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Tanks - outdated?

#1
I'm sure this has been dragged up before but not in the context I am referring to. I believe the last time this was brought up it was in regards to the current battles we are fighting and if they are suitable for that.

Now, what I'm wondering is, with the advances in anti-armour weapons these days are these 60 tonne beasts outdated? Helicopters can destroy them, jets can take them out, of course other tanks can, and the humble infantry man armed with a Javelin can take them out. Is it ever going to be worth it in the future having a multimillion pound vehicle that can be removed from the battlefield by something that costs a fraction of itself?
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
you could make the argument that antiship and antiaircraft missiles cost a small amount of the cost of their targets. by that logic, are ships and aircraft obsolete on that basis too?
 
#4
I guess it all depends whether and on how well the threats can be suppressed or destroyed. There's a similar sort of logic in that argument to saying that the machine-gun rendered infantry obsolete. I know the Cav would be first to agree with that one, but every armoured force needs grunts to keep redforce grunts at bay. It's just a question of utilising the capabilities in concert with others.
 
#5
vampireuk said:
the humble infantry man armed with a Javelin can take them out.
There's nothing humble about the Inf - gunners may be queens of the Battlefield - but the inf are, without a shadow of a doubt, the kings of it. :)
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
your question was 'Is it ever going to be worth it in the future having a multimillion pound vehicle that can be removed from the battlefield by something that costs a fraction of itself?'

not 'show me a one man anti ship weapon'.

and wasnt there the RM type with a carl gustav who came close to doing just that in the falklands? ;)
 
P

PrinceAlbert

Guest
#9
With that logic does the human now have a place on the battlefield?

The human can be killed by a bullet, a tank, and plane, a falling tree, a collapsing building.

With that logic the only thing that has a place on a battlefield is a DU round. But with everything else obsolete, who's going to fire it down range, and at what?

Perhaps DU conkers will be the future of warfare, and 2 opposing Generals will tip up with their trusty 11er, varnished, dipped in vinegar, and cooked for 30 mins, on para-cord??
 
#10
vampireuk said:
You show me an anti-ship missile that can be transported by one man and I'll eat my hat*

*hat may not be eaten
Maybe not carried by but certainly the inflatable ridden by al chieda that took out the USS Cole was a very cheap weapon!
 
#11
smartascarrots said:
I guess it all depends whether and on how well the threats can be suppressed or destroyed. There's a similar sort of logic in that argument to saying that the machine-gun rendered infantry obsolete. I know the Cav would be first to agree with that one, but every armoured force needs grunts to keep redforce grunts at bay. It's just a question of utilising the capabilities in concert with others.
and grunts need armour to keep armour at bay......

To be honest. No, I don't see the MBT being removed from the battlefield in the near future. We may see armoured exoskeltons that came one step closer to the true One man tank but not that soon.
 
#12
I don't think single man anti tank weapons made tanks obsolete, I think that it brought back the paradigm where Infantry support the tanks vs tanks supporting the infantry.

It really depends on the theater you are in. If you are working over large flat expanses tanks and mech infantry will be king, on the other hand, if you are in mountainous, jungle, or urban tanks play a much much lesser role.

When I was in Korea, any kind of mech unit was virtually useless other than covering an MSR or bridge or something. Even then they need infantry on flank to guard. A man walking on a ridge line could cover much more distance than any land vehicle there.
 
#14
Tanks like Infantry take and hold ground, they are mutually supporting, no amount of fast air or heli can do that, whilst weapons evolve remember that the Infantieer still has a rifle with bayonet attached the modern pointy stick.
 
#16
About six years ago I went to a place called Safwan, escorting Cmd Med on his first visit to the Hospital there. There was a bad feeling about the place, bags of tension and I was waiting for it to kick off. From nowhere a CR2 bimbled down the road and parked up. Things calmed down there and then.

Tank worked then!
 
#17
tommyhutch said:
The invasion of Iraq and the Russian action in Georgia went pretty well for the tank I thought. I guess there'll always be a place for the tank as long as there are second-rate, modestly equipped armies to fight against.
I think that's a key point. So long as your stuff is better than their stuff, and your training and doctrine are suitable, you're laughing. If the US ever invaded us, I think we'd probably be royally screwed. Since that's still unlikely, a tank of Challey2 standard should still be a vital asset in places like Afgh, Iraq, Somalia, Darfur, Zimbabwe...
 
#18
I recall a vigorous debate on this subject back in the 1970's after the Yom Kippur war.

The conclusion was that a force comprised of a single arm was vulnerable. The Israeli response then was to ensure they used mixed armour and infantry units with artillery and air support.I believe these were called "Battle-Groups" in the BAOR of the 80's/90's.

Shall we start again and explain how the Phalanx is vulnerable without Hoplite and Cavalry support ?
 
#20
Apprently this to is man portable, I personally wouldn't want to be the guy carrying it but I'd want to shoot it!

Another potential tactic is to blast so many holes in the hull of the boat, the saliors inside would never have time to patch them up before they sink! (Jedi robe and chef hat required .
 

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