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What are the ways to penerate Tank amour nowadays?

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posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 11:39 PM
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Humster,

>>
So my question is this. How are we going to penerate modern tank amour, since its "THAT" good?
>>

'That Good' comes with a weight penalty. The best protected tanks are the Leclerc and upgrade Challenger II with the thick sideskirts. The M1A1 and 2 are completely vulnerable once you leave their frontal arc.

OTOH, a Challenger is not going to to 50-60mph with the limiter 'off'. An M1 will. At least until you shred a track or collapse a torsion bar.

>>
Better HEAT rounds? Better Sabots? Or just blow them up with a nuke.
>>

Mechanically, the best (most efficient for size) weapons are SFF or EFP 'Self Forging Fragments' or 'Explosively Formed Projectiles'. Using similar explosive deformation of a copper-molybdenum disk as the HEAT round, these projectiles are 'free air' rather than impact activated and so can strike from a pure vertical position ABOVE the tank. Selecting aimpoints on it (via terminal guidance as with Skeet/SFW) which are not effectively armorable such as engine deck vents, fuel tanks or ammo compartments.

And, at 5-9,000fps, they are much harder to slug-defeat by ERA or equivalent counter-charge detonations on impact and virtually unstoppable by any topside armor known.

You /can/ shoot down the submunition or delivery vehicle (LOCAAS) prior to detonation with APS systems like Arena and Drozhd. But with weapons like 16 SADARM on MLRS or 40 Skeet in the CBU-97/105, saturation is still a possibility.

CONCLUSION:
Truthfully, the tank is an obsolescent combat design for active battlefield use in that, 'if you want to kill an elephant'... You never walk up and whack it in the face with a stick.

You dig a pit or undercut along a trail and break it's legs in a fall. Or you sit in a tree and shoot it in the spine from above as it passes by.

Similarly, to butcher an armored vehicle there is neither the need nor the sense in facing it _as an equal threat_ over a shared horizon line. Because even if you bag him, his buds will do for you.

Instead, it is best to loft a missile /over/ that LOS-line (FOG-M and it's Euro/Brazillian derivatives, also NLOS-C and Spike-ER as well as JCM as well as LOCAAS among many others). Or use an intelligent off road mine (IED is much the same but more exploitable as function of trigger source).

While _never_ exposing yourself to /any/ of it's own weapons systems.

The irony then being that the best role for a tank is not the initial maneuver phase during which rapid deployment and mobility with ranged systems are (lighter, faster, easier to keep fed) preferred to stop the enemy from 'settling in' during a Desert Shield type buildup.

Rather the tank is back to being a battle taxi and infantry support weapon whose 'armor' needs to be redistributed to provide 360` global protection sufficient to stave off LAW and ATGW as well as mid-caliber (25-45mm) gunfire completely while at least minimizing mine damage from the top, sides and bottom.

Far more than using any kind of a Bighorn Sheep approach to max glacis/turret front protection against APFDS or HEAT/HEP rounds.

This because, as Iraq is showing, a smart enemy will simply refuse to face you, 'as an equal'. Rather he is going to pull you into his briar patch and then spank you from all sides, once you are there.

Doctrinally, it's called 'COE' or Contempt Of Engagement. And it is one of the anchor principles of Assymetric Warfare.


KPl.




posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 01:26 AM
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I got a queston for u:

Y do u want 2 know???



lol!!!



posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by ch1466

Mechanically, the best (most efficient for size) weapons are SFF or EFP 'Self Forging Fragments' or 'Explosively Formed Projectiles'. Using similar explosive deformation of a copper-molybdenum disk as the HEAT round, these projectiles are 'free air' rather than impact activated and so can strike from a pure vertical position ABOVE the tank. Selecting aimpoints on it (via terminal guidance as with Skeet/SFW) which are not effectively armorable such as engine deck vents, fuel tanks or ammo compartments.

And, at 5-9,000fps, they are much harder to slug-defeat by ERA or equivalent counter-charge detonations on impact and virtually unstoppable by any topside armor known.



Ain't those use for Artillary rounds? I heard they are also used for Anti Air



posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 02:45 AM
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Originally posted by SEAL Trident
I got a queston for u:

Y do u want 2 know???



lol!!!


Welll you see.....I'm a.... Barker, yes, a Baker


Anti tank weapons and ways of penerating tanks and bakery skills go hand in hand










Ok, the fact is, I register to this forums because of those "My tank is better then your tank" threads.

So I posted this question. Hopefully get so good answers and people read this thread and finally understand. "My tank ain;t better then your tank, WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE, if someone has the right tools."



[edit on 16-7-2005 by Humster]



posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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There is something to be said about armor combat that simply will not be "outdated" in the near future. Tanks still have not only serious firepower on a mobile system that can engage a wide range of targets, but also have a psychological impact too. As you said, armor support is always nice to have, and as long as everyone else produces tanks, there will be a need for your own tank to counter it, because you can never eliminate the threat of armor by simply using infantry AT weapons or air-cover.



posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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>>
Ain't those use for Artillary rounds? I heard they are also used for Anti Air >>

Sadarm is (or can be), Skeet is a cluster bomblet.

Directional warheads have been common on heavy SAMs and the like since the mid 60's at least (SA-2 for instance is a weapon you wanted to duck /under/ as it detonated going /up/. If you did, the most you faced was minor metal bending from the transient blast. If you didn't you could be slashed to pieces by an entrained fragment shower good for 200ft or so of lethal damage...).

To my knowledge, all such systems are prefragmented in a pattern like a hershey bar or sometimes a chain link (the infamous 'annular blast' warheads on smaller AAM like the Sidewinder) rather than being designed to -form- a specific penetrator shape from a given prior geometry.

