If you think about it the UNSC could just buy an old cargo hauler for scrap price and send it on it’s merry way towards the covenant. Even if they shoot it down that thing is still bearing down on you in an intercept trajectory.

Instant kinetic kill bus.

> The 1 000 000 m/s speed is ostensibly the speed in normal space, i.e for maneveouring within a star system. According to the lore a ship won’t normally risk exiting slip space inside a system, so they exit just beside it. They’d need to go at at least 1 000 000 m/s to get anywhere in that star system they tried so hard to get into in a timely fashion.

The 1,000,000 m/s figure is wrong, just plain wrong. A regular MAC only fires its round at 30,000 m/s. The ships cannot move faster than this, or even close to it.

UNSC ships will make jumps in system if necessary, we’ve seen it happen many a time. The main issue is making jumps near gravitational bodies.

Your idea is a nice thought experiment, but it’s based on false information.

Then how fast do they go?

I’m sure it still works out to insanely high yield if used as a kinetic kill bus. I love that phrase now.

> Then how fast do they go?
>
> I’m sure it still works out to insanely high yield if used as a kinetic kill bus. I love that phrase now.

It’s unknown.

And yes, at full speed, it’s likely any UNSC ship would have very destructive power. Still, the MACs are cheaper and yield a much higher destructive power. From an old conversation: if the UNSC really wanted destructive power, they’d use smaller rounds, allowing said round the be accelerated to much higher speeds, and much higher destructive yields.

> why don’t modern Militaries just make Oversized Missiles instead of having a Naval fleet with this logic? because it’s a waste of money, is not tactically useful, and it doesn’t work.

Like the Dongfeng-21?

> plus, Frigates aren’t used JUST for combat, they’re also used to move troops, something you can’t do with a missile.

Thank you! That is why frigates exist in the Haloverse, and why they will continue to exist in face of proposals to turn them into Kinetic Kill Vehicles.

Now we move onto the question of "Why doesn’t the UNSC use frigate-sized missiles?

First of all, I would like to point out to Toa Freak that frigates CAN move at 1,000,000 meters per second. This is space, where everything is relative and the only speed limit is imposed by relativity and the drag of the interstellar medium.

A MAC round travels at 30,000 meters per second, but that velocity is achieved instantaneously. A frigate is self-powered, and can accelerate past 30,000 meters per second compared to its original velocity and position. But that acceleration takes time.

So, you have a frigate accelerating at a Covenant cruiser at a rate of, say, 100 meters per second per second (So, it would go zero-to-sixty about nine times as fast as a Bugatti Veyron)
It’ll still take over two and a half hours to accelerate to the million meter-per-second mark.

What if a frigate is already moving at the magical million meter-per-second mark? Then the question is how agile Covenant ships are. If they are able to accelerate faster than Human ships, then they can dodge faster than the frigate-missile can correct. And don’t forget, they can jump to slipspace.

Also, what’s the engagement range for Covenant weapons? One thousand kilometers? Two thousand? Covenant weapons can slag a UNSC ship. Sure, it’s still got momentum, but it’s an unguided hunk of ship, slag, and spall.

If the frigate-missile is interdicted at 1,000km out, then the cruiser still has one second to dodge. At 2,000km, it’s two seconds, etc. It’s enough time to dodge most of the impact, maybe.

So, if this system would work, it relies on the element of surprise or upon the cruiser being otherwise occupied. Ramming has worked in the Haloverse, but to my knowledge it’s been when the Covenant ship was occupied (Cote d’Azur) or taken by surprise (Infinity dropping out of slipspace and ramming that mini-cruiser).

> Also, what’s the engagement range for Covenant weapons? One thousand kilometers? Two thousand? Covenant weapons can slag a UNSC ship. Sure, it’s still got momentum, but it’s an unguided hunk of ship, slag, and spall.
>
> So, if this system would work, it relies on the element of surprise or upon the cruiser being otherwise occupied. Ramming has worked in the Haloverse, but to my knowledge it’s been when the Covenant ship was occupied (Cote d’Azur) or taken by surprise (Infinity dropping out of slipspace and ramming that mini-cruiser).

Covenant ships with the energy projector weapon fires it at lightspeed so your really fast frigate would still be sliced in half or worse. It really would rely on surprise to catch them off guard.

And the Iroquois (not Infinity) rammed a ship only supposedly a little larger than a Covenant dropship, not a mini-cruiser. If you recall the text, the Iroquois rammed the thing pulverizing it and it was barely felt as a thud from the bridge. It was more like hitting a speed bump than ramming another ship. The comic adaptation seems to have exaggerated the size a bit (well, a lot). The novel text is still fine.