USA-LGS-10 “Hawke” Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle:

"The Hawke may only be a little bit faster than the Jackson but for its size, it packs major firepower. It is fully the equal of the Soviet T-95 in fire power, is much faster, and carries almost as tough armor. The marines can also afford them in much larger numbers than the Jackson. In one of the Middle Eastern conflicts, I personally engaged two Russian tanks and was able to destroy both of them. Just because it is not as big as the Jackson, don't sell it short"

- Lieutenant Susan Lee, US Marine Corp, Marine Tank Training School

Soon after the introduction of the Jackson main battle tank and other similar vehicles, both the United States Army and Marines decided that they needed a light armored vehicle to act as a light tank, scout vehicle, and infantry support vehicle. One of the specific requirements was that it could engage and beat the Russian tank designs that had been sold to many Third World nations. It was decided that a multi-wheeled design would be faster and less expensive to manufacture than a tracked design. The original plan was for a design that would be used for an armored gun system, troop carrier, command control vehicle, air defense, and a variety of other designs. The problem was that the design for the armored gun system grew in size until it was larger than would be considered effective for other uses.

Various problems delayed the program including the development of suitable weapons for the vehicle. It was decided that a large gun would be carried so it could act as a tank or even as artillery if needed. Originally a 100 mm or 105 mm electro-thermal cannon was considered but a low recoil 120 mm electro-thermal which was developed for the British Firefly light tank was selected due to reducing weapon development costs. The body of the armored vehicle had to be increased in size to compensate for the fact that a much larger gun would now be carried. The size grew to that of a light tank and armor was also that of light tank. The larger gun was preferred by most crews but a special anti-tank round had to be developed for the American version of the cannon as well due to the British not developing it. Special short range missiles could be fired from the cannon but it was also decided that the design would carry mini-missile launchers. With the increase in size due to upgraded, it was decided to change the design to a ten wheel design for added stability and the extra size required a more powerful power plant to maintain the required speed of around 100 miles per hour on rods and around 80 miles per hour when traveling off road. One of the important features of the design was that it was supposed to be modular like the Jackson for quick repairs and be as low maintenance as possible.

Due to the delays in the project, new rail guns were available as secondary weapons by the time the vehicle was ready for production and they were carried on the first production models instead of liquid propellant weapons which were carried on the prototypes. The prototypes had passed all the requirements for the design but several changes where made to the eventual production model. One rail gun was carried on the top of the turret with another being mounted in the front of the vehicle. While the top mounted weapon could be operated independently, it could also be slaved to the main gun to act much like a coaxial mount. The prototypes for the design were upgraded to initial production standards and were fielded with combat units to increase the number of units. At the time funding was reduced due to the Governments mania for combat robots as being the wave of the future. This was in spite of the fact that most officers and soldiers preferred tanks over the walking Goliaths that were planned at the time.

Soon after the first production models entered service, development of an upgraded version known as the USA-LGS-10A1 was begun. Development was slowed by the same factor that reduced production of the initial model but development went forward. It was decided that the design would utilize laser resistant materials and that an 80 mm high velocity rail gun would replace the electro-thermal cannon. This would allow for more ammunition to be carried but could not use short range missiles. Many crews like the ability to use short range missiles and the old models remained popular. The new armor was fitted to many of original production models but the original electro-thermal cannot was retained. Later models were further improved by the addition of armor that was both laser and plasma weapon resistant and replacing the rail gun with pulse lasers. This gave a virtually unlimited payload for the weapons. The army and marines continued production of the design in limited numbers while fighting for greater production from Congress. The marines liked the design because three could be stored in the space for two Jackson main battle tanks (meaning 15 Hawke Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle were sometimes carried instead of 10 Jackson tanks) and the army liked the fact that the Hawke was easier to transport by air than the heavier tank. This eventually came when several incidents put an end to the Golden Age but by that time more advanced designs were being considered.

The Hawke Armored Reconnaissance Vehicles were often assigned missions where leaders did not see the need to send Main Battle Tanks into combat. This led them to end up engaging heavy Russian tanks that had been sold to other nations. The Hawkes actually did quite well and won engagements with main battle tanks that were about twice as heavy as they were.

It was not until just before the coming of the Rifts that a replacement was developed. This was the Wolfe hover scout which was armed with a shorter range but very powerful energy weapon. Still, it is likely that the Hawke would have remained in United States military service for many years if the Rifts had not come. Some had been assigned to reserve units and these were the most likely to survive. Before the selection of the Merovingian Amphibious Tank as the Marine Corps new tank, there were designers who wished to build an upgraded and larger version of the Hawke with better amphibious capabilities instead of using a French design.

After the coming of the Rifts, several mercenary companies have acquired these vehicles and use them for a variety of roles. They are better balanced in capabilities than many designs developed after the coming of the Rifts and are well liked by Mercenaries just like the American soldiers who used to operate them. There are several manufactures that might be interested in producing the design but none seem to be moving to retool any of their production lines.

Model Type:USA-LGS-10Original Model
USA-LGS-10A1Upgraded Model
Class: Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle
Crew: Three: One driver, one gunner, and one commander.

