Thursday, April 27, 2017

Stellar Dynamics PGD-1 LAMP

While relatively realistic, using a cubed progression for energy weapons means it gets hard to build man portable anti-armor beams weapons, in fact a single shot laser with just the same damage an a AP 50 cal round weighs in at a hefty 64 lbs!

So for today's post I take a crack at fixing this problem. It's not elegant and gives you only one shot but it gets the job done!

Stellar Dynamics PGD-1 LAMP (TL10^)
With recent advances in laser and EM gun weaponry, it has become possible to place small but capable and accurate point defense systems on even the smallest armored vehicle. This situation greatly reduced the effectiveness of  man-portable, self guided,  anti-armor missiles which greatly reduced infantries ability to deal with armor.

Stellar Dynamics Advanced Directed Energy Weapon Development Team say this as a chance to push their line of plasma lance weapons to help fill this gap. Plasma lance weapons, while short ranged, packed an incredible level armor penetration capacity and had the advantage of being a direct fire, super high velocity weapon. With in its range envelope it simply crossed the distance to rapidly to be intercepted and could hit just as effectively as a HEAT round. However do to the output needed to allow such a system to be able to take on most types of armor likely to be found on the battle field, the penetration of at lest 508mm of armor, it would call for an almost plasma lance that is almost 300 lbs so the team came up with an ingenious solution; make the system disposable. A good deal of the weight for an energy weapon is do to the need for heat dissipation and ensuring the system is robust enough to survive thousands of firings. If you only needed it to fire once you could half the weight right there. Also since the weapons is going to burn out anyways, might as well set it up to fire an hotshotted blast, it is not too hard of a challenge to design a plasma weapon that can fire hotshooted without fail if it only has to do it once. Firing hotshotted effectively drops weight another 65% giving a total weight and cost reduction of almost 80%. The team then realized that if they took it a step further and made as many components out of materials that would just last long enough fire the weapon and then ablate away under the weapons waste heat they could get it to a 90% reduction in weight and cost and getting the weapons weight down to a competitive 30lbs. Of course the downside to this was they now had a jet of vaporized weapon material they now had to safely dissipate. Taking a cue from recoiless launchers used by old earth militaries, they designed it to vent the discharge out of the weapons rare to help counter the recoil felt by firing it and to make the weapon safer they designed it so that the discharge had to pass through the heavier, more durable parts of the weapon before existing which as a sort of countermass, dissipating the discharges energy and reducing its backblast footprint. 

The final design was fitted to a D power cartridge to power it and christened the LAnce Munition Package or LAMP with the full weapon system including its sights and grip the Plasma Gun, Disposable Model 1.

The LAMP attaches to a 9.9lbs re-usable a grip stock that houses a built in 10 lbs tripod, a 8×/16× Hyperspectral Optic Sight, IFF Integrator (5,000 yard range, Ultra-Tech 151. See Tactical Shooting: Tomorrow, Pyramid 3/55 for updated laser sight ranges) built into the weapons smart gun electronics (Basic Set pg. , and a Slow C2 Grain Computer running a dedicated +2 C2 Targeting Program ($15. Ultra-Tech pg. 149-150. See Future Soldier, Pyramid 3/55, for rules on dedicated targeting programs) and a C2 IFF Comm ($500. Ultra-Tech pg. 188).

The Hyperspectral Optic Sight has dual mode optics, it can operate in a full range binocular mode at up to 8× magnification that lets the operator scan the area and a narrow focus 16× mode when the operator needs to zoom into an area (takes a ready action to switch modes, gives No Peripheral Vision when in narrow focus mode). This gives +6 to searches in full range mode (with the +3 for being a hyperspectral sensor included) and  +7 in narrow range mode. The sight is powered by an internal C cell which can operate it if for up to 10hrs.

PGD-1 are used by two man teams, the weapons operator (who fires it using Gunner (Beams)) and a ammo bearer. The operator usually carries one ready weapon already attached to the stock grip and a spare LAMP while the ammo bearer holds another two reloads.  

