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The end of the tank?

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YORK, PA. — When an armored vehicle pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein in an iconic moment of the Iraq War, it triggered a wave of pride here at the BAE Systems plant where that rig was built. The Marines who rolled to glory in it even showed up to pay their regards to the factory workers.

That bond between the machinists and tradesmen supporting the war effort at home and those fighting on the front lines has held tight for generations — as long as the tank has served as a symbol of military might.

Now that representation of U.S. power is rolling into another sort of morass: the emotional debates playing out as Congress, the military and the defense industry adapt to stark new realities in modern warfare and in the nation’s finances.

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The US Army doesn't need new tanks? Are they taking the MIC?

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If the US Army says they do not need new Tanks, then they are the folk who really know. However, I am sure there is too much "Pork Barrel" up on the hill for reality to rule.

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If the US Army says they do not need new Tanks, then they are the folk who really know. However, I am sure there is too much "Pork Barrel" up on the hill for reality to rule.

Well, if the DoD shares the same level of competence and foresight as the MOD, I'd question that ....

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Anyway, does anyone recall what happened in the 1920s and 30s? We'll never need these weapons of mass destruction like tanks and aircraft again, we can't imagine ever having to fight another war on the same scale as the one we've just had, we can cut the budgets and disband the armo(u)red corps quite happliy ...

:innocent:

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Anyway, does anyone recall what happened in the 1920s and 30s? We'll never need these weapons of mass destruction like tanks and aircraft again, we can't imagine ever having to fight another war on the same scale as the one we've just had, we can cut the budgets and disband the armo(u)red corps quite happliy ...

:innocent:

Give me enough drones and you can keep your tanks.

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Give me enough drones and you can keep your tanks.

A Drone could occupy territory? could support an infantry assault? It could flush out enemies without having to fire a shot just by driving towards them? The instinct when a Drone is droning overhead is just the opposite, to dig in and take cover. It's not just useful for tank-versus-tank combat. The current belief that drones are the solution to everything is very like those in the 1950s who believed that manned aircraft were no longer necessary because Missiles could do everything. Drones are useful for remote assassination while being able to pretend that you're not actually committing acts of war on those you're firing your Missiles at, but they do have their limits.

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A Drone could occupy territory? could support an infantry assault? It could flush out enemies without having to fire a shot just by driving towards them? The instinct when a Drone is droning overhead is just the opposite, to dig in and take cover. It's not just useful for tank-versus-tank combat. The current belief that drones are the solution to everything is very like those in the 1950s who believed that manned aircraft were no longer necessary because Missiles could do everything. Drones are useful for remote assassination while being able to pretend that you're not actually committing acts of war on those you're firing your Missiles at, but they do have their limits.

A kindergarten class can occupy a territory if there is no resistance... besides, occupying territory has proven as expensive and ineffective in modern warfare.

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in an age of shoulder fired missiles ... tanks are outdated sitting ducks? Nowadays.. it seems territory can be entirely subdued if not "occupied" with an eye in the sky and an air force?

Edited by lightly
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in an age of shoulder fired missiles ... tanks are outdated sitting ducks?

Yep, sitting at 80 Mph...

The real problem is that they don't fit into modern strategies.

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I can see where they're coming from in terms of trend of most modern wars: counter insurgency in far flung pieces of land. However I don't think this should be used as a yard stick for the trends of future warfare, especially since the U.S. hasn't fought against a large, armored, conventional army in quite some time.

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While any one major power has tanks, then the others will fear not to. I believe a false impression of modern war has come about because of the absolutely overwhelming air superiority deployed against Iraq, and the continued popular misconception that Soviet era tanks used by Iraq, or any Arab army, are the same as those used by Soviet and then Russian Army. In a war in Europe there would not be this overwhelming air superiority and it will not be possible for tanks to be free to roam about without fear of air attack, as was the case for the US and allies in Iraq. The Soviet era tanks used by all Arab armies are very old export models without (some modified in Syria recently) the laminate armor packs and Kontakt ERA system, and were not issued with full power ammunition. If one army thinks it can survive with essentially missiles fired from any number of systems, then what will they do when confronted with a tank that they no longer have a kinetic energy weapon to use against it, ie a tanks own HV cannon, and this tank may have, in the case of some Russian tanks, the Arena or Shtora anti-missile systems and Nakidka system that western tanks do not. There will, well into the future, be a need for a highly mobile tracked armored vehicle with a kinetic energy and missile firing capability. Essentially a tank, no matter what it may be called or what it looks like.

Edited by Kaa-Tzik
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Give me enough drones and you can keep your tanks.

I'm reminded of a quote by Patton that goes something like "you can have the most powerful Air Force in the world, but if one enemy tank commander drinks a cup of coffee in one of your cafes, you've lost the war".

The Pentagon is always fighting the last war as they say. Remember all of those admirals who wanted more battleships and not those silly aircraft carriers - they barely had any guns FFS.

