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chase
11-17-2005, 09:57 PM
Have tanks been reduced to their WWI job of infantry supporters or are they and independent and tactical spearhead force?

Also, are helicopters eventually going to replace the tank?

Eagle
11-17-2005, 10:20 PM
Well, of course it depends. I can see the both sides of that. If you want to hunt another tanks, of course I prefer an Apache, a Cobra, an A-10 Thunderbolt, or any dispositive that could fly and launch some AGM-65.
But definitely the helicopter wont replace to the tank at all. "They are not made of the same blood"

I think that you will have a dreadfull unit if you can combine both.

Oh! I almost forget the TOWS... I want these little devils in a helicopter, in a tank, in a humvee, or wherever I could install it! As he is a wire-missile, you must know that is not possible to throw a TOW from the scent with anti-missile systems, as jamming, chaff or flare!

FluffyBunnyGB
11-18-2005, 04:15 AM
Having been in the airmobile artillery for a few years, I suggest that until they can find a way of making helicopters less fragile then there is always going to be a place for the tank.

Tanks can operate in all weathers, day & night, and a modern MBT is a pretty tough thing.

Helicopters have the advantage of speed and obstacle crossing ability, but they are vulnerable to ground fire.

APACHE carries 16 HELLFIRE missiles iirc, and costs about 30 M. STORMER carries a similar number of STARSTREAK missiles and costs a whole lot less than an APACHE.

One hit from either is enough to knock down / out the other.

Furthermore, if your STORMER is hit, you might be able to jump out and run away. If your APACHE gets clobbered (especially a tail rotor hit) then you're really in trouble.

HIND was thought be be a pretty tough customer in the 80's, and yet the Afghan Muhajideen were knocking them down with rifle fire under some circumstances.



As an aside, there was a fascinating programme years ago about the Soviet / Afghan conflict. A bit that always sticks in my memory was a Muj' fighter shooting down a HIND (can't remember what with) in the hills somewhere. The HIND crashed so they went over and dragged the nose cannon clear and propped it up pointing down the valley. To get the cannon to fire, they were striking the back of the firing mech with a lump hammer. The narrator then tells us that later that day, another HIND had flown up the valley looking for the first, only to be shot down by the Afghans using the cannon from the first HIND.



The death of the tank has been predicted since WW1. There is an arms race going on between tank and AT missile all the time. I can't really see what is ever likely to replace a ground based weapons platform with armour until they find a way to make 67 tons of armour & heavy weapon fly & hover.

Just my 0:02

Fluffy

FW-190 Pilot
11-18-2005, 04:19 AM
using apache helicopter armed with hellfire anti-tank missiles. Just went to the battlefield for a minute or so, shoot off your missiles and go back to base. this kind of sneak attack should work very good against tanks.

FluffyBunnyGB
11-18-2005, 04:39 AM
Until some usporting bugger like me zaps your FARP with an MLRS strike.

The logistics tail that comes with helicopters is long and vulnerable. As the Germans & Soviets found during WW2, if your tank runs out of fuel, you can still use it as a pillbox. If you run out of AVGAS, you helicopter becomes a very expensive piece of modern art.

Whilst I think on, even a bufoon like me can drive a tank. It takes a lot of skill to fly a helicopter (which is why they get paid so much).

How many tanks = 1 helicopter? In cost, from memory, it's about 5 to 1 in purchase cost alone.

If you wanted more helicopters, you'd need more pilots, and they are hugely expensive to train ( 3 M was the last figure I heard), and they would still be vulnerable to some oik loitering in the bushes with a manpack SAM.

STARSTREAK is laser guided. You can't jam it, and the three hypersonic tungsten hittliles (darts) in the warhead should be enough to knock any helicopter out of the sky, given a reasonable shot.

HELLFIRE can be used from a distance to be fair. So can PATRIOT & RAPIER medium SAM.

Iron Yeoman
11-18-2005, 04:54 AM
IMHO combined arms is the only way to fight the modern battle. No one factor can determine the course of a battle. Tanks are vunerable yes, but they can hold ground and can fight for a longer period of time. Helisare powerful but fragile and have a limited operating period before re-arming and refuelling (don't forget that for every hour flying 12 hours of maintanence are required). Therefore a combination of the two with other arms and asssests are required to dominate the modern battlefield.

Firefly
11-18-2005, 05:02 AM
using apache helicopter armed with hellfire anti-tank missiles. Just went to the battlefield for a minute or so, shoot off your missiles and go back to base. this kind of sneak attack should work very good against tanks.

It should, but what happens when you want to take ground?

FluffyBunnyGB
11-18-2005, 05:46 AM
It should, but what happens when you want to take ground?

Bayonets, lad!

Accept no substitute :D

Firefly
11-18-2005, 05:48 AM
It should, but what happens when you want to take ground?

Bayonets, lad!

Accept no substitute :D

Can the Apache be fitted for a bayonet? And do they have to land to fix it, could be tricky, maybe a Lance would be better!

