posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 12:08 AM
The side armour of the wiesel can be penetrated by 12.7mm ball, and there have been cases of 7.62AP punching a few holes in one. OK there wouldn't be
much power left in the round after this, but it would be a bit disconcerting for the occupants! Front armour is documented to stop up to 20mm cannon.
I'll believe it when I see it.
Take the man out. And the _weight_ of armor needed to enclose his volume-as-a-hollow goes down. So too can the effective _thickness_ of it increased
as a function of both slope and layering.
Multiply the number of units by 6 so that (6 Wiesel-likes vs. 1 M1A2) and start MOVING them at 60-70mph.
Now employ smart smoke and perhaps APS/ERA packages. For a vehicle that is still well under 10 tons, you have the capability to put your MANEUVER
forces out in totally unattached positions. Let the enemy flow into your positions. Let them /think/ they are advancing deep into and through the
cells of an ALB2000 defense.
And then BUTCHER THEM. With light cannons and HVM. Which will certainly kill a Wiesel-like. But will also annihilate an MBT threat.
Except. The MBT costs 3-6 times what the Wiesel-like does. And so, even if you score 2:1 LER there will still be more Wiesels standing at the end of
the fight than the beginning.
THAT is the definition of victory sir, where the bullets (fired) matter more than the rifle in terms of destructive lethality, you can only use
maneuver to hit where they don't expect you to (from behind, ensuring at least first-round impacts) and NUMBERS to ensure that you can afford to lose
more than they can.
Ch1466, probably the real reason we do not see vehicles like the ones you describe are probably because of teh technological hurtles that are in
place. The Russians are said to have difficultly automating a turret in a tank that has crew right there. Having troops command a robot tank (Becuase
if you even suggest AI, you've lost the battle) would be to open the playing field for massive communication disruption, rendering all units, not
just one, useless.
The Russians are trying to ram a 125mm round into a breach and tube that weighs more than you car does. Which is why, at least on the T-72 and
earlier, they have a slower cycle due to the need to put the gun in neutral battery to line everything up.
A Bradley (or a Weisel) with a LIGHT CANNON is no more apt to jam than handgun is and at least in the case of the Chain Gun is quite capable of
The only other concern is targeting/allocation of fires and /even if/ you have to have a manned sort function, there is NO reason why 1-3 Wiesels
couldn't be supporting the actual engagement with direct or masted sensor systems.
That only leaves the need for a variable centroid recognition system which says "Right there is where you need to track because X is a T-72 and that
is it's weak spot..." Again, we've had this capability inherent to ATC on LANTIRN and intra-target aimpoint selection on AGM-65F/G for 'awhile
If the targeting pod can recognize the shape of a vehicle from 10-12 miles out. And the missile can select and track an aimpoint within that shape
_on a throwaway basis_. Don't BS me about how a robot cannot manage the same endeavor.
I hate to use this fantasy example, but remember that droid army in Star Wars? Same concept, except jamming can be done locally.
Nonsense. The concept behind TPM was that signals from a remote tasking/BM agency, when lost, caused the entire robotic army to go into 'default
mode'. Which is fine and dandy when:
1. There are no standing mission orders in place.
Go to X, destroy all resistance enroute.
2. There is no 'active combat' condition.
If someone is shooting at you at the time you lose connectivity, shoot back until safe.
3. The 'Officer Class' doesn't have _local_ command authority inherent to the ability to act as a miniserver and node agent.
4. You realize that the droids in question should have _already_ been isolated from all outside contact by virtue of standing inside an energy dome
of sufficient, constant, density to refract light and deflect tank blasts.
All moronic baseline mistakes which no _professional_ army would make. And which indeed were shown to be such in AOTC when (in the deleted scenes) a
Jedi strike team breached the droid command carrier and shut down the combat network. Only to have the droids 'reactivate', based on simple if-then
Face it, we cannot get by without digital communications on today's battlefield to compensate for _human_ shortcomings. A droid tank, which does not
have said slow reaction times, limited numbers and mobility and poor air-mech /transportability/ (choose your battlefield, if need be, several times)
would not suffer as much as we would.
If your going for totally expendable, purely ATGW holders, why not simply use attack helicopters or UAVs?
Because I want to decrease the ruinous cost at low effective yield that our armed forces expend on warfighting capability without any of the rewards
of /ownership/ resulting from victory.
Because helicopters and UAVs not only cannot hold ground but may not be able to hold the sky once DEWS and Hunting (Turbo-SAM) weapons proliferate as
cheap alternatives to 'fighters'.
Because battles are won by the 10% killer elite who /enjoy/ their jobs and cajole through embarrassment, envy or contagious battle lust, their fellows
into combat. Man cannot do this on a battlefield dominated by high rate of fire and/or remote assassin weapons. Robots can. Because they are
fearless and replaceable.
Your robotic unit has no other use. It has no use against infantry, and to think of it, is terribly vulerable to even lighty armed infantry.
