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Russia Plans to Field the T-99, a Radically New Main Battle Tank by 2015
Defense Update ^ | August 10, 2012 at 07:50 | Tamir Eshel

Posted on 05/04/2013 2:22:16 PM PDT by robowombat

Russia Plans to Field the T-99, a Radically New Main Battle Tank by 2015 Posted by Tamir Eshel

An artist concept view of the new Russian tank. The Russian Army is planning to begin modernize its armored and mechanized forces beginning in 2015, fielding a new family of vehicles comprising a new main battle tank, armored infantry fighting vehicles, and various support platforms. The MBT will be based on the new Armata, the prototype is scheduled to enter field trials in 2013, about 10 months ahead of schedule. First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Sukhorukov said. The new tank is under development at Uralvagonzavod in Omsk. The first deliveries of the tank to the Russian Armed Forces are scheduled for 2015. A total of 2,300 MBTs are expected to be supplied by 2020.

It should be remembered that the Russians are building their fighting forces not only against NATO, but more importantly, to protect their long southern borders with radical Islamic countries that may be gathering military power, and the growing dominance of China in the east. Armored and mechanized forces are key to maintaining military superiority or parity against such threats. The level of sophistication in meeting such threats is not as demanding as meeting the advanced technology fielded by US and NATO forces.

The full version of this article is available as part of our Premium Content.

According to preliminary reports, the new tank designated T-99 will be less radical and ambitious than the failed ‘Object 195’ or T-95, it will weigh less, therefore, become more agile and will be more affordable, compared to its more ambitious predecessors.

The Russian industry is also developing the Boomerang family of 8×8 wheeled armored vehicles which will gradually replace the current BTR-90. Additionally, the Kurganets-25 tracked armored vehicle provides high degree of commonality with the new Armata tank. The Kurganets-25 will evolve into various models, gradually replacing BMP and BMD and MT-LB and other types of tracked armored platforms.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: russia; tanks
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Not new but interesting in light of current US defense retrenchment. The year 2015 seems to be the target date for many new system deployments around the world.
1 posted on 05/04/2013 2:22:16 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat


2 posted on 05/04/2013 2:26:43 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

3 posted on 05/04/2013 2:30:06 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: JoeProBono

What? No flash suppressor on that gun?


4 posted on 05/04/2013 2:31:14 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: MHGinTN


5 posted on 05/04/2013 2:33:46 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: robowombat

Too tall and too heavy. The most vulnerable part is now the logistics train that must follow it. The tankers can be taken out by RPV’s and by 2015 even insurgents will have RPV’s.


6 posted on 05/04/2013 2:34:25 PM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: JoeProBono

With the advent of drone technology I cannot see funding Tank construction! Takns at this point and time would only be good for control after battle. Air power is superior and unmanned at that! Actually all land based weapons and manpower are pointless with Nuke tech!
1 million soldiers die as well as 5 whit the right deployment.


7 posted on 05/04/2013 2:35:02 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: robowombat
I'm liking the silenced sniper rifle debuted at ISDF!!!

7.62x51 Full length barrel silencer. whoa!

8 posted on 05/04/2013 2:36:04 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Conserev1

Please deploy spell check in the future!!!


9 posted on 05/04/2013 2:36:39 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Gen.Blather

The twin tracks are outdated. You can have 4 half-tracks spaced apart like wheels on a car instead...and then if one tread is blown off the tank still moves on the other 3.

Not so if you lose a tread on a twin tracked tank.


10 posted on 05/04/2013 2:38:15 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: tet68

I’ll take two!


11 posted on 05/04/2013 2:38:25 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Conserev1

You seem to be in “internet” mode where all conflicts are solved by pushing the nuclear button.

Reality is over here, instead. Just saying...

Tanks still have their places on the battlefield. Lots of small arms fire is out there.

Plus, as more lasers like Israel’s Iron Dome are deployed, you’ll start to see anti-RPG lasers on tanks...which have the energy source on-board to run lasers and they don’t care about an extra 100 pounds for the lasers.

Eventually the lasers will have the range to take out aerial drones, too.

If you look around, you might even see a battlefield laser deployed on a Destroyer at sea.

...kinda lets ya know where things are headin’


12 posted on 05/04/2013 2:44:21 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

I guess it would depend on who deployed their laser first!
I am sure the TECh has also developed into an umbrella type laser that can kill advancing troops as well!
What you did not gleen from my statement is there will be no battlefield it will be obliterated from the outset!
Tech has surpassed Tracks! Nuke tech will be concised to a kill zone!


