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Political Alliegance of Babylon 5, 2272

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnFourtyTwo View Post
    One of those old Sprucans was used as the prototype hull for the next generation of destroyers. It was decommissioned in Norfolk, Virginia a couple years ago and sent back to Pascagoula, Mississippi to Ingalls Shipbuilding (yeah I know it's Northrop Grumman now, hard habits...) to have everything from the waterline up removed. Years ago it was used as the prototype testbed for the Arleigh Burke class cruisers, specifically with it's weird mast design (looked like the ship was flipping you off).
    I believe you are talking about my old ship, the Arthur W. Radford (I am a proud plankholder). It got (long after I left) some weird integrated mast system to replace the main mast. Kinda looked like a long, thin kite. Okay, okay, this is off-topic, so sue me!

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  • JohnFourtyTwo
    replied
    One of those old Sprucans was used as the prototype hull for the next generation of destroyers. It was decommissioned in Norfolk, Virginia a couple years ago and sent back to Pascagoula, Mississippi to Ingalls Shipbuilding (yeah I know it's Northrop Grumman now, hard habits...) to have everything from the waterline up removed. Years ago it was used as the prototype testbed for the Arleigh Burke class cruisers, specifically with it's weird mast design (looked like the ship was flipping you off).

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by Macbeth View Post
    Why did no one want a free Spruance? There were several reasons. First of all, the Spruances were expensive to operate, costing the U.S. Navy about $34 million a year each. This compared to $19 million for a Perry class frigate (a smaller warship), $26 million for a Burke class destroyer (the successor to the Spruance) and $35 million for a Ticonderoga class cruiser (a slightly larger ship built on a lengthened Spruance hull). The Spruances were a radical new destroyer design. For one thing, they were huge, some displaced 9,000 tons (three times the size of World War II destroyers), and crew size was about 330. There were some differences among the 31 Spruances put into service between 1975 and 1983, but all were unusual ships, too big to be a traditional destroyer, too small to be a cruiser. The last Spruance was decommissioned in 2005.

    There also a number of problems with operating a Spruance. Nothing major, but they all added up. Foreign navies, when looking at a free Spruance, noted all of these things, and turned down the offer. For most navies, the Spruances were simply too big, troublesome and expensive to operate.
    The biggest reason why no one wanted a Spruance class destroyer was that they were optimized for a mission that no longer was compelling to any takers - the deep-sea anti-submarine role. Combining the high operating costs (due to the large crew requirement and helo detachment) with the fact that smaller ships could do the ancillary missions as well or better (Spruance class ships have a deep draft and so were unsuitable for inshore operations) meant that they were not very well suited for non-Cold-War warfare.

    The analogy is a good one, I would say. B5 was simply too expensive to operate in missions less critical than the one she was built for, just as the Spruance class destroyers were. B5 was always cursed by the fact that it was built the most cheaply and least redundantly of the Babylon Stations, and when her primary mission was no longer relevant the costs of keeping her going was greater than anyone wanted to bear. So, she was "sunk."

    The Spruance herself was sunk because the costs of scrapping her were greater than the value of her bits and pieces, so the argument that B5 would be scrapped rather than destroyed cuts no ice with me.

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  • Macbeth
    replied
    The U.S. Navy has decommissioned all 31 of its Spruance class destroyers. An interesting sidelight to that is that the U.S. tried to give away some of these ships, and there were no takers. The United States offered some of them, free, in a "hot transfer." That sort of arrangement is a pretty good deal, because the new owner gets a ship that is still in service, in good shape, and has an American crew that can show the foreign sailors just how to operate their new destroyer. With a "cold transfer", you get a ship that has been decommissioned and left in "reserve" somewhere for years. To get one of these ships back in service, millions of dollars must be spent.

    Why did no one want a free Spruance? There were several reasons. First of all, the Spruances were expensive to operate, costing the U.S. Navy about $34 million a year each. This compared to $19 million for a Perry class frigate (a smaller warship), $26 million for a Burke class destroyer (the successor to the Spruance) and $35 million for a Ticonderoga class cruiser (a slightly larger ship built on a lengthened Spruance hull). The Spruances were a radical new destroyer design. For one thing, they were huge, some displaced 9,000 tons (three times the size of World War II destroyers), and crew size was about 330. There were some differences among the 31 Spruances put into service between 1975 and 1983, but all were unusual ships, too big to be a traditional destroyer, too small to be a cruiser. The last Spruance was decommissioned in 2005.

