Main Battle Tanks: East vs West

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weasel1962

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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 01:43

China did develop an unmanned MBT based on the type 59 platform whilst the Russians have developed the same for the T-72.
Cost could be a big factor but mitigated if using end of life inventory.

I think it does make sense at least for first wave assaults where casualties are likely to be the highest. The other role is improving situation awareness especially under fire. Cameras can still run even when the vehicle is disabled.

Same benefit in defence, it may not be sufficient to achieve a kill by putting a tank round thru a UGV hull, since the gun continues to operate. That's why 250 to 500lb-er still numero uno.
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boogieman

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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 01:58

Didn't the Russians dip their toe in the water with the Uran9 UGV? Not sure how that one panned out... Personally I'd be concerned about losing the command link to the vehicle thanks to enemy EW and unwittingly donating a UGV to OPFOR...
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knowan

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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 05:48

boogieman wrote:Didn't the Russians dip their toe in the water with the Uran9 UGV? Not sure how that one panned out... Personally I'd be concerned about losing the command link to the vehicle thanks to enemy EW and unwittingly donating a UGV to OPFOR...


Uran9 was a massive flop: https://defence-blog.com/army/combat-te ... -tank.html

Probably the biggest flaw was extremely short command link range of just 300-500 meters in light urban terrain.
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boogieman

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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 06:00

knowan wrote:Uran9 was a massive flop: https://defence-blog.com/army/combat-te ... -tank.html

Probably the biggest flaw was extremely short command link range of just 300-500 meters in light urban terrain.


:shock: :lmao:

I think we should counter it with this just to be safe:
Image
Although best be careful, I hear new Russian AT weapons can defeat our frontal armour...
https://youtu.be/4Hm-h-nG5ng?t=662
:mrgreen: :P
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charlielima223

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Unread post03 Aug 2020, 13:49

USMC is undergoing a massive force restructuring. One thing that they're going to do is get rid of their heavy armor units. I dont agree with this and no former or active marine that I know think this is a good idea...

https://www.overtdefense.com/2020/07/31 ... ns-abrams/
On 27 July, Marine tankers of the 2d Tank Battalion, 2d Marine Division rode their M1A1 Abrams off the tank ramp at Camp Lejeune for the final time, in advance of the final departure of the tanks from the camp. The departure of the tanks brings to an end nearly 80 years of history, with the Battalion’s tanks returning to the tank lot after training exercises or combat deployments until now.

The departure of the M1A1s comes after the deactivation of Charlie Company, 2d Tank Battalion, 2d Marine Division on 24 July. 2d Tank Battalion as a whole is scheduled to be deactivated this year, in accordance with the Marine Corps Force Design 2030, which calls for the divestment of all tanks in favor of a new structure better suited to naval expeditionary warfare in the Pacific.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post03 Aug 2020, 14:13

knowan wrote:
boogieman wrote:Didn't the Russians dip their toe in the water with the Uran9 UGV? Not sure how that one panned out... Personally I'd be concerned about losing the command link to the vehicle thanks to enemy EW and unwittingly donating a UGV to OPFOR...


Uran9 was a massive flop: https://defence-blog.com/army/combat-te ... -tank.html

Probably the biggest flaw was extremely short command link range of just 300-500 meters in light urban terrain.


That's a real technical problem for such ground vehicles. Urban environment is difficult because there are a lot of stuff (buildings, hills, trees etc) that LOS data links won't work. Non-LOS data links are possible but it's really difficult to get high performance out of them and they are easily detectable by the enemy and also pretty easily jammed. Of course it'd be possible to use UAVs as radio relays but those would be vulnerable and have short endurance for that task. So the vehicles would basically have enormous amount of AI hardware and software to work in all kinds of difficult environments and situations. That would make them very expensive and I doubt they would work reliably.

