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View Full Version : What is a tank? (split from Scorpions thread)



easyrider
12th April 2008, 18:07
Same difference. Their role in the DF is mostly for training. To get troops used to the idea of operating with "Tanks" and other tracked AFVs.(Note, The Scorpion CRV(T) is not a tank.


Well if it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and looks like a duck (albeit a little duck), seems reasonable to say "It's a duck!"

For example, this is a well-known WW2 light tank,

http://www.thetankmaster.com/IMAGES/AFV/Littlefield/Panzer_I/Panzer_I_01.jpg

(Just because the Brits had a problem with tank numbers and the CFE treaty, doesn't mean we have muck around with the language too.)

Fireplace
12th April 2008, 20:24
Well if it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and looks like a duck (albeit a little duck), seems reasonable to say "It's a duck!"



So everything would alright then as long as it ever only came up against other little ducks.

hptmurphy
12th April 2008, 22:27
So it's just the bare minimum to maintain the status quo

if these go diesel we will also require diesel motorbikes and lawnmowers.


These vehicles are the last major petrol guzzlers in the army.

Worth considering tha a Scorpion holds the worlds fastest tracked vehicle record timed at the Nuremburgring by the british army in the 1980s, witha bit of tweaking it got up to 80mph

Orion
12th April 2008, 22:30
1. http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com/search.php
2. Next to the letter z on your keyboard is a useful little button(not x, the other side). The same button can be found next to the / Please use it.
3. When you have mastered using that button, you can move onto using other wonderful keyboard features, such as:;'?!" and ,

It'll make me happier, and I won't be on your case as much. Irish Military Online encourages the use of proper punctuation.


I know I'll be sanctioned for this but ........

"Next to the letter z on your keyboard is a useful little button(not x, the other side). " I assume you mean \ ?

"The same button can be found next to the /" Not on my keyboard.

When you say next to, do you mean adjacent to, as in above, below, to one side or the other? Or do you really mean beside, either to the left or the right?

"as much" Surely ... so much.

:mad:

womble
13th April 2008, 01:54
I know I'll be sanctioned for this but ........

"Next to the letter z on your keyboard is a useful little button(not x, the other side). " I assume you mean \ ?

"The same button can be found next to the /" Not on my keyboard.

When you say next to, do you mean adjacent to, as in above, below, to one side or the other? Or do you really mean beside, either to the left or the right?

"as much" Surely ... so much.

:mad:

On the computer I am on right now the button to the left of the Z has the following two symbols on it

` ~

I am using a mac, what is useful about these?
unless you are talking about
there is no place like ~
the other one I cant get as much use out of.

California Tanker
13th April 2008, 04:14
The key to the left of the "Z" on my keyboard is "shift"


Well if it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and looks like a duck (albeit a little duck), seems reasonable to say "It's a duck!"

It doesn't quack like a duck, though. Unlike most WWII light tanks, Scorpion 76 is not designed for fighting or infantry support. It's exactly what its name implies: A tracked recon vehicle, with a gun whose purpose is purely to get it out of trouble. The use in the Falklands was an aberration caused by the terrain.

Incidently, the MkI you link to was intended to be a training vehicle, not a tank. It's closer to being a tankette in operational use.

NTM

easyrider
13th April 2008, 10:26
The Panzer I light tank weighed in at around 5 tons and carried just a pair of machine-guns. (The Scorpion is an 8 ton vehicle with a 76mm main gun and one or two 7.62mm MGs.) Nonetheless the Panzer I saw combat in Spain, Poland and France. 500 were involved in the invasion of France. Neither the Panzer I nor the Scorpion are what is now known as Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t tanks: common sense and general opinion would describe both as light tanks.

