In the early 2070s the US Army was looking for a new tank design that would incorporate many of the new technologies being introduced, but without the prohibitive costs of a true Main Battle Tank. When the XM9 was introduced it raised a few eyebrows among the acquisitions representatives that witnessed it's test runs at the proving grounds in Aberdeen, but largely it was an unimpressive vehicle with new technologies that were considered too costly for the capabilities they provided. Despite this they lacked a better alternative that fit the bill, and so it was rushed along from prototype phase into production. It quickly became hated by the soldiers that took receipt of the new, slightly modified M9A1s, largely because the new technologies being presented and pressed into this vehicle design were unproven, undeveloped, and quite crude. The Mass Driver Cannon's initial E-Mag circuit breaker actually had a spot labled on it's exterior instructing the gunner to kick the aformentioned location if an error occurred in the energization process! Fortunately a Main Battle Tank design that used only a handful of revolutionary systems, while retaining many tried and true old time systems became available in the form of the M11A1. (The M11A1 later came into existence under a different label - Iron Heart Armaments Iron Hammer!) When production of the type ceased 6 M9s, 32 improved M9A1s and 37 slightly modified M9A2s were produced. Seventy two of these vehicles were sold to Egypt in an arms sale in 2077.
After the cataclysm and the founding of S-Mart, the Maxwell came into production a second time in history. Market analysis indicated that a design that fit somewhere between a light tank and a main battle tank would suit the market very well, and as a result of this the Maxwell was cristened as the design that would fill this niche. Commercial production began in late 116PA and is expected to continue at least until mid 119PA given the amount of orders S-Mart has taken for this vehicle type. At present S-Mart has plans to produce 435 Maxwells. (These numbers break down as follows; 230 for the Manistique Imperium, 50 for Republican, 50 for New Lazlo, 20 for Los Alamo, 15 for Silvereno, 20 for Ciudad Victoria, and 45 produced for various kingdoms and mercenary bands. Of those for the Manistique Imperium only 177 were delivered, the remainder having been siezed under Royal Authority in Desert Star as a result of the Manistique Imperium's alliance with the Coalition States. The 20 for Ciudad Victoria are labeled as an unofficial Maxwell-B design, because the 1 cm Mass Driver Cannon had been replaced under custom order with a high pressure water cannon and a 500 gallon water tank to fight groups of vampires!)
Model Type: US M9A2, Maxwell-A.
Class: Medium Tank.
Crew: 4; Pilot, Gunner, Radio/Radar operator, & Tank Commander.
M.D.C. by Location: (See the note below.)
Medium Range Missile Launcher - 150.
RFFC Turret - 50.
Main Turret - 320.
1 cm Mass Driver Cannon - 120.
*Tracks(2) - 120 each.
**Main Body - 660.
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment - 150.
* Depleting the M.D.C. of the tread means that 1D4 of the plates have been blown apart. An
experienced tech can repair this damage in 1D6x10 minuites under no fire. (If under fire, the tech will feel stressed and aquire a -20% to his/her mechanical engineer roll.) Due to the treads shielded position it can only be struck at a penalty of -3.
** Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body means that the tanks hull is in tatters, and subsequent
shells/rounds have a 01-20% chance of striking the ammo-magazine detonating all remaining rounds.
21-75% will strike the Reinforced Pilot's Compartment, and 76-00% simply punches holes in the
already "shattered" hull.
Note: The Maxwell is armored with a pre-cataclysm composite of Mega-Damage materials sandwiched
together using an ultra tough bonding agent. This Composite Armor was designed to protect
against heavy hitting kinetic attacks such as rail guns, mass driver cannons, armor piercing explosives, ramjets, etc. Thus these weapons all do HALF DAMAGE!
Maximum Speed: 60 mph.
Maximum Underwater Speed: 20 mph.
Maximum Depth Tolerance: 18' with snorkel system; 250' buttoned up.
Maximum Effective Range: Unlimited; Thanks to the Nuclear Power Supply.
Weight: 41 tons.
Cargo: None internally; but can carry up to 2.5 tons on the exterior of the tank, or can pull up to 12 tons.
Power System: Nuclear; 20 year life.
Market Cost: 27 million credits.