Some variations of the AHM or Anti Helicopter Mine can use a warhead launcher derived from the wide area anti armor mine (effectively a triple arm Skeet thrower) but I believe these are also largely HE/Blast-Frag rather than direction weapons since you are trying to cut a relatively weak aluminum skin and airframe (spars, stringers, frames) structure in enough points as to cause it to collapse under aero loads rather than punching through a specific weak point on a hard target.

Last I heard the EFP is itself now capable of 'multi moding' however. As with the warhead on the LOCAAS which can be collapsed into a single slug. A weak stream of linear fragments (in one side, bounce around a lot) or a 'shot gun blast' of pellet type fragments, good for area targets such as radar arrays and some materiel storeage.

The difference is and always will be that a ground vehicle can distribute a lot more weight through a lot heavier alloys and (non aero q-ualified) applique materials/shaping. Hence it you have to either overdose it with HE (the best tank plinker is the GBU-12 and the Maverick, both of which have anywhere from 5 to 20 times the total warhead weight of say a Hellfire). Or to pick a spot and put focussed warhead effect /thru it/ in the hopes that whatever is on the other side will either brew the vehicle up completely. Or at least cause a function/mobility kill.


KPl.



posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 12:18 PM
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Im going to sound somewhat stupid, but someday tanks will be armed with a laser or some system like CC Generals Paladin, to disrupt or destroy enemy bombs, missles, and other weapons.



posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by Raideur
Im going to sound somewhat stupid, but someday tanks will be armed with a laser or some system like CC Generals Paladin, to disrupt or destroy enemy bombs, missles, and other weapons.


Well, the Russians have a "laser" type thingy that can destroy enemy optics.



posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 02:30 AM
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>>
There is something to be said about armor combat that simply will not be "outdated" in the near future.
>>

They are _obsolescent_ even today. Because airpower and artillery removes the option of free-wheeling maneuver as a main force decision (or there would have been multiple tank battles on the way to Baghdad) and has done so since at least Mortain.

The difference is that the 'datedness' of the doctrine is ignored by men who drove tanks 15-20-30 years ago and are now _commanding_ men who also enjoy the thrill of a mission whose supplantation they ignore for personal thrill.

To some extent, as long as 'the knights refuse to believe in bullets' and are generally supported in their delusion by a lack of employment, brilliant maneuver logistics and overwhelming 'secondary support missions' (infowarfare, special ops diplomacy, airpower, artillery etc.) means to throw _much smaller_ enemies into shock and rout; this will remain true.

Yet the fact remains that if we ever _once_ faced an enemy whose only goal was victory and whose only wish was to beat us _not_ at our own game, we would not last an hour in any properly prepared battle.

>>
Tanks still have not only serious firepower on a mobile system that can engage a wide range of targets, but also have a psychological impact too.
>>

Battlefield courage takes time to develop as much death and blood to be rendered combat ineffective. You see the man next to you turn into a red mist from the shoulders up, you suddenly realize that _presenting_ a target signature to an enemy is not a wise thing to do. You /stand off/, using either distance or remote sensors to WATCH tank shoot holes in a hotel building and it strikes you how /amazingly/ blind and blundering these weapons systems are. From which two lessons:

1. Bravery is a function of exposure to needless risk.
2. Anything which is not a nail standing up, is apt to become invisible in the background clutter.

It becomes simple to devise means by which you destroy your enemy without ever being directly exposed to him.

Bombs in roads.
RPG gunners that duck around corners and shoot in the flanks.
Suiciders that are being paid to carry a weapon to a location only to find that they are _never supposed_ to get to their destination.

>>
As you said, armor support is always nice to have, and as long as everyone else produces tanks, there will be a need for your own tank to counter it, because you can never eliminate the threat of armor by simply using infantry AT weapons or air-cover.
>>

The reality is that I can get function kills on a tank with a stick of dynamite. In the tread blocks, in an engine grille, in the targeting optics, even down the barrel or close to the evacuator. Once you realize how /liittle/ it takes to kill these people who survive-to-butcher by _reputation alone_; the amount of dead weight inherent to 'taking hits and slugging back' in a convetional sense disappears completely.

Because it is a fool who operates in open country where he can be seen coming HOURS before battle and have his entire unit sprayed down with brilliant antitank munitions that effectively employ ONE bomb to gain as many as _40_ kills.

Yet in a city (and increasingly, MOUT will be the standard, not the exception), practical armor is insufficient to protect you from nearly any main tube (right down to 30-45mm on IFVs), even in the front quarter. And the advantage of surprise lies with those who can either **afford to lose** assets in /creating/ an ambush or overwhelming fires conditioned 'meeting engagement'. Or can employ a superior use of terrain and _smaller signatures_ to avoid being engaged as the heavy armor advances.

Any .50 on a Jeep can act as a support weapon to advancing infantry.

Yet by the same standard, any Goliath-become-SWORDS UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) can /carry/ a demolition charge big enough to destroy EITHER a Jeep OR an MBT right up alongside or under the supporting vehicle.

At which time the point guys out front are dead, they just don't know it yet.

The Jeep is gonna cost you about 150-200 grande. The MBT is going to run you about 4-6 million. The robot is going to be something like 1-10,000 bucks. Maybe less if you pull selfhoming and target sorting intelligence and go with 'Tamiya standardize parts' using radio controlled toy vehicles.

At which point you are left with a conundrum. Any shop, house, ditch or streetsign may have enough blocking-LOS to hide a sacrificial threat which is lethal to your vehicle force.

Yet to defend against /small arms/ you must have a _minimum_ of (much larger, heavier) .5" steel RHA equivalency.