Note that the British Army are now using Scimitars – a Scorpion with a 30mm Rarden in place of the 76mm main gun – not just as an armoured reconnnaissance vehicle, but as ‘medium armour’. According to the Army website, “Ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, where a requirement for battlefield effect, that falls between that provided by heavy armour and basic force reconnaissance, has resulted in a tactic that provides a new relationship between armour, infantry and the 21st century battlefield. Known as ‘Medium Armour’ this tactic is about delivering effect on the enemy with the use of automatic gun and cannon. Combining the tracked vehicle's agility, the tank-mind set and the use of a troop of three or four CVR(T)s at the points of contact on the ground, the Medium Armour concept makes for very effective support for the infantry. Some RAC Regiments equipped with Challenger MBT now include a Medium Armour Squadron equipped with Scimitar CVR(T).”

So maybe it does quack after all....:wink:

Come-quickly
13th April 2008, 10:48
Well consider this.

The Scorpion is just about protected against 7.62 ball...not sure about AP.
Currently the turret is a manual traverse and the main gun is while a largish calibre not exactly a silence everything in its FoF type weapon.

The British have taken to using the Scimitars as close support vehicles in OBUA, purely because they have them and they are small and nimble enough to keep up with dismounts in an urban environment.

However they are also extremely vulnerable, to large calibre machine guns, RPGs, IEDs, fragrments, incendiary weapons and even ramming.

The British army vehicles in the close support role have three key protection factors, 1. An RPG cage, 2. British Soldiers between the CVR(T) and the enemy and 3. Not a huge chance of coming up against ATGMs or large bore direct fire weapons.

For British commanders on the ground in Basra or in parts of Afghan (where the CVR(T) performed poorly, ironically due to mobility issues) the use of the CVR(T) in the close support role was made acceptable by neccessity and transformed the Scimitar from a recce asset into a self propelled light weapons platform.

The use of Irish AFVs on operations in recent years has in contrast been characterised by convoy/patrol force protection and on occasion supporting recce elements when they dismounted.
The Scorpion is extremely vulnerable when tied down to a lumbering convoy and not particularly well equipped for close support of Cav elements.

On the other hand it is fast and very mobile, and the 76mm is alleged by the current users to be capable of infantry support fire out to 5km.
Which would mean that it would have a potential role in its traditional armoured recce hat. Ranging ahead of and around Irish company group patrols or as a self propelled (very) light gun to be brought up from the back in the event of contacts.

But I can see the Army's current thinking in that it doesn't really offer a whole lot that won't be provided by the PIII variants and LTAVs.

Really the only thing Scorpion has going for it is its mobility and given that the main operational focus for the immediate future is arid Chad I can't see funding being put into our only effective mud runner.

California Tanker
13th April 2008, 15:10
Note that the British Army are now using Scimitars – a Scorpion with a 30mm Rarden in place of the 76mm main gun – not just as an armoured reconnnaissance vehicle, but as ‘medium armour’.

And the difference between the role described of close support for the infantry and that of Stryker MGS or StuG? Both are armoured, both are being used in direct fire mode, but they're certainly not tanks either.

NTM

Fireplace
13th April 2008, 15:33
Surely for a tank to be a tank, it must have the ability to fight other tanks. There's not much out there that go by the name of 'tank' that a Scorpion could deal with. The main role of the Panzer 1 was as a tracked reconnaissance vehicle and a training tank, much the same role we use the Scorpion for. Yes it was referred to as a 'light tank' but in reality it was never used as one after the Spanish civil war when it's limitations were shown up against the Soviet T-26 and BT-5, both of which could legitimately be referred to as 'light tanks' in their day.

sledger
13th April 2008, 16:26
The Scorpion is just about protected against 7.62 ball...not sure about AP.


The hull of the Scorpion is made of all-welded aluminium armour and provides the crew with protection against attack over its frontal area from 14.5 mm projectiles and against 7.62 mm armour-piercing rounds over the remainder of the vehicle. The aluminium armour is also particularly effective against shell splinters.

Source: Jane's Armour & Artillery 2002-2003

easyrider
13th April 2008, 16:48
And the difference between the role described of close support for the infantry and that of Stryker MGS or StuG? Both are armoured, both are being used in direct fire mode, but they're certainly not tanks either.