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Yea, the CF Thought the same thing. We where going to replace the Leopard 1C2 with the LAV III (Stryker) Mobile Gun System. Then we saw how we need tanks so we went out and bought 100 Leopard 2A4s and have since upgraded some to 2A6M CAN and the rest to 2A4M CAN versions. The tank is a great mobile gun platform that can do a job that no other vehicle can, absorb fire, intimidate the enemy and provide direct fire support that the smaller 25mm can not compare to. They have proven themselves in COIN warfare, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The nation that says it no longer needs the tank, is a nation that is prepairing for Yesterdays War Tomorrow.

~Thanato

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A kindergarten class can occupy a territory if there is no resistance... besides, occupying territory has proven as expensive and ineffective in modern warfare.

And when has airpower alone ever been able to completely wipe out resistance? How much air supremacy did the Coalition of the Willing have in Iraq and the 'Stan? That strategy is only of use if your intention is to just blast those goddam <insert name of current enemy of choice> into the Stone Age and leave them, which isn't a war but is simply terrorism.

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I'm also reminded of all of those who thought we no longer needed cannons on jets because we had whiz bang push button missiles.

How's that work out?

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Isn't that kind of a catch 22? Keep buying tanks they say they don't need, or hide that they don't need those tanks and keep buying and we complain. Openly admit they don't need the tanks so much and they want to stop spending money they don't have for it, and we complain.

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Isn't that kind of a catch 22? Keep buying tanks they say they don't need, or hide that they don't need those tanks and keep buying and we complain. Openly admit they don't need the tanks so much and they want to stop spending money they don't have for it, and we complain.

Not really, sure they no longer need the amount of armour they have. But to say they no longer need tanks is backwards thinking. The US ARMY ad MARINE CORPS need Main Battle tanks, however they need more lighter heavily armed vehicles that are cheaper to fill the roll te tank.

But they still need tanks.

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Not really, sure they no longer need the amount of armour they have. But to say they no longer need tanks is backwards thinking. The US ARMY ad MARINE CORPS need Main Battle tanks, however they need more lighter heavily armed vehicles that are cheaper to fill the roll te tank.

But they still need tanks.

So it's more of a case of this particular manufacturer is losing it's contract because the military does not need the ones they make anymore so much?

Sorry if that sounds stupid. I don't know diddly about what military land weapons are what.

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So it's more of a case of this particular manufacturer is losing it's contract because the military does not need the ones they make anymore so much?

Sorry if that sounds stupid. I don't know diddly about what military land weapons are what.

Sorta.

In canada we were going to replace the Tank with a LAV III (Stryker) with a 105mm cannon. We needed a direct fire vehical in Kandahar and sent our old Leopard 1C2's to the desert in 2006.

By 2007 we had leased 20 state of the Art Leo 2A6Ms and cancelled the MGS in favour of 100 surplus Dutch Leopard 2 A4s.

The US still has fleets if armoured forces to face off against the USSR. With today's weaponry no one needs that many Tanks. You need the firepower, protection, and mobility of the MBT, but you don't need the numbers.

What is needed is a lighter, heavily armed and mobile vehicle. But that's just my opinion.

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God, this might sound simplistic...

These folks are still breeding heavy warhorses when the fighting has advanced to the point of light calvary and horseback archers?

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Not a bad analogy. That's what a lot of armies having been doing lately, ordering 6x6 or 8x8 wheeled vehicles with tank turrets & guns, which are quite enough for fighting most kinds of Insurgents, yes, but there are some things you need a Tank for, where armor or armour is important, and if you're likely to be facing anyone else with tanks (as would have happened in Syria, for instance), lightly armo(u)red wheeled vehicles are very vulnerable if you don't have space to use your speed to keep out of the way. You might be able to take out opposing tanks with Drones, but i think their usefulness can sometimes be wildly exaggerated.

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If the US Army says they do not need new Tanks, then they are the folk who really know. However, I am sure there is too much "Pork Barrel" up on the hill for reality to rule.

Well said Keith. Its not like affordability has ever stopped them before.

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last brand new tank (abrams) was build in 1993, there are no new tanks made since than, they are old units being rebuild and upgraded.

looking where current battes are fought, there is no need for a tank, too easy to hit, , too heavy, too expencive, there are AFV and APC that fit better for urban combat.

tank is an easy target inside the city. ww2 \afgan\chechen wars showed that pretty well.

not to mention all our modern enemies are fought on their land, that they know well, and they are bunch of guerrila fighters, not a mechanised, army.

Edited by aztek

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last brand new tank (abrams) was build in 1993, there are no new tanks made since than, they are old units being rebuild and upgraded.

looking where current battes are fought, there is no need for a tank, too easy to hit, , too heavy, too expencive, there are AFV and APC that fit better for urban combat.

tank is an easy target inside the city. ww2 \afgan\chechen wars showed that pretty well.

not to mention all our modern enemies are fought on their land, that they know well, and they are bunch of guerrila fighters, not a mechanised, army.

Aye, and there's the thing, isn't it. Looking at current wars.That always means that you're planning for the last war, which goes back to the error they made after WWI, when those who did do any kind of forward planning assumed that if it happened again, it would happen exactly as it did in '14-'18. And surely the wars that the Civilised World has been involved in since the Cold WAr show, if they show anything, that you can't predict what they might have to face next.

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