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"Should We Have Tank Destroyers? " Topic

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23 Apr 2018 9:18 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from Modern Media board
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703 hits since 23 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Apr 2018 8:47 p.m. PST


YouTube link


Generalstoner49 Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 5:55 a.m. PST

We already do. It is called the TOW and Javelin ATGM.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 9:04 a.m. PST

Yeah, I think the more asymmetrical your doctrine the better. Rather than fighting straight up vehicle vs vehicle take out tanks with missiles from infantry and helicopters. MBTs are pretty good at destroying tanks, so I'm not sure what you gain by having a specific anti-tank tank.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 9:27 a.m. PST

Well, I watched nearly all of this unnecessarily long video and could not really find a good argument in favor of his beloved modern day tank destroyer. Yes, we could build something pretty neat, and yes it could be effective in the very specific conditions he describes. But those are unlikely conditions, will never be frequent conditions, and even in those conditions the tank destroyer would not be superior to ATGMs carried by light vehicles, infantry, and helicopters.

Really, someone needs a course in writing. There was a lot of recitation of issues, there were several instances of sentences undermined by lots of qualifiers ("we could hypothetically design" – what does that mean?) and I don't feel like he addressed the question that is the title of the video.

So no, we shouldn't have a vehicle that, according to this video, would have one and only one purpose and would not be better for that purpose than several other existing, less expensive, multipurpose systems.

Betteridge's law of headlines is an adage that states: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 3:13 p.m. PST

We already do have tank destroyers – they're called aeroplanes / helicopters.

28mm Fanatik24 Apr 2018 3:56 p.m. PST

The tank destroyer concept in the traditional sense of WWII is dead, as is separating tanks by weight class (i.e., medium and heavy), with the advent of the modern MBT.

SouthernPhantom24 Apr 2018 8:56 p.m. PST

Fast ATGM vehicles, to include helicopters, are the modern tank destroyer. The concept has survived, though the equipment has changed a great deal.

Lion in the Stars24 Apr 2018 9:02 p.m. PST

20thMaine beat me to it.

attach helicopters are the modern tank destroyer, they even follow the WW2 US Army Tank Destroyer doctrine.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 11:28 p.m. PST

The video presents a case which is very similar to some proposals to bring back battleships.

There is this really weird notion among a lot of people that tanks are supposed to be immune to everything the battlefield can throw at them and at the same time carry enough firepower to knock out three enemy tanks which happened to be lined up with a single shot. And so we get these weird ideas about bringing back "Tank Destroyers" although the word only describes a specific WWII doctrine, and the methods to engage tanks in combat have evolved dramatically since to the point that tanks still have to be escorted and screened by other troops to prevent a sneaky enemy from taking them out.

Maybe if you do encounter a new generation of enemy MBT's can can take 120mm APFSDSDU to the face with a smile we may need to come up with an answer, but it's doubtful we'll go back to some assault gun with tons of frontal armour and a huge gun, as the concept has proven to be problematic in movement battles, once they get in your flank you're dead and the obvious answer is to use a turret which makes your vehicle exponentially more effective … Hence MBT's or the host of vehicles equipped with AT weapons almost always having a great field of fire.

ScoutJock25 Apr 2018 5:44 p.m. PST

Essentially what he is describing is the WW2 Jagdtiger which maximized firepower and protection at the expense of mobility and that didn't work out so good…

The real world trade offs between protection, mobility and firepower limit what you can do and given current technology, the current generation of M1s, Challengers and Leopards seem to have optimized the trade offs. You can include the Leclercs, Merkavas and T90s in there as well.

There is some interesting stuff under development, notably the Russian Armata, but that has not really been tested in action but it still is a compromise between protection, mobility and firepower.

Plus attack helos with fire and forget missiles can accomplish the anti tank mission by maximizing firepower and mobility at the expense of protection. But when used correctly, protection should not be a concern.

Lion in the Stars26 Apr 2018 9:17 p.m. PST

For a few nations, the Jagdtiger model makes sense. The Israelis are one of them, South Koreans another.

But for general use, even the German soldiers in Italy were begging for a lighter and more mobile vehicle at the expense of armor.

But the US Future Combat System was a bit too light, at 18 tons. I expect the replacement for the Abrams to weigh in at about 35 tons, maybe lighter if C130 transportability is still a design item.

With more Active Protection Systems, you don't need as much armor. Look at modern warships: almost no armor, they don't let the attach hit in the first place.

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