Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Frontier-Class Air Transport
Frontier-Class Air Transport (200 tons)
Power Plant : Praht 450 ICE Turbine
Cruise Speed : 32.0 kph (3)
Flank Speed : 54.4 kph (5)
Fuel : 4 tons
Armor : Industrial Grade (BAR 7) – (Armor Factor 133) : 6.0 tons
Structural Integrity : 3
Nose – 34
Right Wing – 33
Left Wing – 33
Aft – 33
Cargo (76 tons) – (Body)
Manufacturer : Lockheed-CBM, Gibbs (Lyran Commonwealth).
Communications System : CBM Star Rotor
Targeting & Tracking System : None
Note : 3,300,000 Cs; Crew = 3.
“Frontier” VTOLs in field operations.
Overview : As a battlefield support vehicle, New Earth Trading Company’s (NETC) Karnov UR Transport is a craft whose origins lay shrouded in mystery – especially since the company is known to lack VTOL manufacturing facilities. Though some have suggested the Karnov is the product of a secret subcontractor, no company in the Inner Sphere has yet to claim responsibility for its construction. Nevertheless, in 3001, Lockheed-CBM , the manufacturers of the vehicle, unveiled a heavy industrial air transport with design lines so similar to NETCs Karnov, that corporate conspiracy theorists far and wide have proclaimed the Karnov’s origin mystery solved.
Capabilities : Despite an exterior similarity, the Frontier is based on an entirely different premise from the popular Karnov. It sports engines and electronics wholly made in the Commonwealth, built as an aircraft for sustained, long-distance air-travel (rather than the short combat hops of the Karnov).
Developed for civilian and industrial concerns, in fact, the vehicle lacks even the hardened military-grade armor the 30-ton Karnov boasts, though its operating air speed allowed for far swifter delivery, with tilt-rotor wings for VSTOL landings in frontier terrain and air fields.
The Frontier has a cargo capacity of seventy-six (76) tons with access to the cargo hold via a rear door with a lift hoist. This makes it very popular with militia and military forces, allowing it to transport light vehicles and tanks into a combat zone. The Frontier is able to take off from short runways and land vertically via their tilt-rotor turbines, also making it popular in front-line combat areas in need of supplies.
Deployment : Although built in the Lyran Commonwealth, the vessel has proven very popular, and Lockheed-CBM has exported them widely enough to find them in remote corners of the Inner Sphere. Although not as popular as the Planetlifter Air Transport, primarily due to its price-point, the vessel has proven dependable and capable in frontier environments along the Periphery.
Variants : The “Frontier” has a number of competitors in its field, including the Federated Suns’s Cal-Boeing SA-10 “Swallow” and Andurien AeroTech’s AAC-60 “Walrus” in the Free Worlds League. Both models are functionally similar in payload and performance.
Some organizations attempt to upgrade the armor protection to Lockheed Skyshield armor, functionally similar to most modern vehicle armor, but needed structural modifications can prove costly for the vehicle’s primary mission. Nevertheless, the modified vehicle remains popular by industrial concerns trying to exploit frontier resources in isolated colony worlds, despite its cost.