NTM


Hey, I don't care what they're called, it's just someone was slapped down earlier for calling a Scorpion a tank. It seems that the designation of an AFV depends more on how it's used rather than intrinsic design characteristics. Many StuGs were built on Panzer hulls, with the turret replaced by a fixed gun. The Swedish Stridsvagn tank had no turret, neuther did the original British WW1 tanks. The MGS uses a tank gun..... Is there a formal definition somewhere of what is a tank?

Come-quickly
13th April 2008, 17:34
The hull of the Scorpion is made of all-welded aluminium armour and provides the crew with protection against attack over its frontal area from 14.5 mm projectiles and against 7.62 mm armour-piercing rounds over the remainder of the vehicle. The aluminium armour is also particularly effective against shell splinters.

Source: Jane's Armour & Artillery 2002-2003

And pigs fly. Manufacturers information is based on test conditions, usually that the armour can defeat rounds coming from certain angles at specific points on the glacis, and not a mention of whether the vehicle would continue to function etc.

The Stridvsagon's turret didn't rotate, the whole vehicle did. It was an experiment in creating an MBT with a very low profile something the Swedes abandoned when it came to their next generation of MBT.

The Stugs used the running parts of tanks, that does not mean that they had the survivability of tanks, it just meant they ran on the same automotive components and some of the same armour as an MBT.

To counter, the Israelis have an IFV made out of captered T-55 Hulls which they do not call or use as a tank. It is defined both by its role and its capabilities.

I suppose ultimately a tank is an independent fire and manoeuvre element as opposed to being a supporting force element.

One thing the British Mk V had in common with the challenger is that they were intended to fight and manoeuvre as tank formations.
The popular concept in early military tank minds was a land-dreadnought, an awful lot of guns and armour moving around independently over terrain.

If you break it down into the more established archetypes.

APC - Protected Transport of a sub-unit - e.g. M113/BTR80/XA-188
AIFV - Enhances the mobility and firepower of a unit - BMP2/CV90/Marder
SPG/SPAAG/ - Direct or Indirect Fire Support of manoevre elements - Stug/2S1/AS90
Recce - provide information and security to manoeuvre elements

MBT - Fighting element - Carries out indepedent fire and manoeuvre.

Now in reality there is of course a great deal needed to support the the "independent" manoeuvre of MBTs but I would posit that this is what defines them.

So to break it down they are defined as much by their capability as their role.
Survivability
Manoeuvrability
Killing Power
Range
Flexibility

If in any doubt ask does a vehicle have all of these things?

DeV
13th April 2008, 20:53
Note that the British Army are now using Scimitars – a Scorpion with a 30mm Rarden in place of the 76mm main gun – not just as an armoured reconnnaissance vehicle, but as ‘medium armour’. According to the Army website, “Ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, where a requirement for battlefield effect, that falls between that provided by heavy armour and basic force reconnaissance, has resulted in a tactic that provides a new relationship between armour, infantry and the 21st century battlefield. Known as ‘Medium Armour’ this tactic is about delivering effect on the enemy with the use of automatic gun and cannon. Combining the tracked vehicle's agility, the tank-mind set and the use of a troop of three or four CVR(T)s at the points of contact on the ground, the Medium Armour concept makes for very effective support for the infantry. Some RAC Regiments equipped with Challenger MBT now include a Medium Armour Squadron equipped with Scimitar CVR(T).”

So maybe it does quack after all....:wink:

Try looking at Arsse, the users don't consider it "medium armour"!

