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Is the future of air superiority returning to guns fights?

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    Is the future of air superiority returning to guns fights?

    Just a thought I had, I'm obviously no expert. Hypothetically here, say western aircraft advance the stealth tech to a point that no radar can pick them up. And then eastern aircraft find a way to match the stealth tech. BVR and Fox 3 combat would seem to fall by the wayside, returning the fight to 5nm-ish Fox 2 fight. Hypothetically, say both sides further develop engine exhaust and masking technology to reduce the heat signature, coupled with flares, coupled with perhaps a laser defense system, and Fox 2 combat would seem to as well fall by the wayside.

    If radars and other trackers can't outpace the stealth tech, EW, countermeasures, and the IR defenses, all that's left is guns with snake sights or gyro sights on stealthy 150 million dollar aircraft.

    Then instead of fixed forward firing guns, we'd get guns on a gimbal or some sort of a turret system so you don't have to do all the difficult geometry to get into a control position. Just have a back seater shoot the turret/gimbal. Or an AI for that matter.

    And then to defend against guns, far future aircraft, while still being stealthy and packed with anti IR equipment, will have to have large engines and large surfaces to accomodate the huge steal plates covering the jet to armor it against 20 or 30 mm cannon fire. They'll have to have vectored thrust and additional thrusters to help with maneuverability. They'll also eventually have 2 cockpit canopies, one normal glass and one armored that uses a camera system like the F-35 to view outside so you have this flying tank gun platform.

    And then we move into space flight and voila, The Rocinante from the Expanse.

    *sips vodka*
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    #2
    Lasers
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      #3
      Originally posted by Relic View Post
      Just a thought I had, I'm obviously no expert.
      The answer is no, but the imagination is vivid
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        #4
        You started out reasonable, then veered off into BattleTech 3025. No, that's extremely unlikely to happen that way =)

        As stealth technology improves, so too does sensor technology. In fact, it could be argued that Russia, unable to compete on the stealth market for lack of funds, has invested considerably in the more economical ''detection'' field, improving their defenses against such stealth aircraft. Stealth is a long, long way from ''Romulan Cloaking device''.

        As Emmy suggested, some of it is moving toward lasers, as that technology becomes more feasible, which will likely replace guns in the longterm. Missiles will remain as long range, indirect fire weapons.

        As for spaceflight, most these movies consistently gloss over the ranges and speeds involved in such things. Within a certain distance, light is virtually instantaneous, meaning high powered lasers. Outside that distance, even lasers are insufficient to hit a target when you consider the object you're looking at is ''in the past'' and may not even be the actual current position and orientation. This brings you back to self guided missiles for long range strikes. The flipside, any object at long range in space is extremely hard to detect just from the sheer volume of space that must be scanned.
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          #5
          subs has the answers youre looking for
          hahaha hey look at me i surely know more about aviation and coding than actual industry professionals hired for their competency because i have read jalopnik and wikipedia i bet theyve never even heard of google LOL

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            #6
            Obviously I'm joking a bit, but also a bit serious. I am curious though why guns aren't put on a turret/gimbal system? I just assume it's because guns are considered knives and not needed to be focused on.
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              #7
              Because they're really heavy, and because they're not the primary weapon system. You already have very maneuverable missiles.
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