Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Darter Scout Car
Light Recon Vehicle
Darter Scout Car (13 tons)
Chassis : Darter SC
Power Plant : GM 75 ICE
Cruise Speed : 75.3 kph (7)
Flank Speed : 118.5 kph (11)
Armor : ProtecTech Light (Armor Factor 32) : 2.0 tons
Front – 10
Right Side – 7
Left Side – 7
Rear – 8
One (1) Johnston Minigun MG (Front)
Ammo (MG) : 200 (Body)
Cargo (3 tons) – (Body)
Manufacturer : General Motors, Kathil; General Motors, Salem (Federated Suns).
Communications System : Overlook J9
Targeting & Tracking System : Brightstar 17 Mk. I
Notes : Cost = 69,000 Cs. Crew = 2. The Darter can ignore rough terrain. This vehicle has an integral transmitter capable of up to 100 kms communications range.
Overview : By the end of the First Succession War, the Federated Suns realized the constant drain on resources was going to reach a critical point. Unwilling to divert funds from continuing BattleMech production and development (what little remained), or to downgrade their line forces, the AFFS charged manufacturers with producing a support vehicle that did not require equipment quartermasters needed for more combat-oriented machines such as BattleMechs and heavy tanks. General Motors eventually won the contract in 2822 with their Darter.
Capabilities : The Darter, being so small, has little room to mount anything other than its engine and some armor. Instead of putting in a pre-selected set of electronics or sensors, the engineers included three tons of unused space. GM did, however, put in an innovative automatic tire pressure monitoring system. Unlike most vehicle designs, when the surface of the Darter is crossing changes from soft to hard (such as moving from a road to sand dunes near a coastline), the tire pressure automatically changes to the appropriate kPa. Other vehicles need to stop and manually change their tire pressure, an action which might not be possible in a combat situation.
With the exception of the vehicle’s tires, the Darter is defined by the general paucity of integral weapons, electronics, or any other technologically advanced features. Almost every part can be reproduced under a light industrial world or adapted from other existing parts, and General Motors gives instructions on modifying or jury-rigging a wide variety of parts to replace broken or damaged OEM parts. Federated Suns drivers have appreciated this ability greatly, and most Darters more than a decade old have already had parts replaced from battlefield salvage.
Deployment : The ability to rebuild the Darter suing duct tape, aluminum foil and chewing gum has left thousands of these scout vehicles in operation, making them a popular choice among scout units. In fact, General Motors have only stopped production once, in 3003 for a year to conduct line maintenance and upgrades, and continue to export the vehicles widely.
Variants : A few crews have replaced the cargo space with short-range missile systems to give the vehicle some punch against something larger than an infantry squad. Most that do this tend to load up Inferno rounds to set fires and speed away from anything larger.
The unit’s integral IR and electromagnetic sensors are still valuable enough to rarely be replaced, but units mounting ECM or active probe monitoring equipment can be encountered. These changes usually take place in the field, depending on what the crew salvages during their missions, and GM does not offer any line production variants.