AN: No, I did not rip this off from Myric's Rapier.
Anti-Gravity Weapons Platform 'Hammerhead' M-01
Manufacturer: Merkava Technologies, TRD Facilities and various military factories.
Armor: Tryomite-Composite-C (LL-S) Armor plating coated with Energy-Repellent Layers.
Power Plant: SNEC PTEG Mk.2 Plasma-Fuel Thermo-Generator.
Engine(s): TRD Facilities GM-M3 Electromagnet Manipulators (Levitation and movement) and 2 Merkava PT-Tech Plasma Turbine Boosters.
Armament: Meteor Systems MS-30B Missile Launching Weapon System, frontal Machine Gun (7.62mm, 12.7mm or 14.7mm).
Ammunition: 60 Missiles, can fire up to 30 missiles per salvo and 500 Rounds.
Crew Number: 4 (1 Driver, 1 Engineer, 1 Vehicle Commander, 1 Gunner)
Background: In the middle of the 2070s, commanders from both the Armored and Artillery Companies expressed concerns that their respective forces were relatively lacking in mobility. The Armored company needed a swift attack vehicle to ambush the enemy and wear their forces thin for the tanks to clean up, while the Artillery Company required a fast-moving long-range weapon platform that can also lay down a huge amount of firepower on the enemy in a matter of seconds. Central Command paid attention to their request and Autarch Ayman, who was present at the hearing at that time, proposed a design of a single vehicle that is versatile enough to meet both companies' demands. In the following meeting, Autarch Ayman presented his design of a hover vehicle to Central Command and the commanders of mentioned companies. They questioned the possibility of hover technology and to this Ayman replied that TRD Facilities were beginning to develop experimental hover engines based on the salvaged Monarch vehicles and limited technological information from the Kroot Civilization. Central Command and the others approved of such design and construction of the prototype began, with TRD facilities finishing up and building the hover engines while Merkava Technologies was contracted to construct the vehicle frame. A year later, the prototype was complete. Testing on its all-terrain capability, mobility and combat functions began and observers have noted that it was very clumsy and this was due to the lack of understanding of anti-gravity engines. The project was delayed and the companies decided to refurbish their armored cars and infantry transports instead, while awaiting the completion of their promised weapon platform. Autarch Ayman and his Beta Division scientists decided to contribute their efforts to finish the project and it was not until six years later when they made a new major breakthrough with the assistance of the Kroots and recovered Chasan hover engines that were simpler to study. The project, designated as 'Hammerhead', was restarted with the construction of a new prototype that was finished in a period of six months. The experimental 'Hammerhead' was tested and impressed the spectators. It was immediately approved for mass production. Batches of Hammerheads were shipped to the battlefields of the Chasan homeworlds where they were used to destroy enemy armor and bombard the worn-out Chasan forces into submission. After the counterattack, the Hammerheads were extensively modified to accept other weapon modules (before then missile launcher was the only weapon that can be used) for great amount of versatility. Meteor Systems also improved the MS-30B launcher and redesigned it to be easier to reload. The new Hammerheads then immediately saw action in the Nagron War, supporting armor advances and complementing the NOAH's long range capability as well as taking out Nagron Cresent fighters as an AA vehicle. Many Hammerheads were destroyed as they sported relatively little armor and were refitted with better platings in the middle of the war. After the Nagron War, the Hammerheads remained in the IRS arsenal and was upgraded with a SNEC Plasma-Thermo Generator, replacing the volatile nuclear fission reactor and allowed more crew space. Hammerheads has been called to action once again to the battlefields against the Separatists and their old enemies that formed the alien Alliance in the Vegan II skirmish. They have also been shipped in limited numbers to the IRS's colony in the Ancerious, while digital schematics have also been sent for local production, in light of the Immortal Empire's war on Tenebrae and the Nakai's sudden intervention.
Roles and Tactics: The Hammerhead functions as a versatile missile launcher platform suitable for both the armored and artillery company tactics. In the armored company, it is used as a fast attack vehicle, functioning as a flanker or an ambusher to conduct surprise attacks on the enemy. They are also the spearhead of an armored advance, deployed at the front of the battle group to take out as much enemy units as they can and leaving the rest to the tanks. Their powerful missiles allow the Hammerheads to take out enemy tanks with little difficulty and they can also be found supporting M98 Archers and other tanks. While then, the Artillery Company use them as a fast long-range units conducting shock barrages on the enemy and leave them scarred and confused as well as a complement to the NOAH's firepower. The fast speed and firing rate of the MS-30B allows the Hammerhead to unleash a barrage and quickly retreat to avoid a counter-barrage. The versatile targeting system of the MS-30B also places the Hammerhead in an Anti-Aircraft role, clearing the skies of enemy airborne targets for the IRS fighters and bomber to take place and claim their air dominance. Since other weapon modules can be placed on the Hammerhead, it can be refitted for other roles and such examples include IFV, MBT, Ambulance and light artillery configurations.
