The Crogall Amphibious Armoured Vehicle was an amphibious 'weapons carrier' of the SDF-Army, developed and produced by Gabha Blacksmiths Limited. Despite not being called a light tank, it is essentially that - and the spiritual predecessor of the Cealg Light Tank. The Crogall was in service from 1963 to 1990, replacing the Dobhareach Amphibious Tracked Vehicle, operated in Kupandukira, fought on the slopes of Mount Vellenge and was finally phased out due to being completely over-aged. Its replacement, after over twenty years without a tank or 'weapons carrier', the Cealg Light Tank took up the mantle.
The term crogall means crocodile. These vehicles are not to be confused with the Crogall-class Vehicle Landing Ship.
In the projections of the SDF-Army for a possible war, they always saw the small, but elite Gruppo di Attacco di Cavalleria Pesante (the Heavy Cavalry Attack Group) of the Lutetiian Army as their main adversary, so they needed a vehicle, that could defeat the heavy tanks in case the SDF-Navy failed to prevent a landing: The answer, from 1952 to 1969, was the Cosaint MBT, but the Cosaint was overaged by 1960.
So, development of a new vehicle started in 1960, taking three years in total. To not offend the Kyrenaian Friends, the replacement for the Cosaint (there known as the Muharib Infantry Tank and supplemented by the Alsuyuf I Main Battle Tank starting from 1952) was called a 'weapons carrier', not a tank.
The multifuel engine could either be fuelled with diesel and kerosene, a four-stroke, six-cylinder engine, with cooling to the left and a radiator above. The manual gearbox has seven gears, one reverse, five forward and one for water drive (in practical application, the water drive gear was never used). The Crogall suffered from the same engine troubles as the Faolchú Armoured Personnel Carrier, especially with kerosene being used. The first production run for the new engines ended up being used in the Crogall's Mark I from 1961 to 1966, but even that did not eliminate all difficulties. Mark III would prove to be the one to establish the Crogall's reputation for having a reliable engine.
The Crogall was, due to being a lighter tank, far more mobile then heavier contemporaries and could use that mobility to its advantage. It also didn't throw its tracks that often as other vehicles of its generation. That had its drawbacks as the Crogall was not as heavily armoured, which proved to be a serious problem during the Humanitarian Mission of the SDF to Kupandukira. Field modifications, among them a steel sheet shield around the commander's machine gun, proved to be a small remedy.
The Crogall was amphibious and could use this capability without extensive prior preparation.
- Mark 0: Prototype series. Had problems with the multifuel engine.
- Mark I: First production run, started in 1961.
- Mark II: First refit, planned for 1970, not implemented.
- Mark III: Second/First refit, from 1975 to 1978. Improvements to engine, suspension and gear box.
- Mark IV: Equipped with a Gabha G-80 76mm Gun instead of the Gabha G-81 155mm Short Cannon, only prototypes. The recoil proved to be too strong.
- Crogall-EV: Engineer vehicle, dozer shovel, excavator arm, put into service in 1968.
- Crogall-AA: Anti-Aircraft vehicle, equipped with two Gabha G-116 30mm Revolver Cannons in one double-mount. Only prototypes.
- Crogall-BL: Bridgelayer Tank, only prototypes.
- Crogall-M1 and Crogall-M2: Mortar vehicles, only prototypes.
The Crogall was phased out and decommissioned with the SDF-Army in 1990.
From its formation in 2016, the Naval School Sensha-Do Team was equipped with Crogalls,