Beagle Light Tank
|Beagle light tank|
Beagle light tank of, B Squadron, 2nd Greenwich Light Dragoons in monsoon season camouflage
|Place of origin||Arthurista|
|Used by||Arthuristan People's Army|
|Armor|| Integral: welded steel armour|
Applique: light ceramic-composite aromur
|105mm rifled cannon (also compatible with 120-130mm weapons)|
|Browning 12.7mm Co-ax, Sharpshooter RWS on roof (optional), 2 x dual box-launchers for ATGM (optional)|
|Engine|| Arthuristan Motors AVE-4 V-8 diesel|
531 kW, 720 bhp
|600km on roads|
|Speed||75 kph on roads|
The Beagle Light Tank was developed to be a lightweight fire support and reconnaissance vehicle with superior strategic mobility compared to the Boudicca Main Battle Tank. In this role, it replaced obsolete CVR(T)-based platforms, including the Scorpion and Scimitar light tanks. It was based on the Canis common pattern of tracked light-armoured vehicles.
The Beagle features significant firepower for a light tank. It is armed with a 105mm rifled gun, coupled with an autoloader. Export versions can be equipped with 120-130mm smoothbore or rifled weapons instead.
The main gun is capable of firing DU-APFSDS, HEAT, HESH, thermobaric, canister and the Arthuristan Smart Top Attack Ammunition ("ASTAM") round. The latter resembles a GLATGM, although it is in reality a cannon round, dependent entirely the propellant charge detonated in the breach for propulsion. It has a theoretical maximum range of 15km.
Secondary armaments consist of a 12.7mm Browning HMG mounted co-axially with the main gun, as well as an optional Sharpshooter RWS with a GL05 Universal Support Weapon and box-launched Vigilant ATGM attached externally to the turret.
The Beagle features a modern fire control system in comparison to its predecessors. In addition to the gunner's usual day/thermal sight, laser range-finder, crosswind sensor and ballistic computer, the commander receives his/her own independent panoramic optical/IR sight, allowing him to override the gunner and lay the gun himself, i.e. the employment of hunter-killer tactics. A feature inspired the South Korean K-2 Black Panther is the addition of a powerful milliband radar to the FCS, allowing the tank to track targets up to 12km away, lock onto targets based on the data transmitted via unit net from other tanks or vehicles and open fire on them with either shell or ATGM without requiring visual sighting from the tank. Another feature it borrowed from the K2 Black Panther is the trigger-delay mechanism, which prevents the gun from being fired if any sudden movement is drastic enough that the gunner’s aim could be thrown.
At its most basic configuration, the Beagle's welded steel armour can withstand 12.7mm AP heavy machine gun rounds from the frontal arc. Applique composite armour modules, consisting of a laminate of titanium diboride, titanium plates and rubber allow the vehicle to withstand 30mm autocannons and RPGs, though with not-inconsiderable increase in weight. Slat armour and light explosive-reactive armour can be added on top to increase its resistance against HEAT ammunition.
As a weight-saving measure, integral passive armour is mainly concentrated in a caccoon around the crew compartment. The unmanned turret, by contrast, is relatively lightly protected, relying instead on its low and slimline profile to avoid incoming fire.
Active Defence Systems
Active protection measures such as the LEDS-100 soft kill and LEDS-150 hardkill countermeasures are installed to provide further protection against RPGs and ATGMs. An additional soft-kill countermeasure are high-energy laser bloomers, which can be used to destroy electro-optical or laser ranging or targeting devices aimed at the tank. Crew survivability is further improved the vehicle's overpressure NBC-proofing system.
The latest upgrade package equips the tanks with active thermal panels to achieve some degree of IR stealth. Radar-absorbent coating helps to lower the tanks' signature and help to avoid detection, while counter-laser bloomers have been installed to destroy laser range-finding gear targeting the vehicle.
The light tank's V-8 diesel engine allows the Beagle to have excellent power to weight ratio. Top speed is 75km/h on roads, although this is artificially limited by a governor and the vehicle has been tested to 85 km/h.
In terms of strategic mobility, the Beagle is too large for transportation by the ubiquitous C-130 Hercules. However, the new Airbus A-400M Atlas tactical airlifter, which is twice as large as the legacy platform, can transport up to two Beagles in their lightest armour configuration. Strategic airlifters such as Globemaster IIIs, C-5 Galaxies and Antonov AN-124s can typically transport between three to six.
In its lightest armour configuration, the Beagle may be airdropped with the crew on board, relying on parachutes and a platform equipped with retardant-rockets to slow its descent to a safe speed.
The platform is theoretically amphibious. However, it is only able to float with the lightest armour configuration and thus this capability was hardly ever utilised in practice.
Beagles are equipped with the Arthuristan Dynamics Digital Battlefield Management System which integrate vehicles in one or multiple units into the combat network (the ARES Battlenet in the Arthuristan Army), allowing them to communicate efficiently and share valuable intelligence, whether with other tanks and vehicles, UAVs, APAF aircrafts providing CAS, or any other platforms or 'information nodes' of the Arthuristan military. Such tactical data are displayed on the commander's tablet computer, which can be mounted in a bracket at his/her station. Enemy sightings, targeting information and other intelligence gathered by the tank's sensors are also automatically transmitted across the ARES battlenet and thus made available to all other platforms linked to it.