Iron Armory M1A15AD “Bulldog” Abrams Main Battle Tank:

Iron Armory is known for producing updated versions of pre-rifts armor designs including both treaded and wheeled vehicles. Their reworked designs are considered top of the line and many mercenary companies prefer the designs over robot vehicle designs especially since they are often cheaper than the robot type designs. The engineers also claim that the armored vehicle designs are less prone to breakdown and are easier to maintain that any robot vehicle designs. Two of their best known products are updated versions of the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank and M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

The “Bulldog” version was a development on the Abrams design after a number of complaints were raised about the standard model being vulnerable to air attacks. Some solution suggested were to have the tanks be escorted by air defense models of the Mountain Lion but the wheeled vehicle carries far less armor and is much more vulnerable to attack. The engineers decided to develop a main battle tank which could survive in the heat of battle while able to defend itself against air attacks as well.

At first engineers planned on a whole new design but eventually it was decided to simply use the Abrams chassis to reduce production time and development costs. The engineers looked at a design produced by Iron Heart Industries before the company was destroyed by the Coalition States. That design was the Iron Gauntlet which was itself based on a pre-rifts tank design based on the Czechoslovakian T-72 tank design.

So far only a small number of the “Bulldog” model of the Abrams have been produced but production is planned to increase massively. Due to them sharing most components with the standard M1A15 design, logistics and maintenance is easy for a unit already operating the Abrams. Most operators of the tank operate a single Bulldog in a platoon of four tanks to act as air defense for the platoon when needed.

The Bulldog shares the same hull as the M1A15 and there is no M1A12 version of the Bulldog due to the design being of relatively recent development. The Bulldog weighs only slightly more and has the same top speed as the standard model. There is both a fuel cell version and a fusion powered version of the air defense tank. The fuel cell version is much cheaper. The fuel cell version operates by pulling the electrons off of an H2 molecule, splitting it into 2H+ molecules and 2 electrons. The electrons pass through the “load” (engines, weapons, avionics, etc.) creating current and powering the systems. Meanwhile, the 2H+ molecules pass from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte. At the other “End,” the electrons then recombine with the 2H+ molecules and Oxygen (from the air) and are released as water from the rear of the vehicle. Still, the fusion powered version has sold far better with virtually all being of this version.

The biggest difference in the design is in the turret. The turret has been virtually completely redesigned to make space for the new equipment. One of the few complaints about the new design is that the turret carries slightly less armor than in the original Iron Armory M1A15 Abrams design. Otherwise, the tank’s armor is unchanged from the standard M1A15 Model.

The tank retains the main gun and is available with a 80 mm rail gun or a 140 mm conventional cannon as the main gun. Because of this, the tank can fight it out with other tanks at long range. As with the original model, the 80 mm rail gun requires the tank to be fusion powered due to the huge power draw. The design does have slightly less ammunition for the main gun compared to the original M1A15 models. The 140 mm cannon armed model is limited to 26 rounds.

The turret has a heavy Vulcan laser cannon added to either side for close in defense against aircraft. While in the fusion powered version, the weapons draw from the main reactor, the fuel cell version requires separate fuel cells to power the Vulcan laser cannons. Crews have found that there cannons are extremely useful at close range against even heavily armored due to the Vulcan lasers ability to chew through armor.

In addition, the standard variable missile launchers are replaced by larger launchers designed for medium range missiles only. These are a fixed part of the turret unlike those carried on the standard Iron Armory Abrams. There is a special blow-out system so that the missiles detonating will not destroy the tank. They are also better armored than the standard variable missile launchers.

Secondary weapon systems are retained and the vehicle carries a pair of pulse lasers and an automatic grenade launcher. The targeting system has been upgrades so that it can track airborne better than the original but are still basically the same systems as well. This includes the periscope that allows the vehicle to look up to 25 feet (7.6 m) up to look over obstacles without becoming visible.

Model Type: M1A15 “Bulldog” Abrams
Vehicle Type: Main Battle Tank /Air Defense Tank
Crew: Three (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).

M.D.C. by Location:

Main Cannon:200
Vulcan Laser Mounts (2):120 each
[1] Coaxial Rapid Fire Laser Cannon60
Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, Turret):100 each
Automatic Grenade Launcher(Turret):70
Weapon Turret:280
[1] Rapid Fire Laser Cannon Mount40
[1] Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):20 each
[2] Main Body:680
[3] Track Treads (2):120 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.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the tank until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (two replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.

Ground: Cruising speed on land is 70 mph (112.6 kph) on roads and 60 mph ( 96.6 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%.
Underwater: Can be equipped with snorkel to run underwater down to 15 feet (4.6 meters)
Maximum Range: Fuel cell versions have a maximum range of 600 miles (1126.5 km). Fusion powered versions are effectively unlimited in range. (The M1A12 is only available with a fusion reactor)

