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"MBT 2050" Topic


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1,198 hits since 18 Feb 2016
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Visceral Impact Studios Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 7:13 a.m. PST

The US has the M1A3 Abrams in the pipeline with serious development slated to START in 2020. The Russians have their new T-14 Armata just starting production.

What is your projection for the state of MBTs in the year 2050?

Some sort of M1A4 Abrams still limping around with 4-man crews? A reduced crew, an RC drone, or even a fully autonomous AFV? Or an entirely new concept for the role currently filled by heavy AFVs?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 7:51 a.m. PST

The AFV will be replaced by swarms of small, automated (not autonomous – there is no such thing as an autonomous vehicle) combined arms capabilities that reconfigure in composition and distribution to provide current AFV mission effects as a subset of their full mission profile.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 8:41 a.m. PST

etothepi---that sounds like it came right off a Powerpoint slide!!

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 9:05 a.m. PST

35 years?

Not terribly different from today, but the big tanks have probably all gotten one more mark or whatever.

Of course, you never know when a big technology step happens, but I'm not sure if we'll be there just yet.

When it does happen, it'll probably be expensive though.

McKinstry Fezian18 Feb 2016 9:43 a.m. PST

I would be surprised if directed energy and rail guns were not viable in smaller platforms by then. Whether that is tanks, trucks or drones I've no idea but the battlefield will be more lethal then than now.

emckinney18 Feb 2016 10:01 a.m. PST

Hopefully, no one will be building them because no one will be contemplating using them.

Let there be peace on Earth and war on the tabletop!

Legion 418 Feb 2016 11:27 a.m. PST

Not terribly different from today,
I agree …
The AFV will be replaced by swarms of small, automated … etc.
Not likely, but I'm sure we will see more robots/robotic type vehicles on the battlefield. I still wish I had a couple of T2 in each of my Infantry Squads back when I was a PL/Co Cdr. evil grin
Hopefully, no one will be building them because no one will be contemplating using them.
Wishful thinking, I'd guess. But 35 years from now we will probably still be dealing with islamic terrorism, and be concerned about the Russians, Chinese, and of course the Norks. And don't forget nuc armed Persians …

Visceral Impact Studios Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 1:29 p.m. PST

What about traditional main gun vs missile?

main gun: harder to intercept/jam/disrupt the round…but limited to line of sight

missile: easier to intercept/jam/disrupt…but combined with small spotter drones they can hit targets beyond LOS

So maybe a hybrid of somwthing that looks like today's MBT but capable of deploying spotter drones to guide smart rounds?

Visceral Impact Studios Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 1:47 p.m. PST

The AFV will be replaced by swarms of small, automated (not autonomous there is no such thing as an autonomous vehicle) combined arms capabilities that reconfigure in composition and distribution to provide current AFV mission effects as a subset of their full mission profile.

Technically, most of what we call "unmanned" is actually "uninhabited" and remotely controlled/manned.

Autonomous drones exist in that they act independently of a direct human controller. But they are ultimately controlled by a human programmer who designs software to allow the drone to do its job in the absence of direct human intervention.

The level of autonmous functionality varies from simple (eg my son's programming of a drone to operate in a highly controlled competitive environment for his robotics team) to far more sophisticated.

In the robotics industry we use the terms piloted vs autonomous to distinguish between the two modes of operation.

Over time autonomous drones will be endowed with higher levels of decision making capability. Even now we can simulate the behavior of low level forms of life as far as their ability to interact with their environments and one another (e.g. a flock of birds in flight).

At some point one enters the realm of philosophy. Is a drone programmed to independently locate, identify, and destroy and enemy submarine "autonomous". If not, then what of humans influenced from birth by their culture and biology to pursue certain behaviors to the exclusion of others?

Our ability to predict human behavior with uncanny accuracy raises the issue of our own autonomy. :-) It's what makes consumer marketers and political consultants wealthy.

cwlinsj Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member18 Feb 2016 2:54 p.m. PST

Oh I think MBTs will be around long into the next decades and centuries.

Nothing better to take land, hold territory and break your enemies' toys with.

Will they eventually become fully autonomous? Don't know about that.

Legion 418 Feb 2016 4:18 p.m. PST

So maybe a hybrid
Well the 152mm on the M551 Sheridan and the defunct M60A2 Starship had that missile/gun system. But it is really not liked that well. But IIRC the 82d ABN still uses it.

As far as missiles vs. cannons … you have to think about stowage too. Generally more AT rounds can be loaded than missiles. Of course it may depend on future designs and missiles etc. …

Over time autonomous drones will be endowed with higher levels of decision making capability.

AI ?

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 4:33 p.m. PST

It's funny when you think about. Sometimes 35 years is not very big, sometimes its all the world.

From 1780 to 1815, Changes, but the basic ideas were the same.

From 1890 to 1925, everything had changed.

From 1960 to 85, changes sure, but the fundamentals were pretty similar.

From 2015 to 2050? Who knows which of them it'll be?

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2016 5:09 p.m. PST

APC's filled with Fanatics wearing thermobaric bomb vests.

Lion in the Stars18 Feb 2016 7:02 p.m. PST

So maybe a hybrid of somwthing that looks like today's MBT but capable of deploying spotter drones to guide smart rounds?

That would be my guess.

Look at the South Korean K2 tank, which has smart, top-attack rounds to lob into the 5+km range, no spotter drone required (it's basically a 120mm SADARM skeet). The US was working on a similar round, but the XM1111 was a high-speed version instead of hanging under a parachute like the KSTAM.

Personally, I'm hoping that we've deployed a lighter tank for expeditionary warfare, with the Abrams still in service as the slower forces. This would allow the Marines to bring more than a single tank platoon per battalion of troops.

GeoffQRF19 Feb 2016 3:13 a.m. PST

M1A3, test bed or just a movie prop?

picture

(seems to have first circulated about 2010?!)

Or this one?

picture

(Transformers movie prop)

Legion 419 Feb 2016 8:02 a.m. PST

Cool !!!! evil grin

Legion 419 Feb 2016 8:04 a.m. PST

APC's filled with Fanatics wearing thermobaric bomb vests.
Surprised Daesh has not tried that yet …

They have so many HMWWVs they only need to load up a bunch of explosives and one or two idiots to drive it.

GeoffQRF19 Feb 2016 3:22 p.m. PST

Perhaps I need to modify our M1 into that Transformers version

Legion 420 Feb 2016 8:45 a.m. PST

That would be cool !

Noble71320 Feb 2016 5:09 p.m. PST

Since we're on the subject, here's some Powerpoint slides from Rheinmetall about MBT developments over the next few decades: ( link )

Lion in the Stars21 Feb 2016 8:00 p.m. PST

@Geoff: Yes, you do.

Railguns might be possible for main guns, if you can stuff all the generators into a tank. But in 35 years, I'm not expecting a change from the 120mm/125mm conventional guns. Well, possibly a liquid propellant gun, but BiLPro (binary liquid propellant) cannons are better suited for artillery use.

I'm actually expecting a lot more changes in the IFV realm than in MBTs. Looks like several nations are going to much bigger main guns on their IFVs, mostly for better HE/bunker-busting capabilities. The US is looking at going to a Bushmaster III 35mm, or the 50x330mm supershot version. I think the 50mm is just big enough for a decent HEP/Obstacle Reduction round.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2016 8:22 p.m. PST

picture

picture

picture

Legion 422 Feb 2016 8:44 a.m. PST

Neat !!!!

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