Are Tanks and Armored Vehicles Obsolete

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Al

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I mentioned a cople years ago that aircraft carriers were nothing more than sitting ducks whose planes could either be replaced by drones or permanent air bases in Europe or Japan. Neither here or there. I won't defend my argument.

But it is now pretty clear that tanks are obsolete and can easily be destroyed by drones or anti tank devices like HellFire, Spike, Javalin.

And with the likes of stinger missile increasingly are making it difficult (expensive) for manned attack aircraft...better to use drones.
 

Astro14

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Armor has a place, ask any infantry how they would fare against armor.

You were wrong about carriers being sitting ducks. Wrong about the ability of bases to be deployed wherever air power is needed. I rebutted your claim then, though much of what I would like to say remains classified, and I don’t see why you would restate your previous falsehood as part of this question.

You overestimate the range and effectiveness of MANPADS like Stingers. They’re easy enough to negate when operating a jet airplane, though helicopters will always remain vulnerable.

Drones can’t provide the same detailed integration of fires in close proximity to friendlies that a manned aircraft can. That’s why infantry loves the A-10: CAS. Close Air Support is a critical battlefield capability. The USAF excels at it.

It is a nonexistent skill in the Russian Air Force.
 
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USA has Space Force.....I agree about "sitting duck." Space is the next frontier! Earth is but a celestial egg, so to speak...

Our submarines need to avoid crashing into water driven vehicles, much less war! The world's greatest technology...Lol!
 
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This.

Had Iraq or Afghanistan had Javelins/NLAWs and other top down attack AT weapons, things would have been a ton messier for us. Thankfully they didn't and we were able to refit vehicles with slat armor to negate RPG's but EFP IED's don't care about slats and destroy almost anything so we did have to contend with that. But drones have become a huge equalizer on the battlefield, especially in open fields and highways like the videos we've seen in Ukraine so far. Ouch.
 
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I mentioned a cople years ago that aircraft carriers were nothing more than sitting ducks whose planes could either be replaced by drones or permanent air bases in Europe or Japan. Neither here or there. I won't defend my argument.

But it is now pretty clear that tanks are obsolete and can easily be destroyed by drones or anti tank devices like HellFire, Spike, Javalin.

And with the likes of stinger missile increasingly are making it difficult (expensive) for manned attack aircraft...better to use drones.

At the current time, Ukraine landscape isn't suitable for armored warfare, which is why the armor is sticking to the roads. That's what makes them vulnerable to anti-tank weapons, same as using tanks inside an urban environment does.

When the tanks are out in the plains, and infantry can be spotted from miles away it's the anti-tank weapons that become useless.

I suppose the russians hoped for frozen fields and rivers, but that didn't really happen this year.
 
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I think he's basing the fact that tanks or armored vehicles aren't worth it based on how badly the Russians are using them. Infantry is supposed to protect the tanks and they're not using them so of course they're vulnerable. Tanks were also not good for urban fighting, that's the worse kind of fighting, Leningrad and Stalingrad were one of the worst meat grinders. Also reading some of how the Russians just abandoned their still working tanks and fled is just another indication of how badly led they are or just bad doctrine. I think the Germans did better with their armor because the crews were required to stay with their tanks even if they were disabled so they were able to recover them.
 
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Given the proliferation of anti-armor weapons and SAMs, we're quickly entering an era where the small unit foot Soldiers and insurgency is superior to massive standing Armies who are mainly just targets of opportunity.

Cost of anti-armor weapons is trivial, and can be made from nearly anything including battlefield pickup dud bombs; costs of anti-tank weapon is tiny, maybe 1/2 million dollars and possibly a lot less, compared to the cost of the vehicles and crew destroyed (~$10 million dollars each or more?).

It's become relatively easy to monitor and destroy enemy supply lines, shoot down their supply planes, etc. with drones and rudimentary anti-aircraft weapons, SAMs, etc. Destroy their airfields.
Mine the waters for their ships, etc. IEDs, suicide bombs, SAMs, VBIEDs, etc....

I think the massive investments in these armored divisions of tanks, vehicles, etc. is becoming more obsolete... We have learned that insurgent warfare favors the insurgents heavily - Russians learned it in Afghanistan, we have learned it across the globe including Beirut, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now the Russians are relearning the hard lessons...
 
