|Type/Model:||Switch Blade ARMW_SW1a|
|Tech:||Inner Sphere / 3067|
|Rules:||Level 2, Standard design|
|Power Plant:||100 Magma Fusion|
|Cruise Speed:||86.4 km/h|
|Maximum Speed:||129.6 km/h|
|Armor Type:||ArcShield Max I Ferro-Fibrous|
In late 3065 the Kell Hounds began looking for a light scout vehicle that could sustain damage and continue to operate under the worst conditions. Of secondary concern was the vehicle needed to be able to operate far from resupply.
As they searched the known vehicle producers of the Innersphere the Kell Hounds over looked their own Arc-Royal Mechworks. After a fruitless search the procurement office of the Kell Hounds received a battle ROM of a new vehicle being tested on the Arc-Royal Mechworks proving grounds. The ROM showed the two new vehicles taking on two aging Stingers. Surprisingly the vehicles bested the two Stingers in two out of three trial runs which caused more than one eye brow to rise in the offices.
After some debate the Kell Hounds sent a representative to the proving grounds to further check on this vehicle. Upon arriving at the proving grounds the Kell Hounds representative looked over the strange vehicle, she noted it looked as if the tank came out of some ancient Terrain battlefield featuring angled armor lacking any of the grace that curved lines would have given it.
It was not without reason the new tank should look like it stepped through a time warp, the engineers concentrated on the inside of the tank and not the aesthetics of the design. Built to be functional and not pretty the new tank more than lived up to its name the Switch Blade.
The Switch Blade features five and a half tons of tough ArcShield Max I ferro-fiberous armor allowing the tank to take multiple hits from all but the heaviest weapons and still remain functional. The armor is nearly spread evenly on the design allowing damage to be taken on all sides. To further the reliability of the design the engineers mounted a Magma 100 fusion engine allowing the tank to move at a respectable 86 km/H with a tops speed of slightly over 129 km/H. The fusion engine, while expensive, does allow the Switchblade to operate behind enemy lines without the need for fuel. The engine also allowed the Switch Blade to mount two Diverse Optic Medium extended range lasers without adding heavy power amps or extra heatinsks.
The boxy shape of the Switch blade also allowed for a comfortable crew compartment featuring a passenger seat that can fold down to provide a sleeping area for the single person crew. A small cook stove and plenty of parts was also mounted under the front hood where a combustion engine may have been placed in ancient times. While some of the Kell Hounds wondered abut a wheeled vehicle the procurement office noted that it could operate in more terrian types than an equivalent hovercraft. While the price was expensive for such a small tank, the 427,312 C-bills was cheaper than an equivalent mech.
The Battle of Tharkad marked the true entrance of the Switch Blade into the Kell Hounds ranks. After the battle of around the Nagerling the loyalist forces began retreating towards the capital to make one last stand. It was here The Switch Blade proved its worth. The Switch Blades became harassers making attacks in and out of the surrounding hills when ever the mechs entered open ground. Of primary targets was the mechs legs which the Diverse Optics Type lasers seemed to enjoy chewing ruby beams into.
After multiple attacks multiple mechs soon found themselves severely reduced in mobility and with the combined forces of the Kell Hounds and Wolf in Exile units closing many a mechwarrior packed it in and surrendered instead of fighting a lost cause. Others tried to make it back to friendly lines only to be further damaged and destroyed by the agile moving Switch Blades.
After the withdraw into the capital the Switch Blades made continual probes into the capital finding defense formations and retreating using the tanks speed to get in and out before accurate fire could find them. Of 12 Switch Blades that went into the fight for thankard all managed to return home in working order.
Only one variant of the Switch Blade exists, the ARMW_SW2 features two older standard Defiance B3M Medium Lasers and swaps out the advanced ferro-fiberous armor for standard Panzer Slab MK I armor. These two modifications, while reducing the protection of the tank, manages to keep the damage potential the same and brings the price down to 282,188 C-bills making the tank a little easier on tight budgets.
Road Kill belongs to pilot Al Hoffacker, this tank was responsible for taking down 5 mechs during the withdraw of loyalist forces on Tharkad and even took the surrender of a proto-type Fafnir when its pilot realized he could not make it back to friendly lines. After ejecting from the crippled mech the pilot soon found himself a guest of the Kell Hounds who quickly repaired the damaged knee and hip actuators of his mech and used it against its former friends.
Shortly after the surrender of the Fafnir pilot Road Kill's turret was blown off by a salvo from a clan built ultra 10 during one of the probing attacks on the capital. Luckily Al survived the attack but spent 6 months recovering from the injuries sustained, during the time Road Kill was repaired and put back in service. Road Kill is well known around Arc-Royal thanks to its trade mark I Brake for Atlas's mud flaps.
Currently the Kell Hounds use the tank in both the home guard regiments of the ARDC, and in front line units where it has proven it's self not only against the clans but also during the invasion of Tharkad when they helped free the Lyran Commonwealth from Nordi Steiner.
After the rebuilding efforts from the Commonwealth Civil War the Kell Hounds decided to reap the profits of a proven design and gave the go ahead for Arc-Royal Mechworks to sell the Switch Blade to mercenary units and houses deemed friendly to the Kell Hounds or those severing in the ARDC. Currently even Comstar has been looking into the design for use in the Com Guards.
|Type/Model:||Switch Blade ARMW_SW1a|
|Internal Structure:||10 pts Standard||0||1.50|
|Shielding & Trans Equip:||0||1.50|
|Heat Sinks:||10 Single||0||.00|
|Cockpit & Controls:||0||1.00|
|Armor Factor:||99 pts Ferro-Fibrous||2||5.50|
|Left / Right Sides:||2||20/20|
|Weapons & Equipment:||Loc||Heat||Ammo||Items||Mass|
|2 ER Medium Lasers||Turret||10||2||2.00|
|Items & Tons Left:||4||.00|
|Total Cost:||427,313 C-Bills|
|Cost per BV:||1,271.76|
|Weapon Value:||218 / 218 (Ratio = .65 / .65)|
|Damage Factors:||SRDmg = 8; MRDmg = 3; LRDmg = 0|
|BattleForce2:||MP: 8W, Armor/Structure: 0 / 4|
|Damage PB/M/L: 1/1/-, Overheat: 0|
|Class: GL, Point Value: 3|
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