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Future Armour

a_majoor

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Throwing my hat in the ring here:

A Generation 4 tank has been pretty clearly outlined in these pages. The following factors have been brought up as being critical in the design:

Strategic and operational mobility
Tactical mobility
Survivable against a broad spectrum of threats, esp hand held anti armour weapons
Full firing solutions day/night/all weather and stationary and moving
Main armament sufficient to defeat MBTs and other hard targets
Carries sufficient ammunition for the suppression battle
Can deal with targets in a 3 dimensional environment

Based on these requirements, I will wave my hands a bit and describe a Generation 4 tank we "might" be able to get once the MGS program goes south.

1. Basic hull design is the CV-90120. The engine in front design provides a certain amount of passive protection over the frontal arc, since the engine block will absorb some of the impact of incoming rounds that breach the armour envelope. This is internally reinforced with an armoured bulkhead between the engine compartment and the crew.

2. The armour envelope is preferentially reinforced around the crew compartment vs top attack rounds and mines. The internal organization of the crew compartment is also refined to improve crew protection i.e. five point harness and "wrap around" seats to protect the crew from impact injuries.

3. The main gun is fed from a bustle mounted auto loader and secondary weapons are controlled from an OWS. The turret crew is very low in the turret (effectively unmanned) whenever possible, following the design of the "Black Eagle". The turret itself is low profile, similar to the Wegmann turret concept. If an OWS is deemed undesirable, then the coax is supplemented by a .50 HMG mounted over the main gun barrel. Extra ammunition is carried in protected containers in the rear compartment.

4. The gun mount is capable of high angle fire, allowing the crew to engage targets on rooftops. As a secondary benefit, this also allows the gun and coax to engage helicopters and UAVs in emergencies.

5. The crew has access to a full range of external inputs from friendly C/S, TUAVs and so on. A tank telephone is also standard. Internally the crew has sights, a commander's independent "periscope" sight and a situational awareness suite.

This design concept should satisfy the demands of a direct fire platform on a 30-40 tonne package. Further refinements in the powerpack and suspension system will improve the tactical and operational mobility of the vehicle. Other supplements such as through tube missiles and modular armour can be added when needed. If we want to follow Canadian armoured convention, I dub this tank the Cheetah.
 
M

maxxevv

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a_majoor said:
Interesting you only suggest 7.62mm OWS. Would adding HMGs or AGLs make the "urban escort" more effective? I would imagine the enemy would certainly be "bunkering" or fighting out of strongpoints as much as possible to negate the firepower of Infantry small arms.A small on board mortar like the Israeli 60mm carried in the Merkava and Achzarit would also be usefull for supressing enemy strong points, or screening off areas for the infantry advance.

I would also increase the vertical arcs of the weapons, and include a signifigent depression angle as well, since enemy troops could fight not only from the rooftops, but also fire out of ground floor or basement windows. The OWS mounts would be rather tall to give the guns wide vertical arcs.

Doctrinally, where would the gunfighter go? Is it part of the Combat support company of an Infantry battalion, or does it belong in an Armoured regiment?


Hi new here, but some of the points here are rather interesting. But perhaps there are variations to the traditional theme which permit a wider choice of operational options ?

In the urban context, where contact is somewhat 'close' perhaps a RWS with 7.62mm paired with an AGL would better serve ground contact options as well as the urban constraints ? With the proliferation of programeable 'airburst' rounds, I would think it would be a very effective option particularly against forces with wall /  line of sight cover ??

In a scenario where the vehicle in question is on the streets and the aggressor forces are on the rooftop, traditional weapons do have its constraints. Since they are mostly line of sight(  perhaps with the mortar being a distinction). A RWS option as mentioned above would come in handy wouldn't it ??

The 7.62 to fire back for suppressive fire and the AGL to airburst over the target location on the roof ??? 

Besides, RWS offers closed hatch operations which limits troop exposure. Though it limits situation awareness too.

