What existing military units are most likely to obsolete?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,857
Florania
Have you spent much time in the Mongolian steppe? If I had to do extended recon or patrol work on the ground out there, I'd much rather have a horse than a "4x4 armored jeep style vehicle". Grass grows for free out of the dirt, motor fuel doesn't. Horses are still more reliable means of transport in certain parts of the world where the nearest town with auto-parts might be several days journey. Same goes for those mountainous regions of Afghanistan where US 5th Special Forces Group were operating; horses were far more readily available and easier to maneuver in that terrain than motor vehicles.

"They rode trails a foot wide alongside a 1,000 feet (300 m) cliff, sometimes at night. During the next few weeks they rode from 10 to 30 kilometres (6.2 to 18.6 mi) per day."

Your "4x4 armored jeep style vehicle" wouldn't do so well in those conditions, and infantry will take longer than horses.
The most common mounted animals for humans remain horses and camels; should we debate about traveling in the desert with camels
or cars?
Mules and donkeys are reasonable mounts; they are a bit on the slow side.
Ostriches for mounts? If you want to ride a dinosaur, this is your only choice; it doesn't mean it is pleasant and practical.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,625
Sydney
ostriches are too weak to carry a fully grown human with some gear , on top they are not notorious for their obeisance
maybe some selective breeding
Same with lamas and reindeers , though as mammals they are easier to train
elephants had some successes but they are rather high maintenance
 
Apr 2014
416
Istanbul Turkey
Aircraft carriers. They are just big fat targets nowadays from long range (and getting longer) aircraft and missiles or even suborbital attacks or submarines.
 
Mar 2016
77
Germany
Interesting question, although I'm a bit doubtful about the quality of the discussion if we talk about artillery (very important in modern warfare, and towed versions are gone since decades) or aircraft carriers (core of the fleets, wether they are big does not matter).

I don't see weapons or army branches currently in use ready to disappear in the short or medium run. It can happen, for several reasons, but wether it is neccessary or wise is another question. In the army of my country for example ground anti-aircraft was greatly decreased, a whole branch of the army dissolved, there are no longer special self-propelled cannon based anti-aircraft vehicles in use. I don't think that was a good choice and the new concept better, but who knows.

Tanks are a beloved object in this field, they were said to be dead several times in their history. But they are not. As long as humans have to man it, lighter armored vehicles can support and take over a lot of roles (e.g. wheeled vehicles are less affected by mines frequently), but they cannot fight it out against heavy armor. What is seen is usually destroyed on current battlefields but tanks are an exception to a certain degree. Tanks are in severe danger from a lot of threats but there are also several countermeasures in planning or already used, like APS.

However, with digitalization and robotics there may be several changes coming. Maybe mixed human-robot units will be the future of infantry?
 
May 2019
356
Earth
The most common mounted animals for humans remain horses and camels; should we debate about traveling in the desert with camels
or cars?
Mules and donkeys are reasonable mounts; they are a bit on the slow side.
Ostriches for mounts? If you want to ride a dinosaur, this is your only choice; it doesn't mean it is pleasant and practical.
I'm not quite sure I get what you're saying, but the point I've been trying to make in my posts is that, in certain parts of the world like rural Mongolia or Afghanistan, horses aren't just the most common means of transport, they're also more practical than cars. Would you rather take a jeep or a horse on a 2 foot wide mountain trail? Would you rather spend time and money transporting fuel across the Gobi to supply border patrols, or just outfit them with horses or camels? This is why I'm trying to say that horse cavalry isn't completely obsolete in military use; there are still parts of the world where they can function more reliably than motor vehicles. The Chinese PLA and the US Special Forces both seem to agree with me...
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,091
Interesting question, although I'm a bit doubtful about the quality of the discussion if we talk about artillery (very important in modern warfare, and towed versions are gone since decades)
In some armies, like the German. When attempts are made to tot up the score, they still feature rather heavily:
Compares to:
 
Jul 2018
312
London
My 2 cents

1) Unprotected/unarmored infantry units, because in asymmetric IEDs are way to easy to build, in symmetric fire is so precise and lethal that unprotected forces have a short life. Infantry will operate as such only where fire is unavailable or the terrain itself protects it.
2) Full stealth planes, because it is becoming progressively less effective and, soon, it won't be worth the aerodynamic penalty anymore.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,786
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Aircraft carriers. They are just big fat targets nowadays from long range (and getting longer) aircraft and missiles or even suborbital attacks or submarines.
That's why aircraft carriers are almost always accompanied by air defence destroyers.