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Marines Out of Tank Warfare!


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Mods, don't know if this is the best place for it, but it seemed most relevant her, given the timeframe. By all means move it if you have a better location for it.

There is no longer so much as ingle tank company left in the entire US Marine Corps. Found this out when I saw a piece about Marine tankers switching branches and joining the US Army National Guard. This is why the now jobless tankers switched services, most, but not all, staying with the tanks, now upgraded M1A2s.

https://news.unclesamsmisguidedchildren.com/tank-marines-join-the-army-national-guard/?fbclid=IwAR0_g0MDITScmZkq50y7yPeyTwDTsozIMY-qpnh_-u1Dh6JJEuWav1Gsdlc

Regards,

John Kettler
 

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A little case study from the Big Igloo: Canadian Armed Forces wanted to replace Leo 1s with mobile gun systems in the 2000s. Leo 1s were losing their relevance, and the LAV family was proving pop

Now MOD might be merely trimming off a few tanks - and looking to provide private security for Quatar footie games to make a few quid on the side https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54126146 Also

Done with a booming voice-over, explosions and mech parts flying through the air... THE TIME IS NOW FOR CM: BATTLETECH.  🙂🙃🙂

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For years the modern CM games seemed to be teaching players that with sufficient ATGM's tank formations were about as vulnerable as the Italian steel coffins of WW2.  Interesting that (yet again) BF has accurately predicted another facet of modern war - that the era of the tank (at least the tank that we kow today) may be over.  Armor is great when fighting "colonial-type" wars against inferior oppos who do not possess sufficient high tech ATGM weapons.  But from an economic and logistics POV, it is much cheaper to manufacture and transport large numbers of ATGM's than a single MBT.  No MBT will survive multiple ATGM's overwhelming whatever ERA or other defenses it may possess.  So, vs a peer enemy, the ATGM rules. 

And I say the above as a tank lover.  But, we have all also been in love with the dashing horse cavalryman and majestic battleships...  

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The British also appear to be getting out of tank warfare. Is it coincidental that MoD contracted with Battlefront &  Slitherine then shortly after concluded that tanks were problematic facing modern technology?

I recall reading a stat about the Iraq war (that I'm probably going to butcher). In-theater repair depots (by 2016?) had rebuilt a thousand Abrams MBTs that had sustained significant battle damage. Some vehicles going back 4 or 5 times. One Abrams, in a heroic effort, was famously welded back together after being cracked in half. A tank basically had to be totally burned-out before the Pentagon would list it as a loss (and sometimes not even then) so  statistics on knocked out tanks tended to be optimistic.

Edited by MikeyD
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What about APS? At least when playing Black Sea, it's like a magic invisible wall around the tank. In all the other CM titles I would have to be extremely careful with my vehicles, keeping infantry screens in front etc. In Black Sea, sometimes I would do the opposite and lead an attack with the APS vehicles in front, with the infantry jogging along behind. Then I would laugh as all the enemy ATGMs and RPGs slammed uselessly against my magic shields and then I would laugh again when the enemy got blown up real good.

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US still retains plenty of tanks in the Army. The UK probably has funding issues with two new supercarriers among other political endeavors, while their direct security situation doesn't really need tanks. Who's going to invade the ol' Island anyway? The 1st EU Army with operation Sealion 2 and Merkel leading the Leopard 3's? Lol 😛

I guess the wars.operations the Marines or British expect/wish to participate in don't require capabilities that favor tanks perse. 

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Now MOD might be merely trimming off a few tanks - and looking to provide private security for Quatar footie games to make a few quid on the side

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54126146

Also near me the Army are flogging off shooting ranges for land for housing to put proceeds into kitty to pay for stuff.

https://www.forces.net/services/tri-service/mod-raise-ps225m-selling-military-sites

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3 hours ago, Bozowans said:

What about APS? At least when playing Black Sea, it's like a magic invisible wall around the tank. In all the other CM titles I would have to be extremely careful with my vehicles, keeping infantry screens in front etc. In Black Sea, sometimes I would do the opposite and lead an attack with the APS vehicles in front, with the infantry jogging along behind. Then I would laugh as all the enemy ATGMs and RPGs slammed uselessly against my magic shields and then I would laugh again when the enemy got blown up real good.

How many ATGM's can APS defend against?  5? 10? 15?    That is the math of the new situation.  

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On 9/18/2020 at 11:23 AM, Erwin said:

For years the modern CM games seemed to be teaching players that with sufficient ATGM's tank formations were about as vulnerable as the Italian steel coffins of WW2.  Interesting that (yet again) BF has accurately predicted another facet of modern war - that the era of the tank (at least the tank that we kow today) may be over.  Armor is great when fighting "colonial-type" wars against inferior oppos who do not possess sufficient high tech ATGM weapons.  But from an economic and logistics POV, it is much cheaper to manufacture and transport large numbers of ATGM's than a single MBT.  No MBT will survive multiple ATGM's overwhelming whatever ERA or other defenses it may possess.  So, vs a peer enemy, the ATGM rules. 

