posted on May, 13 2006 @ 06:23 PM
1. Never share the same horizon line with your opponent. Which means a mast, either telescopic, MAV or elevating. And IMO, _this_ (1-2ft wide
aperture) is where you need to concentrate your opti-LO. IMO, MMW and other-spectra (infrasound through the ground?) also need to be considered as
optics are going to be a highly sacrificial commodity to both photonic and HPM attack. IMO, this is such an important element of the vehicle (only
been trying to get it on a scout since /Bradley/ for pities sake...) that it as much as the main armament will set the size, caliber mount and manning
level of the turret, more than anything else.
2. Treads have a lot of advantages but the one thing that they cannot do is provide redundancy of drive so the best option may be to rethink the
bogey/road wheel format vs. drive sprocket and return tensioners. So that every wheel has a rim-motor in it and when you drop one out, you just jack
the tank with imbedded hydropneumatics on the OTHER drivers and pull and replace as a single torsion bar mount type replacement. This also gives you
a lot of options when it comes to rerigging a stripped track.
3. If I want to kill a tank, I'm not going to wait, even 1-2 seconds for the damn gun to solve for E&T while the autoloader picks a round and then
'1-2mps later' sends it down range. Because if the other guy has four tanks that's 8 seconds and /surely/ one of the baddies is going to squeeze
one off in that time. Nor can we ass-u-me that fire control technologies will remain uniquely Western advantaged so that that round won't hit. What
this means is that not only do you have to be able to network your team target sort via _fully automatic_ turret lay and target tracking. But to
maximize kills you had DAMN WELL better be able to hit INTRA target features. Namely the turreted optics with at least 100-150KW worth of laser
energy. No optics=no fire control in perhaps 1/2 second per engagement and the relatively small emplacement mass is such that it's a lot easier to
lay and stabilize very quickly. What's more, a good laser or HPM will fry inbound missiles and small UGV with equal ease.
4. I Don't like huge damn guns! If I can loft a /75mm/ round (no sabot) with TERM or STAFF equivalent technology, onto a target 6-8km downrange, _I
win_ because I only need to target hatches and optics or engine decks to make him a dead damn duck mobility or crew or FC kill and with networking or
MStorm I can certainly pop his top like a sodee pop with ten rounds to beat the APS/reactives. Big guns only work if the technology scaling is such
that you can't get the massive MJ acceleration on a KE round any other way. Myself, _if_ they can make MStorm reloadable from a breach format (5-6
rounds in the barrel, decent ballistics and low barrel wear) I would _vastly_ rather drop the ultra high muzzle energy requirement and just saturate
the sucker until he ain't got no mo expendables, actives or obscurants to save his hide. Recoil and round size eat the internal turret volumeization
and weight factors like you cannot believe.
5. For much the same reasons I think that AMS-as-stug are the way forward for infantry support. If I want to breach a wall, I don't need to do so
four houses down the block with an APFSDS, but I may well need a very thick hide to keep the creeps from a flanking shot. Again, how 'great' can an
MBT that kills routinely at 2-3km in fact BE, if it can be taken out by an APC with an AMOS type turret firing intelligent 120mm (_Low Pressure_) ATGW
from upwards of 8-10?
6. 30-50mm direct fire is more than sufficient for counter-IFV (which is what FCS is looking more and more like) and Insurgent type attacks and it
will even self-defend against pre 1980 MBT in a pinch. THE KEY is to keep the vehicle light and _small_ to allow for highly agile (70mph sustaineds)
cavalry systems that act as tripwire SCREENING forces for the others. And, IMO, they must be robotic. Because they will be used in a ways that
require them to be sacrificial fire-finders.
7. I'm against modular vehicles in general, because slap-on mods (cough Stryker) can often make a marginal yes into a really-don't-want-to for both
airlift and team mobility requirements. You just have to size the size of the fight to the size of the dog in it in ground systems, I would think
that AGS as LAV-105 taught us that damn much. That said, if you are going to volume bloat a 15-20 ton light tank spec with a manned/unmanned,
big-bore-small-bore-missileer-infantry etc. set of quantifiers, you had better go Merkava with the baby-onboard volume aft of the midpoint and as
much 'sacrificial' (powerpack, gas, double-voided ammo) ahead as possible. In some ways, this may be also be a good thing because it allows gun
vehicles (like a mortar system) to be rear-loaded ala SPH while maintaining mass distribution on even an unmanned turret installation and easy round
stack AWAY from the crew compartment.
Indeed, once we dump the freeloaders it may also provide 'modular mission volume' (as with LCS, a ship built around empty compartments) for really
useful things like UGV/MAV systems to be drive-in-out garages with as little intrusion as possible into an otherwise sealed vehicle.
7. Everything had bloody well better be designed to mount and/or erect with a minimum of BS. This means literal scrip ragtop convertible camo nets
and armor blocks or MCS like signature aids that DO NOT require the crew or robot to be fighting-position 'serviced' outside the vehicle itself.
8. Everything needs to be doubled for environmentals. That means half the powerpack BTUs as thermal and air suck (less weight to push about =
smaller engine). And twice the air conditioning and overpressure values. NBC could get _really_ serious here quick and we have /yet/ to design a
tank that is OTS able to deal with that. Other housekeeping elements shoudl be _halved_ by comparison. POL/weapons especially.