Giraffe tanks

Why use a man-carrying mast when you can essentially run a camera up using s simpler telescoping pole? They have high trajectory weapons that can hit with high precision.
 

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Why use a man-carrying mast when you can essentially run a camera up using s simpler telescoping pole? They have high trajectory weapons that can hit with high precision.

The human eye is better than cameras in most places and especially in the 1980's when cameras were extremely primitive. It also simplifies the vectronics setup because you have all your optics be direct view in the man post rather than funneled electrically into a CRT or something in the command cabin. It only increases the size of the missile launcher by a few square feet, insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and allows you to have much easier time incorporating weaponry.

Remotely operated weapon systems and stations don't become truly practical until the late 1990's or early 2000's after all.
 
Watching combat footage of the Russia/Ukraine war I had the unpleasant thought of how effective an elevated remote weapon system would be at clearing trenches. Maybe a light weight RWS with machine gun and/or grenade launcher could be mounted on a combat engineer vehicles excavator arm or crane and suppress the trench while the mine plough/dozer blade fills it in.
 
"...and suppress the trench while the mine plough/dozer blade fills it in."

Shades of WW1, with tanks' sponson-mounted machine guns for trench-sweeping...
{ Shudder... }
Been a while, but one of my colleagues had done a stint in Royal Engineers before joining our lab. IIRC, his speciality had been alignment etc of tank main-gun optics. He was among the groups of 'squaddies' who rode into Gulf atop the trench-busting CEVs to sweep their flanks. They had a 'Nam-style sand-bag 'bunker', more rifle ammunition than they'd ever seen in one place before, no way to take prisoners.

As he said, some defenders fled along lateral trenches. Lest they turn and attack from behind, they were shot. Some just stood, frozen by 'Itsa_TANK' shock / awe. Lest they attack from behind, they were shot or buried alive. Some tried to use RPGs etc. They were shot or buried alive. Several loosed their RPGs etc as they went under, those explosions kicked up big divots of sand...

The squaddies' only injuries were from hot brass and muzzles, plus a few wild rounds lofted as their CEVs lurched...

"Worst video-game ever..."
 
War is a pretty nasty business. @Nik : my reaction to your post is just that.
Those first day events of GW1 are quite undocumented, sadly.
 
Just think how thin and hard to spot an infantryman's periscope can be these days using electro-optics. You also have tiny drones and other short range communications tools that are difficult to spot from any distance save for literally being on top of their location. An infantry can really only focus on several hundred meters.. The tank operates on quite a bit larger scale, covering several miles. Trench warfare just hinders your mobility and leads to certainty facing a maneuvring opponent. Stay mobile or die.
 
Watching combat footage of the Russia/Ukraine war I had the unpleasant thought of how effective an elevated remote weapon system would be at clearing trenches. Maybe a light weight RWS with machine gun and/or grenade launcher could be mounted on a combat engineer vehicles excavator arm or crane and suppress the trench while the mine plough/dozer blade fills it in.

The last time people fought in trenches with machine guns and AGS, they just pointed their guns up until their bullets fell on the other trench.

"Run up to the trench with a tank and dozer it" is very abnormal, though.

"...and suppress the trench while the mine plough/dozer blade fills it in."

Shades of WW1, with tanks' sponson-mounted machine guns for trench-sweeping...

M1 tankers and ACE drivers in TF 1-41 did this too.

Just think how thin and hard to spot an infantryman's periscope can be these days using electro-optics. You also have tiny drones and other short range communications tools that are difficult to spot from any distance save for literally being on top of their location. An infantry can really only focus on several hundred meters.. The tank operates on quite a bit larger scale, covering several miles. Trench warfare just hinders your mobility and leads to certainty facing a maneuvring opponent. Stay mobile or die.

Drones are hard to spot unless they bump into you, really. Even then it might just be a large insect in some cases.

EO periscopes would be easier to spot because they're bigger.

Even leaving aside size, apertures for visual observation appear opaque (cold) to FLIRs and vice versa. FLIRs often have high shine or glint because they are mirror-like to the naked (unaugmented) eyeball. You will be spotted by one or the other, unless you are viewing through a multispectral blind.

There is no mobility in modern combat because everything is under passive observation all the time (you can't really prove the opposite, except when it's windy and rainy which is when you construct earthworks, tbh). Mobility is only possible when firepower is not present, or when armor is sufficient to preclude destruction by fire, which isn't really the case against modern artillery weapons which function by direct impact. This is never a given except against the weakest opponents.

tl;dr Stay mobile and die is probably more apt for modern conditions. Cultivator No. 2 failed because it was made for 2020's wars.
 
