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United Kingdom The Military Technology

British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks 163

concertina226 writes The U.K. branch of global defense firm General Dynamics is working on a futuristic state-of-the-art smart-tank to replace the British Army's aging armored vehicle fleet, to be delivered to the Ministry of Defense in 2020. The Scout SV armored vehicle is the first fully-digitized armored fighting vehicle to have been built for the British Army, and is far bigger and more durable than any of its existing tanks, which are now at least 20 years old. The tank comes in six variants that can be customized with a tools for different missions, and has numerous sensors, cameras, and sights to offer real-time intelligence on weather conditions, target acquisition, and reconnaissance — all crucial battlefield data required by commanders to access and direct situations. "With the capability in the Scout SV, we're really looking for the type of people who play Xbox games – tech-savvy people who are able to take in a lot of information and process it in the proper way," says Kevin Connell, the vice president for General Dynamic UK's Land Systems Regiment.
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British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks

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  • Sign me up (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @05:30AM (#48219231) Homepage

    I consider myself capable of flying or driving anything from remote aircraft, aircraft carriers, submarines, and tanks in a remote setting.

    • You play a lot of video games with just one life?
      • Re:Sign me up (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @07:39AM (#48219601) Homepage

        Yes, I don't actually enjoy games that have respawn nearly as much as ones that don't, or have expensive consequences.

        E.G I love Eve online, losing a ship is expensive, it doesn't respawn, you have to buy another one, full cost. Except if your alliance helps you out.

        Or games like diablo 3, hard core mode only.
        Simulation mode in war thunder, planes and tanks get a single life.

        I wish there were more games that had that consequence that makes you really not want to die or lose your assets, but a lot of people don't go for it.

        • I got myself a pretty nice ship in EVE. Tanked-to-hell Hyperion for use in PvP - it would have been able to take a severe beating, and dished out a decent DPS too.

          It was so expensive, I could never risk actually taking it out the hanger.

        • Diablo 3 Hardcore is a fundamentally broken mode, I wouldnt use that as an example. The only way hardcore could possibly work is in offline mode only.
      • 20K+ battles in world of tanks, one life per battle. Why anyone would WANT to play for real is beyond me.
        • One life? Tanks usually have a crew of three or four people: commander, driver, gunner, and ammo-jockey.
  • Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fleeped ( 1945926 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @05:47AM (#48219267)
    Let's increase the mental distance between killing people. "With the capability in the Scout SV, we're really looking for the type of people who play Xbox games – tech-savvy people who are able to take in a lot of information and process it in the proper way," AKA: "With the capability in the Scout SV, we're really looking for the type of people who play Xbox games – trigger-happy twitchy gamers who are able to follow commands, complete objectives, ask no questions, question no commands. No critical thinking required"
    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      Actually, modern full scale combat is going a long way towards reducing the number of people who will be killed in conflict. The point of ground warfare is to take and dominate ground and systems like this make it happen more quickly and efficiently. That's a good thing.
      • Uhm yes, and when your enemy is not as technologically advanced, you can blast them in the old fashioned way.
        Even if they are, it's not like they're gonna have a huge arrow pointing at the command center or whatever. Of course in such cases, you can always do pre-emptive strikes.
        What do you think? It's gonna be a team deathmatch, and the losers move away from the computers? Dream on.
      • Actually, modern full scale combat is going a long way towards reducing the number of people who will be killed in conflict. The point of ground warfare is to take and dominate ground and systems like this make it happen more quickly and efficiently. That's a good thing.

        No, it's reducing the number of combatants killed in conflict. The amount of 'collateral damage' (aka civilian deaths) continues to increase exponentially.

        • Not really. Armies today usually go to a lot of trouble to avoid killing civilians, if only because it's really bad politically. Compare to WW2, when Nazi and Allied forces alike were eager to carpet-bomb entire cities in order to diminish the enemy's manufacturing capability. America went further, and droped nuclear bombs.

          I imagine though that, in the event of a truly existance-threatening war like that, the 'no civilian deaths' ideal would be swiftly abandoned. If your country is at stake you can't afford

          • Estimates of civilian casualties from the 2003 Iraq War and its aftermath vary significantly, but many are of the same order of magnitude as the deaths caused at Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the nuclear weapons were used.