Of course this is hypothetical, maybe you guys have other ideas ??
 

a_majoor

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There never seem to be "perfect" solutions for tactical problems, a 7.62 paired with an AGL is a fair compromise for the "Gunfighter" infantry escort idea. I personally would go for a heavier weapon such as an HMG in order to have the penetration against improvised bunkers, but perhaps AGL firing 40mm HEAT or "HEP" (High Explosive Plastique; i.e HESH) might be able to defeat hard protection as well.

The Gunfighter concept is really more of a mobile firebase to allow dismounted Infantry soldiers to close in with personal weapons, and it certainly should work in conjuntion with other elements of the combat team, including tanks or DFSVs, mortars and artillery, engineers and so on. Whatever targets the Gunfighter cannot reduce, the other elements can deal with.
 

DG-41

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Any replacement for the Leo is going to have to be, first and foremost, cheap - cheap to buy, cheap to maintain.

That means being based, as much as possible, on off-the-shelf heavy-duty automotive/aerospace components with as little bespoke stuff as possible.

It should also dispense with as much techno-gagetry as possible, both to keep things simple and robust, and to keep the costs down. That means no autoloader. Besides, there are lots of other uses for the loader other than just stuffing ammo into the breach.

It needs a main gun capable of defeating modern MBTs from the front with a reasonable chance of success at a reasonable range. That gun also needs to be able to fire HE. Missles are not needed - they add lots of cost and little additional capability.

It needs a coaxial MMG, and a copola-mounted commander's MMG that can be aimed and fired while buttoned up.

It needs separate thermal imaging systems for both gunner and commander - a commander's periscope similar to that on the Leo2, but give the commander his own TIS.

The gunnery computer should compensate for both range and lead.  I've always thought that the fire trigger on the main gun should have a mode that simultaniously lases the target and work out the angular rate of turret traverse (for lead calculation, per Leo2) without extra input from the gunner....

It needs the external telephone for the pongos to talk into :)

It needs to be mobile - at least as mobile as Leo 1 - and should be armoured primarily to deal with threats other than MBTs, save perhaps on the turret/forward arc. Mines, in particular, but also RPG. Ideally, this would keep the weight down to the point where the vehicle can be airlifted, cross most bridges, not chew up roads etc - it's a "medium" tank, not a heavy.

It should be narrow enough to fit into congested spaces.

And did I mention "cheap"?

DG
 

a_majoor

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DG-41 said:
Any replacement for the Leo is going to have to be, first and foremost, cheap - cheap to buy, cheap to maintain.

That means being based, as much as possible, on off-the-shelf heavy-duty automotive/aerospace components with as little bespoke stuff as possible.

It should also dispense with as much techno-gagetry as possible, both to keep things simple and robust, and to keep the costs down. That means no autoloader. Besides, there are lots of other uses for the loader other than just stuffing ammo into the breach.

It needs a main gun capable of defeating modern MBTs from the front with a reasonable chance of success at a reasonable range. That gun also needs to be able to fire HE. Missles are not needed - they add lots of cost and little additional capability.

It needs a coaxial MMG, and a copola-mounted commander's MMG that can be aimed and fired while buttoned up.

It needs separate thermal imaging systems for both gunner and commander - a commander's periscope similar to that on the Leo2, but give the commander his own TIS.

The gunnery computer should compensate for both range and lead.  I've always thought that the fire trigger on the main gun should have a mode that simultaniously lases the target and work out the angular rate of turret traverse (for lead calculation, per Leo2) without extra input from the gunner....

It needs the external telephone for the pongos to talk into :)

It needs to be mobile - at least as mobile as Leo 1 - and should be armoured primarily to deal with threats other than MBTs, save perhaps on the turret/forward arc. Mines, in particular, but also RPG. Ideally, this would keep the weight down to the point where the vehicle can be airlifted, cross most bridges, not chew up roads etc - it's a "medium" tank, not a heavy.

It should be narrow enough to fit into congested spaces.

And did I mention "cheap"?

