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Mechs vs Tanks Revisited


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#1 Sim Koning

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:31 AM

Mechs vs Tanks

I've been a fan of Battletech/Mechwarrior IP for almost 20 years, but I have to admit, the apparent absurdity of the 'walking tank' idea (to many) has always put a bit of a damper on things. I'm currently working on a quasi-hard space opera world building project, and I've been debating on whether or not I should include walking AFVs into the "universe" that I've been putting together. I'm trying to keep handwavium and absurdities to a minimum. Consequently, as much as I like the idea of mechs, I have to consider leaving them out if they are too much in the realm of fantasy. Surprisingly, when I consider recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology such as nanotubes, graphene muscles* and weaponized lasers, I find it harder and harder to dismiss them outright.



Ground Pressure:
One of the biggest problem almost always cited for real world mechs is ground pressure. This can be a major problem for tracked and wheeled vehicles. Too much ground pressure and a tank will have difficulty moving over soft terrain. However, I think it's a mistake to assume that this applies equally to a walking machine. The largest land animals that have ever lived, the sauropods, weighed up to 100 tons, and we know for a fact that they at least occasionally moved over soft, muddy ground because we have preserved footprints. I am not aware of any tracks that indicate that these animals were sinking knee deep in mud. Read up on elephant feet if you want to understand how these massive animals were able to walk through mud.

The largest *bipedal* predator to ever walk the earth (Spinosaurus) was semi aquatic and was as large as some whales. This is an animal that may have weighed as much as 20 tons, walked on two legs and lived in wetlands. The reason walking through mud wasn't a problem for this animal was due largely to its foot design: the toes spread out on the ground, but when the foot was lifted, the toes pulled together, allowing the foot to easily slip out of the mud. Humans aren't very good at doing the same because our plantigrade feet practically act as hooks once they sink into the mud. A mech would need either broad feet, toes that can fold up like a bird's, or elephant like foot pads that can reduce their size as they are drawn from the muck.

With these two real world examples, animals which weighed as much as armored vehicles such as a tanks, I think it's reasonable to assume that a walking vehicle, if designed properly, might be more effective for moving over soft terrain than a wheeled or tracked vehicle.

Bipedal Locomotion:
Many fans are often stumped as to why there would be any advantage to bipedal locomotion. Upright legs are more efficient than spread, or splayed legs; this is why most archosaurs and mammals have upright leg posture. Bipedal locomotion is more efficient for walking than quadrupedal locomotion due to the pendulum like action of the legs combined with the fact that bipedal animals take advantage of what is basically series of controlled falls. Bipedalism in mechs would also mean less surface area to cover with armor and consequently less energy required to support its weight. Bipedal locomotion also seems to allow for greater running speeds for animals that lack a flexible spine. Since multi ton machines with cheetah like spines are unlikely, it's reasonable to assume that bipedal mechs might be faster than their quadrupedal counterparts.

Complexity and Vulnerability of the Legs:
This is another very common criticism of the mech concept. It is often assumed that these hypothetical machines would require an enormous amount of delicate machinery to power their legs, and an enormous amount of armor to protect it. The reality is that working graphene/polymer based muscles have already been developed. Graphene is so far the strongest material known to man: it's 200 times stronger than steel; you could place an elephant on a pen and place that pen on a graphene sheet as thick as shrink wrap and it wouldn't break. The amazing thing about this stuff is that it's conductive and it contracts like muscle. In the distant future, it's not a stretch to imagine super strong materials being used as muscles for robots that also double as a sort of armor. The legs of future war robots might actually turn out to be far more durable than tank tracks.




What about repair? I would imagine that by the year 3,000, machines will probably repair minor damage themselves via tiny robots. Machines might heal over time much like a living thing. That aside, repair might consist of swapping out damaged muscle fibers with fresh ones as explained in Battletech books.


Agility:
With rapid advances in technologies such as a "braingate" and other forms of "cybernetics", we can expect people in the distant future to be able to control machines directly with their minds. It's not difficult to imagine that advances in this area may lead to armored vehicles that can be controlled as if they are an extension of the pilot's own body. Mechwarrior and other mecha series have touched on this with devices such as the "neurohelmet". With this in mind, one can imagine powered armor that is as agile as the human inside it.


