Switch Theme:

How feasible are jet-bikes in war?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Poll
How feasible are jet-bikes in war?
For direct action
For reconnaissance
For motor transport/logistical purposes
For skirmishes/raids/harassment
Na dawg its stupid and wouldn't fly (lol) in real life
Other (explain below)

View results
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in us
Land Raider Pilot on Cruise Control




AZ

How feasible are jet-bikes in war?

For direct action
For reconnaissance
For motor transport/logistical purposes
For skirmishes/raids/harassment
or Na dawg its stupid and wouldn't fly (lol) in real life.

Why did you say your specific responses ? ? ?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/09/23 17:40:48




 
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Master with Gauntlets of Macragge





Upstate, New York

You should set the poll for multiple choice.

A LOT depends on the specs of the jetbike in question. In theory it give the infantry a lot of mobility and extra capacity. For anything other then take and hold dig in missions, it’s to see advantages. Even for those, they could be used as dragoons, where they use the bikes to move, and dismount to fight.

   
Made in us
Land Raider Pilot on Cruise Control




AZ

 Nevelon wrote:
You should set the poll for multiple choice.

A LOT depends on the specs of the jetbike in question. In theory it give the infantry a lot of mobility and extra capacity. For anything other then take and hold dig in missions, it’s to see advantages. Even for those, they could be used as dragoons, where they use the bikes to move, and dismount to fight.


Fixed.



 
   
Made in us
Been Around the Block





I was able to find articles of Marines using Dirt bikes and ATVs in Afghanistan. A Hover bike would be the perfect all terrain vehicle, as it doesn't actually touch the "terrain" so it would be even more useful than those.

It would be challenging to actually aim and shoot people while riding one, but to get around rugged terrain? Hell yeah.

40K Armies: Ultramarines, Tau, Ynnari, Orks, and Thousand Sons. 
   
Made in ca
Sureshot Kroot Hunter





It's use for recon would likely depend on how loud it runs.

15000 4000 3500 2500 :tyranid: 2500 1000 1000
1000 1000 1000 1000  
   
Made in us
Monster-Slaying Daemonhunter




So from my joint actions with the Australians, I learned, and almost gak my pants, when I found that their infantry units use
Dirt bikes as list one man dispatch carriers. Stuff that is too sensitive to go out over radio. It was actually kind of ingenious when I thought about it, if everything goes to hell, and our data radio encryption (1000 different frequency fluctuations per second, making it essentially impossible to hack).

But in actual warfare? No, completely useless and pointless. Easily destroyed by even a single pistol round, too loud, and completely pointless for any type of mounted weaponry.
   
Made in us
Inspiring SDF-1 Bridge Officer





Mississippi

At best, its a cavalry unit, good for charging and ride-by attacks. Staying in melee? Probably better to dismount.

It never ends well 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




Its basically a drone people can ride which is already a subject of military research.

Whether there's a specific niche thats tactically and commercially meaningful between "drone you don't ride" and "Helicopter" is I guess an open question - but why not? You could do all those things listed - we know drones and helicopters do already.
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







The US military experimented with one-man flying infantry platforms in the '60s, before realizing that they didn't really offer that much mobility advantage over ground vehicles, made a huge amount of noise, and made the effective use of cover impossible. In practice a jetbike would probably be the worst of both worlds between a helicopter and a drone; it wouldn't have the ordnance or the range of a helicopter, and would waste a lot of energy moving a person around that a drone doesn't need to.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
Homebrew oldhammer project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/790996.page#10896267
Meridian: Necromunda-based 40k skirmish: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/795374.page 
   
Made in us
The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

It depends on how mobile the "Jetbike" actually is. If its got the mobility of Jetbike's in 40k or speederbikes in Star Wars, it would definitely be useful as a scout vehicle. Not so much direct combat, but moving troops around quickly regardless of the terrain is always useful.

The modern experiments with such vehicles were failures mostly because their cost effectiveness is bad, with current technology. Nowadays, well. We're gonna see some interesting stuff soon.




Its motorcycle, that can transform between ground and flying. Early prototype of course, but still. It exists!

