Saturday, September 13, 2014

If You Can Dodge a Wrench, You Can Dodge a Ball?

God save us from defense visionaries:

The year is 2020; the setting, a battlefield in the Middle East. An armored Army vehicle bounds over low dunes on its way to a checkpoint when a local tribal leader fires a shoulder-mounted missile directly at the fast-moving truck. The targeting is dead on and the missile is moving too fast for the human driver to take evasive action. But the vehicle itself detects the vibrations of rocket in motion via an array of advanced sensors. Acting at the speed of electric current, the vehicle’s raised-wheel axis extends out beneath it, dropping it several feet, like a newborn falling on shaky legs. The rocket glides over the top of the vehicle missing it. The result? No casualties to report.

Good grief, let's just abandon the technology approach and just encourage our crews to pray that the enemy misses.

I mentioned this type of approach to finding an alternative to the bulk of passive armor.

The MBT-70 at least envisioned the ability to duck as a way to go hull-down (or turret-down) more effectively, making its armor protection better by exposing only the thickest armor.

If I may make one objection to the "ducking" approach for making sure anti-tank rounds pass over our vehicles--top-attack rounds.

Or maybe our enemies just aim several feet lower? At that point I suppose DARPA aims for a vehicle that can jump, too--and maybe moonwalk.

Once enemies know that they don't have to penetrate effective armor, many ways to disable our main combat vehicles are opened up.

No weapon system lasts forever. The tank will be obsolete one day. But so far, I haven't seen the alternative to the heavy tank--with all that troublesome passive armor--and suitably evolved with active defenses, to provide mobile, protected, firepower.