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Old 08-20-2017, 01:30 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Default Trade offs in MP planning

One of the great things about this list is the number of voices that are represented, with a wide range of view points.

The Morrow Project is such a vast undertaking and security is such an integrated requirement that things become even more complex.

In this environment many if not most of the decisions made by Project Planners will be compromises, often very hard ones. A couple of topics in which I think this was really critical is base size and placement as well as equipment procurement.

There are a number of resource types that lend themselves to being placed in a relatively large fixed base. Power Generation, Hospitals, Command and Control, Aviation come to mind pretty quickly. From an operational standpoint putting many of the functions together makes the most sense, since it makes communications and cooperations easier. From a pre-event security standpoint it means less construction so reduced security risk. But it also means more eggs in fewer baskets so if they get hit by a nuke or overrun post event it means a greater loss of resources.

This means there are good reason to have Prime be a multi functional base and good reasons not to. A lot comes to things like the number of locations that the Project found suitable for bases, the number of those locations they could purchase, the resources they had available to build bases (how many could they build at one time). This need to compromise can explain a lot of the issues with Prime Base in canon.

Why is the base so big?
Because few potential locations were available that met the criteria from a geological, social, security, war survivability standpoint.

Because Prime had to be built early on, because the entire Project depended upon it. For this reason it was designed to be fairly large. If other locations could be found they would be used for some of the functionality originally included at the Prime Base Prime location. If they couldn't those functions would be staffed at Prime.

Because the Project had limited construction assets that could be used for bases they were forced to put a lot of eggs into a fewer number of baskets they have wished to. Prime Base, wherever it was located was the BEST compromise location. It made sense, from a certain perspective, to put as much of the Project's resources into a location with the most favorable location as was possible.

Procurement of Equipment
There are four possible sources of equipment
Military or other surplus
Off the shelf new manufacture
Purpose design and manufactrure
Salvaged Prototype or experimental programs

Each of these has positives and negatives. The first two are cheap, they provide the potential for available spare parts, they pose the lowest risk from a security standpoint. They are less likely to meet specific project needs. Even the most modern military equipment is designed for use by a different population than Morrow Project folks in a different mission with different resources to support it. It is also procured in different quantities and in a different budgetary process (lowest bidder and all that). New items are possibly better but also probably more expensive. They may also attract more attention. Buy a couple of thousand brand new off the assembly line V150s and someone is likely to notice. Get a couple of thousand WW2 halftracks and for scrap value and no one will care at all.

New from scratch is the ideal technical solution but has a lot of drawback:
High risk of failure
Long lead Time

For things that are absolutely not available on the open market (Fusion powerplants, cryotubes and lasers come to mind)

The pick up of dying prototypes offers some interesting hardware and cuts a lot of the risk if the selection is careful. There were a lot of prototypes in the 1950-1970 era that were cancelled for cost or political reasons. The XM-800, the AH-56A, the XC-142, the CL-84 and the XV-15 come to mind pretty quickly. They did have serious issues in some cases but the AH-56A program had worked through them and was killed by interagency politics (the USAF hated the AAFSS program because it had performance close to fixed wing AX competitors) The number of US projects that almost produced production level systems was substantial and yes some of these were dogs, but others were axed for non technical reasons based on budget or politics or changing mission requirements.

I recommend a mix of these four procurement pathways.

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