Guns vs. Butter - Building the weapons of the Citian Marines

Wispy grey hair blowing in the wind, JB looked over the battlefield. Citia had not been ready, they were partly lucky, partly saved by the lack of infrastructure to get to their city. The XXX had not been able to mount a coordinated attack with no roads for their mobile calvary. Still, victory, salvation, luck, whatever you want to call it and believe in rested on the bravery of a few individuals that charged the attack, took over the weapons and began what would prove to be a rebuff. But they could not count of this again.

"We are counting on you JB, you have 30 years weapons engineering experience. Now you have a nation state that is home to your children; a cause. Help us now. We need a military capability."

JB considered his words carefully. He knew if he accepted the job, the post, the mission, he would have oversight over some of the details, but not the broad brushes of strategy. "My experience, as you call it was working for the United States while it was still unified and strong. While we complained about financial cutbacks, in fact, we had nearly an infinite budget. And in the end that was our enemy. It led to Ford class carriers and F35s. Weapons too expensive to put into harms way, too complicated to service in field conditions. Now, we have next to nothing. Most of our citizens have perhaps one change of clothes, eat two meals per day. In economics they say that a nation state can spend its money on guns like North Korea, butter like XXX, or some of both like the United States chose. However, we can barely afford either. Everything that I have done does not apply to this situation. You really need to find someone that has served as an armorer to Guerrilla fighters."

"Supposing you accept this challenge, what would your policy be?"

They were walking closer to the wreckage of a tank, it was still smoking. JB, used it as a foil. "This was an older tank, lacking active protection, otherwise we could not have stopped it. Four or five of these would have carried the day, we were lucky the terrain held them back.

JBs mind was working furiously. "We cannot stop all attacks. If we encounter a nation state with ballistic missiles, multiple warheads, the city will be lost, only the outposts will remain and the number depending on the blast radius."

Those nation states are largely targets and defensive at this point. What they have, any lesser nation wants and yet, they do not have the smarts to use the tools they capture. Let's focus on the threats we will almost certainly face for the time being.

"Armies are mostly infantry. With no road system close and those further away falling into disrepair, your attackers will be largely on foot. The rifle is the most useful defensive tool for such a threat."

Tell us more about such a rifle.

"If possible, you want a single caliber bullet. Assuming you are defensive and dug in, something using the .50 BMG has numerous advantages. It has incredible range, covers mid-range sniper to close in combat situations, I would model it after the Baring M107, license it, if possible, if they are still around. It will stop an attacker wearing most forms of body armor, certainly two or three hits will disable even heavy infantry armor. However, at 16 kilos, it will not serve well as an assault weapon. The bullets are big and heavy and there is no practical way to use it as a primary offensive weapon especially on foot. However, if your distance to your ammunition store is less than 100 meters it would be hard to beat"

YYY nodded. I think your analysis is correct. Yet there are additional threats that must be dealt with for us to survive. Some mobile infantry will manage to get to us, just like this tank. No matter what it is, it will almost certainly have enough armor to minimize or stop a rifle bullet, even a large caliber. What about that?

JB replied, the Israelis used to sell a hand held Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher that came in a number of configurations including anti-tank, assuming older style tanks. Once again, it is on the heavy side for offensive, or highly mobile applications, though it was used in such. We have an advanced embedded systems capability so it would be possible to produce variants for a variety of use cases, such as mortars, anti-personnel, anti-light-armor, possibly even anti-small-ship, or aircraft with different projectiles, but the same basic launcher. It could even be built into ships and aircraft when it did not make sense to be shoulder fired.

Yes, executed well, those two weapons could be adapted for most situations. What about really big nasties like war ships, supersonic bombers, or state of the art tanks.

Kiss your tail feathers goodbye? Hope that you are resilient enough to take the hits and still function?  There is no magic weapon that will stop all three. To answer your question, you would need some sort of hyper-glide capability. We did some work on those in my last few years at the lab, but even with our advanced capabilities in modeling, this would be no picnic. When I was in college, I worked in a shipyard. A lot of our work was retrofits and changing a ship's purpose means welding, lots of welding. These are 480 volt arc welders and we had lots over them. Any time you use one, you need to be careful, an accident means loss of body parts or death. You learn to respect 480. That is playing with peashooters compared to the mach 5 - 10 range. A whoopsie at that speed could be terrifying, if it happens, you hope it happens downrange, not near the launcher. If you were going to try to build such a thing, I would suggest building it as a simulation and put it through as many situations, nighttime launch, all weather, in a hurry no time for a full scale countdown and so forth. Because an on pad failure is so devastating, we were really thing to come up with a mobile launcher, but we never could, these things need infrastructure, a lot of infrastructure. I can concentrate on the first two, get you the .50 in short order especially if we can license production. Its the 80/20 rule and believe you me, that last 20% is going to cost you.

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