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Let's not overestimate the drone effectiveness. That 40 mile convoy hasn't been blown to pieces, and they provided the easiest targets possible, sitting ducks. That tells me drones or planes had a very hard time reaching them...

The Ukrainians are putting up a decent guerilla fight, but they are losing territory daily, especially road infrastructure.

Now, it's definitely a good thing to have infantry with anti-armor weapons. But if the russians had their act together properly it wouldn't make much difference.

Germany made a light armored tank in the 60s, because they believed heavy armor was obsolete. Leopard 1. They might have been right.
 
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Let's not overestimate the drone effectiveness. That 40 mile convoy hasn't been blown to pieces, and they provided the easiest targets possible, sitting ducks. That tells me drones or planes had a very hard time reaching them...

The Ukrainians are putting up a decent guerilla fight, but they are losing territory daily, especially road infrastructure.

Now, it's definitely a good thing to have infantry with anti-armor weapons. But if the russians had their act together properly it wouldn't make much difference.

Germany made a light armored tank in the 60s, because they believed heavy armor was obsolete. Leopard 1. They might have been right.

I was also thinking of drones blasting the sitting ducks.
 
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The Ukrainians are putting up a decent guerilla fight, but they are losing territory daily, especially road infrastructure.

Won't matter. Unless they just kill everyone or exert such extreme brutality on resistance, it's unlikely Russia can successfully conquer and hold a nation of 40,000,000. That's 1/4 the entire Russia population.

This has been tried and essentially failed. The US success in Iraq was short-lived, and against less well supplied or supported local nationals. The US took less casualties in 8 years there combined with 20 years in Afghanistan, than Russia lost in 3 weeks in Ukraine. Russia is going to suffer a bloodbath to occupy, and will be bled dry of men and money in a year. At current rates of losses of men and tanks they'll have nobody left in a year. Lost their 4th general today. That's a general every 4 days... Lost about 15-20,000 Soldiers, 400+ tanks, thousands of vehicles, a significant number of aircraft, etc. These Russian losses are absolutely mind-blowing for a 1st world nation in just under 3 weeks!
 
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They won't hold it, they never were going to. They'll turn it into an iraq, a mess that can't survive on it's own so the government they install will hang on to moscow's trousers.

US figures say 4k lost so far...
 
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I mentioned a cople years ago that aircraft carriers were nothing more than sitting ducks whose planes could either be replaced by drones or permanent air bases in Europe or Japan. Neither here or there. I won't defend my argument.

But it is now pretty clear that tanks are obsolete and can easily be destroyed by drones or anti tank devices like HellFire, Spike, Javalin.

And with the likes of stinger missile increasingly are making it difficult (expensive) for manned attack aircraft...better to use drones.
respectfully disagree,

The very fact that troops go through much effort and risk to try to take them out tells you otherwise.

In an AFV you are so quick, carry so much firepower ,have so much so much advanced optics, they are still the linchpin of ground combat.
Laymen often dont understand the impact of the combined factors of firepower, extreme tactical mobility and armored protection against all but specialized weapons or a peer, that tracked armored vehicles bring to the fight.

A Panzerfaust 3 or javelin or a RPG9V etc etc, is no substitute for a tank.
Its an emergency stopgap to lesson the impact of lesser force structure to the underequipped force.

And oh, BTW this is not coming from a Tanker, but an Infantryman.

Now there are some types of terrain when the strengths of AFV cannot play out as readily.. and one might argue to not use them in such situation because the incredible investment that multi million dollar AFV, will not give you a good ROI for example in tight urban quarters..

But there TTP even for tanks in urban terrain. Watch some of the videos from the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) how they use AFV quite successfully against insurgents even in urban terrain.
 
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Tanks/Armored vehicles just cannot move fast enough to avoid a projectile coming straight down from the sky at mach 9.

and anti tank weapons are faster to make than say an Abrahams tank.

Tanks also require a huge supply chain to maintain, and fuel.

They are NOT obsolete, we will always have roadside bombs, IED's. So they would be useful to clear an area, or a surprise attack.
 
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Won't matter. Unless they just kill everyone or exert such extreme brutality on resistance, it's unlikely Russia can successfully conquer and hold a nation of 40,000,000. That's 1/4 the entire Russia population.