The question then being, 'why further increase the volume (=weight=cost) of the vehicle for a manned presence which _cannot_ beat an MBT -or- a robotic tank with a 200lbs of Semtex strapped to it. When the guys inside are just being made 'bigger targets' by virtue of riding along with the vehicle. And the AFV itself is going to skyrocket in sticker shock for doing so.

The obvious answer is that vehicles which move too fast or are themselves too light to be combined arms escorted by conventional mech infantry, cannot ALSO be so expensive that they cannot be used independently to attack and secure target objectives, accepting their own losses incurred by not having a private willing to duck his head around the corner.

Such a vehicle 'somewhere between' the Goliath (German WWII remote explosive delivery tank) the Hummer Up Armor and the MBT might in fact look like this-

www.jedsite.info...

In that you have a 20-30mm round perfectly suitable for busting up buildings without overpenetrating 2 more houses down the block like APFSDS does. Or blowing up the house as a whole, like HEAT does.

In a vehicle which is small and light enough to be carried by Chinook or Stallion helicopters. And (comparitively, with conventional armor) has _excellent_ reliability and economics (ton mile support train numbers).

Such a vehicle can mount Javelin or TOW and, with servo remoted or onboard control of weapons, can attack either directly or by loft even the heaviest of armored/defiladed threats /without/ ever being exposed to direct fire or severe jamming.

IOW, there is little or nothing that an MBT can do 'in town' that a much smaller, lighter, more immediately replaceable, armored vehicle cannot. Provided you do not have LIVE forces in contact whose even softer skin must (somehow) be protected.

And we know it. Because we have after action reports coming out of OIF _saying_ that troopers found themselves short of 'suitable munitions' (way too much APFDS, not enough HEAT and MG) which, in an of itself admits that they were already getting the short end of the stick in terms of assymetric warfare and Contempt Of Engagement tactics that forever put the enemy behind civillians or running away over the next hill.

CONCLUSION:
Armor may remain. But the mix of protection, firepower and mobility is and must forever be altered from what we expected it to do in a NATO war in Europe. Because it is just too damn easy to kill a tank in close battle. But it is NOT simple to support or even /purchase/ one such that they can be the ubiquitous means by which particularly the American force metric faces enemies on a 'silicon chip vs. flesh and bone' level of similar refusal to engage in coup games with barbarians who have no considered value for improving their lives at all. Yet are just smart enough to want to be able to brag about the Damn Yankee they blew up along with 30 of their fellow citizens.



posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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The tank is not, and never will be for close support missions. The fact that they use them for this simply reflects the flexibility of the vehicles. No they are not designed to fight infantry, they are designed to fight other tanks, and in a secondary role perform breakthrough attacks against enemy positions, which they also do well.
Urban combat has been the scourge of doctrine warfare since WWI. To suggest a tank, which has been built from the ground up to operate in open areas against mobile enemy armor at long ranges will do excellently against infantry in urban areas is simply bashing the tank as not being able to meet the current need, even though the need was different only 5 years earlier...
Tanks will never become obsolete, simply because if both sides refuse themselves the weapon, due to the nature of it being useless for the task at hand, then one side wil simply reintroduce it and reap the benefits of armor support where its required, in open terrain, where infantry, either on foot, or in IFVs, would be slaughtered by modern armor. The need exists, and it has always been there, as cavalry, or as tanks, and it is not about to dissapear ever. Everything has weaknesses, you could argue aircraft carriers are pointless because a diesel sub only 1/100 of the cost could sink it, but does that mean we should abandon our carrier groups?
The tasks at hand will always be there, cavalry replaced by tanks, battleships replaced by carriers, but the roles in which they replaces still exist. Military doctrine must always have the equipment cater to the "worst case scenario" becuse that would be the time in which these ships and tanks would have to perform in the role they were designed for, thus they remain ineffecient in some roles, but excel in others.

BTW, you folks give infantry ATGWs a bit too much credit in my opinion. These weapons are only effective against rear and side arcs of the tank armor, and also require the soldier to expose himself, which is dangerous in open terrain.



posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 05:58 AM
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Raideur,

>>
The tank is not, and never will be for close support missions. The fact that they use them for this simply reflects the flexibility of the vehicles. No they are not designed to fight infantry, they are designed to fight other tanks, and in a secondary role perform breakthrough attacks against enemy positions, which they also do well.
>>

You are wrong on both counts. The original British WWI 'landships' had walking-pace rates of advance (though some of the late war French models were rather quicker). And were _50:50_ male and female equipped with MG vs. light cannon. Indeed, both types were exclusively used in infantry support roles, simply because, once isolated and alone, they could not hold a position and entire brigades could be lost.

This type of direct support weapon has persisted throughout subsequent mechanized warfare operations, whether as tank companies in _heavy infantry_ divisions. Or as directly optimized assault guns with heavy caliber demolition weapons, often mounted on raised platforms specifically for the purpose of providing obstacle reduction and occasional mobile-artillery shortrange fire missions.

Once can even look at the Sherman, 2nd most produce tank of the war, as being /nearly exclusively/ an 'infantry support weapon' because, excepting the Firefly and derivative TK's like the Jackson, it was absolutely incapable of use against German armor on an equal footing.

>>
Urban combat has been the scourge of doctrine warfare since WWI.
>>

Nonsense. 3-6% of all combat casualties were Civillian in WWI. 60% were civillian in WWII. Of those /90%/ happened after the 'great strategic airwar' campaigns began.

