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design by Nick Bradbeer
The Raptor is the primary heavy combat vehicle in the service of the Cyrinic Ground Forces. Built at TL-13, the Raptor utilises Contra-Grav Lifters and electrically tip-spun ducted fans to allow near-silent operation and extemely long operating durations. While in normal use the fuel tanks will be retopped at least fortnightly as part of maintenance inspections, the fusion plant will allow the tank to operate for a year without refuelling.
The vehicle's configuration is fairly standard for heavy combat vehicles - a flat boxy body underneath a large square three-man turret mounting a single long-barreled mass driver. Atop the turret sits a rapid-traversing cupola with a smaller mass driver and vision devices mounted in it. The slightly drooped side decks are perforated with the air ducts for the lift and thrust fans - six ducts to each side.
The priorities for the design were:
The choice of high-velocity mass-drivers as armament allows a great deal of ammunition to be carried, since the rounds are very small. Each weapon has an autoloader connected to a large ammunition bin. Since the solid rounds are totally inert there is no risk of magazine explosion. The weapons are powered directly from the vehicle's fusion power plant, via HPGs mounted down in the hull to conserve space in the turret. The main coaxial machinegun carries 10,000 rounds in a single-feed ammunition bin, but the small size of the cupola requires that the rounds for the cupola machinegun be split into 1,000 round cartriges which must be exchanged by hand once expended. Nine spare cartridges are carried in the turret.
Inside the turret, the commander sits high, at the back right.The commander normally controls the cupola, with its weapons and vision devices. Below and in front of him sits the gunner, who traverses the turret and fires the main and coaxial weapons. Across the breech and slightly back from the gunner sits the sensor operator with readouts from the main active and passive arrays, as well as the navigation plotbox, comms gear and access to the cupola behind him to reload the machinegun. The driver has his own compartment to front and left.
The driver has his own hatch, as does the sensor operator. The gunner exits through the commander's hatch.
While the Raptor is a grav-assisted vehicle, it operates best within four metres of the ground, where its ducted fans are enhanced by the ground effect. Operationally, Raptors only rise to altitude for operational movement, sticking firmly to NOE for combat and using cover.
Within an Armoured Regiment, Raptors are organised into Troops of four, four Troops and two command tanks making up each Armoured Squadron.
The greatest vulnerabilities of this design are to neutrino-seeking ordnance, fuel tank hits and if unsupported, to infantry teams with antiarmour rockets.
Raptor Ground-Effect Tank
|Weapon||ROF||Dam||Pen Rtg||S Range|
|30mm HV Mass Driver||SA1||Ouch||468-458-448-428||900|
|20mm RF Mass Driver||5||Ouch||21- 18- 16- 10||330|
|4mm Cyclone VRF MG||50||3||1- 1-Nil-Nil||170|