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The role of the tank today ?

Discussion in 'Post-World War 2 Armour' started by Steiner phpbb3, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. SgtBob

    SgtBob New Member

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    Something like the Stryker may be able to take out a T-72 from a safe range, but when it moves forward with the infantry it will be a sitting duck to RPGs, LAWs, etc. This type of vehicle reminds me of the pre-WW II U.S. theory that tank killers need not be heavily armored since they can hit hard against tanks, move fast to avoid getting hit, and are not in the infantry support business. What happens in the real world? They are indeed needed to support the infantry, or they get ambushed, and their thin skin gets them killed regardless of their speed.

    Air support and standoff weapons are getting more and more lethal, but MBTs will be there in 2024. They may well be semi or fully automated and therefor much smaller, but they will be there. You can't win a war without control of the air, but you won't be able to assume control on the ground without tanks (and of course infantry). Numbers are already irrelevant. A group of state-of-the-art MBTs, with support, is much like a Roman Legion ripping through a tribal army. This (and lack of stomach for the fight by much of the regular Iraqi Army) was why one U.S. division and a Marine Expeditionary Force ripped through their forces like tissue paper.
     
  2. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Tanks (and other tracked vehicles) are hardly ever used to clear urban areas, they are sitting ducks. Battles like Stalingrad taught us that. The infantry are the most effective way of clearing an urban area, and that is how they do it.

    You said the tanks easily ripped thru the Iraqi defences. Well they did, but too easily. An M1A2 Abrams costs roughly 8.5 million USD apiece. The infantry could have easily ripped thru the defences at a fraction of this price. Tanks are expensive, so they are used to cause expensive damage on the enemy. The tanks caused damage in Iraq, but nothing close to the cost of even 1 Abrams tank. An easy way to put it is that an Abrams can not pay for itself over time, while fast, heavily armed APCs like the Stryker pay for themselves in a very short period of time.
     
  3. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    That is a good point, for war these days, as everything, is about profit. the military vehicles companies have to get their money from the deal.
     
  4. Gatsby phpbb3

    Gatsby phpbb3 New Member

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    [/quote]

    Nonono, what i meant was that fast moving aircraft i.e. fighters and or strike aircraft arent too effective at tank killing.
     
  5. Gatsby phpbb3

    Gatsby phpbb3 New Member

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    Lets say we have two equally matched armies. Both are fighting for control of the air. Both have heavily armed helicopter gunships and state-of-the-art air supeority fighters. Both have ample amounts of heavy artillery. Both have and effective air-defense system to take on those vaunted tank killers

    In this case, the tank will be the one needed to conduct the initial assault. As time passes, tanks get better armoured and are armed with heavier weaponry. Infantry, however, will always be vulnerable to almost anything thrown at them. Lightly armoured vehicles like the stryker will be unable to achieve a decisive breakthrough unless the opposition is unable to generate enough return fire. In the fight for air supeority, te defender will have the upper hand due to radar, proximity to base and support from AA artillery. Aerial bombardment, if done under partial air supeority, will most likely incur high casaulties on the attacking side as bomb-laden aircraft or slow-moving tank killers are vulnerable to interceptors and SAMs.

    However, most modern wars are fought in such a way that one side is overwhelmingly superior to the other. Therefore, constructing the stryker is the most economical way of equipping armoured regiments considering the abovementioned scenario. If the US were to fight the Soviet Union in the 80s, the situation would have ben quite different.
     
  6. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    I vouch for a return of the Heavy Infantry! Like in the olden days, with armour and heavy weaponry... That's the old weapon of the new wars!
     
  7. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Thats why they are not used, and the job is left to the tank busting planes and heliocopters.

    That is the point I was trying to make. But there is no chance of this war to happen anymore, so big super-expensive tanks are next to worthless.
     
  8. SgtBob

    SgtBob New Member

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    Yes, tanks can be vulnerable in urban fighting, especially if they are thin- skinned (see Stryker) and poorly used. The "Thunder Runs" the 3rd ID made into Baghdad would have been disasters in nothing but thin-skinned vehicles.

    Yes, the infantry could/would have eventually plodded through the Iraqi defenses, at a speed Sir Bernard Montgomery would have been proud of. I don't know the cost of a Stryker, but I'm betting it's not a lot cheaper than an Abrams. Mark my words, the first time any unit (be it European or U.S.) goes into battle against anyone fighting harder than the Haitians with nothing but Stryker-type vehicles, it will result in a disaster.
     