DG

It seems the CV 90120 or derivatives and developments fill all the specs you have mentioned. The need for thermal imaging sights and full solution fire control computers are some of the major cost drivers in tank and AFV design, so the only way to hold costs down would be to accept 1980s performance using the most up to date manufacturing process available. (This might actually be achievable, but I think most soldiers want to have the highest possible definition when looking through their sighting systems.) Mechanical autoloaders are relatively cheap (in the overall cost of a tank), and the addition of an autoloader does not automatically lead to the elimination of the fourth crewman (although it has in practice).  On the plus side an auto loader can lead to a smaller crew, a smaller and lighter tank and faster engagements. If you keep the fourth frewman, the tank is bigger, but perhaps he can be reassigned to be the "situational awarness" operator, fly the TUAV or something else. See http://www.knox.army.mil/center/ocoa/ArmorMag/ma95/2ammosys95.pdf

I am curious as to why you think through tube missiles do not add extra capability? The ability to engage at beyond visual range means the force commander can uise all his tanks in a battle, where up until the 1980s, only the tanks in "line of sight" could engage. (Imagine if the Syrians had that ability in 1973. The battle of the "Valley of Tears" would have had a very different outcome as over 1000 Syrian tanks would have been able to engage the Israeli 7th Armoured Brigade at once, rather than a platoon or company at a time in the broken terrain).
 

mainerjohnthomas

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I actually think that the tube launched missile may become one of the MBT's primary weapons in future.  Tube launched non LOS missiles provide the tanks long range punch now, provide limited (for now) defence against long range Helicopter standoff weapons.  I don't find it hard to see the day when an MBT will fire a tube launched drone that detects and targets enemy vehicles for the MBT platoon to target with its own tube launched missiles.  As the range and capacity of such systems increases they will become the primary weapon of the tank, the actual unguided rounds of conventional main gun munitions will become secondary, for short range self defence weapons (Sabot) or cheaper infantry support (HEAT).  Conventional ammunition will never go away, at short ranges they outperform slow accelerating missiles, and will always be cheaper and smaller to store.  The tube launched missile, combined with conventional tube launched projectiles provides the best flexibility within a single launch system.  Hell, if the MGS had a 105mm missile that could kill an MBT at 2km+ we wouldn't have hundreds of pages of rants against it in this site.
 

DG-41

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The Russians have had gun-tube-launched missiles on their MBTs for decades - how many kills have they actually racked up?

A missile is expensive in of itself, which limits the number you can carry. Plus there are cost drivers in the fire control and guidence software, plus it is Yet Another Weapon System that adds cost and complexity to the logistics chain, repair, and training.

If we're talking a BVR missile, then that implies a target designator somewhere downrange - more cost, more complexity.

All this to add range to the main gun, to fill the gap between direct-fire range and the farthest extent of visible range - assuming such a gap exists.

And that's the rub, right there - in most circumstances save the most artificial, "main gun range" and "farthest viewable range" will be equal. It is fairly rare to have visibility to a target beyond 2500-3000m , which means that for all practical purposes, if you can see it, you can kill it *without* resorting to a missile.

It is also important to remember that the days of mass armoured battles of manouevre between warring states, per the battle of Kursk etc are probably gone (or at least unlikely) We're not talkiing about a dedicated MBT killer like the Abrams or Leo2; we're talking about a more general purpose medium tank along the lines of Sherman, whose primary pupose is support of the infantry and local counterattack. Thus the requirement that the main gun fire HE/canister, and that machine guns be usable without exposing the crew. Trading frontal arc armour for more uniform, all-round defense is probably also a good idea.

The ability to deal with other tanks is still required, as the best way to kill a tank remains another tank. But we don't need the specialist MBT that assumes masses of other MBTs as its primary opponent.

Experience has shown from WW2 to Iraq that attacking infantry needs tank support, especially if the enemy has prepared positions/strongpoints, or has access to tank support of their own. There is no shortage of tanks out there in the hands of the bad guys, from T34s to T52 to T72. Having organic tank support means these threats can be dealt with in short order.

