Tanks have been a part of modern warfare for just over a century now, playing their first major roles during World War I at the Battle of Somme. They have proved themselves worthy, hardened protectors and weapons, heavily armoured and armed. They can withstand anti-tank guns, bazookas and even a guided missile attack. Warfare is always evolving, as with everything else – so what does the future hold for the tank?
Technology is the way forward and it is thought that the tanks of the future will have several new key technologies to draw on. The ideal scenario is technology that provides effective defence but without the need for cumbersome and heavy armour. The ultimate goal is a vehicle that’s almost impossible to detect and hard to hit, which means losing the steel armour and being more manoeuvrable.
Stealth abilities and a reduction in their infra-red detection would help to make tanks harder to detect. Making them harder to hit means advanced active protection systems that can disarm incoming missiles before impact. Making them lighter means greater opportunities for shipping, transportation and speed from detection. Test your tank skills in real life with a Tank Driving Experience at https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/tank-driving-experience.html
Another future possibility for tanks is the use of robotics. While a human presence will still be required in dangerous situations for the foreseeable future, there’s no reason why robots and AI cannot assist a tank crew and alleviate some of the workload. Even if they took care of the basics, that could leave human crew members to focus on the more important tasks. Perhaps we can imagine a world where small robots travel ahead of the tank, scouting for nearby enemy or other hazards.
This next possibility sounds like something from a Sci-Fi movie. Energy weapons are being researched, for example rail guns and laser weapons. Any advancements in this field could likely lead to such weaponry being mounted onto tanks. Currently, they are not a viable option as the weapons require a huge amount of energy that a tank simply cannot transport. However, we could see a future where smaller laser weapons could be tank-mounted to shoot down unmanned drones and any other enemy threats.
The exciting part is waiting and watching to see where technology will take us in the world of warfare and defence. All experts are certain that the tank will be relevant when it reaches its bicentennial celebrations in 2116. There will most likely always be a need for highly mobile and survivable military vehicles. One area that needs attention is the ever-evolving advances in armour-piercing technology. The tank has impressive protection, but weapons are getting better all the time. Adding more armour is no solution as this hampers manoeuvrability too much. This is why the future for tanks looks set to be all about active protection technology, robots and death rays!