COMBINE MOBILE INFANTRY RELATED EQUIPMENT
Colden M4c / M4C2 LIWS 4mm Anti-Personnel Mass Driver (APMD)- For close in work on soft targets, the individual power suit soldier carried a compact suit / system integrated sidearm, known in the Combine order of battle as a LIWS or Light Integrated Weapons System, simply called the 'Lews' among those it was issued to. The M4C 4mm was a caseless mass driver that was standard issue to all Combine (as well as all client state MI troopers) and was fed from a 1000 round helical stacked disposable cassette, of which five spare cassettes were carried by each trooper as part of their standard combat issue field kit. A modulated pulsed electromagnetic acceleration ladder was used to propel the 4mm, 2gram munition to velocities in excess of 3800 meters per second. The hardware and software of the Colden 4mm allowed it to be fully integrated into the SquadNet system, and made the M4C a valuable point defense tool as well as a precision select fire option up to and including highly accurate single shots placed against softer targets of opportunity via the enabled sniper mode and targeting uplink. The software was modular, integrating itself easily into the OS of the power suits, and was designed for the end-user in mind, meaning that even the power suited trooper could work on his weapon and solve any software or hardware conflicts that might arise. With the servos / myomers of the power suit locked for recoil, the Colden M4C became a very stable weapon for precision long range fire and while not as devastating as the M35 DIWS, it was also cheaper and easier to employ. The M4C series sidearm was anchored to the power suit by an armored tether / data cable that allowed quick weapon retention and carried the necessary input from weapon to power suit computer that allowed for the seamless operation.
The Colden fired a light 4mm caseless sub-caliber round KEAPER (Kinetic Energy Anti-Personnel Explastic Round) with a dual purpose design. A hard seated high density alloy needle shell surrounded a much softer malleable core of explastic, offering good penetration and excellent stopping power. As each round employs a explastic charge integral to the design, damage did not radically fall off with range. Practical rate of fire was 3500 rounds per minute with an effective range of 1200 meters. Accurate to twice that, and the Colden became the premier sniper weapon system of the Combine as well. Integrated with SLICS and PLIEADS, the Coldens provided adequate point defense against incoming rounds and above average suppressive fire. With the capacity of 3000 rounds per minute practical rate of fire, interlinked through SLICS, a typical squad could lay down 3000 rounds of 4mm caseless at any target within 1200 meters in just under 20 seconds. Short bursts from SLICS integrated Coldens were enough to provide overwatch protection from incoming artillery and other indirect fire rounds. With the M4C2 model, SLICS compatibility as well as integration into the PLIEADS system. The M4C2 model became available at the same time that PLIEADS went on-line and older models of the Colden were relegated to training or sold to client states. A variety of KEAP, KEAPER, and explastic light armor defeating (ELAD) rounds were made available to the Combine's troops during the Last War.
AGM M35 DIWS (Dedicated Integrated Weapons System) 10mm IBARRA- Standard infantry support weapon for squad positions One, Two, and Four was the tried and proven M35 DIWS Ibarra heavy mass driver. The Ibarra, produced under contract by American General Motors (AGM), was a very well balanced weapon system, designed from the start as an integral part of the SLICS system and as a squad support element. The AGM M35 DIWS featured internal redundant gyrostabilizers, on demand extendable-retractable bipod assembly with 360 degree traverse hinge and self anchoring capacity, heavy synthetic barrel, EMS barrel insulation, EMS spike reducer brake, active weapon cooling, ceramic enclosed high speed triple feed semi-rotary action on a free floating receiver, fluid recoil absorbing hydraulic assembly that encased both the action and the barrel array, and its own dedicated fire control system which included redundant target acquisition sensors, software, and software backup systems.
The Ibarra fired a heavy 10mm subcaliber round. Each round could be
stripped off of one of three separate attached 300 round cassettes through one of three
different 90 degree opposite loading ports located at the 3, 6, and 9 o'clock position
respectively. What type of round that was loaded was determined either by input
from the sensors of the weapon, drones, SquadNet of the user or by direct selection of the
user. The full rotating breach allowed the action to strip off a round from any of
the three feed ports / cassettes. The first round in a burst could be taken from the
port cassette, the second from the starboard cassette, and the third round of a burst
could come from the ventral cassette, fire selection and feed was highly variable.
Each soldier assigned an M35 DIWS also carried three spare cassettes.