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/09/24 00:47:14


Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
Made in ca
Secretive Dark Angels Veteran




Vancouver, BC

I don't see the utlity. Current tech is too expensive, loud, and unreliable to fill the role. Future tech will likely make such a role redundant with smart drones and better signal security.
   
Made in us
Loyal Necron Lychguard





It doesn't matter, they're cavalry in a fantasy-in-space game.
   
Made in au
Growlin' Guntrukk Driver with Killacannon





Surely if you can develop a rideable jetbike there would be better alternatives. Near silent motorized bikes, long range cameras mounted on drones, satellite surveillance, a remote controlled toy car with a camera attached.

And if you wanted something heavier an attack helicopter is a pretty terrifying threat for it's size. Developing those would further would be way cheaper and more practical.
   
Made in us
Water-Caste Negotiator




Les Etats Unis

 Arachnofiend wrote:
It doesn't matter, they're cavalry in a fantasy-in-space game.


Did anyone say it mattered? People being interested in whether or not something is realistically viable doesn't necessitate that they criticize that thing if it isn't.

Dudeface wrote:
 Eldarain wrote:
Is there another game where players consistently blame each other for the failings of the creator?

If you want to get existential, life for some.
 
   
Made in gb
Enginseer with a Wrench





Northumberland

I'm sorry but saying something doesn't have a purpose just because it doesn't work in current modern fighting is just stupid. Our current concept of "modern warfare" will not last. It lasts as long as we fight a war in a certain way. Technology and environment will drastically change that in the near future.

Tanks were thought to be useless because they were too loud and slow. Planes weren't considered to have a military function, early reconnaissance pilots used to shoot at each other with pistols. Things change and it's up to people with the cleverness to find a use in combat for the new technology.

If we had a hoverbike, it could feasibly be fitted with an electric engine in the future. Stabilisers for weapons would very obviously negate problems with accuracy. If we can work out a way to fire a machine gun through a propeller, we can find a way to use jetbikes.

Let's just consider the basics. If you have an entrenched enemy and are able to quickly flit a small squad on hoverbikes to a superior firing position, even if they then have to dismount in order to take down the enemy, suddenly you've changed up the battlefield. Even if the enemy saw you coming on your speedy little jetbike and watched you dismount, they've still had to divert attention and firepower to deal with a new threat. This then gives your original battle line a chance to move forward, or better yet, another squad in tandem flanking as the bikers move forward.

It's a fun what if thread, saying "nah won't work" is boring as hell.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/24 08:01:10


One and a half feet in the hobby


My Adeptus Mechanicus Painting Log:
# The Explorator Fleet of Labrunnia IX #

 
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut





Tanks were thought to be useless because they were too loud and slow.

Never, not once since it became practical to build one did anyone say that.

The problem with jetbikes is the same as with jetpacks- you just turned infantry into planes, but slow and with even less armor so everyone and their half-blind mother can shoot at them.

Sure, you can run them at ground level, but in that case you waste the speed advantage (human reaction time doesn't change) and let the enemy know where your scouts are with massive plumes of dust.

They're fun sci-fi concepts, like jetpacks and mechs, and it's fine within the medium, where you can handwave any issues with technobabble.
   
Made in gb
Enginseer with a Wrench





Northumberland

Cronch wrote:

Tanks were thought to be useless because they were too loud and slow.

Never, not once since it became practical to build one did anyone say that.

The problem with jetbikes is the same as with jetpacks- you just turned infantry into planes, but slow and with even less armor so everyone and their half-blind mother can shoot at them.

Sure, you can run them at ground level, but in that case you waste the speed advantage (human reaction time doesn't change) and let the enemy know where your scouts are with massive plumes of dust.

They're fun sci-fi concepts, like jetpacks and mechs, and it's fine within the medium, where you can handwave any issues with technobabble.


I'm afraid that yes, they did, big time. British army hierarchy at the time had a lot of cavalry officers who did not see their use in combat. And very much like we are doing now said, "no chance me old spice, that big iron pile of gak will be useless". Boy did that change over time. Just as when we can consider future use of jetbikes, so might you!

