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The recent fighting in Gaza has indicated that there is a need for Gatling

guns to be carried by armoured vehicles when going into combat.

Such guns could be of 14.5mm or up to 23mm calibre and be remote-operated.

At present, almost all main battle tanks carry one heavy machine-gun as an
anti-infantry weapon. This has been a standard practice since many decades
ago.

However, in the intervening period, there has been a huge improvement in


the foot soldier (or guerilla fighter)'s man-portable arsenal.

Today, a lone soldier can easily take on an armoured fighting vehicle in


field combat as many high technology weapons have become readily available.

Nowadays a soldier or a guerilla fighter can damage or even destroy a tank


with a shoulder-fired missile or a rocket-propelled grenade.

Modern tanks and infantry fighting vehicles today employ a multitude of


measures to counter the threat of highly effective shoulder-fired rockets.

Some tanks carry external metal grating or mesh or metal chains or racks
to stop an anti-tank projectile from impacting the main armour. Some other
tanks prefer to rely on the use of bolt-on explosive reactive armour plates
and arrow-shaped spaced armour boxes to deflect the blast of an anti-tank
explosion away from the vehicle.

Some others carry active self-defence systems to neutralise an incoming


projectile. It can be by spraying a beam of tiny metal pellets onto the
path of the incoming projectile, using a laser beam to blind the incoming
weapon and also the operator, smoke grenades to disrupt the guidance of
the anti-tank missile or the use of diesel spray to obscure the view of
the attacker.

The best tanks come with depleted uranium armour and advanced composite
armour on top of welded steel-nickel homogenous armour to provide the
required protection for the crew. This kind of protection can withstand
at least one high velocity shot from a modern tank gun.

However, in places like Gaza, fighters can hide easily behind walls, trees,
bushes and other objects while taking potshots against armoured vehicles.

Tanks can return fire, but this might also kill civilians nearby. Also
the fighters might have many anti-tank weapons hidden around them and
around their hideout, thus an approaching tank might be attacked with
multiple salvoes thereby ensuring a successful ambush no matter how well
protected the vehicle is.

Fighters can also hide in upstairs of buildings and attacking through the
windows. The only way to hit them is to blast the building or house and
unfortunately harm civilians hiding inside.

The Gaza fighting shows the need for using remote-operated Gatling guns to
take out fighters (or enemy soldiers) hiding behind walls or objects.

Such guns can be mounted on the top of tank turrets and aimed or sighted
and controlled with the use of optical and infra-red cameras and sensors.
The gunner need not have to emerge from inside the turret but he is able
to remotely fire the gun when an image of a fighter carrying a weapon
shows up on his screen.

The cameras and sensors can not only be mounted on the tank but can also
be carried by unmanned aerial vehicles loitering over the combat area.
A UAV by right should be part of a modern-day tank crew's equipment.

Thus a soldier or fighter carrying an anti-tank weapon can try to hide but
he cannot conceal himself. A 2- or 3- second burst from the Gatling would
be enough to neutralise the would-be attacker. Thus a tank crew can now
do a good kill with surgical precision and avoid civilian casualties.

This system would also be very useful when coupled with an automated
warning system. An enemy crawling silently towards a tank at night
would not be able to escape detection and elimination.

It looks like the standalone machine gun mounted on top of tanks has
finally reached the point of retirement. The future is Gatling.