U.S.M.C. AMBT-12A1 Merovingian II Amphibious Tank:

The Merovingian Amphibious Tank was initially adopted by the United States Navy / Marine Corps due to the fact that the Tank had the highest speed on the surface of any tank design ever built with the exception of hover tank designs. This was considered an overriding concern even though it was less heavily armed and armored than the Jackson main battle tank. The six wheels were considered about as effective as treads in most ground travel but some personnel would have preferred an eight wheel or even a ten wheel design. The amphibious tank was a copy of a French design and retained most of the same weapon systems as the original design even when they were inferior to American tank weapons manufactured at the same time. Due to the breakneck speed of manufacture, the design was manufactured as is even though it was little more than a prototype. This prototype design is what most reports at the time gave information and is also what the New Navy has sold to other parties.

While the prototype version of the Merovingian was being manufactured and entered American Marine Combat, engineers were working on an upgraded version of the amphibious tank. It featured the same hull and propulsion of the original design but featured a virtually new weapons array. One of the main advantages not including gains in firepower was the fact that the new weapons would be more compatible with other Navy weapon systems and would reduce logistics. The main guns are both replaced with new weapons. The redesigned turret is much lower while both weapons are considered more effective. The lower turret allows for concealment in more conditions. The 200-mm cannon is replaced by a 10-cm high velocity rail gun adapted from those carried on several naval vessels. The same gun is carried on later versions of the Jackson main battle tank and on the Mackintosh Tank Destroyer. To back up the main gun, the amphibious tank carries a heavy Ion Pulse cannon mounted over the heavy rail gun. The Ion Pulse cannon is identical to the one carried on the Iwo-Jima IFV and is also carried on the Schwarzkopf hover tank and Wolfe hover scout. Even though the energy output of each shot from the weapon is slightly less than the original heavy laser, the Ion weapon is considered to be more effective in general due to having the ability to fire twice as often and being a non laser weapon. Many vehicles at the time were designed with special materials against lasers. The long range missile launcher was replaced with two medium range missile launchers. There were few times that the longer range missiles would be considered that much useful than medium range missiles and the payload could be doubled using the smaller missiles. The Mini-Missile launcher was the only weapon system to be retained unmodified. It was considered useful in many roles. The two light lasers were replaced by Light Ion Pulse cannons from the Iwo-Jima troop transport. Ion weapons were seen by the navy as being more effective than lasers. The design had two smoke grenade launchers added to the design. In addition to smoke grenades, prismatic aerosol grenades were often used. The armor of the amphibious tank is also improved with the armor being replaced by the same armor as is used on the Jackson main battle tank and the Merovingian II can withstand slightly more damage than the original version of the amphibious tank. This armor is also both laser and plasma resistant. The other addition is that of an external armored package. This increases the armor of the tank even more but reduces the vehicles top speed both on land and in the water slightly.

The marines received their first models of the new tank just days before the coming of the Rifts and had to rely on the original version for many of the first battles. The original facilities of the New Navy could only repair the old version of the tank but have been expanded to manufacture the new design. As new tanks have rolled out of the manufacturing facilities, the old models of the tank have been sold to allies as surplus. The New Navy is considering some modifications to the original design including alterations to the drive system so it uses ten wheels instead of six wheels. This would further increase ground performance and likely lower the profile slightly. It would also reduce the problem of a tire being destroyed. Another addition under consideration is the lengthening of the design and having space for two marines to act in support.

[Author Note: The author recommends using the height and weight listed here for the Merovingian due to no tanks being 20 feet tall and the mass of 25 tons being far too small for the weapons listed on the vehicle]

Model Type: USMC AMBT-12A1
Class: Amphibious Main Battle Tank
Crew: Three: One driver, one gunner, and one commander. No room for passengers, although two extra human sized passengers could probably be squeezed in an emergency.

M.D.C. By Location:USMC AMBT-12A1Armor Package:
Main Turret (Rear):300+50 (350 total)
Ion Pulse Cannon (over rail gun):100
100 mm Rail Gun (under ion pulse cannon):240
Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, turret):100 each+25 (125 total)
[1] Light Ion Gun (2, front and top of turret):50 each
Mini-Missile Launchers (2, sides):50 each+20 (70 total)
[1] Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):25 each
[2] Main Body:575+200 (775 total)
[3] Wheels (6):75 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. The tank takes half damage from plasma and laser weaponry. External armor plates are also laser and plasma resistant.
[3] If one tire on a side is destroyed, the vehicle is reduced in top speed by 20% and has a -25% to piloting rolls when being operated off-road. If two tires on a side are destroyed, the vehicle will be immobilized. The vehicle does not float due to the tires but the tank itself is water tight.