Nonsense. If it can kill a tank, it can kill any system of lesser capability than a tank. The LM CKEM link I included shows the ATGW mounted on a
'MULE' _in addition to_ a light caliber cannon. A cannon which is /vastly/ superior to main tube for killing personnel threats because not only is
the servicing rate, ammo capacity and stepped fragmentation overlap much more dense and controllable. But you are not loosing a weapon which goes
through three houses over half a mile downrange.
Why not fight the war from the air as we figured we could do back in the good old days of the Cold War. Smart bombs will be the end of the army
In 2015, the THEL will enter field trials. From that date forward, penetrating/overhead airpower will be living on borrowed time and a random toss of
the dice in terms of 'Do you run over a threat at /low/ altitude which can kill you. Or do you get thru to the target area?'
As such airpower, like ground power will be useful only to the extent that you can afford to lose them in droves.
And even though a UCAV is infinitely cheaper than a manned fighter with HUGE edges in LO and Endurance, you can buy upwards of four MBT for each
Lastly, mini-AFV which are /everywhere/ acting as an imbedded netcentric surveillance system with absolutely NO troops onboard to hostage. Can
intimidate a rebel-mindset on the basis of "Maybe I get it, maybe I don't but it was never alive to begin with, I have more to lose..." Something
which is critical when you are facing a fire-and-fade threat.
Missiles malfunction. Sensors get dazzled. Communications get cut.
Yet you don't seem to apply the same standard of 'woe is me I'm CM'd!' jaded cynicism to manned platforms, why is that?
Missiles malfunction. Ours less than ANYONE elses.
Sensors get dazzled. If a _properly designed_ CKEM were fielded. One which could do both NLOS and LOS fires, the ability of the missile to be
'dazzled' (which typically implies laser attack on an optical seeker or SACLOS channel) would be strictly dependent on how long the target knew it
was under attack. And whether said target was in fact being tracked by an EO post it could reach out and interfere with. If the sensor is a masted
MMW sensor in 'area surveillance' mode, and the CKEM uses a characterizing smart-fuze which operates for /milliseconds/ at the end of the flight
path, would you advise equipping all tanks with a jammer that made them both more pricey and subject to ARM attack? Remember, this is a missile which
is closing at almost 2km/sec. If you are static, you may not have time to hit the gas pedal and the round will hit on nothing more than inertial
memory. If you are moving your derriere is open to whatever moves in /after/ you have passed.
The fact of the matter is that you want to make 99.999% of our enemies as electronically sophisticated as we are yet _even if that were to become the
standard_ it only makes OUR platforms as vulnerable to precision fires as theirs already are. It being much more pragmatic to kill the shooter than
And so the question again devolves to: 'Can we afford to trade MBT evenly based on sheer combat dynamic encounter modes?' Or is it _time_ to look
at robots as the way to further 'densify' the match-this electronics sophistication of mini-BOLOs while at the same time REDUCING costs and
mulitiplying the amount of attrition we can suffer and still win. Based on the wealth and production lines to buy more than rinky-dink city state we
decide to roll over.
Surprises occur. To be honest, if I was combat effective, intelligent, reliable armor units, I want men in it. You might say its "honorable
stupidity" but crews are far more flexible and smarter than any droid...
Despite all the Hollyweird convolutions of logic we go through to make it seem otherwise, 'complex reasoning' rarely applies on the battlefield.
You point, you click. Because the human mind is too slow to do more and the human sensory system is restricted to what /machine apertures/ tell it is
Part of what makes Iraq so frustrating to most is the constant in-your-face
revisionment of a battlefield in which IED assassination wins and people are alive one second and dead the next. It takes away the 'Jedi Knight'
sense of humans having any real effect on the outcome of a fight.
Indeed, I would go so far as to say that 'smart' tacticians /need/ robots because:
1. They can be in more places, with less supporting fire/force protection enablement than man can. Providing more options to explore, shape and
exploit the battlefield than value-dense maneuver columns based around manned presence can achieve.
2. Their sacrificiality is an element of creating dynamic instability which a good 'in fighter' can esupport. Banzai charges /never/ worked.
Unless they were allowed to. Because men firing 1-2 rounds from a bolt action rifle while being led by officers with swords. They got a /little/
scarier when junior was carrying a satchel on his pack but not much, provided you chose your fields of fire with care to create a wide killing
OTOH, _every_ Wiesel-like can employ autofire with equal or greater accuracy than an MBT /on the move/. And, and unlike an infantryman, it can move
at rates of speed with reserve payload margin for _simple_ countermeasures (like smart smoke) which make conventional counter engagement (with LAW or
Mines) unlikely to score because of the very inadequacy of the biology aiming them.
If the Japanese had been using UGV in their banzai charges, even against sited heavy MG and RCL/Bazooka type defense, it would have been the _U.S._
lines which were shattered.
The sadness being that, because of the limits of biology on payload and rate of onset in assault, infantry combat has not really advanced much past
the days of WWII.
It is time we stopped pretending: _MAN HAS NO PLACE ON THE BATTLEFIELD_.
In a vehicle he merely compromises it's design. On his own, he stultifies the tactics of engagement to the point where more damage is done in
'reducing' a target than in overrunning it.