Heavy Infantry on future battlefields

Could there be a place for 'heavy infantry' in armies of the near future?

In pre-modern battlefields the heavy infantry were an elite shock force which held firm the most vital parts of a battleline. They were expensive to maintain but devastating against lightly armed enemies in a melee. As ballistics technology developed, however, their role became obsolete.

As personal armor technology develops and exoskeletons enable soldiers to carry all the extra weight of layers upon layers of equipment, arms, ammunition, ceramic plates, and thick kevlar, do you see infantry units equipped with heavy armor become relevant again? What would their place in a military look like, defensive walking fortresses or close combat assaulters? Would you want to combine them into large formations like Soviet shock armies or have them organized in small groups attached to larger formations?

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How about you start by examining how much steel we can currently punch through and interpolate from there?

    The only mildly viable variant is going to be highly mobile personal tanks. There's no benefit in having a human be the centre of the layout, therefore exoskeletons will always be a niche. The tachikomas from ghost in the shells were a great pitch for instance.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      We're not talking about tanks or steel armor are we? I'm just talking about infantry layered in so much conventional infantry armor like the OP pic related that an exoskeleton is required to stay mobile.

      Personal mech suits are unrealistic for the near future and would probably be their own class of unit.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Too much weight for soldiers. A quadcopter or a shovel is better. Plus Level 4 is realistically enough vs 99% of threats cops face. Thermobaric grenades and 155mm artillery shells don't care.

      Armor is a tiny fraction of the weight a modern soldier carries. Being able to massively increase armor coverage is as simple as coming up with some excuse to cut down on the giant pack we make our men lug around.

      Any kind of weight bearing exoskeleton could easily see soldiers with a target profile not much bigger than a regular human's, with armor functionally impervious to small arms, which would reduce the effectiveness of artillery and grenades by an order of magnitude or more.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    No.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      why not?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous
        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Cause it's easier to just use drones and not worry about casualties at all.

          Best technology is incredebly boring.

          Also this.
          Play battletech tabletop and you'll find out:
          Being heaviest armored means you can take a lot of damage and die.

          Being very fast means you take no damage and stay around for a long time and don't maybe even die unless enemy gets very lucky or you get very dumb

          Not being in range and not being engaged means you stay alive indefinety.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Heavy Kevlar
    I hate noguns so fricking much.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      more kevlar = heavy
      therefore heavy kevlar

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      more kevlar = heavy
      therefore heavy kevlar

      It only unlocks at level 20!

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      explain
      t. stupdi

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >1. take kevlar
        >2. mix with resin impregnated by silicon carbide, tungsten disulfide, various nanotubes, and other unusual armoring additives
        >3. cure resin
        >4. u has "heavy kevlar"
        >5. ????
        >6. PROFIT!

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >resin impregnated by silicon carbide

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Kevlar is used for soft armor because it's flexible and reliably stops blunt, slow projectiles. There's no reason to "thicken" it to try to cope against more penetrative weapons, 5.56 can punch straight through 6 Kevlar vests on top of each other. You're not saving weight, 7 or 8 IIIA thicknesses is not going to be flexible, it's not going to be lightweight, it's going to be heavy and as hot as wearing ten blankets.

        Saying "Heavy Kevlar" makes it sound like you don't know Kevlar is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to armor resilience.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          while "heavy kevlar" isn't an armoring term that's really used, the process of making hard armor from it described in

          >1. take kevlar
          >2. mix with resin impregnated by silicon carbide, tungsten disulfide, various nanotubes, and other unusual armoring additives
          >3. cure resin
          >4. u has "heavy kevlar"
          >5. ????
          >6. PROFIT!

          fits the bill and improves its performance significantly

          the new Ballistic Combat Shirt and the old Doron armor are both examples of incorporating hard armor elements into a flexible design

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >while "heavy kevlar" isn't an armoring term that's really used, the process of making hard armor from it described in

            >1. take kevlar


            >2. mix with resin impregnated by silicon carbide, tungsten disulfide, various nanotubes, and other unusual armoring additives
            >3. cure resin
            >4. u has "heavy kevlar"
            >5. ????
            >6. PROFIT! fits the bill and improves its performance significantly
            Hardened Kevlar is going to be less effective than Laminated UHMWPE, steel, or ceramic, in protection-per-weight.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              you say that because you haven't read all the studies on strange armored resin additives floating around google scholar these days. the performance increases in mechanical properties with multiple additives can be well over 100%, as with fiberglass and carbon fiber.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Anon "over 100%" isn't impressive when the gap you're trying to close is over 1000% percent

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                but UHMW only exceeds kevlar by 43% in strength-to-weight ratio, picrel

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Get ready to have your mind blown:
                Strength per weight and protection per weight are actually not the same thing!
                Wow!

