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Thread: Invisible Tanks

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Snowscoran View Post
    Sounds useful, but not sure about the practicality of fitting it on MBTs. Rocket artillery, like the M270, would probably be an ideal platform to be outfitted with a kit like this.
    Or, dare I say, some sort of recce vehicle.

    A couple of years ago I read about a lightweight AFV constructed of polymers and composites being thrown around on Salisbury Plain by BAe. Combine it with this system and you have something that is potentially undetectable with any and all sensors bar the Mk 1 Eyeball.

  2. #62
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    How did I not see this thread? Oh well, +1 to science.
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  3. #63

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    This will work quite well, until some little robot 1/2 the size of a bread bin rolls up and marks the tank either in some kind of radioactive tracer paint or just some some kind of laser for 1/1000th of the cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by elmicker View Post
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mavolio View Post
    This will work quite well, until some little robot 1/2 the size of a bread bin rolls up and marks the tank either in some kind of radioactive tracer paint or just some some kind of laser for 1/1000th of the cost.
    I look at this as more something that might be worked into the armor of a next-gen tank in development. Unless the U.S., Russia, or China gets involved directly in a war with each other which is basically not going to happen these days the need for this kind of tech beyond the 'hey can we' and 'wouldn't it be cool if we could' the actual need to use tech of this nature is kinda low.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mavolio View Post
    This will work quite well, until some little robot 1/2 the size of a bread bin rolls up and marks the tank either in some kind of radioactive tracer paint or just some some kind of laser for 1/1000th of the cost.
    I'm just wondering how the little robot 1/2 the size of a bread bin rolls up and marks the tank either in some kind of radioactive tracer paint or just some some kind of laser for 1/1000th of the cost?

    If the robot can see through the cloak, fit the sensor on a weapons platform and cut out the middle man ...
    I don't use my initiative because nobody told me to

  6. #66
    Grarr Dexx's Avatar
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    If you're going with invisible giant cannons, why not just drop the armor plating? The whole system is designed around not being hit, so if you do get hit, the whole system is fucked.

  7. #67
    Donor Sparq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grarr Dexx View Post
    If you're going with invisible giant cannons, why not just drop the armor plating? The whole system is designed around not being hit, so if you do get hit, the whole system is fucked.
    Although the primary reason to install them onto a MBT is to increase the "surprise" value of the tank - and not as a comprehensive alternative to more traditional armors - it is interesting to note that BAe claims they're robust enough to act as another layer of armor. Okay, so you're not going to stop something really nasty with them alone but if it doesn't add too much weight then every little bit still helps I guess - especially not so much on an MBT but an APC/AFV.

    I expect that - ideally - a tank with this system gets shot at less than it would without the system, and the individual cells are going to be mass produced to the point of being cost effective v.s. the anticipated amount of combat losses & repairs you'd otherwise suffer.
    Last edited by Sparq; September 10 2011 at 03:31:59 PM.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by County View Post
    I'm just wondering how the little robot 1/2 the size of a bread bin rolls up and marks the tank either in some kind of radioactive tracer paint or just some some kind of laser for 1/1000th of the cost?
    Its not seeing through the cloak by having super sensors it sees though it by driving right up next to it and using its 5 camera to physically see where it is. Of course 1 of these on its own wont work as some soldier will just shoot it. But they wont be able to stop 50 of these per tank especially if they just carry an even smaller flying robot to go on ahead. None of this actually exists yet as it would be solving a problem that doesn't exist yet.

    Of course some 3rd world country wont be able to produce either that level of technological item or enough of them to matter unless USA goes to war with China.

  9. #69

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    This still implies that you know where the vehicle is - just sending 50 bots out into a field on the off chance that there is an MBT or a recon there isn't gonna be anywhere near cost effective. And if you DO know that there is a vehicle there - then why stop at marking it with a beacon when you could just drop a round on it and call it a day.
    I don't use my initiative because nobody told me to

  10. #70
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    Pretty sure the laser designator from the little robot is precisely so that something bigger can drop a round on it.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparq View Post
    Although the primary reason to install them onto a MBT is to increase the "surprise" value of the tank - and not as a comprehensive alternative to more traditional armors - it is interesting to note that BAe claims they're robust enough to act as another layer of armor. Okay, so you're not going to stop something really nasty with them alone but if it doesn't add too much weight then every little bit still helps I guess - especially not so much on an MBT but an APC/AFV.

