Carnivore Mk II Light Hover Tank (Naruni Industries):
The Carnivore is much smaller than the Juggernaut heavy hover tanks but like the much larger design, it is most effective against the designs operated by primitive planets. When compared to other light hover tanks, such as the Saber Cougar, it is considered far inferior by most purchasers. While most consider the Saber Cougar to be the most powerful light hover tank design currently produced, there are several others which compete against the Carnivore. Because of the competition of other light hover tank designs and obvious weaknesses of the Carnivore, sales of the Naruni design have suffered.
Because of lagging sales, the board of directors at Naruni pushed the engineers to develop an improved version of the Carnivore light tank. The purpose was two fold. The first was to regain sales in the design and attempt to retake the market. The second was to develop a light tank design which would be more comparable to the improved Juggernaut heavy hover tank. While technically two separate projects, the development of the two designs shared much of the same research and many of the solutions were similar between the Naruni heavy design and light design.
One of the biggest weaknesses of the Carnivore was a lack of power for the 25 mm pulse particle beam. It has a storage capacitor which is limited to thirty pulses. The cannon is usually shot in three shot pulses which means that the main gun is limited to only ten bursts. Often, that can be used up in less than a minute. Instead, a much more powerful fusion reactor has been fitted and the capacitor has been completely eliminated. A second reason for the improved reactor system is that the propulsion system has been improved with the addition of a low powered gravity hover system. It is similar, although much smaller than the system carried on the improved Juggernaut and does much to smooth the ride of the light hover tank. The conventional fan system is retained like on the Juggernaut. Unlike the Juggernaut, the gravity propulsion system does increase the top speed considerably form around 288 kilometers per hour up to 360 kilometers per hour even though the additional weapons increase the mass of the tank considerably. The design, even with the low powered gravity hover system, cannot operate effectively outside of an atmosphere.
The armor of the tank has been moderately improved although it still cannot withstand as much damage as the Saber Cougar light hover tank can. Still, the biggest change is the addition of a force field generator. It is similar in basic design to the generator carried on the Juggernaut although it is much smaller and the protection afforded by it is only around half that of the heavy tanks shield. Some designers wanted to mount a fighter type shield generator instead of the one developed for the light tank. Still, when coupled with the improved armor, it vastly improves the ability of the light hover tank to withstand damage.
Originally, the light hover tank was designed for a crew of two and two passengers. As well, the Carnivore had a large storage space for additional gear. Due to the more powerful fusion reactor, the addition of a shield generator, and various other improvements, this has been vastly decreased. There is still space for a single passenger but the compartment is cramped. Part of this is due to the position for a passenger also able to be used for a commander in addition to the normal crew of two. Sensors have been improved with the addition of a gravity wave sensor system. While not standard equipment, the light hover tank is available with a Naruni stealth camouflage system.
Originally it was planned for the 25 mm pulse particle beam to be retained although with improved fire control. The range has been listed in several sources are around 1200 meters but the reality is that is due to fire control systems. With an improved fire control system, range would be around three times listed range. Still, designers decided to replace the particle beam with an improved 30 mm model. The energy output is increased along with an increase in range of about fifty percent. While still inferior in range and nominally in energy output compared to the gun carried on the Saber Cougar, it is still far more effective than the original weapon and has the advantage of virtually unlimited firepower compared to the Saber Cougar which does rely on a capacitor for its particle beam cannon.
The original carried a 5.5 mm light pulse laser which was normally controlled by the pilot of the tank. This has been upgraded to a 6 mm mount with improved fire control. The weapon is also variable frequency allowing it to be more effective against targets which are impervious to energy. The same weapon is also carried on the improved Juggernaut Mk II heavy hover tank. Even with the improvements, drivers often find themselves overwhelmed with the environment and to solve that problem a computer controlled fire control system was added. The weapon system also has additional controls so it can be controlled from that position if acting as a commander. The mini-missile launchers are the only weapon carried on the original Carnivore which are carried on the improved model as well although the hover tank mounts two launchers instead of a single mount. As well, missiles in the Three Galaxies are far more advanced than those found on many primitive planets and most mini-missiles in the Three Galaxies are smart independently guided missiles. Of course, the fire control on the mini-missile launcher is also greatly improved.
