Ch1466, your concept for a smaller, faster, smarter tank is basically asking the army to give up heavy armor and completely adopt IFVs and APCs, or
just robotic versions to do everything a tank can do. Question is, can it effectively kill enemy MBT's, survive enemy MBT fire (good luck with a
small IFV surviving KE rounds), as well as speed, computer systems etc.
CKEM is a mile-per-second, just like LOSAT and HVM before it. Just like the MBT main tube. Except an APFSDS is down to less than half it's muzzle
velocity by the time it hits a thousand meters. A rocket-all-the-way weapon is still moving at top speed.
Though you note the two biggest problems with armored units, namely their logistic tail, which is the Achilles heel of tanks since WWI, and also their
seemly high cost, you should also note their effectiveness against enemy armor, especially lighty armored IFVs.
A Bradley can kill a BMP or vice versa and both weigh in the range 25-30 tons. There is NO definitive data which says that tank-vs.-tank at the 50-70
ton level will not end up a similar (quick) 'draw' based solely on who sees who first. Because THAT is the definitive thing to note about 73
Easting and the Oil Field fighting.
Close range, limited visibility, your CS/CSS units up in the main train WITH YOU. Slowing everybody down and potentially creating a logistical
In which it all comes down to who sees who first.
Gets that shock-of-contact 'plus' on morale and training. And turns the fight while the rest of the platoon comes online.
Pull that kind of crap on a German Leo or Brit C2 team with more adequate OP early warning and disciplined counterfire and they will turn around and
say "Hell no you don't!" as they fight back. And things descend into a chaotic struggle of human randomization effects and pure numbers.
Available to lose.
'The Problem' then being that we have whored to the world the basics of Abrams doctrine-as-engineering technology base and what we haven't sold on,
the Germans or Brits (or Israelis) have.
Which means we are no longer facing 4,000 enemy vehicles of 1970's Russian dateline. But 750 _modern_ MBT. And we can't even get 'wherever there
is' to fight them at equal or numerically inferior (Tsushima on land) odds in less than six months. Which means they also get the advantage of
prepped fighting positions.
All the weapons you describe as "tank killers" virtually all guided missiles are subject to jamming, high cost, slow reload speed, and few rounds
can be stored.
If ten Eagle Troop M1s can blow apart 8+25 odd T-55/72 in the 2nd Iraqi Armored Brigades security screen and assembly area. And further, the period
from engagement decision to end phase cleanup is less than five minutes, _how many rounds_ do you expect the Abrams to have expended? They were
largely firing from the quick halt on targets under 1,000m and they were 'well trained' in their gunnery skills despite having virtually rolled atop
the enemy in a massive mistake of maneuver.
I would say less than 4 rounds per tank if you are averaging an 80% SSPH. Less than 6 if you are managing a 55% SSPK (which may be optimistic, just
on the notion that 'everybody wanted to git sum' overtargeting).
Look at this vehicle-
What do you see? I see four missile tubes. Each of which packs the fate of an MBT. ALL of which (under my system) would have NLOS 'arcing'
capability to destroy enemy vehicles. Using masted sights to look over terrain undulences and standoff drones to map the area with APY-8 'look at
the shiny metal mass!' type high-slant sensors.
The difference? I would /rather/ put my costs into the bullets than the rifle.
Because that bullet can kill enemy MBT at 6-8km, something no M1 (or other) gunner can now do. While the vehicle itself costs 1/4 that of the M1 and
so can be bought in like numbers (10 Abrams = 40 Mules 80 aimed fires per minute vs. 120 in less than ten seconds).
Now, again, going by the 'he who sees first' rule. WHO WINS? The robot which can salvo all its missiles in probably 10-15 seconds as it's
attached unit 'runs over' a previously unknown threat. Or the robot which, with the aid of netcentric fires, can see that threat before it crests
the last ridge and finds a prepared enemy, waiting for it with I2R/MMW smoke and smart cluster as well as direct fires?
Oh, /that's right/ the Robot wins BOTH times. If only because it is just a find-and-fix force which cues on followup fires from intermediate and
longrange lofted fires.
Also, though novel devices are being thought up to thwart HEAT rounds and relatively effective ERA exists for that purpose, KE weapons would remain
the long ranged scourge of such units. They are cheap to produce, are not subject to interception, are VERY effective against anything but heavy
composites, and are not possible to "jam" since even with all sensors dead, you can fire cannons with optical sights with good effectiveness.
Bahhhh. CKEM _is_ KE. Defeating top attack with SFF warheads means defeating 600-800mm of RHA overpen and that's not gonna happen in a 50 ton
vehicle class. Even with ERA (what, do you put it on the engine decks and the sights too? Modern SFW can pick and choose their aimpoints with
exactly that kind of finesse).
Can a milepersecond tube hit a building 10km away without smacking the two in front of it? Can it blow a forced-entry hole in a wall from under 500m
so that infantry don't /have to/ go through the front door? Can it carry 200 engagements worth of suppression fires?
What it can do is penetrate 3-4 more tract houses down the street, randomly slaughtering luckless family hiding behind their living room couch in
i.e. The Tank is as worthless in FIBUA as it is in open field conditions. Only it's armor is marginally valuable and that is conditional upon it
being better distributed.
The reality is that if you can see an AFV and get a geolocate (GPS coordinate slant), you can saturation defeat it's active protection systems, and
as soon as it chooses to move, it looses most of it's initial expendables/obscurrent/dazzler benefits anyway.