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..
Run up to the trench with a tank and dozer it" is very abnormal, though
Not really, that is basically Tank VS Trench Tactics 101 since the first World War.

How its basically done is the Tank, when lacking a Dozer blade, will drive over trench till it straddling it.

And just wiggle the hull.

That will collapse everything short of a concrete walled trench within a minute buring the poor bastards you didn't fucking move.

That is literally what is taught in training by, well everyone.

You just dont hear about it cause its one of the messy tactics that not really good for showing. Especially after Desert Storm where video of that happened and the usual idiots cry warcrime, its not.

And in a half way proper Assualt?

Less then a minute is NOT, I repeat, NOT enough time to grab the AT weapon.

Especially since a proper assualt will also have Inflantry up with the tank, firing away with their weapons into the trenchs among others. And orders be to blast the poor SOB who looks at the tank funny.

That before you get into the fact that with modern Artillery, you can actually put shells into the trenchs DELIBERATELY instead of luck. As in with modern fire control, out of five shots one will go right into the trench compare firing 50 hope you get lucky. That with dumb shells, with PGMs like the PGK?

Gets ugly real fast.
 
I remembered the video was an ACE driver or an M1 with a dozer blade, but yeah, it beats grenading and bayoneting them like some guys had to do. Granted, it might not matter much for the M1 since it has the Special Armor in the prow, but it is serious for a BMP, BTR, BMD, or T-72/-80/-90. So I do think Russia's emphasis on fire support for their tanks during trench assaults is more because their vehicles are thinly armored than anything else, tbh.

You'd have a fat minute and change to get in there and crush the other guys, with a tank that pulls M4 Sherman-like mobility and weighs near a hundred tons, at least these days. Good news is they probably won't have either PF98s or RPG-29s, bad news is you're slow so someone who does have it might get a shot off.

But anyway yes, digging deep is more important now than ever. Foxholes will have to be built like pillboxes or something equally silly, and tanks will wear hats to hide from the drones. They already do in Ukraine. That will be the case, at least until people can get a grapple on the drone situation, and figure out when and if they are being observed passively.

There are some weird things, like quantum radar principles, that can be used to determine if your radar is being sniffed out by REC, for instance. Presumably similar things could be done with visual information, since there are incredible tricks of light that can be done, like imaging reconnaissance done through miles-thick clouds based on a photon bouncing off a person. The weirder quantum stuff is done with photon entanglement, while classic (non-quantum) is done with coded lasers. I don't know if this could be applied in reverse, but the Chinese are super interested in quantum entanglement systems for visual reconnaissance, so that might be a exploitable weakness in future multi- and hyperspectral observation equipment.

Something like that, or something like a very powerful satellite constellation that can see little tactical drones (they are growing metal, if only from mortar bombs) could help. Would probably need to be routed through a Tac Air Ops Center or whatever the AF calls it. Or maybe a more powerful version of the PSS-7 that can sniff out datalinks from a drone, tied to a C-UAS mount on a gun carrier or a trailer. Won't work if they use highly directional commos or SHF SATCOMs but whatever.

My point was more movement can be done only when not under observation, and as it stands a lot of guys won't know if they're under observation or not until the WLRs call incoming mortars, or until the shells start landing if they're in a bad place, and either way it's not a good place to be in. It's why trenches with thick dugouts and heavy reinforcement are a necessity in Ukraine, and will probably be a necessity in WW3, as armies will chew up their best stuff first, and start using stockpiles and older kit as it drags on.

No one really has the industry or economic potential anymore to drag out a WW2 style industrial war, except maybe the Chinese, tbh.
 
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Back to the idea of the Giraffe tank. I think rather than an expensive specialist MBT/AFV ATGM launcher, I would like to see a multipurpose elevated platform that can mount various weapons and sensors to see over obstacles or look around corners. It would also be used as an assault ladder as the boom would have steps/rungs on it and a fast rope might be hung from the platform for fast descents.

Stick it on a Boxer style pod so it can be put on wheeled or tracked vehicles.

Hopefully the clearer field of view of the elevated platform would be beneficial in defending against UAVs?
 
Yes, I’ve seen the Israeli vehicles. I’m thinking along the lines of a common mast such as that used for the SAAB Giraffe radar used with the Land Ceptor missile system.
 
