Drones have gotten increasingly effective as military science and technology has progressed, and they can now destroy ground armored armies. Tanks and armoured vehicles’ battlefield presence has been severely degraded. Is it still necessary for governments to keep such a large number of tanks? Will tank armoured vehicles be phased out from the battlefield over time?
Drones are quite effective against tanks, however their effectiveness is largely dependent on the strength of both sides. There is no such thing as a flawless military system, and there is no such thing as a perfect air defence system. Drones are unlikely to be used in a great power conflict. If it proves to be too beneficial, drones will only be able to scout and bombing enemy strongholds, destroy tanks, and so on. The military systems of large countries are thought to be faultless and advanced. Weapons can come up with a lot of effective air defense weapons. This layer of air defense weapons is used as a barrier and can be minimise the effect of drones.
At this point, tanks are the backbone of the ground forces. Although the hypothesis of tanks’ ineffectiveness has been around for decades, no country has been eliminated until now. On the battlefield, tanks have always proven their worth. The tank’s advantages of integrating protection, mobility, and firepower cannot be replaced by the newly born drone for the time being, despite its many failures. A weapon has been eliminated in the past not because other weapons can restrain it, but because other weapons can do the same role. Because there are too many conditions in combat, and different weapons have their own limitations, being restrained can only be marginalised, not abolished.
Therefore, ground-based drones are fighting without any rist, which of course seems easy. You see that the U.S. military is very effective in hitting ground tanks or other ground targets with drones. A very important factor is that the U.S. fighter jets control the air above the battlefield. The Ukrainian army also has some drones. Why haven’t I heard of the major results of these drones hitting the tanks of the Eastern Ukrainian militia? The reason is also very simple. The strong air defense network of the Russian army and the fighter forces preparing for war in the border areas make them cautious about taking off drones.
Furthermore, Russia’s military has superior electronic warfare capabilities to Ukraine’s. If Russian military radar detects Ukrainian drones, they will either be subjected to severe electronic interference or will be unable to select targets and launch missiles normally. Either the Russian army “hacked” the GPS system and the coordinates could not be calculated, or it failed to function correctly, or the Russian army changed the flight order and flew straight to the wrong location. The Russian army’s Gross satellite navigation system is unbreakable by the Ukrainian army, making it harder for the Ukrainian army to counterattack the Russian army. Drones cannot be natural enemies of tanks in the Ukraine-Russian army, and they can only serve as scouts on the front lines.
If the two sides are evenly matched in UAV combat, the UAV may have to withstand strong electronic interference while relying on its own manned/unmanned fighter jets to fight the opponent’s air force, while avoiding the opponent’s air defence firepower, and doing their best to avoid opposing tank targets. Furthermore, the troops in charge of the drones must be concerned about whether they will be destroyed by enemy missiles, artillery, tanks, and other weapons, which is a serious concern. As a result, the outcomes of drones vs. tanks may be less relevant.
Fighting tanks from the air is very advantageous, and using drones to battle tanks is a new combat method that is also very easy to use. However, the fighting method of drones has only recently developed, and many methods are still being investigated, making it easy to make mistakes. This is not appropriate for wars between middle and big countries. Medium and large countries have formidable air defence capabilities. Drones cannot survive in the battlefield’s intense electromagnetic environment, which includes shoulder-launched missiles, tiny anti-aircraft artillery, and electronic interference.