The insistence on multiple, independant TIS sights for commander and gunner is because TIS adds capability that the Mark 1 Eyeball (as equipped by most of the infantry) doesn't have; the ability to quickly detect and engage targets that would otherwise remain invisible (due to camoflage, smoke, or dust) Having 2 TIS viewers means commander and gunner can be observing different arcs simultaniously and cover more ground.

DG
 

TangoTwoBravo

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I'm a bit leary of gun/missile combos myself, although I have zero experience with them.   To my knowledge, however, their history has not been a happy one.

A word on range.   I don't think that we can postively identify targets out to the max range of our systems.   Not a huge deal shooting up hordes of commies on the open plains but a definate limiter in today's operations.

I fully support a commander independent TI.   On Ex ROYAL FIST we conducted three weeks of night attacks with most being live fire.   The C2's TI is awesome and the commander has an extension which was a huge leap from our old systems.   This was good, but it was somewhat awkward during the live fire phase for me to have to point the main gun in the direction of the friendlies to see where they were (I was usually in the firebase).   NVGs do not cut it for all but really close range work.   An independent TI (hunter/killer sight) would have been a great boon.

I don't think that modern tanks for Western armies can be cheap.   The big costs are the electronics (an MGS is not much cheaper than an M1 to my knowledge, and LAV IIIs are not cheap by any stretch).   For what we do today I argue for protection over mobility.   I wouldn't take this to an extreme (you still need balance), but I would sacrifice some speed and have extra weight in order to have more protection.   Figure out the gun that you need to kill your opponents and put as much armour around it as your powerpack can reliably move at 20 km/hr.   Yes, we're going by ship and rail.

Cheers,

2B

p.s. The tank's firepower must be able to deal with both hard and "soft" targets, as well as having urban uses.  The Matilda had excellent armour but was let down by its gun's inability to fire HE.  In addition, I should add that a "breakthrough" tank on its own will eventually get destroyed if the other systems in the force cannot go with it (the Elefant at Kursk).  Still, I'll trade some speed for protection. 
 

Zipper

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That sounds great 2B.

Question for you Majoor. Considering the fact that tube launched missiles are probably rather specialized. How would you load out your vehicle? Wouldn't this break down the number of types of ammo to something rather confusing since we already have HESH, APFSDS, and cannister to deal with?

I just think it would not only add quite a large cost to it, but also limit an already tried and true load out package. Unless of course you knew you we're going up against MBT's and we're in ideal rolling terrain where you could hit them over the next rise without exposing yourself.

Just wondering.
 

a_majoor

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The loadout is determined prior to going into action (like always  :D), based on the mission, threat assesssment and so on. Just like there are different types of rounds fr the gun, there may be different types of missiles for the tanks as well; anti armour weapons, anti helicopter/aircraft, missiles with fire and forget capability, missiles which home in on laser designators....

Each missile will have its strengths, and be selected accordign to the preceived need. As a practical matter, through tube missiles will be larger/longer than a round, so fewer would be carried. They would be used as "magic bullets" to deal with high value targets, or to take out difficult targets which cannot be hit with a straight gunshot (i.e. bunkers and strong points in complex or urban terrain).

Some of the objections to missiles are based on lack of experience, forward target designation happens already and indeed the capability will increase with the growing use of surveillance equipped platforms like Coyote, Griffons equipped with ERSTA, TUAVs and so on. Through tube missiles should be seen as another tool in the toolbag, giving the tank or DFSV more versatility than it has today, and with the potential to change tactics by bringing the fire of all the vehicles in the combat team or battlegroup into the fight without terrain or line of sight restrictions.
 

DG-41

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As soon as you are talking about a beyond visual range, target-designated missile, you're talking about an artillery role, not an armoured role.

That missile launcher is better served in a vehicle like ADATS, or hell, even off the back of a flatbed truck (there's a cheap delivery vehicle!) co-located with an artillery battery where it is safe from return fire, close to its supply train (missile lanchers eat missiles pretty quickly) and where it is close to a strongly-established communications link.