13 posted on 05/04/2013 2:52:52 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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KEEP FREE REPUBLIC ALIVE!!!
PLEASE MAKE YOUR CONTRIBUTION TODAY!!!!

14 posted on 05/04/2013 3:14:24 PM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: robowombat
Speaking as a lifetime armor guy I hope they put zillions of dollars in these targets of opportunity. For one it is a drain of their economy and two they make pretty sparks when they blow up.
15 posted on 05/04/2013 3:21:10 PM PDT by Newbomb Turk ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.")
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To: JoeProBono

Maybe Big Sis will get some to go with the MRAPs for DHS.


16 posted on 05/04/2013 3:23:14 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad & lived with his parents most his life.)
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To: Southack

Better for us Russia concentrate on developing power projection over land rather than sea. I don’t think these are intended for Europe.


17 posted on 05/04/2013 3:37:33 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: robowombat
It should be remembered that the Russians are building their fighting forces not only against NATO, but more importantly, to protect their long southern borders with radical Islamic countries that may be gathering military power...

Who? The 'Stans? The five countries which used to be Soviet Central Asia wouldn't challenge Russia on a dare. They're all still trying to figure out what they did wrong to wind up independent.

18 posted on 05/04/2013 4:17:52 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: Conserev1

It’s not so much drones that make it obsolete as it is that it won’t be long until they have unmanned tanks. The humans are surplusage, for the most part. You need a really heavy tank to protect soldiers, and that means it eats a lot of fuel. A remote vehicle needs less armor, less internal space, and could therefore be designed so as to save a lot of fuel.


19 posted on 05/04/2013 4:32:28 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

You are going to protect soldiers from laser and arial attack with a Tank!
The ground war is obselete! No need for troops when the city and battleground is decimated and non existant!
As the General in this war there will be nothing left but scorched earth!
No puppies to bring home total oberliteration!
And you still need a Tank!


20 posted on 05/04/2013 4:40:27 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: robowombat
Meanwhile, the obama adminstration has plans to field the KY-69, a new concept battle platform that includes a waterbed, sauna and combat deployable glittering disco-ball. Why fight the "enemy" when you can disarm with charm???


21 posted on 05/04/2013 4:49:27 PM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Caipirabob

Those Ruskies....they better just lookout (and DON’T DROP THE SOAP...)


22 posted on 05/04/2013 4:50:38 PM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Brilliant

I doubt there will ever be an unmanned tank, unless perhaps for an urban environment. Anything unmanned would be too hard to drive over terrain.


23 posted on 05/04/2013 5:01:55 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Southack

I’ve seen photos of a prototype of this split track on an M1.


24 posted on 05/04/2013 5:03:08 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Conserev1
Drones have to come into the battlespace. CAMM(L) will be waiting for them


25 posted on 05/04/2013 5:15:34 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (RIP Chrissie Amphlett.)
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To: Oztrich Boy

How many ports on that puppy, how many drones aircraft and cruise missles can be deployed and the Skies be filled w/ armament! Sorry Kids the tank loses!
Ever hear of the Warthog> lol!


26 posted on 05/04/2013 5:32:59 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Southack

But, dammit, Scotty-man, we need phasers NOW. . .

(grin)

Not just lasers. The Navy is doing some impressive work on railguns. . . .


27 posted on 05/04/2013 5:42:30 PM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border. I **DARE** you to cross it. . . .)
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To: Conserev1

Have you ever heard of IADSes? Most countries have some form of one. Honestly, you sound like the misguided folk who thought that land warfare was unthinkable in the immediate post-WWII era. Haven’t the past almost 70 years kind of disproved that kind of thinking? Don’t get me wrong. I love the A-10, and recognize the importance of air power in general, but A-10s work best only after air supremacy has been achieved.


28 posted on 05/04/2013 5:57:56 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: robowombat
Armor's greatest challenge is its large thermal and optical signature. Very high altitude imaging systems, or low altitude imaging RPVs can or will be able to locate and track armor with almost perfect accuracy.

Once you know where all the enemy tanks are located, they can simply be avoided, or used as a map of the enemy troops, or targeted by every available weapons system. With precision munitions, sitting in a tank whose position is known means that your lifetime is the period of time until the opponent decides to destroy your tank.