And I say the above as a tank lover.  But, we have all also been in love with the dashing horse cavalryman and majestic battleships...  

Done with a booming voice-over, explosions and mech parts flying through the air... THE TIME IS NOW FOR CM: BATTLETECH.  🙂🙃🙂

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Given that Pentagon considers China to be a greater threat than Russia. And in cases of local conflict, battles will be fought for islands in Pacific Ocean. The effectiveness of heavy tanks in such a small space is questionable. As far as I know, there are no light tanks in US Army and USMC, with the exception of being sold as a cannon system based on Stryker, but tracks are still better than wheelbase. But it seems that USMC will receive in future land-based cruise missiles of the Tomahawk system.

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2 hours ago, HUSKER2142 said:

...battles will be fought for islands in Pacific Ocean.

Agreed.  Probably one needs to look at the what the US learned in the WW2 Pacific War re that sort of conflict with Tomahawks and other missiles standing in for the massive air campaign.

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Back then we didn't have precision weapons.  The only advantage today is that a big gun at ground level can place a round laterally a few feet above the ground (as opposed to falling down out of the sky).  But, according to CM2 Javs can travel close to the ground vs buildings etc - (or do Javs have to always have altitude and come down vertically in RL)?

Edited by Erwin
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I have been thinking for years, is there a need for a tank type weapon system anymore.

As the battlefield  changes with technology, what should the future weapons be.

 

One thought I have had, over and over. How long will all the high tech weapons last. It would seem that if a conflict lasted any time, they would use up what stocks they have and will they be able to produce enough fast enough to keep up with needs and be able to keep funding the cost of them.

I could see the lack of high tech supplies if a prolonged conflict happened. Then more conventional weapons would gain some strength if they were still available.

 

I have thought for awhile, that mobile units should give up on heavy armored units of any type. Its not a defense anymore on the battlefield.

Drop all that weight and use it for other gains.

I think the future of mobile forces should be to make them as light, small and fast as possible with a powerful attack weapon and minimal protection to counter small arms fire only.

Defenses should be high tech options that counter incoming high tech weapons  before they make it to the target.

Second  -  crews should be able to control the unit remotely and not have to be in the machine. (but this needs to be flexible, where they can be in it if needed, close by or at great distances. (because jamming signals can and will be a factor in all modern fighting. ) Manning units will still need to be a option. But if you are controlling the communication battle, why not protect the crews by unmanning them.

So my concepts of what the future should bring and what I am seeing in development is not the same exactly.

I see new machines that are huge as to size. You can see them and hear them from way too far. They are too big to maneuver  and it also cost them speed. 

It just blows me away at the size of some of these machines and they are to transport troops.

The size of the unit should be no larger than the platform needed for the main weapon and the ammo supplies wanted and the defense measures that will be added.

As far as I am concerned, get them troops outs of those machines and lets get them in these independent machines that will enhance the troopers abilities.  (star troopers are on the way)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, slysniper said:

I think the future of mobile forces should be to make them as light, small and fast as possible with a powerful attack weapon and minimal protection to counter small arms fire only.

Defenses should be high tech options that counter incoming high tech weapons  before they make it to the target.

The issue is that the lower your base armour is the easier it is to defeat it with low tech ammunition. Your lightly armoured fast vehicles like strikers for example will easily get destroyed from autocannon fire from IFVs no matter how much active protection systems you put on them. The same goes for IFVs vs tanks.

If anything id say active protection systems have the possibility of restoring armour superiority for the forseeable future. Infantry nowadays relies exclusively on shaped charges to defeat armour which is easily defeated by active protection systems. So with widespread adoption of them infantry might run into near complete inability to counter armoured vehicles in general.

Also high tech weapons are incredibly wastefull. Firing your sensors and computers as part of the weapon is simply inefficient.

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1 hour ago, slysniper said:

How long will all the high tech weapons last. It would seem that if a conflict lasted any time, they would use up what stocks they have and will they be able to produce enough fast enough to keep up with needs and be able to keep funding the cost of them.

I could see the lack of high tech supplies if a prolonged conflict happened. Then more conventional weapons would gain some strength if they were still available.

Great question.  The probability these days is less that we will end up with a nuclear exchange (that everyone knows will destroy property and real estate and the whole point of having a war in the first place) and much more that we will have our first global Cyber War with civilian infrastructure, the banking/financial system, communications, food and water distribution systems all under attack and collapsing.  

