The US M7A2 was designed and produced in the early 2060s as a light tank design to replace the late Bradley and LAV designs in the role of heavily armored recon vehicle. The concept and design was obsolete for the time, and it was only produced for export to foreign countries seeking a light tank that used modern technologies. Several hundred were sold in India, Taiwan, and Liberia. Of the other countries that purchased less than several hundred, Mexico purchased the most, with 188 vehicles of this type. Many of which were destroyed in the US-Mexico war during the 2090s. Some undoubtably survived the war, but their fate remains unknown. Some may still be buried in the rubble of the old Mexican military bases while others may be in the service of the Vampire Kingdoms.
S-Mart began production of the M7A2 anew in 114PA as a light tank that can pack enough of a punch to deal with most threats, without incuring the cost of a full out main battle tank. This vehicle was named by Ace Ripley the "Battlefield Enema" or B.E./"Bee" for short, named after the logo on the cannon of the prototype photos found in Project Archive. Desert Star's N.O.M.A.D. Military immediately procured 25 of these vehicles and used them for about four years before trading them in for full strength Main Battle Tanks. These remained in limited production through to 117PA, producing a total of 395 "Bees", including the original N.O.M.A.D. Military order. (This breaks down to 100 for the Barony of Hope, 76 for Kingsdale, 55 for El Paso, 40 for Ft. Commanche, 25 for Desert Star, 25 for Lazlo, 24 for Larsen's Brigade, 15 for Water Point Preserve, and then an additional 35 produced for various kingdoms and mercenary bands.) A handful of new vehicles and most of the used Desert Star Bees still remain on hand for sale to individual buyers into 118PA.
Model Type: US M7A2 & S-Mart Battlefield Enema-A.
Class: Light Tank.
Crew: 2; Pilot & Gunner.
M.D.C. by Location: (See the note below!)
75 mm Cannon-100.
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment-100.
* 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 -1.
** 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 Battlefield Enema utilizes a Pre-RIFTS defense mechanism called Reactive Armor, which protects the Bee from shaped charge weapons; (ALL impact missiles, direct impact cannon shells, etc.) When struck by such weapons on either it's main body or turret these attacks inflict only 1/2 damage! The way this armor "functions" is that it's made up of a series of hollow panels with the interior lined with a layer of an explosive substance and when a missile or shape charged cannon shell strikes this protective armor, it detonates outward in response to the attack, thereby destroying the offending missile or shell! The only shortcoming is that any time a specific area has been hit, it's reactive plates in that location must be replaced - or full damage will be endured on the next impact. For game purposes regard each side of the main body/hull as a separate target, and each side of the turret as a separate target. Once the front of the Bee's hull has been hit - it's vulnerable to full damage on the next attack from the dead on front. A cunning driver will take the oportunity after that impact to turn a new side towards the enemy - while the gunner redirects the turret towards the enemy and continues hammering them. Note that the image above displays the reactive armor plates as boxes with bolts in the corner, giving the vehicle an almost "riveted cast iron" appearance.
Maximum Speed: 80 mph.
Maximum Water Surface Speed: 20 mph; This tank floats.
Maximum Effective Range: Unlimited; Thanks to the Nuclear Power Supply.
Height: 7'10" (13'4" including the whip antennae.).
Weight: 14 tons fully loaded.
Cargo: A small cargo space inside contains room enough for some personal effects for the two crew members, and enough reactive armor plates to completely replace those on the exterior ONE time. (Takes about 15 minutes for anyone with even basic mechanics.) Externally the Bee can carry up to a ton or can pull up to 4 tons of weight. Note that this vehicle will not float if it's total weight exceeds 15 tons! (If overloaded the maximum depth of the Bee is 250' - it is NOT however outfitted with a snorkel system.)
Power System: Nuclear; 10 year life.
Market Cost: 12 million credits. (Note the shorter duration nuclear power plant, and the presence of only ONE truly high tech weapon.) Cost to completely replace the reactive armor plates for the Bee is 14,000 credits.)
1. 75 mm Cannon: The primary weapon of the Battlefield Enema is a relatively light cannon for the world of RIFTS, but it packs a punch, a decent range, and allows the "Bee" to deal with most moderately armored targets. The turret and auto-loader design prevents the cannon from elevating as much as the artillery piece typically permits so the range is shorter than normal, but even with the reduced range - it outranges MOST ranged weapons produced around the Belt of Humanity in the old Central US.