All that armor doesn't do much good against a direct hit from artillery, a 500 lb bomb, or a Hellfire missile. Or even another tank or a helicopter whose fire control system has your coordinates in its target list.

29 posted on 05/04/2013 6:05:10 PM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: Constantine XI Palaeologus

And how old is the Warthog? Whats new for arial combat?
Dude I’m a veteran and know whats what! If you have ever seen 6 F-15 Eagles fly overhead at close to ground and thats more old school you would know the score! Any clue to laser targeting there big boy!
It paints you dead!


30 posted on 05/04/2013 7:29:02 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: robowombat

Drone targets. See information about the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) to know more about Russia’s Muslim ally nations. It was founded by leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are observer states.


31 posted on 05/04/2013 7:36:52 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks robowombat.


32 posted on 05/04/2013 7:58:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: Newbomb Turk

The Russian Army is fixated upon fielding a force than can dominate the vast Eurasian plain that stretches from the borders of Poland to the frontiers of Manchuria. This geographic feature has molded the history and culture of Russia in a way that is unique among the great powers. It may be wrongheaded but the Russian military sees power projection over this huge area as the basis for the military might of the state and the keystone in the force structure that protects Russia from renewed threats from the west and from China in the east.


33 posted on 05/04/2013 8:38:59 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: Conserev1

Thanks for your service. However, I’m not really understanding what you’re saying with your first point(s). Suffice to say, F-15s or any other airplanes only enter the picture if they’re able to attack their targets. Put another way, do you think it’s useless for our army to field armor? If one side is able to establish air supremacy, armor has proven quite useful (see Desert Storm, OIF, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian conflict for case studies). In fact, in Desert Storm, despite an extensive air campaign and an inept enemy who made no attempt at concealment, coalition forces had to contend with substantial Iraqi ground forces (including armor) to eject the Iraqis from Kuwait. Now, one can make an argument that advances in ATGMs have have eroded armor’s usefulness—especially in built up areas—but advances in protection, both active and passive, have balanced this somewhat.


34 posted on 05/05/2013 12:23:43 AM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: Constantine XI Palaeologus

Next billboard please


35 posted on 05/05/2013 5:00:37 AM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: freeandfreezing

Neither do BDUs.


36 posted on 05/05/2013 5:05:09 AM PDT by csmusaret (America is more divided today , not because of the problems we face but because of Obama's solutions)
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To: Conserev1

“You are going to protect soldiers from laser and arial attack with a Tank! The ground war is obselete!”

Been hearing this for decades and the tank is not only still with us, but a dominant force on the battlefield.


37 posted on 05/05/2013 11:17:41 AM PDT by Owl558 (Those who remember George Satayana and doomed to repeat him)
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To: lacrew
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/weapons/a/blacknight.htm

Black Knight - Future Combat Unmanned Ground Vehicle Is Similar To A Tank

The Black Knight is a remote controlled armored vehicle being developed by British defence company BAE Systems PLC. The unmanned ground combat vehicle is currently in the prototype phase. However, people in the global defense industry have high hopes for the Black Knight and see it as the future of ground warfare. Unmanned ground vehicles are operated remotely from a distance, and soldiers do not travel in them – keeping military personnel out of harm’s way.

While unmanned vehicles are mostly associated with aircraft and aerial drones, a growing number of unmanned ground vehicles are also being developed for use by militaries around the world. The Black Knight is one of the most sophisticated of the unmanned ground combat vehicles, and its development is at an advanced phase. In 2010, the U.S. Army was putting the vehicle through a series of evaluations...


38 posted on 05/06/2013 4:02:41 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

That’s a nice concept...but lots of concepts come and go. I wouldn’t classify that as a tank either, as its main gun could never kill another tank.

