Apex Defense Manufacturers "Saber Cougar" Light Grav Tank:

Apex Defense Manufacturers was originally a subcontractor for components of military hovercraft and have been around since before the formation of the Consortium of Civilized Worlds. The company started expanding their products and service with first repair services for older designs and later upgrades on older designs. One of these designs was the Human Alliance “Kramer” Grav Tank. The executives decided to make a break from simply upgrades and building new designs based on upgraded. One of the new designs that was first to be considered was the development of a light hover tank design.

Heavy hover tanks can be considered the kings of the battlefield, able to take on and destroy just about anything. While there are some hover tank designs which still use lift fans, many of the most successful designs use gravity based propulsion. As a result, they are extremely agile even with their huge mass. The biggest down side of the designs is simply their shear cost. You can almost purchase a Hunter class destroyer for the cost of a pair of Phalanx Main Battle Tanks. Because of this, many designers have developed cheaper alternatives. One of these is the light hover tank. Others include wheeled and treaded designs. The light hover tank, especially with gravity propulsion, is incredibly mobile and can carry a significant amount of the firepower of the larger designs. As well, a much larger number of the lighter designs can be carried when being transported to the battlefield. The design has several disadvantages including far less armor in most designs.

The "Saber Cougar" is named for a cat like predator from Allison, the home planet of Apex Defense Manufacturers. It is the smaller cousin to the Saber Tiger and even though smaller, is quite ferocious and is still feared. It is also extremely fast and agile. It is believed that future Apex designs will continue to follow the naming convention of animals from Allison. Unlike the “Saber Tiger” heavy hover tank, several major orders of the light hover tank have already been placed. There is so much interest in the new design that Phoenix Armory is becoming concerned about competition. There is also rumor that Naruni Industries is nervous about the design hurting their sales of their Carnivore hover tank and that Naruni plans to unveil an upgraded version of the Carnivore.

Many engineers consider the "Saber Cougar"to have been developed from the “Kodiak Tiger” hover tank and the two tanks share many design features. They are laid out in a similar fashion and share many systems. This includes that both have a crew of three. Of course, the compartment is more cramped and the tank can carry less in the way of emergency supplies. The "Kodiak Tiger" first introduced a new alloy / composite armor which was laser resistant. This same armor is carried on the "Saber Cougar."As well, both designs mount a starfighter style variable force field. The armor and the force field combined make the "Saber Cougar" an incredibly tough design for its mass. Power is provided by a single fusion reactor on the light hover tank instead of the two carried on the larger Apex design. Top speed of the "Saber Cougar" is about the same as the larger design although speed is mostly limited by flight control systems. The tank is driven far differently than conventional tank designs and is almost flown. Like most hover tanks, the light hover tank is most vulnerable while in flight and not just hovering at almost ground level.

The Main Gun of the “Kodiak Tiger” is a massive 100 mm variable focus particle beam. The "Saber Cougar" also mounts a particle beam but is a 50 mm mount which is not variable focus. Still, the energy output is incredible. Still, firepower is incredible although relatively short ranged. Power from the reactor is not sufficient to sustain fire so energy is stored in special capacitors. The capacitors themselves are charged from the hover tanks fusion reactor although the design cannot recharge the capacitors while the defensive force field does as well. There is some speculation that the particle beam is copied from a secret design captured by the company maybe even from a power armor design. To back up the particle beam, a gravity rail gun is mounted underneath. Much light than the gravity rail gun mounted on the "Kodiak Tiger," this weapon is a fairly light power armor class weapon. Although range is limited, the weapon is extremely useful against targets which are impervious to energy weapons. In addition, the light hover tank mounts a light pulse laser above the turret. This weapon is identical to the mount carried in the same place of the heavy Apex design. The "Saber Cougar" does carry missiles but the missile battery is greatly reduced. Instead of medium range missiles, the lighter designs carries short range missiles and eight missiles instead of twelve. Like the "Kodiak Tiger,"the light hover tank carries a large number of Micro-Missiles which are controlled by the tank’s computer. These micro-missiles can be extremely useful against missile strikes and are also designed for anti-personnel roles. As might be expected, the number of micro-missile launchers is greatly reduce. The light hover tank carries six launchers with twenty-four missiles each. This gives a total of 144 micro missiles compared to 576 for the "Kodiak Tiger." Still, the "Saber Cougar" should be considered extremely dangerous and effective.

