Eye'm the cutest!
A lot of innovations.Like what? What was once steel on a Sherman is composite Chobam on an Abrams. Either way it's the same technology: Armor. What was once a 75mm gun aimed by a calibrated sight and ranging machine gun is now a 120mm gun aimed by a calibrated computer and laser rangefinder. Same techologies: Armament and Fire Control. What was a gasoline engine that got 200 miles to the tank is now a gas turbine engine that gets...200 miles to the tank. Same technology: Propulsion. What was once treads coated in rubber to grip the road is...treads coated in rubber to grip the road. Same technology: Treads. Is there anything at all on an Abrams that is actually completely revolutionary that hasn't been done in one way or another decades before it? Gyro-stablised main guns existed on the Sherman, they could and did fire on the move accurately. (Doctrine and poor tactics by tank commanders however never took advantage of that capability.) The point being is all of these are improvements to existing technologies many of which that have existed for decades, not full on innovations and breakthroughs.
edited 31st May '12 6:42:40 PM by MajorTom
Well, back to power armour, I think the technological progression would be similar. You start off today with composite alloys of whatever (I'm not going to look that closely at what might be best), and within 100 years, material sciences should have some kind of really awesome armour (well not guaranteed, but we hope so), that is lighter for the same protection. Your weapon becomes lighter, with smaller or same size ammunition that simply packs more punch. Your power system becomes more efficient and is able to carry more energy, thus allowing more muscle strength and weight carry limit. Or longer operation periods between recharges. Your targeting system and weapons will have improved substantially, so whereas before you manually aimed, now it is fully integrated and allow computerised target tracking and other nifty features.
Tom: Thank you for providing me my facts and handily undermining your arguement for me. There is a huge world of difference in Composite/DU armour and RHA. Materials, performance, application, and what they are proof against are quite different. This is not the same tech. There is a huge world of difference in manual aim and a advanced suite of thermal sites, ballstic computers, laser range finders, pendulum static cant system, a suite of systems that take in what type of round your firing, the local humidity, air temp, air pressure, a system that automatically compensates for muzzle droop due to gravity, bore site stats for that specific tank, the heat of the barrel from natural sources or being fired, target range and speed from tachometers. It computes this data 30 times a second. All of that is to fire one shot. That is a gigantic innovation alone. Oh and it can do it on the move and auto correct the gun on target while on the move. This is not the same technology. The main gun is a high velocity smooth bore 120mm main gun. It uses a completely different recoil compensation system and is more accurate, more powerful, and longer ranged then any WWII tank gun. That is a huge innovation and is not the same technology. The ammo ranges from simple shot gun shell, More advanced HEAT shells to depleted Uranium darts. Two of those are not the same technology. The more powerful turbine engine makes a nearly 70 ton tank go almsot 60 mph where as the other tanks with gasoline engines were lucky to break 30 mph in a 30 ton tank. The treads are universal surface treads good for nearly all surfaces. The abrams is easily more mobile and more agile then any of it's predecessors. It is not the same technology. It has various protection systems from active to passive. Something that never existed on WWII tanks. It is not the same technology. It has an automated Halon gas extuinguisher system, specially designed fuel and ammo compartments to keep a blow out from gutting the tank and killing the crew, and a kevlar based spall curtain. That is an innovation and is not tech ever used in WWII tanks. The crew have advanced command and control systems that tie them into a communications, mapping network, and a computer system to help run it all. That is an innovation and is not same tech. We have remotely operated CROWS system turrets on the tanks now. WWII tanks didn't have a crows turret. That is not the same technology. The chasis and Turret are brand new designs to maximize survivability and durability. They are made with a host of different techniques, improved alloys, and new egineering techniques. Similar but not the same technology. Not quite an innovation. So far I have poked quite a few holes in your arguement. 70 years of tech advancement has brought a huge amount of change to tanks alone. Look what we did for aircraft, missiles, submarines, surface vessels, computers, and host of other technologies we have long since pushed past their states existed back then. I can not stess enough the huge leaps of technology that have happened in a 70 year time span. Apply that to something like early power armor or the HULC and you could feasibly end up wit a walking tank or something crazy.
edited 31st May '12 7:39:49 PM by TuefelHundenIV
Grin and tonicIt occurs to be me that any power armor, even one that uses super conductors and an efficient power supply is going to have heat management issues.
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They might depending on how they are built.
There's also various possible heat sink technologies and generally that would hurt the operational time. You could do hot swapping of heatsinks (hurr, a pun!) as well to extend operational lifetime. You can create fluids today with exceptionally high specific heat capacity to absorb a lot of heat before requiring replacement. You could also have vapourising gel if you want to get expensive to just spew the heat out once the gel has maxed out its heat capacity.
Eye'm the cutest!
You can create fluids today with exceptionally high specific heat capacityYou mean like water cooling? Water has one of the highest specific heat ratings in the known Universe and is the most inexpensive coolant in the Universe. (Or at least this planet.) It only has one real drawback: It's heavy.
