OK, there are some days when you can't resist kicking a hornet's nest to see what comes out, and I must be having one. I'll confess ignorance of most things armoured, and in mitigation plead I do genuinely want to learn. You see, I think tanks were a great invention to break the deadlock of trench warfare in the first world war, and a highly mobile solution to attacking heavily fortified fixed positions in the second. North Africa in WW2 and Iraq proved that tanks are great for killing other tanks and AFV's in open desert. I can see that in many ways, a tank can still be great value for money if you are talking about open warfare against other tanks. But is that likely? Faced with the threat of Soviet armoured divisions rolling across the North European Plain in the Cold War, the West went for attack helos and anti-armour weapons from CAS aircraft rather than more tanks. So in future, I foresee us being embroiled in one of two types of conflict: a) The type of asymmetric warfare we have seen in the last decade, where your enemy's best option to upgrade his transport's resistance to penetrators is thicker soled flip flops. Tanks have seen relatively little action because terrain can restrict their manoeuverability and that makes them vulnerable to IED's, whilst a few insurgent on foot or motorbikes makes for a target poor environment for 120mm shells. To be honest, I think this is by far the most likely scenario the UK is likely to be sucked in to. Not necessarily in more sandy places - we could find ourselves in jungle or mountains next time. Areas, however, where the enemy don't have their own armour, but are more likely to be mingled with the civilian population in situations where collateral damage is unpopular. Tinpot dictators may still be using heavy armour to attack their own populations in urban areas, but I doubt that would be politically acceptable to those concerned about the headlines in tomorrows Guardian. Come to think of it, I don't think it's morally acceptable to me. b) On the other hand, were we to face a nation state with ideas of say reasserting it's former glories (not thinking specifically of somewhere east of Ukraine), said enemy might equally be equipped with attack helos and shoulder launched weapons that could leave our heavy armour vulnerable and out-manoeuvered. Because that's what we'll be deploying first against their tanks. So tell me - (I am listening) just what future scenarios the main battle tank will be a vital asset for? Are tanks more valuable than I think in regime change and counter-insurgency? Are they really not hopelessly vulnerable to shoulder launched weapons and aircraft?