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End of the Tank Age?

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posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 11:45 PM
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I've been reading several threads wherein posters argued over this or that component on a specific tank as making it the best. Yet it seems to me that the argument is academic, particularly since pitched battles in open "tank country" look like a thing of the past.

Contacts in Iraq tell me that disruption of American fuel supply lines has been a major frustration, specifically because it cuts down on tank usage.

Heavy cavalry wearing armor were not halted by the matchlock as most people assume. The Middle Ages actually ended with the advent of the crossbow.

With AT4, HEAT,HESH, and 'tankbreaker' automated systems, is the end of the "tank age" in sight? If a couple of "technicals" on foot in a city street can open up a tank, are we looking at a return to infantry tactics?

If this is a new dawn of the age of infantry, then America may be spectacularly unprepared.

What are your opinions?




posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 11:54 PM
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The era of the tank is not dead as of yet. However, that nature of future conflicts will require a major rethinking of strategy. Heavy Armour such as the M1A2 (The pinacle of HA) was really designed for massive armour battles in europe. It has faired well in the deserts of Iraq as well. However, the odds are really long that you will ever see anybody in the near future actually try to take the US Army on in open range combat period!.

Heavy armour has several distinct disadvantages.

1) Huge supply chain
2) Fuel Hogs
3) the biggest problem IMHO is the transport issue. Event with the preposition ships, it still takes time to move an armoured division to the balle sight. Remeber what happened when Turkey refuse the US access? The C-5 can carry 2 tank, albeit with severe range penalties (Im sure its not good for its fatigue life either) the C-17 one.
4) may be a liabilty in urban combat scenarios (the most likely we are facing for future combat)

The advantages are numerous and include:

They are damm near impervious to small arms and most anti-tank weapons
Excellent platform for killing other tanks.
Morale booster for the infantry.
Can assist with combined activities nicely.
M1A2's ability tio fight at night or in bad weather is second to none.
Damm near the coolest weapons platform ever made....



posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 11:56 PM
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Some people thought the tank was obsolete before the first gulf war and the were wrong big time. There is always a struggle going on between offense and defense. The real killer for knights armour was the introduction of the fire arm. It took a few hundred years but body armour has made a comeback. If anything new weapons will change tanks into new forms armour will get better or they will get smaller what ever. I think tanks themselves or there tactics will change to meet the new dangers they face

Also every major army uses tanks if they were to go the way of the dodoo not just america will get burned



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 03:36 AM
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well the enemy will always be # scared to fight tanks up front if they don't have effective tanks to counter them. The tank may have many anti tank weapons, but it appears that now, tank armour is getting so strong that they can take so many hits from anything.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 06:42 AM
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Yes I think the future will consist of heavy tanks for fighting in the open battle field and a family of light armored vehicles for city or urban fighting cuz the tank is to heavy and big to roll around in a city but the tank will always be there for open battle.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 07:52 AM
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No the tank is not dead, it will be upgraded with better armor and better counter measures against new ATGMs. It will also get lighter and faster.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 08:24 AM
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tanks are going to be updated and changed but not replaced or to be scrapped.
i mean come on we are gona need tanks for at least another centurary at least.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 10:16 AM
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oh, I think tanks will be part of the arsenal for many years to come.

But I am questioning whether they will play a pivotal role.

Yes, there were some cool tank confrontations in Gulf War I; but then, Iraq was modelling its posture on a style of international confrontation that harks back to WWII. There were not major tank engagements in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Bosnia. Tanks were active, but you didn't see formations of more than 20 tanks on a side rushing into combat, right?

I'm think of an analogy with the bayonet. It was pivotal in the Napoleanic wars, and the American Civil War. But by WWI, it became more of a 'morale booster' and tool for soldiering than for actual combat.

I think American tanks have a major psychological role in asserting US presence. I have been in a village when an American tank rolled in and parked in the center of the market. Everyone knows that the Yanks have arrived!

Still, when you think about the finances and resources, compared with their lack of deterrence against paramilitary in heavy terrain, I'm still wondering if they will do more support than conquest.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 10:24 AM
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A tanks job isn't necessarily to fight other tanks, it's heavy cavalry. To exploit breaks in the enemy line.

Not to mention you need tanks as intimidation and stuff like that. They actually work great in an urban enviroment if employed right.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 10:37 AM
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I was just reading on another thread about FCS and I think it makes my point pretty well; it looks like the pentagon is looking for armored vehicles that are more versatile and weigh a lot less . . . .


www.globalsecurity.org



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 11:48 AM
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The real killer for knights armour was the introduction of the fire arm.

