1) While lower yield is a part of it, the main reason why the "world ending" risks of fourth gens are so low is because of the way yield fractions scale. With the first and second generation weapons that make up the bulk of the modern strategic arsenal, it's the thermal effects that rule. As you get smaller, more and more of the thermal component gets soaked up into the blast component, and both become less significant relative to the prompt radiation release. A fourth generation nuclear weapon would be bad at causing firestorms, it's just not releasing enough heat. The radius for firestarting would be less than the 5 psi blast radius. More to the point, these weapons can be used in such a way so as to minimize collateral damage, and the states making use of them would take advantage of that.
2) The engine may be radioactive, but this thing would be flying high and fast enough that people on the ground wouldn't have a noticeable exposure. Remember, this thing isn't the SLAM. It's in the air so it can make a suborbital hop, ditch its k-rods, and get back to Catarapanian airbases. The thing can fly over oceans to avoid ASAT/ABM fire before making the hop.
A crash has the potential to be catastrophic, but with proper precautions, the gas core could be vented at high altitude (instead of spewing radioactive death all over the landing site). There are plans for ejecting solid-core reactors from spaceships powered by them, and any of the methods used could in theory be used to eject any (solid - the gas in the reactor comes from somewhere) uranium fuel carried aboard the spaceplane. And if any of these methods were to fail, well, that's what reparations are for.
3) As for the game theory of introducing this kind of thing, we're already living it. American ABM systems have gotten good enough that Russia has developed a hypersonic boost-glide reentry vehicle for its nuclear weapons to ensure that a second strike would get through. Soon, we'll see America and China develop hypersonic interceptors to deal with these sorts of reentry vehicles. I'm assuming that these spaceplanes would be introduced after several additional rounds of a similar arms race.
Moreover, even if an enemy were to be inspired to use their strategic arsenal in a first strike against me, they would wind up causing nuclear winter themselves - and they would know it. Even a limited war between India and Pakistan has the potential to cause nuclear winter, so even a limited strategic strike on the part of a single actor is enough to cause mutual destruction of all parties. It would be far more profitable to invest in an arsenal you can actually use, preferably one based around weapons small enough that you can use them without committing war crimes, and also invest in a similar "anti-silo" system to my own.[/quote]
1) Even assuming a low yield high efficiency, with minimal fallout and enhanced blast shock you enter a regime that it simply cheaper to use chemical explosives. As it happened with the ammo for the USS Zumwalt. Besides the proliferation risk.
In other hand the future combination of robotics, drones, AI could cause more specific damage with less collateral damage. (Opening a different can of worms).
Even if tested, deployed, and cost controlled, it could be mainly useful for hardened targets, that would be like command and control center. Specially suited for decapitation strikes. The consequence of fomenting military adventurism with the not so thought consequences of subsequent boots on the ground are less as an exercise for the reader.
2) ¿High enough for AA/ASAT? That what they were thinking before the Soviets gave Gary Powell a nasty surprise. Supposing it is flying high enough for a time to avoid completely any air-to-air missile and only left with ASAT weapons, as for orbital velocities even a tiny particle of debris is enough to ruin your day. A nuclear reactor in operation with high enough power to ratio to fly in conditions of near vacuum will need quite visible and vulnerable radiators, offering a great target and highly visible target. (The ASAT weapons developed by the USA that were a "simple" missile able to been launched from a F-15 brings back to the question of the saturation of defenses.
Not to mention the problem with the gas reactor even in case of accident. There is a reason there were thought for deep space propulsion.
3) I am skeptical of the capability of being able to intercept with an AA system currently a hypersonic vehicle in terminal velocity, beside the advantage being on the attacker. It is a rerun of the Cold War analysis but with less reaction time, more opponents, more rapidly evolving tech for propulsion, maneuverability and electronic warfare.
The only possible solution I think will be the use of energy directed weapon with the known problems of power density, atmospheric transparency, ablative defenses and so on. To use a kinetic hypersonic interceptor against another? The record of American Patriot defense system and the space ballistic tests are a open invitation to skepticism.
4) The most efficient weapon is the one as you say that can be used. And those are the current "intelligent" weapons in use. In time it will be far more lethal the use of the current developments of "killer" robots of aerial drones and tanks than any 4th generation nuclear weapon. And far more precise (at least in theory, the fiasco of the facial recognition system of the British police is a sobering experience, 80 % failure rate).
And yes, even a limited exchange between India and Pakistan would be globally catastrophic.
Fair enough, one of the things that I want to do was to do a plausible cheat sheet for quick RP (based entirely of answered issues and game stats).
I think we are returning to the old question of the common rule set for RP.
Well I've had a disappointing evening. I went to the grocery store earlier to get a few items. I was at the meat counter when I saw they had chicken cordon bleu, made up in the store, not frozen, and all I had to do was take it home and cook it. Since I like chicken cordon bleu I said, "I'm gonna try that." A mistake I won't repeat. I don't know exactly what was wrong with it, except that it tasted bland and bad at the same time. And it's a fairly simple dish. How do you mess that up? Argh!
I dun like fitting in... O.O
Mebbe we should have a scary war at each other and other people can join in if they wanna or not if they dun wanna! \o/ (peace yall)
GOP, leader of Imaginary, has sent a good friend of hers, UNH, to the newly formed nation of Greater Catarapania with specific instructions to taste the local teas to be found there. The short intense girl had been smitten by a recent gift of tea from the land of Mzeusia, and she was determined too explore the flavorful territory more. The mission was private of course, as making tea discovery a matter of state would be silly, but GOP did send with her friend five of her trusted guards to make sure he arrived and returned safely.
Now the sixsome has drawn close to the southern shores of their destination, rocking gently in their simple yet able watercraft...
:( I wish you better luck in future culinary shopping exploits...
Doing pretty decent. Just starting the spring semester in my first year of college, after a nice January break. Kind of glad to be back in my dorm though, with the freedom and all that.
I don't believe I am familiar with the Return of the King series. Is it a Netflix show?
Ugh. See this is what happens when noobs try to use formatting in comments, lol. Again, my apologies - not used to using the formatting. Think I've figured it out though. I'll probable delete the previous post, seeing what a train-wreck it was.
One fireball, two, and that was all as fragments of steel and carbon fiber lazily streaked across the sky. The Aerospace Command was having more difficulty than previous attempts at sending things to space; but thankfully, these rockets were just tests. The stages for Operation Grozny were an inefficient and largely incompetent design, but managed to produce a perfect storm. The problem was, the current payload was much smaller than a main battle tank and whatever engineering magic the original designers had originally was gone.
So, Chairman Lysiak had temporarily assumed the running of the program, but merely as an administrative role. She really had no idea how rocket science worked, but she could tell the difference between a working individual and a slacker and as such used most of her time barking orders and keeping efficiency as high as she could; albeit getting on worsening terms with the Aerospace Command directors.
At this rate, they could probably send the resupply drone to the orbital asset in a week, just short of the deadline to which the Science Directorate seemed eager to meet. Sending oxygen, propellant, and food to two idiots in a tank. In space.