Triax XM-330-A3 “Phantom” Hover Tank:

One of the main problems with the Phantom Hover tank has always been the relatively short range of the main gun of the hover tank. A partial solution was to replace the particle beam and laser with longer ranged energy weapons but the weapons were still much shorter ranged than the cannons carried in the German pre-rifts Tiger main battle tank with its 88 mm high velocity rail gun. Hover tank crews, who liked to engage at extreme range, complained bitterly. Hover tank crews also wanted the ability to hit targets with indirect fire. Unfortunately, the 88 mm high velocity cannon carried on the Tiger simply had too much recoil to be supported by the hover tanks turret and hover system. Design was begun on a super heavy hover tank which could support the 88 mm rail gun as a supplement to the Phantom. There were problems in the development in the super heavy hover tank and the new design experienced long delays and increased costs. Eventually, the program was shelved.

A less expensive design was sought. The solution which was eventually found was both more cost effective and quite ingenious. It also saved a large amount of development time. An extremely powerful rail gun had been developed for use in the Gun Griffon, a large flying robot, with relatively low recoil using a ramjet round to increase the impact velocity at the time of impact and increase range. It was decided that the cannon could be adapted for the turret on the Phantom hover tank instead of having to design an all new hover tank. The cannon was relatively easy to adapt and ammo replaces the space for additional passengers. An automatic feed system loads the rail gun and has a crew of only three. So far, only a limited numbers of the hover tank have been refitted with the rail gun in place of the particle beam. Crews of the upgraded hover tanks have received it with great enthusiasm and has done well in limited engagements. It is planned that not all Phantom hover tank will be modified to the rail gun carrying configuration, only those who have not already been upgraded to the XM-330-A2 configuration will be upgraded. It is also planed than only about fifty percent of new built tanks will be the XM-330-A3 configuration with the other half being the XM-330-A2 configuration.

Most XM-330-A3 Phantom Hover tanks will be upgraded XM-330 tanks but when upgraded, they are upgraded in a similar fashion to the XM-330-A2 version. The second weapon in the main barrel is upgraded to a more powerful and slight longer ranged laser identical to the cannon carried in the XM-330-A2 upgrade model. Unlike the XM-330-A2 model, both cannons cannot be fired at the same time. The twin rail guns are also upgraded and the light laser has been replaced by a more powerful laser which is variable frequency and is very effective against laser resistant armors. Like on the XM-330-A2, the short barrel ion cannon was removed because it was redundant and used power that could be used to power the main battery.

Designation: XM-330-A3
Vehicle Type: Military Hover Tank
Crew: Three (Pilot, Gunner, and Communications Officer / Commander)

M.D.C. by Location:

Main Cannon (Annihilator Railgun / Heavy Laser):350
[1] Low Profile Laser Turret (top)100
[1] Mini-Missile Launchers (2; sides of turret)50 each
[1] Smoke Grenade Launchers (4):10 each
[1] Forward Rail Guns (2):40 each
[1] Forward Headlight:5
[1] Main Sensor (front):20
[1] Top Access Hatch:120
[1] Belly Hatch:100
Reinforced Pilots Compartment:100
[2] Main Body:700

[1] All indicated hit locations are small and/or difficult targets to hit. An attacker must make a called shot and has a -3 penalty as well.
[2] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and unsalvageable, but crew and troops may survive in their reinforced compartments.

Land: 80 mph (128 kph) maximum. The hover tank rides on a cushion of air as low as two feet (0.6 meters) or as high as six feet (1.8 meters).
Water: 15 mph (24 kph). The hover system is not as efficient over water as it is over land.
Flying: Flight is not possible.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited by propulsion system, system does not overheat