    There also a number of problems with operating a Spruance. Nothing major, but they all added up. Foreign navies, when looking at a free Spruance, noted all of these things, and turned down the offer. For most navies, the Spruances were simply too big, troublesome and expensive to operate.

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  • RMcD
    replied
    What you're not seeing are the six new 30 mile-long casino / hotel complexes and conference suites that now circle Epsilon 3 a few orbits up from B5.

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  • Radhil
    replied
    Originally posted by NotKosh View Post
    a) B5 is still in the middle of the various species territories. That didn't change. As a transshipment point it remains to have use.
    Some use, but not enough. I'm sure the empires would rather trade straight across their borders in relative peacetime rather than ship everything the longer way to a central neutral point.
    b) Deals that were done before on B5 still need to be done somewhere. People won't be traveling all the way to Tuzenor to sign an explorer to search for Q-40 in some far off system.
    The IA headquarters was on Tuzenor - that implies an infrastructure that would include offices wherever needed.
    c) As I recall, the IA was founded to maintain the peace, not make trade agreements. Where did I miss this?
    The money to pay for all those fancy Excalibur class stuff comes from, where, again?
    e) Please tell me when there won't be people who want a new start. The selfsame telepaths that caused an incident are a perfect example of a group that could have been given B5 as a colony when the EA didn't need it.
    Presuming, of course, that everything was suddenly hunky-dory with the teeps and the EA was magically willing to let them go... Would the teeps have the technical knowhow and support necessary to keep a place like that running?
    f) In a future where there is space travel and commerce, no nation that is profit driven, is going to arbitrarily destroy a self-sustaining habitat because it isnt' profitable, they would de-mil it, and sell it to someone that would want it. With a jumpgate right next to it, having a facility like that has tons of usage.
    Buildings are demolished all the time. Admittedly to make way for newer things, so less strength to that... but I would assume simply then that B5 has more profit value in recycled materials (500,000 tons of spinning metal, as it were) than in operation.
    g) That jumpgage means that the corollary of different forms of transportation outmoding it holds no water. It supports the current form of spaceflight in the B5 universe.
    I never heard tell of different forms of transportation, merely better routes. Which would make sense as the empires got on closer terms, and were more willing to allow jumpgate access to alien nations.
    h) B5 isn't a military vessel, and buildings that are razed are done so for reuse of the land, which doesn't apply to B5.
    It has military spec hardware and weapons systems.
    i) Dozens of companies would have loved to have taken over B5. It would be a perfect location of IPX? or any exploration/survey company. A non-gravity-well base located away from earth.
    IPX is often portrayed as a shadowy front anyhow, can't see them taking over a high-profile target.

    The overall theme here is just simply that B5 was too big a station for the EA to keep running any longer, and EA either didn't want or couldn't find another party to handle it.

    There are probably other space stations that could be built/retrofitted easier, elsewhere, in better locations.

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  • NotKosh
    replied
    Originally posted by grumbler View Post
    You totally dismiss the canon in favor of your own preferences? Why bother posting here?

    His arguments are the sea from which all water arises.

    Sorry, but any credibility you may have had with me is zeroized by the very words you speak here. I won't be responding to your posts again, unless I mistake you for another poster.
    Because in the thousands of SF books I have read, people/cultures don't arbitrarily destroy space facilities. The cost in constructing them and the multitude of uses they can be put to mean they stay around and are reused.

    The other reason is I can see where a writer does something is based more on emotionaly impact that logic.
    And if people don't think that emotional impact wasn't the key concept in Sleeping in Light are fooling themselves.
    Last edited by NotKosh; 01-30-2007, 11:57 AM.

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  • NotKosh
    replied
    Originally posted by Kevin View Post
    Because that is directly contradicting what the show says in the very first episode of Season 5.

    <snip>

    There may be plenty of people who'd like a space station like B5, but it's not making any money where it is (hell it struggled to make a profit in it's highlight years) and the only way you're moving it is through hyperspace, a trip it was not designed to be able to survive and one that would tear that shoddy construction job to bits.

    It's not useful for anything else, so you take what you can that's not already obsolete (which wouldn't be much), and then you blow it up. Military vessels are decommissioned in similar ways, as are buildings and structures and all sorts of things. There's no reason why a space station would be any different.
    1) Got me on the EA turnover, I don't rewatch S5 in the beginning any more.