            I'm not sure modern warfare is as good at avoiding collateral damage as you seem to be suggesting. The causes of those civilian deaths might not be the same mechanically, but it's no less a tragedy if an innocent person dies as a side effect of some military action rather than directly by ta

        • Maybe in terms of raw numbers, but only because there are more people now.

          Look up how many civilian casualties there were when the Mongols under Genghis Khan were invading neighboring countries. If anything there's a tendency for modern civilizations to be far less cruel in terms of harm to civilians. Yeah, it still happens, but most aren't going out of their way to run up the body count.

          One could also point out that a lot of these civilian deaths are needless because one side of the conflict often re
      • "That's a good thing".....for the hyper-dominant side.

        BTW "Modern full scale combat" is a nuclear holocaust, and yes, it would almost certainly put an end to human conflict forever.
        • No, it'd put an end to human conflict for about four hours. That's how long it would take for the survivors to form into groups and start shooting each other over supplies.

  • Both because there is no direct relation between being able to operate a machine designed to be as intuitively to operate as possible and actually having tech skills and because if they were they would be playing the PS4, which is technologically superior.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      By your logic, people who drive Ferraris are better mechanics.
      • No, because the price differential between ferraris and other cars is vastly greater than that between xbones and PS4s.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, if they had technical skills they would be playing on a PC.
      • No, if they had technical skills they would be playing on a PC.

        No, if they had technical skills they would be playing on a linux or BSD box, with an arduino project on the side. FTFY

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @06:00AM (#48219299) Homepage

    British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks

    Well they can't have my smart tank. They can build their own!

    British Army Looking For Gamers With Their Smart-Tanks

    Now that's a headline.

    • British Army Looking For Gamers With Their Smart-Tanks

      Now that's a headline.

      Indeed it is, smart-tanks roaming the UK streets looking for gamers would certainly headline most anywhere.

  • No they're not (Score:4, Informative)

    by duplo ( 253071 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @06:14AM (#48219331)

    They say they want creative soldiers, but they will not achieve this.

    The minute they join recruit school, they will have all creativeness beaten out of their brains. The only way to do things correctly in the military is to follow a procedure.

    By the time they are in a position of making a decision to use their creativity, they are too old and now there is 8 ranks beneath and 2 above them acting to inhibit their creativity.

    It won't happen.

    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      I don't know what your experience of fighting forces is, and maybe that's the experience you had if you did serve, but it certainly is not mine. The larger part of soldiering is solving problems under constraints.
      • by dltaylor ( 7510 )

        Being wildly creatvie is, however, still discouraged. The men (in the infantry), vehicle commanders, wingmen (in the air) must have some idea what you're going to do, or just you trip over, or kill, each other. Don't know where you're from, but think Amercan football: the defence is typically the more "creative" side of the line of scrimmage; but there are still "plays" (coverage for pass receivers, stunts in the line, blitzes by linebackers and/or defensive backs); yes, it is necessary to adapt to what

        • by C0R1D4N ( 970153 )
          You're confusing Enlisted personnel for the entirety of the military. They hope for creatives to join the officer corps.
          • That's why smart enlistees go into the Navy or the Chair Force. Officers (mainly pilots) do the lion's share of the dying.

  • From TFA:

    the largest and smartest tank ever designed for the British Army

    So my first thought was surely not - the Challenger 2 [wikipedia.org] is a main battle tank and must be bigger. But it turns out I was wrong. The Challenger 2 is still 20 tonnes heavier, but significantly shorter in height:

    Challenger 2: Length 27ft 3 x Height 8ft 2 x Width 11 ft 6
    Scout SV [defencetoday.com]: Length: 25ft x Height: 9ft 10in x Width: 11ft

    Crudely multiplying those numbers to get an approximation of volume gives the Scout SV the edge (just).

    • Also, the Challenger 2 isn't 20 years old yet. It's been in service only since 1998.

      The Challenger 2 is still 20 tonnes heavier, but significantly shorter in height:

      I thought that was the point with tanks? They tend towards short to reduce the frontal area (harder to hit) and to make it easier to hide behind bits of terrain.

      Given the look of this thing it looks like it's more designed to replace the Warrior.

