Combat Exoskeleton III
This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Freelance Traveller.
This was submitted several months after the Combat Exoskeleton I and II, which appeared in April 2012, and thus has not been combined with those, although there are sufficient similarities that, had they been submitted together, combining all three into a single article would have been reasonable.
|CraftID:||Combat Exoskeleton III, TL10, Cr 308,529|
|Hull:||1/1, Disp=0.185, Conf=CUSL, Armour=40E Loaded=4.13108 tons, Unloaded=4.108286 tons|
|Power:||1/2, 2×FuelCell 0.09Mw (0.18Mw), Dur=15/45|
|Loco:||1/2, 2×Legs, P/W=43.57217, Road=87kph, OffRoad=52.2kph|
|Comm:||Radio=3×VDist (50km), Interface=Brain, Power, Program|
|Sensors:||ActEMS=Dist (5 km), PasEMS=VDist (50 km), Passive Audio, Environmental, 2×Touch|
|Off:||Hardpoints=1, Laser Designator, Weapon Stabilised=120 kph
|Def:||+2, +8 under Robot control|
|Control:||NHR Low Function 100 Robot Brain, S/W=FwdObs-1, Recon-1, Head Up Display, Environ=BasicEnv, BasicLS|
|Accom:||Crew=1 (Operator), Seats=None x1|
|Other:||2×Light Robot Arm, Fuel=0.288kl, Cargo=0.002634 kl, ObjSize=Small, EmLevel=Faint|
|Comment:||Cost in Quantity=Cr 246,824
Adds +10 to the Operator’s STR
Can lift 1.787 under Robot control
This is Daud Enterprises’ Combat Exoskeleton III (nicknamed “Battle Dress”) presented to the Home County Military. The operator climbs into the exoskeleton with their arms in the robot arms and their legs in the robot legs. The contoured exoskeleton then encloses around them with the helmet providing a complete seal against the environment.
The upgraded Exoskeletons keeps the new integrated EMS arrays both active and passive increasing the staggering amount of tactical battlefield information presented to the operator via the integrated head up display. With increased road speed, although slower 52.2 kph over the battlefield, it is smaller, comes with increased protection to starship armour standards, and an endurance of 15 days. The arms enhance the strength of the operator considerably while the operator is in control, while the touch sensors on each arm ensure that the sensation of holding or lifting is passed through to the operator in order to allow use of normal weaponry, tools and equipment.
The exoskeleton is armed with a blade at the end of each arm for hand-to-hand combat, an SMG with 275 rounds of ammo in each arm, along with a Laser Rifle in each arm. The SMG is notionally a back-up weapon with an ammo counter shown on the HUD. Both weapons are gyro stabilised for firing while the operator is moving however this can sometimes put the operators arm in awkward positions so this function is automatically disengaged if it is likely to do so. The Laser Designator is to aid laser guided ordinance, and can be targeted from control via the robot brain.
The complex systems of the exoskeleton are controlled using a robot brain (Daud Enterprises’ installed the NHR Low Function 100 Robot Brain) that is subordinate to the operator. The Brain is programmed with the abilities of a forward observer and recon scout allow tactical battlefield information to be relayed via one or two of the radios back to command, and between multiple exoskeletons, as well as presented to the operator as advice on the HUD. Using these skills artillery can be targeted on threats that the operator can designate by voice command alone. Tactical battlefield information from multiple exoskeletons can be combined between then or at command to allow for triangulations and audio fixes of unseen opposition such as snipers, and fire missions can be called in by command to deal with these threats without the need for operator involvement. With the program interface it is possible for command to re-task the robot brain with a skill set of Forward Observer-2 or Recon-2 to be able to provide more detailed tactical battlefield information. In medical mode (see below) it has also been known to re-task the robot with Stealth-2 in order to help the casualty arrive at the medical centre without additional wounds.
In the event of injury or unconsciousness of the operator the Robot brain can take control of the exoskeleton and walk the operator back to the nearest medical assistance while reporting on the occupant’s vital signs and still relay tactical battlefield information as necessary. In control of the exoskeleton the Robot is able to lift considerably more than the operator could; however as the needed positioning for this to be achieved put the operators arms and legs in highly uncomfortable if not painful positions this function is not used. The Robot brain is also able to predict and evade attacks on the exoskeleton far better than the operator; again in order to do this the Robot has to move the exoskeleton into positions that would be painful if not deadly for the operator so this function has been disabled.
Combat duration is exceptional at 15 days that is normally limited by the combat duration of the operator; however the need to refuel the unit causes the Home County Military to have to adapt combat tactics to take this into account.