Unmanned Combat Ground Vehicle


rhino123

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We have always heard of UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), I was wondering if we could have UCGV? I have read some articles on UGV or UCGV that was either in testing phase or had been phased in in Western nations, but I have not seen any in China's context.

Since China had huge number of Type 59 MBT that was slowly being phased out and replaced by Type 96 and 99, I was wondering if it is feasible to convert these tanks to unmanned version?

And if there are any tanks that had been converted to UCGV at all? If not, why?
 

siegecrossbow

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You mean remote controlled tanks? I believe the Soviets had them since WWII! However I am unsure if China is doing the same thing.
 

rhino123

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Something like that... the concept is to use driverless tanks and pit them (large number) into battlefield for various combat missions.

These tanks can act as force multiplier for infantry units, a few of them could be controlled by a single command MBT in a armour formation, etc, etc.

Would be quite effective... especially when a number of Type 59 is going to be retired soon... these tanks could be converted into unmanned version of UCGV.
 

siegecrossbow

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Something like that... the concept is to use driverless tanks and pit them (large number) into battlefield for various combat missions.

These tanks can act as force multiplier for infantry units, a few of them could be controlled by a single command MBT in a armour formation, etc, etc.

Would be quite effective... especially when a number of Type 59 is going to be retired soon... these tanks could be converted into unmanned version of UCGV.
Haha that is sounding more and more like the converted J-6/J-7 attack drone idea :). I think the only problem with the plan is that tanks, like planes, need maintenance to stay operational.

Another thing that they could potentially do is to put "fake" Type 99/Type 96 armor over these tanks so they could serve as potential decoys in a battle.
 

rhino123

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Actually I am thinking more of using these driverless vehicles in battles, not just as decoys but as actual attack platform... that could be use to augment the type 99 and type 96... so as to cut down on the number of tanks needed and making the armoured force leaner and meaner...

It will also cut down on casaulty rate as many of the dangerous missions could be handed over to the UCGV.
 

siegecrossbow

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Good plan except for one detail. How are we supposed to drive the vehicles? Do we have APCs filled with geeky Computer nerds controlling the tanks from afar?
 

rhino123

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Good plan except for one detail. How are we supposed to drive the vehicles? Do we have APCs filled with geeky Computer nerds controlling the tanks from afar?
Maybe:rofl: maybe they can hire me.:p

Seriously though, maybe they could have a command tank or something, which is something like one APC or MBT that commanded five or more unmanned tanks in one armoured squadron.
 

siegecrossbow

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Command tanks do sound like an intriguing idea. Right now new PLA tanks like the type-99 could only hold three people so I think the APC would be better suited for the task. The vehicle should have low profile (not distinguishable from other APCs) and probably would need heavy protection by other tanks/armored vehicles.

Another issue would be the reloading of projectiles on the RC tanks. I am pretty sure auto-loaders would be required (cause they are remote controlled) and I think the only Chinese tanks with autoloaders are Type-96 onwards. Do you know whether the autoloader conversion process will be costly for the PLA?
 

rhino123

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I am not sure if the conversion would be expensive, but I believe if they could actually use the cheapest first generation autoloader they could actually bring the overall cost down by quite a bit.

Anyway, the UCGV's main idea is that they could provide very good firepower, had enough armour protection against normal infantry and light armoured troops, expendable, and would cut down on ownself's casaulty rate as compare to using conventional armoured regiments or squadrons.
 

siegecrossbow

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I think the concept would work great going by your description (going against infantry/light vehicles). Perhaps we should consider eliminating the tank gun all together? Complex mechanisms are prone to jamming so I think we should refit the turret with a machinegun/ anti-tank missiles. That should make it a lot simpler to maintain.
 

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