One and a half feet in the hobby


My Adeptus Mechanicus Painting Log:
# The Explorator Fleet of Labrunnia IX #

 
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




Well sure, once the jetbikes no longer have all the flaws mentioned they will be useful. At which point their users will be eaten alive by nanobots probably or shot down with anti-air lasers that can kill much faster drones. Tanks, for all their intial flaws, had genuine advantages and reasons to use as proven by basically every time they were used as intended. Every use a jetbike has can be already filled by a cheaper, unmanned drone.

A MkIV was useless to cavalry action, but it was immediately useful in trench warfare of the Western front. A jetbike is useless in all but most outlandish situations.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/24 08:17:47


 
   
Made in gb
Badass "Sister Sin"






Well, I guess it depends how noisy they are?

If they’re practically silent, probably a decent prospect for armed recon. Enough speed and manoeuvrability to get out of their, enough firepower to shoot some fools.

In trench warfare? Depending on rider skill and that, potentially very bloody useful for strafing runs up down a trench network, potentially at a speed the defenders find difficult. Use them for suppression whilst your infantry close the distance to directly assault the trench. Heck, they could even do WW1 style bombing runs just by dropping grenades in their wake.

Spotters for artillery? Again pretty useful, as they can pop up out of nowhere and get the angles and that.

For directly assaulting infantry? Well…you don’t need to go through them the way Cavalry does, because you just go over them after you’ve shot them up. And depending on flight ceiling, you can come in at some seriously jaunty angles.

So…yeah. They definitely have their uses.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




Now explain why they're better than cheap drones we're using for this job now? They have no added utility over existing scout/attack helis and remote drones. Same with "supression" in "trench" warfare. Why not just use what we have, it works great for supression.
Every job you can find for a jetbike, there's something already existing that does it just as well or better.

What you're describing is cavalry, and we know how well that worked in automatic-weapon environment.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/24 08:40:19


 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps





United States

FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
So from my joint actions with the Australians, I learned, and almost gak my pants, when I found that their infantry units use
Dirt bikes as list one man dispatch carriers. Stuff that is too sensitive to go out over radio. It was actually kind of ingenious when I thought about it, if everything goes to hell, and our data radio encryption (1000 different frequency fluctuations per second, making it essentially impossible to hack).

But in actual warfare? No, completely useless and pointless. Easily destroyed by even a single pistol round, too loud, and completely pointless for any type of mounted weaponry.


For 2020, yeah.

But timeframes matter. The kinds of materials and tech that would exist given 40,000 years of advancements would nullify all of these issues you mention.
   
Made in gb
Enginseer with a Wrench





Northumberland

Yeah but why not use a big club with a nail in it? That works great for killing someone. That's really cheap and does the job fine, why go to all this trouble having machine guns. If you need to kill somebody quicker, get two big clubs with nails in them.

Let's say sea levels rise and also some kind of polluted particulate in the atmosphere means that satellite targeting for drones is useless.
Difficult terrain makes having a hovering doodad extremely handy.

I think we're all assuming that jetbikes for military use would be armoured in someway or the rider themselves would have something to protect against small arms fire.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/24 10:31:35


One and a half feet in the hobby


My Adeptus Mechanicus Painting Log:
# The Explorator Fleet of Labrunnia IX #

 
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

I think its important to remember that not everything in the army is front line work. There are many things that happen outside of the front lines that have totally different requirements.


For example I recall watching a program which noted that exosuits were basically pointless for front line combat troops because whilst they gave them greater mobility and strength, any damage to the unit that locked it down or any combat that went on longer than the battery could last out - would end up basically leaving the trooper with increased risk.

However as a means to allow support staff to lift heavy equipment in rough terrain and transport it over modest distances, they were ideal. So the military could use them for a pop-up airbase for harriers or helicopters; but they'd likely not use them on the front line itself.



And that was taking a look at probably the next ten years or so of those suits. Of course as technology advances the properties and perception and viability of things shift.

We also have to consider the nature of wars themselves. The type of war you are in defines what works; along with what you can budget for. There are some really outstanding things in the technological world that are just too expensive for the armed forces of many nations to even contemplate using.






