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     So, unmanned turrets... how future tanks will look like after unmanned turrets? What is your opinion on "future" tanks possible layouts?

     

     As i understand crew will be no less than 2, because driving is hard and commander wrok is even harder for computers. Aiming - not as much as driving. Crew in the turret (again), or in hull with minimalistic turrets are 2 opposite possibilities, but is there anything else?

 

 

I thought this deserves its own thread.

 

Where do you see tank design going in the next few decades?  Where do you think it should go?

 

Here is where I think things will go:

 

 

-Western tank development will be depressing.  Every country will want their own indigenous tank design, and upon learning that they are lolnotevenclose to competent to actually make a first-rate MBT, they'll ask someone who is and end up making something that is practically identical to a Leo 2 or Leclerc, only without parts interchangeability.

 

-Except for the tracks, ammo and engine, because all new Western MBTs will have the same Diehl tracks, MTU powerpack and Rheinmetall 120mm cannon.

 

-Anyone who deviates from this formula will soon learn that all the engineers who actually design tanks hung up their hats in the early 1990s, and that re-building that knowledge base is hard.  Being unwilling to put actual work into the problem, any tank designed that isn't based around these proven components will be a gigantic shitshow, and having wasted hundreds of millions of dollars, the country in question will throw up their hands and quietly buy T-90s or T-14s.

 

-The vast majority of tank armor will be increasingly refined NERA, possibly with perforated stand off screens or those wedge thingies from Leo 2A5 to improve performance against LRPs.  This fact, abundantly evinced by pictures of damaged tanks and tanks undergoing repair and overhaul, will continue to baffle and elude journalists.

 

-The USA, Turkey, Franco-German consortium, South Korea and Japan will be the only "Western" countries still able to produce MBTs, and all will heavily lean on German-designed tracks, engines and guns.  Turkish MBTs and other AFVs will be materially designed by South Korean firms to Turkish specifications.  Italy and the UK will both lose their ability to design MBTs, the UK will actually lose their ability to make them, which will be rationalized by saying that MBTs are obsolete.  Crystal ball cloudy for Poland, Czech Republic, and whatever tank production capability remains in Romania and former Yugoslavia.

 

-The Russians will re-acquire the lead they had in tank design throughout most of the Cold War, with the Chinese playing second fiddle.  Chinese first-line tanks will be quite good, but they will sell hilarious, hot-rodded type 59s to export customers (alongside hilarious hot-rodded J-7s) instead of their good stuff.  Russia will sell the good stuff, and once they manage to replicate the parts they needed to source from abroad, it will be really good.  The Ukrainian tank industry will remain gutted, and the glorious Kharkiv tank design lineage will fade into obscurity.

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-The Russians will re-acquire the lead they had in tank design throughout most of the Cold War, with the Chinese playing second fiddle.  Chinese first-line tanks will be quite good, but they will sell hilarious, hot-rodded type 59s to export customers (alongside hilarious hot-rodded J-7s) instead of their good stuff.  Russia will sell the good stuff, and once they manage to replicate the parts they needed to source from abroad, it will be really good.  The Ukrainian tank industry will remain gutted, and the glorious Kharkiv tank design lineage will fade into obscurity.

500px-Russiaball.jpg

RUSSIA STRONK

 

UNMANED TURRENTS BEST TURRENTS

 

REMOVE L-55 FROM THE PREMISIES

 

all kidding aside colli, your right on the mark

 

and unless your a fucking Nazi pigdog, you spell if Kharkov, like real men

 

Kharkiv is the equivalent of talking about a T-64 while desencding an a large, swastika shaped dildo 

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-The Russians will re-acquire the lead they had in tank design throughout most of the Cold War, with the Chinese playing second fiddle.  Chinese first-line tanks will be quite good, but they will sell hilarious, hot-rodded type 59s to export customers (alongside hilarious hot-rodded J-7s) instead of their good stuff.  Russia will sell the good stuff, and once they manage to replicate the parts they needed to source from abroad, it will be really good.  The Ukrainian tank industry will remain gutted, and the glorious Kharkiv tank design lineage will fade into obscurity.