The role of armour is to provide direct fire against protected targets, while being sufficiantly protected one's self as to be able to stand up to incoming fire for short periods. The infantry contacts a target that they cannot close with and destroy, and whose fire they cannot withstand, so a tank comes forward - and it carries enough armour to be able to withstand the fire that the infantry could not, and it has a large enough weapon to destroy the target that the infantry could not. Tank takes out target, and the advance continues.

Or in the defensive, the tank provides a mobile counter-attack force that can hit the flanks of an attacker engaging (our) dug-in infantry.

But in both cases, we're talking about direct fire within visual range, and usually at fairly close quarters. The through-tube missile does nothing to advance either mission, while consuming valuable storage space for munitions that *do* fit the mission profile, and which add enormous cost and complexity to the tank. If you want to take out high-value targets designated by surveilanece vehicles, call the arty (or even the air force) and let *them* deliver the missile.

The reality here is that the CF cannot afford the all-singing, all-dancing, tecno-wizardry MBT that was designed to (pretty much exclusively) combat large formations of similar vehicles. But in rejecting the MBT as a component of the future CF, we also throw out the VERY badly needed, if much less glamourous, role of infantry fire support (plus seriously degrade our anti-tank capability if the bad guys do manage to locate a few tanks of their own) The MGS programme is a nod in this direction, but it ignores the fact that every attempt at a big-gun wheeled vehicle in every army that has ever attempted it has failed miserably. It takes a tank to do that job.

But if higher brass is ever going to be convinced of this, we have to start getting away from wanting everything in the toybox. We need to stop thinking "Tiger" and start thinking "Sherman" - which while it had its faults, was a VERY effective vehicle for the role in which it was most commonly employed.

DG
 

a_majoor

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DG, your analysis is correct so far as it goes, but the nature of war is changing, the tools are changing and so should we.

The use of through tube missiles in a tank is not to say there is NO role for artillery etc., what it does say is that the formation is more flexible and can engage a wide target set very quickly. By way of analogy, many companies on the Internet now use "edge servers" to allow faster downloads, since the server is physically closer to the prospective user. This also provides a high level of backup, since the only way to take down such a company is to take down dozens or hundreds of servers located throughout North America or the world. In a military environment, AFVs with some "Magic bullet" capability can respond to a threat right away (edge servers), while the traditional model requires contact reports, fire missions, and fire corrections in a long "loop", which may be efficient, but can also be long, and is a "single point of failure" should something go wrong (even as simple as a battery failing in a radio). 

The other factor is since the range we can "see" targets is increasing, we need to match it with a higher ability to strike targets at long range.  This would allow an otherwise unavailable tank troop to lend its firepower to shooting in an attack, or to add its fire to the defense. This would also give the tank a much higher level of precision, for example a tank could be parked out of small arms and RPG range of a villiage, and provide overwatch to a dismounted patrol. The tank could use the missile to shoot through a window and eliminate a sniper or machinegun, with very little collateral damage.

There are trade offs; a higher level of complexity in the munitions and logistical arrangements (although we treat many missiles as "wooden rounds" nowadays, I don't see why that level of engineering isn't or couldn't be built into a tank munition). This would also allow us to use a vehicle like SB's "Bobcat" (or a Centurio, or AMX-10 RC), since the gun would be well sized to provide HE, HEAT and cannister in support of the Infantry, and the "magic bullet" to engage targets that would be otherwise untouchable.

Through tube missiles are just one part of the equation, and if you look back a bit, you see my evolution of the CV 90120 is still very much a gun tank, with some extra features to work in the new environment http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/28961/post-226493.html#msg226493
 