Back to the idea of the Giraffe tank. I think rather than an expensive specialist MBT/AFV ATGM launcher, I would like to see a multipurpose elevated platform that can mount various weapons and sensors to see over obstacles or look around corners. It would also be used as an assault ladder as the boom would have steps/rungs on it and a fast rope might be hung from the platform for fast descents.

Stick it on a Boxer style pod so it can be put on wheeled or tracked vehicles.

Hopefully the clearer field of view of the elevated platform would be beneficial in defending against UAVs?

Fennek does this as does the HMMWV with the Prophet system. Elevated platforms don't have huge LOS improvements though. A couple dozen meters might increase the radar LOS by a mile at most, which isn't really worth the cost or maintenance hours.

The Japanese have a little trailer mounted and launched helicopter drone instead. Giraffe tanks were just made at a time when helicopters were simultaneously large (manned) and expensive (boutique).

A tethered electric motor drone nowadays would have better availability and less of a maintenance requirement.
 
Thanks for the clarification, the russian patent drawing looks like, what I would expect of
a gun armed giraffe tank. The "Panzerkampfwagen 2000" seems more like an explanation
of the benifits of such a vehicle: "That's a standard tank, with a very restricted field of fire. And
now, just imagine, we would put the turret on a jib... !" ;)
Im 90% sure that the "Panzerkampfwagen 2000" is an April-Fools Joke. AFAIK the source is this Wehrtechnik article (from an April issue). The article has a bunch of weird details like for example it mentions gunner and driver having to do parachute-training and the author signs as ‘FELIX’ (a first name). There are other weird articles in other Wehrtechnik April issues (for example this Leopard 2 with a very long track; or this halftrack Erprobungsträger also signed by Felix)

Edit: The following issue confirms that the "Panzerkampfwagen 2000" was an April Fools joke
 

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Why use a man-carrying mast when you can essentially run a camera up using s simpler telescoping pole? They have high trajectory weapons that can hit with high precision.
ATGMs of the 1980s were SACLOS, so you needed the guidance box next to the missile tubes. It was simplest to put the full TOW CLU up there with the gunner.

Fire and Forget like Javelin? Stick half the CLU on a telescoping pole, set all missiles to launch indirect.
 
You could run a fiber optic cable or a wire down from a camera, that's not a problem at all, especially in the 1980's. The problem is that you now have a fiber optic cable or a wire coming down from a camera, as well as the various controls and possibly either at the top or bottom there's the computer, rather than having it in a single LRU in a turret.

That's why HeliTOW dropped down in a whole unit from the chopper's roof, or why AH-56 had a direct intrusion with the TOW optics from the turret, and I think AH-64 was the first gunship with actual fully remote camera-television systems. Maybe. Perhaps AH-1Q counts.

A large part of it was probably just simple bias against remote operated systems, though, tbf.
 
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Hello, can anyone post more photo's and any known technical details of the VTF, like it's weight and what ebngine it uses
 
The Versuchstrager Fronttriebwerk prototype hull was powered by a 1,200 ps MTU MB871 V8 - with filtration featured from the MTU 880 - driving a ZF gearbox.
Thanks for the info. Why was it never adopted? How heavy is it?
 
Thanks for the info. Why was it never adopted? How heavy is it?

Not sure about weight but somewhere in the 55 to 72 tons range. I've seen mention of the VTF's defining front-mounted engine being problematic for balance. That seems unlikely to me ... but, if so, that didn't prevent MaK Systemgesellschaft's from submitting its VTF hull as the basis for BWB's Neue Gepanzerte Plattform programme.

The main focus was on a NGP-KPz variant with an autoloaded Rheinmetall NPzK-140 main gun in an unmanned turret and crew of 2 (with 8 x Panzergrenadier dismounts in the rear). But, in the end, the NGP-KPz project was dropped. The entire NGP programme got whittled down to just the Marder replacement - with the NGP-SPz rebranded as the Neuer Schützenpanzer (NeSPz).

So, the VTF had no chance to be adopted since its competition was cancelled. (In view of the on-going reliability issues with the SPz Puma, maybe that was just as well?) The reasons behind that were post-Cold War economics.
 
That was very interesting info. Crew of 2 with 8 x Panzergrenadier dismounts in the rear sounds a lot like the Israeli Namer concept.

55 tons also seem quite heavy for just a chassis.

I would love to see more detailed photo's of it. Any idea where I can get some?
 
The Renault F.T. 17 Char Projector police Tank can also be considered a giraffe tank.This copy, built immediately after the war, was fitted with two searchlights placed at the top of a long metal pylon welded to the turret. The projectors were tilted by means of cables, while the rotation of the turret rotated the entire pylon.
 

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