USA-M-21 “Schwarzkopf” Hover Tank:

"Soldiers, I am going to introduce you to the Schwarzkopf class Hover Tank. How ol' Stormin Norman would have loved her in Desert Storm. Faster than any other tank, heavily armed, and enough armor to withstand any amount of punishment that the enemy can dish out.

- Sgt Laura Gray, US Army Instructor

Many other nations had introduced advance tank designs long before the United States Army started considering the development of new advanced heavy tank designs. Various designs were considered before it was decided that a hover tank would be the next tank of the American Army. Many of the designers had originally of the Schwarzkopf had worked on the hover Glitter Boy Transport and the hover Missile Battery previous to the tank design. While the hover tank entered official service after the Russian tank design but the Russian design was still really in the prototype stage where the American design was ready for service. The American hover tank was also faster and many engineers consider the Schwarzkopf a much better hover tank design. The hover tank was used in several minor engagements and performed above expectations. The preferred tactic was to use the tanks in overwhelming numbers. The hover tank was named for Norman Schwarzkopf, a prominent general during Desert Storm, a war in the late Twentieth Century. The name fit quite well because Desert Storm was a war of high mobility. Many tank pilot call the hover thank the "Storming Norman."

The hover is designed around powerful nuclear engines that are very similar to those carried on nuclear jet aircraft and the Schwarzkopf is incredibly fast. The top speed of the hover tank is almost 250 kilometers per hour and it is designed to keep up with other United States hovercraft designed around the same time. The American hover tank was armored better than any previous hovercraft design and was designed to be resistant to laser and plasma weaponry. The armor material is derived from the material used for Glitter Boy power armors. The sides of the tank are angled to reduce the radar signature and it is covered by radar absorbing materials and has special heat masking systems. The right barrel is a powerful ion cannon which is identical to the cannon carried on the Iwo-Jima hover troop transport. The left barrel is a 65-mm high velocity rail gun capable of penetrating heavy armor. The tank has a special stabilization system to allow accurate firing of the cannon. The tank does jerk whenever heavy rail gun is fired. Mounted on the front of the tank and on top of the turret are pulse laser mounts which are effective against light vehicles, infantry, and missiles. The hover tank is also armed with medium range missile launchers and mini missile launchers. The mini missile launchers are mounted in the turret and the medium range missile launchers are mounted in the hull of the tank. The tank has the ability to track onto multiple targets. Many of the mini missile warheads carried are often smoke for concealing the tank.

Some of these tanks are still in operation after the coming of the Rifts. While most governments have taken them out of service and replaced them with new designs, the hover tanks are still very popular with mercenaries. Some of these tanks were operated by the Coalition until replaced by their new style of design. Many of the tanks still in operation have lost their radar absorbent outer layers and special resistant layers. From time to time, more of these hover tanks have been found in old military bunkers which still have these special armors. Several private companies seem to be considering manufacturing the hover tanks. The two most well known companies who are interested in the design are Northern Gun and Metalworks Incorporated.

Model Type: USA-M-21 Schwarzkopf
Vehicle Type: Hover Tank
Crew: Three (Pilot, Gunner, and Commander). The tank can carry two passengers in a cramped rear compartment.

M.D.C. By Location:

Ion Pulse Cannon (In turret):100
65 mm high velocity rail gun (in turret):100
Mini-Missile Launchers (2, sides of turret):75 each
Main Weapons Turret:350
[1] Pulse Laser Mounts (2, top of Turret and Body):50 each
Medium Range Missile Batteries (2, Sides):150 each
[1] Headlights (4):8 each
Reinforced Crew Compartment250
[2] Hover Thruster Units:350
[3] Main Body:750

[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] Destruction of the hover unit will cause the vehicle to be no longer under the pilots control.
[3] Destruction of the main body will cause the vehicle to crash. All systems will not function. The tank takes half damage from plasma and laser weaponry. 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.

Statistical Data:
Height: 10.0 feet (3.05 meters) including turret mounted mini-missile launchers.
Width: 12.5 feet (3.8 meters)
Length: 34.5 feet (10.5 meters)
Weight: 55 tons (49.9 metric tons)
Power Source: Nuclear with 25 year fusion reactor.
Cargo Capacity: The hover tank has a small storage space for crew. This includes weapons, armors, and emergency supplies.
Market / Black Market Cost: 48.5 million credits for a new or fully operational USA-M-21 Schwarzkopf Hover Tank.

Weapon Systems:

  1. High Velocity 65 mm Heavy Rail Gun (1): A powerful rail gun mounted on the right side of the ion cannon mount on the main turret. The weapon is normally used against tanks and heavy armor. 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. The twin barrels can angle 45 degrees up and down and the turret has a 360 degree rotation. The weapon system is also gyro-stabilized and has an advanced fire control computer. The cannon does cause the hover tank to jerk when cannon is fired (-10% to pilot when cannon is fired)
    Maximum Effective Range: 3 miles (4.83 km) for direct fire and 8 miles (12.8 km) for indirect fire.
    Mega Damage: A single round inflicts 3D6x10 (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 5D6 with a blast radius of 20 feet (6.1 meters). High Explosive Anti Tank does 1D4x10+10 with a blast radius of 10 feet (3.05 meters)
    Rate of Fire:Maximum of four per melee.
    Payload: 80 rounds (smaller and require no propellent)
    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. Ion Pulse Cannon: A powerful weapon mounted in the hover tank’s turret on the left side of the high velocity rail gun. The mount is short ranged but very powerful and since an energy weapon, it has a virtually unlimited payload. Mainly designed to be used against tanks and heavy vehicles but is also capable against aircraft and missiles. Both cannons can be fired together but the power drain is enormous. If both guns are fired, roll percentile: 1-50 means that the guns are undamaged, 51-80 means that one of the guns (50/50 chance of either) is overloaded and it is rendered inoperative, and 81-00 means that both cannons are overloaded and both cannons are inoperative.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 m)
    Mega Damage: 3D4x10 per blast
    Rate of Fire:Four times per melee round.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
    Bonuses: Shares the same fire control computer that helps to aim the main cannon. Gives +2 to strike with rail gun and cannon does not have minuses to fire when the tank is moving.
  3. Pulse Laser Mounts (2): One pulse laser is mounted on the front of the hover tank and can he fired by either the driver or the hover tank’s gunner as a secondary weapon. The second mount is fired by the commander and is mounted above the turret. 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 combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  4. Medium-Range Missile Launchers (2): Two medium range missile launchers are mounted on the top of the main body of the tank. Each mount has two actual missile launch tubes. Both launchers are usually controlled by the gunner, but can be fired by the driver or commander if the gunner is injured. They are usually outfitted with High-Explosive, Fragmentary or Plasma missiles. The launchers can engage air and ground targets. This tank uses an automatic loading system and additional missiles for reloads.
    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), or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: 8 missiles, 4 in each launcher.
  5. Turret Mounted Mini-missile Launcher (2): Mounted on the sides of the turret are mini missile launchers. These launchers are designed for rapid fire use to engage heavy tanks and giant robots. These weapons are designed to be able to destroy enemy vehicles quickly. Smoke warheads are often carried.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (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 sixteen (16) mini-missiles for a total of 32 Mini-missiles.

Sensory Equipment


[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Image drawn and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2000 & 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.