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Thread: will mech suits ever enter the battle field?

  1. #1 will mech suits ever enter the battle field? 
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    do you think Mech or full mechanical suits (kinda like iron man) will ever play a realistic role in battle or are they limited to sci-fi, just curious to know what other people think.

    i personally, don't think a power source will ever be found to power something like that, and im not sure if they would be financially viable. would love to see them all the same


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    The only realistic benefits I could see from a "mech suit" is being shelled in protective armor that would generally bounce all bullets away.

    Launching missiles from your forearms or machine guns popping out of your shoulders seems a little too, fictious?


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  4. #3 Maybe? 
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    With the vast amount of technology today, I think it will be possible eventually. Not within our life time. But I see it as possible. Not with missiles or machine guns but possibly lasers or something relevant.
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    They are actualy making one now. US army
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9k4oUNHLJs
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  6. #5  
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    japanese has beaten the americans to it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynL8BCXih8U

    this thing has power enough for 4 hours of operation, and increase the strenght of the wearer by about 70%
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  7. #6 Re: will mech suits ever enter the battle field? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DA_Craven
    enter the battle field... a realistic role in battle
    No modern army seeks battle "on the battlefield" as in the role portrayed by mech suits. We want to waste the enemy by essentially underhanded means with minimal engagement. If you're marching armored warriors to fight the enemy hand-to-hand, you've already lost, even if you "win" the battle.

    A bit of wire and a cheap land mine will always beat a mech suit.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by timel
    They are actualy making one now. US army
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9k4oUNHLJs
    Be careful of this video. Ed Yates is a local science reporter here. He usually doesn't know what he is talking about. The story is true, but you only see the part that makes a good story. It is the truth, but not the whole truth.

    The Army has been working on advanced weapons and mechanized suits for several years now. I saw a prototype at an Army convention about 8 years ago.
    The suit was impressive in terms of providing capability for rapid movement, leaping, and strength. It had one minor problem. If a soldier in that getup happened to find himself on his back (quite a common occurrence in combat) he had about as much chance of getting back up as a turtle in a similar position.

    It was just too heavy and cumbersome to be practical.
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    What the previous poster said is true, they will definitely be possible, thats for sure, but not in the next 50 or 60 years, we still have a way to find out how to make a laser gun smaller by 1/100 of what it already is, much less how to find a way to make a laser like a bullet which flashes at 5000 mph in brillant colors, so until we get that done we have a long way to go, but since suits like this are the world's expertise we may get that done before the dated time.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaCarter
    we still have a way to find out how to make a laser gun smaller by 1/100 of what it already is, much less how to find a way to make a laser like a bullet which flashes at 5000 mph in brillant colors
    Wouldn't a laser travel 186,000 miles per second? Posts not based in reality are all too frequent in this segment of the forum. The military tech section might otherwise be very interesting. Maybe i'm just being whiny.
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  11. #10 Re: will mech suits ever enter the battle field? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by DA_Craven
    enter the battle field... a realistic role in battle
    No modern army seeks battle "on the battlefield" as in the role portrayed by mech suits. We want to waste the enemy by essentially underhanded means with minimal engagement. If you're marching armored warriors to fight the enemy hand-to-hand, you've already lost, even if you "win" the battle.

    A bit of wire and a cheap land mine will always beat a mech suit.
    There's no question of the practicality. Dirty trick warfare is the most tactically sound way to go, hands down, but.... there's also the political aspect. Sometimes doing something horribly impractical serves to show that you can. Imagine sending 15 mech-armored soldiers into a bunker with Katanas (no guns), and having them slaughter every man inside without taking any casualties themselves. At that point, you've done more than just defeat your opponent. You've totally humiliated them. Now they look like idiots.

    It's kind of like how the greatest circus acrobats are the ones who can make it look easy. If you can put on a show of how easy it is for you to win battle after battle, and sell it convincingly, then it instills a sense of futility in the minds of the enemy, and creating that mental image is the only non-genocidal way to win a war.
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  12. #11  
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    If you have to fight fair , you have already lost.
    Been there , VietNam 1969-1971

    Modern wars are won on the battle field only to be lost in the political arena.
    Peace is a whole lot better!
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by fizzlooney
    If you have to fight fair , you have already lost.
    Been there , VietNam 1969-1971

    Modern wars are won on the battle field only to be lost in the political arena.
    Peace is a whole lot better!
    Fizzz
    Nam wasn't a fair fight, because the enemy had a terrain advantage, and an unlimited supply of expendable soldiers to throw at us. We had napalm and coordinated artillery, but how much benefit did that really provide us?

