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The future of Tanks?

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Nevertopia
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The future of Tanks?

Postby Nevertopia » Mon Jun 27, 2022 12:42 am

Long story short I was drafting an entry about Tanks on my factbook and the I couldn't overlook the topic of how Tanks are getting hard-countered in Russia by foot soldiers with rocket launchers. Now that tank warfare has sort of had this massive shift where a single soldier could potentially take one of these things out, what does the future of tanks look like?

If you haven't heard, due to developments in anti-tank weaponry for ground troops, a single soldier can take out a Tank with The Javelin rocket launcher. The Javelin does this by targeting the top hatch of a tank, shooting straight up in the air, then down on top of their targets, piercing through the weakest part of the tank. Think of it as a sniper rifle that can automatically headshot you in a videogame.

Looking through various articles online, there's been a big push to change the "tank paradigm" by military researchers from "More armor, more protection" to " Don't be detected and don't be engageable". A push to making them run cooler so they're harder to detect on infrared, practical camouflage, masking their heat signatures to look like civilian vehicles, composite/explosive armor, support drones, and the list goes on. But its one thing to say that, and another to carry it out.

How exactly do Tanks need to change so that they are viable frontline, heavily armored vehicles? I personally don't see the need for tanks going away. There will always be a need for ground forces to break through enemy frontlines, and thats what the tank is good for. But if armor-piercing and targeting mobile weapons platforms like the Javelin rocket launcher are making their armor a non-issue, where do they go from here?
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Postby American Legionaries » Mon Jun 27, 2022 12:45 am

Nevertopia wrote:Long story short I was drafting an entry about Tanks on my factbook and the I couldn't overlook the topic of how Tanks are getting hard-countered in Russia by foot soldiers with rocket launchers. Now that tank warfare has sort of had this massive shift where a single soldier could potentially take one of these things out, what does the future of tanks look like?

If you haven't heard, due to developments in anti-tank weaponry for ground troops, a single soldier can take out a Tank with The Javelin rocket launcher. The Javelin does this by targeting the top hatch of a tank, shooting straight up in the air, then down on top of their targets, piercing through the weakest part of the tank. Think of it as a sniper rifle that can automatically headshot you in a videogame.

Looking through various articles online, there's been a big push to change the "tank paradigm" by military researchers from "More armor, more protection" to " Don't be detected and don't be engageable". A push to making them run cooler so they're harder to detect on infrared, practical camouflage, masking their heat signatures to look like civilian vehicles, composite/explosive armor, support drones, and the list goes on. But its one thing to say that, and another to carry it out.

How exactly do Tanks need to change so that they are viable frontline, heavily armored vehicles? I personally don't see the need for tanks going away. There will always be a need for ground forces to break through enemy frontlines, and thats what the tank is good for. But if armor-piercing and targeting mobile weapons platforms like the Javelin rocket launcher are making their armor a non-issue, where do they go from here?


Armor always has, still does, and always will require infantry support. This is more of an issue than any anti-armor miracle weapon, and more important than the design of the tank itself. And this is fundamentally where the the Russian losses are coming from. They allow armor to be isolated and unsupported, and it gets itself knocked out.

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Postby Emotional Support Crocodile » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:08 am

Won't the future just be massive swarms of drones anyway?

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Austria-Bohemia-Hungary
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:11 am

The end of the tank has been predicted since 1916. I leave it up to the rest of you to figure out why that hasn't happened.
Meanwhile: https://youtu.be/lI7T650RTT8

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Postby Washington Resistance Army » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:22 am

Tanks don't need to change to remain combat viable, what needs to change is commanders being dumb as hell with their tanks. I've long since lost track of how many videos I've seen from Ukraine of Russian tanks operating solely by themselves with no supporting units and it's no wonder they always get blown to shit. Combined arms, people.
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Postby Senkaku » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:24 am

As long as humans have firearms, internal combustion engines, and sex drives, you will always be able to find a tank :p
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Postby Northern Avers of Maine » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:26 am

Nevertopia wrote:Long story short I was drafting an entry about Tanks on my factbook and the I couldn't overlook the topic of how Tanks are getting hard-countered in Russia by foot soldiers with rocket launchers. Now that tank warfare has sort of had this massive shift where a single soldier could potentially take one of these things out, what does the future of tanks look like?

If you haven't heard, due to developments in anti-tank weaponry for ground troops, a single soldier can take out a Tank with The Javelin rocket launcher. The Javelin does this by targeting the top hatch of a tank, shooting straight up in the air, then down on top of their targets, piercing through the weakest part of the tank. Think of it as a sniper rifle that can automatically headshot you in a videogame.