  9. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    That is why the infantry did the main part of clearing Baghdad of Iraqi troops. Even most of the tanks were ordered to wait outside of Baghdad until it was safe to move in.

    But there will be more than Stryker type vehicles if you include attack planes, heliocopters, and so on. It is these vehicles which are already doing most of the dirty work.

    Even so, the Stryker is a mutli-purpose vehicle so you get more "bang for you buck" because it is an AFV, IFV, and an APC, while the M1A2 is only an AFV.
     
  10. Steiner phpbb3

    Steiner phpbb3 New Member

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    The Russian conflict in Chechnya during the late nineties of teh last century shows as the worthlessnes of tanks. No inferior enemy goes into the open field to counter a tank, but he is going to hide into the mountains, forrests and cities. The only way to strike at him is to hunt them down with highly mobile squads who can move after them after they have striked. The only way to have such mobility and firepower available is by moving with the helicopter, which can also provide high firepower.

    War is about speed and firepower, because you need to win a war convincingly by striking the enemy fast and decisively. At the beginning of W.W. II the tank provided both speed and firepower, but as the war progressed the airplanes became more sophisticated and specialised. they began to rule the battlefield by their development, while the tank's mobility and power decreased by more effective anti-tankweapons during the war. The tank was no longer the king of the battlefield at the end.

    After W.W. II tankdevelopment never regained the innovation and diversity of W.W. II. Many types of tanks disappeared and the production was confined to one medium battletank. Technology improved, but that had no significant influence on the ROLE of the tank. During W.W. II the outcome of the war was for a great deal linked to the development and production of the tank, but during the Cold War it was more and more linked to the development and production of aircraft.
     
  11. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Great example. I don't know how many tanks the Russians have lost in Chechnya, but I'm sure its not low.

    This occured mostly in the western front, as the allies overwhelming air superiority caused the German tanks to hunt by night, causing them to be as ineffective as possible. But, also the fact of the German tanks unrealiabilitness helped also. But even so, it was the German tanks that were feared most of all, so I wouldn't say their reign was up just yet.
     
  12. Steiner phpbb3

    Steiner phpbb3 New Member

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    And anti-tankweapons were feared by the crewmen of the tanks in return. A battlefield always has been a harzadous place, but for the tank the battlefield was in 1944 a far more hazardous place than it was in 1939.

    The use of the tank is limited by the experience that they are quite useless for most types of terrain or only at very high risk of being hit, for instance mountains/hilly countryside, jungle/forest, urban area's, etc.
     
  13. liang

    liang New Member

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    Whatever the limitations are, there will always be a place for tanks on the battlefield. Anytime you have infantries facing each other, they will need armor support. Just like old fashion artillery, tank will be here to stay for another 100 years.
     
  14. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Yes, the tank will always have a place in the military, no doubt, but the thing that will change is its use. It will be used much less and will be made in smaller numbers.
     
  15. PanzerProfile

    PanzerProfile New Member

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    I think we should also question ourselves what it's role is going to be... I think it's not going to be more than spotting the enemy, or firing some missiles on them. The rest will be safely done from the air or even greater distances.
     
  16. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    Go go Warthog!!
     
  17. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    The Stryker is a very fast, high powered hitter. It costs a fraction of the cost to build, maintain, and transport in comparison to a MBT.
    I do not believe it is a rplacement for the MBT however it is going to be an impact player for armies to deploy in; numbers, and speed. This type of vehicle will force an opponent to think twice when using AFV's etc.

    This will all change when the Guass Cannon begins to be fitted onto AFV's within the next decade. This weapon will force a new type of armour to be developed to deflect the kinetic energy of those rounds.

    The American war machine will then need another war to test its latest toys, and eliminate the glitches. I'm not trying to be negative here on politics, just realistic.
     
  18. liang

    liang New Member

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    Yep, my stocks are not doing well, the US need to start another war against another suspected "terrorist" state soon.
     
  19. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    Bought aluminum stocks for the military aircraft industy?

    I just hope when the Americans invent a new enemy of state they don't look Northward, to Canada.
     
  20. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    How did you know about Operation Klondike??? :D
     

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