This has been tried and essentially failed. The US success in Iraq was short-lived, and against less well supplied or supported local nationals. The US took less casualties in 8 years there combined with 20 years in Afghanistan, than Russia lost in 3 weeks in Ukraine. Russia is going to suffer a bloodbath to occupy, and will be bled dry of men and money in a year. At current rates of losses of men and tanks they'll have nobody left in a year. Lost their 4th general today. That's a general every 4 days... Lost about 15-20,000 Soldiers, 400+ tanks, thousands of vehicles, a significant number of aircraft, etc. These Russian losses are absolutely mind-blowing for a 1st world nation in just under 3 weeks!
You are assuming them wanting to conquer instead of just scorch the earth and leave, then bomb any new development periodically.
 
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Tanks are sitting ducks. Especially in insurgency warfare. They offer a false sense of strength, invincibility, and superiority. They will rely heavily on infantry and other defenses to protect them.

When LNs have sufficient weaponry (which is very prolific today) to defeat tanks, at almost no cost to the LNs but a huge loss to the side relying on armor, the LNs will prevail. Tanks cannot be built and replaced as fast as they can be destroyed.

This was a lesson the Germans learned in WWII. They had the best armor of the war, certainly better than the US. They could routinely and repeatedly beat 4 Shermans in a tank war, so it would take 5 Shermans to destroy a Panzer or Tiger. But the US had 10x as many tanks. So it became a war of attrition. The winner is the survivor.

Same with anti-armor weapons, which can be delivered from afar or by drones, or mines, VBIEDs, traps, etc. LNs can bleed the Russians dry of tanks, armored vehicles, and aircraft which cannot be easily or cheaply replaced infinitely. The LNs will have infinite supply of anti-armor weapons.
 
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I mentioned a cople years ago that aircraft carriers were nothing more than sitting ducks whose planes could either be replaced by drones or permanent air bases in Europe or Japan. Neither here or there. I won't defend my argument.

But it is now pretty clear that tanks are obsolete and can easily be destroyed by drones or anti tank devices like HellFire, Spike, Javalin.

And with the likes of stinger missile increasingly are making it difficult (expensive) for manned attack aircraft...better to use drones.
The Russians have few, if any, PGMs left. So they must drop dumb bombs from low altitude to be accurate. That puts them right into the Stinger's envelope. Plus, I doubt their countermeasures are very good. On top of that, their training is lax. You probably have undertrained pilots putting themselves into bad situations that make the Stinger even more effective.

As for armor, it isn't very good in tight urban areas where they can't maneuver. They also appear not to support the armor very well with infantry, as has been said.

Finally, let's face it. The Russian military is very good at brutality. But not very good as a professional force. They don't train enough and they don't have the best equipment, or even ammo, and their tactics appear to be well known by the Ukranians. I think the US Army would have shown much better in this kind of combat and I think we'd have a different view of the survivability and proper, effective utilization of armor.
 
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The very fact that troops go through much effort and risk to try to take them out tells you otherwise.

Of course they are a prime target, but for a lot of reasons. First, yes, they are tough and very destructive. They are terrifying. And for that reason they will be a prime target.

Destroying one, with the right weapons, is apparently not difficult. Russians have lost a reported 25 per day. Losing tanks is demoralizing, expensive, and costs the entire crew. And it ties up roads blocking convoys. There's very good tactical and psychological reasons to destroy them.
 
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The Russians have few, if any, PGMs left. So they must drop dumb bombs from low altitude to be accurate. That puts them right into the Stinger's envelope. Plus, I doubt their countermeasures are very good. On top of that, their training is lax. You probably have undertrained pilots putting themselves into bad situations that make the Stinger even more effective.

As for armor, it isn't very good in tight urban areas where they can't maneuver. They also appear not to support the armor very well with infantry, as has been said.

Finally, let's face it. The Russian military is very good at brutality. But not very good as a professional force. They don't train enough and they don't have the best equipment, or even ammo, and their tactics appear to be well known by the Ukranians. I think the US Army would have shown much better in this kind of combat and I think we'd have a different view of the survivability and proper, effective utilization of armor.
US have been in 20 years of constant war, of course our military would be one of the most experienced in the world (the other being the enemy we were fighting), instead of Russian.
 
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