New Sovietskiy HTM-285 Fast Missile Tank:
One of the problems with the HT-281 Hover tank was that no support vehicles could keep up with it. The United States had similar problems when developing hover tank designs. The HT-281 was designed for high speed strikes and over the ice cap raids against the United States going through Canada. The problem is that the vehicles would be easy targets for long range artillery, especially missile, if support aircraft were not available. As a result, it was decided that a missile vehicle to act as support for the HT-281. The design was called a missile tank even though the term is a bit misleading in the idea that it is not designed for direct combat but instead for long range support. The basic numbers planned were two fast missile tanks for every ten fast strike tanks. Only a comparatively small number of these vehicles were completed before the coming of the Rifts and the Soviet Army was still composed mostly of treaded designs including the predecessor of the HTM-285 which was still produced up to the coming of the Rifts as well. The HTM-285 hover missile tanks, along with the HT-281, are very rare after the coming of the Rifts and the factory manufacturing the designs is believed to have been destroyed. The New Sovietskiy operates a number of these hover missile tanks in support of their normal hover tanks. They have found that the tactics originally envisioned for the two designs work quite well. It is believed that a few of these vehicles are also in the hands of the Warlords but they rarely use them, preferring to use cyborg soldiers in most situations. The secret Soviet Antarctica base also had some of these hover missile tanks to support their HT-281 fast strike tanks. The New Sovietskiy is believed to lack the technology to manufacture these tanks although they have been able to keep most of them in good repair.
To reduce development and production cost, the HTM-285 shares many of the same components as the HT-281 Hover Tank. The hover missile tank uses the same basic chassis and propulsion system as the rail gun armed hover tank. Like the HT-281, the missile vehicle can hover over most terrain including both ice and water. The design uses both high powered thrusters and air cushion hover system for the ability to travel at incredibly high speeds. In addition to being very fast, the hover missile tank retains incredible maneuverability. The fusion power supply gives virtually unlimited range and the missile vehicle was designed to carry supplies for about two weeks of operation. The main problem is that likely ammunition will be long spent before that time. The use of a tank chassis makes the HTM-285 very rugged and it was decided to not reduce the amount of composite armor carried on the hover missile tank. The armor on the design is far superior to the American Crocket hover missile vehicle. Unlike the American design, the HTM-285 does not feature radar absorbing materials and is not designed for stealth. Most electronic systems on the HTM-285 are also shared with the HT-281 to reduce the cost of production.
The main weaponry of the tank are twelve missile tubes mounted in place of the main turret. Missiles are designed to be usable against both ground targets and against aircraft. Unlike the American Crocket hover missile vehicle, the hover missile tank can only carry twelve long range missiles and cannot fire medium range missiles instead of long range missiles. As partial compensation, the vehicle has side mounted medium range missile launchers identical to those carried on the HT-281. For close range defense, the hover missile tank has two pulse laser mounts with an automatic tracking system for use against incoming missiles. The point defense laser is similar to the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle with extended range and it fires four shot bursts. The same weapon is carried on several different Soviet designs and was in service in all branches of the Soviet military. As a final defensive measure, the hover missile tank carries a special jamming system.
[Author Notes: See the New Sovietskiy section of the Mystic Russia Source book for write-ups on the SUH-86 and SUH-88.]
Model Type: HT-281
Vehicle Type: Fast Attack Tank
Crew: Four (Main gunner, commander, driver, mechanic/support gunner.)
M.D.C. by Location:
|Long Range Missile Battery (Top):||320|
|Medium Range Missile Launcher (2, sides of hull):||100 each|
|Fire-suppression laser mounts (2):||60 each|
|Multi-Option Jammers (2):||25|
|Reinforced Crew Compartment:||300|
| Main Body:||800|
| Emergency Hover Cushion:||100|
| Engine intakes (4):||50 each|
| Engine vents (2):||50 each.|
 If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable; The crew can survive unharmed in the reinforced crew compartment.