Armament: By default, the Hammerhead sports a Meteor Systems MS-30B Missile Launcher loaded with a total 60 High-Explosive Armor-Piercing Missiles. The MS-30B is a very capable weapon; accurate, precise and able to lay waste to enemy armor as well as almost any kind of hostile presence on the ground,even from afar. One HE missile is enough to leave serious damages on enemy armor, tear apart infantry limb to limb and destroy emplacements and buildings. The MS-30B can also be used in indirect missile barrages, firing volleys of explosive projectiles with the aim to induce great destruction, intense traumatic experiences and forcing the enemy into submission. This makes it great for saturation strategies, levelling large cities whole to display the IRS's savagery and brutality when it comes to war. The versatile targeting system of the MS-30B allows the Hammerhead to engage multiple airborne threats such as helicopters and jets, further adding to its capability and usefulness in combat. The Hammerhead can be fitted with other weapon modules to fit other roles and mission objectives, often using its great speed for swift attacks. The machine gun at the front allows the Hammerhead additional firepower against nearby enemy infantry.
Armor: The Hammerhead does not sport as much as armor as the M98 main battle tanks or any other armored vehicle due to the need to keep the weight as light as possible but it's armor is still durable enough for it to survive, though it is best if the crew uses its great mobility and focus on evading rather than absorbing enemy attacks. The Tryomite Composite-C can shrug off small arms fire, go head to head against heavy calibres and withstand shaped explosives and large projectiles. The Energy Repellent Layers enable the Hammerhead to persist against lasers, plasma and microwave beams and take on a decent amount of anti-matter blasts.
Mobility: Levitating above ground with the magnetic field manipulators, the Hammerhead can venture over almost any kind of terrain and can travel at extreme top speeds well over 400 KM/H (though for safety reasons this is ill-advised). This allows it to be deployed almost anywhere without much issues and also enables it to execute interesting unorthodox tactics when spearheading an attack or ambushing the enemy, making it feared by enemy commanders for its unpredictability in the field. In non-offensive roles, the Hammerhead can deliver casualties from the frontlines to army hospitals with haste, as well as transporting vital supplies such as new equipment, ammunition and essentials effectively to and fro the battlefield.
Power plant and Engine: Ever since the SNEC has successfully developed series of compact plasma-fuelled thermo-generators, the dangerous fission reactor formerly used by the Hammerhead has been replaced with a smaller, easier and safer to maintain plasma thermo-generators which were more reliable in the battlefield. It harnesses heat released by plasma contained in portable canisters and directs it to the turbine-generators where air expands due to the heat and moves the turbines connected to dynamos and produces electricity, which then is used to power the Hammerhead's various systems, especially the Magnetic Manipulators. Helium, as a result of hydrogen fusing together in a plasma state, is extracted at the same time from the said canisters or tanks and piped to the Plasma Turbine Engines where they undergo compression, pressurization and is then shot out from the nozzles of the end of engine, generating thrust.
Sensory Equipment: Being the tip of the spear of the armored and the complementary of the Artillery companies, the Hammerhead must stay updated about the current situation. ATMOS pulse sensors acts as the Hammerhead's radar, detecting enemy units as well as selectively revealing the positions of cloaked hostile units. The advanced communication arrays and interfaces allow the crew to access vital battlefield information from the Integrated Intelligence Network (IIN) such as positions of enemy and allied units on the field, terrain and weather detail, global map of the region they are deployed in and satellite video and image feeds if required. The crew of the Hammerhead can also broadcast its own information to the IIN and this allows a battle group to stay connected and in constant contact. The computer interfaces are easy to use, reliable, responsive and has a large data capacity. The high-band frequency radio antennas of the Hammerhead allows it to remain in contact with commanding officers, making it easier for them to receive new orders and current situations. Two A.Is are installed in the Hammerheads systems. The General-use Military Artificial Intelligence, or GMs for short, are tasked with maintaining the Hammerhead's many complex systems and does constant diagnostics and checks as well as managing battlefield data and displaying them on the computer interfaces. The A.I is also connected to the Hammerhead's sensor arrays and can issue a warning to the crew if there is any incoming threats and enemies nearby. The GM has the ability to compute accurate firing solutions by using data from the MS-30B's targeting systems as well as battlefield information from the IIN and this spares the crew the trouble of calculating firing solutions from scratch and only to be disappointed by missing their targets. The Cyber Defence A.I protects the Hammerhead's systems from hostile takeover, as well as ensuring that their communication channels remain safely guarded and not hacked or tapped. It can do the opposite to the enemy's systems, rendering them useless while draining their vital database.