Metalworks Incorporated HH-03 “Red Ryder” Medium Hover Hauler:

Metalworks Incorporated specializes in mostly aircraft and hover designs although they do produce a few other designs. This includes a small number of power armor designs. They only produce one tracked design and no wheeled designs at present. They have introduced a number of combat hover designs but the basis of their success has been a number of non combatant designs.

In many places, roads are no existent and even tracked and eight wheel designs have trouble with terrain. As such, hover designs are extremely popular especially in areas which are not heavily forested. Hover designs also have the ability to travel over water which gives them the ability to go where bridges are long gone. A final advantage which hover designs tend to have is that they are extremely fast. This allows for the quick transport of cargo but also makes it hard to be ambushed. When ambushed, the high speed also makes it relatively easy to escape in many cases.

One of the most popular designs sold by Metalwork is the “Red Ryder” Medium Cargo Hauler. It is a bit smaller than the companies “Redball” heavy cargo hauler and is designed around carrying a payload of five metric tons of cargo. It is actually far more popular than its larger cousin, appealing to adventures, traveling merchants, and many adventurers. Unlike some of Metalwork's other designs, this one is not of particular concern by the Coalition. While they may be lightly armed, they generally cannot be considered true combat vehicles.

There are four basic propulsion systems available for the Red Ryder as with most Metalworks designs. One, the most expensive but virtually unlimited range, is the fusion powered version. The fusion reactor usually goes around five years between needing to be refueled. The other is an electrically powered model which in many ways is extremely similar to the fusion model but strips out the fusion reactor to replace it with a high capacity battery. The third is the most convention and uses a gas turbine engine which can run on various different fuel types. That version runs most efficiently on diesel and kerosene of various grades. Least efficient is gasoline although the vehicle will run even on that.

The fourth version is the one which is most interesting. Some customers love the system while others hate it. That is the fuel cell model. Since the coming of the Rifts, the technology was virtually lost. Because it uses hydrogen cracked from water usually using a fusion reactor, fuel is cheap and plentiful. The electrons pass through the “load” (engines, weapons, avionics, etc.) creating current and powering the systems. Meanwhile, the 2H+ molecules pass from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte. At the other “End,” the electrons then recombine with the 2H+ molecules and Oxygen (from the air) and are release as water from the rear of the vehicle.

While the vehicle is not designed for true flight, it is designed to hover around three meters off the ground. This allows the vehicle to cover a surprising variety of different terrain types. It can also hover over water although not designed for open water travel but instead for crossing relatively small bodies of water. Even rivers of several kilometers in width are usually fine for crossing. All versions have a top speed of around two hundred kilometers per hour. While this does not equal that of many combat hover designs, it exceeds virtually all wheeled designs and is even faster when compared to tracked designs.

The crew compartment is designed around a crew of four although can easily be operated by a single individual. There is a sophisticated autopilot system to reduce driver's workload further. Standard model comes with no life support although are fully air conditioned. Full life Support is available as an option for a bit extra. As well, standard sensors and communication systems are fairly basic but can be upgraded to a system similar to what is carried on many power armors.

As far as cargo carrying ability, it can carry a bit less than a wheeled vehicle of similar size. Such is the trade off with hover designs. It has an optional cargo crane which can be controlled remotely from the truck's cab. The crane has the ability to lift cargo loads of up to 1,250 kilograms (2755.8 lbs) with a maximum reach of 15 feet (4.6 meters). At closer distance, 7.5 feet (2.3 meters), can lift twice that for 2,500 kilograms (5511.6 lbs).

The vehicle is designed with four basic cargo bay options. One is simply an open bed. The second is a simple enclosed cargo bed. The third is a tanker model which has a capacity of four thousand liters (1060 gallons.) This one is useful for various fuel types, water, and other more specialized liquids. There is finally a version with an expandable van area. This version reduces cargo load to around 2.5 metric tons but has the advantage of being able to be converted to a huge number of different roles. Common uses include living areas, workshop vehicles, command and control, and radar / electronic warfare . The last two are operated by a crew of four for the equipment, compared to eight for the larger versions carried on the “Redball” with much reduced capabilities.