WHY? Because we miss used airpower as a decimator of populations and industry rather than as a tactical tool. People presuppose that air supports land. When in fact (at least until DEWS alter things) the opposite is the case. The landforces exist solely to bring the enemy to battle /during which time/ the airpower can devastate them. As was seen at Falaise, the Sinai and the Highway of Death among many, many others.

>>
To suggest a tank, which has been built from the ground up to operate in open areas against mobile enemy armor at long ranges will do excellently against infantry in urban areas is simply bashing the tank as not being able to meet the current need, even though the need was different only 5 years earlier...
>>

And it takes an idiot to buy a weapon which will be destroyed by _other means_ to fight a threat it will /never live to meet/. Warfare is not about two knights jousting. It is about assassination and murder by massed fires.

>>
Tanks will never become obsolete, simply because if both sides refuse themselves the weapon, due to the nature of it being useless for the task at hand, then one side wil simply reintroduce it and reap the benefits of armor support where its required, in open terrain, where infantry, either on foot, or in IFVs, would be slaughtered by modern armor.
>>

The problem with your theory is that I never stated armored gun platforms would utterly disappear, I simply made it obvious that, _once you pull the requirement for protection_ to keep a crew alive. A system lika a Wiesel or a Goliath is much, MUCH, more effectively. Because they are harder to hit, easier to hide, cheaper to build and own and ultimately, can be thrown away.

What you fail to realize is that not just the notion of armor but _MAN'S_ role upon the battlefield needs a serious rethink. If the enemy refuses to fight you as a mechanized force. And you refuse to engage in the kinds of 'pacification' techniques of a Caesar or an Attila or a Tammerlane to punish those who refuse to give up their rebels lest they be butchered by -both- sides. Then you are setting up the baseline for assymetric warfare by which the threat attacks knowing you will never go all out in countering him.

As long as there is a man vs. man scenario involved, man will seek to draw enemy blood by putting his own at risk. As soon as it becomes purely man vs. machine, you are looking at a no-win scenario because it takes but a few months to make or a few weeks to repair a new machine and no amount of terror in the way it is destroyed will ever 'impress' the local cheerleaders. Nor intimidate the occupation force.

i.e. When we saw the Iraqi's largely fade, we should have known that they were playing rabbit-in-briar-patch games. And should have therefore expected that they would do exactly as they have, rendering war into an act of disputable 'civil disobedience'. Rather than open decision by conflictive resolution.

In such a mode, tanks are both highly useful and ultimately vulnerable such that you /cannot/ afford to optimize them for the open battlefield because they will be lost at 4 times the rate.

Furthermore If you think that this is only a 'small matter' in the overall scope of history, you are terribly unaware of exactly how many brushfire conflicts there are, ongoing, everyday, for DECADES between the periods of 'true warfare'. In this, the common wisdom never changes and the elite warrior never learns.

That his place is not on that 'battlefield'. That policing actions must supercede military responses in generating zero casualty 'flail about like children, you just look foolish' scenarios that refuse to let the enemy become a major dogmatic/propoganda force simply be BEING on the battlefield with you.

Because you are not that stupid.

>>
The need exists, and it has always been there, as cavalry, or as tanks, and it is not about to dissapear ever. Everything has weaknesses, you could argue aircraft carriers are pointless because a diesel sub only 1/100 of the cost could sink it, but does that mean we should abandon our carrier groups?
>>

Sigh. With an F/A-18E/F, I can never be more than 390nm from the target with about 20-40 minutes over the target area.

With a UCAV I can extend that to _1,100nm_ and /2 hours/. Which means I can put the carrier another 600nm further out from the coast. Now add to this the ability of imaging satellites and blue light laser radar to image ocean basins almost like they were glass, and the threat from SSKs _in transit_ goes almost to nothing.

Similar upgrades and standoff measures are available for armor. But the acknowledgement must be made that automation and numbered coverage (if not attrition) in the battlespace has finally exceeded the value of individual protection/mobility/firepower features of conventional armor.

Partly because the threat is all round and armor needs to be modular (at least) to defeat the close in LAW as well as ATGW threat as much as the main gun round.

Partly because the /class/ of targets has changed so that massive overpenetration is no longer needed as much as selective, point-precise (low caliber cannon) fires.

Partly because the combination of longrange indirect fires (whether ground or air launched) and massed forces allows the microthreat (robotic Wiesels armed with Javeline ATGW and 25mm cannons firing DU mini-sabot penetrators) to take on the max-threat class MBT. Simply be swarming them at close-LOS distances so that they too can take shots from the siides and rear until ERA, APS and Dazzlers are overwhelmed or out ballisticated.

_It does not matter_ if you lose ten or a hundred robots in a battle with 30 T-80Us. So long as the force they are covering is able to pull back out of the way so that they are not forced into close combat until the 'heavy threat' is decisively engaged and destroyed.

>>
The tasks at hand will always be there, cavalry replaced by tanks,
>>

Cavalry was originally an interdiction asset designed to harass heavy infantry on the march and to isolate _urban centers_ from resupply so that they would cave from starvation. In this cavalry's principle advantage was not simply range-at-speed. But _forage_ at range. So that they were a lot easier to support.

>>
battleships replaced by carriers, but the roles in which they replaces still exist.
>>

Actually, the Battleships mission has been replaced by longbarrel weapons firing GPS guided rounds like the Excaliber. It was never intended for open ocean interdiction/scout roles (the cavalry of the sea) as the Carrier was. The battlewagon's sole vulnerability to the latters massively extended over-horizon attack was it's demise as a function of _counterforce_ missioning.

Indeed, if you want to save yourself the money spent on a carrier, mines and torpedos from a much larger, more remote-fire safe and more ocean-expanse covered airpower (land) and submarines remains a better (cheaper) solution.