This Tank uses modified starship rules for its weaponry. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

(Note: The power system is fusion not anti-matter because the author’s opinion is that anti-matter is to dangerous to be used in vehicles that may be used in an atmosphere. If a craft powered by anti-matter was to detonate in an atmosphere it would cause huge planetary damage. At GM option, this can also be applied to all vehicles or this light tank can be changed to anti-matter.)

Model Type: ADM-LBT-25
Vehicle Type: Light Battle Tank (Grav)
Crew: Three, one driver, one commander, one gunner.

M.D.C. By Location:

50 mm Heavy Particle Beam Mount (Turret):160
[1] 5 mm Coaxial Gravity Rail Gun (Turret):60
5 mm Pulse H.I. Laser Cupola / Mini-Turret (Turret):120
[1] Short Range Missile Launchers (2):80 each
[1] NE-500R Micro-Missile Box Launchers (6):30 each
[2] Turret:280
[3] Main Body:550
[4] Variable Force Field:200 per side (1,200 total)
Driver Compartment:100
Gunner / Commander Compartment80

[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] The Weapons turret is unmanned by the crew, and contains the main weapons; Destroying it will knock the weapons out action but the crew will survive.
[3] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable; The crew can survive unharmed in the reinforced crew compartments.
[4] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (60 M.D.C.) per melee (Particle Beam and Shields cannot recharge simultaneously.)
Note: All hit location on the tank itself take half damage from laser weaponry. This does NOT included the variable force field.

Driving on the Ground: 155.3 mph (250 kph) maximum. The tank can make sharp turns and float over any obstacle. Note: The maximum top speed can be actually higher than this, but that is under ideal conditions, like straight roads and flat terrain. The low level terrain avoidance systems cannot operate properly at speeds faster than this.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed is 198.8 mph (320 kph), due to being a low powered Contra-Grav system, altitude is limited to 2,625 feet (800 meters.) Contra-Grav system can also control descent speed so that the tank can be dropped from orbit.
Underwater: The "Saber Cougar" can use its thrusters to travel up to a maximum speed of 27.3 mph (44 kph).
Maximum Ocean Depth: 1 mile (1.6 km)
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by drive system but only has supplies for crew for one week.

Statistical Data:
Length: 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) not including gun barrel and 23.6 feet (7.2 meters) with barrel forward
Height: 9.2 feet (2.8 meters) including top pulse laser.
Width: 11.5 feet (3.5 meters)
Weight: 29.2 tons (26.5 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Advanced Fusion reactors with 30 year life span.
Cargo: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) by two feet (0.6 m) by two feet (0.6 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three carbines and one hand-held missile launcher with four loads each are stored in a compartment in the crew compartment.
Market Cost: 48 million credits. Double that on the Black Market. There are no knock-offs at present.

Weapon Systems:
Note: Space ranges are given for when the tank is used on airless moons and other similar locations.

