|APAGear II Archives||Volume 3, Number 6||July, 2001|
As the Peace River Army began to expand prior to the opening of the third front against the CEF in the War of the Alliance, the need for a highly mobile, heavily armed, and cheap weapons system became obvious. Usually, Gears of one type or another would be used for this role. However, Paxton's Warrior Gear was determined to be an inappropriate platform for the kind of armament Pacton engineers were suggesting. As a result, Paxton Arms went with a more conventional design for a Light Armored Vehicle based on a similar chassis to the Northern Badger APC.
The vehicle's chassis was slightly shorter than the Badger, but built heavier and with eight wheels to the APC's six. It had a slightly higher ground clearance and an improved suspension system to enable the vehicle to move over difficult terrain; therefore, although it was not as maneuverable as a Gear, it did have the same ability to cross difficult terrain that Gears had (with a much higher speed).
Armor on the LAV was slightly thicker than the Badger, with a reinforced glacis plate on the front of the vehicle. This armor was strong enough to stop most of the CEF's infantry armament and resist long-range fire from hovertank main armament. To match CEF firepower, Paxton engineers decided to use the PR-50R 40mm heavy cannon, which, while not quite as powerful or accurate as the heavy particle accelerators mounted on the CEF hovertanks, was longer-ranged.
To back up the heavy main weapon, Paxton added a number of anti-personnel weapons to stop GRELs from getting too close to the vehicle. The turret mounts a heavy machine gun and a pair of anti-personnel grenade launchers were mounted on the vehicle's body. As a final touch, a Paxton RP-110 60mm rocket launcher was mounted on the rear of the vehicle for use in supporting infantry actions with indirect fire.
Paxton Arms named the LAV the Blackmoore, after the leader of the Martian rebellion in the pre-Ice Age years. Once Paxton production lines were retooled to produce the vehicle, this vehicle was produced in great numbers, making up a good part of the Army's mechanized infantry support units. Some were exported to the North and South as well, but the two poles chose to use modified APCs in this role instead for the most part.
Unfortunately, the vehicle's performance during the war was less than stellar. The heavy cannon was not as effective against Terran armor as Paxton engineers had hoped, and Terran hovertanks were often able to close the distance with Blackmoore units before the heavy cannons could score solid hits, resulting in devastating losses against Terran armor. However, the Blackmoore did perform well as a light raider, attacking Terran supply convoys or mechanized infantry units. Their guns were able to crack the armor of the lighter-armored Terran hover APCs with ease, and their anti-infantry weapons quickly finished off the survivors. As a result, the Peace River Army switched to using these to support PRA infantry and ambushing enemy units from concealed positions.
After the war, the Blackmoore and a small number of variants continued to be produced to rebuild the PRDF. Paxton also licensed a number of other manufacturers to build the vehicle, including Neil Motor Works. The largest buyer of the vehicle outside of the PRDF was the WFP, which purchased a good deal of Blackmoores for use as border defense units and anti-rover pursuit vehicles. Currently, the majority of active Blackmoores in service are either with the PRDF or WFPA, or in use by a good number of Badlands militias and rover gangs. Rumors persist that NuCoal may be thinking about a large order of these vehicles to increase the size of their defense forces and reduce the dependence on the Arthurian Korps.
Production Type: Mass Production Cost: 86 187 dollars Manufacturer: Paxton Arms Use: Light Anti-Vehicle Support Default Size: 7 Actual Size: 8 Height: 2.65 meters Length: 7.52 meters Mass: 14 245 kg Deployment Range: 550 km Crew: 2 Bonus Actions: 1 Movement: Combat 8 (50.3 kph) Movement: Top 16 (101.2 kph) Maneuver: -1 Armor: 15 Sensors: 0/2 km Fire Control: 0 Communications: 0/10 km Lemon Dice: 3 Threat Value: 394.0 OTV: 856.2 DTV: 145.7 MTV: 180.0
Name Code Arc Ammunition Payload PR-50R 40mm Heavy Cannon HRF T 40 RP-110 60mm Rocket Launcher MRP/9 FF 9 HM-16 Heavy Machine Gun HMG T 400 APGL-79 Launcher APGL FF 10 APGL-79 Launcher APGL FR 10
Hostile Environment Protection: Desert Improved Off-road Rugged Movement Systems Reinforced Armor 2 (F) Camo Netting
Exposed Movement Systems Large Sensor Profile 1
Two variants of the Blackmoore were developed and marketed towards the end of the war to refine the vehicle's role against Terran armor and infantry.
"Black Dragon" Remove: MRP/9, HMG Add: IRP/10 (FF, 10 rounds), HFL (T, 100 rounds) Change: None TV: +24.2
The Black Dragon variant was the more common of the Blackmoore variants, replacing the rocket pod and machine gun with a cluster of incendiary rockets and a flamer for improved ability to bust bunkers and eliminate enemy infantry. This made it much more effective in the infantry support role the Blackmoore was shifted to when it failed to perform as well as hoped against Terran armor.
"Saint George" Remove: HRF, MRP/9 Add: HBZK (T, 20 rounds), AGM (FF, 3 rounds) Change: None TV: +337.85
Named for the mythical hero who slew a dragon, the Saint George variant of the Blackmoore was a radical refit of the basic LAV which replaced its main armament with much heavier weapons; a heavy bazooka and a trio of anti-Gear missiles replaced the heavy cannon and rocket pod. While this variant was much more effective against the Terran hovertanks, the vastly increased cost and much higher maintenance cost made the design unpopular, with most Peace River Army commanders and other customers choosing to use more flexible Gears or heavier armored light tanks to fulfill the role instead. As a result, few of this design were ever built and even fewer remain in service now.
|APAGear II Archives||Volume 3, Number 6||July, 2001|
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