USA-M-18 “Crocket” Hover Missile Battery:
With the introduction of their new heavy hovercraft designs, the United States Army realized that they needed a missile launching platform that could operate with their heavy armor. Mobile missile batteries had taken over much of the role of standard artillery as well as being used for close support, anti-aircraft, and missile defense. The old vehicles were simply to slow so a hover missile platform was design to replace previously existing mobile missile launchers. The hover tanks and hover transports of the time could travel almost up to 250 kilometers per hour. After the project was initially started, development of the missile platform was very rapid. Within six months, the prototype was ready for testing. The missile platform passed all of the required testing and was approved for full production with few modifications. A pilot of one of the first production models nicknamed the vehicle the "Davy Crocket" after the famous historical marksman. The name struck and the platform entered full service as the Crocket. The missile platforms were never used in any full scale operations but were used to support some small engagements and performed quite well. The platform has even had to engage in direct combat when it was placed in a location that was overwhelmed and performed well in direct combat using saturation fire to destroy the attacking tanks. In combat, the Crocket missile batteries are normally deployed behind the main forces and direct combat is avoided if possible.
The vehicle is designed around powerful nuclear engines that are very similar to those carried on nuclear jet aircraft. The top speed of the hover missile battery is 150 miles per hour and is equal to that of the Schwarzkopf hover tank and the Longworth hover transport. The Crocket is far better armored than previous mobile missile batteries and was designed to withstand the counter fire of enemy artillery. The design is also built with stealth and is constructed from radar absorbing materials and has special heat masking systems. The missile launcher partially retracts into the hull of the platform to further increase the vehicle's stealth. The vehicle carries a flexible main battery of eight missile cells. Each missile cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missiles. These heavy launchers are used for missile artillery and for anti-aircraft roles. The missile battery's secondary weaponry is forty-eight short range missile launchers. These launchers are normally used for close support and anti-missile uses and have the ability to track onto multiple targets.
Many of the missile batteries survived the coming of the Rifts and some are still being used by mercenaries and governments. This included even the Coalition until 80 P.A. and many Coalition officers and troops would like a similar design to be put into service. Free Quebec has been operating several slower missile platforms such as Iron Heart Industry's Iron Bolt missile vehicle and has acquired several Crocket hover missile launchers for evaluation. If the system works well, they plan to construct a vehicle similar to the Crocket. Most of the missile platforms remaining in service have lost their radar absorbent armors and use conventional armor. Several private companies seem to be considering manufacturing the hover missile platform as well including both Northern Gun and Metalworks Incorporated.
Model Type: USA-M-18 Crocket
Vehicle Type: Hover Missile Battery
Crew: Three (Pilot, Gunner, and Commander).
M.D.C. By Location:
| Forward Pulse Laser Mount:||50 each|
|Multiple Missile Battery:||150|
| Headlights (4):||8 each|
| Hover Thruster Units:||180|
| Main Body:||350|
 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: 8.5 feet (2.6 meters) with missile launcher pulled down and 14.5 feet (4.4 meters) with missile launcher extended.
Width: 12.5 feet (3.8 meters)
Length: 32 feet (9.8 meters)
Weight: 36 tons (32.7 metric tons)
Power Source: Nuclear with 25 year fusion reactor.
Cargo Capacity: The missile battery has a small storage space for crew. This includes weapons, armors, and emergency supplies.
Market / Black Market Cost: 28.5 million credits for a new or fully operational USA-M-18 Crocket Hover Missile Battery.
- Pulse Laser Turret (1): This 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 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 gunners hand to hand
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
- Long Range/Medium Range Missile Launchers: Mounted underneath
and in the same mounting as the short range missile launcher. The box launcher
can rotate 360 degrees and has a 75 degree arc of fire. The launcher mount
has two rows of four launchers immediately ready to fire (8 tubes total)
with one set of reloads. Each launcher cell can fit one long range missile
or two medium range missiles which use a special adapter to use the same
launcher. The reloads for the cell must be the same type of missile as
the cell that they reload but the battery can use both types of missiles
at the same times as long as different cells are used. Long range missiles
are normally used against large targets and aircraft further out and the
medium range missiles will normally be used to engage closer targets.
Maximum Effective Range: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per long or medium 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), six (6), or eight (8) missiles. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee.
Payload: 8 missile cells in the launcher with reload systems for each cell. One long range missile or two medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same kind of missiles as well.
- Short Range Missile Launching Systems: The launcher is mounted
above the long range missile battery and rotates with the main launcher.
The launcher has a total of 48 long range missiles and can fire up to eight
short range missiles at one time. These launcher's primary purpose is to
shoot incoming missiles and for close range support. The reloads are carried
in the main body of the missile battery and reload whenever a missile is
Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per short 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), six (6), or eight (8) short range missiles. The Launcher automatically reloads when a missile is fired
Payload: 8 short range missiles with an additional 40 short range missiles for reloads.
- 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 with better tracking and targeting abilities. With Combat & Targeting Computer, the missile platform can fire missiles at up to eight targets at the same time as one attack.
- 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 missile battery is reduced and the vehicle is covered with radar absorbing materials. Because of this, attempts to detect the missile battery 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
+3 to Dodge.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2000, Kitsune. All rights reserved.