Cuts
11-18-2005, 06:43 AM
I think we're diffy a third option in the poll.

I know for a fact that I'm happiest when belting round in LPCs.

Iron Yeoman
11-18-2005, 02:09 PM
It should, but what happens when you want to take ground?

Bayonets, lad!

Accept no substitute :D

Except perhaps a stick, wouldn't want to face an enemy machine gun without one!

pdf27
11-18-2005, 03:35 PM
Except perhaps a stick, wouldn't want to face an enemy machine gun without one!
Well, some cunning hat disguise may be in order too...

Firefly
11-18-2005, 05:11 PM
I dont agree PDF, I think the stick would be really intimidating to the enemy. Especially if its a brown wood coloured one. Im sure it worked on the Somme.

pdf27
11-18-2005, 05:30 PM
I dont agree PDF, I think the stick would be really intimidating to the enemy. Especially if its a brown wood coloured one. Im sure it worked on the Somme.
/me watches the Blackadder reference fly straight over Firefly's head...

Firefly
11-18-2005, 05:45 PM
Oh I got it, hence my reply........

Pants on head, pencills at the ready!

FW-190 Pilot
11-18-2005, 06:33 PM
using apache helicopter armed with hellfire anti-tank missiles. Just went to the battlefield for a minute or so, shoot off your missiles and go back to base. this kind of sneak attack should work very good against tanks.

It should, but what happens when you want to take ground?
tank would be the ideal choice for taking the land
but without tanks, infantry units with anti-tank weapon is the second choice

FluffyBunnyGB
11-18-2005, 07:02 PM
welllllll

Tanks aren't that great at holding ground either.

You really need infantry for that, supported by tanks, artillery etc etc.

As Student Scaley (who obviously understands his part of the battle will be in a nice warm hut somewhere with a radio :D ) rightly says, the combined arms battle is the (only) way forward.

Buttress the weaknesses of the tanks with infantry, provide fast reaction force and AT for the infantry with tanks, longer range AT and recce from helicopters whilst keeping SAM at bay with tanks & inf, then win the battle with your artillery once all the lesser mortals have stopped messing about in the mud.

This has been going on for centuries, albeit without helicopters.

Infantry in line abreast or column are vulnerable to cavalry, so they form square, which makes them vulnerable to artillery.

However, only infantry can hold ground, and artillery needs to be defended by infantry, but cavalry are needed for the exploitation phase, as recce and to fix the enemy infantry so you can bring your cannon to bear.

There was an episode of the Sharpe series, set in the Peninsular Campaign, where this very notion (combined arms) was explained by a French general rather elegantly with a pile of peas & a knife. Worth watching out for.

Firefly
11-18-2005, 07:14 PM
Sharpe, what a series, also, what great books.............. I can re-read them ad infinitum.

Iron Yeoman
11-18-2005, 08:58 PM
welllllll

As Student Scaley (who obviously understands his part of the battle will be in a nice warm hut somewhere with a radio :D ) rightly says, the combined arms battle is the (only) way forward.





Damn straight i'm not risking my hide for 55 a day! And as the old saying goes 'any fool can be uncomfortable'

South African Military
11-19-2005, 01:26 AM
using apache helicopter armed with hellfire anti-tank missiles. Just went to the battlefield for a minute or so, shoot off your missiles and go back to base. this kind of sneak attack should work very good against tanks.

It should, but what happens when you want to take ground?

Can a helicopter really gain and stand ground in a battlefield?

Firefly
11-19-2005, 05:45 AM
using apache helicopter armed with hellfire anti-tank missiles. Just went to the battlefield for a minute or so, shoot off your missiles and go back to base. this kind of sneak attack should work very good against tanks.

It should, but what happens when you want to take ground?

Can a helicopter really gain and stand ground in a battlefield?

Nope, unless it is a super armoured space helicopter from Mars.

chase
11-19-2005, 11:06 PM
:idea:

A helicopter that can gain and defend ground?
We need to start working on that.

If we had that, then we could bring a true meaning to the term lighting war

Twitch1
11-22-2005, 03:58 PM
While I'd personally rather be in a helo the tank is still a viable weapons system. You can fly a helicopter ove some dirt every day but you don't own it till you roll across it!
http://www.animationlibrary.com/Animation11/Transportation/Helicopters/helicopter_firing.gif
http://www.animationlibrary.com/Animation11/Transportation/Heavy_Machinery/Tank.gif

Bladensburg
11-22-2005, 05:20 PM
Fly your helicopter over the same dirt every day and sooner or later some friendly person will sit out there with an RPG.

Canaris
12-01-2005, 09:05 AM
Fact is you need a bit of everything. The Isrealis found out that can't rely solely on tanks in 1973. Interestingly the US made a mass AH-64 attack on an Republican Guard Armoured division in 2003. From memory they attacked with 60 Apaches. Only 2 were shot down outright but a fair few were written off and only 30 could fly again the next day.