 

Nonsense comrade, glorious Ukrainian arms industry will continue selling refurbished T-64s to third world countries for many years to come! Plus they almost managed to assemble an armoured car last I checked! Exciting news indeed.

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Unmanned tanks will be produce in the US. It will perform subpar in combat against militia in the Middle East and Rand Paul will complain about them. Iran will capture one and sell it(after claiming they built it locally) to the Chinese who will build a version that is 10x as good. 

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all of which will pale in comparison to the unmanned tank built by the Russians 30 years prior, which weighed less, had more armor, better engines, much larger guns and costed 1/3 of the competition, but remained a prototype due to obvious reasons (unmanned tanks?, who the hell will get out of the turrent and sing to internationale to the lamnations of liberated women) 

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Nonsense comrade, glorious Ukrainian arms industry will continue selling refurbished T-64s to third world countries for many years to come! Plus they almost managed to assemble an armoured car last I checked! Exciting news indeed.

 

Because it takes them forever to get anything done.  How long did it take them to fulfill that tiny Thai T-84 order?

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well, lets just say by the time its finished it will be brought over on a boat with a big hammer and sickle painted on the side, and it will be delivered to the people's republic of Thailand 

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-The Russians will re-acquire the lead they had in tank design throughout most of the Cold War, with the Chinese playing second fiddle.  Chinese first-line tanks will be quite good, but they will sell hilarious, hot-rodded type 59s to export customers (alongside hilarious hot-rodded J-7s) instead of their good stuff.  Russia will sell the good stuff, and once they manage to replicate the parts they needed to source from abroad, it will be really good.  The Ukrainian tank industry will remain gutted, and the glorious Kharkiv tank design lineage will fade into obscurity.

Why retool your factories when you can make a ton of dosh from them without retooling?

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-Anyone who deviates from this formula will soon learn that all the engineers who actually design tanks hung up their hats in the early 1990s, and that re-building that knowledge base is hard.  Being unwilling to put actual work into the problem, any tank designed that isn't based around these proven components will be a gigantic shitshow, and having wasted hundreds of millions of dollars, the country in question will throw up their hands and quietly buy T-90s or T-14s.

 

This is most certainly true when it comes to diesel tank engines in the US.  The only place that really could make one was Getty st. in Muskegon MI, and they lost all their talent years ago.  Now they can barely manage to make a functioning AVDS-1790, an engine that has been in production since the 1960's.  Part of the problem is that as production numbers have declined, many of the subcontractors have dried up.  Tank engines are pretty unique, they require specialized parts.  For example, only one company has managed to make a piston ring that really works in the AVDS-1790.  They tried other companies, the rings failed.  So now since production is so low, they can only put in an order for rings once a year or so in order to reach the manufacturer minimum.  So yeah, we are barely maintaining our infrastructure to be able to make the shit we have been making for years, let alone develop anything new.  The next US tank will have a goddamn German engine in it and that will make me cry.  

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Here are specific engineering and technological paths of development for anyone interested in making something other than a mediocre Leo 2A7 clone:

 

-Stereo rangefinders are retro and cool.  Advances in digital camera technology will obviate the need for a rigid optical connection.  Essentially, you'll have two high magnification cameras out on the sides of the turret, and software magic will tell you the range to things.  For extra super-duper precision, you can periodically re-calibrate against the laser rangefinder.  This technology already exists for smart phones, so putting it in a tank shouldn't be hard (also, something similar was initially planned for Leo 2).  Advances in laser detection and warning systems will necessitate some sort of passive rangefinding technology, in order to get firing solutions on targets without alerting them.

 

-Those German lubricated half-track track links were... um...

Vk4f7h1.jpg

 

Well, perhaps not a great idea, as implemented.

 

However, lubrication technology has come a long way.  It should be possible to make some sort of PTFE or POM-impregnation coating for track link pins that lasts as long as the pins themselves, and gives similar reduction in rolling resistance to the sealed needle-bearing design.  This will improve track life, fuel economy and top speed.  As an added bonus, it will make tanks less squeaky, which is obviously very important.

