#839: ShellCasing

Today’s invention is a design for a modular tank (or armoured fighting vehicle, if you will) which is a little like an eggbox.

A tracked chassis is used as usual, but within this base are housed hemispherical modules, each geometrically strong and heavily armoured. One, the crew module, would contain the vehicle controls -but without the weak point at which a normal turret attaches to the upper deck. This module would still rotate but only to allow crew to enter and leave through the hull when its underside hatches were deliberately aligned.

Control cables and a ventilation duct would penetrate this hemisphere via a central axle (these might even include video cabling, obviating the need for any windows in the crew compartment).

A second module would contain the vehicle’s engine and a third its armament (remotely controlled) and ammunition.

In this way the crew could be maximally protected from noise, fumes and external attack, whilst malfunctions of the vehicle’s main sub-units could be addressed by rapid, in-field substitution.


  1. I was thinking along these lines with the use of IEDs in Iraq etc.

    The Americans recently tested an armoured car with a spherical armoured bubble to protect the crew from attack from any direction http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/ultra-ap.htm. Ironically this is very like the “TIE crawler” in the Star wars universe http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tie_crawler.

    Major snag 1 : since most of the attacks come from mines etc from below having the hatches and cabling on the underside is actually a vulnerability.

    Major snag 2 : what happens if the hatches only open when the module and hull are correctly aligned and the module is jammed by blast damage and so cannot turn ….

  2. That’s fascinating. I notice their armour, at least on the research vehicle, is not particularly thick-walled.

    I agree with the shortcomings you identify. I had thought about some kind of NASA-like escape rocket which would blast the crew compartment free of the vehicle in the event that damage blocked the exit. It’s all a bit too Buck Rogers, perhaps.

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