M.D.C. By Location:USA-LGS-10USA-LGS-10A1
Cupola on Turret:80100
[1] Light Weapon on Cupola:6090
Mini-Missile Launchers (2, sides of turret):40 each60 each
Main Turret (Rear):180220
Main Cannon:120150
[1] Forward Light Weapon Mount:6090
[1] Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):15 each25 each
[1] Headlights (4):4 each6 each
[2] Main Body:375425
[3] Wheels (10):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. If three tires on one side are destroyed, the vehicle is reduced in to speed by 30% and has a -45% penalty to all piloting rolls when operated off road and -10% when operated on the road. If more than three tires on a side are destroyed, the vehicle will be immobilized.

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 Hawke 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:
Height: 9.3 feet (2.8 meters) including turret
Width: 10.4 feet (3.2 meters)
Length: Main Body: 25.5 feet (7.8 meters)
With Gun Forward: 28.2 feet (8.6 meters)
Weight: 29.5 tons (26.8 metric tons)
Cargo Capacity: 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.
Power Source: Nuclear Only (15 year life span)
Black Market Cost: 18 million credits for a new or fully operational USA-LPG-10 Hawke Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle. Add 6 million for the USA-LPG-10A1 Model.

Weapon Systems

  1. Main Gun: Since the cannon is built into a turret, it 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 the vehicle is moving.
    1. 120 mm Electro-Thermal Cannon: An electro-thermal gun, this weapon was designed to have a relatively low recoil for its caliber, and to be able to be used as a light howitzer as well. The rounds were fired by vaporizing a dot of light metal at the base of the projectile, by means of a strong electromagnetic field. It can fire a variety of loads, including special discarding sabot anti-armor rounds, high-explosive (HE), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), and fragmentation. The cannon could also be used to launch Short Range Missiles, of which 6 were normally carried. The cannon is for the most part identical to the cannon carried on the British Firefly tank.
      Maximum Effective Range: 13,120 feet (4,000 meters) for direct fire with special anti-tank rounds, 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) for direct fire on all other rounds, and 30,000 feet (9,000 meters) for indirect fire. Range for shortrange missiles varies by missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega-Damage: Special anti-tank rounds inflict 3D6x10+20 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration), High Explosive Rounds inflict 2D4x10 with a blast radius of 20 ft, High Explosive Anti Tank inflicts 2D6x10+20 with a blast radius of 6 ft. (Fragmentation): 1D4x10, blast radius of 40 ft. Damage varies for short range missile by missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: A Maximum of 3 attacks per melee.
      Payload: 42 rounds maximum (Each short range missile takes the space of two rounds) - Normal payload is 12 Anti-Tank Rounds and 18 other rounds (In addition to 6 short range missiles)
    2. High Velocity 80 mm Heavy Rail Gun (1): Replaces the 120 mm electro-thermal on later models of the Hawke and has a longer range as well as each round requiring less space. Weapon was designed to reduce recoil. Many crews prefer the older electro-thermal weapon due to being able to fire missiles and the non anti-tank rounds being more effective. This rail gun normally fires a solid dart of ultra dense high strength materials that does massive damage to targets that it hits but can also use explosive warheads.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3 miles (4.83 km) for direct fire and 7.5 miles (12 km) for indirect fire.
      Mega Damage: A single round inflicts 4D6x10+20 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Can use High Explosive rounds that do 1D4x10 with a blast radius of 20 ft. High Explosive Anti Tank does 1D6x10 with a blast radius of 10 ft.
      Rate of Fire:Maximum of four per melee.
      Payload: 80 rounds (smaller and require no propellent) - normally carries 20 anti-tank rounds.
  2. Secondary Non-Missile Weapons (2): The Hawke has two mounts. One is on top of the turret of the vehicle and the other is in front of the vehicle. The turret 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. Liquid Propellant Gatling Gun: Only carried on the prototypes of the Hawke Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle and is believed to have been replaced on all of them as well. This weapon is similar to the sub-machine-gun carried on the USA-GPA-01-D. This weapon's primary purpose is use against infantry and other lightly armored targets. The weapon can fire all types of burst available to machine guns except extended bursts. The weapon uses a special liquid propellant which delivers about four times the force of nitro-cellulose propellant and the weapon fires an 8 mm round.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 m)
        Single Shot (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Ten Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 5D6
        Ten Round Burst on 1D4 Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Thirty Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6x10
        Thirty Round Burst on 1D8 Target (Costs 1 attack): 2D6
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 6000 rounds each.
    2. USA-M31 Rail gun: Mounted on all initial production models and refitted on all prototypes which were brought up to production standards. It was also mounted on early USA-LGS-10A1 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.
    3. Pulse Laser Mounts: Original mounted in the later versions of the Hawke Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle 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.
  3. Turret Mounted Mini-Missile Launchers (2): Mounted on the sides of the turret are mini missile launchers. These launchers are designed for rapid fire use to engage heavy tanks and giant robots. These weapons are designed to be able to destroy enemy vehicles quickly. Smoke warheads are often carried for special purpose uses.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (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: Each launcher carries 12 mini-missiles for a total of 24 Mini-missiles.
  4. 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:

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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.