mainerjohnthomas

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Just a quick word to the tank purists who object to through tube missiles as being more properly the role of artillery, and that the tank should stick to its traditional role.  I grew up as a lad listening to my grandfathers stories about serving in the Grenadier Guards, driving Shermans (plural denoting lost tanks and friends along the way) in WWII.  While some of the battles were the tank on tank so beloved of our blackhats, much of the work was direct fire support for advancing infantry, counterbattery shoots on emplaced German 88's, and in one battle in Belgium, several companies were employed en-mass to provide long range fire, controlled by forward infantry observers.  Much of the work our tanks have provided in "real" war has been in the traditional artillery role.  Why did they "waste" tanks on an artillery job?  I'm a corporal, not a general, but as the generals who won that war thought it was a damn good idea, I'm willing to take their word for it.  For every single job the tank does, there is probably something cheaper that can do it better, but the tank is the original MMEV, it does a wide variety of roles fairly well.  I think the logistics of a tank company are probably easier than those of the conventional artillery company (for midrange artillery role), ADATs company (for long range fire), and TUA company for tank destroying.  When you compare the logistics for one multirole vehicle, to that of supplying "cheaper" vehicles for each of those roles, the multirole vehicle(the tank) starts looking like the real bargain.
 

DG-41

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Histrorically, MOST of the work done by tanks has been direct-fire support in support of the infantry, and most tank-on-tank encounters happened when tanks-in-support encountered tanks-in-support. Mass tank-on-tank battles with little to no infantry involvement, while being the tanker's wet dream, are relatively rare.

So in that respect, we are all in agreement.

It is true that tanks were employed in WW2 as indirect fire vehicles, on occasion, to thicken up an artillery barrage. But note that:

1) This was fairly infrequent

2) It did not require any special material to be added to the tank. Any big-gun tank capable of firing HE could do the same with no burden of added costs to the weapons platform

3) It relied on mass to be effective - and we are unlikely to see massed Canadian tanks anytime soon.

The issue here is not one of "purity" or any other such quasi-religeous nonsense. The issue is using the right tool for the job, and when you are in the tool design business, that means having a thourogh understanding of what exactly the job is.

Myself and my fellow subbies were once having a conversation in the mess where we were discussing the merits of various MBTs. We had reached a point where we were comparing ranges, when we were interrupted by a WW2 vet who was a mess fixture. He told us (in no uncertain terms, I might add ;) ) that he had never had a main gun shot (he had been a Sherman commander) over 400m, and 200m was about the average. When we protested that technology had progressed to the point where we had stabilized shoot-on-the-move, thermal imaging systems that could ID targets out to thousands of metres, etc and so times had changed, he asked us if trees and houses had suddenly become transparent, if the world had become universally flat, and if the enemy no longer shot back....

So here we are a few years later, and I see the footage coming out of Iraq, and what do I see? M1s firing into buildings a couple of hundred metres away. A Sherman - an actual Sherman, not a modernized "Sherman-like" tank - would do the job just as well.

Now don't get me wrong; I'm no Luddite. There's no question that modern technology HAS increased the capabilities of the tank far beyond what was possible in WW2. With the right conditions, a modern MBT can do stuff that no WW2 tank of any make or model could ever hope to do. The trick is picking the stuff that adds real capability, and eschewing the stuff that does not.

Nobody here has replied with statistics on the success of Soviet through-tube missiles in the field. How many vehicles, roughly, have they killed? How does their success rate compare to that of the main gun? What is the expected reduction in time of flight between an artillery-launched missile to a BVR designated target, from a tank-launched missile? Is the reduced size of the warhead compensated for by a quicker (assuming it is quicker; I doubt that any tank crew could receive a call for fire, load a missile, configure it to match the designator, point it in the correct direction, and fire faster than the artillery) time to target?

And we also need to continuously remind ourselves that as Canadians, we do not exactly have a blank cheque in the weapons system aquisition department. Getting any new tank AT ALL is going to be a hard uphill climb, never mind one with all the chrome on it.

DG 
 

Hunter911

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Just one question that has more to do with opinion of people who know armour a little better than me...

