Metalworks Incorporated M-200-HIFV “Zephyr” class Hover I.F.V.:

This vehicle design was started in the imagination of an Armorer that went by the name of Lone Wolf. He wanted for personal use a vehicle that was fast, well armed, and able to carry supplies plus power armors or troops. Basically a hover version of an Infantry Fighting Vehicle. He decide on the design being a hover craft so it could over water. He came up with some general ideas and brought it to Metalworks Industries to develop and because he did not have the large equipment to build the vehicle. After working with a team for several months, he fully developed the idea. He was initially against marketing the design but was talked into marketing the design by one of the companies chief executives. A few models were manufactured for sale and several mercenary companies have purchased these hover vehicles and he has benefitted greatly from profits from this design. Metalworks is planning to increase production of this vehicle and enter full scale sales once this begins.

These vehicles are designed for survival in a combat environment and are both well armored and armed for this reason. While the vehicle cannot withstand as much damage as a hover style tank might, it is still considerable and is constructed from advanced alloys. The hovercraft is armed with both energy weapons and missiles. The main weapon is a rear turret with a Vulcan Laser copied from the one mounted on the Iron Hammer tank. In the present version, it is powered by the hovercrafts fusion reactor but on later versions it will be powered by a battery or a fuel cell. The vehicles also mounts a pair of lighter lasers in the nose. These are also powered by the fusion reactor and with be powered by a battery on non fusion powered versions. A rail gun mount was considered but it was decided that missiles would be just as effective and would not require power like the rail gun. The Zephyr carries six medium range missile tubs with three on either side of the turret and has a mini missile launcher on either side of the forward pilots compartment.

Unlike many combat vehicles, the Zephyr is designed to be able to be controlled by just one pilot and a gunner for the main turret. The vehicle also has a space for a communication/sensor operator but the position can be taken over by the pilot. The vehicle is designed to be able to carry up to sixteen soldiers in body armor, twelve medium or light power armors, or up to ten tons of equipment. The vehicle has a large rear door and two smaller side doors.

Like the name implies, the Zephyr is very heavy and has a top speed of 150 mph. While the Zephyr can only hover at low altitudes of 20 feet, this is still sufficient to clear many obstacles and the hover craft can hover over water as well as land. All of the first batch of these vehicles were fusion powered but it is planned that there will be

several different power systems available in the production models including conventional liquid fueled internal combustion, battery generated electrical, fuel cell systems, and nuclear powered. The fusion reactor design for the vehicle is copied from one mounted in a medium power armor. The technology for the fuel cell design was purchased from Archangel Heavy Industries who got the designs of fuel cells from pre-rifts records. The fuel cells operate by pulling the electrons off of an H2 molecule, splitting it into 2H+ molecules and 2 electrons. 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 aircraft. Unlike many of the ground vehicles that use the fuel cell system, the main vehicle fuel tank is fixed. The main fuel tank can be refueled by midair refueling but the external fuel tanks cannot be refueled the same way. The vehicle also has a fuel cell to provide power to the twin laser cannons. The fuel cell to the laser guns are relatively small but has a good payload.

Model Type: M.I. M-220-HIFV Zephyr
Vehicle Type: Hover I.F.V.
Crew: Two (can be piloted by one) and has an extra position for a communication/sensor operator
Troops: 12 in body armor or in light or medium power armor

M.D.C. By Location:

Vulcan laser Turret (Rear):160
Vulcan Laser Cannon:75
[1] Forward Laser Mounts (2):40 each
Side Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, 3 cells each):50 each
[1] Mini-Missile Launchers (2, sides of cockpit):30 each
[1] Headlights (4):8 each
Side Doors (2):80 each
Rear Door:120
Pilots Compartment150
[2] Hover Thruster Units:150
[3] Main Body:450

[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.

Hover Speed: Can hover at ground level at from a hover to up to 150 mph (241.4 kph) over both land and water. Minimum hover height is 2 feet (0.6 meters) and maximum altitude is 20 feet (6.1 meters).
Maximum Range: With gas or electric, 750 miles (1,207.0 km), with fuel cells, 900 (1,448.4 km), and with fusion, effectively unlimited.

Statistical Data:
Height: 12 feet (3.7 meters) including turret, 10 feet (3.0 meters) not including turret
Width: 16 feet (4.9 meters)
Length: 28 feet (8.5 meters)
Weight: 40 tons (36.3 metric tons)
Power Source: Four versions. Nuclear with 15 year fusion reactor, Electric, Conventional liquid fuel that uses aviation gas, and Fuel cell version that uses Hydrogen as a fuel to produce electricity.
Cargo Capacity: 10 tons if carrying no troops
Market / Black Market Cost: 3 million credits with Internal Combustion engine, 5 million with Electrical engine or fuel cell power system, and 25 million for fusion with a 15 year life. Weapon systems cost 50,000 credits extra.

Weapon Systems:

  1. MI-44L Vulcan Laser (1): This is a direct copy of the Iron Heart cannon and is quite powerful although much shorter range than the main cannon. This weapon is a large turret mounted on the rear of the hovercraft and is operated by the driver or the tank commander. The weapon consists of six rotating laser cannons, cycling through bursts of six blasts per second.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 3D4 x 10 M.D. per instantaneous burst (counts as one blast/attack).
    Rate of Fire: Can shoot up to six times per melee!
    Payload: Nuclear Reactor: Effectively Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines). Electric or Conventional Fuel: Battery is good for 500 bursts. Fuel Cell Version: 200 bursts total. 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. Twin Ion Cannons: These ion cannons are fairly powerful but have a moderate range and are based on standard energy rifles. They can be fired together to inflict greater damage. These light ion cannons are mounted on the nose of the Zephyr in front of the cockpit.
    Mega-damage: One laser: 2D6 per single blast and 6D6 per triple. Both lasers: 4D6 per double blast and 1D6x10+6 per six shot blast.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks (usually 4-6).
    Maximum Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters)
    Payload: Nuclear Reactor: Effectively unlimited. Other versions: 200 shots (bursts use 2, 3 or 6 shots)
  3. Medium-Range Missile Launchers (2): Two side-mounted missile launchers add to the Zephyr's main armaments. Each has three actual launch tubes. Both launchers are usually controlled by a gunner, but can be fired by the driver or tank commander if the gunner is injured. They are usually outfitted with High-Explosive, Fragmentary or Plasma missiles. The launchers can engage air and ground targets. This tank uses an automatic loading system and additional missiles for reloads.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (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.
    Payload: 24 missiles, 12 in each launcher.
  4. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): The missile launcher systems are side by side in the nose of the hovercraft on either side of the cockpit. Both launchers hold 24 mini-missiles for 48 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), eight (8), or twelve (12) missiles. Can be fired equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: 24 Mini-Missiles each launcher for a total of 4 mini-missiles.

Sensory Equipment

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Image drawn and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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