Well... water is very good but we do have some better ones these days, plus some new ones on the horizon (or if you really like water, nanofluid enhanced water).
edited 1st Jun '12 4:04:16 PM by breadloaf
Grin and tonicTwo things in power armor that have to be kept cool, sensitive electronics and the pilot. Also, real power armour probably wont ever be this awesome.
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Well, the electronics is easy, I'm concerned about the artificial muscles and the weapon.
I think your going a bit far into Gasaraki Territory there :P It is more likely to be something similar to HULC.
I thought most of the point was to keep it "infantry" sized so that it could also perform in urban warfare and other infantry-like stuff.
Eye'm the cutest!At the infantry size the "muscles" are mostly going to be mechanical substitutions, gears, pulleys, motors, stuff like that. At least for the first few iterations before fiber based machinery really becomes feasible and you start seeing "true" artificial muscles.
Or we go with an existing system of some decently designed hydraulics like on the HULC.
Eye'm the cutest!I'm trying to keep it like wearing an IBA in terms of scale, not bordering Mini Mecha. More Mjolnir Mk VI than SPESS MEHREIN!, know what I mean?
edited 1st Jun '12 8:52:29 PM by MajorTom
Its more likely to be the smaller variety then a mini mech. They will still likely be bulkier then an unarmoured man though.
Eye'm the cutest!That's what Mjolnir is. It's slightly larger than an EOD suit.
A powered exoskeleton would work very well with an EOD suit. Most bombsuits are extremely heavy at 81 pounds or more.
Bomb suits are also cumbersome. 81lbs is quite a bit of weight.
Eye'm the cutest!That's why we need to take your average EOD bombsuit, throw on about 20 lbs of up-armored goodness then install a powered frame connected to each section. Voila, instant Juggernaut armor only the man inside can run a 5 minute mile like he was naked. Yes the powered frame would mostly be there to support the armor and suit, not give the user that ability to run 5 minute miles.
edited 18th Jun '12 4:41:26 PM by MajorTom
I think your misunderstand what I mean by bulky. I am not talking directly about weight. yeah it is pretty damn heavy but the suit also limits overall mobility. The protected spots are thick. Juggernauts from Modern Warfar are pretty heavily fictionalized. See here◊ While they provide blast and frag protection from a variety of explosives (there are some bombs you can't have enough suit for) they are described as bulky, cumbersome, and difficult to manuever in.
Eye'm the cutest!And if the thing is armored enough to survive an entire mag or more of AK fire what's the problem? So you might find doing cartwheels a tad uncomfortable, so what? Fire and maneuver isn't about doing fancy tricks like cartwheels or rolls. Please enlighten me if I am missing something about EOD suits' (or a powered armor suit built based in part off it) mobility.
edited 18th Jun '12 8:13:09 PM by MajorTom
You don't get it do you. Your not going to be doing cartwheels much less find yourself to be posessed of the dexterity to excute such a manuever. You will be finding even common movements difficult or clumsy. You won't be running the O-course any time soon either. They are not designed to be combat armor but designed to try and save the bomb tech/EOD tech's life in the event a bomb goes off in their face. The weight of the suit isn't the only issue preventing its use a combat armor. If the only issue was weight there would be occasions where you could use it as a combat armor if the troop only has to carry some ammo, a weapon, and a pack. The sheer bulk of the suit gets in the way. The suits are also designed more with fragments, thermal, and overpressure issues then to act as a bullet sponge. Bomb suits as they are, are not as well suited to stopping bullets then body armor expressly designed to do so. They do make inserts for several varities of bomb suits but that only increases weight and mobility issues. Great you take care of the weight issue but that still doesn't solve the bulkiness and difficulty in maneuvering in the armor. Which is why it is not used for combat outside of lighter body armors giving better protection against bullets.
rollin' on dubsThe best defense is to armor where you're more likely to get hit. Tankers angle the turret such that the front armor faces forward (to the enemy). The Challenger 2 has the best top armor in the world, others are taking the active kill approach. The US Army is right now trying to build the "Ground Combat Vehicle" the infantry version of which tops out at 70+ tons. Most of the defense press is pointing and laughing at Big Army and rightly so. A platoon in that much armor weighs as much as Hitler's Maus. The only terrain they will fight on will be reinforced concrete runways. Better Powered armor would scale up. You'd have a A kit (basic armor) then a B Kit (more armor) and a C kit (add motors and some more armor if necessary). Not only does the poor Joe have to walk around in this thing, something has to carry it around. A military police unit in the rear pulling guard duty needs less armor than one doing patrols downrange. A special ops team would need armor as light as possible since they shoot their way out. With Power Armour you could bring back the open topped APC, since the troops are buttoned up themselves. That makes for a lighter ride. They could ride atop tanks again for the same reason. I remember a line from GDW's Combined Arms: "Troops can ride on a tank with reactive armor but will refuse to do so." Helicopters can sling load troops or lower them with a rope, but why limit them? Give'em "wings" to glide down. Since the legs can take the impact of landing, the chopper can fly past the objective and let them out.
Open-topped vehicles are okay, but riding on tanks is just asking to get RPG'd. Also, base security is not much less likely to need tough armour these days than the guys on the front, the reason being, the base is a big-temping target, whereas a few guys on the ground are hard to pin down.
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