|Product Line||Beast-series Transports|
|Model||SWS-35 Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier|
|Class||APC - wheeled vehicle|
|Size||6m x 3.5m x 3m|
|Crew||3 (driver, navigator, gunner)|
Design & Construction
The unit was designed as a play by the Tasfira Armaments team to push the Tasfiran Defence Force, their direct customers and the army in charge of protecting the Technomage world, to upgrading their normal APCs to newer, 'more powerful' ones capable of filling roles on both land and sea. With most of the weapons mounted on a turret, they marketed the new vehicle as capable of amphibious use capable of fire support missions as well as the transport of infantry, surveillance, reconnaissance and patrol tasks.
However, while it could do all that, it was proven consistently to be a jack of all trades, master of none. While it was a good APC, the armor was lighter than it's predecessor. Tanks could mount more powerful weaponry with armor thicker than this unit. It was less manoeuvrable than the normal tracked units off-road, and was slower than the lighter-armed wheeled transports, not to mention that considering the aquatic nature of Tasfir, the use of the land-based speed was limited to the cities and island depots, while most Tasfiran soldiers could swim with full packs faster than the vehicle could move in the water! As such, after thirty examples were completed, the government went against the ideas of Tasfira Armaments and pulled funding for the project. These thirty units were placed into the role of security units, which would patrol the island chains, the long strategic bridges, and even some oceanic areas, as well as fighting in defence of the world, an issue that meant that only the units created by the Dr. Eggman of that world, Dr. Mergman, would ever face it.
However, in a somewhat surprising event, the Kingdom of Ahto on Mobius expressed interest in the design and ended up purchasing a number of them, alongside amphibious tanks.
The vehicles bore roughly six layers of light aluminium-based armor, resulting in a moderate-strength shell that was still lightweight. However, unlike similar units produced by rival companies, the Steel Horse was still vulnerable to light anti-armor weapons, such as .50 calibre ammunition and infantry-borne heavy lasers, while at the same time suffering from weaknesses to heavier weaponry such as autocannons, missiles and vehicle-mounted lasers.
In the area of armament was the one place that the unit was powerful - the primary weapon was a 30mm autocannon, complete with 500 rounds and paired with a 7.62mm co-axial machine gun with two thousand rounds, which allowed the gunner in his turret to threaten surface-based vehicles and infantry alike. He also had control of a surface-to-surface guided missile launcher, equipped with 6 missiles. This launcher threatens and can devastate heavy armored walkers and tanks, although it cannot last a prolonged engagement with such vehicles, due to the lack of missiles. The final weapon is a .50 calibre machine gun mounted on the rear of the APC, instead of the turret. This gun is on a limited swivel mount, allowing it to cover up to forty-five degrees on the rear arc of the vehicle. This gun is capable of warding off infantry and light vehicles, and is controlled by one of the passengers, plus possesses the same amount of ammunition as the forward machine gun.
The engine is a standard Tasfira Armaments hydrogen engine, which can refuel itself by taking in the salt water, purifying it, then separating the water into oxygen, which is stored in tanks next to the ammunition storage areas for further purification, and hydrogen, which is stored in the five fuel tanks on board.
When a crew assigned to a vehicle survives a specific number of missions or kills a certain number of enemy units, with the total changing depending on the type of unit killed, it is considered an elite unit. When this happens, Tasfira Arms honours the unspoken agreement of these thirty units and upgrades all three of the crew-operated weaponry, giving the APC explosive shells, high-explosive missiles and anti-personnel ammunition for the co-axial machine gun. The rear-firing gun is rarely altered. For the Kingdom of Ahto, the Steel Horses have the cannon replace with a Large Laser, while the ammunition for the remaining weapons is increased, and the missiles again improved to high-explosive warheads.
The vehicle, for all it's firepower, the vehicle has no defence against aircraft or missiles, both of which can destroy one where it sits, and at the same time has no ability to detect cloaked units, leaving it vulnerable to hidden enemies and, on rare occasions, results in the damage of an allied unit due to the vehicle ramming it accidentally.
None were revealed after the funding was withdrawn.