High Profile:
This would be a real problem that could rule out erect walking vehicles leaving smaller "power armor", "mini-mecha" and/or more spider like designs being the only feasible concept. Being tall makes you an easier target. However, on the other hand it also allows for increased line of site. Directed energy weapons could become one of the dominant weapons on a far future battlefield due to their extreme speed and accuracy. They would be devastating anti-aircraft weapons, as well as excellent point defense systems capable of shooting down missiles and artillery rounds mid-flight. The problem is they can be severely hampered by dust, smoke and water vapor, they are also strictly direct LOS weapons, meaning you must be able to directly see a target to hit it. Because of this, the higher up they are the better. By being higher up off the ground, beam weapons would be able to fire over much of the smoke and dust that blows around at ground level, giving them a greater effective range. Generally speaking, the closer to the ground a directed energy weapon is, the less effective it becomes. Would this be enough to drive the development of higher profile fighting machines? I'm not sure, because it might be simpler and safer to limit the arsenal of AFVs to kinetic weapons and missiles.


This is my best effort to "defend" the mech concept. If my arguments contain serious flaws I want to know. If mechs really are as absurd as many claim, then I will leave them out of my world building project.

Of course I am aware that this is a Mechwarrior forum filled with people that have a 'pro-mech' bias. I've been having difficulty finding a high traffic tank forum, but I do plan on posting something like this there as well.

Sim

Edited by Sim Koning, 09 May 2012 - 02:42 AM.


#2 Striker1980

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:16 AM

Hi Sim, I often struggle with the concept of the 10 meter tall mech standing astride it's surroundings somehow being superior to a tracked (or even wheeled) counterpart.

The only conclusions I can come up with are similar to yours, being the biggest thing on the battle field and being the fastest thing with the ability to crouch and jump over hills, advanced sensor suites to give you a 'god like' 360degree omni presence and a mixed weapons load could render the mech a devastating weapon, for instance a weapon like a Jenner or a Raven in real life would be a terrifying concept, a little like a better version of the powered armour in Avatar, even if they were just tied to a company of tanks, they would be fast enough to evade targeting and low enough profile to hide behind tree lines etc. (A little like a REALLY heavily armoured Apache helicopter that can kick).

Add to this I wouldn't want to drive a Challenger II tank into a jungle, I'd have less of a problem with this with a jump jet equipped light mech.

I suppose that indicates that used properly light or medium mechs combined with mixed arms tactics would be an awesome game changer.

The Atlas however on these criteria just doesn't stack up to my mind, in game it's a walking fortress, in real life it'd be a giant tomb for anyone getting close to infantry with rocket launchers.

The game seems to compensate for this by giving mechs 'uber armour' that can resist even the biggest hit, where as tanks for some reason don't, despite weighing the same and having a smaller surface area to armour.

But remember, Mechs are frikkin' cool so let it slide, I for one won't be giving a second thought as to why in the Mechwarrior universe they bothered to build a long barrelled gauss rifle for the Hollander but noone bothered building circa 1970's era long barrelled high velocity Autocannons onto mechs ;-)

BTW I'd be keen to know when/ if your space opera comes out I'm a huge fan of Peter F. Hamilton's, Nights Dawn Trilogy, the guys got some awesome ideas and I like how he doesn't rush the story to churn the books out quicker.

Edited by Striker1980, 09 May 2012 - 04:26 AM.


#3 Adridos

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:29 AM

View PostSim Koning, on 09 May 2012 - 02:31 AM, said:

Ground Pressure:
One of the biggest problem almost always cited for real world mechs is ground pressure. This can be a major problem for tracked and wheeled vehicles. Too much ground pressure and a tank will have difficulty moving over soft terrain. However, I think it's a mistake to assume that this applies equally to a walking machine. The largest land animals that have ever lived, the sauropods, weighed up to 100 tons, and we know for a fact that they at least occasionally moved over soft, muddy ground because we have preserved footprints. I am not aware of any tracks that indicate that these animals were sinking knee deep in mud. Read up on elephant feet if you want to understand how these massive animals were able to walk through mud.



