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Thread: The Tank Thread

  1. #1 The Tank Thread 
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    In honor of our new member, Dywydrdydrdydwyr.....I thought I'd I start a thread about tanks...because homeboy knows alot about tanks.

    While tanks served there purpose in other wars...do you think they will last...or be replaced by unmanned drones?

    Do you think the M1A2 Abrams is the best tank currently?

    What do you think of the state of Russian tanks right now?

    Will you make me cookies?


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    Ah he must be a member of that Tank Forum....


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    While tanks served there purpose in other wars...do you think they will last...or be replaced by unmanned drones?
    While unmanned drones (I presume you're talking about land-going drones as opposed to the aerial type?) have their place I doubt that tanks will be replaced by them any time soon. For much the same reason that aerial drones aren't replacing piloted aircraft in "close combat" situations.
    And it depends, of course, on how you define "tank": if it's a gun-carrying mobile "vehicle" with sufficient armour to survive in most circumstances then there's not much to replace it when it's needed. Whether crewed or not.

    Do you think the M1A2 Abrams is the best tank currently?
    Ha! The $64m nerd question. The general consensus (e.g. all the techy tank publications by and for tanky professionals) regard the Leopard 2A6 and similar/ later variants (Strv 122) as the "best" tank. But in the end it comes down to "what is it required for?", "where and how is it going to operate?", "what logistics do we have?" and "what can we afford?".
    Myself, I'm sorta torn between Leo 2A6 and Leclerc (especially if it can deliver on its planned employment method).

    What do you think of the state of Russian tanks right now?
    Kinda old - T-90 is nothing more than a warmed-over T-72 given a new hood badge for marketing purposes, T-80 is some improvement over the T-72. I'm waiting to see what Armata actually turns out to be/ do? (As opposed to the extant "brochure pictures/ specs").

    Will you make me cookies?
    Absolutely not - you'd only eat them and then expect more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Ah he must be a member of that Tank Forum.
    At least two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    At least two.
    And is one owned by a very spurious monkey?
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  6. #5  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Oops, that would make it "at least three".
    Yep, I've been on there for a long time.
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    World's Best Main Battle Tanks - Currently in Service

    No.1) M1A2 Abrams – USA:



    The M1 Abrams is believed to be the most powerful tank in the world. This tank is an American third-generation main battle tank. The tank is named after Gen. Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972.

    Notable features and specifications:

    It uses a powerful gas turbine engine It adopted a sophisticated composite armor - A version of the British Chobham Amour now replaced by the new Dorchester Level 2 Armour.
    It has separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety
    It is one of the heaviest tanks in service – 62 metric tons
    It is anticipated to be in U.S. service until the 2050s, The tank reaches a speed of 67.72 km/h.
    It costs US$6.21 million


    No.2) Challenger II – UK:



    The pride of the UK – the FV4034 Challenger 2, it is the main battle tank (MBT) of British Army and Oman. It is advertises as the world’s most reliable main battle tank. During the 2003 Invasion of Iraq the Challenger 2 tanks operating in the Gulf suffered no total losses to enemy fire.

    Notable features and specifications:

    It can survive 14 hits from rocket propelled grenades and from one MILAN anti tank missile.
    A unit of Challenger II £4,217,000 or ~$7,921,000
    It weighs 62.5 tonnes It has a length 8.3 meters, 11.50 m with gun forward Its width 3.5 meters
    Dorchester Level 2 Armour
    It is operated by 4 crews (commander, gunner, loader/operator, and driver) It can attain a speed of 59 km/h


    Personally I think these are the best two 2 tanks currently already in service. Whilst there are many reasons for having a tank and many things a tank needs to do, there is one thing above all others that is the number one requirement right from the first tanks inception and subsequent introduction onto the battlefields during the first world war, and this is the ability to protect the it's crew whilst bringing it's fire power to the action. It's for this reason why these are the best tanks in the world because they currently offer the best level of protection and are the hardest to destroy.

    Other notable contenders:

    3.) T-90 – From Russia

    4.) Leopard 2 – From Germany

    5.) Merkava - Form Israel
    Last edited by Ascended; January 15th, 2013 at 07:11 AM.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Source?
    How about Armor magazine? -
    1) Leopard 2A6
    2) Challenger 2
    3) M1A2SEP
    4) K2 Black Panther
    5) Merkava IV
    ....
    10) T-90
    Strangely enough I can't find my copy to give the actual references, but the Chinese have done a brief for me.
    Top 10 tanks in the world - China.org.cn

    It can survive 14 hits from rocket propelled grenades and from one MILAN anti tank missile
    Um, yes. One CR2 did that. Doesn't mean that ALL will under ALL circumstances. It's not something to be counted on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Source?
    How about Armor magazine? -
    1) Leopard 2A6
    2) Challenger 2
    3) M1A2SEP
    4) K2 Black Panther
    5) Merkava IV
    ....
    10) T-90
    Strangely enough I can't find my copy to give the actual references, but the Chinese have done a brief for me.
    Top 10 tanks in the world - China.org.cn

