The L590 Atal (a legendary spear in Sirian mythology) is the main battle tank in service with the Sirian Army. Manufactured by Exeirran Military Dynamics, it is noted for its significant durability and firepower.
Role & Design Edit
The L590 is intended to be the armoured fist of any mechanised assault, bringing its weapons to bear to neutralise resistance. As a result, significant defensive and offensive capabilities were assumed to be a must. Although speed was a consideration (and in the end the design turned out to be less sluggish than expected), it was felt that preventing friendly casualties and maximising them amongst the enemy should take priority.
A coaxial chaingun allows the Atal to engage infantry and light armour, with a L78 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) mounted near to the commander's cupola providing extra defences.
However, the lion's share of the Atal's firepower is provided by the 120mm railgun, which can load a variety of ammunition. The major types include an especially long APFSDS design (confusingly also dubbed "Atal" as tribute to its penetrative capabilities), HESH, canister rounds, and MAHEM type munitions. The turret is gyroscopically stablised, with much of the targeting process done automatically. The tank automatically calculates the range to the target and feeds the relevant information to the fire data computer, for example. This allows the Atal to engage and destroy targets at significant ranges whilst on the move.
Although export customers may specify an autoloader, the Sirian Army version does without. One rumour is that this is down to reducing mechanical complexity and thereby maintenance troubles. Aside from the normal view, the sights can also make use of image intensification, infra-red, and LIDAR.
In order to be of any use, however, a main battle tank must be able to withstand hits. Although the exact nature of the armour is unknown, this is achieved via the use of Pellao, assisted by a second layer of composite armour and a third layer of electric reactive armour. Taken altogether, this is known as "Pellao Level 2". The plating of the vehicle is heavily sloped, tending to deflect incoming rounds away from the vehicle rather than towards it - or even worse, into a weak spot. Optionally, the tank may be protected by the Overwatch Active Protection System, which continuously monitors the area around the tank for a threat and activates as necessary. It may also autolay the turret on to the threat to allow for the crew to engage them.
Sensor opaque smoke grenades can be launched from dischargers mounted on the turret, and diffusers lessen the tank's infrared signature. A wire cutter protects the vehicle from tripwires. Heavy encryption is standard on all radio communications, which are also frequency agile.
Ammunition is stored in an armoured compartment behind blast doors to shield the crew from secondary detonations in the event of a penetrating hit in the ammunition stores. An armoured skirt protects the treads, and blow-out panels further improve survivability.
The Atal is powered by a gas turbine engine. Although this allows the tank to travel at a respectable speed with surprising quietness, it also means that the tank can be very fuel hungry. The Atal is capable of amphibious operation, which has led to some surprises during war games when one side or the other has forgotten this and ended up being stalked by a tank unit. This is an event that has inevitably resulted in merciless mocking.