Iron Heart Armament Iron Gauntlet Medium Tank:

The Iron Fist tank is an excellent design in many ways. It is quite fast for its size and is relatively light weight, allowing it to travel over most terrain. Still, there has been some criticism of the design including the tanks lack of missiles or other forms of air defense. It was decided to develop a new medium tank which would attempt to correct these flaws. The first solution considered was simply to add a set of box launchers to the turret of the Iron Fist but several other designs already do this and payload would be limited. Instead it was decided that a different solution would be used. One of the engineers at Iron Heart Armament had perused an old pre-rifts book about tanks. There was a picture of a prototype version of the T-72 tank produced in Chechoslovak at the end of the Twntieth Century which mounted a pair of 20 mm cannons with one on either side of the turret. The mounts were for anti-aircraft roles and rotated with the turret. While the original design was never produced, the design inspired the engineer to develop a new version of the Iron Fist which he named the Iron Gauntlet and the name stuck.

The development of the new tank design was extremely straight forward and shares virtually all systems with the Iron Fist with the exception of a rebuilt turret. Even the turrets are extremely similar to reduce development. Because of this, the tank from concept to the first prototype took less than two months. Tests were completed even quicker with the tank passing all of its rigorous field trials without problem. It was decided that the Iron Gauntlet would not replace the Iron Fist in production and would instead supplement the design. The two tanks shared most of the same production lines but were simply pulled off to be completed in their modified version at the last stages of production. Full production has begun before the factories were seized by the Coalition but were only produced in relatively small numbers. All production ceased when the Coalition took over and captured the facilities deciding not to use the design themselves. Still, the design was extremely popular while it was produced although most units which operated these vehicles only had one in four armed in this manner and having all of the tanks operate as one unit with the Iron Gauntlet acting as protection against aircraft for the other tanks. As might be expected, there are several groups pushing for a similar design to be produced by another company. There is rumor than Northern Gun is considering a modified version of the Lightning Fist to fill the same role.

In appearance, the tank is little changed from an Iron Fist. The exception of course is the addition of an auto-cannon on either side of the tank’s turret. Iron Heart never produced a 20 mm cannon and it was decided to go with a 30 mm cannon instead for ease of production. The same lightweight model which is used on Iron Weasel is also used on the Iron Gauntlet. The cannons move side to side with the turret although elevation is independent. The weapon has a special radar and tracking system for the accurate targeting of aircraft and missiles. While weapon is designed for use against aircraft, its extremely high rate of fire makes it incredible against ground vehicles as well although it does not have the range of the main gun. Payload is 800 rounds per gun although unlike most other Iron Heart designs, the guns have to be reloaded externally. The 120 mm smooth-bore cannon carried on the Iron Gauntlet is identical to the cannon carried on the Iron Fist and retains the automatic loading system. Payload is reduced from fifty rounds to forty-five rounds to partially compensate for the addition of the twin auto-cannons. Still, the cannon far outranges any weapon which could be mounted effectively on any robot vehicle design and the engineers did not want to reduce the payload by too great a margin. The laser cannon mounted in the nose of the tank is retained along with the co-axial rail gun but the rail gun mounted in the commander's position was deleted to reduce weight and because the twin 30 mm cannons compensate for the loss of the mount.

Like the standard Iron Fist medium tank, the Iron Gauntlet was originally available with a conventional combustion engine, a high capacity battery system, or with a fusion reactor. Like with most Iron Heart designs, most were conventionally powered with a gas turbine system which can burn a variety of different fuels although diesel and kerosine are the preferred fuels. The gas turbine is highly efficient and get better fuel economy than even diesel powered tanks from the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Most of the versions powered by nuclear engines are operated by mercenary companies and of course give virtually unlimited range. The original Iron Fist could carry two additional passengers behind the driver in extremely cramped conditions. The Iron Gauntlet uses this space and cannot carry any additional passengers inside the tank.

Model Type: IH-14C
Class: Assault / Air Defense Tank
Crew: Three: one driver, a gunner, and a commander.

M.D.C. by Location:

Main Turret:200
IH-B 120 mm Smooth Bore Cannon (turret):120
IH-105 Rail Gun (coaxial with main gun)25
IH-280-LW 30 mm Chain Gun (2, sides of turret)50 each
Reinforced Crew Compartment in the Turret:50
IH-34L Forward-mounted Laser (main body)25
Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):15 each
[1] Main Body:450
Reinforced Crew Compartment (main body):100
[2] Track Treads (2):90 each

[1] Depleting the M.D.C. from the main body will shut the tank down completely, rendering it useless.
[2] 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 (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only possible when the vehicle is not under attack.

Ground: 65 mph (104 km) on land. 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: Buttoned up, it can travel under water at 30 mph (48 km)
Maximum Effective Range: 600 miles (960 km) with a full tank of fuel (Diesel or Gasoline) or via electric motor before needing refueling / recharging; unlimited if nuclear (10 year life).

