USA-M-16 Sheridan II Hover Troop Transport:
With the introduction of high speed hover tanks, there was a problem that many times the troops simply could not keep up with the main armored column. Maverick fighting vehicle, while excellent designs, simply could not keep up with hover designs. It was decided to develop a troop transport for regular troops that could keep up with the high speed hover tanks being designed around the same time. The initial call for the transport was made soon after the Longworth Glitter Boy transport was designed but the troop transport was delayed due to the pressing need to develop the hover tank designs the army was proposing at the time. Finally, it was seen as extremely pressing that a hover troop transport would enter service. Engineers geared up to start a crash program to develop a new design but the designers of the Longsworth proposed a very simple solution to the army. That was to simply modify the existing Glitter Boy transport to carry troops. The army leaders immediately agreed. Any new design could potentially take years to develop and using the same basic design would greatly reduce logistics. The modifications were fairly simple and one feature that many people liked was its ability to carry an amazing amount of troops. The prototype took only a few weeks to design and production of the final design was begun within just a few months of the army's approval. It was received by soldiers and the army quickly began putting the hover transports in front line units. Production in the factory was increased to meet demands but the Rifts is believed to have destroyed the facility. It was planned for several additional versions of the Sheridan including an ambulance, a command vehicle, and an electronics warfare vehicle.
While the design is based of the Longsworth, it is not identical. One of the key difference in the way that the Sheridan would likely be operated was that it would operate much closer to the battlefield and might have to act as close supports for troops. Because of this, four additional laser turrets were added to the design with the mounts being modified so that they could be operated under computer control. They can also be controlled by troops in the troop bay. This modification would likely have been made to pulse laser mounts on other designs if the Rifts had not occurred. The medium range missile launchers were retained. Like the Longsworth, the Sheridan is designed to incorporate stealth features. The major change in the body of the hover transport is in the doors. The Sheridan retains only two doors on the sides and they are near the front of the troop compartment. Two need doors were added in the rear of the vehicle. Folding seats are mounted in the rear compartment for thirty six personnel. When folded down, the compartment becomes excellent for carrying large amounts of cargo. While not designed to carry them, the Sheridan can almost carry the same number of ultra light power armors like the Post-Rifts Terrain Hopper. A total of thirty-two of similar sized power armors can be carried. Due to the lower height requirement due not carrying a ten foot tall power armor, the top area of the compartment is modified to carry extra gear for the troops in a four foot high compartment. The engine is the same as the Longsworth and the Sheridan shares a top speed of around 150 miles per hour.
While never used in combat before the coming of the Rifts, they were tested in several important war games. Against enemies who did not have flying power armors or high speed transport for their troops, these vehicles were a very effective force multiplier. A group of troops could often be moved from one area of the battlefield to another and then back again so fast that the enemy could not take advantage of the troops being gone from the primary location.
Some of these hover transports survived the coming of the Rifts and are popular with both Governments of North America and Mercenary Companies. The feature that most will consider the feature that makes them extremely popular is their high speed. The Coalition operated a number of the craft initially but they are believed to have been replaced by Coalition developed designs. However, there are stories that the hover transports are stored incase they are needed once again. The same companies who are considering copying the Longsworth are also keen on this design. While none have started manufacturing either design, there has been much discussion of the possibility. Of course, most vehicles operational in the Post Rifts times lack the radar absorbing materials and most likely any new designs would as well.
Model Type: USA-M-16 Sheridan
Vehicle Type: Hover Troop Transport
Crew: Two (Pilot and Gunner - can be piloted by one) and has an extra position for a communication/sensor operator
Troops: Thirty Six (36)
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|32||Ultra-Light Power Armors (Like Triax Terrain Hopper - In place of troops)|
M.D.C. By Location:
| Pulse Laser Mounts (5, Front and Sides):||50 each|
|Top Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, 4 cells each):||50 each|
| Headlights (4):||8 each|
|Side Doors (2):||120 each|
|Rear Doors (2):||150 each|
| Hover Thruster Units:||225|
| Main Body:||650|
 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.
 Destruction of the hover unit will cause the vehicle to be no longer under the pilots control.
 Destruction of the main body will cause the vehicle to crash. All systems will not function. Damage to the main body will also reduce the hovercraft's stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the hovercraft's stealth by 10% of its total.
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 a maximum altitude is 20 feet (6.1 meters).
Maximum Range: Effectively unlimited.
Height: 14.5 feet (4.42 meters)
Width: 19.5 feet (5.94 meters)
Length: 36.3 feet (11.06 meters)
Weight: 50 tons (45.4 metric tons) not including troops and equipment.
Power Source: Nuclear with 25 year fusion reactor.
Cargo Capacity: In addition to troops, the hover transport can carry 2 tons of supplies in upper storage compartment. Can carry 18 tons of supplies if carrying no troops or other equipment. The transport also has a small storage space for crew. This includes weapons, armors, and emergency supplies.
Market / Black Market Cost: 23.2 million credits for a new or fully operational USA-M-16 Sheridan Hover Transport. Add 10 million if stealth armor has not been replaced.
- Pulse Laser Turrets (5): One weapon is mounted on the front
of the transport and can he fired by either the driver or the transport's
gunner as a secondary weapon. The other four mounts are designed to be
controlled by the computer on automatic or can be controlled by troops
in the troop compartment. The weapons primary purpose is use against infantry
but is effective against missiles and to a lesser extent both aircraft
and other armored vehicles. The crew does not have to get out the vehicle
to control the gun mount. Has +3 to strike when operated on automatic
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 per pulse.
Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (4 attacks per melee when set on automatic)
Payload: Effectively Unlimited..
- Medium-Range Missile Launchers (2): Two top-mounted retractable
missile launchers are the primary weapon system of the Transport. Each
mount has four actual missile launch tubes. Both launchers are usually
controlled by a gunner, but can be fired by the driver or sensor operator
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
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), six (6), or eight (8) missiles.
Payload: 24 missiles, 12 in each launcher.
- Radio/ Video Communications: Long range, directional, has a range of 500 miles with short range directional radio of 5 miles.
- Laser Targeting System: Range is 2 miles and gives +1 to strike with long range weapons.
- Combat Computer/ Targeting Computer: Assist in the tracking of targets.
- Radar: 50 miles, can identify 96 targets and track 48 as low as 500 ft. Same as robot's Maxi-Radar.
- Full Life Support: Protects pilots and hovercraft from heat and radiation and gives a breathable atmosphere inside the transport for up 48 hours in vacuum and three weeks with scrubbers.
- Spotlight: Range: 600 feet (182.9 meters)
- Thermo-Imager: Range: 2,000 ft (609 m). Finds the infrared radiations of things that are warm. Also enables pilot to see in smoke, shadows and darkness.
- Nightvision Optics: Range: 2,000 ft (609 m). Uses light amplification to make a picture. Emits no light but will not work in absolute darkness. System can be dazzled by sudden bright lights but does not physically blind the pilot.
- Radar Defeating Profile & Radar Absorbing Materials: The vehicle is designed so that the radar profile of the transport is reduced and the vehicle is covered with radar absorbing materials. Because of this, attempts to detect the transport using radar are made with a -30% penalty to read sensor rolls when attempting to detect it. In most of these vehicles remaining after the coming of the Rifts, the radar absorbent materials have been damaged and replaced by conventional armor. Go to General Detection Penalties for more information on penalties and bonuses to use with stealth.
- +10% to Piloting Rolls when unloaded
+3 to Dodge when unloaded
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.