GoneToTheCanner
13th April 2008, 22:12
Hi there
Using light and heavy tanks in mixed formations has been around since Guderian, De Gaulle and the other tank theorists of the thirties.For example, the Germans fielded Tigers and Pz II/IIIs in mixed formations, for both open-ground and urban warfare, with the Tigers delivering the long-range punch and the Panzers the close-in, confined-space firepower.The Tiger's gun made up for what it lacked in mobility/fuel consumption/access to rail transport/servicability. Chally and CVR-T sounds like a reinvention of the wheel...
The Pz 1 was vulnerable from Day 1 of WW II and well the crews knew it but it was fast, had the fastest-firing machine-guns in Europe, was easy to train crews on and was plentiful.The Germans learned a lot from the Polish campaign and the field commanders wanted a lot of modifying to improve their tanks, having lost so many to anti-tank and even regular artillery.Like every tank man, they wanted more armour, bigger guns, bigger engines, better fire protection, faster speed, etc but the slow pace of the production and modification of tanks meant that their tank men went into France with only scant improvements to their armour and suffered accordingly.Which rings true in Iraq today. When American soldiers have to weld scrap onto their vehcles to provide decent levels of protection,then the lessons have not been learnt and men are condemned to die until the message kicks in again.
regards
GttC

Come-quickly
13th April 2008, 22:45
y.Which rings true in Iraq today. When American soldiers have to weld scrap onto their vehcles to provide decent levels of protection,then the lessons have not been learnt and men are condemned to die until the message kicks in again.
regards
GttC

The problem is, people will always find a new offense to beat your defense.

Merkava + 200lb IED = ?

GoneToTheCanner
14th April 2008, 09:45
You're right, CQ, the IEDs can only get bigger but the primary fault is in sending out lightly-protected Hummers and Landies knowing that the IED is the weapon of choice of the enemy and that even the ancient RPG is a viable threat.
regards
GttC

Come-quickly
14th April 2008, 17:45
You're right, CQ, the IEDs can only get bigger but the primary fault is in sending out lightly-protected Hummers and Landies knowing that the IED is the weapon of choice of the enemy and that even the ancient RPG is a viable threat.
regards
GttC

Or Nissan Patrol...

easyrider
14th April 2008, 23:06
Just wondering, is this a tank?

http://altair.h2.pl/files/news/2007/10/i-i07-10-76drawsko-cv-pt3.jpg

DeV
14th April 2008, 23:36
CV90 120mm ? - No its an IFV chassis with a 120mm gun, would you consider an M1 Abrams with a 30mm gun a tank?

California Tanker
15th April 2008, 00:03
Probably best categorised as a tank destroyer.

NTM

easyrider
15th April 2008, 09:46
The criteria that define a tank were said to be:

Survivability
Manoeuvrability
Killing Power
Range
Flexibility

The CV90 120 has a 120mm gun in a turret, the same weapon as most modern MBTS. It's tracked, but it's only about half the weight of a typical MBT, so it's got as much if not more mobility/manoeuvrability. It doesn't have the heavy armour of an MBT, but it is protected instead by a Defensive Aids Suite (DAS), which includes laser, radar and missile approach warners, as well as an active countermeasure system with top attack radar.

In what way is it not a tank?

The real Jack
15th April 2008, 11:33
The criteria that define a tank were said to be:

Survivability
Manoeuvrability
Killing Power
Range
Flexibility




Every military vehicle is a combination of those "criteria". Who really gives a shit what the definition of a "tank" is? We have all come to the conclusion that the Scorpions are tracked reconnaissance vehicles not tanks. Hopefully some mod will put this thread out if its misery.

California Tanker
15th April 2008, 12:30
The criteria that define a tank were said to be:

Survivability
Manoeuvrability
Killing Power
Range
Flexibility

The CV90 120 has a 120mm gun in a turret, the same weapon as most modern MBTS. It's tracked, but it's only about half the weight of a typical MBT, so it's got as much if not more mobility/manoeuvrability. It doesn't have the heavy armour of an MBT, but it is protected instead by a Defensive Aids Suite (DAS), which includes laser, radar and missile approach warners, as well as an active countermeasure system with top attack radar.

In what way is it not a tank?