    2) I disagree again on B5.
    a) B5 is still in the middle of the various species territories. That didn't change. As a transshipment point it remains to have use.
    b) Deals that were done before on B5 still need to be done somewhere. People won't be traveling all the way to Tuzenor to sign an explorer to search for Q-40 in some far off system.
    c) As I recall, the IA was founded to maintain the peace, not make trade agreements. Where did I miss this?
    d) forget moving the station, I never promoted that.
    e) Please tell me when there won't be people who want a new start. The selfsame telepaths that caused an incident are a perfect example of a group that could have been given B5 as a colony when the EA didn't need it.
    f) In a future where there is space travel and commerce, no nation that is profit driven, is going to arbitrarily destroy a self-sustaining habitat because it isnt' profitable, they would de-mil it, and sell it to someone that would want it. With a jumpgate right next to it, having a facility like that has tons of usage.
    g) That jumpgage means that the corollary of different forms of transportation outmoding it holds no water. It supports the current form of spaceflight in the B5 universe.
    h) B5 isn't a military vessel, and buildings that are razed are done so for reuse of the land, which doesn't apply to B5.
    i) Dozens of companies would have loved to have taken over B5. It would be a perfect location of IPX? or any exploration/survey company. A non-gravity-well base located away from earth.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
    We don't want to become overwhelmed with Her greatness, now do we?
    That should be "Her Greatness." It is a title, not a descriptor.

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  • OmahaStar
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Folks, stay cool, okay? Anybody can have an opinion here and can voice it as long as it's done politely.

    There've been things I've disagreed with JMS over, too. I just figured the next time I create a universe, I can do things my way.

    Jan
    This is about Jane not being the center of Crusade, isn't it? Sweetie, I've told you, we have to always be left wanting more. We don't want to become overwhelmed with Her greatness, now do we?

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  • B5_Obsessed
    replied
    Originally posted by B5_Obsessed View Post
    Thank you for RE-stating the obvious, and being a [deleted] about it.


    EDITED one word. I'll thank everybody to remain polite. --Jan

    I actually like that Jan. It allows readers to choose their own expletive.

    And I'm sorry Jan, but I've just never had someone criticize me for answering someone's question, only to repeat the very answer I was criticized for. Perhaps NotKosh would have preferred I insult BabylonRebel's question for being so blatantly obvious. I think we've already got enough of that around here. I will, as ever, remain polite.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    There've been things I've disagreed with JMS over, too. I just figured the next time I create a universe, I can do things my way.
    There is a difference between disagreeing with JMS and stating that what he says is not controlling in the canon (and just in the canon, of course). I am not emotionally involved in the canon, per se, but to dismiss JMS's own utterances as non-canon is to reduce the canon to a set of personal preferences. There is no fun in that, and we only post here for fun (as far as I know). I could reconcile every issue of canon with a personal statement that would (in most cases) be more logical than JMS's, because I don't have to bear the burden of meeting any future expectations. The fun (which we are here for) is to reconcile the canon as he speaks it with the issues that it raises.

    That, to my mind, if the best thing about this forum (above all other B5 fora): we do consider canon, and debate it, and struggle over it. If we shrug our (collective) shoulders and just say "JMS made a mistake so we will ignore this" then where does it stop, and where is the fun?

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  • Jan
    replied
    Folks, stay cool, okay? Anybody can have an opinion here and can voice it as long as it's done politely.

    There've been things I've disagreed with JMS over, too. I just figured the next time I create a universe, I can do things my way.

    Jan

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by NotKosh View Post
    I totally dismiss this whole "B5 was redundant argument" of JMS. It is his justification for blowing up the station.
    You totally dismiss the canon in favor of your own preferences? Why bother posting here?

    His arguments hold no water.
    His arguments are the sea from which all water arises.

    Sorry, but any credibility you may have had with me is zeroized by the very words you speak here. I won't be responding to your posts again, unless I mistake you for another poster.

    Leave a comment:


  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    The other issue being ... when aircraft carriers, warships, bombers etc. are no longer useful to the military they do not necessarily try to sell them off to someone else, although some do get sold to other nations military.

    If no one else wanted it the EA probably had no other option but to scuttle it. Don't forget, even Sheridan seemed to unaware that the decommissioning was taking place.

    I think it is also difficult for us to second guess JMS on this, since we have very little information about what is (or is not) going on in the galaxy at that point in time.

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