USA-LAV-2 Kodiak Family of Combat Vehicles:

The Kodiak family of combat vehicles was in large measure a program designed to reduce costs and to design a smaller armored vehicle. The original idea was to design a light wheeled vehicle to fill the role of troop transport, command control vehicle, electronics warfare, air defense vehicle, light missile platform, armored gun system, and basic cargo carrying model. In the development of the mobile gun system, the design became much larger than originally planned and was separated from the other vehicles in the program. The LAV-2 Family development was begun soon after the introduction of the Jackson and Maverick armored vehicles but production was delayed due to restricted budgets and actually only entered service after the Hawke Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle. This allowed for several advanced to be made on the design including the introduction of rail guns in place of conventional and liquid propellant weapons. Many components on the Kodiak are shared with the Hawke mobile gun system including the tires. The Kodiak ended up being the mainstay of light combat vehicles until the introduction of hover vehicles just a few years the coming of the Rifts and was still serving in many roles until the very end.

The Kodiak family was operated in larger numbers by the Marine Corp than the Army but was popular with troops of both branches. The Marines especially liked the design because a larger number of the vehicles could be carried on ships than the Maverick. About 50% more Kodiak Light Armored Vehicles can be carried than Maverick fighting vehicles on an amphibious vessel. As well, the Kodiak is much easier to transport by air. In addition to the Marines and Army, the Kodiak was used in small numbers by the Air Force in a series of support roles. Such roles including the protection of convoys carrying special weapons. Several nations also purchased vehicles of the Kodiak family, Canada was the largest purchaser, needing to replace a number of aging designs, but also include the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and a number of other small nations. Canada actually purchased the rights to manufacture the design although the first batch was manufactured in the United States.

Like the Hawke light gun system, these vehicles were often involved in combat actions far more often than their larger tracked brethren. This was due to the fact that they were less expensive and were considered more expendable. Often they were expected to engage much heavier designs such as Russian armored personnel carrier designs sold to Third World Nations. They were found to be surprisingly capable in this role due to being faster, having better electronics, and having excellent armor.

A large number of these vehicles were transferred to the Reserves before the coming of the Rifts and many of these were in out of the way location. As might be expected, some of these survived the coming of the Rifts and found their way into the hands of Mercenary companies and small nations. The designs have become involved in combat actions and have again shown their basic usefulness. Two of the largest users of the design were Free Quebec and Iron Heart but the number in service has steadily declined due to attrition. Iron Heart sold or put in storage all of their Kodiaks when they joined the Coalition but the Free Quebec still operates a small number of the vehicles. Several companies produce similar armored vehicle designs although none are believed to be as advanced. These new designs include the Mountain Lion design produced by Iron Armory and Golden Age conversions of the original LAV family of vehicles. At the present time, no companies produce the Kodiak.

The basic design of the vehicle is a large eight wheeled vehicle. The design is incredibly capable on all terrains and is considered the equal of most tanks. In addition to the eight wheels, the vehicle has two ducted thrusters to be able to operate over the water. Like most designs introduced at the time, the Kodiak's power is produced by a fusion reactor system. The design was originally planned using a Fuel cell system but was decided against the system due to the fusion reactor giving a virtually unlimited range. The design is slightly faster on the ground than the Maverick and Jackson armored vehicles and is equal to that of the Hawke. If the design had been introduced when originally planned, it is far more likely that the Kodiak would have been manufactured with a fuel cell system.

All versions are well armored due to the requirement of being able to withstand heavy combat. Like most designs of the time, the armor was improved in later models. All vehicles carry some light weaponry and several designs carry much heavier weaponry. All versions carry two light weapon mounts and two short range missile launchers. In initial models, the light weapon mounts are rail guns similar to those carried on the SAMAS power armor but later models carried pulse laser mounts instead. One mount is mounted in the front while the other is mounted on the top of the vehicle. On vehicles with turrets, except for the light missile platform, the top mounted weapon is located on the turret. All mounts can be controlled from inside of the vehicle. For defensive purposes, all versions of the Kodiak also carry smoke grenade launchers. The grenade launcher also often carried prismatic grenade for use against lasers.

The troop transport design actually is two different versions. One version is designed to carry eight soldiers in body armor. The other version has mounts for four power armors on the outside. Originally, the 30 mm cannon carried on the Wolverine amphibious assault vehicle was planned for the design but it was replaced by twin rail guns before the first prototype was introduced. These rail guns are identical and are mounted in a turret on the top of the vehicle. The design can be considered as much a fighting vehicle as a troop transport. An interesting design point is that it was decided that the basic design could fill the air defense role as well. As such, the Air defense version was canceled to reduce costs. The soldier carrying version was modified so that it could carry short range missiles in the cargo compartment instead of troops.

