Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Ontos Heavy Tank
Close Combat Tank
Ontos Heavy Tank (95 tons)
Power Plant : HeavyLoad 285 w/ PowerBoost ICE
Cruise Speed : 32.9 kph (3)
Flank Speed : 54.5 kph (5)
Armor : SimplePlate Manufacturers Standard (Armor Factor 128) : 8.0 tons
Front – 28
Right Side – 24
Left Side – 24
Rear – 24
Turret – 28
Eight (8) Martell Medium Lasers (Turret)
Two (2) Longfire LRM-5 Racks (Turret)
Ammo (LRM) : 24 (Body)
Cargo (0.2 tons) : Body
Manufacturer : Grumann Amalgamated, Shiro III (Free World’s League), Kallon Industries, Nanking (Federated Commonwealth).
Communications System : Easy Talk-2
Targeting and Tracking System : GuideRite w/ Laser Coordination Link
Notes : Cost = 2,275,000 Cs. Crew : 3.
Overview : The old story about the Ontos, was that a designer who was a bit of a history buff designed the tank off an ancient Terran design, much to the chagrin of his co-workers. A second and third version were drafted by rival designers, and put through rigorous testing each time. Eventually, it was not superior firepower or armor or range that eventually led Grumann to adopt the design, but rather the fact that after several hours of field tests, only the present design remained in the field consistently, while its rivals had returned to rear resupply areas at least four times. In the end, only the machine’s heat build-up presented a long-term liability, but a quick fix that forced the weapons to fire in sequence, rather than all at once, resolved this issue.
Capabilities : Weighing in at an impressive 95 tons, the Ontos has a maximum field speed of 54 kph. Though average for a vehicle of its size class, its short-range weapons load can make this speed a liability. The core of the Ontos is its astounding eight (8) turret-mounted medium lasers. More than three times the weight and space of these energy weapons, is its power amplifiers, heat sinks, and other support equipment, which keep the weapons systems from overloading and damaging its crew and HeavyLoad ICE power plant. Despite these inefficiencies, it can still destroy nearly three tones of armor in a single volley, and its crews admire its ability to remain in the field for extended periods of time.
TO cover the tank’s slow advance on enemy positions, a pair of Longfire LRM-5s are set above the laser array on the turret. While insignificant in comparison to other missile systems, the vehicle’s ability to approach and fire under cover has made their inclusion invaluable, especially since few enemy units recognize their ability, and try to approach an Ontos, only to discover its true strength is short-range. Many Ontos are operated from prepared defensive positions, where they surprise approaching units, often drawing in unfortunate units thinking them to be an easy kill.
Deployment : Though originally designed and built in the Cappellan Confederation, the Ontos was highly favored among House Marik forces, after it captured the manufacturing plants on Shiro III during the Succession Wars. The Ontos forms the backbone of many of the Free World’s League’s heavy tank regiments today. The larger than average size of Marik vehicle formations give the tanks plenty of support to compensate for its few weaknesses.
Later, the Federated Suns annexed Nanking with the dissolving of the Tikonov Free Republic, a few years after the Fourth Succession War. The Ontos has since become an important front-line tank that the Commonwealth is attempting to adapt.
Variants : The only common production variant, is the replacement of all its medium lasers and support equipment with a pair of LRM-20s and two-and-one-half tons of ammunition per launcher.
While some forces have attempted to simply replace the tank’s ICE with a fusion power plant, the expense and rarity of the 285 Fusion engine makes the task unlikely to be deployed, except in the most technologically savvy mercenary forces. The handful of attempts to develop this variant have proven problematic, expensive and often not worth it.