What comes after the M1 Abrams, the Army’s massive Reagan-era main battle tank? “Everything is on the table at this point,” the service’s armor modernization director, Maj. Gen. Richard Ross Coffman, says. He didn’t give many details so I asked experts to speculate.
To my surprise, everyone we talked to, from retired Army tankers and industry experts to drone-loving futurists, agreed that manned armored vehicles of some kind will still have a place in future wars. Why? Human soldiers will still need a way to move about the battlefield under armor protection, and they’ll need it even – or especially – when killer drones swarm the skies. After all, it’s far easier for the enemy to build a drone that can kill an exposed human than one that can penetrate an armored vehicle.
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