Like on the Juggernaut Mk II heavy hover tank, a major addition is four micro-missile box launchers with two on the right and left sides of the light hover tank. Each launcher has forty-eight micro-missiles for a total of almost two hundred missiles and the system is incredibly useful against incoming missiles and attacking infantry. Like the light laser turret on the hover tank, the system can be manually controlled or be set on automatic. The same system is carried on the Saber Cougar although the Apex Defense design mounts four more launchers.
Model Type: JN-120C
Class: Light Scout Hover Tank.
Crew: Two: one pilot, one gunner; can accommodate one passenger (Often acts as a commander).
M.D.C. by Location:
|30 mm Pulse Particle Beam Cannon (Turret):||120|
| Mini-missile Launchers (2, each side of turret):||50 each|
| Light Pulse Laser Mount (Bow):||100|
| NE-500R Micro-Missile Box Launchers (4):||40 each|
| Fan Skirts:||225|
| Main Body:||500|
|Reinforced Crew Compartment:||150|
| Force Field||200|
 These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
 Destroying the Fan Skirts will destroy the hovercraft system, grounding the vehicle and rendering it immobile.
Gravity propulsion system allows the hovercraft to descend slowly compared to a completely conventional fan driven hovercraft. Field repairs will take at least 1D6 hours (and there is a 01-50% that the tank will need major repairs). Hitting the fan skirts requires a called shot (no penalty).
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the vehicle.
 The force field regenerates at the rate of 16 M.D.C. every hours or a full 12 hours to completely regenerate. The force field can regenerate at the rate of 32 M.D.C. per hour when the pulse particle beam cannon is disengaged. Depleting the 200 M.D.C. of the force field will automatically shut the field generating system down and all subsequent damage is subtracted from the body of the Carnivore light hover tank.
Driving over ground: 223.7 mph (360 km). Can travel over ground and water, and can lift up to 10 feet (3.0 meters) off the surface before losing performance. For every 5 feet (1.5 meters) greater than 10 feet (3.0 meters), reduce speed by 50 mph (80 kph)
Space: Cannot operate effectively outside of an atmosphere.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by drive system but only has supplies for crew for four weeks.
Height: 12 feet (3.66 meters) [Author recommends using these dimensions instead of those in Rifts: Mercenaries]
Width: 16 feet (4.88 meters) [Author recommends using these dimensions instead of those in Rifts: Mercenaries]
Length: 25 feet (7.62 meters)
Weight: 28 tons (25.4 metric tons)
Cargo: Minimal storage space: Small storage smace above crew compartment about four feet (1.2 meters) for extra clothing, weapons and personal items. Three NE-15 rifles (or other rifles), Three NE-4 Plasma Cartridge Pistols (or other pistols), and basic gear are normally stored in locked overhead compartments.
Power System: Nuclear Fusion; average energy life is 15 years.
Market Cost: 50 million credits (Add 5 million credits for Stealth System)
Space ranges are not given for weapon systems due to the fact that the Carnivore Mk II cannot operate effectively in space.
- 30 mm Heavy Pulse Particle Beam (1): Light but extremely
powerful weapon. The cannon is mounted in the main turret with the ability
to depress 10 degrees and elevate up to 80 degrees. Turret is designed
for rapid movement and can rotate a full 360 degrees in just five seconds.
Because of this, the cannon can target high speed airborne targets. Unlike
on the original version, the tank mounts a far more powerful fusion reactor
and can fire effectively unlimited shots. Main gun is usually controlled
by the Gunner although both driver and passenger have emergency controls.
