Magazine article Army

More on 'Tank Diet'

Magazine article Army

More on 'Tank Diet'

Article excerpt

Otto Kreisher's February article paints a valid argument for the continued revival of the light tank design. The desire for a light tank has been kicked around by the Army think tank for many decades. Since the launch of armor into the modern battlefield, the development of a light tank has eluded tacticians. The "why" is simple: If you give up weight, you give up security; add firepower to this equation and you give up more weight to the design of a light tank.

To complement this lightweight concept, there arose the idea of the threeman crew, as seen in the Mobile Gun System of the Stryker armored vehicle family. Again, this is a weight-reduction effort: Reduce the crew and you reduce combat sustainment due to injury of crew members and the overall effort to maintain the vehicle. The team members of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency apparently have never had to maintain a main battle tank or, for that matter, fight one. Cutting the crews is not a viable answer to the concept of light armor.

When the M1 Abrams main battle tank was first fielded in the early 1980s, it weighed 60 tons. It is only after the Army added more bells and whistles that its weight increased to the current 70 tons. The M551 Sheridan as an effective combat vehicle was a complete failure. The light weight subjected the crew to small-arms fire; the mixture of the missile/ cannon main gun was a crapshoot of reliability. Airdropping a Sheridan was always successful; unfortunately, the impact with the ground diminished these successes to a very few. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.