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The New Version of the M1 Abrams is Unmanned

It’s like a remote-controlled toy car, but it’s a main battle tank. A real-life tank that can crush everything in its path. And it’s tough, too.

There are many obstacles to be dealt with in ground warfare such as a “countermobility plan” that seek to impede the enemy’s movement. This type of plan would usually involve digging trenches, planting landmines or anti-tank mines and constructing anti-tank barriers.

To combat this countermobility plan, attacking forces also have their own secret weapon (you could call them the “counter-counter mobility plan”, I guess) — combat engineers aka sappers. These men are highly trained to remove such obstacles in the battlefield in order for their battalion to stay on the offensive. However, this would mean that they will be the ones in the front lines, facing bullets, land mines, and every kind of obstacle. As a result, many of them die. Is there a way to stay on the offensive while avoiding casualties? Hopefully, there is.

When the U.S. Army developed a new vehicle designed to literally blast and plow its way through enemy defenses, the M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle, it decided only the M1 Abrams main battle tank was tough enough to survive on the front line. The Assault Breacher Vehicle removes the vehicle’s turret and main gun and instead adds a mine plow, dozer blade, ordnance removal charges, and an explosive mine-clearing system.
The ABV can plow through wire barriers, fill trenches, blow a lane through minefields with a rocket-propelled linear explosive charge, and smash anti-tank barriers. The ABV increases protection versus anti-tank rockets and missiles with reactive armor boxes bolted to the superstructure.

The Assault Breacher Vehicle gets a new modification: it becomes unmanned through another vehicle.

A new vehicle, the Robotic Complex Breach Concept vehicle, RCBC takes the M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle and unmans it, with the vehicle operated remotely by a soldier in the rear. The Assault Breacher Vehicle was already wired with a full suite of outward-facing cameras to allow soldiers inside the vehicle to do their jobs (sticking your head outside a hatch during actual combat would be too dangerous), so these cameras were probably just linked to a wireless networking system. A remote steering and equipment operation system was added to the vehicle and the ABV became the RCBC.

I guess the future would just be full of remote-controlled vehicles, and the guys who have better technology and control over their contraptions would come out of the battle as winners.

What do you think?

(Image Credit: okrajoe/ YouTube)

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