Military Review

OMT program: unknown tank and known methods


Soldier Touch Point October Seminar. All the fun is hidden

In order to further develop the ground forces in the United States, the OMT (Optionally Manned Tank) program was launched. Its goal at the moment is to determine the optimal appearance of a promising armored vehicle, which will then form the basis of a real project. So far, we are talking only about the development of the concept, but in the near future the start of new stages is expected.

Taking into account opinions

The United States Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) is developing the OMT concept in collaboration with other organizations. In particular, from the very beginning, the Fort Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence and defense industry enterprises are involved in the project, which may have to produce new equipment.

Seminars and meetings with tankers, called Soldier Touch Point, are held regularly. Military personnel study and evaluate current proposals, as well as bring in new ideas. To date, three such events have already been held, the last of which took place in October. This time, six tankers from the Fort Benning base were involved in evaluating the project.

The servicemen were introduced to four concepts of combat vehicles. With the help of mock-ups and simulators, the tankers considered the current proposals of GVSC and the industry, and then expressed their vision of the project from the point of view of a real operator. It is reported that in the near future the participants of the OMT program will study the results of the last event and draw conclusions, first of all, in the form of changes to existing concepts.

Further activities

Optionally piloted tank"While being created without haste. In the coming months, GVSC and other participants will develop the proposed concepts, taking into account the wishes and suggestions of tankers. The next events involving military personnel and using "virtual prototypes" are expected in 2021-22 FY.

As the program progresses, new experiments will be carried out using computer models. In particular, it is expected to conduct virtual combat tests. This will allow you to identify and correct potential deficiencies in the concept before the design begins, not to mention the operation.

2023 will be decisive for the OMP program. By this time, GVSC plans to complete all concept development and “virtual prototyping” activities. After that, the Pentagon will evaluate the proposed ways of developing armored vehicles and make their decision. It is quite possible that a real tank will be created on the basis of the developments in the current program.

Possible appearance

At the Soldier Touch Point meetings, various materials are constantly present on the proposed options for the OMT tank. Models, posters and presentations are on display. At the same time, such materials have not yet been made available to free access. All OMT-related objects in published event photos are retouched.

Exhibition of achievements of world tank building. New American concepts retouched

So, in one of the photos from the last event, there is a whole exhibition of models of modern armored vehicles. Russian, American, European and other samples stood in one row. Among them were four models, which they decided to hide when processing the photo. These are likely incarnations of the OMT program.

However, not all retouching copes with its tasks, and you can consider some of the features of the proposed armored vehicles, although technical details cannot be established. All four models show tanks of a traditional (or close to it) layout. A rotating turret with weapons is placed on the hull with a tracked chassis. In terms of their dimensions, the OMP concepts, at least, are not inferior to modern MBTs from different countries. In particular, the models turned out to be longer than the Israeli tank "Merkava", but shorter than the Russian T-14.

Secret models from a different angle

An interesting feature of the models is the presence of a large turret with a developed aft recess, which can even reach the rear of the hull. At past events, it was possible to see a tank with a smaller traditional turret. Probably, within the framework of the OMT, the possibility of preserving the habitable architecture or the introduction of a fully automated fighting compartment is being studied.

It is not known for what purpose several variants of the OMT tank are being worked out and proposed at once. Perhaps these are several concepts with different characteristics, from which the best will be chosen in the future. There is also a version about the development of a family of armored vehicles consisting of several samples with different characteristics and tasks. The absence of fundamental differences, even in a retouched form, may hint at the elaboration of several variants of the tank in one class.

A number of key features of the OMT concepts cannot be ascertained from the available materials. In particular, the required characteristics of the engine, capable of providing the required mobility, are unknown. In addition, the question of armaments remains open. For now, with equal probability, one can expect the preservation of 120-mm guns or the use of new systems of increased caliber.

Concept Trainer

The obvious and the unknown

The work on the creation of the OMT concept has been going on for quite some time and has probably produced some results. In the coming years, the development of the optimal appearance of a promising tank will continue. It should result in a change in the face of American armored forces, even in the distant future.

With all this, it should be noted that the appearance of the promising tank has not yet been determined. We are talking only about general concepts, each of which has certain features. In addition, at any moment it can undergo the most serious changes. So far, the most important question remains unanswered: which of the concepts and when will be developed and turn into a full-fledged project.

Due to the lack of technical data, attention should be paid to approaches to the creation of new concepts. GVSC and industrial enterprises are working on the technical part of the project. They regularly show the results of their work to tankers, receive feedback and accept proposals, and then improve the developed concepts.

OMT program: unknown tank and known methods
One of the options for a promising tank, demonstrated earlier

Thus, the Center for Land Vehicles not only liaises with the army, but also consults with those who will have to operate new tanks in the future. It is also important that all this is carried out at the stage of preliminary research - even before the requirements for a promising tank are formed. This approach, in combination with "virtual prototypes", allows you to complete the work in the shortest possible time and without serious expenses.

Working for the future

Work on the Optionally Manned Tank concepts is ongoing and will take several more years. During this time, new events of all kinds will be held, and the Pentagon will continue to publish reports. These messages may again contain certain interesting objects or materials, incl. able to indicate the progress of work and their expected results.

There is not too much data available so far, which makes it impossible to fully evaluate the OMP program from a technical point of view. However, issues of an organizational nature, methods of preliminary research and design, as well as the timing of work are disclosed. All this is also of great interest, since it shows how the processes of creating new American armored vehicles currently look like. Perhaps some of the methods shown should be taken into account and adopted by other countries.
Photos used:
US Army,
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  1. rocket757
    rocket757 11 November 2020 18: 13 New
    They think for a long time, and then ... they will do whatever.
    1. nnm
      nnm 11 November 2020 21: 25 New
      Let me disagree with you, dear colleague.
      It seems to me that it is precisely at first that one should accumulate experience, rework it, play out a lot of forecasts, understand the economy, the possibilities of science and production, analyze the means of counteraction in dynamics, link it with other industries and participants, etc., and only then make a decision and do step
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 12 November 2020 09: 29 New
        Sales, not kidding.
        Statement of fact. Scientific, technological, industrial, economic potential of our .... opponents is GREAT!
        When they stop fooling around, they can, can create and produce everything necessary, of the highest level.
        I, a realist, hurray chants, this is certainly not mine.
  2. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 11 November 2020 18: 32 New
    Well, with a developed aft niche, it's clear - an automatic loader for the maximum number of shots. But it would be interesting to see the general view.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 11 November 2020 19: 04 New
      Yes, there is no general view yet. If you look at more or less serious sources, such as the publications of the Modern War Institute, you can see a clear tendency, I would say, waiting in the field of military technology. This also applies to land combat vehicles, aviation and navy.
      On the one hand, there is a search for possible future models, on the other hand, there is "slowness" and all real efforts are concentrated around the modernization of weapons already in use.
      The term until 2023 in this case was not taken by chance. Currently, the military is faced with a kind of dilemma, on the one hand, it is necessary to develop military equipment, on the other, some fundamentally new discoveries in the field of science and technology, which would make it possible to radically increase the performance characteristics in comparison with the existing ones, while there is still no and much easier and cheaper upgrading available. If some revolutionary breakthroughs do not take place in the next three to five years, then no fundamental new models of military equipment can be expected. Therefore, the current "general view" will give nothing.
      Although the experts are working on the "blurred photos".
  3. Bad_gr
    Bad_gr 11 November 2020 22: 10 New
    Now, as a driver-mechanic, it is not clear to me why the driver's hatch should be pushed under the tower itself, where he can get out from, even with a favorable location of the tower, it is problematic, I am already silent about the other location of the tower. The upper armor plate of the concept, that of the same Abrams, has an almost horizontal position and the forward shift of the hatch, practically does not change anything in the armor protection of the tank, but it will allow the driver to leave the car freely.
    At us, for example, at object-187, the hatch is placed in front of the driver's viewing devices, which is no longer bad.
    But on the T-90, this solution did not get.
    By the way, the T-14 is fine with this.
    1. Old tanker
      Old tanker 12 November 2020 06: 43 New
      Colleague, it's simple. On the Abrams and Challengers in a combat position, the driver is reclining. And if you slide the hatch out from under the tower, you will have to lengthen the nose of the car. And this, in addition to increasing the size and weight, leads to a change in the centering of the machine.
  4. Lad
    Lad 11 November 2020 23: 08 New
    there are no fundamentally new discoveries in the field of science and technology that would make it possible to dramatically increase the performance characteristics in comparison with the existing ones.

    The biggest breakthrough right now is in the use of drones. They are already being introduced slowly. It is clear that it is still incomplete, but we are talking about a promising tank. And wars are won with the most advanced weapons. Therefore, it seems to me that they shouldn't be thinking about the optionally manned tank. Places for the crew will hang with a weight on the tank. By getting rid of the crew, you can immediately improve the performance characteristics by reducing size, weight, increasing speed, etc. Plus, it is necessary to work on the protection of the tank's radio control line in order to correct it on the battlefield from the "nearest trench".
    1. Bad_gr
      Bad_gr 12 November 2020 00: 01 New
      Quote: Lad
      The biggest breakthrough right now is in the use of drones.

      Imagine a situation: unmanned tanks were sent to support the fighters who are fighting in the city. The enemy turned on electronic warfare and hammered the remote control frequencies of these tanks. In order to act in such a situation, a tank needs brains that must determine where their own, where a stranger, where a civilian and make decisions in non-standard situations, for which life is so generous. Are modern drones capable of this?
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 12 November 2020 16: 07 New
        The solution in case of loss of connection can be, for example, this:
        "the tank departs along the same route as
        moved forward. "Until the connection was restored.
        This is how aerial drones are programmed: lost
        communication - fly autonomously to your base.
        1. Bad_gr
          Bad_gr 12 November 2020 18: 50 New
          Quote: voyaka uh
          "the tank departs along the same route as
          moving forward. "

          That is, he will not fulfill the assigned task (support of the troops). And what will happen to those who counted on this and remained under enemy fire? An explanation like "but the technique was not lost" will not work here.
          1. voyaka uh
            voyaka uh 12 November 2020 19: 44 New
            I assume that the first unmanned tanks will not be MBT,
            and tankettes for combat reconnaissance. They will be sent without
            infantry escort - forward. To open firing points
            enemy. In this case, if the connection is lost, they will crawl away
            back without substituting the infantry. Although not completing the task.
            1. madrobot
              madrobot 15 November 2020 06: 32 New
              I believe that the unmanned MBT is generally more from the sci-fi area. Too much in the tactics of using MBT is tied to the personal skill of the mechanics. Well, or again to return to the concept of a remotely controlled tank, which, of course, is not at all equivalent to a drone. The only big plus is the relative safety for the crew. Everything else is solid "cons".
      2. Lad
        Lad 14 November 2020 22: 34 New
        Are able.
        With well-known limitations that will decrease over time.
        1) Man-driven tanks are also not capable of everything and have limitations.
        2) "Scored with frequencies" is not a sentence. This is just an opportunity. And, as with any such possibility, in the concept of "sword and shield" fighting it can also be fought.

        The winner is not the one who has a good shield or sword, the one who is ahead of the enemy by at least a couple of years in the development of the shield or sword wins.
        And drones are the inevitable future. To win, you need to constantly move forward.
  5. riwas
    riwas 12 November 2020 04: 10 New
    American ATLAS system.
    The principle of operation is as follows: after turning on the system, the optoelectronic and infrared sensors located on the tank turret begin to rotate, scanning the terrain. All data goes to the central processor. The electronic brain, using machine learning algorithms, automatically detects targets, independently determines their type, speed, and removal.
    Visual information in real time is transmitted to the touchscreen of the tank commander. On the left side of the screen, images of detected targets are lined up in a column, and a picture from a cannon is displayed in the center. The commander just needs to poke his finger into the enemy tank, and the automatics will do everything by itself

    Something similar was proposed in Russia back in 1999.
    And even there was an article in "Technics-Youth" for May 2000 entitled "Tactics dictate technology."
    1. Lad
      Lad 14 November 2020 22: 38 New
      What's the point of what was proposed? And weren't there similar articles in magazines in other countries before?
      What matters is what is done, and proposals do not fight on the battlefield.
  6. Kostya Lavinyukov
    Kostya Lavinyukov 12 November 2020 16: 40 New
    Dream work.