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Will Mechanical suits replace the tank?

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posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 02:02 PM
I'm a huge fan of the tank as a mobile weapon. My grandfather was a tanker in the battle of the bulge.

posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 02:49 PM
They wont replace tanks..
But they look cool and can shoot big bullets so the american millitary are probably designing one now!

posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 03:12 PM
i think the tanks days are numbered.
same reasons as the battleship being scrapped.weapons tech is improving much quicker than armor tech.

you could get a dozen exoskeleton troops for half the cost(just uneducated guesstimate)and the big tank is the first thing targeted in a battle.

best armor ever invented-don't get hit to begin with.

posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 03:16 PM
The Helicopter will and has already in some area's replaced the Tank.

Your next question should be what will replace the Helicopter ?

Take care.


[edit on 2-1-2010 by h3akalee]

posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 04:05 PM
The army has plan for future combat systems development illustrated in a briefing slide for powerpoint prsentations to explain the concept of progressive capability of platforms, such as Hummer, Abrams, Bradley, etc. These constitute Spinout 1. They have this stage almost through with testing. They had to halt Spinout 2, 3, 4 vehicle development because of cost of the wars. So they did well in meeting Spinout 1 goals, but the follow-up is non-existant vehicle- wise, just prelim designs gathering dust in army, boeing file cabinets.

posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 05:43 PM
Yeah, with all the anti-tank rockets and even hand grenades now, tanks are a thing of the past.

I think next will be helicopters that can strike from miles above, with the same precision they do now.

As long as we control the airspace, these will be untouchable.

Like our AC-130s are now.

God the AC-130 is MEAN!

posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 06:44 PM
There may well be a place for mechanical suits in tomorrow’s military, but I don’t think they can replace the big gun of a tank.

Tanks may become more robotic, like aerial drones, controlled remotely. They would be smaller, lighter, and faster. They could be linked to aerial drones or planes for targeting and such.

I do think a tank in some form will remain important for ground support, protecting convoys, and protecting bases. They can linger in place indefinitely, unlike air support.


posted on Jan, 3 2010 @ 07:39 AM
Tanks will like the above poster said,become unmanned.
As for the mech suit-that also will become unmanned.People are working towards such an eventuality-look at the boston dynamics "big dog,or its bipedal companion:

Also the Israelis are working on a kind of military "avatar" robot:

Israel's military avatar: Robots on the battlefield By Ora Coren With self-detonating grenades, thinking bullets and robot warriors, humans on the frontline could soon be a thing of the past.

Sigh,hasn't anyone taken any notice of the "terminator" movies...

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 03:52 AM
As we see the progressive economic bubbles continue to pop helicopters will quickly be realized to NOT be a replacement for anything...

Between that and anti air tech... yeah I wouldn't want to be in one.

Tanks will always be around in some form or another, But mechanical suits will emerge as complementary units in the near future (especially if people really look at what's already available off the shelf and make leaps from there.

We could crash develop 2 to 3 meter tall single man bipedal battlesuits armed with a multishot recoilless rifle and a host of other weapons by the end of june if people stopped being ridiculous and the bloatware defense contractors and procurement mafia was purged.

The western Militaries especially the american military is in danger of complicating itself out of the game. We could change this but like the rest of the system we have to clear the dead wood first.

But HELICOPTERS ARE NOT THE ANSWER... *shakes head* you'd think people understood that you have to be able to afford enough of something to deploy in sufficient numbers to not be drug down by sheer numerical superiority.

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 09:27 AM

Originally posted by cimmerius
Tanks may become more robotic, like aerial drones, controlled remotely. They would be smaller, lighter, and faster. They could be linked to aerial drones or planes for targeting and such.


welcome to the future

Howe & Howe: the developers of Ripsaw

just add guns and redundant/multiple tracks and you have yourself a Bolo.

In a series of stories that started with the 1976 collection Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade, Keith Laumer refers to autonomous tanks of remarkable size and agility. Note that these tanks can also be controlled from within a special battlecenter.

"Bolos had been fully autonomous, not requiring a human commander on board, since the Mark XV... and those dated back as far as the late 24th century, at least. Still, shere conservatism, and the centuries-old fear that Bolos might start thinking for themselves and slip out from under the figurative thumbs of their human builders and masters, had kept this tiny compartment with its battle command center, reclining seat, and holoscreen... "


posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 05:31 PM
Ah yes the Ripsaw... their suspension and track design totally give the armour world a huge boost.