    What I'm getting at is that you have to project strength in excess of what you're using, if you want to motivate a surrender. The trick is never to play all your cards, even when the battle isn't going your way. It's hard because you might take casualties right at that moment, which would have been avoidable, but in the long run you take more casualties if you do play all your cards.

    If you always do the most efficient thing, then your enemy learns they can count on you to do the most efficient thing, which means you're predictable. Being predictable just might be the single most dangerous thing you can do in modern warfare. Guile is just as valuable as stealth because allowing your enemy to predict you is just as bad as allowing your enemy to see you.


    This film clip, from The 13th Warrior, is the best I've ever seen the theory articulated. It runs almost 4 minutes, but it's well worth the watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av8F2...eature=related
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  14. #13  
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    There are probably better tools for de-motivation than just armoured suits. If the enemy can bring one down by whatever means, then it shows that they're beatable. It's like tanks in WW1. They were incredibly effective at lowering German morale, but once an enemy knows they can fight them, they're merely a fact of warfare. And they wouldn't be all that effective in guerilla warfare anyway, because the current army could easily deal with insurgents if they could find them and fight them in a straight fight.

    If you want a really good de-motivator, I think that if you could develop a small missile that could search for, lock on to and then kill the enemy then it would be better. That way, they'd be constantly on their toes, you could afford to lose one much more than you could afford to lose a soldier, and they'd know they'd just keep coming. Of course, there are massive technical problems to overcome, but isn't the same true for mech suits?
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incoming Dessert
    There are probably better tools for de-motivation than just armoured suits. If the enemy can bring one down by whatever means, then it shows that they're beatable. It's like tanks in WW1. They were incredibly effective at lowering German morale, but once an enemy knows they can fight them, they're merely a fact of warfare. And they wouldn't be all that effective in guerilla warfare anyway, because the current army could easily deal with insurgents if they could find them and fight them in a straight fight.
    That would explain why snipers are such good demotivators, and why aerial bombardment demoralized Iraqi troops in the first gulf war. Even falling short of being perfectly unbeatable, you still have to inflict massively disproportionate casualties, which I don't think mech suits would do, so they definitely fail in that strategy.

    However, there are other de-motivation strategies. What I was going for with the katanas instead of guns scenario was flamboyance. Show that we see war as a game that's all in good fun, and they won't think they can convince us to retreat. It might also be very effective in human shield situations, because a sword has less tendency to hit targets you don't want to hit.


    If you want a really good de-motivator, I think that if you could develop a small missile that could search for, lock on to and then kill the enemy then it would be better. That way, they'd be constantly on their toes, you could afford to lose one much more than you could afford to lose a soldier, and they'd know they'd just keep coming. Of course, there are massive technical problems to overcome, but isn't the same true for mech suits?
    The main trouble I see is target discrimination, knowing which human form to kill and which one to spare. You still need a human to make that decision at some point. Maybe remote control might work, as long as the enemy doesn't use a spark gap jammer, or find a way to hack it.

    They have missiles right now that can lock on using thermal imaging, and then find a path to the target by processing visual data, but they're like $200,000 per shot, so soldiers that carry them are advised not to use them except in extreme situations.
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    Overall, the main reason that "Mechs" and other big bioenhancing machines haven't yet been utilized is that there isn't a power source small enough to carry around.

    We have the strength enhancing suits from the army, and the one from japan, but the army one is plugged into a generator or something. The japanese one is a little bit more practical because its got an onboard "power pack" but it provides no protection, and its really clumsy.

    The only practical answer would be to use very light alloys, or carbon fiber, and use an onboard engine or a really big battery, but the mech would need to carry that load as well as battle gear.

    It would have to interface with the person "driving" it as well. That would require neural-tech that we just don't have yet. The more tangible approach to that is "fly-by-wire" but that has an obvious flaw...its too slow.

    Oh, and if you wanted a de-motivator, you could always paint it red, and put horns and stuff on it. :P
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    This probably isn't possible, but with Fusion power just round the corner, then if you were to make a miniature fusion generator, then the Mech suit would become possible. Although, I agree that it is more useful as a de-motivator.

    And I know, it'll take years to develop a miniature fusion generator.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by snipermonkey117

    The only practical answer would be to use very light alloys, or carbon fiber, and use an onboard engine or a really big battery, but the mech would need to carry that load as well as battle gear.
    Maybe another possibility would be to use springs. This requires defining a default position , however. If you want the default position of the legs to be a standing position, then you would put springs in the legs that hold them in a standing position unless a larger than average load is placed on them. So, to crouch, you'd have to actively pull upwards on the legs enough to overcome the springs.