1. 1 cm Mass Driver Cannon: The XM9 was a testbed for the first Mass Driver Cannon to be introduced onto the frame of an Army armored combat vehicle. What this weapon does is propel a solid 1 cm (10 mm) wide, by approximately 10 cm long, "slug" of an extremely dense mega-damage material, at a high rate of speed. Although the weapon functioned marvelously, it's lack of versatility was considered a hinderance. With a standard cannon, a shell with a blast radius such as fragmentation for anti-personnel purposes, is always an option. In the case of a mass driver cannon, it functions exclusively as an armor penetration weapon. Thus when the M11A1 was introduced with it's 200 mm Cannon, the M9 was removed from production lines, and the M11A1 was introduced for series production. Later, the M9A2's Mass Driver Cannon research was utilized heavily in the design of the RG14 "Boom Gun", several years later. The 1 cm Mass Driver Cannon produced by S-Mart has been improved upon from the original version, and is no longer as tempermental as it was in the 2070s.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Secondary Purpose: Assault.
Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D..
Rate of Fire: Equal to the Gunners Hand to Hand Attacks.
Maximum Effective Range: 6,000'.
Payload: 100 Slugs in an ammo drum contained within the turret.
Bonus: +2 to strike targets in motion due to weapon stabilization.
Reload Cost: 1,200 credits per Slug.
2. S-Mart RFFC-17 Rapid Fire Field Cannon: This light RFFC is mounted in a mini-turret on top of the saucer shaped main turret. It is typically operated by the Tank Commander.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Personnel.
Secondary Purpose: Defense.
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D. per dual shell burst.
Rate of Fire: Dual Shell Bursts only!
Maximum Effective Range: 2,000'.
Payload: A 100 round drum supplies this RFFC permiting 50 dual shell burst.
Reload Cost: Each shell costs 400 credits to replace.
3. Medium Range Missile Launcher: This seven slot missile launcher is mounted along the front of the Maxwell's hull. It is typically used to soften up heavy armor or fortifications at long range, so that by the time the main gun is within range, the target is comparitively "softened up". Since use of these heavy missiles is almost always a strategic decision, the tank commander is the only one with fire controls to this weapon.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Fortification.
Mega-Damage: Varies with missile type.
Rate of Fire: 1, 2, 4, or 7 at a time.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile type.
Bonus: +2 to strike.
Payload: 7 missiles.
Reload Cost: Varies with missile type.
4. Active Explosive Anti-Missile System: This system was devised in the late 20th century as a means to stem the growing threat of Anti-Tank missiles. What it is, is several explosive charges placed at various points & angles around the "Maxwell" that detonate when the radar picks up a "slow" moving object aproaching the tank, hopefully destroying or at least diverting it, which it does at an impressive 90% efficiency. (It can be used against multiple missiles without penalty.) Note: Destroys/Diverts it's target from 75' out.
Payload: Special! Starts at 75% efficiency, for every 4 blasts fired, reduce this percentage by 10%.
Reload Costs: It Costs 375 credits to replace each charge fired.
5. Additional Systems of Note: This vehicle incorporates all the usual environmental features found in robot vehicles including environmental protection, environmental control, air filtration, an independant 12 hour supply of air, heat and radiation shielding.
1. Telescopic Optics: These are exactly as they sound, telescopic optics that enhance the image of far away objects. At a range of 6,000' an object appears only 100' away, as an example. The range of this system is 6,000' effectively - but it can enhance the image of objects further away yet still, they just are not quite so well detailed.
2. Thermal Imaging Optics: This is very similar to Infrared Optics in the sense that it detects heat, but unlike the imprecise nature of infrared optics, this measures the heat signature precisely displaying them in colorful shades of reds, yellows, greens and blues with various degrees of heat. The thermal imaging optics are also far more sensitive than the infrared optics, actually allowing them to see heat through walls of structures at certain distances. The range of this system is 2,000', but it can only see heat through an obstacle such as a brick wall from 100'.
3. Military Radio & Scrambler: This is the same radio equipment, bolt for bolt, microchip for microchip, as the system found on the USA-G10 Glitterboy. The broadcast range is a modest 50 miles. By resetting the radio transmitter inside the vehicle to an elevated position, however, the same transmitter can achieve a fairly consistent 500 mile range using atmospheric bounce. Atmospheric anomalys can extend this range still further or can completely disable the radio system within a set radius, it just depends on the circumstances. The scrambler system allows the radio signals to be scrambled to all those not equipped with the correct scrambling codes.