I do think that robotics has a place in urban combat, but in the form of smaller UGVs like basically all the current UGVs are. I could see having heavy tank sized UGV for mine clearing or for bridge laying. Both tasks are really dangerous under fire and there the short range command link would not hamper operations too much. Automating those tasks would be much easier than automating MBT tasks and they would be easier to control remotely as everything happens a lot slower and more predictably.
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gideonic

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Unread post03 Aug 2020, 23:43

hornetfinn wrote:I do think that robotics has a place in urban combat, but in the form of smaller UGVs like basically all the current UGVs are. I could see having a heavy tank sized UGV for mine clearing or for bridge laying. Both tasks are really dangerous under fire and there the short range command link would not hamper operations too much. Automating those tasks would be much easier than automating MBT tasks and they would be easier to control remotely as everything happens a lot slower and more predictably.

I've had the same Impression. That's why I was quite shocked when Milrem (who have also focused on it's smaller THeMIS UGV in the past) suddenly announced that they are working on a larger modular hybrid drivetrain Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV as they call it), the Type-X:

Image
THeMIS on the left, Type-X concept on the right (actual turret seems to differ, see below)

Here is an image of the first prototype fitted with a CPWS II turret (quite different from the concept, still wouldn't be surprised if this is just a trade-show mockup):
Image

Rough dimensions:
Length: 6 m
Width: 2.9m
Height: 2.2 m (with turret)
Weight: 12 tonnes

Here is an article describing how they envision this vehicle would work on the battlefield:
https://www.edrmagazine.eu/type-x-an-un ... m-robotics

And some concept-art of envisioned configurations:
Image

Why bring this up?
Now I would normally discard this as a hopeless misguided company-funded effort, especially as Milrem is an absurdly small player among a large number of heavyweights in the industry (and most of the info above is Company's own PR material).

The following facts however made me at least somewhat curious about the project:

1. Milrem has already exported the smaller THeMIS UGV to 9 countries (7 out of which are NATO countries) so they have at least some experience.
2. Type-X is not a company funded effort.The R&D for this vehicle is almost entirely being bankrolled by an unnamed NATO country (well the Article doesn't strictly mention NATO per-se but Estonia is small and I managed to grab first-hand knowledge that this country is in fact a large NATO country).

TL;DR:
At least one unknown instance within the armed force of a large NATO member is prepared to bankroll and outsource (to a noname tiny Eastern European company, no less) the development of an actual IFV-sized robotic combat vehicle. Even if it's just for some proof of concept, this means they at least deem the concept somewhat viable.
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charlielima223

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 00:38

Two additional developments came to my attention.

1. The M1A2C is now in active service

https://www.overtdefense.com/2020/07/23 ... ate-m1a2c/

2. Rheinmetall released a new turret design to accomodate a larger 130mm gun/cannon

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/27551 ... yieBWhlA0M
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weasel1962

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 01:34

Before the L55, there was the new Panzer cannon 140 / KWIII. I think Nexter is looking at 140 for the Leclerc. Looks like there could be a 130 vs 140 compete on the MGCS.
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madrat

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 02:32

Can any modern MBT even survive the 120?? I'm not seeing the need save for masculinity issues. At some point you lose quickness necessary for assurance of getting off the first shot. If you are sniping then I'm going to want the 155 raining down at distances far in excess of the 120. You also decrease reload speeds as you scale up, which certainly plays a factor when the enemy holds numerical advantages. (Which might not really be an issue since the CCCP collapse.) MBT survival depends on cover for its ultimate survival. I hope passive electronic sensors with AI and IIR technologies matched to battlespace integration are ore important than a bigger gun. In the end I care less about how a target evaporates than the ultimate survival of the force.
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weasel1962

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 03:26

I think the US Army with DU rounds, probably don't see the need. However, from European perspective with tungsten rounds, it may be a bit more dodgy.

Agree on the issues though. Logistically, changing out rounds, space and load concerns, design issues, interoperability etc.
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michaelemouse

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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 03:58

hornetfinn wrote:
knowan wrote:
boogieman wrote:Didn't the Russians dip their toe in the water with the Uran9 UGV? Not sure how that one panned out... Personally I'd be concerned about losing the command link to the vehicle thanks to enemy EW and unwittingly donating a UGV to OPFOR...