    Oh, and if you wanted a de-motivator, you could always paint it red, and put horns and stuff on it. :P
    Gah!!!. I was just thinking of how your enemy feels when they know you're making fun of them and there's nothing they can do about it.

    And... actually what would be better than katanas would be tasers. Then you're taking them alive, plus a tazer has the advantage that it doesn't have to hit you in a vital area in order to defeat you. For some reason, people are demoralized *more* if you win and they don't take casualties than if they do take casualties. It's some kind of backward trait of human psychology.
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  19. #18 Re: will mech suits ever enter the battle field? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DA_Craven
    do you think Mech or full mechanical suits (kinda like iron man) will ever play a realistic role in battle or are they limited to sci-fi, just curious to know what other people think.

    i personally, don't think a power source will ever be found to power something like that, and im not sure if they would be financially viable. would love to see them all the same
    I don't think power supply is the issue at all--unless you want to rapid fire energy weapons (lasers) or something similar. A standard gas 2 cycle could provide more than enough power for mobility.

    The problem is human-machine interface and the machine moving in a way compatable with how the human body works.
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  20. #19  
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    Imo, as I imagine it, mechs(in a future) are inferior platforms to other vehicles in many respects except for urban warfare(and maybe forests/jungles) where infantry is able to penetrate buildings, basements, etc. Robots are more likely to be used by then for infantry complements(or replacements) however, so I imagine that battlesuit mech piloted by a human would be relegated to special ops units and that robots or infantry would be in greater numbers in these battlefields. Large Mechs though less effective in major warfare might imo be best suited for securing civilans when major warfare is over (a towering tripod is an easy target for tanks/fighterjets to spot but intimidating for occupied population with nothing more then small arms to potentially fight it).
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  21. #20 why mechs will never be 
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    1. to complex: a mechs most glaring weekness is its complexity, the more movable joints and pistons you put into a machine that will be taking direct fire, the more chances their are for said joints to fail and the mech to become useless, a mech on its back with a blown off leg is useless
    2. they are cumbersome: nature has shown us that walking on two legs is not for speed or stability, its for enabling the use of our hands, things on two legs get knocked over very easily, and with the massive amount of force that is generated by todays large caliber guns ( im talking tanks and rps and the like ) having such an unstable platform just isn't practicle
    3. aircraft: even our own military is seariously considering halting tank production all together. as air combat and tactical strikes become more advanced, the need for slow moving, large, expensive machines is becoming less and less. in today's wars two things happen. small groups of armed soldiers fight building to building long range missle, aircraft, and artillery do all the rest, even tanks are used today more for long range assaults than close quarters combat
    4. upkeep cost: as my brother was a tank platoon commander in the current war for four consecutive tours he has a fairly good idea of what i cost to keep his platoon up and running, and let me tell you it wasn't cheep. and considering a tank is a fairly simple device ( a mobile carrage using a simple track and cog system, all easily replaced and requiring minimum care with a rotating cannon strapped to the top ) and even they are effected by sand and the elements, imagine the upkeep on a device with 100 times more movable parts, many of which ( pistons, grease joints ) have proven to serve poorly in sandy environments.
    5. production cost: think about this, in order for a mech to be more usefull then a tank it has to do a number of things, it has to move faster then a tank ( the abrahms does 45mph off road) it has to shoot better then a tank ( the british challanger dosn't even need line of sight to hit you and can fire accurately at full speed ) and it has to take damage better. none of these things i bipedal platform would ever be able to do. running on two legs is an awkward process, very jerky, very bouncy, and you'd have to running all the time to keep the mech safe because a slow vehical is a dead vechical in war. sometime go to the range with your rifle, try to run and shoot effectively, its damn near impossible, and i know we have gyroscopes and the like but they are fragile and don't work when jostled hard, wich the running would do constantly and completely negate their effectiveness
    6. tanks do it better: the have a 360 range of motion with their gun, can kill you from over a mile away, are low to the ground and hard to spot at range, fast as hell, and the more advanced versions will stand up to most convention types of munitions, especially from other tanks, and they can do this because of their design. limited surface area capable of being struck, slopped armor that is usually reactive in some form, and agian, the low profile, the mech has none of these things. its to damn tall, its just a giant damn target. its to vullnerable. all the armor in the world won't keep a mech standing if you fire a 120mm high eplosive round into its leg, even if it dosn't flow it off at the very least the shock will damage joints, rupture hydrolic lines, and knock the leg out from under it, its like getting tripped while running, might not hurt, but your going down. a tank dosn't have this problem, you can't trip a tank, it has almost now joints to damage, no exposed essential components.