Statistical Data:
Length: 35.1 feet (10.7 meters) long for the hull and 44.3 feet (13.5 meters) including the cannon barrel [Standard XM-330 tank is 35.1 feet (10.7 meters) long for the hull and 41 feet (12.5 meters) including the cannon barrel]
Width: 20 feet (6 meters)
Height: 9 feet (2.7 meters)
Weight: 48 tons (43.5 metric tons) empty and 52 tons (47.2 metric tons) fully loaded
Power Source: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment). Tank has space for three backpacks, canteens, and rifles
Black Market Cost: Not Available, a black market knock off of the original Phantom hover tank cost around 40 million credits and would normally not have the same weapon systems.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Annihilator Railgun: The turret can rotate 360 degrees and the cannons has a 60 degree arc of fire upwards and 15 degree arc of fire down. This huge weapon (8 meters in length) fires special 3.52 inch (90 mm) ramjet ammunition. It is more powerful than even the fabled Boom Gun of the Glitter Boy powered armor, but because of the power it needs it requires almost 3 seconds to charge between shots. This is slightly faster than the Gun Griffon needs, and is due to the Phantom's larger nuclear engine. Each Ramjet round weighs in at nearly 17 pounds AFTER terminal burn, at which time it is traveling at hypersonic speeds. Each of these rounds costs about 10,000 credits, which is why practice with this weapon is usually performed with more mundane and slightly shorter ranged solid slugs. Recoil is kept manageable by large shock absorbers in the weapon itself, and the fact that part of the ammo`s speed is build up AFTER it has left the weapon. The Gunner of the Phantom can switch between ammo types at will, the automated magazine then feeds the selected ammunition to the Rail gun. The magazine is located inside the main body of the Phantom.
    The Rail Gun has, due to its special gyro stabilization, a bonus of +2 to strike (in addition to any bonuses from the gunner).
    Maximum Effective Range: 14,000 feet (4,200 meters) with Ramjet ammunition, 11,000 feet (3,200 meters) with solid slugs and high explosive. With the help of the rangefinder, radar, and the computer, can fire all rounds indirectly to 26,250 feet (4.9 miles / 8,000 meters).
    Mega Damage: 5D6x10 per round of ramjet ammo! Solid slug does 3D4x10, High Explosive Armor Piercing does 2D6x10 with a blast radius of 10 ft.
    Rate of Fire: Four times per melee. Bursts and sprays not possible.
    Payload: 80 round magazine. Ammo selection is usually 40 Ramjet, 20 solid and 20 High explosive. Reloading the magazine will take about fifteen minutes for those not trained, but eight minutes trained personnel
  2. Laser Cannon (1): Mounted together with the Annihilator Railgun but cannot be fired simultaneously with the rain gun. The laser cannon in normally used for targets that do not warrant the use of the rail gun or the hover tank is running low on ammunition. The laser cannon has the same arc of fire and shares the same fire control. The cannon is controlled by the gunner unless the gunner is injured.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
    Mega Damage: 2D4x10 per single blast
    Rate of Fire:Equal to the gunners combined hand to hand (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  3. Forward Rail Guns (2): Two rail guns are located in the front of the tank. Each can rotate up to 270 degrees and angle up to 45 degrees and down to a 15 degree angle. Each can be controlled individually or simultaneously and while normally controlled by the pilot, the weapons can be controlled by the gunner or communications officer as well. The cannons have an increased rate of fire for greater damage. Rail Guns can use depleted uranium rounds for greater damage.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1200 meters)
    Mega Damage: Normal Ammo; 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot) for one rail gun or 2D6x10 M.D.C. for both cannons. Depleted Uranium Ammo; 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot) for one rail gun or 4D4x10 M.D.C. for both cannons.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to pilot’s hand to hand plus one
    Payload: 12,000 rounds total with 6,000 rounds each gun, That is 200 Bursts for each rail gun. The rail guns are fed by a massive drum in the main body of the tank. Reloading the drum will take an experienced field mechanic 10 minutes.
  4. Low Profile Variable Frequency High-Powered Turret: Located on the rear top area of the main turret and is a small and hard to hit target. The Turret can rotate 360 degrees. The original system has been replaced by a system that is derived from the Triax TX-41 Laser pulse rifle. The weapon has 12 different possible frequencies to counter laser resistant armor. Setting seven counters USA-10 Glitter Boy and all other setting are designed to counter other laser resistant materials. These laser cannons have the ability to be positioned up or down 30 degrees. High powered lasers are controlled by the pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 3D6 for one shot and 1D6x10 for three round burst.
    Rate of Fire:Equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  5. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): On either side of the main turret are small mini missile launchers with three launchers on each side with one reload each. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles. Mini Missiles are normally controlled by the gunner but can be controlled by the pilot or communications officer
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire one at a time or in volleys of two or three.
    Payload: 12 total (6 in each launcher)
  6. Smoke Grenade Launchers (4): Mounted on either side of the turret and launches smoke grenades. Fragmentation and Stun flash grenades can be theoretically substituted. See Flanker Urban Defender for details. The dispenser can dispense prismatic aerosol for dispersing laser beams. This has the same effect as prismatic aerosol grenades.
    Effect: Creates a cloud of smoke 40 ft (12 m) in diameter. Effects are obscures vision, Infrared sensors cannot penetrate smoke cloud, and those without environmental protection will have trouble breathing (-5 to strike parry, and dodge). Passive thermal equipment will work inside of smoke cloud.
    Rate of Fire: Two per melee
    Maximum Effective Range: 25 to 150 feet (7.6 to 46 meters)
    Payload: Carries 8 smoke grenades per launcher.

Special Equipment:
The Hover Tank has all the standard features of a standard robot (including long range communication, radar, and radar tracking) plus these special features listed.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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