    It can survive 14 hits from rocket propelled grenades and from one MILAN anti tank missile
    Um, yes. One CR2 did that. Doesn't mean that ALL will under ALL circumstances. It's not something to be counted on.
    You'll find many a top 10 list from different sources measured on differing criteria and opinion, my post it should be noted is entirely based on my own opinion.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    You'll find many a top 10 list from different sources measured on differing criteria and opinion, my post it should be noted is entirely based on my own opinion.
    Ah. No quibble then.
    Unless you (we) have access to ALL the data and circumstances of likely use in the end it comes down to personal opinion.
    I'm a fan of the T-80 simply because I think they're cool.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    please delete , duplicate post.
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    Tanks are still very important on the ground for command & control, which is next to impossible to do with aircraft, but I would agree I wouldn't want to be in on one being hunted by those A10's.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    With aircraft like this in service who needs tanks that can destroyed quickly? It would seem to me that a tank , today, is a sitting turtle during any war that it might be fought as was demonstrated in the last war with Iraq in which all of their tanks were destroyed in the first few days of battle.
    Last edited by cosmictraveler; January 15th, 2013 at 03:52 PM.
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    What you have in modern armies is a mixture of forces that are integrated to protect each other, things like SAM's and other aircraft are used to protect your ground forces from enermy aircraft, but virtually every country in the world still recognises the importance of land forces and armies regardless of any threat posed by aircraft.
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    What you have in modern armies is a mixture of forces that are integrated to protect each other, things like SAM's and other aircraft are used to protect your ground forces from enermy aircraft, but virtually every country in the world still recognises the importance of land forces and armies regardless of any threat posed by aircraft.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    What you have in modern armies is a mixture of forces that are integrated to protect each other, things like SAM's and other aircraft are used to protect your ground forces from enermy aircraft, but virtually every country in the world still recognises the importance of land forces and armies regardless of any threat posed by aircraft.
    But as we saw during the last war tanks were useless against the warthog aircraft. The tanks cost allot more than the planes, are slower, need more gas and maintainence, more crew and break down more often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    What you have in modern armies is a mixture of forces that are integrated to protect each other, things like SAM's and other aircraft are used to protect your ground forces from enermy aircraft, but virtually every country in the world still recognises the importance of land forces and armies regardless of any threat posed by aircraft.
    But as we saw during the last war tanks were useless against the warthog aircraft. The tanks cost allot more than the planes, are slower, need more gas and maintainence, more crew and break down more often.
    Ok then just why do you think countries still have and use tanks?
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    I suppose MBTs can be compared to battleships as mobile, armored gun platforms ... and battleships were superseded during WW2 by the aircraft carrier. The Battle of Midway was the turning point, if I remember correctly. So, sure, MBTs replaced by standoff aircraft, perhaps helos (that don't require airstrips), launching guided missiles or drones or cruise missiles.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Ok then just why do you think countries still have and use tanks?
    Because the arms dealers make huge PROFITS by selling them to anyone wanting to buy them.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Tanks and other armored vehicles can provide direct support to soldiers, which is something aircraft simply cannot do. You can't hide behind a warthog to take cover from enemy fire.
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    Anyone seen Arnold's (Schwarzenneger) tank? jocular
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  22. #21  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Tanks and other armored vehicles can provide direct support to soldiers, which is something aircraft simply cannot do. You can't hide behind a warthog to take cover from enemy fire.
    But if all of your tanks have been destroyed, as was Iraq's tanks, 450 of them, then you won't have anything to hide behind either will you? Seems like a waste of money with todays air power that can seek and destroy any armored vehicle within seconds plus the aircraft can support ground troops as they did during the Iraq war if you'll remember.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Tanks and other armored vehicles can provide direct support to soldiers, which is something aircraft simply cannot do. You can't hide behind a warthog to take cover from enemy fire.
    But if all of your tanks have been destroyed, as was Iraq's tanks, 450 of them, then you won't have anything to hide behind either will you? Seems like a waste of money with todays air power that can seek and destroy any armored vehicle within seconds plus the aircraft can support ground troops as they did during the Iraq war if you'll remember.
    Iraq's air force had been wiped out, and any aircraft that survived were moved to Iran, which left the tanks as sitting ducks. This may not have been the case if Iraq had a functional air force.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    With aircraft like this in service who needs tanks that can destroyed quickly?
    Because the aircraft are currently effective by attacking the tank from above - where the armour is thinner. It's "merely" a design problem for tank manufacturers. If, and this is coming, tanks improve their protection against top attack then the Warthog is useless.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    The tanks cost allot more than the planes, are slower, need more gas and maintainence, more crew and break down more often.
    Cost a lot more? Nonsense. Most tanks are sub $10m, most aircraft are at least £20m plus.
    More gas? Nope, not by a long way. Tanks get (roughly) 1 mile per gallon, aircraft fuel use is measured kg fuel per kg of thrust per hour - now consider that the A-10, for example, has two engines of 4,100 kg thrust and sfc (specific fuel consumption) of 0.73 . So they use PER HOUR, 0.73 x 2 x 4100 = 5986 kg of fuel, roughly 4800 gallons.
    More maintenance? Hardly.
    More crew? Only in-vehicle crew. Once an aircraft returns home it has a swarm of maintenance people descend upon it.
    Break down more often? I haven't seen any figures (or at least not any at a time when it occurred to me to do an aircraft/ AFV comparison), but aircraft (mission-critical component) failure rates are measured in hours...