Even though the Red Ryder cannot be considered a true combat design, it is lightly armored and the purchaser can add various weapon packages to the design and armor can be further upgraded. No weapons are standard but the world after the coming of the Rifts is often a far from friendly place. There is a position for a single weapon mount above the crew cab. A pulse laser which is a modified version of the JA-12 Rifle is most common although the Northern Gun NG-202 Rail Gun and the Wellington WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher are also popular choices. As soon as production peaks, Metalworks plans to replace the rail gun with their own model of rail gun. In addition to the top weapon mount, the vehicle can mount a pair of mini-missile launchers.

Metalworks does not offer any heavier armed version of the vehicle. It is quite likely that some purchasers might upgrade the weaponry even further and make a "Battle Wagon" out of it. Most of these are armed to the teeth although cannot really be considered effective military vehicles. The most effective upgrade is the simplest which involves the addition of a six shot medium range missile launcher in the cargo bed. This can be useful for both air defense and for bombardment. These are often are supplemented by about a dozen missiles for reloads. Another fairly useful weapon, which is not actually installed as part of the vehicle, is an 81 mm mortar. Usually, a couple of hundred rounds and sometimes more are carried for the mortar. No fire control is provided for the mortar. Again, this is used in a support role not direct combat.

Model Type:M.I. HH-03AOpen Bed Cargo Design
M.I. HH-03BEnclosed Bed Cargo Design
M.I. HH-03CTanker (4000 liter) Model
M.I. HH-03DExpanding Van Version

Vehicle Type: Medium Hover Transport
Crew: Two (Can carry two additional passengers in the crew compartment) - Can be operated by one.

M.D.C. By Location:

Crane (Optional):40
[1] Headlights (4):10 each
[1] JA-12 Pulse Laser Rifle Mount (Optional):40
[1] NG-202 Rail Gun Mount (Optional):75
[1] MI-RG-40-X Rail Gun Mount (Optional):75
[1] WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher (Optional):70
[1] Mini-Missile Launchers (2, Optional):30 each
[2] Hover Thruster Units:100
Crew Compartment100
Cargo Compartment / Bed / Tank:100
[3] Main Body:200 (300)

[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. All systems, including emergency parachute, will not function. Standard armor is 200 M.D.C. but can be upgraded in increments of 20 M.D.C. up to an addition 100 M.D.C.

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 2 feet (0.6 meters) and maximum altitude is 10 feet (3.05 meters).
Maximum Range: With gas or electric, 600 miles (965.6 km), with fuel cells, 800 (1287.5 km), and with fusion, effectively unlimited.

Statistical Data:
All versions except Expanding Van: 8.69 feet (2.65 meters) for cab (does not include weapon mounts)
Expanding Van Version: 8.69 feet (2.65 meters) for cab when van is retracted and 11.98 feet (3.65 meters) for van when extended.
All versions except Expanding Van: 9.51 feet (2.9 meters)
Expanding Van Version: 9.51 feet (2.9 meters) sides retracted / 15.09 feet (4.6 meters) sides extended.
Length: All versions: 32.15 feet (9.8 meters)
Weight: 16.53 tons (15 metric tons) empty and 23.70 tons (21.5 metric tons) fully loaded.
Power Source: Four versions. Nuclear with 5 year fusion reactor, Electric, Conventional liquid fuel that uses aviation gas / diesel, and Fuel cell version that uses Hydrogen as a fuel to produce electricity.
Cargo Capacity: 11,023.1 lbs (5,000 kg) in cargo compartment for all models except for expanding van model. Expanding van model can carry 5511.5 lbs (2,500 kg.) Crew can also carry basic equipment including weaponry in crew compartment.
Market / Black Market Cost: 275,000 credits with Internal Combustion engine, 350,000 with Electrical engine or fuel cell power system, and 1.2 million for fusion with a 5 year life.
Upgrades: Sensory / Communication upgrade (equal to a standard power armor) costs 12,000 credits. Fully contained life support system costs 50,000 credits. Cargo Crane costs 5,000 credits. Mini-Missile launchers costs 400,000 credits for a pair. Pulse Laser Mount costs 60,000 Credits. Wellington Automatic Grenade Launcher costs 150,000 credits. Northern Gun Rail Gun costs 70,000 credits. MI-RG-40-X Rail Gun costs 150,000 credits. Additional armor costs 50,000 credits per 20 M.D.C. Four Man Command / Control Facilities (with communication) costs 150,000 credits. Radar / Electronic Warfare Facilities cost 2250,000 credits.

