The primary function of a combat tank is to engage in battles and other forms of armed conflict. It can take a lot of punishment from the opponent and still keep on fighting with to its robust construction and arsenal of armaments, which includes both a main cannon and machine guns. Tanks provide a wide range of assistance for ground troops, including reconnaissance, aiding infantry, and engaging in direct battle with other armored vehicles. Because of their tracked design, these vehicles can easily traverse difficult terrain and quickly cover ground with varying levels of smoothness.
The military use tanks in battle for a variety of reasons, including:
- Tanks can attack and destroy a broad variety of targets due to their strong armaments, such as its main gun and machine guns.
- Heavy plating shields the driver and passengers inside a tank from incoming enemy fire.
- Rapid movement through rugged terrain is made possible by the fact that most tanks are tracked vehicles. This adaptability makes them useful in a broad variety of settings, from the wilderness to the city.
- Tanks are adaptable in that they can serve as infantry support, scouts, or even engage in direct combat with other tanks.
- The mere presence of a tank in battle can have a devastating effect on the morale of the opposing force, often resulting in a hasty retreat.
- Supporting soldiers by acting as a barrier against enemy fire, tanks allow infantry to advance with greater ease.
- Generally speaking, tanks are a great asset to armies because of their versatility and usefulness in a variety of tactical situations due to their superior weaponry, armor, and mobility.
Global Firepower has released their ranking of combat tank fleet sizes for 2023, which we’ve visualized in this infographic.
The ranking includes main battle tanks, like the M1A2 Abrams or the Leopard 2, but also more lightly-armed medium and light tanks, like Stingray. The numbers do not include armored personnel carriers or infantry fighting vehicles. Data presented on this list is through 2023. Estimates are made when official data is not available.
In Southeast Asia, due to its long history of war, Vietnam has amassed a sizable fleet of military tanks. Vietnam War (also known as the Second Indochina War) lasted from 1955 to 1975 and was one of the wars the country fought in. There were many tanks in both the North and the South at this time, and they served several purposes, including reconnaissance, infantry support, and frontline combat against other armored vehicles.
Vietnam has kept a sizable armored army to defend its independence even after the war ended. Additionally, Vietnam, like many other countries, has been spending in modernizing its military by purchasing new tanks and improving current ones.
It's worth mentioning that compared to other developing countries, Vietnam has a disproportionately big number of tanks.
Due to its history of military battles and current political instability, Myanmar (previously known as Burma) possesses a considerable number of tanks.
- Myanmar's long history of civil strife, including ethnic and separatist uprisings, necessitated the creation and upkeep of a massive military, with tanks playing a prominent role.
- Political climate: the military has held sway over Myanmar's government for the better part of the country's history. Tanks have been employed by the military to keep the populace under control and crush uprisings.
- Myanmar, like many other countries, is spending money to modernize its military by, among other things, buying new tanks and improving the ones it already has.
- Since its neighbors have larger armies and more tanks, Myanmar must keep a sizeable military to prevent any possible aggression.
Philippines, a major country in Southeast Asia has no combat tank. Tanks are not prioritized as a fighting force in the Philippines' military, and the country has a tiny number of them. The Philippines does not have a combat tank for several reasons.
- To buy and maintain a big number of tanks, the Philippines would need a much larger defense budget than it already has.
- More than seven thousand islands make up the Philippines, an archipelago with a harsh and mountainous landscape. This limits the usefulness of tanks in many regions, whereas other vehicles like amphibious vehicles, helicopters, and small armored vehicles are more suited.
- Because of the unique nature of the threats the Philippines encounters, special troops, light armored vehicles, and air power are more effective than tanks at countering insurgency, terrorism, and piracy.
- The Philippines, being a maritime nation, must place a higher priority on protecting its coastlines and territorial waters, which necessitates the development of a strong navy and coast guard.
- Due to the absence of hostile neighbors, the Philippines sees less of a need to keep a significant number of tanks on hand.
Source: Global Fire Power