It was possible, because they have/had 4 legs. If you walk on four, you divide the pressure in a bigger area and that means less pressure to a single point. ;)

I still wouldn't try to be on those things, while they go through a fresh, thick snow after a blizzard. :rolleyes:

#4 Sim Koning

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:05 AM

View PostAdridos, on 09 May 2012 - 03:29 AM, said:


It was possible, because they have/had 4 legs. If you walk on four, you divide the pressure in a bigger area and that means less pressure to a single point. ;)

I still wouldn't try to be on those things, while they go through a fresh, thick snow after a blizzard. :rolleyes:


Sauropod feet were quite small relative to their body mass and most of their weight was carried by their hind legs, which is why they were able to rear upright, probably with little effort. The largest sauropods were heavier than a modern battletank. With the right foot design, a walking machine could probably traverse muddy terrain at least as effectively as a tank of the same weight. One solution might be inflatable cushions made up of a lattice of carbon nanotubes which would deflate when the foot is lifted.

#5 Rattlehead NZ

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:23 AM

Heavy Gear without the wheels. Bigger than battle armour but smaller than a mech. Has more of a spec op's application rather than front line heavy hitters, but can still pack enough firepower.

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#6 Catamount

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:11 AM

Mechs, in and of themselves, are not a bad idea, BT just takes it to an odd extreme.

DARPA has been interested in the idea for years, bipeds and quadrupeds, and some of their recent developments have been interesting.


Here's what I'd envision a real-world mech to be like, and the considerations I'd have. First, the fundemental thing I think BT gets wrong is treating mechs like armor. Mechs should not be tanks, because as you so aptly point out, there's nothing better at being a tank than a tank.

Instead, I'd see mechs as lightweight vehicles, built for extremely rapid traversal of adverse terrain. An Atlas I could never see, but something resembling a Cougar? Absolutely. (though the Cougar's profile is too big) However, instead of packing tons and tons of armor, I'd expect a very strong, lightweight skeleton, covered in only lightish armor plating. Speed is what a mech should rely upon to survive. If it's relying on armor, you've already come back to making an inferior tank.

This also alleviates the pressure problem to a degree, because again, now you're not trying to make a tank with legs, more like a chopper with legs. Per unit of volume, this thing should be far lighter than any animal, which helps compensate for the pressure problem, which is caused by the fact that volume cubes while foot surface area only squares (it's the age-old "why King Kong would break his leg the moment he took a step" problem).


As for biped vs quadruped, it's true that as of now, or with BT technology, if possibly not more advanced technology, making something light, strong and flexible, even in a smaller quadruped mech, would be infeasible (though I've seen the militar batting around concepts for dog-like attack robots on four legs... because that totally isn't frightening...), and that robs any quad mech of the "spring" you get in, say, a big cat's stride, but quad's would still have many advantages:

-lower to the ground for a given size/volume, smaller frontal profile (somewhat offset by needing a slightly bigger size to begin with)

-far more intrinsic stability, which is important if we're trying to make a complex all-terrain vehicle, take Boston Dynamics' Bigdog robot for instance; it can stay up under conditions that would knock a biped clean on its rear end, without gyroscopic balancing (afaik):



See how that thing traverses steep angles? Good luck getting a biped mech to do that, because just as there's no "spine" flexibility in a quadruped mech, there isn't in a biped mech either, so unlike, say, humans, a biped can't lean forward when going up a steep hill. It would just fall backward past a certain, likely unimpressive traversal angle.

-agility advantages: quadrupeds will have far more inertia to overcome in turning, but compensate by having a commensurate increase in leverage. That said, a quadruped can move effectively on an additional axis. A biped mech can run on the forward/back axis, and pivot, and that's about it. A quadruped can move on two axes and pivot, because it can effectively sidestep without compromising stability. An agile biped might be able to as well, just not as effectively.

-speed?: Even without spine-like flexibility, if it was a race, I'd still put my money on the mech that could stride on four legs, hands down, and at the very least, it'd be vastly faster at traversing difficult terrain, which is kind of the point. You basically now have a non-flying vehicle with the deployability of an attack chopper.



So, going back, is the idea of the massive legged tank out altogether? For all that I'd say about them, I don't think that's necessarily the case. If it's a desert or urban setting, I wouldn't touch a mech with a ten foot pole, but generally speaking, having APCs and tanks that could, say, travel the jungles of Vietnam (without all the compromises of the Sheridan or the amphibious tanks of the NVA), might be of extreme use. Again, though, that would be contingent on a mixed-terrain speed advantage, as deployability would still be your only reason for doing it.