Looking through various articles online, there's been a big push to change the "tank paradigm" by military researchers from "More armor, more protection" to " Don't be detected and don't be engageable". A push to making them run cooler so they're harder to detect on infrared, practical camouflage, masking their heat signatures to look like civilian vehicles, composite/explosive armor, support drones, and the list goes on. But its one thing to say that, and another to carry it out.

How exactly do Tanks need to change so that they are viable frontline, heavily armored vehicles? I personally don't see the need for tanks going away. There will always be a need for ground forces to break through enemy frontlines, and thats what the tank is good for. But if armor-piercing and targeting mobile weapons platforms like the Javelin rocket launcher are making their armor a non-issue, where do they go from here?




All that'll happen is that armor will get better and so will mobility. But one by one the crew members will be squeezed out to make way for an unmanned tank which lets be honest is definitely coming.

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Postby The Order of Makai » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:36 am

Nevertopia wrote:Long story short I was drafting an entry about Tanks on my factbook and the I couldn't overlook the topic of how Tanks are getting hard-countered in Russia by foot soldiers with rocket launchers. Now that tank warfare has sort of had this massive shift where a single soldier could potentially take one of these things out, what does the future of tanks look like?

If you haven't heard, due to developments in anti-tank weaponry for ground troops, a single soldier can take out a Tank with The Javelin rocket launcher. The Javelin does this by targeting the top hatch of a tank, shooting straight up in the air, then down on top of their targets, piercing through the weakest part of the tank. Think of it as a sniper rifle that can automatically headshot you in a videogame.

Looking through various articles online, there's been a big push to change the "tank paradigm" by military researchers from "More armor, more protection" to " Don't be detected and don't be engageable". A push to making them run cooler so they're harder to detect on infrared, practical camouflage, masking their heat signatures to look like civilian vehicles, composite/explosive armor, support drones, and the list goes on. But its one thing to say that, and another to carry it out.

How exactly do Tanks need to change so that they are viable frontline, heavily armored vehicles? I personally don't see the need for tanks going away. There will always be a need for ground forces to break through enemy frontlines, and thats what the tank is good for. But if armor-piercing and targeting mobile weapons platforms like the Javelin rocket launcher are making their armor a non-issue, where do they go from here?


In case we haven't heard?

What are you smoking? The FGM-148 Javelin has been around for TWENTY PLUS YEARS. It is not a hot new weapon that enables a mere single soldier to take out any tank, because otherwise I'm sure that we would have bloody heard something about armored vehicles being made irrelevant twenty years ago!

These incidents of Russian tanks being destroyed so easily like that is allegedly due to the Russians failing to deploy their tanks correctly and leaving them unsupported and isolated, which of course permits them to be destroyed by a single man sneak attacking them; and the circumstances are such that nearly any anti-armor weapon or explosive would suffice due to the tanks being so egregiously mis-deployed. Oh, and the Russian tanks themselves? They're not the most ingeniously designed modern state-of-the-art/bleeding-edge tanks like you would find being used by The West.
Honestly, some of the situations are so unbelievable that I am sure that they're just fake news meant to make the Russians look retarded because "support Ukraine" or some other crap like that :roll:.

Given that you've extolled the Javelin and compared it to getting "a sniper rifle that can automatically headshot you in a videogame", I'd say that you don't really seem to know what you are talking about, and neither do these alleged theorists and articles you speak of. There is no "end of armor" in sight, armor technology has just not completely caught up with weapons technology, the pendulum will swing the other way eventually.
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:40 am

The Order of Makai wrote:Russians failing to deploy their tanks correctly and leaving them unsupported and isolated, which of course permits them to be destroyed by a single man sneak attacking them;

Speaking of which:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1uOt7lD9wQ
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:48 am

Probably obsolete in 10-20 years if not already tbh.

If I can take a shoulder pad ATGM and blow it up (and the thing costs a fraction of the costs of operating a whole tank, keeping the crews, the fuels, the ammo etc)… then that’s a problem.

Useful for attacking countries without 1st-2nd tier ATGMs but slowly being phased out probably as those weapons proliferate and become more standard.

You don’t want to give your ennemy clear $$$$$ worth targets on tracks if you can avoid it. At least artillery can perform indirect fire over hundreds of kilometers.

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Postby Continental Free States » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:52 am

I've got to agree with the others. People have been saying tanks are going to be obsolete since 1916, and honestly right now comes nowhere close to "is the age of tanks over?" as the advent of the attack helicopter did. Tanks and armored warfare changed, but they survived that, and so they will this. What tanks might not survive is dumbass commanders as we were shown in the earlier days of the Russian Invasion.
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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:52 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:Probably obsolete in 10-20 years if not already tbh.

If I can take a shoulder pad ATGM and blow it up

You will be shot in the head.
With a very big bullet. Followed by the rest of the infantry platoon turning you into Swiss cheese.

