I would be the last person to hail the end of the Tank. The composition of the armored column will evolve like everything else based on the technology and threat assessment specific to the deployment. Stand-off distances for ATGMs are increasing, but that means longer passive and active tracking. The introduction of dirt-cheap slow-moving drones that can conduct air interdiction/ CAS means hardkill and softkill medium-altitude multi-layered defense.In fact, while it may be premature to hail the end of the tank, and while what happened in Nagorno-Karabakh may have been an outlier, a very significant outlier, it is time to start wondering about the delicate balance between protection, speed and firepower that has been disturbed once again. From the time of the hoplite on, no, from the time of the charior-mounted Egyptian archers on, this balance of forces has always been disturbed by a creative military commander, thereby winning the field for his duration, and setting the stage for warfare long after his time.
We need to ask ourselves, not if the armoured column is dead - it is not, it is merely going to die a death in the fulness of time - but what will take its place.
Only that person among us who has been an instructor already will understand the difficulty of staying silent when the answer stands up on its hind legs and roars at the unaware group considering a question. The discussion on the specific geographical limitations and consequent inconveniences was so, so tempting. Alas.....
This gives the potential for a better reaction envelope for the protection systems to deploy both softkill and hard kill measures. In addition to the Mobile SAM system to mitigate against Rotary and interdiction platforms, additional CIWS/Vshorad. The biggest change that might change the game is the development of a distributed network for the local battlefield management system. A system where the column moves as one unit and manages all threats and targets through a common network system will be able to keep armor relevant as well as agile. Not to forget, it would serve well for additional systems like short-range battlefield missile systems like specialized TOS-1A.