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Old 11-23-2009, 12:58 PM   #21
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by copeab View Post
I've been told the Stryker has significantly better armor than the M113A3 but still not nearly enough to protect it from a tank.
I don't know that's the best comparison, though. The typical main gun rounds require 600-800mm RHA equivalent to withstand any of the modern 120mm rounds. Only a true tank can withstand that, and only select models can withstand the modern battlefield.

The various infantry transport and support vehicles, even in a combat role, have a useful purpose and work well within that purpose. Standing up to tanks face-to-face just isn't that role, even though the TOW missile is quite credible (900-1000mmRHA penetration at ranges to 3750m) as an offensive threat.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:01 PM   #22
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
If your infantry are loaded with tank-killers, the next step is to go down to SM-1 or SM-2 drones that have powersuit-killers...

LOS = dead probably means your mobile infantry are bot-minders more than close-assault troops.

Really? I'd retained the impression that there was an Armor arm with some really serious tanks, which never showed up in the book, presumably because their role didn't put them on the battlefield at the same time as the MI.
Most of the work in the book seems to have been rooting out tunnels rather then mobile warfare. Infantry would be better for that especially if it wore the stuff they wore.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:01 PM   #23
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

Well, the M113 has between 2 and 6mm (ish, I don't have the exact figures) of armor plating, depending on the version, while the stryker has (I think) 14.5mm on the front hull. A Bradley has 65mm. None of these will protect against something like a tank cannon, even a crappy Cold War era one. But their job is not to engage enemy heavy armor (though the Bradley can, at range, with its ATGMs). They're meant to give rapid strategic mobility and provide some minor fire support against soft targets (medium for the Bradley). The Stryker and M113 can withstand light artillery fire (60-80mm mortars or such), but a direct hit will probably penetrate, and kill all the infantry inside.


The M1A2 Abrams has around 100mm, sloped at 80 degrees, with DU reinforcing. It can take cannons shots to the front hull, the sides would probably be penetrated, especially against modern guns. However, this makes it very heavy, (it needs a jet engine) and very fuel inefficient. Giving an APC or IFV this armor would cut down on it's operating range and speed, while still being vulnerable to heavy AT fire. The fact is, the safest place for infantry to be on a battlefield is outside of their vehicle, spread out and in cover.
(That being said, I think the IDF uses a model of the Merkeva MBT without the turret as a heavy APC. Probably for urban combat where the enemy is more likely to achieve surprise and hit the AFV from a vulnerable position.)

EDIT: semi-ninja-ed by DouglasCole
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:10 PM   #24
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

I loves me my Mecha. Mecha have personality where tanks don't. You can say: "the 'Mech strikes a defiant pose before unleashing its weapons at its enemies," where a tank can't. Seriously, how does a tank strike a defiant pose? I mean, which of these two looks defiant (Tank, Mecha)?

Are Mecha realistic, or feasable? Not as we understand the future of warfare. It would take some applied phlebotium like Minofsky Particles or the Solar Reactors to make them more useful than tanks.

It doesn't bother me that in order to have Mecha they really do have to be powered by Awesome. That's just another facet of how cool I think they are.

Basically, in order for Mecha to be real, you have to have a fundamental reason behind it. And, as GM, you can just say "Mecha are better than tanks because, dag nabbit, I want them."
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:31 PM   #25
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by Eltharon View Post
The M1A2 Abrams has around 100mm, sloped at 80 degrees, with DU reinforcing.
Out of curiosity, do you have a source for the LOS thickness of the armor that's unclassified? I've seen (and linked to) estimates of the equivalent protective ability of the M1A2 SEP, which is about 575mmRHA on the glacis, and about 960mmRHA on the turret front.

Interestingly, 100mm/cos(80) = 575, so your numbers work out pretty well. About four inches of armor; I'd have thought it'd be thicker.

Quote:
It can take cannons shots to the front hull, the sides would probably be penetrated, especially against modern guns.
This site: http://pmulcahy.100megs3.com/tanks/us_tanks.html estimates the side armor at ~170mmRHA equivalent.