So I'd say tank-like mechs are a maybe, but mechs in general are certainly plausible. We just need to start thinking of them more like attack choppers that don't have to burn fuel to stay on a battlefield, rather than tanks.

Edited by Catamount, 09 May 2012 - 05:15 AM.


#7 Zakatak

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:52 AM

Boron-Nitride Nanotubing.

1/15th the mass of steel.
Between 50x and 100x the strength.
2x the thermal resistence of carbon nanotubes.

In the future, when we have the ability to mass produce nanomaterial on a macro scale, as well as fusion power (or extremely efficient ICE), mechs are a definite probability. If Big Dog and PETMAN are any indication, proper robotics will not be a problem by that time. 1 Terahertz processors are expected by 2020 (using graphene-based chips) so computing the mechanics required for the mech isn't a problem neither.

#8 Haakon Valravn

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:43 AM

ProtoMechs/Tau Crisis-type battlesuits are as large as I think we could practiably get. Any larger or less directly controlled and they get too large, too cumbersome, too expensive. It's the combination of enough armor to shrug off small arms fire (and most automatic weapons that can rapidly track a target, like an M2), enough agility to avoid anything with more oomph (RPGs, tank shells, &c.), firepower (machine guns for infantry, Javelins/Stingers/Hellfires for anti-armor/air/whatever), that would give them a place on the battlefield.

#9 Sim Koning

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

Catamount wrote:

Quote

quad's would still have many advantages:

-lower to the ground for a given size/volume, smaller frontal profile (somewhat offset by needing a slightly bigger size to begin with)

-far more intrinsic stability, which is important if we're trying to make a complex all-terrain vehicle, take Boston Dynamics' Bigdog robot for instance; it can stay up under conditions that would knock a biped clean on its rear end, without gyroscopic balancing (afaik):

See how that thing traverses steep angles? Good luck getting a biped mech to do that, because just as there's no "spine" flexibility in a quadruped mech, there isn't in a biped mech either, so unlike, say, humans, a biped can't lean forward when going up a steep hill. It would just fall backward past a certain, likely unimpressive traversal angle.

-agility advantages: quadrupeds will have far more inertia to overcome in turning, but compensate by having a commensurate increase in leverage. That said, a quadruped can move effectively on an additional axis. A biped mech can run on the forward/back axis, and pivot, and that's about it. A quadruped can move on two axes and pivot, because it can effectively sidestep without compromising stability. An agile biped might be able to as well, just not as effectively.

-speed?: Even without spine-like flexibility, if it was a race, I'd still put my money on the mech that could stride on four legs, hands down, and at the very least, it'd be vastly faster at traversing difficult terrain, which is kind of the point. You basically now have a non-flying vehicle with the deployability of an attack chopper.


I think you might be slightly overstating the disadvantages of bipedalism. Bipedal and quadrupedal predators coexisted 250 million years ago, the bipeds won out and remained dominant for the next 160 millions years, evolving forms that dwarf the largest quadrupeds alive today. So, in a sense, this experiment has already been run. Humans are not the best bipedal design: we are top heavy and unstable, but we are very efficient at walking speeds and we can spin 360 degrees in a fraction of a second. A more avian design would increase stability and allow for a lower profile while providing the same mobility as a human. Some birds are capable of *running* up vertical surfaces with the assistance of their wings, so a light mech might be able to do the same with "jump jets". As far as running speeds are concerned, we once again have a real world example: the ostrich can outrun a horse despite only having two legs. As far as I know, the only way quadrupeds can match bipeds in running speed is via a flexible spine that increases stride length. Even then, the biped would probably be more efficient at walking speeds, which would be important if fuel consumption is an issue as it is for modern AFVs.

In conclusion, I suspect that if walking AFVs become a reality, you would have a mix of bipeds, quadrupeds and hexapods rather than the questionable dominance of bipdeds like in Battletech universe.


In defense of the Mechwarrior scenario, I'll argue that we might have diamanoid materials that combine the 3d structure of diamond with carbon nanotubes and graphene elements. This could result in materials that approach the strength limit for normal matter while also being remarkably light. Such a material might be, for all intents and purposes, virtually indestructible. I can imagine missiles being equipped with tiny packets of antimatter and lasers of immense power being needed just to damage the stuff. Point defense lasers, electroreactive armor, photochromatics (for lasers) etc. could lead to armored machines that can take hit after hit before going down, much like the Mechwarrior games. Obviously this is a completely speculative scenario, but such a situation could lead to the giant armored virtually indestructible behemoths depicted in Mechwarrior.