I’m an old tanker....its hard enough using a 2d night vision driver site (ie there are accidents). I couldn’t imagine negotiating terrain full time through a screen...or identifying targets (which often occurs with peripheral vision). And what happens when you throw track? Too many complications. But beyond that, remote control tanks contradict our fighting doctrine. The only reason we have tanks is to protect pc’s...and the only reason we have pc’s is to bring infantry to an area. If the area doesnt need infantry, it doesnt need tanks....and the remote control operations should be left to drones in the air.
A


39 posted on 05/06/2013 6:34:35 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Conserev1; Constantine XI Palaeologus; Southack
The Warthog? The A-10? Since you used 'LOL' please permit me to also go 'internet' (to quote Southack's very accurate portrayal of your other post) on you and also 'LOL.' The A-10 is a very effective weapon ...if it is operating in third-world airspace hunting monkey-model tanks. That is, if the targets are the usual suspects of Iraq/Bosnia/Afghanistan etc. I believe during the Gulf war 7 A-10s were written off (and of those 4 outrightly destroyed by SAMs). Not too bad considering they destroyed hundreds of Iraqi tanks. However, if you are going to use the Warthog against an adversary that is actually formidable, then you are making a big mistake. Against a proper IADS (e.g. the Chinese and Russian IADS) the A-10 is simply not survivable.

Actually, it has not been survivable for over thirty years. During the Cold War talk between Apache and Warthog pilots was which of the two platforms (AH-64 vs A-10) would survive the longest if the Soviets ever came streaming through the Fulda Gap.

I am not saying the A-10 is useless. It is a very effective weapon ...just that against a credible opponent (i.e. not Somalia, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Libya, Panama, Grenada) like China it is useless. Well, I guess I am saying it is useless against a non third-world opponent.

Let me tell you what my prayer is. That the great minds who form US military policy are strategic thinkers, rather than people who crow and fluff themselves over past US victories and think everything is ok. Those past US victories have been due to superior weapons used by the US forces, superior strategies, superior support, superior situational awareness. Superior people. They have also been against countries that are simply not formidable! Take Iraq ...a very poor IADS (the KARI system was a mix of Soviet and French SAM systems aimed at preventing a repeat of the Israeli and Iranian air attacks against the Osirak reaction ...yet even that poor SAM system managed to shoot down dozens of Allied aircraft and required proper planning to take it down), an airforce that was largely limited to short-range missiles and lacking even radar-warning receivers to warn the pilot of a radar lock, and strategies out of 1960s USSR. Or Somalia? Skinny half-starved people high on khat and shooting like their bullets will be guided by Allah. Or Afghanistan? Grenada? Panama?

The US will not always be fortunate to fight against third-world powers. The world is changing, and in the future you will see countries like China and Russia start to exert themselves, and lower powers like Indonesia and Pakistan possess area-denial weapons. Already, looking at China, the entire South China Sea is literally a no-go zone for ANY known US asset apart from the Virginia class, Seawolf and Ohio submarines. No air asset can operate there - not even the vaunted F-22 (a scenario gamed by DARPA showed the fueling tankers getting shot down and the Raptors running out of fuel and crashing into the sea). This is now - in 15 years the Chinese IADS and area-denial will only get better.

Hence my prayer. That the military minds with actual power have the force of will and strategic thought to look at current and future threats rather than wanking at the A-10. The A-10 requires a totally sanitized IADS environment otherwise it is dead! There is a reason it has all those redundancies - because in anything but a sanitized environment it is simply a target.

The only way the US will stay ahead is by taking upcoming threats seriously. This may end up with the US overestimating the threat and thus having weapons that are far better than what the adversary has (e.g. how the MiG-25 was misread as a Soviet superfighter and made the inception of the F-15 much easier; or how the Alfa submarines and their vaunted titanium hulls made the US come up with the Sealwolf supersub), but it is far better to overestimate than to underestimate.

It is better to be working on a 6th generation fighter when the rest of the world is trying to catch up on 5th gen, rather than to bow before the A-10 when it is a useless piece of equipment in any airspace that is not third-world.

40 posted on 05/07/2013 1:20:55 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: spetznaz

Russia and China can knock down A-10’s in their airspace, but both have weaknesses in projecting force into the areas that the U.S. cares about.

The U.S. isn’t invading Russia or China.

Ever.

There simply aren’t U.S. interests there.

For that matter, geopolitical decisions and priorities are changing.

Russia doesn’t gain anything from invading Europe. It would in fact lose its largest customer of natural gas and have to prop up Greeks who refuse to work.

China isn’t invading its biggest customer, the U.S.

...and every U.S. oil well that gets fracked means that Africa diminishes in importance for the U.S.

What the world is coming to is a point where the regional and Super-Powers only need to project force into lawless badlands or into the occasional invaded minor country.

Russia is an oil exporter. China is an oil importer. The U.S. is headed toward oil neutrality in the next 5 years.

Which is to say, the major geopolitical goals of the world’s largest powers no longer clash.

