Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Hunter Light Support Tank
Second-Line Support Tank
Hunter Light Support Tank (35 tons)
Power Plant : Magna 175 Fusion
Cruise Speed : 54.8 kph (5)
Flank Speed : 86.1 kph (8)
Armor : Star Slab/5.5 (Armor Factor 96) : 6.0 tons
Front – 32
Right Side – 24
Left Side – 24
Rear – 16
One (1) FarFire Maxi-Rack LRM-20 (Front)
Ammo (LRM) : 12 (Body)
One (1) Zippo Flamer (Rear)
Manufacturer : Defiance Industries, Hesperus II (Lyran Commonwealth).
Communications System : TharHes Mini-Talk
Targeting and Tracking System : TharHes AGART
Notes : 1,135,000 Cs.
Overview : Produced by Defiance Industries of Hesperus II, the Hunter Light Support Tank is both inexpensive and well-suited to its battlefield role. This makes it very popular with planetary militias and under-funded second-line units that have the support capabilities for fusion engines. As a support unit, the Hunter does not need high speed of maneuverability, but it is still moderately swift by tracked standards. Its low profile and twenty-tube FarFire Maxi-Rack long-range missile launcher allows the tank to exploit sheltering terrain and supply indirect fire support.
Capabilities : With two tons of long-range missiles to feed its twenty-tube launcher, the Hunter can be an extremely effective support vehicle. Given the FarFire’s long history of reliability mounted on a variety of vehicles, this is hardly surprising. The rack is mounted towards the rear of teh vehicle, facing forward, to enable the Hunter to fire indirectly over defensive barriers without having to expose itself to enemy fire.
The Hunter’s second weapon is perhaps its only flaw in the tank’s design. A rear-facing anti-personnel flamer, it is seldom used against attackers. More commonly, tank crews start brush fires in hopes the resultant smoke and heat will confuse pursuers. Stories of crews employing the flamer as an outdoor barbeque are probably untrue; the plasma weapon ill-suited to providing a gentle grilling heat. Given the FarFire’s extreme range usually keeps Hunters far from the center of battle, some question the utility of a close-defense anti-personnel weapon.
The TharHes Mini-Talk communications system and TharHes AGART targeting computer, both standards of Defiance Industries’ electronics division, are more robust than typical systems found in a second-line support tank. The original design called for the Hunter to be equipped with more economical systems, but initial technical problems convinced Defiance engineers that the monetary savings did not justify the degraded performance in combat.
Deployment : The Hunter had a rocky introduction. Military thinking of the period dictated that the tank be able to withstand heavy fire and deliver a wide variety of ordnance, so customers were not expecting Defiance to produce a specialized, light support tank – let alone put a fusion engine on a fire-support tank during the tech-starved days of the Succession Wars. On paper and in proving trials, there was little about the Hunter to attract the attention of foreign procurement officers. It was not until local planetary militias proved their reliance and value that commanders in the major military forces came to appreciate the Defiance design. Today, examples of the Hunter Light Support Tank are found throughout the Inner Sphere.
Variants : The well-designed and executed the Hunter does not lend itself to modifications. Any variants are locally hand-produced and involve removing the twenty-tub launcher with a ten- or fifteen-tube version, and devoting the remaining free space to a mix of support or anti-personnel weapons or additional ammunition stores. None of these versions have ever been subjected to close scrutiny or formal evaluation.