See how this guy takes an 125 mm HE-Frag to his face?
Yeah you don't want to be that guy.
Last edited by Austria-Bohemia-Hungary on Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Emotional Support Crocodile » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:55 am

The future is cyberwar and drones, not big tin cans with guns.

Dammit now look what you've made me do, I've agreed with Infected Mushroom about something.
Last edited by Emotional Support Crocodile on Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:57 am

Emotional Support Crocodile wrote:The future is cyberwar and drones, not big tin cans with guns.

Dammit now look what you've made me do, I've agreed with Infected Mushroom about something.

Drones can be shot down, just like any other plane. Which is why Ukraine doesn't want the MQ-1's anymore since Russian air defence is turning Donetsk into a big no fun zone for drones.
Last edited by Austria-Bohemia-Hungary on Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:59 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:Probably obsolete in 10-20 years if not already tbh.

If I can take a shoulder pad ATGM and blow it up

You will be shot in the head.
With a very big bullet. Followed by the rest of the infantry platoon turning you into Swiss cheese.

See how this guy takes an 125 mm HE-Frag to his face?
Yeah you don't want to be that guy.


I don’t want to be shot either but if ATGMs keep becoming more and more cost effective and common place while tanks continue to be more pricy (they cost a whole team to run, millions worth of fuel, millions worth of weapons, millions worth of armor etc) we will eventually hit that breaking point where it’s not worth fielding the weapon system anymore.

It might just create a new status quo favoring defenders (making it near impossible to grab new lands without slogging it with long range).

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Postby Austria-Bohemia-Hungary » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:01 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:It might just create a new status quo favoring defenders (making it near impossible to grab new lands without slogging it with long range).

In 1939 and 1940 people thought putting an antitank gun every km would stop the panzer-stuka menace.
They were wrong.
Last edited by Austria-Bohemia-Hungary on Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:17 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:It might just create a new status quo favoring defenders (making it near impossible to grab new lands without slogging it with long range).

In 1939 and 1940 people thought putting an antitank gun every km would stop the panzer-stuka menace.
They were wrong.


And so they must be wrong now?

What’s the ratio of costs per wwii combat aircraft to tank (considering all factors) vs 2022 1 infantry/small group of infantry with a portable ATGM systems to a tank?

Do you think this ratio will change in balance against the tank? I think so and it’s heading further. I don’t imagine warfare in the 2040s as involving tanks.

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Postby Emotional Support Crocodile » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:18 am

Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:
Emotional Support Crocodile wrote:The future is cyberwar and drones, not big tin cans with guns.

Dammit now look what you've made me do, I've agreed with Infected Mushroom about something.

Drones can be shot down, just like any other plane. Which is why Ukraine doesn't want the MQ-1's anymore since Russian air defence is turning Donetsk into a big no fun zone for drones.


Thousands upon thousands of small cheap drones, for the cost of a tank, it won't matter. They can just be small flying bombs attacking in swarms.

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Postby Engadine Mcdonalds 1997 » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:22 am

The future of tank development will make tanks flat as pancakes. No I will not elaborate
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Postby Antipatros » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:31 am

I don't see tanks going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Their combination of cross-country mobility, armored protection, and firepower is still very useful. Tanks operating alone can get shredded by infantry with anti-tank weapons, particularly in closed terrain. That's not really a new thing. They can also be destroyed by air power if they don't have air cover or protection from air defense systems.

I think there is a problem with some (particularly Soviet or Russian style) formations in that they have way too many tanks and not enough infantry. They remind me of some of the early WW2 tank formations, and I honestly can't think of a large war where they've performed all that well.
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Postby Armeattla » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:40 am

Emotional Support Crocodile wrote:
Austria-Bohemia-Hungary wrote:Drones can be shot down, just like any other plane. Which is why Ukraine doesn't want the MQ-1's anymore since Russian air defence is turning Donetsk into a big no fun zone for drones.


Thousands upon thousands of small cheap drones, for the cost of a tank, it won't matter. They can just be small flying bombs attacking in swarms.

Given that CRAM can shoot down mortar shells, and that CRAM is pobably gonna get integrated into AA or SPAA, drones will be nothing more than another mortar shell to shoot down.

As for Anti Tank weapons- even if they become cheaper and cheaper, they will not outlive the tank.
If one stopped using tanks, the enemy would stop using ATGMs.
Now if the enemy stopped using ATGMs and you suddenly roll up with a tank, you are going to absolutely butcher everyone and anyone.
Equiping every infantry squad with a Javelin is costly, especially since not many of them are going to ever see a tank while slowing down the squad.
If you have too few javelins around a tank can just wreak havoc for a good while before someone who can deal with it arrives - at which points the tank might already be gone.