I think you need to get off the 'check the statistics box' manner of thinking, and instead move to 'functional role.' You can't say "well, the lack of this is counteracted by an excess of that", the M-18 Hellcat would be an excellent example. Bugger-all armour, but it would do 60mph. I know it's claimed an Active Defense suite, but in reality it's just an automatic launching of smoke grenades. True active defense is something like Arena or Trophy, and even at that (though Rafael claim otherwise), until it's a defense against all sorts of ammunition, it's not enough to survive in the tank role on its own.

Just to make it even more complicated, compare the CV90-120T to the TAM. TAM is only three tons heavier, and has a smaller gun, but I would consider TAM to be a tank because of the role in which it is designed to be used, a general purpose vehicle capable of all sorts of operations and which is expected to survive hits from the threats it is likely to encounter. CV90-120T is optimised for killing tanks and is less suited for depth operations.

NTM

The Blue Max
15th April 2008, 13:11
http://www.tanks2go.com/United_States/USrdflt.htm

Check it out!

BMax

Fireplace
15th April 2008, 16:10
People can talk about 'light tanks' if they want to, even if it could be argued that 'light tank' is a misnomer. However, a tank must be capable of protecting itself against heavy weaponry(for a 'light tank' let's say 40mm up). Having active protective systems doesn't make them tanks, after all they can be fitted to ordinary APCs.

As a matter of interest, a few years ago Ruag were offering their 120mm gun(destined for the CV90120) as part of an upgrade package for the Swiss army Pz 68. At 40 tons it justifiably can be called a light/medium tank. Thailand almost bought them but seemed to have decided against.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3074/2415711751_81ab56972a_o.jpg

turbocalves
15th April 2008, 16:41
this whole debate is rediculous,not to mention pointless its got track, a gun and doesnt carry troops, that pretty much makes it a tank in my book, granted its not an mbt, but it is a tank,
its a bit like argueing wether batman is a super hero or not, because he doesnt have super powers!

California Tanker
15th April 2008, 21:28
At 40 tons it justifiably can be called a light/medium tank. Thailand almost bought them but seemed to have decided against.


T-90 comes in at about 45 tons, Type-10 comes in at 44. I don't think there's anything 'medium' about them.

NTM

GoneToTheCanner
16th April 2008, 08:38
That Swiss tank looks like the driver can't get out unless the turret is traversed away from directly overhead.Not very user-friendly for getting out in a crisis!
regards
GttC

California Tanker
16th April 2008, 13:07
Could be worse. In this case, there's only a small area that the turret shouldn't be. There was an up-armoured Iraqi tank that there was only a small area that the turret could be and still allow the driver to get out.

NTM

GoneToTheCanner
17th April 2008, 08:46
I think a "tank" to qualify as such must have: a fully tracked undercarriage/suspension, seperate compartments, preferably a fully-rotating turret which sports a main gun or guns and the ability to operate independently of other vehicles(ie;not dependent on being towed or trailered into action) into or operate as part of a troop/squadron or bigger formation with the specific intent of opposing other tanks/AFVs or for the provision of infantry support or, in larger terms, the ability to project power as part of a mass formation such as a division/corps/Army.
regards
GttC

easyrider
17th April 2008, 09:32
Random thoughts on tanks....

If you think in terms of combat effect, what can a tank - the conventional MBT - do that cannot be achieved by other (better? cheaper?) means?

Modern MBTs - most of which are not that modern - weigh 60 to 70 tons, which means they are expensive, difficult to deploy and demanding to support. What will the next generation of MBTs - if there is one - be like?

Tanks are vulnerable to counter-measures, as the Israelis learned in 1973 and the Russians learned more recently in Chechnya.

Could this be the future for tanks?

http://www.fototime.com/14BA91A521E9C1F/orig.jpg

US Army semi-autonomous unmanned technology demonstrator 'Black Knight',

or will development follow the more conventional route,

http://russianarmor.info/Tanks/MBT/640.jpg

Russian 'Black Eagle' prototype

concussion
17th April 2008, 13:01
Could this be the future for tanks?


