Three Factors of Effectiveness in Tank Design
Author Name: Armourgeddon
Posted: 12/04/2016 19:16
Ever sat wondering what design features make for an effective tank? Well if so, read on for the answer! If that question has never entered your mind, read on anyway- tanks are quite intricate in their design and totally fascinating!
Firepower, protection and mobility are the three factors, which determine the capability and effectiveness of a tank. Firepower is the ability for the crew to identify, engage and ultimately destroy the enemy. Protection refers to the tanks ability to remain undetected by the enemy to preserve the tank from enemy fire, remain functional throughout battle and thus retain value. Mobility references the transportability of the tank via rail, sea, road or air to engage- from the staging area of a theatre of war, with the enemy. Mobility also references tactical movement over the battlefield and to overcome obstacles during combat.
A fine line between technology, budgetary restrictions and specification requirements, the design of a tank requires a balance of this triangle of requirements. It is not feasible to maximize firepower, protection and mobility simultaneously whilst engaging latest technology and retaining affordability for sufficient procurement volumes to enter production.
Take the Abrams MBT- good firepower, speed and armour counterbalanced by the engines notoriously high fuel consumption which in turn reduces range and therefore, in the grander sense, mobility.
Those fielded in high number, such as the Tiger I and M60A2 proved too complex and expensive to manufacture and made unsustainable demands on logistics services with frequent mechanical and part-replacement support required. In practice the gains of the T-34 and M4 Sherman as highlighted in last weeks blog, with their simple designs and compromises over engineering allowed the Allies staggering advantage over the German designs and their serious stretching of Wehrmacht logistics divisions in maintaining and fixing the damaged tank divisions. As maintenance still takes up the majority of the activity time of a tank’s crew, the simplest engineering designs remain paramount since WWII despite the strides taken in mechanical, electrical and technical capability. A tank with a broken track still needs to be put back together in a battle scenario.
Since the curtain fell on WWII, a number of more unusual tank designs have appeared with mixed reviews. The Soviet IT-1 and T-64 show great advances in firepower capabilities. The Israeli Merkava and Swedish S-tank lead the charge on protection and the M551 was the first tank created light enough to be deployed by parachute- a significant time passed before it was replicated.
As well as advances in the three main areas of development, the naming of a tank ranks in importance also. Many British tanks are given names beginning with the letter C. Originally presumed to be for (and reference), Cruisers only, recent MBTs have also been given C initialed identifications. Folklore stories prevail around the naming of tanks. For example, Valentine is thought to be so named because it was initially presented on February 14th.
At Armourgeddon, all our Tank Paintball Battle tanks are named. There are stories behind each of them so be sure to ask your instructor for the fable befitting your FV432 be it that you battle in Aimee, Ellie-May, Sandy, Rebecca, Rosie, Connie, Poppy or one of the others. Our tank art is created by a talented local artist who has really developed the essence of each of the characters, which adorn and act as namesake for our fleet.
Our museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm costing £5 for entry. Under 5s go free and anyone taking part in an Armourgeddon activity receives free entry. The collection never fails to impress and we are always available to discuss any specific questions you may have about any tanks or other sections of our displays.