 Made of lightweight, flexible M.D.C. materials, the hover cushion can be deployed when the jets have been knocked out to allow the tank to continue fighting, or during combat to increase the fire rate of the main gun by freeing up more power from the reactor, though altitude is limited. Once it is destroyed, the Tank will plow into the ground, though suffer no damage from doing so at the altitudes at which it operates. The tank is immobile, then, but can still function as a pillbox for the crew. When one of the rotors is knocked out, the hover cushion is automatically engaged, and is capable of cushioning the impact to the ground from any altitude at which the tank can operate without damage.
 The HTM-285 has two small jet engines for thrust and two for lift. The intakes and vents are rather hard to hit, being of the smallest size possible; No less than -3 to strike, and requiring a called shot, when attempting to hit them. Destroying one intake or vent on one side of the vehicle reduces speed by 50% and adds +10% difficulty to piloting rolls; Destroying a second intake on the other side renders the tank unable to move, though it can still hover. Destroying one of the upper intakes (Only possible when at a higher position than the tank) will reduce maximum altitude by 50% and add +10% difficulty to piloting rolls. Destroying both will reduce the vehicle to operating with the hover cushion. The vents cannot be targeted.
Low to ground: 124.3 mph (200 kph) over virtually all terrain.
Minimum Altitude: 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) with hover cushion or jets.
Maximum Altitude: 6.6 feet (2 meters) with hover cushion; 65.6 feet (20 meters) with jets.
Maximum Range: Unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply; 15 years.)
Height: 11.2 feet (3.4 meters) to top of the missile battery.
Width: 14.8 feet (4.5 meters)
Length: 36.1 feet (11 meters)
Weight: 79.4 tons (72 metric tons) fully loaded
Power Source: Nuclear fusion reactor; Must be refueled every fifteen years, otherwise effectively unlimited.
Cargo Capacity: The hover missile tank has a small storage space for crew. Mostly survival gear and other equipment. The tank has enough supplies onboard for the crew for two weeks. The tank also contains 48 hours worth of oxygen for the crew for environments where the air is to contaminated even for the radiation/gas/germ filters to deal with it.
Black Market Cost: 32 million credits to build; Versions available currently sell for forty to seventy million credits. If fitted, any extra weapons systems will add to the cost of the tank; HTM-285 missile tanks are usually found very heavily modified, though they are relatively uncommon. Tank crews often personalize them with their pay in the armies of the assorted warlords to be considerably different from these Soviet-Era specifications. HTM-285 missile tanks still in the service of the New Sovietskiy, however, follow these specifications to the letter. The northernmost warlords have HTM-285 missile tanks, as does the New Sovietskiy, but the southern warlords have few if any. A few are also believed to be in possession of the secret Antarctica base.
- Fire Suppression Pulse Lasers (2): These Close-In Weapon
Systems fire four rapid-pulse lasers against missiles or low-flying aircraft.
The weapon is also useful against armor and infantry if targeted against
them. The weapons are automated and track missiles with radar sensors (+4
to strike missiles and aircraft) They are mounted on the front and back
of the vehicle. Laser is similar to the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle
with extended range.
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 MD for four shot burst.
Rate of Fire: Each turret has 6 attacks per melee round.
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
Bonuses: +4 to strike flying targets with radar guidance.
- Missile / Rocket Launcher: Located on the top of the missile
tank, where the gun turret is on the HT-281, are twelve missile tubes with
the ability to carry a total of twelve long range missiles. Unlike the
launchers on the American “Crocket” missile vehicle, the launchers cannot
fire medium range missiles. Missiles can be used against both surface targets
and against aircraft. The launcher can rotate 360 degrees.
Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per long range missile type (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: Twelve (12) Long Range Missiles.
- Medium Range Missile Launchers: (2) These missile launchers
fires volleys of medium range missiles, principally anti-aircraft fragmentation.
They can be used against a wide variety of targets. Missile launchers are
mounted on the sides of the body of the tank.
Maximum Effective Range: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: The launcher can fire a volley of 1 to 4 missiles per melee round.
Payload: 4 medium range missiles each launcher for 8 Medium Range missiles total. No reloads carried.