Maybe...if they gave it something bigger than that dinky little 30mm cannon :tongue:

easyrider
18th April 2008, 09:44
Like this maybe?

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/CTA%209e.jpg

The new 40mm gun for the Warrior, and probably for other British and French AFVs. The AP round is said to be able to penetrate 140mm RHA at 1500m.

Fireplace
18th April 2008, 15:12
Sorry, it's still an AFV(with no troop capacity). The 40 CT is designed to beat BMP-3 with ERA packages not tanks. Very good firepower but the British would have much less hassle if they had gone for the 35mm or the 40mm Bofors.

http://www.soldf.com/images/s_cv9040c.jpg

concussion
18th April 2008, 16:03
Swedish CV 9040 with L/70 cannon...I don't know much about armour but theres an APFSDS round available. The new 3P ammunition is interesting, pre-programmable for proximity (air defence) or timed for use against troops in trenches etc....seen at 5 min 35. Doesn't the 84mm also have a timed round ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUsgZZeJqhE

Slightly cheesy IFV promo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi1Jb4mzj9U&feature=related

easyrider
18th April 2008, 19:51
Good article on guns and ammunition for non-MBT AFVs:

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/WLIP.htm

One advantage of the 40mm CT rounds is that they're only half the length of conventional 40mm rounds.

Has that CV9040 turret been fitted on any other, smaller vehicles?

While IFVs such as the CV90 are closing in on traditional tank capabilities, are they moving away from their original role of carrying a squad of infantry into battle?

concussion
18th April 2008, 20:27
http://www.boforsdefence.com/images/triad2.jpg
TriAD turret on Mowag 10x10, prob about the same size though.
All CV90's have 3 crew and carry 8 troops but have different specialities such as IFV, AD and close observation. Can also be fitted with 105mm and 120 mm cannon or AMOS mortar. However, seeing as the DF are using Mowags this is all a bit random. Interesting to note the one with the 120 mm is called the CV 90 tank :rolleyes:
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/cv90/

As for them moving away from their infantry role, I just read Sniper One and Dusty Warriors which follow the Princess of Wales Royal Regiments deployment to Iraq. The troops loved the things, problems with the Rarden and chain-gun notwithstanding.

Fireplace
19th April 2008, 00:11
While IFVs such as the CV90 are closing in on traditional tank capabilities, are they moving away from their original role of carrying a squad of infantry into battle?

I wouldn't say so. They have to adapt to the fact that AFVs are better protected nowadays, hence 30mm or greater. Having said that, with increased importance being put on urban operations the need for ammunition capable of penetrating buildings is also seen as necessary. An AFV with a 40mm cannon is well capable in most of these circumstance and may have advantages over a 120mm tank gun which may devastate more than the building being targeted as well as causing concussion among your own infantry men.

easyrider
19th April 2008, 11:34
An alternative to MBTs?

http://www.armedforces.co.uk/army/listings/armyapache5b.jpg

The British Army's Apaches are assigned to 16 Air Assault Brigade - http://www.army.mod.uk/16_air_asslt_bde/index.html.

California Tanker
19th April 2008, 13:09
No.

They have very little survivability and even worse endurance. You cannot seize terrain with a helicopter.

NTM

Come-quickly
19th April 2008, 14:29
Easyrider you are about ten years behind the times in your thinking.

Afghan and Iraq put the AH makes the MBT obsolete to bed once and for all.

Turncoat
19th April 2008, 15:03
16 bde have no MBTs however.
Their only armour is 12 scimitars and a handful of supporting apcs. As opposed to almost every other vehicle the army has the scimitars have been down armoured!

Fireplace
19th April 2008, 16:09
It's worth remembering the very strange Swedish S-Tank. More of a tank killer with it's rigid gun but it did have some novel ways of trying to compensate for that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fARGfVA7Mm8&feature=related

California Tanker
19th April 2008, 21:28
No, it was definitely a tank. Tank destroyers are optimised for the purpose of killing tanks, Strv-103 could do it all.