One spare cassette was also usually carried by each non-DIWS equipped squad
member to aid in total field supply of munitions. Rate of fire
was variable, up to 3600rpm (60 rounds per second), and adjusted on the fly by direct
commands from the software and the user, from single shot to the ability to unload all
three cassettes in just under 15 seconds.
LEWIS-CARMICHAEL "CYCLOPS" Advanced Optical Targeting System- As a single shot precision first shot kill (FiShoK) anti-personnel sniper or counter sniper system the Ibarra illustrated just how stable it was as a integrated firing platform. When used with the co-designed Lewis Carmichael 'Sharp Eye' hardware and software package for sniper and anti-sniper mission profiles. Version 3.85 Delta was standard and very stable, though some specialized two man MI sniper / counter sniper teams were updated to the more advanced Lewis Carmichael 'Cyclops' dedicated FiConSys which was an additional ten kilo mass Plug In Self Integrating Module (PISIM) for the weapon system and the suit itself. The Cyclops became the standard issue rig in 2078, it was available in only limited batches from 2068 to 2069 and never before that. A pair of 1.5 meter, 3mm plasticeramic armored 5mm width through band data cables provided the hardwired high speed pipes through which the weapon and the suit communicated so effectively at ten gigs per second. The Cyclops suit module had a powered array that attached directly to the upper glacis of the power suit (the 'helmet') and could be cycled through a variety of 'notches'. Later models decreased in physical size and increased in capacity and effectiveness. The visual resolution and multiple phase rendering capacity of the Lewis Carmichael Cyclops unit was unparalleled given its quadruple microprocessors, double density viscous liquid optic filters, and nano-adjusted digital pixel remanipulation. A cryogenic coolant pack for the quad mpc array doubled effective capacity in 2088 but added three additional kilos to the suit mass and a noticeable dull black blister on the rear left shoulder, the 'beauty mark' of a sniper. Tales of the cryogen mixtures being fatally vented directly into the fighting compartment after severe damage to the coolant array were greatly exaggerated... In fact, there were only sixteen known instances of this failure documented.
Effective engagement range of FiShoK profiles was 2000 meters given LOS permissions. The Cyclops unit had a capacity of 2000x or 1:1 actual ranging (a man sized target at 2km appeared to be 2 meters away through the Cyclops system) making FiShoK not only possible, but a tactical operational doctrine, especially against the Paneuropean soldiers who carried the Cerebus systems. The Paneuropeans fielded a similar unit, though never as good as the Lewis-Carmichael 'Cyclops' system, the Dragunov-Gurivich (DraGu) system was at least comparable on a purely strategic level, if not wholly on a tactical one.
NORINCO Thompson T4D 3cm Squad Support Weapon Systems (SSWS)- Support at the squad level was provided by the big, semi-portable Thompson T4D spread bore fluid to gas injected pseudo-recoilless repeaters. The Thompson T4D was officially classified as a 'support' weapon providing both area and point cover fire, but its additional ability to easily defeat unarmored to moderately armored vehicles at close range was legendary. T4Ds were designed with two dedicated tactical microprocessors operating in tandem with the tactical onboard of the suit the weapon was assigned to, in turn coordinating joint T4D operation seamlessly into the whole of the SLICS system. The T4D was designed to operate in tandem with another T4D unit in order to achieve optimal field performance, some said this was a built in design from NORINCO so that the Combine would have to buy twice as many T4Ds as it initially started out to buy (one per squad...), but the effects of this overlapping and inter-coordination among one weapon system and two output points was never argued, at least not by those who relied on the T4Ds in the field. With the PLIEADS incorporation into the power suits, T4Es were produced with PISIM that allowed up to 18 T4Ds to operate on their own coordinated subnet processes, another reason that PLIEADS was such a success.
Three hot swap hardware ports were incorporated into the design of the T4D system, with the 30% lighter and 28% deadlier T4E system, seeing field service in 2072 having four ports. The hot swap ports allowed additional modules and enhancement / battle packs to be installed on the fly, or changed out as required by mission protocols. Typical packs included the C45 Barris Enhanced Intel / Recon (BEIR) pack (same as carried by position One of the standard squad), a ECM / ECCM blister pack which enhanced the operation of the T4D user and the squad as a whole, and a host of other packs. A very aggressive ECM and ECCM blister pack was introduced for use with the T4E systems (incompatible with the T4Ds due to port and hardware configuration differences) that greatly enhanced the PLIEADS system and the subprocessed T4E network. With the plug in module capacity, the T4Ds, and later T4Es, became legendary among Combine units and feared among the Pan counterparts.
