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Submitted on
December 2, 2012
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Snow, Ash, and the City by MikeDoscher Snow, Ash, and the City by MikeDoscher
This design springs from a discussion I had with another artist as to the features, role, and scale of a 175 ton tank. From there, it's now become the worst Christmas card imaginable.

Here's the background and specs of the tank, courtesy of :iconmisterartmaster101:

Now, this is the M6 'Schwarzkopf' of the revitalized United States of America. Due to advanced nano-tech and computers, materials science has advanced to a level unheard of previously. The reason it's so heavy is that most of the anti-tank weapons are either a) light-speed, b) near-light speed, or c) ranges from 8-12km/s in velocity. There is no 'dogging' in this world.

ECM as we know it is a thing of the past as Electronic Counter-Wave Measures has taken to the field making current E-War tactics useless (due to the fact the ECWM essentially cancels out RADAR and LIDAR and scrambles IR within a certain threshold that the ECWM unit has). Missiles have to be high quality to keep the FCS guessing or in massive quantities in order to breach the active defense system (composed on this model a .50 cal plasma auto-cannon) and the system's fire control which has a reaction time in tens of nano-seconds which is also tied in with the rest of the armament.

The linear cannon, a 150mm coil gun, fires off a 20 kilo round at 10km/s and comes in pure kinetic (rarely used because technology has overcome the offense>defense mentality thanks to rapid prototyping of armor and energy fields (and you still have to make a platform to utilize a more powerful weapon, which to conquer said defensive systems you need better materials and/or power plants to fire said weapon)), Plasma Jet or 'PlasJet' round (think HEAT on steroids and you get the idea), and High Explosive (Razor) Fragmentation or HEF (think Frag-Rounds but seriously OP against modern equipment, each fragment can detonate as well... and this is designed to go up against power armor that requires .50cal API rounds that are within the 13-14kJ energy ballpark to kill those within the lightest of PAs), and the affectionately named 'Mini-Reaper' 1.5kt miniature antimatter induced fusion warheads.

The .50cal HMGs, M2B4 series of HMGs (Ma Duse Mk II), fire high density rounds that explode inside the target at a velocity of 3km/s or more. The last weapon is a Free Electron Laser tuned to the UV-B wavelength. This is enough to kill an M1A2 with TUSK instantly with enough energy for a M8 AGS afterward.

The pic you see here is probably taken after the initial nuclear holocaust during the end of World War III or during the Siberian Campaign in the early days of WWIII in some random city. The guys in picture are a rare Union of Free Nations (the alliance the US is a part of in this world) 'light infantry' unit. Rare because cybernetics and power armor have replaced body armor as a means of protection completely in the Union and the Corporatist Confederation, even the 'body armor' is essentially a form fitting exoskeleton with advanced body armor on it that is resistant to modern battle rifle rounds. The Shino-Shiite Coalition however don't have the equipment to pump out high quality, low maintenance PAs and cybernetics so they use low grade 'body armor' similar to the Union and Corporatist's use for their mainstay army.
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Unb3kann1 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014
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AbyssalDaemon Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
I like the design for the most part, but the turret doesn't look at flexible.
psymonster1974 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013
People in the past have tried to convince me that tanks are obsolete tech, but with active defences like these I don't think so. Where can I learn more about your pseudo-history?
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well, the background isn't mine, in this case. There's a link to the fellow who wrote it in the description. :)

The tank is an interesting vehicle, and has had a role that's evolved in some interesting ways. True, the thinking was that the MBT was vulnerable to air attack to a degree that voided its effectiveness back in the late 80s through early 90s. Massed armor without air and infantry support will always be vulnerable, though. In the last decade we saw the improvement of MANPADS to the degree that the helicopter gunship seemed vulnerable, so the balance keeps changing.

It used to be that an urban environment was the last place in the world you wanted a tank, but as portable antitank threats have become more potent, they're the most survivable platform you can use. (Never attempt this without supporting infantry, however. ><)

Pardon the aside. It's got me looking at the tea leaves. :)
psymonster1974 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013

Ah sorry missed the link in my eagerness to devour the specs. I've checked out his page now.

I think the design of the Merkava kind of vindicates the role of supporting infantry because it has that little hatch in the back where a squad can sit, turning it into a pseudo-APC. Combined arms is always likely to be the way to go, any advances that turn some tech into a 'silver bullet' just seem to encourage faster growth of countermeasures. I'm interested to see how other nations will react to the dominance of the F-22 Raptor for example, the only thing I can think of is that they will have to do something to mess up its BVR targeting or perhaps counter its missiles more effectively so it has to pull into closer range to fight. If everyone is stealthed out with awesome ECM we may even see a return of WW2 style dogfights at visual range.. 

As for tanks the trend lately seems to have been for more and heavier armour while still retaining respectable speeds, but I wonder if they were to carry weapons like this beast would any amount of armour save them, so might the response be to go for light super fast tanks that are harder to hit with kinetic weapons (maybe hovercraft), or just create swarms of drone tanks to overwhelm it.

MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional General Artist
This design takes the concept a little further than I personally would have gone with. The weight of the gun and armor pushes the vehicle to a point where recovery, repair, and ground pressure are serious liabilities.

The F-22 is an interesting aircraft, but I can't help but think it may be the last manned fighter that we'll see in any sort of quantity.

I wouldn't be surprised if future armor isn't heavily augmented by unmanned units as well, with the weapon system in a separate vehicle than the controller. I don't know, though. 
martinsilen Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
Cool picture!
acebird1234 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool very cool.
excell-sama Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
its a gauss cannon right? i love gauss cannons x3
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
It sure is! :)
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