      • Absolutely. It just seemed counter intuitive to me. I had a (perhaps naive) belief that things like the Challenger or Abrams were the largest armoured vehicles on the battlefield.
    • From TFA:

      the largest and smartest tank ever designed for the British Army

      Surely, instead of spending money on smart tanks, they should have all those former Nokia employees laid off by Microsoft build them feature tanks instead?

      PS: I'm still wondering why they need soldiers *inside* then, rather than having them be drive-by-wire, just like airborne drones?

    • Why larger at all? Why not make it remote controlled, small, but have a big gun on board with a handful of shots loaded in it. Then, instead of using just 10 of them, you use a couple of hundred. Sure, each one is 'easily' neutralised by relatively small weapons, but the fleet would be hard to stop, and any one member of the fleet would be sufficiently deadly to cause your enemy problems.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      1. The Scout SV is not a tank.
      2. The size of a tank is not measured by volume but by weight.
      3. The article is just flat out terrible as far as accuracy.

      Since the two item are no where near a cube in shape going for L,W,H is just not a good plan.

      • Tracked vehicle, rotating turrent with big gun on it. It may not actually be a tank by the technical definition, but the mistake is understandable.

        It looks from the pictures like the turret is optional.

        I don't know why it has space for a crew of six. I'd have thought one of the big advantages of the digital control system would be allowing a reduction in crew size. Maybe they want it to double as a very-armored personel carrier?

        • A crew of 6 for an IFV is bizzare. 3 is usually sufficient (commander, driver, gunner) but they contain room for usually 6 soldiers as well for 9 men in the vehicle.

          IFV vs APC is a function of the purpose of the armament on the vehicle. For something to be classed as an IFV is must have a 20mm armament and its armament must be used in a direct fire support role. APCs are unarmed or have armament for self-defense.

          • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

            A crew of 6 for an IFV is bizzare. 3 is usually sufficient (commander, driver, gunner) but they contain room for usually 6 soldiers as well for 9 men in the vehicle.

            I heard they were going to automate away two of those three crew, but the lefties complained about the loss of jobs, so they kept them and added three more.

        • rotating turrent with big gun on it.

          A 40mm gun is not "big" considering the Challenger2 has a 120mm gun. Please note that the difference is not 3 times but, because the barrel is round, the difference in size is closer to 9 times. A 40mm round would bounce of the front side and rear of any main battle tank in use today. But what about aircraft that use 20mm and 30mm rounds? They penetrate the top of the tank where there is much less armour than the sides they also fire much faster which chews through the armour.

    • That's because Scout SV isn't a tank - as someone already pointed out, it's essentially an armed personnel carrier. (Otherwise known as a "tank target" - one shot from a real tank and it dissolves in a ball of fire).

      I was surprised at first when I read TFA, then I quickly realised this is just the "facts don't matter" school of journalism - in which writers use technical terms in any way they fancy, and don't bother to do any research. As in the recurrent use of "battleship" to mean "warship", or "warplane"

  • by Nicholas Glendening ( 3889201 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @06:54AM (#48219471)
    And the tanker I was talking to said that a tank was far too complex for one person to control. To that I replied "Fighter jet." He got rather angry for some reason...
    • Well, he wasn't wrong. In a fighter jet, the task of driving/flying is vastly simpler than on land, so it's easier to combine driving and targeting. When you're flying, all you have to do is a. not hit the ground and b. point the aircraft in the general direction of the enemy. Weapons are mostly fire-and-forget to minimize pilot workload.
      On the ground, there's lots of micromanagement in steering around obstacles, reading the soil to make sure you don't get stuck in a bog etc. In a tank, you have the added c

    • "He got rather angry for some reason..."

      I can't imagine why - it was your own ignorance you were exposing. Fighter aircraft are too small to carry more than one (or, at most, two) crew. Otherwise they are big, slow, unmanoeuvrable, and shot down. The F-14 Tomcat featured in "Top Gun" is a 2-seater, mainly because it was designed for naval use and flying long distances over featureless ocean is difficult and dangerous for a lone pilot. WW2 demonstrated that 2-seater "heavy fighters" like the Me110 didn't far

      • WW2 demonstrated that 2-seater "heavy fighters" like the Me110 didn't fare at all well in combat with smaller, more responsive planes like the Spitfire. That conclusion has never changed since.

