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Sunfire Grav Tank

design by Lewis Roberts

Tarrantula Nebula

Nebula Award Winner

The Sunfire is the main tank of the Solee armed forces. It was designed to keep up with the large numbers of relic vehicles that the Empire has reclaimed from the Naval base. The 20-ton hull is required to provide enough space to hold the large engines that propel the tank. Unsurprisingly the Sunfire is not as capable as relic Trepidas, its armor is weaker, its weapon has a shorter range and slower rate of fire. Though compared to other TL-9 tanks, the Sunfire does much better. The Sunfire is almost twice as fast as the Oriflamme Hammer Grav tank and its weapon has a range of 935m for an armor piercing round compared to the Hammer's 740m. The Sunfire's higher speed and greater range allow it to set the terms of engagement. The Sunfire has less armor than the Hammer and this is due to the amount of weight the fuel for the turbofan engines takes up.

A coaxial automatic grenade launcher provides a graduated response to less well armored targets. It fires standard 4cm RAM grenades. It has four switchable magazines that allow it to switch between four types of ammunition with no delay. These are usually, HE, HEAP, Flettchette and White Phosphorus. The HEAP rounds allow it to engage lightly armored vehicles and bunkers, while the rest are of more use against personnel.

The vehicle is equipped with the Shooting Star defensive system. A computer controlled rotary gun equipped with a a state of the art point defense computer is capable of destroying incoming artillery rounds, missiles etc. This along with 10 decoys gives the Moonbow increased survivability on the battlefield.

The Sunfire is an extremely sleek design with components flowing into each other rather than sharp angles.. The front is radically sloped, while the sides and rear are moderately sloped. It is a teardrop shaped base with a small turret mounted on the top. The turret holds the hypervelocity cannon and the coaxial automatic grenade launcher. The Shooting Star defensive system is mounted aft of the turret. The tank is powered by four high-bypass turbofan jet engines with afterburners. The engines are mounted on the sides of the tank on small winglets.

The vehicle has two full sized computers, which reduce the maintenance demands by a factor of four. Though expensive these computers drastically reduce the upkeep cost of the vehicles over their projected lifetime. They also provide large amounts of computing power to aid the crew. This aid includes enhanced image processing, threat analysis, and tactical surveys. None of the recent Solee designs have command versions. Modifying vehicles for command, makes it possible to identify those single out those vehicles, and if the command vehicle is taken out, then the second in command has fewer resources to command the unit with. Instead Solee provides all of its vehicles with communication systems capable of interfacing with orbiting support craft. The full sized computers also provide assistance the commander.

Sunfire Grav Tank

General Data

Tech Level: 9/10
Price: 4.22 MCr
Size: 280 m3
Mass (loaded/unloaded): 309.7 / 266.3

Engineering Data

Power Plant: 6.0MW MHD Plant burning Hydrogen with 9.5 hours of fuel (11.5m3). High Bypass Turbofans generate 0.80MW. HBTs generate 40 tons of thrust, 60 tons with afterburners engaged.
Maint: 19


Controls: Computer Linked
Computer: 2 TL-9 computers
Avionics: TL-8 Avionics, Terrain Following Avionics (NOE=13kph) Satellite Positioning System
Commo: 300km Laser Communicator, 300km Maser Communicator, 300km Radio
Sensors: Searchlight (250m), AIR Searchlight (120m), Image Enhancement Scope (250m), Imaging Radar (300m)
ECM/ECCM: 10 decoys of any type in one launcher
Life Support Extended
Cargo: 0 m3
Crew: 3: Driver, Gunner & Commander
Passengers: None


Offensive 9cmL100 ETC Hypervelocity Cannon in small turret with coaxial 4cmL10 RAM Automatic Grenade Launcher
Defensive: Shooting Star System
Ammo: 6 tons of ammo for cannon, 500 RAM grenades
Fire Control: TL-10 Ballistic Computer (-3 DMs), Direct fire sights for Cannon, Direct and TL-8 Indirect sights for the Grenade Launcher.
Stabilization: Advanced Stabilization for Cannon and Grenade Launcher

Cannon Rounds
Weapon ROF C-BDamage Pen Rtg Danger Space S Range WeightCost
9cm HE 1/5 20-31 7C   701m51kg 405Cr
9cm HEAP 1/5 13-16 101C   701m51kg 555Cr
9cm Flechette 1/5  2d6/1d6 1-Nil 140x35 701m51kg 1605Cr
9cm APFSDSCI 1/5   20d6319-309-299-279  935m102kg 2210Cr

Grenade Launcher
Weapon ROF S Range Indirect Max Range
Grenade Launcher5 281m4.2km


Max Speed: 645 kph (968kph w/ afterburner)
Cruising Speed: 483 kph (726 kph w/afterburner)
NOE Speed: 130 kph
Combat Move: 18 NOE/ 90 high (135 high w/afterburner)
Travel Move: 1932
Endurance: 9 hours at normal burn. Afterburners consume 8 m3 of fuel per hour.
Fuel Capacity: 36 m3 of High Grade Hydrocarbon distillates


Config: Transonic small turret
Suspension: Contragrav
HF: 168 TF:168
HS: 72 TS: 72
HR: 72 TR: 72
Deck:48 Belly: 48

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