Tanks play an important role in conventional modern warfare. Serving as mobile armored utility, they can strategically push and move the front lines. Some of the most successful military operations of all times have relied on tanks, including the Western Front Battle of 1917. But even today tanks remain a critical tool in the United States military, with the Army actively seeking a new light tank for use on the battlefields.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Army announced plans to develop a new light-armored tank with mobile firepower. Like many previous tank designs, however, the Army isn’t designing the new light tank itself. Rather, it’s hosting an “industry day” at Fort Bening, during which defense firms can pitch their ideas while discussing elements like mobility, armor ratings, energy, firepower and more.
We still know much about the Army’s new light tank, although officials have hinted towards some specifications. The tank will likely feature light armor, giving it greater speed and agility on the battlefield, but at the cost of armor. And because of its lightweight design, it’s doubtful the new Army’s new tank will feature a traditional 105 mm cannon found in other, heavier tanks. Instead, sources believe it will be equipped with the FGM-148 anti-tank missile or the BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile.
In terms of secondary firepower, the Army’s new light tank will likely feature a 30 mm chain gun like the Mk44 Bushmaster II. Combined with an anti-tank missile, this would make the new tank a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Some people may question the Army’s decision to opt for a light-armored tank instead of a heavier-armored tank. But there’s a reason for the Army’s decision: the new tank will rely on active protection systems to defend against potential threats instead of heavy armor. These systems will detect and neutralize threats before they even reach the tank. Of course, active protection systems are still in the early stages of development and deployment as well, although officials are optimistic that it will strengthen the security of their armored and unarmored forces.
“It will be a lightweight combat vehicle that provides the Infantry Brigade Combat Team long range, precision direct fire capability that ensures freedom of movement and action during joint expeditionary maneuver and joint combined arms operations,” said the Army in a statement to the press.
What do you think of the Army’s new light tank?