The Hades project
Military planners have long been vexed by the fact that while DropShips often carry an impressive amount of weaponry, the ships are too valuable to risk leaving on the ground for very long. While aerospace support can ward the great ships from air attacks, airpower often comes up short when trying to stop a determined ground attack. If the troops brought to the landing zone spend their efforts defending the DropShip, then they are not accomplishing the mission that brought them to the LZ in the first place. And if the DropShip leaves after dropping off it’s troops, the medical and technical support facilities within it leave as well.
The Mark 2 version shares many components with the Mk. 1. They are essentially identical except for the weapon loadout. While the Mk. 1 was designed with protecting and enlarging a beach head, the Mk. 2 was designed as sort of a ‘mobile fire base’ from which an attack force could base it’s assaults from. As a secondary role, the Mk. 2 makes a tough defensive unit for high importance locations.
As on it’s sister tank, the Mk. 2 mounts a Long Tom cannon for support of allied units or counter battery fire against enemy artillery. As the Mk. 2 is expected to serve as a support fire platform more often, the gauss weapons were dropped in favor of four 20 tube Long Range Missile racks and a Thunderbolt missile system. This gives the Mk. 2 significant punch even in situations that call for indirect fire support. The new semi-guided LRMs are supported by the fire control systems purchased from DEW Industries of the FWL. As the design team was concerned that the Mk. 2 was more likely to see close ranged combat, three of the newly developed Streak Short Range Missile systems are installed. These six tube launchers provide good hitting power against enemy vehicles or ‘Mechs and are capable of tracking and targeting powered armor units as well.
Initially there had been work put into making the Hades Mk. 2 double as a Command and Control vehicle. However after much consideration it was decided that as it was likely that enemy fire would be concentrated on a Hades, putting the command center be on board was too much of a risk. However the groundwork design that went into extra communications, sensor, and 3C placement was not totally scrapped. Some of that work ended up being incorporated into the Angel electronic counter measure suite that was added to the Mk.2 just before the production plans were finalized. Although the initial reaction was that an ECM suite was wasted on a 200 ton vehicle that can’t outrun an Urbanmech, the design team silenced most critics by pointing out that with more units employing C3 systems and the advent of the 3Ci enhanced combat communications systems it would be a shame to have a fast C3 equipped ‘Mech run up close to the Hades just so a company of heavily armed friends could pop over a hill at extreme range and lay waste to the 27 million C-bill tank.
As with the Mark 1, it is unknown at this time if any orders have been placed. To date, there has been no official announcement of how many Mk 2 units are planned for production. It is assumed that the Mk. 2s cannot roll off the assembly line until the initial run of Mk. 1s is complete and part of the line is retooled for the Mk. 2 version.
|Weapons and Ammo||Location||Heat||Mass|
|@Long Tom (15)||Body||0||3.0|
|@LRM-20 - Semi-Guided(36)||Body||0||6.0|
|@Thunderbolt 15 (4)||Body||0||1.0|