The cassette that fed the T4D was helical in design and loaded along the underside of the weapon, to the rear third, holding 90 three centimeter caliber rounds. The 3cm caliber rounds were 'caseless' in only the strictest sense of the word, because the T4 family was operated on the fluid to gas injection pseudo recoilless principle using a series of computer controlled injectors to deliver a small supply of X4X fluid into the action of the weapon, the amount is determined by several criteria; range to target, target armor capacity, target hit location, target speed, target facing, and direct or indirect fire mode. The tougher or farther away the target was, the more fluid propellant was required and the greater the recoil. A six liter tank of X4X fluid was mounted to the rear of the weapon, atop and linear through the top feed fluid zero reverse flow magnetically sealed port. X4X fluid had the unique properties of remaining liquid only in a complete vacuum. Upon contact with air, it expanded rapidly in the direction in which it was initially ejected from its container. A few milliliters of X4X gas, dispensed at point blank range, would create a wavefront capable of crushing bone and inflicting massive damage to internal organs with its shockwave but it rapidly lost strength as the X4X gas evaporated at an exponential rate, diffusing to the surrounding atmosphere. While commercial and civilian use of this gas, sold under the trademark name of "Exfourex (tm)" were limited, the military prospects of a propellant were easily recognized. Using a reinforced action and hammer lock magnetic field dampening capacity, the T4 utilized the unique characteristics of the X4X gas to produce pressures that only a barrel that was manufactured as a single, perfect synthetic diamond could withstand. Velocity was variable depending on what was required and could range from an easy overhand indirect launch / toss to a atmosphere scorching eight klicks per second (ten kps with scramjet assisted rounds). Range of the T4 family was phenomenal, almost 3000 meters at full velocity.
Ammunition was designed to be switched rapidly and up to three helical cassettes could be stored in a rotary array, allowing the firer to choose ammunition types on the fly. Generally a mixture of KEAP (a osmium pencil with a multiple branching Refrax 4 high explastic vein structure running down the middle for after penetration total kill capacity), high explastic, high explastic anti-personnel, and flechette anti-personnel. A specialized type of armor defeating round appeared with the advent of the first cybertanks, the scramjet enhanced KEAP exploding round (SEKEAPER) capable of ten klicks a second velocity. The scramjet used a solid fuel in the main body and a reinforced penetrator head which could also carry a micro-nuke warhead. The SEKEAPER, once it left the barrel, riding the X4X shockwave to its initial velocity of 8 klicks per second, began to take air into five special micro intakes equally located directly behind the penetrator head. This super compressed air achieved the supersonic ram effect necessary to reach ignition temperature and sustain the scramjet process, accelerating the round in a flat trajectory to very high hypersonic velocities with considerable kinetic residual energy. Trajectory with SEKEAPER rounds was amazingly flat throughout their range and a SEKEAPER could dig a half meter deep crater in the BPC hide of an OGRE and set up sympathetic armor fractures which would be compounded by follow up rounds. The effect could be compounded even more if a good biting angle could be had, again proving the value of so called 'mobile infantry' in getting close to the giants and at the 'right' angle to deliver the proper attack. Some sniper teams of MI carried a T4E into the field with them to hunt Mark I and Mark II OGREs. A few 'sweet spots' in these units allowed quick kills against the CPU when two or more sniper teams worked in coordination (possible with the advent of both SLICS and further enhanced with the introduction of PLIEADS).
Dedicated Remote Weapon System (DRWS)-4 The DRWS4, or "Draws 4" as it was commonly termed, was a squad level support weapons system (SLSWS) built around a semi-independent model four processor based Type II drone chassis mounting a plasticeramic light armor shell and dedicated electronics. The drone was slaved into the SLICS system on a base array and appropriated as a resource by all members of the squad as needed when needed.
Each squad was equipped with one to three DRWS per squad member with the DRWSTAC4 acting as the squad member's heavy anti-armor capacity. Generally one or two units were carried and assigned to positions One, Two, and Four. Positions Three and Five carried two DRWSTAC4 units and sometimes three units depending on the nature of the mission. The launchers on the drones could be reloaded rapidly in the field given the availability of munitions. The DRWSTAC4 had its own dedicated FiConSys and SLICS / PLIEADS uplink / information buffer hardware. Typical squad level light TAC missile strength was rated at from 20 missiles nominal to 60 missiles maximum. Sometimes this was exceeded as 'orphan' DRWSTAC4 units were integrated into surviving squads, platoons and companies during action.