Could the new direct fire support system really work again a stronger tank system?
Is the idea that the MMEV, and Tow Under Armour will have superior range, making regular tanks useless at long range? Thats just kind of what ive managed to pick up from my readings
 

TangoTwoBravo

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I have not been on the MGS so it is hard to answer your question, but I'll give it a whirl.  In theory, with the 105mm and the right ammunition it could defeat most AFV targets.  In a static, concealed position it could have the advantage against a modern tank.  The same could be said for MMEV and TUA.  The problem will be for offensive operations.  Even with a shoot on the move capability the wheels will limit mobility, the position of the crew may hinder acquisition and the vehicle will not be able to take a hit (defenders usually get the first shot, all else being equal).  The missile systems will also face limitations in offensive operations.

If you parked an Abrams (or even a Leo C2 for argument's sake) at one end of a long range billiard table flat battlefield and an ADATs at the other in a "deathmatch" the ADATs would probably prevail.  Those kinds of shots are rare, however, and again if the tank was concealed and the ADATs had to manoeuvre the advantage would firmly be in the tank's favour.  Many people are also unaware that the C2 has quite a long range with sabot.

My own bottom line is just because a system can kill a tank does not mean that that system can replace the tank. 

Give me a tank with firepower, protection and mobility, along with good comms and an efficient crew layout.

2B
 

Fishbone Jones

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And of course the salient point that's almost always forgotten, by most, a tank does not operate as a solo entity. You may get one, but his wingman probably spotted you when you pulled the trigger, or launched that missle, with it's flash, smoke and 8 second vapour trail leading back to you. Boom, boom, out go the lights.
 

Zipper

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a_majoor said:
DG, your analysis is correct so far as it goes, but the nature of war is changing, the tools are changing and so should we.

The use of through tube missiles in a tank is not to say there is NO role for artillery etc., what it does say is that the formation is more flexible and can engage a wide target set very quickly. By way of analogy, many companies on the Internet now use "edge servers" to allow faster downloads, since the server is physically closer to the prospective user. This also provides a high level of backup, since the only way to take down such a company is to take down dozens or hundreds of servers located throughout North America or the world. In a military environment, AFVs with some "Magic bullet" capability can respond to a threat right away (edge servers), while the traditional model requires contact reports, fire missions, and fire corrections in a long "loop", which may be efficient, but can also be long, and is a "single point of failure" should something go wrong (even as simple as a battery failing in a radio).    

The other factor is since the range we can "see" targets is increasing, we need to match it with a higher ability to strike targets at long range.   This would allow an otherwise unavailable tank troop to lend its firepower to shooting in an attack, or to add its fire to the defense. This would also give the tank a much higher level of precision, for example a tank could be parked out of small arms and RPG range of a villiage, and provide overwatch to a dismounted patrol. The tank could use the missile to shoot through a window and eliminate a sniper or machinegun, with very little collateral damage.

There are trade offs; a higher level of complexity in the munitions and logistical arrangements (although we treat many missiles as "wooden rounds" nowadays, I don't see why that level of engineering isn't or couldn't be built into a tank munition). This would also allow us to use a vehicle like SB's "Bobcat" (or a Centurio, or AMX-10 RC), since the gun would be well sized to provide HE, HEAT and cannister in support of the Infantry, and the "magic bullet" to engage targets that would be otherwise untouchable.

I'm a little confused here.

First your saying that a tank with through tube missiles can respond faster to forward observers then artillery because of the chain of information that must be passed through? But wouldn't it be all the same since with modern C&C all tied in to the same information from your FO, all it would take is one (Tank, Arty, Plane) pulling the trigger?

"see" targets getting further? Yes, in non-complex terrain in perfect conditions. But haven't we been arguing more and more around here that today's most likely environments are more likely to be "non-see" close complex terrain?

And your statement about putting a missile through a window with little collateral damage? How do we know that their isn't a family hunkered behind a door in there without proper house clearing drill? Not to mention a missile yield is likely to blow the building apart or at least destroy a few rooms. (I'd blow the building, but thats me. >:D)

I guess the magic bullet to me is a bit of a none starter because we are going to have vehicles (MMEV and TUA) that already can have (or will have) that probable "magic bullet" capability, while we are still in need of something that can fill a close support roll that can take a hit.
 
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