Statistical Data:
Height: 10.5 feet (3.2 meters
Width: 10 feet (3 meters)
Length: 32 feet (9.7 meters)
Weight: 38 tons (34 metric tons) fully loaded
Cargo: Minimal storage space; about four feet (1.2 m) tor extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three Wilk’s 447 laser rifles and two WI-23 missile launchers with five loads each are stored in a compartment behind the driver's seat.
Power System: Combustion, electric engine, or nuclear.
Black Market Cost: 3.5 million with gas turbine engine, 4.2 million for one with an electric motor, 26 million with nuclear engine (life-time of 10 years).

Weapon Systems:

  1. 120 mm IH-B Smooth Bore Cannon Turret (1): This is the Iron Gauntlet's main gun and is similar to the cannon carried on the Pre-Rifts M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank although it has an auto-matic loader. The cannon has an auto loader system. The cannon has a variety of loads, including high-explosive (HE). High-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), armor-piercing explosive (AP). armor piercing sabot-discarding solids (APSD). The APSD round consist of a metal dart that flies at enormous speeds towards the target: It is not as fast as a rail gun, but makes up for it with the greater mass of the slug. Since the gun is situated in the turret, it can rotate 360 degrees and can aim upwards up to 60 degrees - allowing it to engage low flying aircraft/creatures although the 30 cannons usually operate in this role. The gun is controlled by a gunner inside the turret`s compartment.
    Maximum Effective Range: 11,500 feet (3,500 meters) for direct fire with discarding sabot round, 6,000 feet (1828 meters) for direct fire with all other rounds, and indirect fire range of 26,250 feet (8,000 meters).
    Mega-Damage: High-Explosive (HE): 1D6x10 M.D. with a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m). High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT): 2D6x10 M.D. with a blast radius of 10 ft (3 m). AP: 2D4x10 M.D. and APSD: 3D4x10 M.D. (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration)
    Rate of Fire: A Maximum of three attacks per melee round regardless of the gunner's hand to hand combat numbers.
    Payload: The tank ran carry up to 45 rounds. The standard distribution is 12 rounds of each type, but that can be altered to suit the mission. (For example if the tank is going to be fighting infantry, the usual load would be 30 HE, 10 HEAT, and 10 APSD rounds).
  2. IH-105 Rail Gun (1): This light rail gun is a copy of the NG-202, with a normal rate or fire. The gun is right under the tank’s main gun and shoots at the same target. The gun is controlled by a gunner inside the turret`s compartment. It is intended to shoot infantrymen and other taregts which are not worth spending a 120 mm cannon round to kill.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
    Mega-Damage: A Burst is 40 rounds and inflicts 1D4x10 M.D.; one round does 1D4 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks (usually 4-6) of the gunner.
    Payload: 8,000 round box in the turret (200 bursts)
  3. IH-280-LW 30 mm Ramjet Chain Guns (2): Built into the sides of the turret, these mounts rotate with the turret and cannot be aimed in a different direction as the main gun although elevation can be controlled independently. The barrels can be raised up to 85 degrees allowing the tank to engage both aircraft and missiles. The chain guns are controlled by the commander / gunner inside the turret compartment. The cannons are a lighter weight version of the cannon carried in the Iron eagle attack helicopter. The 30 mm cannon fires heavy ramjet rounds with armor piercing warheads which inflict as much damage as most heavy rail guns. The ramjet rounds inflict great damage and can quicky punch through the front armor of a tank or the main armor of a giant robot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 for a burst of 20 rounds from a single cannon or 4D6x10 for a burst of 40 rounds (20 from each cannon), 3D6 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner's hand to hand attacks; each burst counts as one melee action.
    Payload: 800 round drum magazine (40 bursts.) Each cannon. Reloading is done outside the vehicle and takes two melee rounds (30 seconds) per mount for two crewmen or passengers and six melees (90 seconds) per mount if only one person is involved or the people aren't trained in the reload procedure.
    Bonuses: +2 to strike vs aircraft and missiles.
  4. IH-34L Laser Turret (1): This weapon is mounted on the bow of the tank and is normally fired by the driver of the tank. The weapon consists of two laser cannons firing simultaneous(y at the same target. In vehicles without nuclear engines, the laser is powered by a rechargeable battery.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1200 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 6D6 M.D. per dual blast.
    Rate of Fire: Can shoot up to six times per melee.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4000 feet ( 1200 m)
    Payload: 1000 dual blasts. Unlimited if vehicle has a nuclear engine.
  5. Smoke/Gas Dispensers (2): A smoke/gas dispensing unit is attached to each side of the Weapon Platform. 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.
    Payload: 20 total; 10 charges each; typically all smoke.

Special Equipment:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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