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Perhaps police. Near-full ceramic plate coverage is viable with passive bracing.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Why only police?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Too much weight for soldiers. A quadcopter or a shovel is better. Plus Level 4 is realistically enough vs 99% of threats cops face. Thermobaric grenades and 155mm artillery shells don't care.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Eh, I think the main thing heavily armored infantry can do that quads can't is urban room clearing.
          Assuming we don't go further into robots and start sending some of the things Boston Dynamics has been cooking up.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Why do we keep putting more and more weight on cops? Besides being literal pigs the reason most Tyrones and Garcias escape is because the cop has to wear 25lbs of shit while they can be wearing athletic gear

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    seems impractical, even for an inter-dimensional empire using humans as cannon fodder

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I think kevlar is going the way of the dinosaur soon for fibers like M5/PiPD, plus you need ceramic strike faces to reliably defeat rifle fire without too much weight. But the answer is probably once the exoskeleton tech gets more mature.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Not for another 10 to 15 years give or take a bored 4-star or 10.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I could see it possibly being used in defensive urban actions.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This. Point defense where you're shielded or mostly shielded from artillery is pretty much the only time the considerations like this

      How about you start by examining how much steel we can currently punch through and interpolate from there?

      The only mildly viable variant is going to be highly mobile personal tanks. There's no benefit in having a human be the centre of the layout, therefore exoskeletons will always be a niche. The tachikomas from ghost in the shells were a great pitch for instance.

      don't immediately torpedo the idea. Even then...
      90% of casualties in every peer or near peer conflict since the start of the 20th century have been from artillery or air. Heavy infantry can survive neither of these nor HE from a tank. Making one that would be markedly more survivable would just be making a personal tank. Making heavy infantry that can survive small arms is possible, but the practical application is so limited (how much survivability are you really adding to point defense?) that it's probably not even worth considering.
      >what about fob defense for COIN?
      Even more pointless. These come under attack so rarely and generally take so few casualties that it's not even a consideration.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Heavy infantry can survive neither of these
        Artillery and HE kill within a radius, primarily from fragmentation. As you increase the armor on a target, that radius shrinks exponentially.

        Artillery that needed to hit within ten feet of infantry would be fricking useless, for example.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      sauce?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        venus wars

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          more like PENIS wars amrite?

          TROLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >if infantry carry any more weight than now they will implode like stars
    >enemy will just use bigger weapons, even tanks are easy picking for cheap drones
    >will feel worse than being in a boiling hot car
    they would just be slower targets. on a battlefield they would still get heavy machinegunned to death, civilians/guerillas would probably use molotovs and flamethrowers, and every new vegas player would have the perfect excuse to buy an antimateriel rifle the next day

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    *unfolds wire stock* this bad boy can pen any exosuit armor.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    As soon as a military needs to HOLD GROUND there will be infantry preferably heavy infantry.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I predict light overlapping armor with hdpe/titanium plating over vitals will come out as more drones are used. Like a eod blast suit theyll be oriented around surviving a near hit. Until you can seal up soldier from the atmosphere pressure waves will cook brains and shatter organs.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I think a powered exoskeleton design similar to the picrel "WASP Atmospheric Diving Suit" would be the most effective, and should incorporate a lot of internal foam to cushion force from high-energy impacts.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    bumpo

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      why

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous
  14. 3 weeks ago
    Brazilian Autist

    Rpg-7 jailbait, infantry needs to be fast and agile.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This. Point defense where you're shielded or mostly shielded from artillery is pretty much the only time the considerations like this [...] don't immediately torpedo the idea. Even then...
      90% of casualties in every peer or near peer conflict since the start of the 20th century have been from artillery or air. Heavy infantry can survive neither of these nor HE from a tank. Making one that would be markedly more survivable would just be making a personal tank. Making heavy infantry that can survive small arms is possible, but the practical application is so limited (how much survivability are you really adding to point defense?) that it's probably not even worth considering.
      >what about fob defense for COIN?
      Even more pointless. These come under attack so rarely and generally take so few casualties that it's not even a consideration.

      being fast and agile and stopping an RPG-7 may not be mutually exclusive if exoskeleton tech matures enough to where metal gear-style mini walking tanks are possible. troops could even have ERA if they are sealed off from the atmosphere as in

      https://i.imgur.com/0UVdCHZ.jpeg

      I think a powered exoskeleton design similar to the picrel "WASP Atmospheric Diving Suit" would be the most effective, and should incorporate a lot of internal foam to cushion force from high-energy impacts.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      If you are in a situation where you have to hit every individual infantryman with heavy anti tank weapons, and your enemy can still use rifles on you, you've lost.

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    No.

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Not near future. The near future is robots, powered trolley and forlifts used in infantry formation in tight spaces, and doing a lot more hastened earthwork and house reinforcement with them while exploiting and demolishing the enemies'. The only armor needed is a manhole cover for the nook thet found and some minimally ballistically rated tarps as backing to the rock and structure from fragging inside.
    Kevlar is old infantry armor tech, btfo by PE fiber theseday.

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    We still have heavy infantry. Their armor is just on wheels & tracks tho

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    this basically already exists, light infantry already carries about as much as it possibly can and mechanized infantry is able to carry extra heavy shit because they have vehicles to carry it around in

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