Why aren’t tanks remote control?


How do they make drones effective but can’t do the same with tanks, that are obviously on the ground? There’s no room inside, there’s very little visibility, they’re a deathtrap for the crew if they get stuck or break down. They can’t just put cameras everywhere and figure out a reloading system for the shells? Is it reloading the gun that’s hard?

In: 8

The only major issue with that is connection. In the air you get a clear signal much easier than in a forest or between buildings.

If your tank lost online connection it would just be dead and free to grab for the enemy

Operating the gun takes 2 of the 4 people in a
Russian tank, 1 of the 3 in a US one. More significantly, operating the tank, the gun/turret, and the sensors takes at least 3 people. While I suppose those three people could be in a box someplace, the high bandwidth data link is a dead giveaway – attracting enemy homing bombs.

Tanks are really reliable, and adding a jammable data link looks like a bad idea. Drones can be kept higher up in the air, away from the action, but the whole reason for a tank is to be in the thick of things on the ground.

Remote control how exactly? Wireless communications can be jammed, and if your tanks were controlled with it you can bet that would be the first move.

What other options are there? You could run a physical cable but that would require some infantry following the tank around behind it with a controller. As cramped as a tank is it is much better than running around outside.

Autoloaders for tanks are possible but they tend to be complicated which means prone to breaking down, and bulky which limits ammo capacity. An operator to shove rounds in tends to be cheaper, more reliable, and lighter weight.

We have pretty good autopilots for airplanes. This is because there generally is not much to hit in the air so the autopilots do not need to be very accurate or even recognize other things. So an airplane needs minimal input from the operator. However cars and tanks have to drive around where they can hit things. Even a small ditch needs some care to cross in capable off road vehicles like tanks. You need constant obstacle recognition and avoidance. This practically means that humans needs to be constantly watching and making minor control inputs. And that is very hard to do over a long distance radio link.

There are some remotely operated military vehicles. However they use short distance controls. This is for things like self propelled artillery where drivers seats could be an issue so having the driver in a different vehicle following is sensible. And when you fire the position gets revealed so the driver wants to be as far away from his vehicle as possible, preferably inside a bunker. But long distance remote control is hard to do. Attempts are being made though.

It’s an excellent idea until there gets to be too much stuff between the tank and wherever the signal is coming from.

Basically you don’t want to introduce a system that can be shut off by a faraday cage