1 hour ago, slysniper said:

I have thought for awhile, that mobile units should give up on heavy armored units of any type. Its not a defense anymore on the battlefield.

You are on to something there.  As much as we all love (the glamor and fun of) mobile armor forces, it seems that it may be going the way of horse cavalry.  It's all about economical issues and logistics.  How much to build an ATGM vs build a MBT?  How many ATGM's can be transported by air quickly vs MBT's?

My only innovative thought for future weapons systems is that we may need "Urban Bunker Busters" - very heavily armored vehicles (that do not need all the high tech bells and whistles of a MBT) that can withstand multiple AT hits and that carry a large (150mm+) gun to destroy buildings a la SturmTiger etc.  But that is more for use vs uncons in urban environments.

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1 hour ago, holoween said:

The issue is that the lower your base armour is the easier it is to defeat it with low tech ammunition. Your lightly armoured fast vehicles like strikers for example will easily get destroyed from autocannon fire from IFVs no matter how much active protection systems you put on them. The same goes for IFVs vs tanks.I

but I see it as, if they spot and shoot first, I am likely dead ANYWAY.

So whatever unit you are thinking of with auto cannons, I see my force with a machine also with auto cannon or better capability. But its smaller, faster and possible the crew is safe behind the hill it is defending. Hopefully more of them than yours because my cost levels.

yes, can it be lost , sure, but my logic is, at a cheaper price, maybe saving the crew because of possible remote operation and hopefully just as deadly as what I am fighting against.

The concept of armour saving my crew is a concept that is past our day and time other than from small arms, and even them have the ability to penetrate a decent amount of steel with some of the special stuff out there now

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

My only innovative thought for future weapons systems is that we may need "Urban Bunker Busters" - very heavily armored vehicles (that do not need all the high tech bells and whistles of a MBT) that can withstand multiple AT hits and that carry a large (150mm+) gun to destroy buildings a la SturmTiger etc.  But that is more for use vs uncons in urban environments.

So, this is exactly the concept to some extent. So a small platform 150 with just enough protection to keep the ammo safe and the mechanics firing. Crew gets out at the zone of departure and mans it remotely. Drive this up and fire on a heavy defense with enemy combatants. No, it does not need a bunch of high tech attached. 

How small could this be made, who knows. But for all the weight lost, the chances of getting it and having it available will increase as it becomes more possible to mobilize easily to needed locations.

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1 hour ago, slysniper said:

Crew gets out at the zone of departure and mans it remotely.

Well... that is "high tech" but totally agree that it is the future - as with unmanned aircraft etc.

Ultimately all (presumably expensively trained) crews could be safely back at home base.  You only need conscript grunts to move the stuff to the "zone of departure".

Edited by Erwin
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Interesting questions.
Darpa and other companies are imo already busy with (smaller than tanks) autonomous decentralized distributed weapon systems. A lot of words but think of it like having lego blocks with all required functions inside it, interchangeable. 3d printing stuff can also do a lot for logistics.

I think the future will be a lot of indeed smaller platforms compared to tanks. But why would you stick to the ground? And why would you even use Human operators, let alone crew. Swarming AI operated drones with a smart warhead inside. Drones cheap enough that it is the payload too, no need for firing anything. Humans sit back in a bunker at base HQ (or working from home due to corona 😂).
That is, hopefully they keep human decision makers. Those squishy humans would still need protection though, if they come out that bunker.
Probably they are figuring out what to do with those humans, Skynet is ready for it but we aren't ;-).

Although the 'big' weakness of all these technological things is that, at the moment, EW can shut of most of it (although not if you make it fully autonomous I guess). 

Having watched Terminater-2 quite a couple of times, sometimes the developments scare me. Basically Google is conceptually like Skynet, they are building the AI. There is already the Atlas robot. Probably won't be next decade, but how about 20-30 years from now?

Edited by Lethaface
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1 hour ago, Lethaface said:

why would you even use Human operators, let alone crew. Swarming AI operated drones with a smart warhead inside. Drones cheap enough that it is the payload too, no need for firing anything.

Yes, one needs to imagine a future with tens of thousands of small drones in a single attack.  Once they can ID humans, that would be not only the end of manned vehicles, but also troops.  However, as you say, the autonomous bit has huge potential for problems since some bright hacker somewhere will eventually figure out how to do a "return to sender".

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1 hour ago, Lethaface said:

 

Although the 'big' weakness of all these technological things is that, at the moment, EW can shut of most of it (although not if you make it fully autonomous I guess). 

 

That is why the operators need to stay close but generally safe. In case the high tech communications get jambed or whatever, then the crew will need to man the units and run them without the remotes.

This is where I think some present designs lack thinking as to in what ifs situations. Only unmanned units do not float my boat as being a smart approach.

Edited by slysniper
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