Development[edit | edit source]
The ZM.L-2 (Zhinapa Machina Legkiy) chassis was developed simultaneously with the ZM.L-1 chassis during the late 14th century. The idea was to have a ZM.L-2 for every couple of ZM.L-37's as a support vehicle and armored reconnaissance. Most importantly, the plan demanded a fast vehicle with enough armor to be able to combat infantry reliably.
Choosing an appropriate powerplant was the biggest problem. At the time only a few engines had the desired power-to-weight ratio and even fewer would actually fit inside the relatively small chassis. A stroke of brilliance (or perhaps insanity) by one of the engineers decided that the vehicle should be equipped with an engine designed for an airplane, specifically an 11.0L petrol radial engine. The resulting prototype's performance was above expectations, though somewhat erratic. It entered full scale production in 1407sy, but because of the high cost of the new engine fewer of the ZM.L-2 chassis were produced than originally planned. By 1411, 110 ZM.L-2's were in active use.
ZM.L - 2/12[edit | edit source]
The original series of ZM.L-2 chassis were outfitted with a 12.7mm machinegun and coaxial 7.62mm machinegun. While the armament was sufficient to fulfil its role, the need to carry two types of ammunition for the weapons proved to be an issue in the field. Since the turret construction was extremely cramped and not mechanically operated, combined with the sometimes erratic handling of the vehicle made it very difficult for the gunner to aim while on the move. Only a single batch of the ZM.L-2/12 were ever made and all of them were later converted to either the ZM.L-2/37 or the ZM.L-2/14.
ZM.L - 2/14[edit | edit source]
In order to maintain comparable firepower to the ZM.L-2/12 but dispose of the need to carry two types of ammunition around, the ZM.L-2 was equipped with the new 14mm machinegun. The small bucket-like non mechanically operated turret construction was maintained, but with only one weapon to worry about the handling improved significantly.
ZM.L - 2/37[edit | edit source]
As the war between the Novourova Liberta and UNN progressed, enemy armor became thicker and the once revolutionary long 37mm cannon lost its effectiveness. Since there was now a surplus of the obsolete weapons, some of the ZM.L-2 chassis were equiped with a shortened version of the 37mm. With the exceptional mobility of the ZM.L-2 chassis, it became an effective weapon against enemy soft targets such as supply convoys.