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Seeing as there was a lot of military talk and tech geekery going on in various threads lately, I decided to make an all purpose topic for it. And I made it in OTC so those darn dirty reds and bleeding heart liberal wusses can't derail with their pacifism nonsense.
Let's pick a few recent events to get this thread started (though feel free to talk about whatever you want):
edited 21st Apr '10 2:23:26 PM by DasAuto
We have Gun Porn in Yack Fest for this. :P
Edit: Nevermind, I guess we can cover all the other non hardware related stuff here too.
edited 21st Apr '10 2:26:36 PM by Barkey
Damn it. I rarely ever go to Yack Fest anymore. I actually searched there for "military" and other words to see if we have a thread.
edited 21st Apr '10 2:37:35 PM by DasAuto
It's all good, non-technology/equipment related stuff can go here too, Gun Porn is more like a "Look at these awesome weapons" thread.
I HEREBY DECLARE WAR ON WAR ITSELF!
This said, how are we gonna stop war from existing at all?... That's a No Brainer...
You can have that discussion with yourself if you'd like. I for one, support war for at least another 14 years. Then all war can end because I'll be retired.
I don't think we'll ever get away from violent conflict, it's a human thing.
Now, if we had duels to settle issues where each nation selects a champion, or even a team, and they fight to the death over the issue on live TV..... I can get behind that.
edited 21st Apr '10 3:57:09 PM by Barkey
Here's a question I'd like to toss out for the more-knowledgeable-about-the-military-than-me types (although I'll probably sit back and watch more than participate:
What do you think the primary push in new hardware development is going to be for the next, oh, 25 years or so? And what do you think it should be? Both offensive and defensive are on the table.
edited 21st Apr '10 4:57:11 PM by Madrugada
On what scale Madrugada? You can go so many ways with that, from nationwide defense and offense on a global scale, to equipment that protect troops in individual engagements, or offensive tools for individual engagements.
On a national scale, I think we need to be working on defenses to cancel out Nukes. Some form of system that can be used to react to and destroy any sort of nuclear delivery system that is airborne with a response time of minutes at most. We're getting there with our standy systems like Operation Noble Eagle(The networks of bases that have alert fighters ready to scramble at a moments notice in the event of an airborne threat)
To be honest, I think one of the most feasible systems for this would be something in the form of a UAV with a chemical laser similar to the one Boeing is experimenting with. It'd need to be something fast enough to catch an ICBM, with a weapon with the range and velocity to destroy the missile, and accuracy that only a computer targeting system can give. Considering in a nuclear situation against a first world nation we wouldn't be just facing a handful of these, but many, and this system would need to be able to net hundreds, if not thousands, of missiles.
On the national offense scale, Rods of God, for sure. Having a kinetic energy weapon that can fire on any location in the world, with the force of a tactical nuke minus the radiation, is an awesome weapon. DARPA stated they think at the current pace this will be a reality by 2025. There is also no way to stop one of these things, at least not until we can get a weapon system that can track hit an object travelling at thousands of miles per hour down to earth.
As warfare and how we wage it changes, I see a larger emphasis going towards small, mobile warfare. Tanks are probably going to be replaced by going to heavily armored transports using active kill systems to defeat explosive projectiles, with UAV/Aircraft supporting pushes by these vehicles, while the vehicles support the infantry dismounts they carry. Expect infantry to be using all sorts of weapons to do everything from demolish an entire floor/building, projectiles made to explode beyond enemy cover, exoskeletons to help Infantry have the capacity to carry another 300-350 pounds of equipment, and advanced tactical equipment to help infantry on the ground have an up to date tactical map of the situation which is communicated up the chain to strategists and commanders.
(This isn't counting limitless other possibilities like bouncing jet fuel fireballs and other shit that is sort of impractical. But the things I listed are the things that I personally think are very likely to be in our future. I don't see things like Mecha in our future, what with the bipedal leg design sucking.)
edited 21st Apr '10 6:01:04 PM by Barkey
Whatever scale you want, really. I'm pretty much an military ignoramus (which you might have guessed given the way I dropped out of the "Military Budget" thread once it turned to where spending money would be wise and started comparing stats on various weapons systems.
The question was inspired because from an outsiders view (what we hear about in the news) it seems that tech development seems to run in cycles — planes, guns, missiles, tanks, planes again, guns again and so on.
I guess it's really about who gets the furthest behind. We might spend a few years focusing on guns, and then we leap several years ahead other nations and focus on something else while they catch up. It's a precarious and expensive dance that keeps us on the cutting edge.
It also has alot to do with Full Spectrum Dominance, it's why we excel in ALL fields of warfare, instead of just specific ones.
To simplify it, think of war like a game of rock, paper, scissors. Only instead we have the hardest rock, thickest paper, and sharpest scissors. Thus we win regardless, it means if the enemy has better infantry and armor support on the ground, then our air and navy assets will smash them. If they have better air assets, we can jam communications using space based assets and sortie various types of AA from naval and ground assets. If the enemy has naval assets, we can bomb them into oblivion from the air and ground based artillery.
You get the idea, but it keeps the enemy from ever being able to gain a foothold. The most they can do to a military operation is stall it, not route it.
Well then to answer the main question Mad put up.
/begin personal theorycrafting
Most of the newest efforts in military technology are in 3 areas:
In the first category we are seeing the highly imminent deployment of Active Protection Systems for the first time in combat. Things like Raytheon's Quick Kill, the Russian Arena, the Israeli Iron Fist and Trophy, and a couple areas are all designed to break the flattening arms race between weapons and armor.