Ironically, with EML or liquid propellant light gas techniques, the battleship COULD make a comeback. But only as a direct _interdiction_ competitor with the long cycle primitive carrier. Again, assuming it became few-thousand-per-round cheap enough to lob shipping crate sized shells 500-1,000nm off a VLCC sized platform or smaller.

>>
Military doctrine must always have the equipment cater to the "worst case scenario" becuse that would be the time in which these ships and tanks would have to perform in the role they were designed for, thus they remain ineffecient in some roles, but excel in others.
>>

Worst case scenarios are typically nuclear. If a terrorist threat popped sunshine over Manhatten, WDC, DFW, Denver and LA, what would a tank do in the 30-90 days later period required to get it to whatever 'next Taliban' threat we designated as deserving of our vengeance?

Even if you assume that the scenario is entirely mil-vs.-mil in nature, 'highest threat' opfors typically imply technical, numeric and strategic disadvantagement (surprise or logistical) such that _high attrition_ is the standard of the day and a limited maneuver force may well find itself fighting the enemy in-garrison as much as on the field of battle.

In these conditions, you cannot tell me that the advantages which:

1. Low TOE numbered force (few men to kill)
2. High rate production replacement (quick to build)
3. Low Ton:Mile transportation weight (Can go, in useful numbers, by plane rather than ship)
4. Survivability by Standoff (Lethality over the horizon rather than within it)
5. Ability to perform mass sacrifice gambiting (the art of war as a function of 'here we will fight to a loss that /over there/ we may mass to a victory)

Are not highly desireable factors to have on the battlefield.

Because I simply won't believe you.

>>
BTW, you folks give infantry ATGWs a bit too much credit in my opinion. These weapons are only effective against rear and side arcs of the tank armor, and also require the soldier to expose himself, which is dangerous in open terrain.
>>

Again, WHY? If tanks are not 'best employed' in close quarter battle as infantry support weapons, then the shared LOS targeting principle is gone.
While the infantry themselves are still just as vulnerable to explosive-lobbed fires which the tank cannot _directly_ shield them from (nor they it) anyway.

If I put a robot minitank on a street corner and /dare/ someone to shoot at it, when they do, it will live or it will die but the point of attack will highlight itself to multiple sources (acoustic/Q pulse, static-RF, IR muzzle flash and round travel). OTOH, if I put it there and they DON'T attack, then, when my infantry moves into the houses that face that street one block up, anybody trying to flush out in fluid retreat is going to eat that tanks direct fires. Even if they are 'lowly MG bullets' (which is all you really need).

You _cannot do this_ with an M1 or an M2. Because if the vehicle is lost, so is the crew and so the -sum value- of the combat unit is too high to employ it for risky missions.

The same applies to an offensive sweep by enemy tanks against you. You cannot fight a threat for which Line Of Sight (less than 400m) engagement means that 'even Russian Sabot' is coming through the _front_ armor of your precious Abrahms.

Not least because if there are 20 of them and 4 of you, you may well find them behind you much as Panthers often found Shermans.

OTOH, if you are putting out a Wiesel type screen then, through a combination of whitesmoke (IR defeating), smaller profiles (drive into the house and not have it collapse on you) and better ability to shoot and scoot /into their/ rear quarters.

You can take even a sacrificial fight past their 'maneuver optimized' frontal armor and shoot them up to the extent that time and surprise allow you to stop them while REAL fires-not-forces mass or evacuate.

Again, there is no excuse for not using armor aggressively. But there is also no /opportunity/ to do so, if it operates on the same metric you 'historically' (in error) apply to it as a function of own and other-systems assumed 'missions and abilities'.

Missions change. Abilites often then become too heavy or expensive for what they do in the new operational paradigm.

Does this mean tanks are obsolescent? Yes. At least as heavy maneuver units that fail to provide adequate direct support and under-armor protection to occupational infantry.

It _does not mean_ that an AGS/FCS type followon platform (30-50mm caliber with OTH smartround engagement of big threats, and direct fire support against smaller ones) might not be.

But it will have few if any of the common metrics of value that we associate with armor today.


KPl.



posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 09:05 AM
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Speaking of which, how fighting have changed.

In future, will we see Bigger tanks with thicker amour to counter anti amour weapons?

Or A mixture of amour vehicals, each having a role to cover, kinda like a squad.

Or small single driver like tanks, small enough to manovuer through streets have have enough amour.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 12:24 AM
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Ch, from reading your somewhat long post which was simply invalidating my former post, you never clearly stated your position, and only from re-reading your lengthy post did I gather the conclusion from you simply arguing against my opinion on warfare.

Robotic warfare is superior, and the least human casualties the better.

You will eat this post alive, simply because I cannot possibly hope to summerize what you said, however, I still say that tanks, as they are now, are designed to fill an existing roll on the battlefield against other modern armies, and anyone who simply dismisses them or develops an anti tank system to counter it and thus invalidating it fail to see the impact of armor on a real war, and although smaller wars and local conflicts may be present, the real duty of the military is to be ready to fight against any enemy, not just one who lacks any modern weapons, and not one who will simply begin a nuke war.

In a modern war against a modern army, undoubtably armor would play the biggest role on the battlefield, regardless of the situation, simply due to its combination of characteristics, armor being not only MBTs to defeat enemy armor, but also multirole IFV's and logistics vehicles too.

Denying yourself a useful weapon simply due to its seemingly obsolete nature at the moment overshadows the real implications of armor on the battlefield. The fact remains it is effective against enemy armor and enemy infantry and removing it or removing a piece of it, like the MBT piece, leaves gaps that the enemies own MBTs can exploit, even if you think your lighter vehicles are able to kill enemy armor.