    mechs, while cool, simply are not practicle. the only area where a mech is a viable option is in a smaller wearable version that simply enhances the natural abilities of the soldier without making him a large and easier to hit target.
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    cdjp84. I agree with everything you said except the two legged have to be slow. An Ostrich can hit over 60mph, faster than most other land animals by a long shot. Of course a .22 can stop it.
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  23. #22  
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    Definitely isn't very competitive with tanks. I like cdjp8's point about getting hit by 120MM round. If there's a soldier inside, then there's the added problem that he probably just lost his leg.

    However, for maintenance, I would think the smaller size would make it easier to work on them, and easier for a base to maintain an inventory of replacement parts. The complex parts would be like the parts of a computer: when they fail you don't try to fix them. You just replace them outright. Break it into enough separate component units and repair could be a matter of simply swapping out units. Computer desktops are fairly easy to fix without a lot of technical knowledge for that reason. Everything is divided into neat, separate packages that can be removed with a simple hand tool. .....unless the motherboard fails. That's a big hassle.




    [QUOTE=DrRocket;140809]
    Quote Originally Posted by timel
    The Army has been working on advanced weapons and mechanized suits for several years now. I saw a prototype at an Army convention about 8 years ago.
    The suit was impressive in terms of providing capability for rapid movement, leaping, and strength. It had one minor problem. If a soldier in that getup happened to find himself on his back (quite a common occurrence in combat) he had about as much chance of getting back up as a turtle in a similar position.
    .
    Maybe they need to get Dean Kamen on the project so he figure out some good gyroscopes solutions for it. With a good enough gyroscope, you fall down, turn on the gyroscope and just sort of magically reorient until you're standing up again. Kind of a variation on the segways.

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    If i wore a mech suit I would be on a business empire of untouchable belief. I think Mech Suits are for the realistic people to learn from, take it never mention what they have heard about it and go back to their lives other wise GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jona View Post
    If i wore a mech suit I would be on a business empire of untouchable belief. I think Mech Suits are for the realistic people to learn from, take it never mention what they have heard about it and go back to their lives other wise GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
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    What the hell is a mech suit then? I'm new here and would like to know in a little less tech knowledge to support what i might have to make a citation on that.
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    Jona, your posts often make little sense. A mech suit is a mechanised suit, like the mech units the people at Zion in The Matrix 3 use to fight off the Sentinels, or the mech unit the bad guy climbs into near the end of the movie Avatar. What were you even talking about there?
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    What if the suits were capable of jumping really high? Would that give them enough of an edge to make them worth building? You're in an urban combat zone, and you want to get up on top of a roof, so you just jump? (Definitely would want some gyroscopes for balance, with that.)
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    With all of the inherent complexities associated with a full-blown mech-suit a`la Iron Man, it seems that three primary uses suggest themselves.

    1. Use in special ops/close quarters engagements.
    2. Non-military/civilian/industrial uses.
    3. If our technology was advanced enough...the ultimate answer to the "soldier-wearing-a-mech suit-is-vulnerable" problem would be to create a Terminator type machine. Thereby removing the human risk factor entirely.

    Which in itself is a fascinating concept. IF Terminator's were feasible to build, perhaps war would evolve into a match of our machinery vs. the enemy's machinery.
    But I digress. Fascinating thread.
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    All vehicles are in fact a type of powered exoskeleton, for functional reasons they need not resemble human form. Mech suit is here by that measure and has been for some time, first weapons augmenting human power, then propulsion augmenting human/animal power, then armor enabling better use of these advantages in combat. These can be found on land, sea, and air.
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    All vehicles are in fact a type of powered exoskeleton
    Never thought of it that way before. You're right though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorphlingSouth View Post
    The only realistic benefits I could see from a "mech suit" is being shelled in protective armor that would generally bounce all bullets away.

    Launching missiles from your forearms or machine guns popping out of your shoulders seems a little too, fictious?
    Its not recreating a video game suit, its the idea. the idea that you can be a walking tank. that you can trust that you can take a 50. cal round to the head and still be able to fire at the enemy.
    We will create this.

    and for the people, you guys seem like you don't understand that this is a work in progress. nothing is ever static
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