Light and Medium tracked vehicles will not cease being important on the battlefield and in logistics in any of our lifetimes. Especially with the patents the RIpsaw boys have came up with.

If anything with the threat of EFP's and etc becoming more and more prevalant I can see them replacing trucks again in the forward logistics area too.

Now onto battlesuits...

I personally see a few classes of them that could be extraordinarilly useful and could be built very soon.

1. future heavy infantry: This is your basic exoskeleton I'll outline component by component what I'd do.
A: MIT lower body exo: this with a very low power demand allows soldiers to carry a weight but only feel 20% of it reducing fatigue
B: now you add in the seven league boots a russian military inventor made in the 80's... with some r and d and by mating them to the exo skeleton frame you now have a soldier that can move 20 or 30 mph through broken terrain while carrying a 40 or 50 pound weapon and 100 pounds of ammo all while feeling like he's carrying less than the weight of an interceptor rifle and modern basic ammo load.
C: Mixed hard and soft body armor: Think modern day material version of roman legionarre armor with greaves and etc.
D" Upper body enhancements worked into the armor (this requires a pseudo muscle type structure that you could control by putting cuffs that sense muscle movements over key points in the body and then the outer structure amplifies the strength of the motion the body is already making)
E: Balance tail: Not sure how you'd do this but by 3rd or 4th generation of the seven league boots you'd probably be flying pretty far and moving pretty fast and would need more stability a tail would also be good because these guys would prolly carry very heavy weapons and this way you could tie the weapons into the exoskeleton super structure and slap the tail down locking the lower body assembly creating a "mobile tripod"

tensegretically construct all of this and don't let the big defense contractors at it and chances are you could have this setup for under the cost of a new car each... (ps guys if you do it right you wouldn't need a bunch of computers either)

2. Battle walkers: These are not the robotech 10 meter tall mecha alot of people seem to think of but rather a 2 to 3 meter tall highly mobile weapons platform.
A: start with the springwalker... this gives you a good lower body base to work from and on something like this the reverse articulated legs give you a more squat and stable structure to work with.
B: No idea how you do "arms" for one of these but just as above it would be pilot body position etc that controlled the machine not sophisticated computer architecture if you built it right
C: now you put together a magazine fed recoilless rifle with davis countershot backblast mitigation (1950's tech across the board) this probably 80 to 106 mm recoilless then gets a variety of shells made for it and even an atgw round) this goes on one "shoulder"
D: on the other shoulder you mount a universal rocket/missile bracket that you can put various pods on... (starstreak AA missiles included)
E: as for other weapons you could do all sorts of stuff ... probably an MG and a auto grenade launcher bare minimum plus some smoke and AP grenade launch tubes at some point on the torso
F: you don't armor this thing extensively the pilot compartment should stop HMG rounds but that's it . If you shape the pieces right though it should be able to withstand alot of punishment from mines etc by blast channeling.
G: You build lots of them and you resist the urge to give them every toy in the book.

The tactical niche these 2 to 3 meter tall battle walkers fill is a squad support weapon in rough or tight terrain. They aren't super fast but they're really designed to acfcompany dismounted infantry. the important thing is to keep them cheap enough to build tons of them and make them air droppable.

Feel free to write in thread or pm if you have questions ... I have this much more fleshed out in personal files but I just put a quick and badly organized overview here

posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 10:06 PM
A "battle suit" would be entirely too logistically complicated to field at this time.

Even a man sized exoskeleton type machine would require too much maintenence to be viable. The level of articulation necessary to make it a capable weapon would require innumerable moving pieces. Put all these hydrolics, actuators, and interface systems in an environment of mud, blood, and supersonic metal and I'm afraid you're going to get too many mechanical failures to make it logical.

My opinion is that tanks will be around for a while. Having been a tanker for 7 years my opinion may be a little bias.... But tanks will surely outlast the tanker. They still work beautifully (as long as you're under friendly airspace).

Besides, once the "walker" shows up on your local battlefield, I'm sure the easiest and most widely available means of dispatching it will be your common everyday tank.