No it was not, by the time effective fire arms came about the knights were long gone, done in by the Longbow. How do you think the english managed to beat the french on their ground without a navy.
The age of the tank is not over, but it has changed, no longer do they hold the same dominant role that they did earlier. They are now more balanced with the other components of a modern army, no longer will 2.6cm difference in a gun be the difference between victory and defeat.

[edit on 16-7-2004 by Amur_Tiger]



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 12:46 PM
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The tank is not dead yet. It will always be a part of arsenals but it won't be as big of a factor. Now that hellfire missles are becoming more effective it makes tank easier to kill. The problem is there just aren't going to be as many open battlefield conflicts in the future. Thats why infantry are becoming more required than ever.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 03:12 PM
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The pentagon is focusing more on urban combat because studies show that in the next10-15 years 63% of all people will be living in cities so they are going for lighter faster vehicles I mean the Abrams can barley fit in some of the bridges in Iraq but it is good for support.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by Amur_Tiger

The real killer for knights armour was the introduction of the fire arm.

No it was not, by the time effective fire arms came about the knights were long gone, done in by the Longbow. How do you think the english managed to beat the french on their ground without a navy.
The age of the tank is not over, but it has changed, no longer do they hold the same dominant role that they did earlier. They are now more balanced with the other components of a modern army, no longer will 2.6cm difference in a gun be the difference between victory and defeat.

[edit on 16-7-2004 by Amur_Tiger]


Knights armour far outlasted the invention of the longbow. Over the years parts of knights armour were shed a piece at a time. The breast plate one of the last used part of knights armour was used up to the begining of WW1 by some countries I think that part outlasted the lonbow.There was no clear cut day were knights just took off all their armour it was a long process that had them lose a piece at a time



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:25 PM
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Well sure, Shadow, people are still wearing plate armor for ceremonial duties, and swords too. There is a painting at Mt. Vernon of George Washington wearing a steel gorget (kind of a collar), which he certainly never wore into combat.

The matchlock didn't really come into use until the 1450's. By 1300, swiss mercenaries were already using pike squares with crossbows at the center. The best way to defeat the pike square was to engage it in broken terrain (where armor is a hinderance anyway) or in the field before the ranks can form up into squares. The swiss pikemen originally protected archers, before gunpowder was developed.

As another poster pointed out, Crecy and Agincourt were turning-points in western history and economics. Both times, pedestrian citizen armies equiped with missles destroyed a nation's mounted nobility. At neither battle did gunpowder play a significant part. In the first it was unknown, while in the second, it had rained in France for a week, rendering gunpowder useless.

After Agincourt, heavy cavalry was no longer used in one overwhelming charge, but was mixed in with the infantry supporters of the individual knight. This new 'troop' contributed to the rise of pedestrian mercenaries and the further decline of heavy armor.

An excellent work that details this period in history is "The Pursuit of Power" by William McNiel. His "Rise of the West" focuses on the forces involved after 1500, but still details the changes in technology leading up to the Renaissance.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:27 PM
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end of the tank era? where can the baddies hide if 65 tons of armor is destroying every building in sight?




armored spear head ......drools



posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 03:05 AM
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I think that tanks are finding it harder to dominate the battlefield with the AT weapons of today. Below is one of the systems designed for without line of sight tank hunting: the STRIX system by SAAB.


STRIX

The superior accuracy of STRIX is attained by the IR-seeker and side thruster rockets being controlled by intelligent image processing and guidance computers. STRIX discriminates decoys and burning targets.

The STRIX projectile can be launched from any conventional smooth bore 120 mm mortar system and has a range in excess of 7 km.The advanced shaped charge is capable of penetrating explosive reactive armour, ERA. It is extremely accurate, permits easy training, easy handling and easy maintenance. It is a true fire-and-forget system and gives mortars a new dimension - pinpoint accuracy.



posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 03:19 AM
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And even artillery can hunt tanks:


BONUS Artillery system

So it won't matter if you got the ability to level buildings when your opponent is sitting 40km away lobbing smart munitions that home in on you..

So far this kind of systems haven't been encountered on a larger scale since most conflicts seem to be limited to either por vs poor country or US vs poor country. But it would be interesting to see how good they would work in a real battle situation..



posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 06:25 AM
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PGM can be countered with many systems in development. It's hard for a missle to track with ECM flying everywhere. Plus these missiles still require forward observers to paint the target.



posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 06:47 AM
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true there will always be countermeasures of course. That I cannot argue against.. But my point was that tanks will find themselves under a diffrent threat than before. A tank is a truly terrifying oppnent but with this kind of munitions it will be possible to get them from afar.

And as to the painting bit. The BONUS and STRIX needs no painting. All you need is someone on the ground telling the shooters where to aim "Tanks are now at coords .. .. moving towards prearranged point XX fire 4 grenades" -sound of soldier crawling back into cover. What makes them hard to defend against is that they're passive..



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