If this turns out to be the case, walking machines might have an advantage over tanks in that they could be completely armored, where as current AFVs have at least partly exposed tracks and/or wheels. Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible to armor joints with segmented armored plates, or failing that, some nanotech equivalent of chainmail (a nanotube lattice?). By having an internal skeleton covered in extremely strong yet simple muscles before finally being covered by armor, a mech might be more durable than the hollow stressed-shell design of a tank. Vertebrates can grow to much larger sizes than arthropods for basically the same reason. Even if a projectile passed through the armor, it would still have to pass through fibrous material that might be almost as strong as a space elevator tether. The damaged muscle might still be able to function despite being damaged provided a certain number of fibers remain intact. This might be analogous to how a tank can loose bogie wheels and still function, despite pulling to the left or right like a car with a bad alignment.

Edited by Sim Koning, 09 May 2012 - 05:04 PM.


#10 Zakatak

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:39 PM

If the military were to build a "combat mecha", I believe it would be something similar to the Commando. It is light, so it won't sink into the ground. It has hands, which helps it climb steep inclines or pick up objects. It has jumpjets, allowing it to traverse difficult areas. It has a light armament for self-defense. It has a fairly small profile allowing it to utilize cover.

#11 Niarteloc

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:08 PM

The fastest legged robot that I know of is a quadruped:

Also, is there a particular reason that you can't have a flexible spine in a mech? I can't see any real reason why not...

Edited by Niarteloc, 09 May 2012 - 06:09 PM.


#12 Mrs Brisby

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:09 PM

millitary is allready looking into and designing some thing more like the elemental armor. personaly I thik it will look like the armor worn by the sword operatives in VEXILLE. minus the jump pack and missles for now.
Posted Image
but what I have seen looks does look alot like this just more of an exoskeleton with hooks instead of hands and without the funky heel thing this suit has on it. the way a person in it controls it is by some pressure sensonrs in the suit and an onboard computer translates the pilots inputs into motion. another thing is that we will need to keep it simple and not give it to many bells and wisles like the armor from starship troopers the BOOK not the movie. if you look around you can propbly see what I saw on youtube under some thing like real terminators.

(where is spell cheak on this thing think I missed it.)

#13 Sim Koning

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:10 PM

View PostNiarteloc, on 09 May 2012 - 06:08 PM, said:

The fastest legged robot that I know of is a quadruped:

Also, is there a particular reason that you can't have a flexible spine in a mech? I can't see any real reason why not...


God that's creepy... anyway, I'm willing to bet robotic attack "dogs" with be running around killing people it gruesome ways by the end of the century, but for something the size of a mech, the flexible spine would require several extra stress points that might be prone to breaking down. I'm using real world animals as an analogy here. Large animals tend to have rigid spines and the largest animals, the dinosaurs, even had ossified tendons that held their spine and tail rigid despite being at least partly quadrupedal; they ran on two legs and walked on four. Considering the massive size of 'Battlemechs', I would imagine the same basic principles would apply only on a larger scale.

Here is your real "myomers"!

#14 Sim Koning

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

http://www.wired.com.../03/nanomuscle/

#15 Victor Morson

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

Chiming in to agree, the reality of powered exosuits for both construction and civilian use and military armor is really just around the corner and already has made a lot of progress, power drain being the biggest problem for the military applications. The civilian ones are already stunning successes at everything from motorizing people with weak legs to allowing you to act as a humanoid forklift.

I'm pretty convinced the future of warfare will more or less be Drones in the air, some drones on the ground and a handful of power armored troops as the human element.

#16 FC Desoya

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:01 PM

Wow! A serious wealth of cool ideas and some creepy looking examples.

If anybody else has read The Long Run or any of DKMs books from the continuing time series you'll know what I mean when I say ”oh bleep, a waldo.” Now I need to keep a bazooka in my bathroom.