As for jet bikes lets boil down what they are at a core - a fast moving vehicle capable of operating over any ground surface. You might not charge into battle on them, but you might well use them to transport materials over rough terrain, perhaps where anti-air systems are too well established to make air drops safe/practical. You could also use them to access areas that are otherwise impossible or hard by foot.
As noted, if they are quiet enough they can be used for scouting missions. However at the same time if hover craft became commonplace as a machine ni the world you could get away with them making "background noise" etc..



Drones are something being moved toward because we've made losing soldiers a more and more questionable thing for western battle. So it might be jetbikes never happen because we end up using drones in a similar role - which can also be smaller because they don't have to carry a rider. However we might also find that anti-drone measures become sophisticated enough that drones become a risky venture so suddenly we have to put people back on the front line.

Heck maybe the hoverbike lets a local operator move themselves and group of drones closer to a target area and then operate local control over those drones from a remote position.







As for tanks they were very new and i could well see many not thinking they'd work. At the same time when they were used they proved to be too fast as I recall. Leaving them more likely to over-run the enemy positions and getting isolated away from the support infantry following behind.

A Blog in Miniature

The Swarm Arises

Do you ever notice, sometimes, there's an extra post? 
   
Made in gb
Leader of the Sept







If they are fragile, then they are likely to be no good for direct action. If they are really robust then they could be set up in the current attack helicopter role.

If they are really fast then courier duty or recon make sense, even if there are other platforms that can also undertake that role. We have really accurate and pretty real time satellite imagery, but that doesn't mean the army Recon corps get disbanded.

If they are slow but reliable, then they might be useful for rear echelon logistics over poor ground conditions.

If they are super expensive and hard to use, then they are a non-starter.

the issue here is that a single person hover vehicle could be put into all sorts of roles, it depends on the specifics of the platform.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

Terranwing - w3;d1;l1
51st Dunedinw2;d0;l0
Cadre Coronal Afterglow w1;d0;l0 
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Olthannon wrote:

I think we're all assuming that jetbikes for military use would be armoured in someway or the rider themselves would have something to protect against small arms fire.

So just attack helicopters, but one pilot has to do the job of two? the eldar Vyper is basically an anti-grav apache/KA-52 and serves the same function. Anything smaller and you need incredibly efficient engines to produce enough thrust to carry a worthwile payload and AI/piloting assistance to not lead the poor driver overloaded (same issue why we 2-man turrets in early ww2 tanks ended up being horrible).

Basically, you either end up with an incredibly hi-tech one-man gunship or a drone with all the drawbacks of needing to waste lift on a driver.


Yeah but why not use a big club with a nail in it? That works great for killing someone. That's really cheap and does the job fine, why go to all this trouble having machine guns. If you need to kill somebody quicker, get two big clubs with nails in them.

Automatic weapons provide significant force multiplier over bringing another man with a club or even dual-wielding clubs. A jetbike as envisaged by 40k does not provide anything that a helicopter/ drone/man on a bike doesn't already. You basically have to handwave all of it's downsides to make it work, at which point you can have a jet-tank or jet-scout car cause you handwaved their downsides/impossibilities too.

Again, because I think this is missed. I think jetbikes are cool. Flying knights with laser lances/guns are cool. I love the visuals and idea of it. It doesn't make it realistic though, not any more that chaos demons are realistic.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/09/24 12:04:27


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




Hmmm.

Armies use ATVs today. Quadbikes for instance. Assuming money is no object it would seem likely "the best" ATV would be one that hovers above the terrain. In which case they could do whatever those quadbikers do.

   
Made in us
Monster-Slaying Daemonhunter




Togusa wrote:
FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
So from my joint actions with the Australians, I learned, and almost gak my pants, when I found that their infantry units use
Dirt bikes as list one man dispatch carriers. Stuff that is too sensitive to go out over radio. It was actually kind of ingenious when I thought about it, if everything goes to hell, and our data radio encryption (1000 different frequency fluctuations per second, making it essentially impossible to hack).

But in actual warfare? No, completely useless and pointless. Easily destroyed by even a single pistol round, too loud, and completely pointless for any type of mounted weaponry.


For 2020, yeah.

But timeframes matter. The kinds of materials and tech that would exist given 40,000 years of advancements would nullify all of these issues you mention.