        It totally has changed, ever since dogfights with guns became a last resort rather than the normal method of engagement.

        With modern BVR weapons, manoeuvrability is far outshadowed by the usefulness of a second brain to deal with radar, targeting, navigation etc.

  • If they get pwn3d they can blame it on lag.

  • xbox gamers only? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dan Askme ( 2895283 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @07:52AM (#48219643) Homepage

    I drove tanks, flew planes and helicopters, even had control of power sources.

    Urban Assault http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

    Wasted talent sitting here, wasted.
    If only i had an Xbox with ultra realistic autoaim/autopilot gameplay (sarcasm)....

  • Hey, if it keeps them out of 8chan and harrassing women on the internet, I'm all for it.

    Maybe this is the ideal job for #GamerGaters. They'd get to kill people by remote control.

  • Life imitates art: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • The International Business Times should be ashamed. This is not a Tank it is an Armored Fighting Vehicle. They even start off calling it that and then just start calling it a tank.
    This is actually more of a scouting vehicle and would have a pretty short life span if it had to fight a tank in the open.
    This is a tank
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]
    Notice the much larger main gun.
    As you can see it is also much larger aka heavier than the Scout SV.
    I mean really do they not check any facts at all? Do they not b

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      " This is not a Tank it is an Armored Fighting Vehicle."

      Tank is a subset of Armoured Fighting Vehicle

      This appears to be a Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle (another subset of Armoured Fighting Vehicle

      They carry a number of infantry who can fire from withting the vehicle, have a smaller gun than a tank (which is designed to engage other light Armoured Vehicles and fortifications, and the troops can also get out and go and break the door down.

      A modern western army is unlikely to have to fight other tanks

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        "A modern western army is unlikely to have to fight other tanks since they would be taken out by aircraft or helicopters."
        The US did in both gulf wars.

    • If you're going to be pedantic us proper terms. Tanks are armored fighting vehicles. The specific vehicle in the article is an infantry fighting vehicle which is also an armored fighting vehicle. Armored fighting vehicles basically include anything that is motorized and used in combat so tanks, IFVs, APCs, armored cars, self-propelled artillery, and others.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        True and it would be just fine for an average person to use tank for this.
        It is not okay for a journalist to put it into print.

  • by Fieryphoenix ( 1161565 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @08:36AM (#48219845)
    This sounds like the garbage that any military recruiter will spew to entice you to sign up. "Oooh! You're really good! We need your hawt leetness! What? You didn't get a position in the Scout SV playing real life video games. Eat it soldier, you'll serve where you're told."
  • They need to recruit Starcraft playing Koreans.... these dudes lay smackdown on the rest of the world. Over 1/2 of the worlds top 100 players are Korean I believe.

  • As a recent article [ieee.org] in IEEE Spectrum discusses, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons, such as those depicted in the movie Oceans Eleven, have become more capable. They can wipe out electronics with no visible signature. EMPs might be deployed either as portable weapons, dropped from a plane or fixed booby traps

    • The article is so full of errors, I'm not even going to bother pointing them all out.

      You can't fry a tank with a portable EMP system. The most you could do would be to jam the radio with an old-fashioned transmitter - certainly a concern, but not a new one,

    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      Yeah, they should probably consider keeping it safe, by, I don't know, building a big metal cage around it.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @08:50AM (#48219911) Homepage Journal
    Now if they were looking for DPS, they'd have recruits coming out the ass!
  • I was relieve to see that the tank still comes with the ability for the crew to make tea. An important armored fighting innovation the British have had in all their tanks since WWII! (background about 20s into the video)

  • Geez how the press gets this sort of thing so wrong. It's not a tank, it's an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). It's lightly armored against small arms and small-bore auto-cannon rounds, not against ATGMs, tank main guns, or RPGs.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    The weight at 34 tonnes is much less than that of any current front-line tank (according to Wikipedia the Challenger 2 is 62.5 tonnes, almost double the Scout SV). It is a lot heavier than most current IFV's (e.g., the German Marder at 28 tonnes or B

  • They better rethink this before the SJW's destroy gaming and dry up their recruiting pool.
  • no way can this do the MBT role the image is of a recce vehicle with some 30mm pop gun - and 6 man crew wtf the dropped the 5th man after ww2

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