As for countering ATGMs - a good infantry screen is usuall sufficient, but Active Protection Systems can make short work of any incoming ATGM, top attack or not.
APS in combination with ERA will phase out heavier armour - especially when ERA is finally capable of defeating APDSFS.
Last edited by Armeattla on Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:43 am

Armeattla wrote:
Emotional Support Crocodile wrote:
Thousands upon thousands of small cheap drones, for the cost of a tank, it won't matter. They can just be small flying bombs attacking in swarms.

Given that CRAM can shoot down mortar shells, and that CRAM is pobably gonna get integrated into AA or SPAA, drones will be nothing more than another mortar shell to shoot down.

As for Anti Tank weapons- even if they become cheaper and cheaper, they will not outlive the tank.
If one stopped using tanks, the enemy would stop using ATGMs.
Now if the enemy stopped using ATGMs and you suddenly roll up with a tank, you are going to absolutely butcher everyone and anyone.
Equiping every infantry squad with a Javelin is costly, especially since not many of them are going to ever see a tank while slowing down the squad.
If you have too few javelins around a tank can just wreak havoc for a good while before someone who can deal with it arrives - at which points the tank might already be gone.

As for countering ATGMs - a good infantry screen is usuall sufficient, but Active Protection Systems can make short work of any incoming ATGM, top attack or not.
APS in combination with ERA will phase out heavier armour - especially when ERA is finally capable of defeating APDSFS.


ATGMs don’t just counter tanks though. They can be used against other ground vehicles too (and for blowing through bunkers and fortifications up close)
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Emotional Support Crocodile » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:47 am

Armeattla wrote:
Emotional Support Crocodile wrote:
Thousands upon thousands of small cheap drones, for the cost of a tank, it won't matter. They can just be small flying bombs attacking in swarms.

Given that CRAM can shoot down mortar shells, and that CRAM is pobably gonna get integrated into AA or SPAA, drones will be nothing more than another mortar shell to shoot down.

As for Anti Tank weapons- even if they become cheaper and cheaper, they will not outlive the tank.
If one stopped using tanks, the enemy would stop using ATGMs.
Now if the enemy stopped using ATGMs and you suddenly roll up with a tank, you are going to absolutely butcher everyone and anyone.
Equiping every infantry squad with a Javelin is costly, especially since not many of them are going to ever see a tank while slowing down the squad.
If you have too few javelins around a tank can just wreak havoc for a good while before someone who can deal with it arrives - at which points the tank might already be gone.

As for countering ATGMs - a good infantry screen is usuall sufficient, but Active Protection Systems can make short work of any incoming ATGM, top attack or not.
APS in combination with ERA will phase out heavier armour - especially when ERA is finally capable of defeating APDSFS.


Mortar shells follow a nice trajectory and don't come in massive swarms where it is hard to pick a target.

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Postby Armeattla » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:47 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:ATGMs don’t just counter tanks though. They can be used against other ground vehicles too (and for blowing through bunkers and fortifications up close)

Yes, they can.
But using them on trucks when the enemy stopped using AFVs altogether is just a waste.
As for fortifications: You either have dumb-fire infantry wespons for that, or you use artillery. No use for an expensive top-attack guided rocket for that if a dumbfire Thermobaric can do the trick.
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Postby Armeattla » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:51 am

Emotional Support Crocodile wrote:
Armeattla wrote:Given that CRAM can shoot down mortar shells, and that CRAM is pobably gonna get integrated into AA or SPAA, drones will be nothing more than another mortar shell to shoot down.

As for Anti Tank weapons- even if they become cheaper and cheaper, they will not outlive the tank.
If one stopped using tanks, the enemy would stop using ATGMs.
Now if the enemy stopped using ATGMs and you suddenly roll up with a tank, you are going to absolutely butcher everyone and anyone.
Equiping every infantry squad with a Javelin is costly, especially since not many of them are going to ever see a tank while slowing down the squad.
If you have too few javelins around a tank can just wreak havoc for a good while before someone who can deal with it arrives - at which points the tank might already be gone.

As for countering ATGMs - a good infantry screen is usuall sufficient, but Active Protection Systems can make short work of any incoming ATGM, top attack or not.
APS in combination with ERA will phase out heavier armour - especially when ERA is finally capable of defeating APDSFS.


Mortar shells follow a nice trajectory and don't come in massive swarms where it is hard to pick a target.

A mortar shells travels conciderably faster than a drone.
And even a drone has a rather predictable trajectory, given it's slow speed. A swarm will not make them better protected against solid-shots, variable-fuse fragmentation or VF-HE either. Especially when all CRAM is fast-firing autocannons.
Swarm drones are very fragile, a single good fragment hitting them will send them tumbling down, especially when it is not one, but a couple dozen a second.
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