Maximum Effective Range: 18,000 feet ( about 3.4 miles, 5.5 km) in an atmosphere
Mega Damage: 1D6x10+20 M.D.C. per single particle beam blast or 3D6x10+60 for a three shot particle beam burst.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the Gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
- Bow mounted 6 mm Variable Frequency Pulse Laser: In the the
bow, the hover tank has a mount which is designed a pulse laser The mount
can rotate 360 degrees and has a 90 degree arc of fire to be able to track
air targets including missiles. The mount can be controlled by the Tank's
commander or can be set on automatic. When set on independent fire setting,
the mount has +3 to strike and has 5 attacks per melee. Most crews prefer
the pulse laser due to having an effectively unlimited payload. This weapon
is designed for spraying down larger number of targets and can be used
at all times. This is a laser weapon that can be adjusted to vary the light
frequency of the laser to blast through reflective and laser resistant
armor. The first two (2) blasts do half damage, but the weapon's computer
automatically adjusts the light frequency to compensate for the laser resistant
surface, so all subsequent attacks do full damage, even to a Glitter Boy.
Maximum Effective Range: 4000 feet (1220 meters) in an atmosphere.
Mega-Damage: 5D6 per single shot, 1D6x10+20 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use burst rules for higher burst setting.
Rate of Fire: Equal the Driver or Commander's number of hand to hand attacks or by computer (+4 to strike and has 5 attacks) - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (Use automatic weapon burst rules).
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
- Mini-missile Launchers in Turret (2): One launcher is mounted
on each side of the turret, and are controlled by the turret gunner. Often,
the gunner fires one volley of eight as one of his melee actions, and then
uses the particle beam cannon and/or the rail gun. Missile has a top speed
of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space and Mini-Missile in the "Three
Galaxies" are normally guided.
Maximum Effective Range: Mini-Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere.
Mega-Damage: Varies with mini missile type (See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies 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 sixteen (16) missiles.
Payload: Twenty-Four (24) mini-missiles in each launcher for Forty-Eight (48) mini-missiles total.
- NE-500R Naruni Claymore Box Micro-Missile Launchers (4):
Two launchers are mounted on the right and left sides of the hover tank.
If damaged, the launchers are designed to blow out from the tank instead
of inwards if a warhead detonates. Each box launcher has a series of six
cells wide by eight cells tall. The launchers are normally controlled by
the tank’s computer but can be overridden by the crew as well. When set
on independent control, the launcher can fire up to twice times per melee
per launcher in different sized volleys and the launcher can target multiple
targets as well. The computer has +3 to strike if firing unguided micro-missiles
and the bonuses of the missile (+4) if firing guided micro-missiles. Computer
will normally guide two micro-missiles after each incoming mini-missile,
short range missile, or medium range missile. Computer will normally guide
four micro-missiles after each long range missile or cruise missiles. Against
other targets, the launcher will normally guide four micro-missiles after
a human sized soldier or sixteen micro-missiles after a target in power
Maximum Effective Range: As per micro-missile type (1 mile [1.6 km] for unguided micro-missiles or 2 miles [3.2 km] for guided micro-missiles).
Mega Damage: 6D6 per micro-missile
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), twelve (12), twenty-four (24), or forty-eight (48) missiles per launcher.
Payload: 48 micro-missiles per launcher for 192 micro-missiles.
Sensors & Equipment:
Has all the normal sensors and equipment of power armors and armored vehicles in the Three Galaxies plus the following special features.
- Gravity Wave Sensor: Similar to sensor system in PA E-1000 Enforcer. System uses gravity waves like a form of radar. Range is 2000 ft (610 m) in an atmosphere and has 1000 times that range when operated in space. The system can electronically map the insides of structures. Combined with thermographics, will also detect invisible targets and find people inside building or ships, and even detect traps and hidden rooms. The sensor system cannot penetrate force fields or phase fields, however.
- Camouflage System: Optional system: The tank’s skin is covered
by a fiber-optic material that can change colors to match the general environment.
Color change takes 1D4 melee rounds (15 to 60 seconds), in which the armor
becomes the exact same color as the predominant one in the area. In the
woods or in broken terrain, the suit will also create stripes and blotches
of lighter and darker color like a camouflage pattern. In all cases,
the vehicle is difficult to spot: -20% for others to detect ambush and detect
concealment, and has a prowl skill of 40%.
The system also masks infrared and thermal emissions, making the tank’s heat invisible to infrared and thermal optics! There is only a 21% chance of the tank showing up on thermal systems and even then the reading/image will seem unusual. The camouflage system is disabled after the tank’s main body takes 200 points of damage.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2006, Kitsune. All rights reserved.