 

-LRPs will not be the most efficient way to kill tanks, but they will remain the most reliable.  Because they move so goddamn fast and do not rely on guidance of any sort, LRPs will remain completely immune to APS for years, and because the material in them is not under rheological conditions, breaking them up is much harder than HEAT jets.  Tank main armament should be, contra the military reformers, designed around flinging the biggest, baddest LRP, with all other functions secondary.  It'll still be a big fucking gun, it will do fine at secondary tasks even if it's a little inefficient at them.

 

-Pursuant to the above, research into advanced metallurgy, composite overwrap, and refractory liners should be accelerated in order to run breech pressures higher to keep the main gun ammunition as small as possible.

-Primary armament has such a gigantic overpressure danger zone:

M256_danger.png

 

And rifle-caliber MGs are deficient at reducing many types of obstacle in the infantry support role.  Some sort of intermediate armament should be investigated.  Mid-caliber autocannon?  Heavy machine gun?  Automatic grenade launcher?  Mortar?  I dunno.

-The gas turbines in the T-80 and Abrams are utter crap compared to what airliners have now.  Pressure ratios of 9:1 or 14:1, and TIT of 1100 degrees or so?  That's adorable.  What could a purpose-designed MBT turbine do?  There are goddamn magical SiC turbine blades now, 52:1 pressure ratios with better isentropic efficiency than the old ones, variable stators, FADEC, and if you want to get really fancy, science-fiction heat exchangers.  Turbines were good enough decades ago to be worth a looksee against diesels.  They should utterly clobber them now, because diesels haven't gotten that much better while turbines have gotten a whole lot better.

 

-Improvements in the efficiency of electrical motors and generators may make them attractive.  The biggest advantage would be redundancy.  With multiple engines and a mechanical transmission, you end up with goofy, bulky gearboxes like the M5/M24 family.  With electrical transmission, it would be fairly easy to have, say, two or three little turbines scattered around the tank, making it very hard to M-kill.  Also, for cruise only a single turbine would be needed, while the others could come online for combat.  This would overcome the poor part-load efficiency problem of turbines.  LoooSeR has mentioned this idea before.  A dinky, high-technology turbine with modest specific power but good SFC would be attractive for drones as well as tanks.

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Just repost this here

gcv_hed_design.jpg

 

gcv_hed_layout.jpg

 

     Obvious use of this system is heavy IFVs. Like T-15. Another possible place to use this tech are tanks with unmanned turrets, those vehicles have bigger hulls than usual. In fact T-14 have sponsons, which are not so small near rear part of hull. WIth futher development of this system i think some tanks may lose their classical engine compartment, space could be used to store ammunition or it may became a crew working place.

     Anyway, with unmanned turrets and such engines tank designs maybe can become more diverse in future. I think we will not see a 2 man crew tank in serial production for a long time, so Western tanks could gain even more weight in future. 

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I see more focus on MGS type platforms. Possible resurrection of the M8 style AGS. Lighter, smaller, and more portable vehicles. Crew reductions, unmanned turrets, stand off weapons systems, urban suitability packages, with an emphasis on infantry support.

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I see more focus on MGS type platforms. Possible resurrection of the M8 style AGS. Lighter, smaller, and more portable vehicles. Crew reductions, unmanned turrets, stand off weapons systems, urban suitability packages, with an emphasis on infantry support.

Canadian Operation experience in Afghanistan, (Not exactly tank friendly terrain) shows that some times, you just need a fucking tank because that's what works. Sometimes you need to get in your face with a big goddamned gun, heavy armor,  and nice thermal sights and fuck all the ATGM teams at 3 km with 120mm. It works.

Our army staff was arguing  hard for the Stryker MGS as a tank replacement for the Leo 1.   Then oops, we hit some real combat and then all of a sudden some used Leo2s became our General's best friend.

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What that really shows is that the Canadian army needed an assault gun and had to resort to deploying what they had readily available in order to fill a the need, which was basically an infantry support role. Something a vehicle like the M8 would have filled perfectly.  In low intensity conflicts when the threat from enemy armor is close to 0, vehicles like the M1128 or the defunct M8 program are easier to deploy and support yet pack the punch needed to deal with any potential threats.  The M1128 has some pretty serious design flaws but the concept is pretty sound. 

 

I do not foresee the large tank and tank battles being the typical future conflict. 

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