- Multi-Option “Shtora-8B” Jammers (2): These are multi-purpose
jamming devices designed to stop incoming missiles and confuse an enemy
targeting the HTM-285
Effect: Each firing launches two Chaff rockets, two Flare rockets, and the tank begins emitting a large cloud of smoke, both standard and Anti-Laser Prismatic Aerosol; The Chaff rockets detonate and spread Chaff over the area, the flare rockets floating down by parachute; Effects last for one minute (4 Melee rounds.) The Chaff rockets have a 20% chance of interfering with the course of enemy missiles each (40%, total) that are radar guided so that they miss the tank. The flares have the same percentages, except with IR-guided missiles. The Anti-Laser prismatic aerosol reduces damage by half for any laser beam striking the tank (With the exception of X-ray lasers but not variable frequency lasers; X-Ray lasers suffer no damage modifiers, and variable frequency lasers simply cannot compensate for the variables involved), and adds a +4 difficulty to targeting the tank with a laser guidance system or visually.
Rate of Fire: Usually once every four melee rounds; Effects are not cumulative.
Maximum Effective Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around tank.
Payload: Sufficient for twenty four (24) firings.
The tank carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:
- Radar System: Range of 30 miles (48 km); Capable of tracking up to 56 targets simultaneously, this radar serves to guide the Lasers in engaging aircraft (+4 to targeting aircraft and missiles with the Lasers), and providing early warning of incoming aircraft and missile attacks; The radar can be programmed to shut off immediately if it detects an aircraft firing a missile, incase the missile is a radar-homing HARM type. The radar is relatively ineffective against ground targets (-40% to sensor rolls.)
- Full Infrared viewing mode: Range of 4 miles (6.4 km), with IR searchlight (+3 to detecting targets with IR when in use, however, +3 to detecting the HT-281 with IR equipment when in use, as well.).
- Two Periscopes: With up to x100 magnification for commander and driver to view out of while maneuvering the vehicle. Visual targeting sight with same magnification possible for gunner.
- Laser targeting system: For long range missile launchers, range of 12.4 miles (20 km)
Special systems standard to all late-model Soviet Army vehicles:
As stated in the Mystic Russia Source book regarding New Sovietskiy equipment.
- Gromeko Battlefield Computer: All communications are automatically encrypted/decrypted by the sender/receiver units without their operators having to specify it. This can be turned off if desired. It also features Enemy Profiling for up to 600 different combat vehicles and cyborgs, 1000 identifying insignias and marks, as well as 2000 (Post-Rifts Only) monsters and demons - each rendered in full color with schematics of known weaknesses, armor, weapons, etc, capable of rotation and zoom to x25 magnification. The Gromeko functions as a kind of passive friend or foe identification system, flashing words or symbols on the monitor and HUD display. This vehicle model of the Gromeko is larger, has a more powerful computer and larger memory compared with the bionic version tied into the cyber-optics of many Post-Rifts 'Borgs. Visual Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 m), linked with periscopes and a video camera with telescopic abilities.
- Enviro-sensors: An external and internal sensor system that monitors the environment outside and inside the vehicle. This is done on a molecular level and used to detect and measure impurities, chemical, germ/biological and other dangerous agents (toxic gases, smoke, pollution, spores, radiation, etc.) in the immediate area surrounding the vehicle. It can identify 6000 elements, gases and agents as well as measure temperature, wind speed, humidity, barometric pressure, and similar air and environment aspects. The same is true inside the vehicle, with links to the life support system to monitor conditions and warn for breaches to the NBC integrity. When exposed to gases, oxygen masks drop from concealed compartments in the ceiling for each of the crew/passengers that can be carried should the crew not be in NBC or environmentally sealed suits already.
- Long-Range Radio Communication System: Approximately 500 mile (800 km) range in the steppes and tundra; 300 miles (482.7 km) in the forests and around cities (interference) and 100-200 (160 to 320 km) in the mountains (Note: the interference from the latter two is common to all ground vehicles, not just Russian designs.)
- The tank is incredibly maneuverable with the dual jet engines and hover system; +3 to all dodge and operating rolls.
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Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary (LusankyaN@aol.com ).
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.