Do Tanks have a future?

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Balthagor
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#1 Post by Balthagor » Jun 05 2002

Janes.com listed an article titled "The outlook for Tanks" in which they stated "The capabilities of tanks are being called into question more than ever with the increasing use of long-range precision-guided weapons."
Do you believe tanks will continue to dominate the battlefield of the future?

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#2 Post by Get Some » Jun 05 2002

No, I would suspect that the future of the battlefield now lies with LAV-3 type of vehicles. Cheaper, More purposes.

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#3 Post by tkobo » Jun 05 2002

I believe tanks will be needed for some time yet.
For hundreds of years armor and weapon developements have made certain weapons less effective or more depending on where the balance lies at that moment.
I see no reason why this will change anytime soon.

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#4 Post by Ashbery76 » Jun 05 2002

Yes tanks will be around for a long time yet, missile's and helicopter's cant hold ground.

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#5 Post by danc » Jun 06 2002

I don't think Tanks will be as prevalent as they were in WWII or potential Soviet Era conflicts, but they will stay around as part of the combined arms team for awhile. Keeping them in the team forces the enemy to keep weapon systems which can kill them. Getting rid of all of your tanks allows the enemy to get rid of all of his counter measures. Whereas the enemy needs to keep those counter measures employed everywhere you 'might' employ your MBT, you only need to employ them in one area, or not all.

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#6 Post by Balthagor » Jun 06 2002

Do you think that advances in Armor will make a big difference in the continued use of MBTs? Take for example the "Crew survivability" concept of the Merkava or the new armor on the British Challenger. Or even the research underway in the US for a "plastic" armor to create an air-liftable tank. Comments?
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#7 Post by tkobo » Jun 06 2002

I'd say armor advancement keeping up with weapons advancement is key to tanks.
You can after all mount a big gun on just about anything,but being able to survive a hit by that same big gun is the tanks fortee(sp).

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#8 Post by danc » Jun 07 2002

On 2002-06-06 07:31, Balthagor wrote:
Do you think that advances in Armor will make a big difference in the continued use of MBTs? Take for example the "Crew survivability" concept of the Merkava or the new armor on the British Challenger. Or even the research underway in the US for a "plastic" armor to create an air-liftable tank. Comments?
Do you have any links on the new family of US armored vehicles using plastic armor? I haven't been able to find any.

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#9 Post by tkobo » Jun 07 2002

One very intriguing (sp) thing about plastic armor made from soy oil is a possible self-healing properties it can have.

"and the military, which is interested in the potential of self-healing properties for use in tank armor."

This qoute is from an article on soy oil plastics I came across awhile back,its from some university study.

Both plastic and D.U. are already used in the newest Chobham variations on the m1 series.

"Composite (aka Chobham?) armor was developed in the 1970s by the British and first used on the German Leopard II. It consists of layers of steel, ceramic, and plastic honeycomb, sometimes with layers of depleted uranium added. Composite is effective against both kinetic and shaped-charge munitions. Against kinetic penetrators, the brittle ceramic blunts the projectile while the softer steel layers absorb its kinetic energy. Still, it is significantly more effective against shaped charge munitions, so the depleted uranium layers are added to provide extra protection against kinetic penetrators."

I too would be interested in a good link to some more info on this topic.
As this is still secret info,it will be a hard thing to find.But im sure theres a good link out there somewhere.

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#10 Post by tkobo » Jun 07 2002

Would also love some links that explain the tank "smart armor" being tested .This also is supposedly plastic oriented.

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#11 Post by tkobo » Jun 09 2002

Scientists at the US Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, however, have now revealed details of how smart armor would work.

According to research published in the current issue of New Scientist, each tank would be covered with tiles made of strong plastic under which a sandwich of different materials would be installed. First there would be a mat of optical fibers, then a thin sheet of standard armor plating, and underneath that would lay a series of metal coils.

When an anti-tank shell explodes on standard armor, the copper cone of its head is projected as a powerful jet of metal, traveling at five miles a second. This jet focuses a high amount of energy on a tiny area and therefore can easily slice through several feet of dense metal, causing devastation inside a tank.

However, on striking smart armor a shell would cause a very different reaction. It would first sever optical cables in the mat below the tank's outer plastic cover. This would trigger sensors to activate electrical capacitors inside the tank that would send a mighty electrical current surging through the metal coils at the base of the smart armor.

A massive electromagnetic field would be produced inside the armor, as the high-velocity copper jet begins to pass through it. This field would induce electrical currents in the copper.