Ground: Main vehicle: Cruising speed on land is 70 mph (112 kph) on roads and 65 mph (104 kph) off road maximum. With External Armor Package: Reduce Cruising speed to on land of 65 mph (104 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%.
Water Capabilities: Main vehicle: Has two high powered ducted propellers that allows the vehicle to travel on the surface on the water like a boat. It is well designed for use in the water and is very fast. Using the propellers, the AMBT-12A1 can travel on the surface of water at 50 mph (80.5 kph / 43.4 knots). It is not designed for underwater use. With External Armor Package: Reduce speed on the surface of the water to 45 mph (72.4 kph / 39.1 knots)
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 15 year duration) Tank carries about two weeks worth of supplies emergency rations onboard.

Statistical Data:
Height: 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) Original AMBT-12x height was 13.8 feet (4.22 meters)
Width: 14 feet (4.3 meters)
Length: 32 feet (9.7 meters)
Weight: 67 tons (60.7 metric tons) fully loaded. Add 10 tons (9.1 metric tons) for external armor package.
Cargo: Minimal storage space; about four feet (1.2 m) for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three Laser Rifles and two hand-held Missile Launchers with 4 loads each are stored in a compartment behind the driver's seat.
Power System: Nuclear Only (15 year life span)
Black Market Cost: 65 Million credits for a new or fully operational AMBT-12A1 Merovingian II Amphibious Tank if the new navy will sell any (very rare). Add 2.5 million for the external armor package. Original AMBT-12x are more available and cost 40 million. The external armor is available for them as well at 2.5 million but reduces top speed by the same amount and is not laser and plasma resistant.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Hyper Velocity 100 mm Heavy Rail Gun (1): Replaces 200 mm standard cannon in prototype version of the tank. The turret can rotate 360 degrees and has the ability to angle up to 60 degrees. The weapon draws too much power for the main gun to be fired at the same time as the Heavy Ion Pulse cannon and has special system cutouts to prevent both weapons from being fired at the same time. Mostly used against other armored vehicles but it can engage low-flying aircraft and creatures. Copied from a Naval weapon design and identical to the rail gun carried on the later Jackson class main battle tanks. 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 for softer targets and against aircraft. Gives +2 to strike with the cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when the tank is moving.
    Maximum Effective Range: Direct fire range is 5 miles (8 km) and can fire indirectly out to 15 miles (24.1 km).
    Mega Damage: A single round does 5D6x10+20 M.D.C. (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Can use Standard High Explosive rounds that do 1D4x10 with a blast radius of 16 ft (4.9 m). High Explosive Armor Piercing does 2D4x10 with a blast radius of 8 ft (2.4 m).
    Rate of Fire:Maximum of four per melee.
    Payload: 60 rounds. Normally 30 rounds are of standard anti-tank slugs.
  2. Heavy Ion Pulse Cannon: Replaces the heavy laser carried by the original version of the tank and has double the rate of fire of the original cannon. 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. The turret can rotate 360 degrees and has the ability to angle up to 60 degrees and both barrels move as one unit. Like the main gun, the Ion Pulse Cannon is controlled by the tank’s gunner.
    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. Light Ion Pulse Guns (2): These replace both the laser mounted on the top of the turret and the front mounted laser. The weapons' primary purpose is use against infantry but is effective against missiles and to a lesser extent both aircraft and other armored vehicles. While the army used lasers as secondary weapons, the Navy and Marines preferred Ion weapons.
    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 sides of the turret 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. Mini-missile Launcher (2): Mounted on the upper sides of the tank 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.
  6. Smoke/Gas Dispensers (2): A smoke/gas dispensing unit is attached to each side of the MBT. 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. The dispenser can dispense prismatic aerosol for dispersing laser beams. This has the same effect as prismatic aerosol grenades. The effects of the prismatic aerosol is combined with the laser resistant materials that compose the armor if the later tanks when they are used together.
    Payload: 20 total; 10 charges each; typically 10 smoke, 5 prismatic aerosol, and 5 tear gas.

Sensory Equipment:

Sensory equipment is mounted on a retractable mount that can be extended 6.6 feet (2 meters) to extend sensors when hull down. The tank carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:

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

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002, & 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.