Statistical Data:
Height: 9.5 feet (2.9 meters)
Width: 10.8 feet (3.3 meters)
Length: Main Body: 27.2 feet (8.3 meters) and with Gun Forward: 34.5 feet (10.5 meters).
Weight: 76.2 tons (69.1 metric tons)
Power Source: Fuel Cell System or Nuclear (Should have an average lifespan of 10 years)
Cargo Capacity: Minimal, enough for equipment with crew.
Black Market Cost: Fuel Cell System version sells for 9.5 million credits and fusion with 10 year life sells for 44 million credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Main Gun: The turret can rotate 360 degrees and the barrel can angle up to 45 degrees. The weapon system is gyro-stabilized and has an advanced fire control computer. The special fire control computer gives a bonus of +2 to strike. The Weapon mount is useful for direct fire and artillery style fire. Tank is available with two different main gun designs including a 140 mm smooth bore conventional cannon and a 80 mm high velocity rail gun. The rail gun requires a fusion reactor. Due to the elimination of the second gunner, the 80 mm rail gun has much more ammunition than the original version.
    1. . High Velocity 80 mm Heavy Rail Gun (1): 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. Loading system of the gun is completely automated.
      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.
      Bonuses: Has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with rail gun and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when tank is moving.
    2. 140 mm Smooth Bore Cannon (Main Gun): While mostly designed for use against other armor, it can be fired at low flying aircraft within its arc of elevation. The loading system for the turret is fully automated.
      Maximum Effective Range: Direct fire range is 8202 feet (2,500 meters) for HEAT or Plasma, but 14763.7 feet (4,500 meters) for APFSDS. Indirect fire for all rounds is 36089.2 feet (6.8 miles / 11,000 meters).
      Mega-Damage: HEAT: 3D4x10, blast radius of 10 feet, APFSDS: 3D6x10+20 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Plasma: 3D6x10, blast radius of 30 ft. Fragmentation: 6D6, blast radius of 40 feet.
      Rate of Fire: Three times per melee.
      Payload: 26 gun rounds. Normally 6 HEAT, 12 APFSDS, and 8Plasma, but this can be varied according to need. An additional round can be stored, ready to fire, in the main gun. If they are available, this is usually a plasma round so that the tank can deal with a surprise attack of any type. Also note that plasma only became available just before the Rifts, and before that the tank carried Fragmentation rounds.
      Bonuses: +2 to strike at all times with cannon shells from the laser sight and fire control computer, including when on the move. For indirect long-range fire has a +1 to strike, but only when standing still.
  2. Vulcan Laser Cannons (2): These cannons are a copy of the IH-44L Vulcan Laser on the Iron Hammer Tank that was manufactured by Ironheart Industries. These were a secondary weapon but make an incredible air defense weapon. On the nuclear powered version, the laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the fighter. On the fuel cell version, the laser cannons are powered by a fuel cell.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 3D4x10 for an instantaneous burst from cannon (Both cannons firing together inflict 6D4x10)
    Rate of Fire:Each cannon can shoot up to six times per melee (Normally combined) but is restricted to the gunners number of hand to hand attacks.
    Payload: Nuclear Reactor: Effectively Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines). Fuel Cell Version: 200 bursts total. It takes approximately two minutes for a trained crew to change the hydrogen tank that powers the weapon, assuming that a spare tank is available. Untrained crews will take about six minutes to accomplish this task.
  3. Automatic Grenade Launcher: Weapon is WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher mounted on a spindle mount. It is located on top of the tank and is controlled by the person considered to be the tanks commander. In the the M1A12 version, the gunner must be partially outside of the tank to control the mount but the control system from the M1A5 was copied for the M1A15 and can be controlled from within the turret.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 m)
    Mega-Damage: 4D6 for single shot of Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft, 1D4x10 for a single shot of Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, 2D6x10 for a burst of ten rounds of Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft, and 3D6x10 for a burst of ten rounds of Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
    Payload: 400 Rounds
  4. Rapid Fire Machine gun Style Laser Cannons (2): The weapons are light lasers designed mainly for anti-infantry use that allows for all the bursts available to a machine gun except full melee. Is useful for other targets as well including against aircraft. On both versions, one mount is coaxial and is aimed where the main cannon is aimed. As might be expected, it is controlled by the same gunner who controls the main gun. On the M1A12 version, the second gun is on top of the turret where the loader was positioned on the original Abrams. The gunner must be partially out of the turret and exposed to use the weapon. On the M1A15 version of the tank, the weapon has been moved to the main body of the tank and is controlled by the driver. It also has the advantage of being able to be controlled from within the tank.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      2D6 for single shot (Costs 1 attack)
      4D6 for ten round burst at one target (Costs 1 attack)
      2D6 for ten round burst at 1D4 targets (Costs 1 attack)
      1D6x10 for thirty round burst at one target (Costs 1 attack)
      2D6 for thirty round burst at 1D8 targets (Costs 1 attack)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
    Payload: For Fuel cell versions: 600 shots. With the Fuel Cell version, It takes approximately two minutes for a trained crew to change the hydrogen tank that powers the weapon, assuming that a spare tank is available. Untrained crews will take about six minutes to accomplish this task. For fusion: unlimited shots.
  5. Medium Range Missile Launchers (2): Replace the variable missile launchers with fixed missile launchers but of higher capacity. Mounted on either side of turret. Mostly used against airborne targets but can be used against ground targets as well.
    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: each launcher carries 8 medium range missiles for a total of 16 medium range missiles.
  6. Smoke Dispenser (2): Mounted on either side of the tank and launches smoke grenades. While other types of grenades can be used, they have been rarely carried. Recently, there has been consideration for the use of prismatic aerosol and decoy grenades to help protect the vehicle against lasers.
    Effect: Creates a cloud of smoke 40 ft (12 m) in diameter. Other special effects per grenade type
    Rate of Fire: Two per melee
    Range: 1,200 feet (365 m)
    Payload: Carries 12 smoke grenades per launcher.

Sensory Equipment:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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