The Meteor-type Artillery is a Hammerforge Industries-created light artillery vehicle, trading off battlefield utility for long-ranged destruction.
|Product Line||Celestial-type Tracked Vehicles|
|Class||Light artillery piece - tracked vehicle|
|Size||10m x 3m x 2m|
|Armament||Light Artillery Missile (carries ten reloads)|
|Prototype Designation||M-3 Artillery|
Design & Construction
With the slow expansion of the Celestial-series of tracked vehicles, members of Hammerforge Industries began to work on a nimble artillery vehicle designed to serve in the wild areas of their homeworld. While risky, especially considering the Col'nesian military's focus on BattleMechs and walker technology; the designers managed to convince the CEO to let them come up with a vehicle in the Celestial-series, even if it was simply as a catalogue filler.
The result was a long, flat-topped armored vehicle with a rather large missile resting on top of it, with a hydraulic lift allowing the missile to be raised and fired on a 45 degree angle before switching to targeting data and flying for its target.
Early tests of the experimental M-3 Artillery showed that the key thing that it lacked was battlefield sustainability. While it was just as fast as the Starbolt-type light tanks that they assumed would be guarding it, their new artillery vehicle only carried three missiles; leaving them totally reliant on resupply from other armored vehicles. While this was applauded from a business sense, as they could manufacture the loader vehicles required to keep these artillery pieces operational during an extended engagement, the military was looking for something with at least some level of sustained fire; as these cheap vehicles were simply viewed as mech assistants rather than new assault vehicles of their own. Due to this, the technicians made the fairly hard decision to cut back the speed to simply carry more missiles on board; even as another team began to tackle a new ammunition supply vehicle to sell with it.
The key feature of the Meteor-type Artillery is the missiles it carries; for obvious reasons. Termed as a "light artillery missile", each one of these projectiles is a full five meters long and incredibly slow to load into the firing cradle; though lightweight enough for the Meteor to carry a full ten onboard. These missiles have incredible range, though hardly comparable to cruise missiles or heavier emplacements; still ranging a good two and a half thousand meters. At this ultra-long engagement range, just one of these missiles can shatter most non-reinforced buildings and blow most light combat vehicles and infantry formations to smithereens.
Unfortunately, the firepower and requirement to carry large numbers of these missiles has come at a cost. While lightly armored with starship-grade steel laminate, even more of this armor was removed so that only a thin skin remains. Similarly, the Mega Coal engine on-board has been reduced in size and power, leaving the artillery piece slowed down to a pace similar to tanks more than twice as heavy. While this increases the vulnerability in the chance of a hostile spotting them; the Meteor is typically far from enemy lines and is typically dubbed safe simply due to being removed from the front lines.
Stock Production Variants
Special Request Variants
- Cold Assault - Nicknamed in spite of it's unarmed nature, the Cold Assault was an off-the-shelf Meteor taken by designers and converted into a rather unusual arctic exploration vehicle, with the top speed increased up to around 110km/h. Kitted out internally with rooms and a cache infantry weapons; the space formerly used to house missile assistance equipment was converted into sleeping bunks and a basic galley; allowing a crew of six to travel through the cold wastelands of Col'nesia in relative safety from the elements, though any assailant using weapons heavier than an assault rifle is a major hazard.