  1. 50 mm Heavy Particle Beam (1): Light but extremely powerful weapon. The cannon is mounted in the main turret with the ability to depress 10 degrees and elevate up to 80 degrees. Turret is designed for rapid movement and can rotate a full 360 degrees in just three seconds. Because of this, the cannon can target high speed airborne targets. The heavy particle beam draws a huge amount of power and energy is stored in a bank of powerful capacitors. The capacitors allow for rapid firing but are limited to forty shots before needing to recharge. The cannon can retain a rate of fire of 8 shots per minute only. It cannot recharge while the force field is regenerating. Mounted with the cannon is a powerful fire control system. Main gun is usually controlled by the Gunner although both the commander and driver have emergency controls.
    Maximum Effective Range: 22,000 feet ( about 4 miles, 6.4 km) in an atmosphere and 200 miles (320 km) in space. for the particle beam.
    Mega Damage: 4D6x10 M.D.C. per Particle Beam blast.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the Gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 40 shots in capacitors, recharges at the rate of two shot per melee (Particle Beam and Shields cannot recharge simultaneously.)
    Bonuses: Has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +4 to strike with particle beam and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when tank is moving.
  2. 5 mm Coaxial Gravity Rail gun (1): Mounted under the heavy particle beam. Weapon is basically a modified version of the GR-15AR Rifle with a direct feed magazine, targeting system, and a longer barrel for a greater range. The Gravity rail gun fires projectiles at incredible velocities compared to rail guns on Rifts Earth. Gravity rail gun targets wherever the main particle beam targets. The gravity rail-gun shares the same fire control system with the particle beam and is normally controlled by the gunner. Like the particle beam, the driver and commander have auxiliary controls.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6000 feet (1830 meters) in an atmosphere and 115 miles (185 km) in space.
    Mega Damage: Inflicts 3D4 M.D. for one round, a three round burst inflicts 1D4x10 M.D., and a 10 round burst inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the Gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 3,000 Rounds (1,000 Three Round Bursts and 300 Ten Round Bursts)
    Bonuses: Has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +4 to strike with rail gun and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when tank is moving.
  3. 5 mm Mini-Turret HI Pulse Laser: Basically an HI-300 squad support weapon mounted in the turret which is remotely controlled by the Tank's commander or can be set on automatic. When set on independent fire setting, the laser has +4 to strike and has 5 attacks per melee. Weapon is very effective for shooting down missiles and is useful against ground targets as well. Turret can rotate 360 degrees in less than a second and can elevate up to 90 degrees vertical.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) in an atmosphere and 75 miles (120 km) in space.
    Mega Damage: 6D6+6 per single shot, 2D6x10+20 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting.
    Rate of Fire: Equal the Commander's number of hand to hand attacks or by computer (+4 to strike and has 5 attacks) - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (Use Machine Gun burst rules).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  4. Short Range Missile Launchers (2): Mounted on the top of the turret tank are two short missile launchers. Each of these launchers can fire of up to two missiles and the launcher has one reload for each launcher for a total of eight short range missiles. Weapon system is used for hitting enemy robots, fighters, and missiles. Weapon system is also used for anti-cruise missile defense. Missiles have a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 4% of light per turn (faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously. Smart Missiles are normally used in launchers.
    Maximum Effective Range: Short Range Missile range is 10 miles (16.1 km) in an atmosphere and 500 miles (804.7 km) in space.
    Mega Damage: Varies with phase world missile type (See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two or four short ranges missiles between both launchers.
    Payload: Four short range missiles per launcher for eight short range missiles total
  5. NE-500R Naruni Claymore Box Micro-Missile Launchers (6): Two launchers are mounted on the port and starboard sides of the tank and one are mounted on the front and back of the tank. If damaged, the launchers are designed to blow out from the tank instead of inwards if a warhead detonates. Each box launcher has a series of six cells wide by eight cells tall. The launchers are normally controlled by the artificial intelligence of the tank but can be overridden by the crew as well. When set on independent control, the launcher can fire up to twice times per melee per launcher in different sized volleys and the launcher can target multiple targets as well. The computer has +2 to strike if firing unguided micro-missiles and the bonuses of the missile (+4) if firing guided micro-missiles. Computer will normally guide two micro-missiles after each incoming mini-missile, short range missile, or medium range missile. Computer will normally guide four micro-missiles after each long range missile or cruise missiles. Against other targets, the launcher will normally guide four micro-missiles after a human sized soldier or sixteen micro-missiles after a target in power armor.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per micro-missile type (1 mile [1.6 km] for unguided micro-missiles or 2 miles [3.2 km] for guided micro-missiles). Using modified rules, multiply ranges by 8 times in space.
    Mega Damage: 6D6 per micro-missile
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, 8, 12, or 24 per launcher.
    Payload: 24 micro-missiles per launcher for 144 micro-missiles.

Sensors & Equipment:
Has all the normal sensors and equipment of power armors and armored vehicles in the Three Galaxies plus the following special features.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2006, Kitsune. All rights reserved.