First some general comments: *
Originally Posted by Darth Ice
What effects, do you think, that robotics will have on the modern battle feild and modern tactics/strategies?
Don’t assume that robots will replace humans, instead think humans + robots. *
Any vehicle can be roboticized. Consider the implications. Problems *
For the foreseeable future shoot / don’t shoot decisions will have to remain in human control. The only laws currently available for autonomously acting mechanisms are those pertaining to mines, and a fully autonomous robot could easily qualify as indiscriminant. *
The enemy is not stupid. You need to think about asymmetric threats. A big weakness is the sensor systems. When they tested the SWORDS robot in Iraq one was disabled when the belligerents sent out a woman (i.e. non-combatant) who draped a shawl over it. Similar effects can be achieved using thrown mud and paintballs. Mobility can be block by something as simple as a rope across an alley or hallway. Solving these problems will probably require adding some form of manipulatory limb, which will require MAJOR upgrades in computing power and probably some form of AI. *
True AI systems will be undesirable until we can guarantee against logic sequences such as: “Enemies are people trying to destroy me. The lieutenant keeps sending me into situations where I may be destroyed. Therefore the lieutenant is an enemy. (Followed by a loud BANG, and a call to graves registration)”. *
Robots have problems interacting with the local population. You need human manpower for COIN operations, peacekeeping, etc. Robots that are not at least partially humanoid will have problems securing prisoners and collecting intelligence. *
Robots do poorly in urban combat because of the needs to climb stairs, ladders and ropes, jump gaps, etc. Basically you need a robot that can compete at parkour
. Advantages *
Robots can integrate data from multiple sensors better on the fly. They can also observe all 360° continuously, this will reduce response time of the entire unit in many combat situations, such as ambushs, significantly. *
Robots can respond faster than humans *
Robots aim better than humans (except snipers). The gun mount can also be stabilized to fire on the move.
Ten (about) people maning machine guns would be replaced by ten robots controled by one person safely tucked away in a bunker.
If there is anything that a combat robot can do well would be this. The only reason that I can think of for not starting on it yet is an ongoing shortage of CROWS mounts. Production may not catch up with demand for a decade of so due to budget limitations.
Permanent bases should have them on disappearing/popup mounts to prevent them from being sniped. Temporary walled bases can use tripods mounts and a power cable to keep the batteries topped off. Using mobile armed robots except as backup is probably not desirable. A vehicle lager can just network all the vehicle through a command unit, even supply vehicle if equipped with robotic weapons. And a vehicle convoy can respond the same way on the road, so it could qualify as a rolling fortress.
Personally, I think that the stadarad squad size will be reduced to around three men and ten robots.
Too few people. *
If you lose one you will lose ability to coordinate 1/3 to ½ your firepower. *
Not enough people organic to the squad to refuel and rearm the robots, or perform maintenance. *
Other problems noted above.
Consider this concept for a mounted infantry squad. A 13 man squad on roboticized quad-bikes, with CROWS mounts loaded with a mix of MMG (suppressive fire), M-312/307 (point fire), and 40mm AGL (indirect fire). *
HQ team (3) -- squad leader, com/sensor coordinator, designated sharpshooter *
2x fireteams (5) – team leader/bot-handler, automatic rifleman, 2x riflemen, grenadier *
Com/sensor coordinator has satellite uplink and recon drones, and may also function as a forward observer to call in artillery support. If a missile launcher is available it will usually be carried by the sharpshooter. Fire team members could carry one disposable AT/bunker buster rocket on each bike.
In combat the team members dismount and the bot-handler organizes the robots into a base of fire element while the other 4 team members become the maneuver element. On the move this unit would rely on dispersal rather than armor to minimize casualties. The individual members would be vulnerable to IEDs, but this could be minimized somewhat by emphasizing the quad-bikes ability to travel places larger armored vehicles cannot. Available firepower should be greater than 2x a mechanized infantry squad.
A smaller 10 man version could be built using removing the designated sharpshooter and one rifleman from each fire team.
EOD will be replace by robots. And things like that.
Telefactors/waldos for EOD. The bomb builders are always trying something new to get the disarmer, human or robot. The robots are more expendable than humans, but human paranoia allows them to be used more than once.
Telepresence could solve some of the non-combat manning issues.