    I expect that - ideally - a tank with this system gets shot at less than it would without the system, and the individual cells are going to be mass produced to the point of being cost effective v.s. the anticipated amount of combat losses & repairs you'd otherwise suffer.
    Colour me sceptical to the claim that it's robust enough to act like armour reinforcement. I pretty much agree with the rest of your post though. The way I see it it, in order to make this useful for tanks and AFVs, BAE will either have to mass-produce easily replacable "sheets" of the stuff, or ensure it can absorb small-arms fire without losing functionality.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Snowscoran View Post
    Colour me sceptical to the claim that it's robust enough to act like armour reinforcement. I pretty much agree with the rest of your post though. The way I see it it, in order to make this useful for tanks and AFVs, BAE will either have to mass-produce easily replacable "sheets" of the stuff, or ensure it can absorb small-arms fire without losing functionality.
    Depends on how easily the damaged bits of it will be able to be replaced. Closest comparison is probably explosive-reactive panels - I would imagine the logistics challenge of replacing them when they get shot would be pretty similar to the situation with these, no?

    On a related note, presumably these panels wouldn't play nicely with reactive armour?

  13. #73
    James Snowscoran's Avatar
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    I have zero idea how challenging it will be to replace damaged bits, but I'd imagine it to be a lot harder than reactive armour. And yeah, deploying it alongside reactive armour would probably be a horrible match.

  14. #74

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    I cant think they would be that easy to replace as you would 1st have to remove all the damaged parts before you could slap some more on. It would also depend on the situation, if they just got a lucky shot then you can just turn the tank to show an undamaged side but if they are close enough they dont need IR it wont matter if its all blown off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Simmons View Post
    Pretty sure the laser designator from the little robot is precisely so that something bigger can drop a round on it.
    yeah p.much.

    And they would also be cost effective even if they cost $50,000 as a basic M1 Adrams costs $6 million+.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grarr Dexx View Post
    If you're going with invisible giant cannons, why not just drop the armor plating? The whole system is designed around not being hit, so if you do get hit, the whole system is fucked.
    It's not invisible, you can see it just fine and dandy. It does however defeat in some regard it's probably not perfect FLIR and thermal targeting mechanisms. I would be curious to know how it deals against daylight sights and other targeting systems. I wouldn't expect for example a wire guided missile to give two fucks that it defeats a FLIR or thermal targeting mechanism.

    edit: or do anything against a tank killer aircraft like the A-10

  16. #76
    Donor Sparq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Snowscoran View Post
    Colour me sceptical to the claim that it's robust enough to act like armour reinforcement. I pretty much agree with the rest of your post though. The way I see it it, in order to make this useful for tanks and AFVs, BAE will either have to mass-produce easily replacable "sheets" of the stuff, or ensure it can absorb small-arms fire without losing functionality.
    Oh, I'm skeptical about it too - don't get me wrong. I'm guessing they're selling it on the premise it'll help further shield thinner skins against small arms fire, even at the (unstated, AFAIK) cost of the cells being pounded on. Unless those're some really fucking fancy hexagons they've got themselves there then I don't see them coming anywhere near to stopping dedicated anti-armor.

    I disagree re: sheets. I think they're better sticking to individual "pixelated" components, of course you're gonna want a pretty fast test/self-test system to weed out busted cells - field repairs aren't going to be very fun if you have to light yourself up like a christmas tree to find duds while in the proximate locale to people who want to keep taking shots at you.

    To add to that, my impression is their size & form factor make them easier to add to just about anything with enough flat surface to mount a single cell onto. Having panels would just start to complicate things.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Snowscoran View Post
    And yeah, deploying it alongside reactive armour would probably be a horrible match.
    I'm sure you meant a hilarious match
    Last edited by Sparq; September 12 2011 at 07:44:06 AM.

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