The basic cargo version, the electronic warfare, and command and control versions all share the same basic chassis. What changes is the interior of the vehicle. The basic cargo version simply has large cargo bay although it has folding seats to carry up to 14 personnel. This version also is slightly modified with emergency equipment and stretchers to act as an armored ambulance. There is also a version of the cargo carrying version that has a recovery crane instead of a cargo compartment. The electronic warfare version mounts special electronics in the cargo bay. These systems include powerful radio, radar, and jamming systems. The command and control version also carries powerful radio systems but does not carry the powerful jamming and radio systems.

The final version, which is often listed separately, is the light missile platform. It was decided that the vehicle would carry medium range missiles instead of long range missiles. It would allow for a larger number of missiles to be carried and long range missiles were considered of limited utility. The vehicle carries a total of eighteen medium range missiles. The missile launching system carries six missiles and the vehicle has twelve missiles for reloads.

Model Type:USA-LAV-2-ATCArmored Troop Carrier Version
USA-LAV-2-APTArmored Power Armor Transport Version
USA-LAV-2-CVCargo Vehicle
USA-LAV-2-RCRecovery Vehicle
USA-LAV-2-C2Command and Control Version
USA-LAV-2-EWRadar and Electronic Warfare Version
USA-LAV-2-MRPLight Missile Platform
Vehicle Type: Multi-Purpose Eight Wheeled Ground Combat Vehicle
Crew:USA-LAV-2-ATC3 (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).
USA-LAV-2-APT3 (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).
USA-LAV-2-CV3 (Driver, Commander, and Crew Member).
USA-LAV-2-RC4 (Driver, Commander, and 2 Crew Members).
USA-LAV-2-C25 (Driver, Gunner, 2 Communication Operator, and Commander).
USA-LAV-2-EW6 (Driver, Gunner, Communications, 2 Sensors, and Commander).
USA-LAV-2-MRP3 (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).
USA-LAV-2-APT4 (Power Armor)
USA-LAV-2-CV14 (In place of cargo)

M.D.C. By Location:Initial Model:Upgrade Model:
Armored Troop Carrier Version & Armored Power Armor Transport Version
Main Turret (Rear):150180
Heavy Rail Guns (2, Turret):80 each80 each
Light Missile Version
Medium Range Missile Launcher150180
Light Weapon Mounts (2)60 each90
Short Range Missile Launchers (2, Sides):60 each100 each
[1] Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):15 each25 each
[1] Headlights (4):4 each6 each
Main Hatch:80100
Reinforced Crew Compartment:75100
Reinforced Personnel Bay:75100
[2] Main Body:325375
[3] Wheels (8):40 each60 each

[1] 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.
[2] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable. The main body of later tanks is constructed out of special materials. Early model USA-LGS-10A1 use laser resistant materials and take half damage from lasers. Later model USA-LGS-10A1 use laser and heat resistant materials and take half damage from both lasers and plasma weapons.
[3] Up to one tire can be destroyed on each side of the vehicle without any appreciable loss in mobility but top speeds with be reduced by 10%. If two tires on a side are destroyed, the vehicle is reduced in top speed by 20% and has a -25% to piloting rolls when being operated off-road.

Ground: Maximum speed on land is 102 mph (164.2 kph) on roads and 84 mph (135.2 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Water Capabilities: Has two propellers that allows the vehicle to travel on the surface on the water like a boat. It is not designed for deep water use. Using the propellers, the Kodiak can travel on the surface of water at 23 mph (37.1 kph/20 knots).
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 15 year duration) Armored Vehicle carries about two weeks worth of supplies emergency rations onboard.

Statistical Data:
USA-LAV-2-ATC and USA-LAV-2-APT: 7.5 feet (2.29 meters) for main body and 9.25 feet (2.82 meters) including weapons turret, USA-LAV-2-MRP: 7.5 feet (2.29 meters) for main body and 9.5 feet (2.90 meters) including medium range missile launcher, and All Others: 9.0 feet (2.74 meters).
Width: 8.5 feet (2.59 meters)
Length: 21.5 feet (6.55 meters)
Weight: USA-LAV-2-ATC and USA-LAV-2-APT: 13.8 tons (12.5 metric tons), USA-LAV-2-CV and USA-LAV-2-RC: 13.2 tons (12 metric tons), USA-LAV-2-C2 and USA-LAV-2-EW: 14.1 tons (12.8 metric tons), and USA-LAV-2-MRP: 14.5 (13.2 metric tons).
Power Source: Nuclear Only (15 year life span)
Cargo Capacity: USA-LAV-2-ATC: Without troops, can carry up to 6 tons, USA-LAV-2-CV: Without troops, can carry up to 8 tons, and All Others: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three carbines and one hand-held missile launcher with four loads each are stored in a compartment in the crew compartment.
Black Market Cost:
USA-LAV-2-ATC Armored Troop Carrier Version: 12.5 million credits for initial model and 14.5 million for upgrade model
USA-LAV-2-APT Armored Power Armor Transport Version: 12.5 million credits for initial model and 14.5 million for upgrade model
USA-LAV-2-CV Cargo Vehicle: 9.5 million credits for initial model and 11.5 million for upgrade model
USA-LAV-2-RC Recovery Vehicle: 10.5 million credits for initial model and 12.5 million for upgrade model
USA-LAV-2-C2 Command and Control Version: 13.0 million credits for initial model and 15.0 million for upgrade model
USA-LAV-2-EW Radar and Electronic Warfare Version: 14.5 million credits for initial model and 16.5 million for upgrade model
USA-LAV-2-MRP Light Missile Platform: 12 million credits for initial model and 14 million for upgrade model