#17 Sim Koning

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:12 PM

Wow, I just realized something: HEAT rounds "only" generate about 600 degrees C; carbon nanotubes retain their properties up to 1537 degrees. This means that even if the heat round penetrated the armor with a shaped charge, the heat would do very little to the underlying muscles fibers. Penetrators powered by coil guns or rail guns might penetrate, but much of the heat would probably be absorbed by the outer armor and the fibers would probably stop the round dead. Directed energy weapons such as lasers would generate enough heat to damage them though. I guess there is your justification for a high profile: directed energy weapons are more effective from a high vantage point.

Edited by Sim Koning, 09 May 2012 - 11:13 PM.


#18 Orihime Asakura

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:11 AM

I have a few counter points for both kicking around in my head that make arguments both for and against.

Profile: Tanks have their low profile going for them which could allow them to sneak in and deliver critical early shots. Which could possibly decide the of come of a skirmish. How ever a high profile mech has the advantage of being able to survey vast expanses of a battlefield. On top of that they would likely have various types of zoom functions to focus on movement, with possibility of things like FLIR. As well the higher you place a sensor platform (radar, flir, etc...) the more ground you can cover with it. So it could balance out.

Flexibility: This is almost a moot point to me in a lot of ways. Since tanks and mechs could utilize almost all the same weapon systems, armor materials, and electronic equipment. The divide is how much each can mount. Because a mech stands vertical it has more surface area on which you can mount weapons. Tanks by limiting their weapons could mount thicker armor though.

Complexity: Compared to a tank any kind of mech is far more complicated. But when or if we ever employ mechs in large scale we'll have a handle on robust mechanics. Repairing something as complex as a mech would cause issues but once again at that point we should have the infrastructure to do it down.

Mobility: This is where the mech principal shines because of it having legs and feet. It's ability to scale objects that would stop a tank is important. Plus in the process it could clear those objects, or survey for alternate routes for tanks. Though a helicopter could do the latter a flying vehicle is a much weaker target to take down.

All in all both have unique advantages that make both useful. So something like mechs would only be a part of the over all fighting force. The battle fields of the future could justify mechs as part of the entire fighting force. Helicopters, Aerospace vehicles, drones, power armored infantry, non-power armor infantry, tanks, AFVs, mechs, and more all have their places.

Speaking of which, drones and autonomous machines lack in certain ways. For example a drone fighter versus one with a pilot is it lacks a survival instinct mechanism in humans. This could be a potential fatal flaw in a computer driven machine. Not to mention the idea of letting a self controlled machine actually kill has serious moral implications. If my drone get's shot down I'll be in trouble, but alive for example. On the other hand if the fighter I'm sitting in gets shot, there is a very good chance I'll die. Also infantry in power armor has disadvantage compared to those who don't have it. in Confined spaces power armor could be a serious liability, in the open not having it is. You need infantry to take strategic points, and buildings. Sure you could destroy them, but you never know when they might come in handy, or yield important intel. The thing with drones, remote controlled, and autonomous machines is they could seriously reduce the risk to the human element. But the human element is still vital and it will probably never be a secondary element. You need those people, they will be in harms way, and they will continue to do things machines can't now, and may never be able to do.

Final note: If or when mechs come to the battle field, like with tanks before, they might not be optimally efficient. But with in a few decades we'll have refined them to a more mature technology and they'll change the dynamics of war. Just like the tank before them and every other technology we've ever introduced to war.

Edited by Orihime Asakura, 10 May 2012 - 04:15 AM.


#19 Sim Koning

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:13 PM

Another thing to consider about AI and cyberwarfare: even if we develop strong AI fighting drones/androids etc. replacing human soldiers with them could be *extremely risky. Quantum computers use things like superposition and entanglement, so while their processing power will be vast (processing power and intelligence are not the same btw) their calculations will always be at least slightly fuzzy thanks to the uncertainty principle. This means that given enough numbers and time, you'll probably have some going crazy once in a while. Combine this with advanced cyberwarfare that could possibly lead to some of your forces being turned against you... yeah, you'll still need men and women on the ground.

Edited by Sim Koning, 10 May 2012 - 01:14 PM.


#20 Sim Koning

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:09 PM

http://youtu.be/fWdGkb7r1iA
A laser that can shoot down missiles and aircraft. It shows this thing taking out a helicopter...

Edited by Sim Koning, 10 May 2012 - 07:10 PM.






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