I am absolutely sure we will see the military application of mechanical augmentation of the human body within our lifetimes. I just believe that these systems will be used in "controlled environments." They'll be used to load ordanance onto aircraft and move supplies around LSAs. If the battle suit shows up, it will probably arise out of the creative modification of these platforms by bored soldiers.

roguetechie- I dig your analysis on suit types. The tail is genius. Too bad developers will never think about it just because people don't have tails. But maybe you should patent it anyway.

posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 12:03 AM
well the way I envision it the tail will prove to be a serious mobility enhancement and also good for aimed fire.

As far as a battlesuit being logistically unsupportable ... yes if they do it the way they're doing it now I agree. But working off of the ideas I've seen which are lighter and more efficient by far they are not far fetched in the slightest. there's mitigating factors and also if we were to get rid of some of the platform centric budget sucks in favor of systems designed to integrate and create a force that works together instead of as gee whiz platforms and supporting elements there whould be plenty of money etc.

posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 12:14 AM
reply to post by Jordan River

probably something we already see in action in our several wars, i.e. UAVs

posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 12:33 AM
reply to post by roguetechie

I definately see the benefits of a tail in supporting direct fire. An instant tripod in the standing firing position? Major plus. The more I think about it the more I wish I had one. Standing and stress shooting isn't exactly easy with anything over 5.56.

And I agree that the system will have to be modular rather than platform centric. Thankfully the Army is starting to see things this way. FCS is all about modularity, whether or not it will ever see the light of day.

I could definately be wrong about sustainability. I'm not a robotics expert, I'm not even a mechanic. All I know is that the more moving pieces something has, the more maintenence it requires.

We just need a couple generations of smart people to make it a reality.

It might just be worth the PITA maintenence-wise for the psychological effect of showing up with an army of robot guys.

posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 04:23 AM
reply to post by Jordan River


posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 04:46 PM
Eh no need for a couple generations of smart people... I hope to have working rudimentary prototypes in the next 5 years even working on my own. The whole thing is you could replace alot of other equipment which would mitigate the increased maintenance needs of each troopie. Plus with advanced construction techniques and materials science in it's current state, you'd be surprised how trouble free this whole thing would be. Also I'm working to make totally modular systems and frameworks so field repair and replacement would be a matter of pulling out broken parts and slapping in a new one then reattaching subsystem into the tensegretic linkages. very very quick and easy maintenance... a stack of modular posts beams cables and polygon shaped panels is all you'd need plus your electronics assemblies.

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 05:41 PM
I think too many people have been watching Avatar on this thread. The use of the tank on the battlefield is something which will be here to stay for a long, long time. This is due to the fact the tank, as a weapon platform, is unsurpassed by any other technologies at present.

Talk of exo-skeletons is something that is being developed as a concept and until technology catches up with the will, then it will remain an idea. It must be remembered that it is only relatively recently that troops were equiped with NVGs and look at how many deficiencies there have been for the troops in the most basic of equipment ie body armour, up-armoured vehicles, personal weapons, etc

Attack helicopters are NOT a replacement for tanks, they can be used to compliment each other in an attack role or used to attack enemy armour but they are two seperate platforms.

Helicopters are a short endurance attack weapon, tanks are long duration, multi-mission vehicles.

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 06:11 PM
Agreed completelly on the helicopters not replacing tanks part Archangel...

Tanks will be around for a LONG LONG time, however why do you think battlesuits and exoskeletons are that far off / far fetched?

If some group with the resources to build one really took a smart approach and worked with off the shelf resources and proven systems you could have them 6 months from now.

The problem is the Military Industrial Complex and it's use of Gee whiz from the ground up purpose built and overly complicated systems to justify MASSIVE expenditures that makes them unaffordable and or infeasible.

The technology is here, what we lack is the will to take our procurement system back from the defense mafia that is sucking the treasury dry selling us inferior and over complicated hardware at exorbitant rates....

I mean has anyone ever asked why an s-300 costs so much less than a patriot missile? do you really think the patriot is better? specs wise the s 300 has better range etc and is WAY cheaper... does steel and silicon cost that much less in Russia?

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 06:19 PM
I'm more of a mechwarrior fan than anything else. I use to play the games in the mid 90s. anywho.

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