Type: Light tank/fire support vehicle
-Producer: Garissa Motor Works
-Number produced: ???????????
-Unit cost: $1.4 million
-Height: 2.5m to turret roof
-Combat Weight: 16 tonnes
-Engine: Nineveh Diesel 6V53T, 6-cylinder supercharged diesel, 320 hp (c wut i did thar)
-Maximum speed: 72km/h on road, 7km/h on water
-Primary Armament: 155mm Howitzer M1973 (30 rounds); BGM-71 TOW (2 missiles)
-Secondary Armament: 7.62mm GPMG in the coaxial role (3000 rounds); 12.7mm HMG on pintle mount (1000 rounds)
-Armor: Aluminium + various applique kits
-NBC protection: yes
-infantry tank that can be heliborne via tarhe equivalent needed
-infantry can now engage in AIR-MECH OFFENSIVE with DIRECT FIRE SUPPORT when carried by M113 SUPERGAVINS huzzah
The T544 is primarily designed to be an infantry support vehicle cooperating with the half-track APCs of the infantry. It it thus designed to keep up with said APCs at a reasonable clip (reaching their top speeds of 90km/h was abandoned from the start) and be reasonably easy to maintain. Thus, a similar horizontal volute spring suspension was used on the tank as the APCs, and the tank uses the same engine, a Nineveh Motors 300hp diesel V6, as the half-tracks. Thus, the mechanics attached to the infantry could reasonably be expected to repair the T544 as well.
In order to lighten the vehicle, the armor is made out of aluminum rather than steel. The primary armor of this vehicle consists of aluminum alloy sheets of varying thickness supported by a spall liner. This is enough to provide frontal protection against Senestrian 15.5mm fire, and protect the sides and rear against machine-gun fire and shrapnel. The tank contains six 81mm smoke projectors mounted on the turret, each provided with two projectiles.
While the tanks are meant to be airmobile (more via heavy-lift helicopter rather than by cargo plane and parachute), applique kits exist for non-airmobile forces that provide greater protection. Such kits include ERA, slat armor, active protection systems, or simply more metal welded onto key spots on the tank.
The tank is fitted with an overpressure NBC system, equipped with an air filter and airtight hatches. Tanks produced after 1980 are given an air conditioning system with directable nozzles per crewman.
The primary armament of the T544 is a 155mm close-support gun, type classified as the 155mm Howitzer M1973. It is a rifled gun, capable of firing a wide variety of ammunition, such as HESH, HEAT, HE-FRAG, Canister, Thermobaric, Smoke, Flare, and applicable practice munitions. Since it must be fired from the sixteen-ton vehicle without destroying it, the gun is a low-velocity, subsonic (although the canister flechettes do break the sound barrier), low-pressure gun. The gun has an effective range of about 1500 meters, with a muzzle velocity of about 390m/s.
The ammunition for the gun is two-piece, consisting of a warhead (which is lighter and shorter than actual 155mm ammunition), and a bagged propulsion charge. The decision to separate the ammunition was made after it was realized that one-piece ammunition was too bulky in a conventional case in a tank as small as the T544, and that fixed caseless propellant was considered too immature to be considered for deployment.
It was decided that as an infantry support vehicle, the main purpose of the T544 was to devastate enemy infantry, not engage in tank-to-tank combat. However, it needed some form of self-defense against tanks at long range, and the gun-launched missile was not deemed ready. Until such was the case, two TOW missiles are stored in a box launcher to the right of the turret. Its rangefinder and guidance system is also part of the gun's FCS, and the gunner can aim a TOW while aiming his gun. It was removed when a suitable gun-launched missile was found.
The coaxial and tertiary weapon positions are fairly generic medium and heavy machine gun mounts respectively, and can mount most all weapons in those classes. Satirian T544s come with a 7.5mm M1895A7 machine gun in the coaxial position, and a 12.7mm M1938A1 (DShKM) machine gun on the pintle mount.
Systems and crew
As the designers chose to forgo a complex fire-control system, the fire control system is not much more than a TOW sighting system with a nominally handheld laser rangefinder and a two-axis stabilizer for the main gun and coaxial.
Each crewman is connected to the tank's intercom, and the commander gets access to the tank's radio, a modified version of the AN/PRC-89 (SINCGARS) radio used by the infantry. Starting in 2003, tanks were refitted with a GPS system for the commander and driver to better track their locations relative to each other and the terrain.
The crewmen themselves are arranged thus: The driver in the centerline in the front, the gunner and commander sitting one behind the other on the right side of the turret, while the loader had the left side of the turret all to himself. This forces the turret to be slightly asymmetrical. The loader is assisted by a semi-automatic loading system, which places the warheads around the turret basket into the loading position and assists the loader in placing them into the gun. The bagged propellant charges are stored in the floor in wet racks.
-T544E0: Initial production variant
-T544E1: An upgrade starting in 1983, FLIR systems are added
-T544E2: Uses the BGM-88 ATOL missile (beam-riding TOW) in a more spacious turret. Built from 1989.
-T544E3: New, fully automatic loader for warheads (charges still need a manual loader) as well as GPS for commander and gunner in new turret. Built starting 2003.
-T545E0: Air defense version with a quadruple FIM-380 "Igla" launcher in place of TOW boxes.
-T545E1: Derivative of T544E1.
-PT546E0: Possible light tank utilizing a 60mm autocannon instead of the 155mm gun in a two-man, low-profile turret.