    Plus, of course, the fact that aircraft such as the A-10 require a huge infrastructure to enable them to do their jobs - top cover fighters, EW aircraft, AWACS/ C4I....

    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Anyone seen Arnold's (Schwarzenneger) tank? jocular
    Yeah, apparently he's bought his old Austrian army M47.
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  25. #24  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    I got to see an GAU-8/A Avenger (the autocannon in the a-10) up close at an air show once. That thing is insane....and yes...I did make the machine gun sound with my mouth.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Machine gun noise? But, but, but, the Avenger, like most rotary guns, sounds more like silk ripping when it fires.
    GAU 8 test fire this time a good one - YouTube
    Poor quality sound on this though.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    About 6,000 M1A1 Abrams were produced from 1986–92 and featured the M256 120 mm (4.7 in) smoothbore cannon developed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor, and a CBRN protection system. Production of M1 and M1A1 tanks totaled some 9,000 tanks at a cost of approximately $4.30 million per unit.[2] By 1999 costs for the tank were upwards of US$5 million a vehicle.[3]

    A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog). ... Unit Cost: $9.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars).

    So when you think that one warthog can destroy a dozen tanks in one sorte then you see the price for it is cheap to destroy the tanks which cannot defend against the plane at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    About 6,000 M1A1 Abrams were produced from 1986–92 and featured the M256 120 mm (4.7 in) smoothbore cannon developed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor, and a CBRN protection system. Production of M1 and M1A1 tanks totaled some 9,000 tanks at a cost of approximately $4.30 million per unit.[2] By 1999 costs for the tank were upwards of US$5 million a vehicle.[3]

    A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog). ... Unit Cost: $9.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars).

    So when you think that one warthog can destroy a dozen tanks in one sorte then you see the price for it is cheap to destroy the tanks which cannot defend against the plane at all.
    Maintenance + fuel + crew + pilot + airstrip/carrier, factor in all of those and the gap widens considerably. Yes, a warthog can take out an Abrams, but a warthog cannot support infantry in the civilian environments the U.S is involved in without even more catastrophic civilian casualties.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    About 6,000 M1A1 Abrams were produced from 1986–92 and featured the M256 120 mm (4.7 in) smoothbore cannon developed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor, and a CBRN protection system. Production of M1 and M1A1 tanks totaled some 9,000 tanks at a cost of approximately $4.30 million per unit.[2] By 1999 costs for the tank were upwards of US$5 million a vehicle.[3]

    A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog). ... Unit Cost: $9.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars).
    Yup. Yet I stated "aircraft", not specifically A-10 (although the last cost I saw for the A-10 was $19.8m), since A-10 production is stopped (for many years) they'd cost even more to re-introduce.
    And the fact that as the aircraft ages it's getting more difficult and more costly to maintain/ repair.
    "Roughly half the total A-10 force, about 70, supporting Desert Storm suffered some type of damage."
    2951st CLSS A-10 Warthog ABDR of the Gulf War

    So when you think that one warthog can destroy a dozen tanks in one sorte
    Hardly.
    Up to a dozen maybe (if it's VERY lucky).
    I can't find a worthwhile break down but in the Gulf War A-10s flew 8,100 sorties for a confirmed total of 967 tank kills (and also no mention of how many VERY costly Mavericks were fired to achieve those kills) - hardly "dozens per sortie). They're limited in how many mavericks they can carry (Maverick being the main tank killer, the gun wasn't used that much against MBT targets AFAIK).
    Factor in the response (flight) time, the limited on-station time versus tanks being on-station all the time...

    then you see the price for it is cheap to destroy the tanks which cannot defend against the plane at all.
    Yeah, once other aircraft or assets have taken out the air defence system.... How cheap is it when you factor all of that in?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    "Roughly half the total A-10 force, about 70, supporting Desert Storm suffered some type of damage."
    2951st CLSS A-10 Warthog ABDR of the Gulf War
    That's what they were made to do.

