The main battle tank is not likely to disappear into the history books as the horse cavalry units of old did during the early part of the 20th century, but technological advancements might fundamentally change the nature of future armored vehicles. The U.S. Army is currently conducting an analysis of alternatives on what a future family of armored vehicles might look like.
“Are we sort of at that point in history where armored mechanized vehicles are going the way of horse cavalry?” U.S. Army chief of staff Gen. Mark A. Milley told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “I don’t think so, but I’m skeptical, so I’m going to continue to ask that.”
But the Abrams is likely at the very limits of its capabilities—the service needs a new main battle tank.
“We do need a new ground armored platform for our mechanized infantry and our tanks,” Milley said. “That is my belief, at least into the foreseeable future—over the next 25 years or so—there is a role to play in ground warfare for those types of formations.”
Milley said that a new family of ground combat systems would likely incorporate technologies such as active protection systems, reduced crews and automated turrets—similar in many ways to the technologies pioneered by the Russian Armata series of combat vehicles. And like the Russian Armata series, a future U.S. Army armored vehicle will be part of a family of related machines.Robotics, too, could play a huge role in
Robotics, too, could play a huge role in future family of armored combat vehicles. Milley said that every future vehicle should be dual capable so that a commander has the option of sending in a manned or unmanned version into a combat situation.
However, the single biggest breakthrough the Army could make is in materials. Steel, tungsten, depleted uranium and ceramic composites are tough and dense, and offer excellent protection when incorporated into an armor matrix. However, those materials are also heavy—which is why an Abrams tips the scales at nearly 70-tons.
“The holy grail of technologies I’m trying to find for this thing are materials—it’s the armor itself,” Milley said.
“Because if we can discover a material—there is a lot of research and development going into it—that is significantly lighter in weight that gives you the same armor protection, that would be a real significant breakthrough.”
Other potential technologies might dispense with chemical propellants for the cannon. Railgun and lasers are potential technologies that might be incorporated into future armored vehicles, Milley said.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.