Setting up the PGD-1 to fire takes about 6 seconds. It takes about 2 seconds for the ammo bearer to retrieve a spare LAMP from his back, another to remove the safety that keeps the power cell part of the D power cartridge from contacting the weapons energizers. It then takes another 3 seconds to attach the package to the grip stock. After firing it takes 2 seconds to remove the spent package.

In typical operations the operator will set the weapon down on its tripod and while laying prone they will scan the area with the hyperspectral in full range mode while the ammo bearer keeps watch over the general area with a pair of hyperspectral binoculars. 

Once a target is spotted the operator switches to narrow range mode and depending on the rules of engagement maybe have to use the IFF system to ensure an ally isn't accidentally engaged. If the target is an engageable one the operator will take a moment to aim (+9 to the hit roll. +8 from the weapons Acc, +1 for aiming for 1 sec with a scope). They will then lase the target giving them and the ballistic computer the targets exact range and speed allowing the computer to put a prompt showing the operator where to aim to lead the target  (+16 to the to hit roll. +8 from the weapons Acc, +2 for aiming for 2 sec with a scope, +1 aim bonus for aiming for 2 seconds, +3 for lasing the target and another +2 from the targeting program).

Now with a good bearing on the target the operator first makes sure the ammo bearer is well cleared of the back of the weapon and then pulls the trigger firing the weapons. The ammo bearer then quickly detaches the spend LAMP package and the team then gets up and heads to the next firing position and set up a new LAMP for firing.

A LAMP costs $60,000. Backblast 3d-1 cr.

GUNNER (BEAMS) (DX-4, or other Gunner -4)
TL    Weapon              Damage                       Acc     Range       Wt.       ROF    Shots   ST       Rcl    Bulk  Cost       LC Notes
10^   PGD-1 LAMP    5d×8(10) burn ex sur     8      130/1,300   19.4/35    1           1(8)   11M   1        -10     $25,000 1    [1]

[1] Listed cost if for the reusable stock grip. See description for the cost of an individual LAMP. 

Disposable Beam Weapons 
Designing a disposable beam weapon is simple. Build the beam weapon you want as normal using the Blaster and Laser Design System from Pyramid 3/37 Tech and Toys II however G is always single shot. After the weapon is built divide its weight and cost by 10.

 Of course the downside of getting the weight of a energy weapon to this point is that the insides basically melt themselves after firing. This creates a discharge that needs to be vented creating a backblast hazard. For plasma weapons this can simply be vented out of the rear of the weapon like a recoiless launcher. This counter acts their normal recoil giving a disposable plasma weapon Rcl 1 (which also reduces the weapons ST requirements). For other beam weapons things get a bit trickier. Since most beam weapons essentially recoiless already, just having the discharge vented from the rear would kick the weapon forward throwing off the weapons aim! To counter this the discharge has to be vented from both the front and rear of the weapon.

To help reduce the dangers of the weapon venting, it can be assumed that most reinforced bits of the weapon internals are positioned in front of the discharge helping to eat of energy and dampen the backblast acting much the same way as countermass on more modern real world recoiless launchers use. This reduces the backblast to crushing damage and limits the backblast danger zone.

To figure your weapons backblast, look up the type of beam weapon on the chart below and multiple its actual damage by the relevant backblast modifier. This damage is crushing and damages everything in a 60 cone° out to two yards per dice. For every beam weapons except for plasma ones this backblast comes from both the front and rear of the weapon, for plasma weapons the backblast only emits from the rare of the weapon and reduces their Rcl to 1. Multiply a plasma weapons ST by ×0.8.

Beam Weapon                                 Blackblast Modifier
TL9 Laser                                                       0.1
TL10+ Laser                                                   0.08
TL11 Rainbow/X-Ray Laser                          0.15
TL12 Rainbow/X-Ray Laser                          0.1
TL10 Blaster                                                  0.23
TL11+ Blaster                                                0.18
TL10  Force                                                   0.1
TL11+ Force                                                  0.08
TL10 Neutral Particle                                    0.3
TL11+ Neutral Particle                                  0.23
TL10 Plasma                                                 0.07
TL11+ Plasma                                               0.05
TL11 Pulsar                                                   0.15
TL12 Pulsar                                                   0.1      
TL12 Gaser                                                   0.25
TL11 Graviton                                              0.3
TL12 Graviton                                             0.25       

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