IFV's cannot directly duel effectively against MBTs. They are not designed to, and lack the armor and dedicated weapons to do so. You claim that light vehicles can make heavy, gun equiped tanks history, but they cannot.
Refering to the role of tanks during WWII, the most successful employment of armor was done with the Germans and Russians, both who used tanks, and the majority of their armor, as breakthrough and exploit weapons. Some countries decided to directly attach tanks to the infantry, only to find their usefulness was wasted. Tanks since have thus not been a close support weapon, but land based power projection. Even the Americans learned this.

As for WWI, tanks were thought up to be used in the breakthrough role only, not as direct infantry support, infantry would in fact support the tanks as they smashed through enemy lines. This evolved into the mechanized support for the main armor that was seen in the blitzkrieg.

I know your going to rip this apart, but state your arguement afterwards.

Super heavy tanks are not practical. Just adding armor will not solve the basic problems and make tanks untouchable. The weight and speed and overall effectiveness does not make it worthwhile. A super heavy tank will be so slow, consume so much fuel, cost so much, and profile such a huge target, its better to balance the armor with speed and cost. Some balance it more for cost and speed, like some FSU tanks, where as the new western tanks provide more armor and superior firepower, but they dont stray far from the basic, balanced designed that was perfected during WWII.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 12:35 AM
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one big nuke that should do it



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 04:08 PM
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The FSU had upwards of 20,000 tanks, are you gonig to nuke every single one?
Or even groups... nukes arent really effective unless you are striking a base or something of considerable value. Tanks are also mobile and can evade most missiles.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 12:02 PM
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Why is everyone so worried about penetrating the armour of a tank? Just take out the drive wheels and keep it too hot outside for the crew to affect repairs. A mission kill works just fine, the crew will surrender when they get hungry. I read somewhere that an Army pilot in World War II was qouted as saying "If you can't blast the tank off of the hill, blast the hill out from under the tank."



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 12:03 PM
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Why is everyone so worried about penetrating the armour of a tank? Just take out the drive wheels and keep it too hot outside for the crew to affect repairs. A mission kill works just fine, the crew will surrender when they get hungry. I read somewhere that an Army pilot in World War II was qouted as saying "If you can't blast the tank off of the hill, blast the hill out from under the tank."



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 12:53 PM
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Humster,

>>
In future, will we see Bigger tanks with thicker armour to counter anti armour weapons?
>>

Only in theaters like Europe or Asia where you have roads built to handle weights in the 100 ton area. I'm frankly not even sure an oversize freight car can take the kinds of loads (and vehicle widths) we would be talking about to keep that kind of mass on a low enough ground pressure to be useful.

Certainly anything which had to MPPE or RORO into a theater would be worthless because we _literally_ are entering the early twilight of the American Empire and fighting 100 billion dollar wars so that we can a fight 300 billion dollar 'peace' makes ZERO sense if we can instead either deescalate the fight before it becomes a major deal. Or use local levied cannonfodder forces to bring the enemy to battle (giving away as much as fixing his position) so that 'high tech' can blast them from afar.

Here too, I doubt if you're going to see a _Hammer's Slammers_ style of response (200 ton fusion core hovertank) to confrontation as the threat levels are just too small and the likely user and opfor units too primitive to be worth the effort.

>>
Or a mixture of armour vehicles, each having a role to cover, kinda like a squad?
>>

Three ways to look at this:

1. Netcentricity vs. Infowarfare.
I _can_ secure, almost absolutely, an airborne platforms datalink. Just by employing airframe masking and polarized antennas which look for MW or better apertures using highly sophisticated encrypts, a minum XX thousand (70-100K) feet above the nearest horizon line. Being highly directional, and time domain sensitive it is unlikely that 'guerilla' elements could even pick them up, let alone align a jammer able to compete.

Bandwidth is similarly of little problem since we are moving from C up into X and Ku which support upwards of 240mpbs.

Now factor in the sheer /cost/ of these platforms, overall, and their relative paucity in the theater (can't afford to lose one, to either direct or electronic attack) and going 'the last 10%' of performance-at-cost is nothing.

But you take these datalinks down to ground level where everybody and their mother can sample the music. And further make them cheap enough and open-architecture adaptive enough to outfit a division sized unit with networking capabilities.

And we have a big problem. Because you will likely be using UHF or C-band (cellphones) to keep the power up in a highly cluttered LOS environment. And the likelihood that the enemy will be able to overpower them locally is very high (no turbine with an accessory drive generator putting out low tens of kilovolt amps).

For whether they choose to spoof or deny unit contact or to attack directly and overwrite command protocols may very well depend on -them- being able to disable and tech-sample the comms/CPU linkage hardware/firmware directly.

All of which is simple when you have no need to put an explosive or EMP type device on a missile to get it into contact.

2. Logistics and Unit Tables.
Obviously, if you have 40-60mph M-1 Abrahms, you need to have a 30-40mph (minimum) M2 to keep up with it in delivering mech infantry (if that is your mission). But MORE than this and things get complicated. Be it an Avenger AD system to back up any Linebacker Stinger boxes. An RSTV/FCS to do masted sensoring. Or some kind of Stryker or similar to perform 'utility' missions ranging from C2 to FIST, mortar carrier and armored ambulance. None of which are being invested in tracks any more because the 'medium brigade' has (foolishly or otherwise) gone wheeled.

You just cannot afford to take these kinds of multi-vehicle trains into maneuver combat because the tails for all of them and the training required to keep them active will be debilitating. Even if the relative combat performance is not affected so-is-worst-as-does-all.