Weapon Systems:

  1. USA-LAV-2-ATC & USA-LAV-2-APT Versions:
    1. Heavy Rail Guns (2): These weapons are mounted in a turret which can rotate 360 degrees and can aim upwards 60 degrees - allowing it to engage low-flying aircraft and creatures. The cannon is controlled by a gunner inside the turret compartment. The vehicle has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with the cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when it moving. Both the gunner and the vehicle commander are housed within the turret. These weapons are also mounted in the Steel Tiger attack VTOL. The weapon is dual purpose and is usable against both ground targets and attacking aircraft.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6000 feet (1828 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20 rounds for one rail gun or 4D4x10 M.D.C. for both cannons (40 rounds). Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner's hand to hand attacks; each burst counts as one melee action.
      Payload: 500 rounds per each gun, that's 25 bursts each. The vehicle has can carry an additional 1000 rounds stowed internally if no troops are carried. Reloading is done inside the vehicle and takes two melee rounds (30 seconds) for two crewmen or passengers and six melees (90 seconds) if only one person is involved or the people aren't trained in the reload procedure.
  2. USA-LAV-2-MRP Version:
    1. Medium-Range Missile Launchers: Instead of a gun type turret, this version carries a medium range missile launchers. The launcher has a capacity of six missiles with twelve more missiles carried internally in the main body. The launcher is usually controlled by the gunner, but can be fired by the driver or commander if the gunner is injured. The vehicles is usually outfitted with High-Explosive, Fragmentary or Plasma missiles. The launcher can engage air and ground targets. This vehicle 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: 6 medium range missiles in launcher and 12 missiles stored internally in vehicle.
  3. Secondary Non-Missile Weapons (2): The Kodiak has two mounts which are carried on all versions. One is on top of the vehicle and is mounted on the turret on the versions of the vehicle with a gun turret. On other versions, it is mounted on the top of the body of the vehicle. The other is mounted on the front of the vehicle. The top mounted weapon is normally controlled by the commander but can be looked into place to aim wherever the main gun is aimed and act much like a coaxial weapon. The front mounted weapon is controlled by the vehicle's driver/pilot.
    1. USA-M31 Rail gun: Mounted on all initial models. It is simpler as far as ammunition and operation than the liquid propellant weapon. From the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts each.
    2. Pulse Laser Mounts: Original mounted in the later versions of the Kodiak and refitted into many earlier models. The weapons' primary purpose is use against infantry but is effective against missiles and to a lesser extent both aircraft and other armored vehicles.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 per pulse.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  4. Short Range Missile Launchers (2): All versions of the vehicle carry two short range missile launchers with one mounted on either side of the main chassis of the tank. These launchers are considered to be useful against both aircraft and against other vehicles. Missile launchers are primarily controlled by the gunner but can also be controlled by the commander of the vehicle.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, short range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types, short 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) or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: each launcher carries 4 short range missiles for a total of 8 short range missiles. A total of 16 additional reloads can be carried in the cargo/troop compartment of the troop transport version of the vehicle.
  5. Smoke/Gas Dispensers (2): A smoke/gas dispensing unit is attached to each side of the Vehicle. The dispenser releases a dense cloud of smoke that covers a 40 foot (12.2 m) area in front of the vehicle. It can also release tear gas. The dispenser can dispense prismatic aerosol for dispersing laser beams. This has the same effect as prismatic aerosol grenades. The effects of the prismatic aerosol is combined with the laser resistant materials that compose the armor if the later tanks when they are used together.
    Payload: 20 total; 10 charges each; typically 10 smoke, 5 prismatic aerosol, and 5 tear gas.

Sensory Equipment:
Sensory equipment is mounted on a retractable mount that can be extended 6.6 feet (2 meters) to extend sensors when hull down. The vehicle carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:

Special Equipment for USA-LAV-2-RC Recovery Vehicle: Special Equipment for USA-LAV-2-C2 Command and Control Version: Special Equipment for USA-LAV-2-EW Radar and Electronic Warfare Version:

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

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.