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Aardvark LAM (Mech Mode)
Aardvark Land-Air 'Mech
Production information
Manufacturer Niops New Project Workshops
Production Year 3155
Model NA-ADV-4LAM
Class Medium
Technical specifications
Mech type Inner Sphere Experimental
Template:SpBattleMech
Mass 55 tons
Chassis Fischer HNT LAM
Armor Guard Light Armor Layout
Head: 9
Center (Rear): 10/5
R/L Torso (Rear) 9/3
R/L Arm: 8
R/L Leg: 8
Engine GM 150 Fusion
Communications System Tek BattleCom
Targeting Tracking System Tek Tru-Trak
Heat Sinks 10 Double Heat Sinks
Speed 64 maximum ground km/h<
AirMech Cruise/Flanking MP: 18/27
Safe / Max Fighter Thrust: 6 / 9
km/h
Jump Jets Chilton 950
Armament

Weapons Layout
2x ER Medium Lasers
12x Small Lasers

BV (2.0) 1,623


Description[]

The Aardvark LAM, a rare form BattleMech which can operate as fighter as well as on the land as a BattleMech. The Land-Air 'Mech concept, the aerodynamic Hornet chassis appears as compact jet aircraft in fighter mode. The design was created by Fan author Giovanni Blasini for his fan story, The Adventures of the Beer Keg of Science!

Overview[]

While the Hornet LAM was the first Land-Air-'Mech deployed by the Niops Association Militia since the rebuilding of Niops' domestic military industries, it was recognized that, for most combat roles, the Hornet LAM would be inadequate.  Even before the Hornet began re-engineering, NAM military planners had considered options for a more capable LAM.  This would eventually lead, in 3155, to what at first appeared to be a completely new design, the NA-ADV-4LAM Aardvark LAM.

Deployment[]

To date, very few Aardvark LAMs have been completed, due to their tremendous complexity when compared to even the Hornet LAM, and considerably greater cost: a single Aardvark LAM costs as much as four to five Hornet LAMs.  As a result, consideration is being given to whether it's better to deploy smaller numbers of dedicated Aardvark LAM lances or squadrons, or whether to instead restructure Hornet LAM squadrons with two Aardvark LAMs for every four Hornet LAMs.

Weapons and Equipment[]

Closer examination of the Aardvark LAM, however, reveals that the Niops Association may have taken a shortcut in developing the design: Word of Blake salvage.  Several components of the Aardvark LAM bear a resemblance to the 55-ton Waneta LAM, and overall performance is similar - the Aardvark is powered by the same DAV 220 fusion plant, paired with six Improved Jump Jets, and cooled by double heat sinks, all rarities for a Niopian 'Mech, and requiring importation of hardware they cannot yet domestically produce.  Further enhancing the comparison, the Aardvark has a variant that forgoes the improved jump jets for cavernous bomb bays, much like the Waneta variant spotted on Circinus.  There are, however, some notable differences between the Aardvark and Waneta. Several aspects of its conversion equipment appear to be simplified, and its wing structure is notably different from the Word of Blake LAM as a result.
         

Aardvark LAM (Fighter Bomber Mode)

Aardvark LAM in flight mode

Another area where the Aardvark differs is in armament.  Unlike the Waneta LAM, which paired Clan LRM launchers on its torso with a pod-mounted ER large laser in the arm, the primary variant of the Aardvark LAM, the NA-ADV-1LAM, went a completely different route, mounting three small lasers in each forearm, another three atop each side of the LAM's torso, and twin ER medium lasers on either side of the LAM's chest. At first glance, the heavy reliance on small lasers seems unusual for a 'Mech with a 64 kph ground speed, though the slightly extended range of the ERMLs, combined with an optional point-defense mode for the small lasers when in space, allows the Aardvark LAM to extend its utility, and a 180 meter jump distance when operating on the ground helps it close to use its small lasers. Additionally, each of the Aardvark LAM's side torso also has a 2-ton bomb bay, allowing the LAM to extend out its fuel usage in space, or carry specialty munitions like RL-10 pods, bombs or light air-to-air missiles.  The Aardvark also mounts a full-head ejection system, allowing its pilot and rumble-seated passenger enhanced protection in an emergency, with a dedicated 1-ton cargo hold for a Blizzard Mk10 Exoskeleton and other supplies for the pilot mounted in the center torso tied to this pod in the event of ejection.

In addition to the "standard" Aardvark is the NA-ADV-3LAM configuration.  This Aardvark relies more heavily on domestic component production, dropping the double heat sinks and improved jump jets for standard heat sinks and four standard jump jets.  While the Aardvark LAM Mk 2 retains the dual-purpose small lasers in the LAM's forearms, it forgoes the torso-mounted weapons in favor of an ECM suite and Beagle active probe, as well as expanding each two-ton bomb bay to five tons each.  This permits this variant of the Aardvark LAM to be a powerful bomber, while also providing options or numerous missiles, rocket launcher pods, extended fuel or, taking another page from the Waneta LAM bomber variant, special "physics package" munitions.

Technical Notes[]

Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-F

Cost: 8,773,336 C-bills

Design Quirks: Battle Fists, Rumble Seat, Non-Standard Parts

Variants[]

  • NA-ADV-1LAM Aardvark LAM
    Original prototype variant of the LAM, this one heavier armed than standard AV-4LAM model, with four Light PPCs
    Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-X
    Design Quirks: Battle Fists, Rumble Seat, Non-Standard Parts
    Cost: 8,338,948 C-bills
    BV (2.0) = 1,679
  • NA-ADV-2LAM Aardvark LAM
    This Bomber variant, has it's offensive weapons reduced to eight Small Lasers in favor for internal bomb bay capacity, two 6-ton bomb bays found in each side torso
    Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-X-X-F
    Design Quirks: Battle Fists, Rumble Seat, Non-Standard Parts
    Cost: 6,862,573 C-bills
    BV (2.0) = 954
  • NA-ADV-3LAM Aardvark LAM
    Intended as the Electronic Warfare Designs, the ADV-3LAM has the baseline ADV0-4's ER Mediums removed with it compliment of Small Lasers reduced to six Small Lasers, split between 'Mech's arms with three each. It's Electronic Warfare package includes a left torso mounted ECM Suite, right torso mounted Active Probe.
    Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-F
    Cost: 7,886,542 C-bills
    BV (2.0) = 963

Related Articles[]

References[]


External Links[]

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