4. I.F.F. Transponder System: This system transmits data such as alpha-numeric designation code, course, mission, base of operations, and unit, via radio signal, to other similarly equipped military stations, vehicles, and power armor suits that have been programmed with the correct access codes. A note towards the safety of I.F.F. - is that the codes are very difficult to break. As the Maxwell is strictly a commercial product, all Maxwell I.F.F. Transponder Systems are programmed as civilian models, which allows N.O.M.A.D. Military types to automatically read their signals. In turn all that the civilian type would read about a N.O.M.A.D. Military type is; "MILITARY, HEADING XXX, ALT XXX, SPD XXX".
5. Laser Communication System: This is a specialized laser and receiver that transmits and receives data to another laser communications device, whether power armor or otherwise mounted. It is exclusively a line of sight communications method. Range is approximately 6,000'.
6. Laser & Visual Rangefinders: This is a combination of a special form of laser targeting and a complex targeting sight that aids gunners in ranged combat, providing a bonus of +2 to strike at all ranges exceeding 1,000'.
7. Military Radar & Tracking Computer: This is a powerful radar transmitter and receiver system set in a small radome on top of the turret, that can rotate three hundred and sixty degrees or focus on a solitary location, for a maximum range of 50 miles. Ground clutter is filtered by the advanced tracking computer linked to the radar system, allowing it to track even ground vehicles with little impediment. The only thing that will shorten the range of the radar is if the landscape itself somehow obscures targets within it's range. The tracking computer linked to this radar set can identify and track up to a 100 separate targets both in the air and on the ground.
8. Inertial Navigation Computer: This system assists the vehicle in navigation through the use of three ring laser gyros by indicating exactly how far, in what direction, at what altitude, and at what speed the vehicle has traveled - down to an accuracy of 1/1000 of a mile. If available, coupled with a map of the region loaded into this nav comp, this system becomes nearly fail safe - provided that the crew using the system can read a map. This provides crews with a Navigation skill a +20% to all skill rolls. Every few hundred thousand miles of travel this system requires recalibration, which is easily done by a push of a button inside of the vehicle. S-Mart has maps available of the entire surrounding region (250 mile radius) of each Desert Star, Wa-Daisho, Lazlo, the Coalition States, Northern Gun/Manistique Imperium, and the Colorado Baronies available at a cost of 200 credits per programming package.
9. Laser Detector: This system is composed of a handful of sensitive light sensors spread out over the surface of the vehicle, specifically calibrated to detect the light from a laser beam. It's purpose is to detect any and all laser targeting systems currently trained on the vehicle. This system may be set only to emit a high pitched bell sound or it may be set to automatically activate the Anti-Laser Aerosol System.
10. Military Radar Detector: This system detects radar waves as they pass over the vehicle, indicating to the crew that they have been picked up on radar. It is at least a fairly sensitive system though, that can tell the difference between a low power radar system like those found on most power armor that cannot see through ground clutter, and a true military grade radar that can. The only failing of this system is that if the vehicle is ever attacked by a microwave type weapon it will fry this sensor automatically.
11. Smoke Dispensers: The Maxwell carries four separate smoke dispensers, each of which contain five dense capsules that when ignited release a forty foot by forty foot cloud of dense infrared and laser resistant smoke. This can be handy for concealing the Maxwell from attackers, providing them with a penalty of -3 to strike, or it may be handy also for creating a smoke screen for troops moving beyond where the Maxwell is located - obscuring their location so that the enemy in question cannot see them. Each capsule costs 30 credits to replace.
12. Anti-Laser Aerosol Unit: This is a small vent that releases a blast of a grayish glittering cloud of highly reflective metal fragments at a high rate of speed, to protect the vehicle from laser targeting devices, as well as laser weapons! The cloud only lasts for about 1D4 melees, a single melee in high winds, or a single round of attacks if the vehicle is in motion. The aerosol cannister has a payload of 30 gas blasts, and they cost 15 credits to replace.
6. Physical Attacks: Like any vehicle, it in itself can be a very efficient weapon;
Ramming Vehicles/Creatures/Buildings More Than 2 tons: 4D4 M.D. per 10 mph.
Ramming Vehicles/Creatures/Buildings Less Than 2 tons: 2D4 M.D. per 10 mph, and typically will run it over inflicting an additional 1D6x10 M.D. from it's weight alone!
The image above is reprinted, with permission, from R. Talsorian Games Inc. Cyberpunk 2020®'s Sourcebook Maximum Metal. In the sourcebook it is seen as the Militech MT-4 Main Battle Tank. All rights remain reserved by R. Talsorian Games Inc., and SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery acknowledges and respects these rights. This image is reprinted as a means of creating a wonderful new vehicle for RIFTS, using the spectacular artistry of R. Talsorian Games Inc. illustrators.
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