Is the Ripsaw M5 electric robot tank too dangerous?
Human tank operators can get exhausted, emotional and even disoriented. Robots are tireless, impartial and able to withstand the harshest of conditions.
If you have watched the first Terminator movie, you can understand why people are not too keen on military and robots mixing. But that would require real artificial intelligence, which we are still nowhere near achieving. A.I., in the modern sense of the word, is nothing more than programmed algorithms mimicking intelligence. A.I. is still a controversial subject, and this is not the article for that argument for taking place.
The Ripsaw M5 tank, unveiled in 2019 by Howe & Howe, takes into account issues military had with the Ripsaw luxury tank. While the Ripsaw E.V. series luxury light tank was a remarkable piece of technology, it did not fit in with the real military application. It was too lightly armoured to be a light tank, and could not carry enough personnel compared to other armoured personnel carriers. The one thing Ripsaw E.V. series was, it was fast and arguably a very useful over many tough terrains.
Electric engines have more torque than fuel engines, even more torque than the jet fuel-powered turbine engines of the US Abram tanks. High torque allows a smoother acceleration of heavy tanks; this means the Ripsaw M5 can not only be faster, but it can accelerate faster than most tanks in the world today. Heavy machinery twisting, accelerating and changing directions too quickly can injure and disorientate any tank operator. Which is why making the Ripsaw M5 a robotic tank makes a lot of sense. The M5 does come in petrol and diesel engines in earlier variants too.
Unmanned vehicle application
Currently, the Ripsaw M5 electric tank design works the same way a military drone does, in a secure cargo container equipped with remote control operation technology. But is that the best way to deploy a ground combat unit? Unlike aerial drones, which cant implemented in mass, tanks need to perform in volume. A single tank or even a handful of robot tanks would not make for a good strategy. A fully autonomous tank would cost way too much and require a tremendous programming effort and field testing. What we need is a system that comprises of both.
If a group of ten semi-autonomous tanks accompanies one unmanned tank, this could mean a less complicated A.I. programming is required. So the semi-autonomous tanks can listen, respond and protect the master unmanned tank operated remotely. Should the master tank be destroyed, unmanned controls would transfer over to the next available semi-autonomous tank.
Such a 'hive' type strategy would allow for many tactical formations. During the old era of battle, with swords and shields; formations were crucial to victory on the battlefield. A team of people controls independent and manned tanks, but it would be impossible to expect formations during harsh battle conditions. The coordination of managing the battlefield and formation is too absurd for any driver to maintain. Semi-autonomous robot tanks can easily encircle, protect and even provide reconnaissance data for the unmanned master tank. On the other end of the unmanned tank could sit not one, but an entire team of operators. Looking at various information on the battlefield fed remotely, both through the eyes of the tanks, aerial and satellite sensed data too.
Versus a team of manned tanks, the Ripsaw M5 could move at high speeds around the battlefield, while maintaining accurate firing capabilities. Even if an enemy tank sees the unmanned tank first, it could not lock on effectively and allows the unmanned Ripsaw M5 plenty of opportunity to gather data and retaliate.
The Ripsaw M5 electric robot tank is not extremely dangerous to the enemy, yet. Unlike other tanks, it does have the potential of winning a battle swiftly, even before it runs out of battery. Provided there is a way to transport the hive tanks close to the battlefront as possible.
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