    So when you think that one warthog can destroy a dozen tanks in one sorte
    Hardly.
    Up to a dozen maybe (if it's VERY lucky). I can't find a worthwhile break down but in the Gulf War A-10s flew 8,100 sorties for a confirmed total of 967 tank kills[/quote] And more than 500 APC, nearly a thousand Arty pieces, and over a thousand soft support vehicles and probably hundred more undocumented reinforced fighting positions. They had a lot of other missions in addition to tank busting.


    e, the limited on-station time versus tanks being on-station all the time...
    Completely agree. On the other hand tanks aren't' all that good at holding ground either without robust infantry in support.

    The biggest problem with tanks is they are damn hard to move from Europe or Stateside, need an enormous logistics tail (mostly fuel, maintenance and ammo) that's much larger than the fighting force, and are becoming increasingly vulnerable to both infantry (RPG-29 and 30, our Javs etc), and air on the small chance the US ever looses vast air superiority.

    If wanting to punch a hole in forces over open terrain, I'd probably pick an Abrams for the job.
    If supporting infantry in a city fight, I'd take the Merkava IV.

    The Brit and German could do either job very well in their MBTs. All four share components. The T-90 and Chinese versions are a distant fifth in capabilities and force/information integration.
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    I just don't see aircraft ever replacing tanks, they are designed to perfom different roles. You can take out aircraft with small arms and RPG's, where as the best modern tanks can easily with stand such weapons. It's this point that you can put much more armour on a ground vehicle like a tank than anything that fly's that gives them significant advantages in many situations. Also you can perfom maintenance on a stationary tank, where as with aircraft you have to land them, witch in the case of planes isn't always practical without a runway in the area, and for helicopters makes vunerable on the ground as they can't manouver out the way of incoming fire.

    Aircraft provide an advantage in terms of speed & manouverability and also fire power, as many carry expensive and powerful missiles, but they arn't designed to 'hold ground', this is where the tanks have there advantage as they can remain in place, protected by armour, for extended periods of time to give control of a particular area of territory. This is most pronounced in urban enviroments where they may also be many civilians. Take the gulf war for example, it just wouldn't have been possible to hold Baghdad or Basra with aircraft and airpower alone.

    You have to also consider that a tanks role is not primarily to go head to head with aircraft, they were never designed to that, they were mean't to control the ground on a battlefield. Traditionally the ground forces, including tanks, have been protected from enermy aircraft by your own airforce, this is why we saw in the Gulf war that one of the first priorities was to destroy the Iraqi air force to stop them posing any such threat. What the world in general learned from the German blitzkrieg, or 'lightening war' in English, tactics of WW2 was just how effective the combined land and airforces were when fighting as one. The luftwaffe was deployed to not only attack enermy forces but also to defend the advancing German tanks and troops. This combination of forces is what will still see today in modern warfare techniques, with each playing to their strengths to fulfill their specific rolls. Meaning the whole will always be greater than the sum of the parts.
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    Just to clarify...when I said "drones" in the OP...I meant unmanned tanks...rather than aerial drones. I wonder why we don't have remotely operated Abrams? Seems to me, we should have all the technology. Cameras, radar and gps would allow for remote driving. It shouldn't be too hard to develop an auto-loading system for the gun. I wonder if there's some limiting factor that I'm not seeing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    Just to clarify...when I said "drones" in the OP...I meant unmanned tanks...rather than aerial drones.
    Yeah, I understood that: While unmanned drones (I presume you're talking about land-going drones as opposed to the aerial type?)

    I wonder why we don't have remotely operated Abrams? Seems to me, we should have all the technology. Cameras, radar and gps would allow for remote driving. It shouldn't be too hard to develop an auto-loading system for the gun. I wonder if there's some limiting factor that I'm not seeing?
    There are a few, but they're small. Fitting cameras on something the size of Abrams would mean cameras all round - and they'd be easy to destroy. That would leave a large vehicle trying operate on very limited visibility in restricted terrain. With an airborne drone you only have to avoid the ground (that's down) and space (that's up)., Houses, small gullies, large rocks etc make remote navigation difficult.
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    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    I've never been inside a tank....when the crew is all buttoned up inside, how do they see around them? Surely they already have cameras and sensors to aid the human crew, right?
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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  35. #34  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Cameras? Nope.
    Vision blocks, episcopes (that's the technical term for "periscope in a tank"), opening the hatch and risking getting your head shot off.
    Visibility from within a tank is notoriously bad - when it's all sealed up there's a blind-zone (in roughly the shape of a keyhole) where the ground is totally invisible - this extends about 5 metres to the sides and maybe 30-40 metres to the rear.
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