Weapons Systems: The vehicle can mount the following above the rear section of the crew compartment. Direct fire weapons are controlled by a gunner who sits behind the weapon mount. Missiles are controlled by a remote control system.

  1. Top Mounted Weapon Position (1): Mounted above the cab of the vehicle, a single weapon can be mounted for defense of the vehicle. Most common weapon mounts are rail guns, pulse laser mounts, or automatic grenade launchers.
    1. Pulse Laser Cannon: The mounts's laser cannons use the barrels and inner working of the JA-12 Assault Rifle. The laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the vehicle on fusion powered models. On electric and conventionally powered models, there is a high capacity battery. On fuel cell models, the weapon has its own fuel cell.
      Weight: 13 lbs (5.85 kg)
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega Damage: 4D6 for single shot and 1D6x10+10 for three round burst from cannon.
      Rate of Fire:Equal to the gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: Nuclear Reactor: Effectively Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines). Electric or Conventional Fuel: Battery is good for 1200 shots (400 three shot bursts.) Fuel Cell Version: 600 shots (200 three shot bursts.) It takes approximately two minutes for a trained crew to change the hydrogen tank that powers the weapon, assuming that a spare tank is available. Untrained crews will take about six minutes to accomplish this task.
    2. NG-202 Rail Gun: These guns are set up like the NG-202 on the Samson power armor with a greater rate of fire. The vehicles used by Metalworks Incorporated uses APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) ammo that increases damage
      Weight: Rail Gun: 210 lbs (94.5 kg), One Ammo-Drum: 150 lbs (68.05 kg).
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1200 meter)
      Mega Damage: Normal Ammo; 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot.) APFSDS Ammo; 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot.)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 3000 rounds (50 bursts)
    3. MI-RG-40-X Rail Gun: Rail Gun is a modified version of the Coalition C-40R Rail Gun. While the weapon is widely duplicated, Metalworks has managed to improve the rail gun with the ability to fire either 40 round or 60 round bursts. While the 60 round burst uses ammunition far faster, it inflicts greater damage and is only slightly heavier. When not hooked up to a power armor or vehicle , the rail gun need a special power pack Previously, Metalworks Industries purchased NG-202 Rail Guns but plans to replace Northern Gun rail guns with their own model although it is twice the cost.
      Weight: 104 lbs (47.2 kg), One Ammo-Drum: 190 lbs (85.5 kg).
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Maximum Effective Range: Normal Ammo; Can fire a burst of 40 rounds which inflicts 1D4x10 M.D. or can fire a burst of 60 rounds which inflicts 1D6x10 M.D. A single round inflicts 1D4 M.D. APFSDS Ammo;Can fire a burst of 40 rounds which inflicts 1D6x10 M.D. or can fire a burst of 60 rounds which inflicts 2D4x10 M.D. A single round inflicts 1D6 M.D.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 2000 round drum, that's 50 bursts of 40 rounds or 33 bursts of 60 rounds.
    4. Automatic Grenade Launcher: Weapon is WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher mounted on a spindle mount. Extremely dangerous at close range although not as effective against airborne targets as the pulse laser.
      Weight: 130 lbs (58.5 kg) not including ammo belts. Ammo belt weighs 40 lbs (18.15 kg)
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 4D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 feet (3.7 meters) and 1D4x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 feet (0.9 meters), burst of 10 rounds does 2D6x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 feet (12.2 meters) and 3D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 feet (2.4 meters).
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
      Payload: 400 Rounds.
  2. Mini-Missile Launchers (2 - Optional): The missile launcher systems are on either side of the cab / cockpit. Both launchers hold twelve mini-missiles for twenty-four total.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) missiles. Can be fired equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: 12 Mini-Missiles each launcher for a total of 24 mini-missiles.

Sensory Equipment:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.