3. Maneuver and Combat Missioning.
While this is obviously, going to include large elements of logistics, there is simply no way you can put a unit in the field which is burning through 20 tons of fuel per day in diesel for the treadheads and 100 tires per day for the truckers. Nor can you maintain effective combat options if your heavy fires based units are only capable of a sustained 20-30mph march. And your 'response' units (cavalry missions) are all able to do secondary missions and then overtake at 50-60mph. _But only on roads_. And only in the face of the lightest opposition which would otherwise fade from the advance-by-fire of a good solid tank crew.

The vulnerabilities of this cannot be denied as TWICE on the road to Baghdad, armored cavalry units had to wheel back and 'resecure' insurgent/feyadin infested areas just south of Baghdad. And it was only the thickness of the armored vehicles hides that let them punch on thru the defenses at top speed and then make up time regaining the line of march to resume their tripwire mission against principle enemy armor (in this, the sandstorm was actually of great benefit).

There are also going to be mission specific force actions which almost dictate what mix of vehicles you have. A Gator and a SWORDS work well together in supporting light infantry and SOF troopies because you can throw the latter in the back of the former, along with all the 'camping gear' and double your rate of march trying to run down an enemy who has cache`d all his own stuff and is running with maybe one bandoleer of ammo and a bag of trailmix.

OTOH, if you take that same unit into a city where the obstacles and terrain features dictate a popup threat in a 50m radius and 'getting away with' an RPG and LMG attack is about as hard as running two blocks to the nearest car, and things get a lot harder.

First because the Gator cannot support the kinds of armor you need to face a high-defilading threat (tops of roofs) and indeed, there may not be /time/ to setup an planned support response to a popup threat that WILL target the vehicle based weapons first.

It may even be that you are looking at -really narrow- streets where you cannot maneuver your 'aggressive golf cart'.

In these conditions, about the best you can hope for is a presence effect that keeps the enemy from preparing an attack right out in the open. Thus, when you walk into something (and you _WILL_ walk into it, especially with cell phones added to the difficulties of 'their turf' gangfighting) about the best you can hope for is to pop smoke, minimize losses and back away under suppressing fire while calling on air to look-down isolate any runners that you cut off with light vehicles.

In these conditions a SWORDS or even small walker, again cheap enough to be _too numerous_ to engage as a principle threat, is probably your best bet. Because they can be equipped with IR to see through visual obscurrants and can plow down a fence or pop a door to go 'upstairs' if need be.

Infantry in any kind of a 'Real War' (pne where the opfor are deadly serious about killing you and unwilling to be fixed and annihilated in the process) only serves ONE purpose. That being to stick a leg into the weeds and dare somebody to bite down, hard.

Where this is an accepted condition of their existence, ANYTHING which adds to their ability to snap-suppress or pre-contact discover threats is a good thing. You just have to keep in mind that, at 50m or less, death and destruction are both really cheap to be had. And so you can start to look at trades between a heavy vehicle to get your people to the fight, quickly. And a whole host of lighter ones to actually penetrate the threat line and force the enemy to engage the eyeballs lest they be rolled up without any contact at all.

The difference being that the big troop carrier (interior volumetrics for an 12 man squad almost dictates this) doesn't need heavy weapons so much as a 360` impervious hide and the sensors/comms to coordinate. While all the lighter 'all teeth' vehicles can be slung inside, and thus have no sense of 'maneuver' (sustained mph @ gpm) at all.

>>
Or small single driver like tanks, small enough to maneuver through streets and have have enough armour.
>>

If you remote the turret so that it _does not_ penetrate the vehicle in any major way (power and ammo onboard) there is a lot you can do to reduce the profile of the tank. Even as the option also remains to _elevate_ the weapons post so that driving through streets is less a function of keeping up with the friendlies than it is getting to a controlled friendly overwatch point (inside a hedgehog of other armor and hopefully away from IED type devices) where you can maintain a look-down LOS on whoever is attacking them.

Remember, a .50->25mm SPR (Barret etc.) can blow a man apart at well over 2,000m. Provided you are not yourself under fire and you have the sensors onboard to make each shot count, it actually _pays_ to take your time and get video recorded hits.

Not least because you should be able to see multiple muzzle signatures, record them as gunlays on an armature and then snap engage 10 in 10 seconds.

As compared with a ma deuce and spraying down the whole area (you miss junior 2 blocks away, you hit granny 7 blocs and two ricochets further down the road).

That said, if you want to 'prove a point' (here I am, you can either try to fight with me standing in your midst. Try to run away. Or try to attack me. Either way, I shall not be moved from this spot) like some Cheyenne Dog Soldier nailing his foot to the ground; you had bloody well better not have ANYBODY onboard that vehicle.

Because the funny thing about most militaries is that, even with all that gung-ho iguanna training, there is a marked reluctance to be, not just the first, but the ONLY man forward. Drawing enemy fire.

And again, the way you beat a primitive mind is to make it clear that, whether he kills the machine or the machine kills him, the MEN he wants are going to laugh wiping his guts off the chassis.

NEVER, EVER, EVER. Bleed for dirt. Bleed for time, bleed for lives, bleed for victory.

But if it's simply a matter of 'I came, I saw, nobody shot at me so I left', balls-in-a-wheelbarrow missioning, make sure your small tank uses a robotic navigator.

Again, not least because that small tank can do the same thing the Iraqis did with their pickups, dumptrucks and schoolbusses at 'Real Armor'. But because it is able to (switch between) a weapons station with a 7.62 or .50 on an elevateable mast. And a weapons station with a 20-25mm cannon. It can _defeat_ a full up mechanized thrust. Just by running in among the enemy and shooting up their tracks, sight blocks or engines.