China has some issues with Taiwan and India. Handled properly there won’t be another global war.

Just regional wars or war-flashes.

...and that means more and more drones. Zap. There goes another bad guy, and they aren’t putting up many IED’s in the sky to fight back.

They’ve got small arms, and the new main battle tanks can dispatch with them.


41 posted on 05/07/2013 1:48:44 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Well stated. For every weapon system, there is another weapon system to match it.

Terrain and situation drive the operational environment.


42 posted on 05/07/2013 1:59:46 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: spetznaz

Dude Chill out! I only used the A-10 as an example of 1 weapon that can be used against a tank! Yes it’s old and out dated but I’m sure there is a new weapon system that will make this wonderful new tank obselete!
I do know which seat I’d rather be sitting in though! LOL


43 posted on 05/07/2013 6:00:01 AM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Conserev1

Here you go this armed and no pilot death!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=CxWTqHiy3RM


44 posted on 05/07/2013 1:53:30 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: lacrew

“And what happens when you throw track?”

You push the self-destruct button. Yes, it may not completely replace the manned tank, but I think it will become developed enough that it will be used in battle, and will enable us to save a lot of lives and a lot of supplies. The logistics of supply are a big part of war. The fewer your army uses, the better. You use these tanks as the vanguard, move in to kill the enemy, and the men follow behind to strike the second blow.


45 posted on 05/07/2013 4:15:56 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

Well,

We’re going to continue to disagree. My opinion is formed on the basis of 5 years as an Armor officer...so please take into account that I have a little bit of experience in this area.

Again, tanks are part of a land force - and the only reason for a land force is to hold ground. Ever since the advent of air power, there have been failed notions that air power alone can hold ground...it never does. So, if you want to hold ground, you need real live people there...and the tanks are just a means of protecting the people.

No need for people on the ground in a certain situation - aerial drones are the obvious choice.

You may not be completely aware of how often a tank breaks down - but it is often. Also, you may have noticed during the invasion of Iraq, there was footage of our tanks stopped, with the turrets turned sideways, during pauses in the advance. These were soldiers doing maintenance - checking fluids, and lifting out the v-pack air filters to blow the sand out of them. This can’t be accomplished without a crew. Bottom line, a drone aircraft gets to come back to home base every 24 hours or so - this would not be true with a tank, and it would be impossible to perform maintenance. That would be a real problem. Heck, in extreme cold, we would often have to ‘slave start’ each other’s tanks with giant jumper cables...yet another action that could not be accomplished without humans on board. The list of problems is endless.

As far as saving lives and using them as a ‘vanguard force’. First of all, it is difficult for me to paint a picture of how rough it is driving at full speed across terrain....and how the tank commander is constantly on edge, looking for obstacles and alerting the driver. You see, the driver can’t see much. The problem is partially because his vision is so low...but its also because he can only see through a ‘vision block’, which is really a periscope. He has zero peripheral vision, and a very limited field of view...just like driving remote control would be - with no TC up top to prevent accidents.

But beyond that, do we need to use a vanguard force to save lives? Last I checked, our M1 force hasn’t had one problem in tank on tank or tank on armor fighting. They won the initial fight in Iraq just fine. The destroyed tanks and deaths came later, when using the tank as a patrol vehicle, and mines get them. So, the notion of a battalion of tanks as the tip of the spear in an armored assault is frankly unnecessary. That’s the easy part.

And consider the good ole police bomb robot. You’ve seen these things on tv...and they’ve been around for decades now. Yet, if you watch one being operated, it is not a smooth thing to watch. The robot moves very slowly...usually stops before pivot steering...and they have to be extraordinarily careful if they are on anything but flat ground. That’s the leading edge technology for remote controlled track vehicles - and its not very impressive.

Finally, the original article called this an ‘armored vehicle’. And, I assure you that doesn’t mean tank. What it probably means is a remote controlled vehicle that can be used in police type actions in urban environments - like Israel would use to patrol the occupied territories. Looking at it, that is exactly what it is...lacking a gun anywhere close to qualifying it as a tank.

Back in the 1980’s Ft Carson was converted to an ‘all wheel’ division. No tracked vehicles. It was trendy, and everyone knew that all of our heavy divisions would be converted to fast and nimble wheeled vehicles. It didn’t happen.