Uran9 was a massive flop: https://defence-blog.com/army/combat-te ... -tank.html

Probably the biggest flaw was extremely short command link range of just 300-500 meters in light urban terrain.


That's a real technical problem for such ground vehicles. Urban environment is difficult because there are a lot of stuff (buildings, hills, trees etc) that LOS data links won't work. Non-LOS data links are possible but it's really difficult to get high performance out of them and they are easily detectable by the enemy and also pretty easily jammed. Of course it'd be possible to use UAVs as radio relays but those would be vulnerable and have short endurance for that task. So the vehicles would basically have enormous amount of AI hardware and software to work in all kinds of difficult environments and situations. That would make them very expensive and I doubt they would work reliably.

I do think that robotics has a place in urban combat, but in the form of smaller UGVs like basically all the current UGVs are. I could see having heavy tank sized UGV for mine clearing or for bridge laying. Both tasks are really dangerous under fire and there the short range command link would not hamper operations too much. Automating those tasks would be much easier than automating MBT tasks and they would be easier to control remotely as everything happens a lot slower and more predictably.



The closest we currently have to a working combat UGV is those bomb defusing robots. From what I understand, the riskiest fights for 1st world militaries involve getting close to the enemy, especially when it comes to clearing buildings in MOUT. If your goal is to encircle a building/block and then clear it of enemies, the limited range of UGVs wouldn't be that much of a problem. A lot of enemies currently being fought wouldn't have the sophistication to detect or jam non-LoS datalinks. At a low level like platoon or company, I'm not sure near peers would be able to either but someone may well show me wrong.

Starting from what we currently know and at the lowest level of fighting might work better to figure out how to do it. I'm not exactly sure what that would look like though. It might end up looking like this guy doing a Rambot impression: https://imgur.com/59sqPjU


RE: Range: 300-500 meters doesn't seem like much but the vast majority of fighting in urban terrain occurs within 50-100 meters. It might be better to see it in terms of the datalink having 5-6x greater than typical combat range. Could it mean that your antenna could be engaged? Yes. It might be wise for whoever controls a robot to have a long wire between them and the radio relay on the modern battlefield.
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charlielima223

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Unread post29 Aug 2020, 09:05

USMC is in the process of getting rid of their heavy armored force. Now it appears the British military is going to do the same. As a major NATO member, this would make the British military a woefully ineffective fighting force against certain opponents or in certain scenarios.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/scra ... 32431.html
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charlielima223

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Unread post17 Jun 2022, 18:40

Rheinmetall unviels a new tank!

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/06/rhe ... 1-panther/

Has some very interesting features like a larger more potent 130mm gun and the ability to deploy small aerial drones. What I find most amazing is that Rheinmetall developed this tanks all on their own accord and with their own money.
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charlielima223

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Unread post30 Jun 2022, 02:52

US Army selects the General Dynamics light tank design for the MPF program

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2022/0 ... ry-forces/

I can see why the US Army would want a light tank but I think they USMC would get more use out of this now that they have shut down all their M1 Abram units.

Also General Dynamics released a teaser to a new M1 Abrams variant...



OOOooo meaner looking drive lights makes it even more lethal and effective on the battle just like how douche-bags put those angry head lights on their jeeps to make them look more tough. No,in all seriousness it looks like they are teasing a new turret design and engine upgrade. Me thinks they will keep or improve the turbine engine but have it mated with a hybrid electric hence why at the end they had the big "Silent Srike" at the end. The Abrams has a reputation of being more "quiet" than its diesel powered counterparts. It also appears the new turret is going to be the biggest and most advanced feature of this Abrams. Some things are obvious like a new remote system on top. Dual sights atop the turret. What is more interesting to me is seen at the 10 second mark. Is this Abrams variant going to have a DAS like system for its crew?
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