The British, Marines and others are down sizing or eliminating tanks. This article provides a real world piece of evidence for their position.
Brings up good points but Marines still should have tanks. They still haven’t addressed killing drones.
The piece I do not know in the tank vs drone is the anti drone capability. A drone does not have to be a giant predator at a zillion dollars per copy. A small drone that caries only one hellfire missile may be very hard to detect and easy to deploy on scene. With frequency hopping hardware it would be hard to jam. If you just jammed everything your own forces are effected. Maybe the inability to consistently stop drones is part of what is leading the tank reduction decisions.
Seems like ECM measures are needed…
Before hasty judgements that tanks are rendered obsolete, do remember that drones armed with ATGMs are often “top-down/look-down…shoot-down” attacks. In forests with heavy tree canopy, urban warfare, tunnels, dense areas, and cover, etc., a “look-down/shoot-down” capability isn’t going to get all the targets.
These AFVs were out in the open and exposed, hence easy pickings for ATGM-armed drones. If one needs direct fire support and “straight-line shooters,” then drones aren’t the ideal weapon system but a tank cannon and machine guns are. There has been countless video footage online of air attacks where the intended target(s) ran away (perhaps wounded) because the explosion and destructive energy went mostly into the air and spared the targets; it was a direct vertical hit that didn’t kill as intended.
Furthermore, I think that the ATGM’s warhead was often too large for the ERA protecting the tanks. As the photos show, these tanks sport small ERA bricks, but was the ERA filled with explosives before the attack? Explosive Reactive Armor needs the EXPLOSIVES inserted to become REACTIVE or else that is just hollow armor blocks sitting on the tank’s turret and hull. Also, these armies didn’t follow training of popping smoke grenades and turning on smoke generators to hide in the smoke to avoid more drone attacks…they didn’t take evasive action, nor did any of them fire wildly into the sky with the AA MGs. I wonder if they knew what hit them.
I noticed that the drone operator targeted the unprotected engine decking on many tanks. Video show that some tanks still drove with their engines on fire…the tank and crew supposedly survived.
While ATGM drones are indeed interesting and very useful, they are not ideal for everything that needs a line-of-sight direct tank cannon, 40 rounds, and two or three machine guns with thousands of rounds to support the fight. Tanks have staying power until they run out of fuel, ammo, or are damaged or destroyed…and that is what makes tanks valuable. UAVs are just another aerial layer in the “layering bubble” of the battlefield.