A quarter century ago, I attended a briefing which described our capabilities and plans for anti-personnel lasers. We currently use alot of lasers for range finding; and, while they are dangerous, they are not deliberately used against people. Well, this briefing included prototypes of an M-16 with a laser, and other type equipment. The idea was (and its almost laughable) instead of killing the enemy with bullets, we would blind them with lasers. Somehow, this would be more readily acceptable to the American people and community of nations than killing people. I’m not kidding. This was a real live army project, with funding and prototypes and a plan to implement. Obviously, it went nowhere. Dozens of army projects go nowhere, for every one that finally gets a green light.

So trust me. Remote control tanks will not replace tanks. If any of the tank’s role is to be replaced, it will be replaced by a technology we already have - aerial drones.

One last thing - another temptation has always been to replace the tanks with tanks that use smaller crews, for all the logistical reasons you cited. The Soviets went to 3 man crews a long time ago - the history of Russian warfare is written around logistics and distance problems, so its very important to them. So, they replaced the human loader with an auto loader. Bad idea. First, the U.S. Army did inadvertant testing on 3 man crews after the first Gulf War. The ‘Peace Dividend’ meant we never had enough manpower, and much of our training was done with 3 man crews. It turned out that 3 man crews didn’t work well for taking shifts pulling nightitime security, or doing some major maintenance tasks which require 4 men. So, instead of operating 4 tanks with 3 men each, we tarped up a tank, and operated the remaining 3 with 4 man crews. Another vicious problem the Iraqis discovered in the first Gulf War - the autoloader requires the entire turret basket be surrounded with vertically stacked rounds. You may remember endless photos of tanks with their turrets flipped over, the result of being hit by a US round. That flipped turret - a direct result of that ammo configuration. So, the U.S. has stuck with 4 man crews by now....but guess what? Around 20-25 years ago, I went to another briefing. In this briefing, we were shown the tank of the future...which should have been deployed by now, if you were to believe the briefers. It was a 2 man tank, with an un-manned turret. The two men would be in the hull, and use screens to see, navigate, acquire targets, etc. It was supposed to risk less lives, and require less logistics. I’m not sure what ever happened to the tank of the future...but I assume testing showed it to be a terrible idea. Alas, another concept bit the dust.


46 posted on 05/07/2013 5:20:43 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: lacrew

Well, I respect your opinion but let me remind you that the admirals were opposed to the aircraft carrier in the 30’s because they were afraid it might obsolete their battleships and put themselves out of a job. Of course, history proved them wrong. The battleships were needed to protect the aircraft carriers.

The correct way to view this unmanned tank is that it’s really a new weapon, not simply a new version of the old weapon. If you need speed and fuel economy, then ditching the personnel, shrinking the size, and taking advantage of expendability and reduced profile to reduce the armor gets you a capability that you did not have before. You just need to figure out a way to use it to your best advantage. I think it could soften up the enemy’s defenses in advance of a manned tank advance. And moving a lot of small lightweight unmanned tanks around the world where they are needed would be a lot quicker and less expensive than the logistics of moving a manned tank battalion. Maybe you could even drop them in by parachute. You don’t need to feed, pay, uniform, train, or quarter computers. Your manpower limitations become less important. I am reminded of these totalitarian regimes who urge their population to have children so they can be conscripted. That’s so 20th Century.


47 posted on 05/12/2013 9:04:25 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

Well I really think these are solutions in search of a problem. Need a lightweight vehicle to move quickly in and out? Aerial drones. Need to ‘soften up’ the enemy? We have bombers and artillery...but besides that, we do just fine in tank battles anyway - so well that I doubt any nation will ever again array its forces in a matter that sets up a traditional tank battle. Parachute tanks? The 82nd Airborne already does it with the Sheridan. Finally, unlike Admirals holding onto their battleships, I know tanks might not be in our future...so I’m not holding on for nostalgia’s sake. I jus happen to believe that drones will replace them - not a fleet of RC tanks. And btw, the Admirals’ fears have been realized...we don’t have battleships in our fleet anymore.


48 posted on 05/12/2013 10:43:27 AM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: robowombat

Would be interested in what their powertrain looks like.


49 posted on 05/12/2013 10:47:02 AM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: JoeProBono

Looks like they are building a Merkava. Should work pretty well.

Though I still wonder why no one has gone for a remote turret and keeping the crew in a cabin in the main body.


50 posted on 05/12/2013 10:47:19 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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