The Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank is the first 'real' tank operated by the SDF-Army since around a half century, since the Cosaint MBT was phased out (one could make the case for the Crogall Amphibious Armoured Vehicle being a tank, but the SDF prefers not to talk about that). Emphasizing the virtues held dear by the SDF, namely firepower, mobility and easy maintenance couple with generally low operating costs, the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank is a serious threat to every enemy armoured vehicle.
With a weight of 33.2 tons, the Cealg Mark I-B can be airlifted, airdropped and easily loaded on landing craft, as well as train carts.
The Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank is a light armoured vehicle with a low profile, 2.02 meters high on the top of the turret, not including foldable antennas or the machine gun mount on its remote weapon station. It is a tracked vehicle with a high mobility in rough terrain. The Cealg can climb slopes of up to sixty degrees, overcome obstacles of up to 1.5 metres and cross trenches of up to 3.2 metres with the aid of an advanced suspension. With preparition, namely by installing a snorkel, the Cealg can ford rivers as deep as 4 metres and has a fording depth of 1.4 metres.
The highly reliable engine is built into the front as an additional front armour, the Inneall I-42D being a 6-cylinder diesel engine, providing 540 kW at 2,400 rpm. Thanks to this, the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank can reach a top speed of 70 km/h on roads and 40 km/h off-road with an internal fuel tank of 700 liters.
The suspension is a torsion bar suspension, a double break system enables the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank to stop and turn on the spot. The Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank is NBC-protected.
Much of the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank's survivability is related to its low profile as the armour is relatively light compared to other MBTs. 65 mm of composite armour at 75 degrees on the glacis and 32 degrees of composite armour on the sides, which can supplemented by ceramic plates.
The armour is made of ceramic composites with honeycomb structure sandwiched between rolled homogeneous steel faces from Ironcastle Ironworks, offering high protection against shaped charges and kinetic energy penetrators. This armour, layer upon layer, can defeat 125mm guns firing armour-piercing ammunition at point blank range and defeated most of the available armour-piercing ammunition. The Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank can be equipped with reactive armour bricks and slat armour.
Thanks to its light weight and mobility, the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank's protection does not only rely on its armour, but mainly on its tactical mobility over nearly all kinds of terrain.
The main gun is a Gabha G-156 L/55 120mm Main Gun, a light weight powerful gun up for its task against most armoured threats presented to it, especially thanks to its rifling. Updated from the G-155 L/44 120 mm Main Gun, it allows the projectile to reach a higher muzzle velocity due to allowing for higher peak pressure, which enhances the gun's range considerably while making it possible to use the same 120mm ammunition. The G-156 is also equipped with a new autoloader with improved performance.
With its gyro-stabilization on three axis, laser-rangefinder, optics capable of nightvision and thermal vision, a muzzle breaker for reduced recoil and rifling of the gun itself, the G-156 L/55 makes the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank is a highly dangerous opponent.
While the turret is turned electrically, taking fifteen seconds for one 360 degree turn, it has a reserve system enabling the crew to manually aim the turret in case of a electronics failure. The G-156 can fire grenades from HE and HEAT to APDS and APFSDS rounds as well as ATGMs from the main gun. The Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank can carry 38 rounds of different ammunitions in the turret. The gun can be elevated to +18 degrees and depressed to -7 degrees.
For fighting at night, the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank has a low light level television camera installed into the mantlet, the periscopes of commander, gunner and loader are equipped with night vision as well. For more difficult targets, the cameras can be switched to heat-seeking mode.
The secondary armament consists of two positions, a coaxial machine gun by the main gun, operated by the gunner, and a remote weapons station on the roof, operated by the commander. Said remote weapons station can be armed with a machine gun, an auto-cannon, a grenade machine gun or any other kind of heavy weapon. We suggest testing your mount with us before deciding.
The SDF-Army operates their Cealgs with a Machine Gun, Model 1981 in coaxial position and a Machine Gun, Grenade, Model 1990 in the remote weapons station. Additionally, the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank is armed with a system of smoke grenade launchers, eight on either side of the turret, allowing for the Cealg to create its own visual cover to escape.
- Cealg Mark I: First deliveries 2012.
- Cealg Mark I-B: First deliviries 2016.
- Cealg Mark II: First deliveries 2025.
- Cealg Mark III: First deliveries 2034.
- Cealg Mark IV: Proposed, but cancelled 2030. Developed into Cealg-II Main Battle Tank (introduced 2040) and Cealg-III Autonomous Light Tank (introduced 2039).
The SDF-Army began to experiment with tanks in infantry support roles and as a main attack arm in the 30s, but the results were, most likely due to the nature of the Free Lands geographically speaking, less then stellar.
Economic difficulties and problems with the doctrine did the rest in that regard, in the 1950s, many of the SDF-Army's tanks were either sold or decommissioned. A few were modified to armoured engineer vehicles.
For around half a century, the SDF-Army preferred APCs and infantry in anti-tank roles as well as helicopters and aircraft. With new times came new threats to the Free Lands, and as such, the SDF-Army and the SDF-Navy began modernization programs in the mid-2000s.
One part of this was the establishment of an armoured support arm for infantry support against armoured threats and buildings, which soon turned into an equal force with the Nióchan Army Reforms cooperating with the infantry as a sort-of equal to the cavalry of old.
In 2012, the first section of tanks was introduced and began tests and exercises, as well as working out usage doctrines together with the army of a friendly nation, until in 2016, the Army Reforms were introduced and reformed the SDF-Army considerably.
Today, the Cealg Mark I-B Light Tank, updated from the less capable Cealg Mark I-A, is the main battle tank of the SDF-Army, despite being marketed as a light tank.