"If you get enough current into the copper, you can heat it up and start pinching it in certain regions, making it unstable," states Mike Zoltowski, of the Army Research Laboratory. The thin copper jet would be flattened and broadened out and so would be unable to cut through the thin standard plating at the base of the smart armor.

Electromagnets would essentially be used to dissipate the energy of an anti-tank missile or shell, like the force shields that protect the fictional Starship Enterprise.

"This kind of development is now seen as urgent by military planners," Chris Foss, editor of Jane's Armour and Artillery, said. "For example, some countries are working on "top attack" missiles which fly over the turret of an oncoming tank instead of striking it front on, where it is most strongly shielded. They would drop their payloads on the tank's relatively unprotected turret area."

To protect against that, designers would be forced to add even more thick armor plating to these other parts of the tank, adding to its weight and fuel consumption and making it more unwieldy. The answer is magnetic pulses, says Zoltowski. "The benefit is that you wouldn't need 800 millimeters of steel armor."

Source: UK Observer; New Scientist

I posted the important info part because this site is not online sonetimes.
So if the link below doesnt work,you can atleast read the part I saved .

http://www.blackvault.com/news2/star_tr ... t_sup.html

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: tkobo on 2002-06-09 17:24 ]</font>

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#12 Post by Balthagor » Jun 20 2002

For those who might be interested, the following is from Janes.

Beyond the tank

Paul Beaver

Lessons from Afghanistan, a plethora of peacekeeping operations and other low intensity operations have led to some observers writing off the main battle tank. Evidence at Eurosatory shows that the tank is not dead: a recent order for Leopard 2A6 from Greece, yet another T-72 upgrade and continued production of Leclerc. But the tank will have to undergo metamorphism, and there is no future tank programme anywhere in NATO.

Now Western industries are looking at alternative direct fire options. These include technology insertions for the existing main battle tanks, looking at alternatives or finding a replacement main armament. The latter has given rise to a number of programmes looking at armament propulsion and intelligent munitions.

In the USA, where the US Army says it will not replace the General Dynamics Land Systems M1 with another tank but with the Future Combat System, the goal is a vehicle with the same firepower and protection as M1 yet weighing only 20 tonnes. Improvements could include the United Defense electro-thermal chemical gun propulsion, giving better penetration to the existing Rheinmetall 120mm rifled gun, applicable to the M1 and Leopard 2.

In Europe, the cleverly designed and compact Swiss Ruag CTG120mm smoothbore gun could find a home in the Challenger 2 series. The French will probably invest in improving Giat's Leclerc as well as watching new technology. There are also political factors. Most Middle East nations will remain wedded to the heavy, main battle tank even longer than the planned 2025 out-of-service date of most European vehicles.

The British Government too has been politically embarrassed by the continued controversy over depleted uranium (DU) kinetic energy tank gun rounds. If the British Army were to replace the rifled gun with existing ammunition that reportedly has shown its effectiveness against armour, it would possibly negate the need for DU rounds. But one senior officer told the Eurosatory Daily: "Smoothbore guns do not have such an effective ammunition nature as HESH (high explosive squash head). It is a very good general purpose round. DU is only used for fighting tanks."

The UK Government is unlikely to be prepared to pay the £200 million or so needed for upgrade on political grounds alone.
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#13 Post by XeroMan » Sep 07 2002

It is interesting to compare tanks to battleships. They share very similar roles in thier respective theatres, and the tank seems to be in danger of being phased out much as the battleship was. (OT: I think it's great that you are putting the BB in the game...they are just soooo cool!)
From the way things look, it isn't likely that tanks will continue on in their present form. For those pen and paper war gamers out there, I'm sure they'd like to see some OGRE type land battleships, but I doubt they would ever be feasible. Current trends are to make units smaller, not bigger. It may make sense to go small, but it's just neat to dream big.

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#14 Post by Balthagor » Sep 09 2002

maybe we'll add one or two with all their benefits and drawbacks so that people could try it out...?
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#15 Post by XeroMan » Sep 10 2002

It would be cool, but I could see the possiblity of a massive headache or three. It would be cool to make a super tank that doesn't care how easy it is to hit it because you'd need a nuke to crack it's shell, but the weight of the thing! It would move like a slug, and it unless it had a good weight distrubtion system it would get mired very easily. And as gratifying as it may be to have a bank of massive guns, and some artillery on top, plus a plethora of missiles, in the end, the upkeep would be enough to fund whole battalions.

But if you put 'em in, I'll build them! :razz:

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