I will say this, ERA remains the way forward for most MOUT combat vehicles, even if it is only to reinforce the effectiveness of the base RHA. But
that is solely because you are fighting an enemy which doesn't have dominance of the sky with all the _platform intensive_ sensorization (CCM defeat
of CM) and long-loft munitions (3 SFW in an Excalibur round, can you pop all three with your APS? I doubt it) that a REAL warfighter can afford to
throw away in killing your armor.
Because he is not anachronistically trying to sustain his own.
You assume that an open field in the modern battlefield will spell doom to any vehicle, and only cheaper attrition units would be effective because
they will all be subject to "aircraft and guided artillery" Therefore, yes, it would be cheaper to use IFVs, until they ran into heavy armor that
survived the onslaught and engaged them at speed and were able to survive hits from IFV missiles, while destroying the low situational awareness
robotic IFVs with a single KE round from a comparable distance that the IFv missiles reach.
Why would I want to engage enemy MBT at LOS ranges? Why would I maneuver without a screening force of robotic minitanks out ahead? Why would I
maneuver without an overhead ERMP++ capability to provide global surround sound MTI tracks?
_I AM NOT THERE TO FIGHT HONORABLY_.
I am there to win. If that means assassinating them in garrison so be it. If that means letting them get strung out and butchered 'in the field'
then so be it. MY question is, how do they know I'm there?
Because I don't have to be atop a maneuver choke to deny it. Not with Netfires. Because my own scenario was worst-case based on an enemy rolling
atop an APOD more or less 'randomly'.
Infantry Fighting Vehicles would only be present in a fielded maneuver war because of the chassis mass needed to mount AMS (AMOS etc.) lofted rounds.
CKEM would _out range_ an MBT with equivalent SSPK. And if, as you suggest, 'it's a pyrhhic battlefield' now that everybody has copied the Abrams
motif, I'd damn well better be able to sustain attrition in my screen elements _until I can break contact_.
Which is relatively simple when the mini is moving at 60-70mph and the MBT is doing only 30. It's sole purpose in life being to fire up the enemy in
front until it has scored it's four rounds worth of attrition and 'hold right here' discourgagement.
If in fact heavy armor's rounds cannot reach out that far, they can simply use ATGW gun launched missiles and duel with the IFVs on fair ground,
except that the heavy armor stands an excellent chance of surviving a single frontal hit from a HEAT missile, wereas the IFV does not.
Why would I fight an MBT at LOS ranges? Why would it necessarily be 'easier' for an MBT to hit a 10ft long, 4ft tall, vehicle moving at 60mph
_because it's weapons have post launch correction_. Than for said vehicles mile-per-second rockets to hit a 26ft long, 10ft tall MBT (M1) that is
only moving at 30mph. If not in fact halted?
That is the principal vulnerability of the MBT at this time. It's sensorization, it's networking, it's crew vs. autoloader competencies in terms
of rate of fire vs. accurate servicing are ALL compromised by the nature of fighting at LOS ranges. And so it doesn't have the ability to sort and
track individual targets with the same deftness as say even an Arrowhead TADS, let alone Longbow MMR. Why should you when your gunner can't track
and engage any faster than your loader can ram rounds home?
Now. If you put a masted sensor on the MBT. If you completely redesign the CLGP to fire at mile per second rather than 900-1,100fps velocities as
with a mortar system. If you provide it, essentially, with all the capabilties of my 'IFV' combat vehicle, you will still be tooling around the
countryside at 40 not 70 mph. Still be burning gasoline on a 2hr (GT) or 6hr (Diesel) cycle. And the best you can hope for is to attack my _inner
ring_ of vehicles. After having transited a 60-80km PAM/LAM kill zone tryng to 'close the distance' with vehicles that have been killing you FOR
This is like asking for a Highland Charge over a Marathon length against Brown Bess which can kill you as abley at the first mile as the 26th.
If they both have advanced systems to defeat HEAT missiles, the tank closes to gun range and kills with a KE round.
HEAT can be defeated only if the warhead diameter:depth cone ratio remains small enough and contact is required. i.e. a Maverick with a 125lb warhead
will not be deterred by any ERA. And Maverick's body diameter is about 510mm. Which means two tandem charges on a 120mm mortar shell which cues
their activation 10m above target should do _just fine_.
Of course at this point, you are dealing with an SFF/EFP not 'HEAT' which the numerous losses in Iraq have proven even side armor cannot protect
against. You want a 200 ton MBT? Fine with me.
I disagree that heavy armor isn't worth its cost and logistical tail on the battlefield.
Your vision is that of fighting primitive fools sold junk by a second rate industrial power. Mine is of killing enemy equipped with Leo-2A6 and Type
96 and Leclerc and C2. Without ever coming withing LOS distances.
Provided you keep investing in the (cheaper overall, once they are base-stocked) _BULLETS_ over rifles, you can overwhelm any known defensive system
which depends on warhead/seeker defeat. Just as we do with AAM and AGM today. At which point, the 'next paradigm shift' will be hardkill on the
missile busses themselves with DEW weapons.
Even here, I would put robotic banzai over sit-there-and-take-it MBT. Because they can maneuver into flanks at twice the rate, under cover of the
same obscurrants. And Bushmaster upgrades will kill an MBT, under 500m, from the sides or rear. While DEWS themselves may have a hard time
destroying KE rounds that are pod-not-tube fired in 4 round 'burst' densities.
The day of the MBT is long over. We just enjoy continuing the pretense that man has a place on the modern battlefield riding a steel charger.
What a pathetic, pricey, fantasy.