NTM

easyrider
21st April 2008, 20:39
No.

They have very little survivability and even worse endurance. You cannot seize terrain with a helicopter.

NTM

Hey CT,

Is it just the Apache, or armed helicopters in general? I take the point about seizing terrain, but is that such a big factor these days? Seems like it's more about provided highly mobile, fast response fire support.

(Belated congrats on the promotion, BTW)

Come-quickly
21st April 2008, 21:03
Easyrider,

It is down to ToT and operatbility. It's not just that an AH is a lot more vulnerable to everything from small arms fire to guided weapons and fragments. It is also heavily affected by weather and the need for downtime in order to maintain and repair.

Beyond normal maintenance, the kind of repairs needed after Apaches were hit by 12.7mm and RPG splinters in Afghanistan effectively took the individual helicopters involved out of the fight for months.

Communications is another issue, it is much easier for an MBT or other AFV crew to co-ordinate with infantry and other ground elements than for the two dudes whizzing around above in something that will crash if it catches in powerlines.

You also can't park an AH in front of your infantry and it can't block enemy routes by anything other than fire.

As for seizing terrain, I'm a little shocked anyone would ask if it was relevant.
If you don't hold it, the other see you next tuesday does. And he decides where to put his fire and manoeuvre he gains the ability to put bad things where you can't get at them but they can get at you.
i.e. the manportable machine guns and mortars that he can use to fire on your helicopters and their ground support sites.
Plus the nice men that go on a spree of unpleasantness among the local population you are purporting to protect.

AHs have a role - and in a perfect world we would never operate without them on standby or overhead but they are not compatible with the roles of ground AFVs.
The concept of mass air assaults and air cavalry manoeuvring independently pretty well died when experience in the real world taught us that relatively slow moving air assets are not safe operating over unsecured ground.

Fireplace
30th April 2008, 01:54
Developed to be the US Army's M8 Armored Gun System, the 105mm light tank(or whatever you want to call it) was canceled but BAE have developed a 120mm version. The AGS 120 is just the sort of thing we should be aiming for.

http://www.combatreform.com/thunderbolt02.jpg

California Tanker
30th April 2008, 04:53
Is it just the Apache, or armed helicopters in general? I take the point about seizing terrain, but is that such a big factor these days? Seems like it's more about provided highly mobile, fast response fire support.


What's the time on station for a helicopter vs a tank? I can park my tank on a hill there and just wait all day with the engine off, crew can sleep in shifts. For aircraft, you just lay low until the guy runs out of gas and goes home for crew rest and a manicure. There are plenty of situations in which you want to have a big stick present for more than a half hour at a time.

NTM

GoneToTheCanner
30th April 2008, 08:46
What, you big, macho tankies don't get manicures in the field?? I thought you had techs trained to operate kit, manicure, field, tank crewman, one, for the use of.Our dilettantes in the Scorpions won't leave the Curragh without one! And as for the Donners, sheesh! It's the full French nail or nothing...
regards
GttC

easyrider
2nd May 2008, 11:25
CT, I think the point here is that no one arm of the military can operate successfully on its own. If you were to park your tank on a hill for the day, then without close infantry protection, you would be a vulnerable target for artillery, CAS, AHs, enemy infantry with ATGMs or RPGs..... But you are right that a tank does have an enduring physical presence... On the other hand, an attack heli - not necessarily an Apache - has much greater mobility and speed. For example, say there's an Apache parked next to your tank in posn. A, and a call for help from some infantry guys comes in from posn. B, located 50 miles away the far side of a mountain. Not much you can do about it, but the Apache can be there in 20 mins laying down fire or taking out enemy armour.

California Tanker
2nd May 2008, 11:53
Oh, I agree. I'm just saying that despite the prodigous armour-killing abilities and mobility of a helicopter, it's not a replacement for a tank, and, frankly, I don't think it's as critical or multi-purpose.

NTM