The Mealltach Reconnaissance Tank was introduced in 1950 as a supplement to the Dobhareach Amphibious Tracked Vehicle and a replacement of the Ruathar Fast Tank. They fulfilled a similar role during the times of the Cosaint MBT and became the SDF-Army's sole 'tank' aside from the Crogall Amphibious Armoured Vehicle. The Mealltach was planned and used as a reconnaissance vehicle and optimized for that role as well.
In 1985, the last units were decommissioned with the SDF-Army, but they are still operated by the Seabhac, the Sensha-Do Team of the Binn Boarding School Complex near Launceston. Aside from that, the Museum of Armoured Warfare in Maleth has two Mealltachs in working condition.
Inspired by the massive Kyrenaian Muharib Infantry Tank, several engineers and planners in the Free Lands began to think about a smaller, albeit equally heavily armed platform, which would be able to withstand the newer versions of the Squartatore Assault Tanks and their heavier Modello di artiglieria di fanteria del 1928. Projected, at first, were 80 mm of sloped frontal armour, but the vehicle proved to be too heavy.
In the final production model, 50 mm of sloped front armour at 50 degrees, with 30 mm thick plates on the sides and rear and 23 mm belly plates. To increase the cross-country performance, the vehicle was fitted with 660 mm wide tracks, similar to the ones used on the Muharib Infantry Tank, and wider then the originally projected 500 mm wide tracks. This led to a better distribution of weight and thus allowed the vehicle to move, where other tanks did not dare to tread. The turret was cast.
To facilitate easier movement on ice and snow, rubber blocks could be fixed to all track elements, using one pin to easily install and remove these.
For the Gabha G-18 47mm Anti-Tank Gun, 50 rounds were carried. In addition to the optical rangefinders, the commander could also rely on a night vision device, creating a distinctive bump on the turret roof.
The biggest change of Mark II, introduced in 1963, was a new main armament, as the G-18 was rather insufficient against heavier tanks - while the Mealltach was not designed to defend itself against tanks, the 47mm gun was still insufficient. First experiments with the Gabha G-80 76mm Gun proved successful and, due to financial constraints, the project to develop and install a 90 mm or even larger gun were abandoned. With the new gun assembly also came a new stabilization system, allowing more effective firing while on the move.
In addition, the Mealltach received a new coaxial machine gun, a heavier MGHM 1953, soon to be added was a second MGHM 1953 at the commander's cupola. While this unofficial modification was made official in the Mark III version, both proved their worth in Kupandukira. Another field modification were the armoured skirts added to the sides to protect the upper tracks, but these field modifications were never made official.
Also new with the Mark II was a new rangefinding system, a optical system using two optics to triangulate the distance to the target using simple mathematics. Two bumps on either side of the gun mantlet hide this system. A small electric motor was used to unveil their view.
The Mark II Version was also fully protected against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
One of the biggest changes to Mark III was the new rangefinding system, a new laser-rangefinder being added.
Mark IV was to be up-armoured with high-hardness armour, the addition of a computerized fire-control system and the addition of
|Model||Weight||Main Armament||Secondary Armament||Speed||Engine||In frontline Service||Notes|
|Mark I||22 tons||G-18 47mm Anti-Tank Gun, 8x smoke grenade launchers||1x R-22 MG (coaxial)||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||1950-1965||First production run|
|Mark II||23 tons||G-80 76mm Gun||1x MGHM 1953 (coaxial), 8x smoke grenade launchers||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||1963-1972|
|Mark III||23 tons||G-80 76mm Gun||2x MGHMs 1953 (1 coaxial, 1 commander's hatch), 8x smoke grenade launchers||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||1970-1985|
|Mark IV||25 tons||G-80 76mm Gun||2x MGHMs 1953 (1 coaxial, 1 commander's hatch), 8x smoke grenade launchers||55 km/h on roads||750 hp Diesel||Never introduced into service|
|AA-Mealltach||20 tons||2x G-116 Revolver Cannons, 8x smoke grenade launchers||N/A||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||1955-1985|
|Armoured Engineer Vehicle||25 tons||Dozer shovel, excavator arm||1x MGHM 1953 (commander's hatch)||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||1953-1985|
|Mortar Carrier||23 tons||1x MHM 1961, 8x smoke grenade launchers||N/A||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||1965-1985|
|Command Tank||20 tons||1x MGHM 1953 (commander's hatch), 8x smoke grenade launchers||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||Only prototypes, all scrapped|
|Artillery Observation Vehicle||20 tons||1x MGHM 1953 (commander's hatch), 8x smoke grenade launchers||45 km/h on roads||550 hp Diesel||Only prototypes, all scrapped|
The Threat of the Gruppo di Attacco di Cavalleria Pesante
Humanitarian Mission of the SDF to Kupandukira (1965-1975)
Second Vellenge War (1983)
The Mealltach experienced a revival in popularity in the sport of Sensha-Do, both the Binn Boarding School Complex Sensha-Do Team and the Naval School Sensha-Do Team (since 2020) fielding these vehicles. While both teams use Mark IIs, they do also have Mark IIIs, but not in sufficient numbers to form a full squadron.