The result of Allied research into anti-tank technology, the robot tank is capable of hovering, allowing it to move over water. Being robotic in nature, it is immune to psychic powers, but also cannot gain veterancy. Also, it requires a Robot control center to function. If a control center is destroyed or low on power, all robot tanks under its control will become disabled.
The main advantage of the robot tank was that it could not be mind-controlled. It was mainly designed to function as a tank hunter, being equipped with a powerful cannon as its primary armament. However, it had little armour. Another feature of the tank was that it ran on an advanced hover drive system, allowing it to move quickly which is ideal for hit-and-run attacks, and also navigate over water. Because the tank was stripped down to the essentials, and did not have its own heuristic-based computer to guide it, the tank itself was fairly inexpensive.
Robot tanks had no anti-air defence. Furthermore, their armour was fairly thin. Accordingly, robot tanks could not give much in the way of a stand up fight against most enemy forces. Furthermore, the robot tanks were merely the extensions of the robot control center - the tanks themselves did not possess any intelligence. As such, if a robot control center was destroyed or shut down for any reason, the robot tanks would also shut down. If the center later came online, then the tanks would power up again. Any tanks that happened to be over water when the center was disabled would of course sink, and could not be activated again.
However, because they are relatively cheap to build, the robot tank can be used in large numbers to counter most ground and naval threats, performing a similar role a typical light tank would do and with similar firepower as a Grizzly and Lasher tank. And oddly enough, as hover tanks, they can also crush infantry by literally slamming into them underneath.
Once they are all destroyed, Robot tanks become like any other troop with no preferred target; they will attack the nearest building to them regardless of type, and will turn and attack enemy units if they become aware of any nearby.
In skirmish, robot tanks controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- Easy: 4x, targeting vehicles
- Medium/Hard: 6x, targeting vehicles
- Yuri's Revenge patch 1.001: robot tanks emerging from war factories just as a robot control center is being destroyed will no longer be stuck on the edge of the war factory.
- A graphical glitch appears when a robot tank is attacked by a giant squid when hovering over water. An obsolete beta animation of the squid's tentacles appears, which was made with the palette from Tiberian Sun, and as a result, plays in wrong colours in Red Alert 2. Also, it looks like it's damaging itself (sparking) when the control center has been sold, destroyed or captured.
- Robot tanks sink instead of exploding normally if destroyed by a giant squid.
- The robot tank's weapon was listed as "Short Range Rocket Pods" on the official Red Alert 2 website. Since it was named "Rocket Tank" on the concept art, it can be assumed that it was originally intended to fire rockets.
Concept art by TJ Frame
Veteran cameos are unused.