Quote:
However, this makes it very heavy, (it needs a jet engine)
I'm pretty sure the diesel vs turbine question was not a matter of raw output power. The turbine is an AGT1500, which is 1500HP according to globalsecurity.org.

The AVDS-1790 now comes in 1500HP variants, for example. It also weighs 5000lbs, compared to 2500lbs for the turbine, which is probably why it was chosen. On the other hand, it uses as much fuel (nearly) idling as running flat out; Abrams tanks were upgraded with either an APU or a battery pack for this reason.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #26
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Most of the work in the book seems to have been rooting out tunnels rather then mobile warfare. Infantry would be better for that especially if it wore the stuff they wore.
There was no "armor" or indeed any other ground units except the combat engineers (who wore basically the same suits the MI did), the K-9 corps and bizarre specialists like psychics in the Starship Troopers universe as written by RAH.

Remember, Rico carried mininukes in the raid on the Skinnies and didn't consider it a heavy weapons load. If any weapon heavier than that was needed the Navy was happy to provide (from orbit, so you could be sure). The MI was the arm of _restraint_.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:54 PM   #27
Eltharon
 
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Out of curiosity, do you have a source for the LOS thickness of the armor that's unclassified? I've seen (and linked to) estimates of the equivalent protective ability of the M1A2 SEP, which is about 575mmRHA on the glacis, and about 960mmRHA on the turret front.

Interestingly, 100mm/cos(80) = 575, so your numbers work out pretty well. About four inches of armor; I'd have thought it'd be thicker.
You know, thats a good question. I had that sitting around somewhere. I guess I just calculated it from the RHA and the 80 degree slope. I'm almost positive the actual thickness is still classified.

As for the engine thing-I stand corrected. Engines aren't really my thing ;).


As for the Mecha/Tank debate, I love me some tanks. Don't get me wrong, power armor (like...8ft or so tall) is cool and everything. But I can't get over the fact that mecha make no realistic sense...boring, I know. Also, I think tanks look cooler. Don't hurt me.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:07 PM   #28
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
IIRC, in a discussion of powered armor fairly early in the book, Johnny makes a dismissive mention of tanks, along the lines of "if they used those silly things anymore." That passage always struck me as a bit odd. After all, ten-year-old-me reasoned, if they can put more armor and bigger guns on a guy in a powered suit, how much more than that could they do with something the size of a tank?
This, perhaps?

Quote:
A suit isnít a space suit ó although it can serve as one. It is not primarily armor ó although the Knights
of the Round Table were not armored as well as we are. It isnít a tank ó but a single M. I. private could
take on a squadron of those things and knock them off unassisted if anybody was silly enough to put
tanks against M. I.
A suit is not a ship but it can fly, a little on the other hand neither spaceships nor
atmosphere craft can fight against a man in a suit except by saturation bombing of the area he is in (like
burning down a house to get one flea!). Contrariwise we can do many things that no ship ó air,
submersible, or space ó can do.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:23 PM   #29
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by Eltharon View Post
As for the Mecha/Tank debate, I love me some tanks. Don't get me wrong, power armor (like...8ft or so tall) is cool and everything.
Have fun figuring out how to articulate the joints. If power armor is noticeably taller than human, about the only way to do so is via a foot extension (putting the power armor in digitigrade stance). In addition, power armor generally wants to (a) be small enough to fit through doors without having to squeeze or duck, and (b) be light enough to not fall through floors, even when moving rapidly.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:26 PM   #30
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Default Re: Who needs tanks?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Have fun figuring out how to articulate the joints. If power armor is noticeably taller than human, about the only way to do so is via a foot extension (putting the power armor in digitigrade stance). In addition, power armor generally wants to (a) be small enough to fit through doors without having to squeeze or duck, and (b) be light enough to not fall through floors, even when moving rapidly.
Only if you assume all of that height is coming from the legs. The act of wrapping all that armor and synthetic muscle or hydraulics or what have you around someone is going to add to their inches. 24" might be too much, but 12" isn't out of the question.
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