Something lurching out of an IR netted slit trench that is only 4ftX4ft tall by wide and chugging along at 50-60mph gives you a lot of track-or-tires type (for weight and all terrain performance) choices in a platform that will likely be _devilishly_ hard to keep track of and engage before it gets under the main tube depression or traverse rates of conventional weapons.

Even as you can, most likely, afford to buy about 20 of them for every SINGLE M1 you replace. And still come out multiple ton:mile days ahead in terms of topoff points and fuelbladdering/tanker options.


CONCLUSION:
My choices would be something that went pure composite with layered addon armors (like the XM8 Buford) in a vehicle 'somewhere inbetween' a Wiesel and an RSTV and a Gator. As an escort and emergency (running boards mantransport system.

If I were airborne (which are currently THE MOST WORTHLESSS of sitzkrieg warriors) I would probably go with a simple commercial vehicle for field infantry transport under maneuver conditions (watching them pork a C-130 with the Stryker is an all-day joke and the Hummer has too small a cab for the amount of uparmor/weapons ring it brings to the battle.).

And a Gavin upgrade if I was purely landmobile. Again because the Gavin is smaller and lighter and more offroad capable than any LAV derivative and it's slightly slower roadspeeds can be moderated (for damage and track wear) with rubber pads. Without giving into the fallacy of 'slat armor' over the giant shot traps that are the wheel cutouts.

In either case, I would demand a VTOL endurance UAV (60mph for 2hrs) and a useful (gas or hybrid) small UGV for penetrating urban missions (if you can't go through a door, you should at least be able to carry the unit which does).

And even if I couldn't de-man immediately in the battle area itself (onboard AI or connectivity limits), I would want to have 'provisions' (low initial costs) for unmanned _navigation_ based on station keeping with surrounding vehicles in the team and probably hard laser or MMW command link to the weapons systems.

If you don't go unmanned at -some- level (driver or gunner if not both) there is too much inertia to do so later. But if you pull the man from the unit initially, then you can 'expand the robot' through other vehicle functions, in later blocks.


KPl.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 01:23 PM
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Raideur,

>>
Robotic warfare is superior, and the least human casualties the better.
>>

Robotic warfare is that which will dominate wars in the future because a surprisingly large amount of space is wasted on 'MANPRINT' ergonomics and the weight of armor in _square area_ needed to enclose this hollow form is a direct driver on logistics (how fast to the theater) and cost of the system.

Tactically, if you have 100 tanks that are 80% as effective as 20 M1s at 2,000m and 100% as effective as 50 M1s at 400m, guess who's gonna win the war? That's right, the force which can summon _300_ such tanks to the field and run through the M1 volley's like the veritable Light Brigade. Where this fight occurs in Pakistan, Korea or China itself and we refuse to take the initiative in developing such weapons, we will NEVER BE ABLE TO COMPETE.

Because we have to 'fight the war we brung son'. And ton:miles wise, that is impossible to do with a 50 ton MBT.

At another level, robotic warfare dominates the availability of an all volunteer force structure which cannot afford to sustain many casualties while fighting for 'new world order' contingency/terror threats.

And this is something which threatens to further violate your precious 'balanced approach' because, just as the Germans discovered trying to all-round armor their Mk.III vs. the Mk.II and later Mk.IV 'field tanks' (breakthrough/antiarmor specialists); the weight penalty for an urban fighting vehicle is so great that it _can't_ maneuver on a conventional battlefield. At least not unless you give up firepower.

Which is where it becomes necessary to acknowledge the fact that there is a video showing a LOSAT going through the front glacis of an Abrahms and out the back engine grille.

While any tank which is vulnerable to RPG in the top sector, is going to be meat on the table to Netfires or FOG-M derived (lofting-ballistic) missiles.

Such that, if you can control exports of APS systems like Arena and Trophy and Drozhd, as well as whatever jammers/expendables may be applicable; it is _vastly_ wiser to reserve if not outright reconfigure your 'heavy armor' vehicle designs for intraurban warfare. And leave field fighting to systems which can through a missile 60km down range and hit an enemy MBT as it sits in the laager or next to a bowser or or or.

Largely because such a systematic approach to _Contempt Of Engagement_ does indeed allow an IFV (chassis with a vertical launch missile farm) to beat an MBT. Not on-LOS but from so far beyond it that it would take /hours/ to get there. During which time the 'underarmored' vehicle might fire hundreds of missile volleys.

Not all of which even the most lavishly equipped (6-10 million dollar) MBT is going to be able to defeat, mechanically, by evasion or by seduction/jamming.

'Just adding armor' is indeed a viable solution, provided you realize that the threats which can see you are those which can kill you and /those threats/ are all going to be hunkered down in a city where you are likely prevented from using mile per second tank ammo to begin with.

These threats include infantry armed with new generation (Javelin is not alone) ATGW and 'old-fashioned' LAW and mines. Threats which are so ubiquitous amongst collaterals that airborne spyeyes cannot sort the goats from the sheep. But which are _immediately_ able to spot YOU and (thanks to your desire to huddle in a group 'under armor') have quite an incentive to KILL YOU. In numbers and from ranges (



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 11:14 PM
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Missiles, ATGWs and all other guided, rocket based systems had one serious weakness, naming, they can be jammed, spoofed, or "killed" during their flight.

The one weapon that remains virtually impossible to intercept before it hit your 20 ton IFV is a 125mm HEAT round, that will turn even light tanks into a blazing fire. The good old tank shell, just a giant bullet, remains incredibly lethal on the battlefield.

Robotics like autoloaders have not yet reached human effeciency, but even if they do, a robot, or a person controlling a robotic tank will not have the situational awareness and overall effectiveness of a live crew.



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