Military research and development is an area of utmost importance for any nation. It gives them the means to maintain sovereignty in the face of an impending threat. Moreover, it also allows them to influence fellow nations through what we call “hard power.”
Throughout history, we’ve witnessed many remarkable breakthroughs in military tech. One such stellar achievement in warfare was the invention of the battle tank in the latter half of the 20th century.
Battle tanks or main battle tanks are mighty powerful war machines that can turn the tide of a conflict at any moment. Today’s battle tanks offer the offensive and defensive qualities of a super-heavy tank and a heavy tank, respectively. At the same time, it provides the maneuverability of a light tank and weighs in the range of a medium tank. Due to this mix of features, these tanks are also called universal tanks.
Not only do battle tanks pack significant firepower, but they can also even sustain direct fire, thanks to their heavily armored exterior. Additionally, they can even crush other vehicles under their weight. Here’s a clip that shows battle tanks running over cars and crushing them.
Battle tank origins
When the first fleet of tanks was developed in the U.K. for use in World War I, there were different tanks for different purposes. That was due to there being a trade-off between maneuverability and armor. While the cruiser tank proved suitable for quick movement, infantry tanks were suitable for combat-heavy scenarios where mobility took a backseat.
The idea of a universal tank capable of handling both roles emerged with the introduction of the U.K.’s Centurion tank in the 1940s. However, it wasn’t until around the 1960s that battle tanks became a new class of tanks, thanks to extensive development in the U.S. Incidentally, this breakthrough came during the Cold War when the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were at loggerheads with each other.
Battle tank features
Battle tanks are versatile military vehicles that can carry out an offense with their armor-piercing rounds as well as shield themselves using high-end armor. In battle, these tanks are usually deployed with infantry support and aerial support from low-altitude attack aircraft.
Coming to attacking specs, main battle tanks boast 100-125mm caliber primary guns supported by a fire-control system. These are effective against enemy personnel, armored vehicles, and even fortifications. Additionally, these tanks have 2-4 machine guns that can take down foot soldiers and light vehicles. For tackling aerial threats, universal tanks come with anti-aircraft machine guns capable of downing attack bombers.
For its defense, battle tanks are equipped with a thick layer of sophisticated armor, especially at the front. They rely on radar technology to detect and timely repel aerial attacks. To avoid enemy radar, tanks also use stealth technologies that make detection harder.
What do you think about the sheer power of this tank? Tell us in the comments below. While you are here, do check out the biggest Japanese-built aircraft in history.