Development[edit | edit source]
The ZM.L-1 (Zhinapa Machina Legkiy) was the first armored combat
vehicle designed by Zhinapa Machina (ZM) that entered mass production. During the arms race that followed upon the creation of the United Nation of Novourov (UNN), ZM saw a large increase in the number of light, agile tanks utilised by the UNN, which were seemingly designed for infantry support and reconnaissance. As a response, ZM designed the long barrel breach loaded 37mm cannon. The muzzle velocity and armor penetrating properties of the weapon were revolutionary at the time. The first real tank by ZM was designed around this particular weapon, intended for tank to tank combat. By 1399, several prototypes had been built and were subjected to rigorous testing. Five years later the vehicle entered mass production.
The ZM.L-1/37 was a sturdy, agile and relatively fast vehicle, propelled by a 6.5L I6 diesel engine. It utilised the long 37mm mounted in an open-top turret in combination with a maximum of 30mm of armor on the hull. Its total mass amounted to just over 10 tonnes. With exception of the long 37mm cannon, the vehicle was cheap and easy to produce, which made it a real workhorse of the Zhinapan army. By the start of the conflict with the UNN in 1411, over 300 ZM.L-1 chassis had been built, of which 190 were the ZM.L-1/37. When the UNN eventually started deploying more powerful weapons and thicker armor, the ZM.L-1/37 lost its effectiveness and was largely replaced by the ZM.S-1/50 medium tank.
Seven of the ZM.L-1/37's were utilised by the famous Valerey's Spirited Seven on the 8th of August 1411, when they destroyed 15 UNN vehicles in a single night and only lost a single tank of their own in the process.
ZM.L - 1/37 - S[edit | edit source]
While the 37mm cannon was an excellent weapon against light armored vehicles, it was practically useless against infantry. In an attempt to create a more versatile vehicle, the ZM.L-1/37 was equipped with an overhead rack carrying five 82mm HE rockets, and extra rockets internally. It was a cheap though relatively effective measure to improve the suppressive capability of the light tank.
ZM.L - 1/80[edit | edit source]
Some ZM.L-1 chassis were outfitted exclusively for combat against infantry or soft targets. With a modified breach loaded 80mm mortar using the default 80mm HE mortar rounds, the ZM.L-1/80 could engage the enemy with both direct and indirect fire. No other modifications to the chassis or the turret construction were made.
ZM.L - 1/20[edit | edit source]
With a slow but steady rise in the aeronautical department, appropriate land based countermeasures were desired. The answer by Zhinapa Machina was a modified version of the ZM.L-1 tank, dubbed the ZM.L-1/20. The vehicle was equipped with a 20mm machinegun as its main weapon, supported by two 7.62 machineguns, mounted in a new turret construction with an excellent range of motion.
ZM.L - 1/50 - 1412[edit | edit source]
When the UNN started deploying the T-No.11, it became clear that the once powerful 37mm breach loaded cannon had trouble penetrating the tank's angled armor reliably. While Zhinapa Machina did have a 50mm version of the breach loaded cannon available, it could not be mounted on the ZM.L-1 chassis due to logistical issues. There was not enough ammo capacity, nor enough room for the crew to operate and reload the weapon in a timely manner.
The ZM.L-1/50-1412 received several modifications to its chassis. A new compartment was constructed for the driver and commander, which allowed room for two more crew members; a gunner and loader. Additionally it created more room for ammunition storage. The open engine bay received armor plating and a new ammo compartment was added behind the turret. In addition to the new 50mm cannon, the ZM.L-1/50-1412 received a coaxial 12.7 machinegun for infantry suppression.