Metalworks Incorporated AHT-01 Automated Hover Carrier:

Metalworks manufactures a number of hover designs. Some are combat designs while others are effectively non combat in their role. One of their most unusual products is known as the Automated Hover Carrier. The basic design is a small hover vehicle which is completely unmanned and automated which is designed to keep up with troops or even vehicles in the field. Automated unmanned support existed even before the coming of the Rifts with the US Army MULE.

Troops have given the vehicle mixed reviews. The design is kind of expensive compared to a tracked or wheeled version. As well, while the vehicle is quite fast, there is some terrain it cannot operate in. This includes forest and highly rough terrain. Because of this, Metalworks has developed two additional designs including a wheeled and tracked design. Both designs are much cheaper. In addition, Zilkia Industries produces a spider type design which fills the same role. It is almost as fast as the Automated Hover Carrier and more capable in rough terrain although it is even more expensive.

Basically, the vehicle is not much more than a cargo bed mated with powerful hover jets. Maximum cargo load is fairly small, only around two hundred kilograms of cargo. Common cargo load include basic supplies for troops in the field and ordnance is also common cargo carried. Two hundred kilograms is quite a bit of supplies for troops and the vehicle is also designed to be able to carry two stretchers. Otherwise, there are no provision for carrying people. Because of the exact nature of the design, it cannot effectively tow cargo loads. It does not have the traction of a wheeled, tracked, or even the spider design.

Maximum speed is around two hundred kilometers per hour. This is not quite as fast as many larger manned hover designs. This speed is most needed when operating with fast ground power armors although rarely needed with more conventional troops. The design can hover over both water and land. Altitude is from about a quarter of a meter to about two meters. Flying at maximum altitude allows it to clear most terrain features although still not all terrain can be operated over.

The AHT-01 Automated Hover Carrier is available with either a fusion or high capacity battery power pack. While originally projected, it was decided that a fuel cell model would not be cost effective. Even though quite advanced, battery powered model has a maximum range of around six hundred kilometers due to the high power demands of the hover system. Of course, the fusion powered model has effectively unlimited range with a light power armor type fusion reactor. Fusion powered models are far more expensive than battery powered models.

In no ways is the cargo vehicle designed for true combat roles. Because of that, the AHT-01 is very lightly armored although not completely unarmored. Some attempts have been made to increase the armor of the vehicle although the weight of additional armor is considered prohibitive. No weapon systems are commonly fitted with no fire control systems fitted. As a result, it is hard to modify the design to use weapon systems. Some owners have attempted to modify them to carry missiles with a power armor or other vehicle acting as fire control. Even so, stability problems create more problems. Fusion powered models are available with energy clip recharger for troop support.

The vehicle's computer systems are fairly primitive and are designed for simple terrain following functions. It also has only very simple sensor systems. Most common operation is in a following mode with it following behind troops or other vehicles. Usually a small remote beacon is used for this. The vehicle can operate completely on its own including being able to travel from one location to another. Another common role is to return to base with injured troops. Whenever operating on its own, the unarmed nature makes it vulnerable to interception although speed makes up for that to some extend.

Model Type: M.I. AHT-01 Automated Hover Carrier
Vehicle Type: Automated Hover Transport
Crew: None

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Headlights (2):10 each
[1] Sensor Array:20
[2] Hover Thruster Units:25
Cargo Compartment / Bed:40
[3] Main Body:80

[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make “Called Shot;” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[2] Destruction of the hover unit will cause the vehicle to be no longer under the pilots control.
[3] Destruction of the main body will cause the vehicle to crash.

Hover Speed: Can hover at ground level at from a hover to up to 124.3 mph (200 kph) over both land and water. Minimum hover height is 0.8 feet (0.25 meters) and maximum altitude is 6.6 feet (2.0 meters).
Maximum Range: Fusion Powered Versions: Effectively Unlimited. Battery Powered Versions: 372.8 miles (600 km) before needing to recharge.

Statistical Data:
Height: 2.46 feet (0.75 meters)
Width: 5.09 feet (1.55 meters)
Length: 7.38 feet (2.25 meters)
Weight: 584.2 lbs (265 kg) unloaded
Power Source: Fusion Powered Versions: Nuclear; average life is 5 years. Battery Powered Versions: Electrical, has a small high capacity battery
Cargo Capacity: Small cargo area in rear which allows up to 440.9 lbs (200 kg) to be carried.
Market / Black Market Cost: Fusion Powered Versions: 2.00 million credits for a new, undamaged basic unit (unarmed.) Battery Powered Versions: 425,000 credits for a new, undamaged basic unit (unarmed.)

Weapon Systems:
None Standard.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.