Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Aquarius Research Submarine
Underwater Research Vessel
Aquarius Submarine (100 tons)
Power Plant : Aquarius 270 Naval HyPerOx ICE
Cruise Speed : 32.0 kph (3)
Flank Speed : 54.4 kph (5)
Armor : SeaSlab/14.5 (Armor Factor 232) : 14.5 tons
Front – 78
Right Side – 58
Left Side – 58
Rear – 38
2 “Puppeteer” Arresting Hoists (Front) – 6 tons
1 Naval Sutel XII Large Laser (Front)
Cargo Bay (5 tons) – (Front)
Cargo Bay (5 tons) – (Body)
Communications System : Lynx-Shur
Targeting and Tracking System : Sonar Sync Tracker
Manufacturer : Galtor Naval Yards, Galtor, Federated Suns
Overview : Like many aquatic vessels, the submarine all but vanished from most military arsenals. Only recently, due to a change in House defensive tactics, have submerged military vessels made a comeback of sorts. Since attackers who disrupt or destroy enemy command centers can win a quick victory, owners of such control complexes understandably sought to guard them due to their increasing importance as targets. By the late 3rd Succession War, it became a cliche of war that a fixed command post could not survive the first few hours of planetary invasion. Yet commanders found it difficult to control a vast planetary defensive strategy from mobile command centers.
House Davion attempted to avoid this problem by placing important control facilities underwater. Using extreme low-frequency radios, remote buoys, and hard lines, the command posts could effectively control a land battle while remaining virtually immune to attack from AeroSpace forces and DropShip attack. Since underwater responses were limited to BattleMechs as assault vehicles – a role in which they do not perform very well at – it became necessary to reintroduce the submarine as a defensive platform.
Capabilities : Introduced by the Galtor Naval Yards, a commercial shipyard based originally throughout the Draconis Combine, the Neptune was first developed in 2750, as a scientific platform, that was modified during the first centuries of warfare to fulfill a combat role. Though displacing 100-tons, the six-man crew has limited space, due to its cramped interior and heavy machinery needs.
The Aquarius Naval 270 engine allows for a maximum underwater cruise speed of 54 kph, regardless of being on the surface or underwater. The engine functions in both closed and open cycles, using hydrogen peroxide in the diesel engine’s oxidizer at greater depths.
The Aquarius has a double-hulled construction, a standard for most submerged vessels. The inner hull is a pressure hull, separated from the outer hull for safety. Rated at dives just over 1 kilometer deep, it can drop well below standard scanner depth and act as a strike vehicle at need.
The vehicle’s main “armament” is a Sutel XII Large Laser, intended as a defensive weapon. Since the primary purpose of the vessel is as a research vehicle, it has a small space set aside as a scientific laboratory, fully equipped as a biological sciences study facility, for any scientists stationed aboard her.
Of more importance as a research vessel, is the “Puppeteer” Arresting Hoists. Both of these mechanisms are effectively large Mech arms that can manipulate large objects, deploy sensor drones from the cargo bays, and carry components for salvage work, or to place modules wherever they might need placing, such as in the construction of a deep-sea monitoring station. Each arm can individually carry 5 tons of cargo. They also have access to a nose-positioned cargo bay of five (5) tons that can be air-locked to carry and deploy deep-sea diving suits or other equipment. Another five (5) ton cargo bay lies below the conning tower amidships, and is accessible, at need, from both the forward arms and to loading docks on the surface. Internal access is possible, though heavy loads are not able to navigate inside the vessel.
Deployment : Although traditional border worlds in the Federated Suns now employ militarized versions of this vessel, usually in lances of four or companies of twelve, Aquarius submarines are meant for private and corporate ownership and generally deploy only in singles or as pairs. Modern construction and deployment of these vessels does not occur anymore. The vehicle’s are almost unheard of outside important bio-farming collectives or scientific expeditionary forces.
Variants : The lack of reloads for sensor drones is always an issue, but few ever modify them beyond adding drone racks to the cargo bays.