The idea of installing a powerful weapon on a light wheel armored chassis led to introducing a new combat vehicle.
The result of all our relentless design efforts, notably the second half of the twentieth century, resulted in a wheeled tank that appeared not to be much inferior to a vehicle. Classic main battle tank (MBT) using a crawler chassis.
The wheeled tank has the most conspicuous advantage of its relatively lightweight and this simplifies equipment transport.
The mass of a wheeled tank with additional armor plates and anti-tank rocket nets should not exceed 20-25 tons, much less than any MBT. So maneuvering the wheeled combat vehicles is a much easier task.
The ability to transport a wheeled tank by military transport aircraft is one of the main reasons it is being developed and served increasingly widely in a number of armies around the world.
In modern armed conflicts, it was necessary to bring equipment to a hot spot, and the military quickly came to a sensible decision: relatively light vehicles, such as armored vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, and wheeled tanks, will be first on the battlefield.
Furthermore, MBT units and self-propelled artillery can then be taken to the site of combat. Armored vehicles, including wheeled tanks, will therefore be assigned the function of a highly mobile combat unit to support ground forces.
In addition, the wheeled tank has a higher travel speed, which gives the advantage of maneuverability. This vehicle is also much less damaging to the road surface.
|Can a wheeled tank replace a traditional main battle tank?|
However, the wheeled tank’s disadvantage is also very noticeable, first of all, its poor off-roading ability. Such tanks move very quickly on asphalt and dirt roads, but they lose to armored vehicles on track as soon as they exit.
Another limitation is the poor level of protection. Due to the lightweight, it has weak armor that makes both advantages and disadvantages. Wheeled tanks cannot be used in combat like the MBT, nor can they be against the MBT. It is more suitable for destroying light armored vehicles.
Wheeled tanks are more suitable for urban areas where you can’t use tracked-based tanks effectively, and large-scale military operations will not occur. It is best suited for urban combat.
Not only that, in actual combat conditions, the huge top-speed advantage is difficult to determine due to the lack of good roads and the traction of the wheeled tanks much less than the crawler vehicle. Additionally, undercarriage and wheel wear when operating on rough terrain is much higher than expected.
Based on the advantages and disadvantages, the conclusion shows that the wheeled tank itself cannot completely replace the MBT, because it lags far behind in some basic characteristics.
In the future, of course, this weapon will continue to be developed and will likely follow the path of improving protection, while maintaining a reasonable combat volume.
And of course, the reality of modern military conflicts, including the involvement of this operational vehicle, will shape the look of a future wheeled tank.