How they do that is instead of making armor so thick or reactive that it effectively immobilizes the vehicle, you make system that allows less armor but better defenses. Active protection systems since they can intercept anti-armor weapons like RPG-7/RPG-29 and the Javelin will allow tanks and APCs to have just enough armor to shrug off infantry weapons and nearby strikes instead of needing to survive a direct hit. (Needless to say when it comes to tanks the nations seeking APS are keeping the armor levels already established on modern tanks) This is going doubly so for APC/IFV types since blowing those vehicles wide open can (and probably will) cause significantly greater casualties.
Here's a practical example of this focus. If you disabled an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank with say a Javelin, the maximum casualties you can inflict are 4. Fire the same weapon at a fully loaded Stryker and you can inflict 12. Thus targeting the APCs and IF Vs gives you more enemy casualties for the same ammo expended.
If you can defend against this with something like Iron Fist, you only need enough armor to shrug off infantry calibers for your IF Vs.
Additionally, such defensive systems are being looked into across the board. Meaning a variant is being thought of for fighter aircraft, ships, helicopters and more.
In the second category you are seeing the development of infantry weapons that can handle recoil either from faster fire rates or more powerful cartridges. The TDI Vector like seen in Modern Warfare 2 fires the .45 ACP pistol cartridge with the same muzzle climb and recoil as a much lighter cartridge. End result? Greater accuracy for no loss in stopping power. The AK-107/AK-108 series uses a Balanced system to negate muzzle climb. Other weapons are utilizing shock absorbers or other systems (the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle is one of these).
The end result is to increase the effectiveness of the infantryman (especially in high intensity combat like in urban settings) and reducing ammunition consumption.
The third category is tough to explain. Basically, it means things like looking into better yet lighter body armor and designs for equipment that can carry a standard soldier's gear for less strain on the soldier.
Some experiments in robotic aids are looking into this problem. (Though it isn't yet Powered Armor)
I think that as active defenses become more effective, we'll start to see tanks have more top armor to defend against CAS. The easiest way I can think of to defeat active defenses is More Dakka, you'll either overwhelm the computers or simply exhaust they're missile supply.
It's like in Modern Warfare 2 Deboss, in the mission where you defend the Bradley, it states it can't move up because it's having so many RPG's fired at it that its active kill system is being overwhelmed.
I agree that large heavy armored units such as tanks either being eliminated or their roles in ground warfare being drastically changed along with their basic design. As it stands tanks are support vehicles that have expensive and needy logistical tails.
If we keep tanks it would need to be something closer to a Merkava ie more suited to Urban combat environment but still capable of reaching out at least a mile or two with its main weapon.
More or less a trend from Heavy and Main Battle tanks to a trend towards smaller faster units like Medium/Light Tanks with a emphasis on engaging enemy infantry.
There were plans for a Stryker Mobile Gun System to be armed with 105mm cannon on top for use as urban and limited open ground combat support.
The current trend in almost all military gear is smaller, faster, more accurate, and in most cases multi-purpose.
Examples would include the small glide bomb projects like Viper Strike system to be carried by drones, launched from Ac-130 gunships, modified aircraft and i read a while back a crazy version of large bore mortar projectile that would fire them (These have been the suggested assortment of launch platforms).
There is also a trend towards Unmanned combat vehicles and tools. The army is getting deep into many drone projects for recon an engagment. Everything from large Recon Drone swarms to swarms of hunter killer drones. There has been talk of effectively small lethal infantry hand launched grenade drones. Kind Like the "Smart Grenades" Listed here. Only they want the troops to be able to control the weapon via some sort of device on person.
A lot of this advanced tech relies on the development of various future weapons programs which have recently been cut back or cut all together. The future soldier program has taken a beating has managed to keep a lot of its various programs intact but eliminating the new devices. Future weapon series had a lot of these items on its show at one point.
Edit: changed More or less a trend to Heavy and Main Battle tanks and trend towards smaller faster units like Medium/Light Tanks with a emphasis on engaging enemy infantry. replaced to heavy to from heavy Replaced and trend towards to a trend towards.
edited 22nd Apr '10 3:16:48 PM by TuefelHundenIV
Food for thought and it is relevant
edited 22nd Apr '10 3:39:28 PM by TuefelHundenIV
Active Defense certainly is the shit. Can't wait to see how MANTIS does in Afghanistan.
The hydra missiles look cool. Four times as many missiles. Can you say Macross Missile Massacre?
I'd add command, control, communication and information capabilities. Reducing the fog of war is always a good thing.
I almost forgot one item that helps me believe in the end of the age of the tank. The Javelin AT Missile.Shaboom Dual mode Direct or high angle top down attack, tandem warhead to take out reactive armor, and its a true fire and forget missile system. Almost forgot lower IR signature and a soft launch system.
Oh and a 19 vehicle column in Northern Iraq was taken out by a team of scouts armed with Javelins.
edited 23rd Apr '10 12:21:53 PM by TuefelHundenIV
Active Defense vs. Awesome new missiles
Who's gonna win?
Whichever is the better system obviously.
EDIT: Oh yeah... on topic... sorry...
edited 23rd Apr '10 1:02:37 PM by GameChainsaw
The thing that tickles me is that they are already trying to design weapons to defeat the active systems which are not that widely fielded yet. Or in some cases already have designed supposedly.
My favorite potentially Geneva Convention-violating weapon is glint detector+targeting computer+laser=every enemy camera (and maybe eye) lens melted instantly.
Yeah that device is neat.
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