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Contest #1a Winner

Category: Fastest Level 2 non-naval unit. Full specs and discussion can be seen here.

Battlebee First Strike VTOL
Marwynn / War Angel - Carlo Sta. Romana

BattleTech Vehicle Technical Readout

Type/Model: Battlebee First Strike VTOL
Tech: Inner Sphere / 3062
Config: V.T.O.L.
Rules: Level 2, Custom design
Mass: 5 tons
Power Plant: 75 GM XL Fusion
Cruise Speed: 270.0 km/h
Maximum Speed: 410.4 km/h
Armor Type: Hellespont Lite Ferro-Fibrous
1 Chiscomp 2000 ER Small Laser
Manufacturer:    Blackwell Industries, Aldis Industries
   Location:    Outreach, Betelgeuse
Communications System:    Olmstead 3000
Targeting & Tracking System: Type IV Bloodhound


         The detente between the Draconis Combine and the Federated Commonwealth, and indeed all the Great Houses, in the early 3050s did more than reassure a war weary (and now utterly frightened) populace that the Clan threat was being taken seriously by the highest powers in the Sphere. For one, it allowed trade, of not only war materiel but ideas and different perspectives. It is this subtle, but crucial aspect, that is often overlooked in a historian's analysis of the Clan Invasion.  
         In this era, eerily resembling the almost civil level of cooperation during the first Star League, were the first steps taken in fashioning the second League that drove an army through the heart of the Clans. Where the Steiners, Davions, and Kuritans were preoccupied with better 'Mechs, and the Mariks with less inferior equipment, it was the Liaos that looked at better vessels of war.
         Attached is the original ComStar report on the Battlebee's development and deployment during the 3050s and beyond.


         Having been forced to fight and cope with an opponent with a superior range of 'Mechs and better trained warriros for nearly a generation, the Liaos were experts in unconventional modes of war with, ironically enough, conventional vehicles. Though the reinvented DCMS of the 3030s and the consolidating AFFC employed vehicles in large numbers, they were still deployed in rather limited roles. The LCAF and the Capellan militias simply had to do more with a lot less.
         The concept behind the Battlebee was simple; "...even a giant will die from a thousand bee stings and mosquito bites" as one LCAF officer put it. The plan was to unleash a swarm of small vehicles to overwhelm the honour-bound Clanners, tactics adopted by the AFFS centuries before when the Combine's samurai held their own battle rituals rigidly, and force them into inferior tactical positions. To be deployed in compact bays, the First Strike VTOL, nicknamed the Battlebee, could not be made from the most common of materials.
         Rotors and ICE engines simply complicated logistics too much on already complex war machine. So, instead of relying on twirling pieces of plastic and metal to stay aloft, the Battlebee relies instead on a newly manufactured 75 rated XL fusion plant and one powerful directional thruster that acts similarly to a BattleMech's jumpjets - air is forced in from the large bulbous housing on the VTOL's rear, then is mixed with fusion plasma and shot out in a cohesive stream.
         For its sting, the Battlebee was originally equipped with one small laser of various makes though the standard Battlebee FSV used Chiscomp small lasers for their ease of replacement. This has carried over with the advanced Chiscomp 2000 ER small laser that House Marik and Liao gifted to the reborn Star League in 3061.


         No variants have been observed at this time apart from early models that used Clan-grade ER small lasers. The sheer ease of repairs is the only counterbalance to the sheer difficulty of getting replacement parts, and efforts to modify the VTOL's frame have proven fruitless. Accusations are abound that both Blackwell and Aldis Industries are purpotrating a scam to tie-in their own financial interests ahead of customer needs. Though this is certainly the case with Aldis Industries, Blackwell has taken great pains in providing a constant source of replacement parts, even acquiring a license to produce the armour themselves.


         The FSV entered limited production in 3052, shortly before the Truce of Tukayyid was announced. It is clear that the Battlebee's continued production from various factories is entirely driven by politics and secret deals between the House Lords. Though the craft is quite agile, a top speed surpassing 400 kph has been recorded, the Battlebee surprisingly suffers from the one thing it was to steer clear of: logistics.
         Armoured only with a specially crafted Hellespont Lite ferro-fibrous plating, shaped smoothly to fit the Battlebee's curves. Though admittedly, the material is well manufactured, the sheer difficulty of obtaining large quantities of it have forced the few hundred Battlebees in service (before 3058) to shy away from swarm attacks and operate as extremely fast scouts. Controversy again sparked up in 3055 when the Draconis Combine's Battlebee armour reserves ran too low to rearmour their swarm fleet and were forced to use locally produced ferro-fibrous plates.
         Nearly all the Battlebee FSVs outfitted with the improvised armour broke apart seconds after it had lifted off. As a result, the Combine's Battlebees have been sold to private concerns within their borders with their own defence industries submitting Combine-ized clones for DCMS use.
         All the major and minor powers within the Inner Sphere have access to the Battlebee FSV, though Blackwell's association with the Wolf's Dragoons have shot down any attempts to expand to the Periphery market. House Liao's Aldis Industries, however, has no such qualms. The AFFC is the one force that has declined to purchase more than a handful, just enough to be polite, as it focuses on purchasing from within its own borders. Political pressure seems to be reversing this trend, however.

Type/Model: Battlebee First Strike VTOL
Mass: 5 tons
Equipment:   Items Mass
Internal Structure: 5 pts Standard 0 .50
Engine: 75 XL Fusion 2 1.00
Shielding & Trans Equip:   0 .50
   Cruise MP: 25    
   Flank MP: 38    
Heat Sinks: 10 Single 0 .00
Cockpit & Controls: 0 .50
Crew: 1 Members 0 .00
Rotor Equipment: Main/Tail Rotors 0 .50
Armor Factor: 27 pts Ferro-Fibrous 2 1.50

    Internal Armor
    Structure Value
  Front: 1 10
  Left / Right Sides: 1 5/5
  Rear: 1 5
  Rotor: 1 2

Weapons & Equipment: Loc Heat Ammo Items Mass
1 ER Small Laser Front 2   1 .50
TOTALS:   2   5 5.00
Items & Tons Left:       1 .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost: 199,792 C-Bills
Battle Value: 227
Cost per BV: 880.14
Weapon Value: 8 / 8 (Ratio = .04 / .04)
Damage Factors:    SRDmg = 2; MRDmg = 0; LRDmg = 0
BattleForce2: MP: 25V,   Armor/Structure: 0 / 1
    Damage PB/M/L: -/-/-,   Overheat: 0
    Class: VA,   Point Value: 2

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