Primary Purpose: Assault.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D. per H.E.A.T. round (High Explosive Anti Tank), 1D6x10 M.D. per A.P.S.D. round (Armor Piercing Sabot Discarding Solids.), 1D4x10 M.D. per H.E. round (High Explosive), or 5D6 M.D. per Fragmentation round.
Blast Radius: 5' for the H.E.A.T. rounds, point of impact for the A.P.S.D. round, 12' for the H.E. rounds, and 20' for the Fragmentation rounds.
Rate of Fire: Five shots per melee.
Maximum Effective Range: 12,000'.
Payload: 100 shells, comes standard with 25 of each shell type.
Bonus: +2 to strike targets in motion due to weapon stabilization. (See below for the fire control computer bonus in addition to this.)
Reload Cost: Varies with shell type. H.E.A.T is 2,250 credits, A.P.S.D. is 600 credits, H.E. is 850, and Fragmentation is 1,000.
2. Coaxial S-Mart RFFC-17 Rapid Fire Field Cannon: Mounted along side of the 75 mm Cannon is the secondary weapon of the "Bee". The RFFC-17 is a specially designed 20 mm cannon with Electro-Magnetic accelleration coils along the barrel, that fires a rapid succession two round burst. While this weapon does as much damage as the 75 mm HEAT cannon shells, it is strictly a close range weapon useful only at 1/6 of the 75s maximum range.
Primary Purpose: Defense.
Secondary Purpose: Assault.
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D. per rapid succession dual shell burst.
Blast Radius: Minimal - approximately 4'.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunners combined hand to hand attacks.
Maximum Effective Range: 2,000'.
Payload: 20 shells - enough for 10 rapid succession dual shell bursts.
Bonus: +2 to strike targets in motion due to weapon stabilization.
Reload Cost: 400 credits per 20 mm 200 series cannon shell.
3. 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. 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.
2. 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. This allows a friendly N.O.M.A.D. soldier in an S-Mart Assassin, overflying an armored collumn, to quickly determine who these individuals are. This also allows field commanders to keep far better track of their military assets. A further feature of this system is that it functions well as a distress beacon. A note towards the safety of I.F.F. - is that the codes are very difficult to break. Since the N.O.M.A.D. Military periodically changes their I.F.F. safety codes - attempts to crack the codes that have taken weeks of supercomputer analysis - are for naught. Those Battlefield Enemas that are sold DO include this system but it is programmed as a civilian system, readily read by N.O.M.A.D. Military programmed I.F.F. transponders.
3. 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'.
4. Fire Control Computer: This is a system that accesses the tracking computer data, the range finders, and the targeting systems of the on board weaponry and compiles the data into a comprehensive fire control system for the gunner. This system, combining the elements of the previous systems described, provides a +3 bonus to strike with the main weapon of the Battlefield Enema - essentially doing all of the grunt work for the gunner. He merely points, clicks, and the weapon attacks. Experienced tankers find this system troublesome, however, as oftentimes an experienced tanker can outshoot a fire control computer by manual control. Thus this system can be switched off in favour of the tanker's own skills with heavy weapons.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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'.
8. Military Radar & Tracking Computer: This is a powerful radar transmitter and receiver system set in the front of the turret, that can cover sixty degrees in front of the turret, for a maximum range of 25 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.
9. Smoke Dispensers: The Battlefield Enema 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 Atlas 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 Atlas is located - obscuring their location so that the enemy in question cannot see them. Each capsule costs 30 credits to replace.
4. Physical Attacks: Like any vehicle, it in itself can be a very efficient weapon;
Ramming Vehicles/Creatures/Buildings More Than 2 tons: 2D4 M.D. per 10 mph.
Ramming Vehicles/Creatures/Buildings Less Than 2 tons: 1D4 M.D. per 10 mph, and typically will run it over inflicting an additional 5D6 M.D. from it's weight alone!
The picture used above was inspired by the image and description of the U.S. M-75 Light Battle Tank as displayed in R. Talsorian Games Inc. Cyberpunk 2020®'s Sourcebook Maximum Metal. This image was by no means created in an effort to steal the credit for such an impressively styled vehicle from the illustration team of R. Talsorian Games Inc., but was included here in an effort to emulate a well designed vehicle in the RIFTS role playing game.
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