I'm sorry, but WHAT? Yes, if magic nuke farting unicorns existed 40k years in the future, they would make great units. What is the point of acknowledging my point, and then shifting the goal posts 40k years into the future? The OP was are Jetbikes feasible NOW. No, they are not. They do not meet the standards for field service in war. Only time I have EVER seen an ATV in a war zone was a Medical ambulatory vehicle to get people from an LZ to a Medic Station as fast as possible while maintaining their stability. Can you provide a single instance in today's warzones where ATVs or bikes are used effectively in combat scenarios?
   
Made in us
Ancient Venerable Dark Angels Dreadnought





One man jetbike with variety of sensors plus accompanying drones for over the hill sneak and peek, I could see it. Smaller distance a drone has to cover allows it to be smaller I assume (guessing, I'm NO drone expert), and the nature of the vehicle allows it to cross all terrain with no issue to get to a perfect position. Of course the propulsion would need to be quiet for the role (so I guess the work "jet" needs to be broad in scope)
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

 Olthannon wrote:
It's a fun what if thread, saying "nah won't work" is boring as hell.


Saying 'maybe walking on your hands with your rifle clamped between your buttcheeks really will be how we fight in the future, [insert spurious quote about the minority of officers who spurned airplanes*], there's no way to know so you can't say it's stupid' isn't a particularly useful or valid claim either.

* Because this is a great example; both the RFC and FDK/Luftstreitkräfte had adopted aircraft for reconnaissance and were trying to arm them for air-to-air use before WW1 even started, less than a decade before the technology of heavier-than-air flight was even invented, so the idea that 'planes weren't considered to have a military function' is hot garbage. The Vickers Gunbus had its first flight weeks before the outbreak of hostilities and was explicitly designed as an air-to-air platform.

You can always find some old guard naysaying every new invention; that doesn't mean everyone in military planning is dumb as a box of rocks and can't figure out a use for new technology. There are analysts whose whole job is to hypothesize about tactical capabilities that would be available if only some hypothetical technology existed, or how hypothetical technology might overturn existing paradigms. Usually it's technical, rather than doctrinal limitations that limit adoption.

In any case: I don't think people appreciate just how hard it is to pilot a fast-moving vehicle and simultaneously try to employ fixed-forward weaponry as is typical for bikes or jetbikes in media. And you might be able to fly at 200MPH, but a 5.56 flies at 2000MPH and will still ruin your day. In a modern military context, bikes are most typically used by couriers for transporting sensitive information, and in third-world conflicts by infantry in a role similar to dragoons; they're too vulnerable for combat use even when they have the ability to hug terrain for cover. Current-day SPAAGs would eat jetbikes for lunch.

In fact, take the 'jetbike' concept, add a copilot to employ gimbaled weaponry or sensors, remove the altitude limitation, and you get an attack or reconnaissance helicopter- so the challenge with 'maybe technology will improve in the future' is to figure out what tactical niche a motorcycle transplanted to the air could fulfill that wouldn't better be filled by a helicopter analogue enjoying the same technological improvements. Jetbikes are rule of cool, that's all.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/09/24 17:28:30


   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
I'm sorry, but WHAT? Yes, if magic nuke farting unicorns existed 40k years in the future, they would make great units. What is the point of acknowledging my point, and then shifting the goal posts 40k years into the future? The OP was are Jetbikes feasible NOW. No, they are not. They do not meet the standards for field service in war. Only time I have EVER seen an ATV in a war zone was a Medical ambulatory vehicle to get people from an LZ to a Medic Station as fast as possible while maintaining their stability. Can you provide a single instance in today's warzones where ATVs or bikes are used effectively in combat scenarios?


Isn't that good enough?

I don't think you are going to ride around the battlefield, rifle in one hand, power lance in the other.
But it seems like a range of armies throughout the world employ quadbikes, for replenishing supplies, evacuating wounded, transferring equipment from helicopter landing sites etc. Plenty were used in Afghanistan for instance.

Whether it would be worth the cost of hovering over rough ground rather than riding over it is an open question - but the use is obviously there.
   
 
Forum Index » 40K General Discussion
Go to: