TURTLE
(Battlefield UAV and ULV Controller.)

MOBILE PILLBOX WITH SPINNING ARMOR

Rippled Armor Surface

The US Army is Heavy Footed


Today's mechanized divisions are built around the 70 ton Abrams tank. This complex and clumsy vehicle is expensive to build, difficult to maintain, and hard to keep fueled. Because of its great weight it is not easily or quickly brought into a war zone. Moreover, it is an outdated WWII weapon at the mercy of the newest, very cheap and very powerful shaped-charges.

Needed is a powerful self-propelled field piece which -

        * Is easily inserted into any battle zone.
        * Is relatively cheap and expendable.
        * Can destroy armor, smash fortifications and terrify
           infantry as it rushes audaciously across every terrain.
        * AND is operated by a crew that is out of harm's way.

The answer is a remotely operated, self propelled cannon, coupled to a video camera. It can be controlled from an airborn platform but most effectively from a mobile pillbox.

That vehicle has an inner and outer hull. The latter is a free swinging shell of Chobham/Burlington armor swiveling from a hydraulic pivot. It dissipates the power of anti-tank rounds by spinning away the kinetic energy.

The Turtle consists of two identical 18 ton units each of which can be parachuted or helicoptered. Each is tracked and independently mobile. Any two are quickly assembled on the ground into a complete pillbox. A three man crew maneuvers the Turtle and controls one or more self-propelled cannons in the manner armed UAVs are maneuvered and fired. (The Turtle's video monitors and electronics are also capable of controlling UAVs.)

Effectively the Abrams is deconstructed into an agile field piece and a separate heavily protected, tracked crew cockpit. Gained is the high mobility of an airdropped armored vehicle, the punch of powerful artillery, and unprecedented crew protection. Left behind is the danger of fighting amidst high explosives, and dependence on sea transports or airfields.

The enemy, instead of facing a single opponent, faces two. Should a cannon be put out of action the Turtle has the option of maneuvering another cannon. If a Turtle is damaged, as it consists of two independently engined modules, the crew can escape in the undamaged unit. Moreover control of a cannon that has lost its Turtle can be assumed by another Turtle, or by airborn operators.

The illustration shows two independently mobile, tracked armored units, capable of being air-dropped or helicoptered. Two such units are joined to form one Turtle. Its radar, cameras and electronics control unmanned land vehicles (ULVs) as well as UAVs.

The Turtle's eyes are video cameras, its own and those on the vehicles it controls. The Turtle is entered and exited from below in the way an auto mechanic rolls under an auto.

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        For a different approach see: An anti-Terror Weapon    Baseball