Almost two meters long and half that wide, the DRWSTAC4 was the most common squad level drone system. A small nuclear plant fed four ducted fans in armored nacelles were almost whisper quiet and provided not only lift but directional thrust and could maintain a speed equal to the squad, meaning that where the squad went, the DRWSTAC4 followed. A defensive software suite allowed the DRWSTAC4 to protect itself by using available cover and terrain masking. Normal operation of the DRWSTAC4 was based around advanced terrain masking and pop up snap shots being handed off to designating units. A light armor shell was proof against small arms fire but too light to protect against anything heavier. All electronics on the DRWSTAC4 were shielded and based around fiberoptic relays.
The DRWSTAC4 systems were useable by any member of the squad and were logged as squad available resources in SquadNet. Two might fire a TAC missile from a launcher that was assigned to Five, if that was the nearest missile launcher available to deploy a munition at the target that Two was painting, and so on.
The DRWS ("Draws") drone chassis was also modular, allowing the 'core' of the unit to be replaced quickly with modular weapons packages. Throughout the Last War, the DRWS was home to many different types of armament and tactical packages. These could be changed out within an hour or less at a Level III field depot or by the squad members if they had access to a new package. Each new package was built around a SCRIBOL based processor for easy integration into the system, SLICS, and PLIEADS. The following modular packages were used by the Combine on the DRWS based chassis.
[M3 Delta light TAC missile launcher] -The default loadout of most Type II drones and the DRWS system, the M3 Delta is a four shot modular TAC missile launcher with full integration into both SLICS and PLIEADS systems. Reloading was a three step process designed not only for ease but also for speed in the field, if extra ammunition was available.
[Baraet Type 7R 7cm Recoilless Rifle] A heavy anti-armor smooth bore rifle equipped with a RAILS system. A rotary magazine holds 30 rounds of 7cm HEAP. As the weapon is recoilless, there is a great deal of backblast generated by the ignition of the round, a signature that is easily detected on IR sweepers. The DRWS takes this backblast into account when maneuvering to bring the weapon to bear. The 7cm HEAP round is very effective against armored targets but due to the flight speed, almost useless against any airborne target. The Type 7R package was used extensively in the urban fighting seen in London and Sheffield.
[7mm Model GAE-34w Gunpack] The third package available for the DRWS was a compact, high speed rotary electric cone bore cannon with self contained ammunition and power source. The six-barrel cannon fired a caseless 7mm round with a ROF of 3500rpm. There is a muzzle suppressor fitted to baffle the flash. The integral helical ammunition drum holds 5000 rounds. The GAE 34w Gunpack was also used heavily during the Brush Wars, during Operation 7 Seize, and during the urban chaos that was the fall of Sheffield and London. Several GAE 34w Gunpacks were also used as impromptu point defense systems by heavy armor when they were found in orphan mode.
[1.4cm Model GAE-34w Gunpack]- The fourth modular package was also a high speed rotary cannon with self contained ammunition and power source. The larger tri-barrel cannon fired a caseless 14mm round with a ROF of 2000rpm. There is a muzzle suppressor fitted to baffle the flash. The integral helical ammunition drum holds 2000 rounds of saboted light armor piercing ammunition. The 14mm round was a much heavier round, designed to 'break' armor and as such was used extensively against light vehicles and power suit equipped troopers. Its use on 'soft' targets was frowned upon, but nonetheless such use did occur during the bloody urban street fighting in Neurope.
[2cm Model GAE-36w Gunpack]- a high speed rotary cannon with self contained ammunition and power source. The tri-barrel cannon fires a caseless 2cm round with a ROF of 1500rpm. There is a muzzle suppressor fitted to baffle the flash. The integral helical ammunition drum holds 300 rounds. This was the heaviest of the gunpack options, and was intended to be used against light to moderate armored vehicles and targets such as light tanks and assault power suit troops. The GAE-36w gunpack was actually so large, that it took two MI operating in tandem with special bracing and support to move this weapon into the area of operations and field it. As such, use of the GAE-36w option was limited. However, the huge 20mm rounds were the same rounds as found on the AP batteries of the cybertanks and other heavy armor and were renowned for their penetration and stopping power, especially the later Refrax veined explosive rounds.
[Model 21c Double J-Rack 4cm automatic grenade launcher]- The DRWS was also capable of operating in an indirect fire support role. Using a high speed 4cm electromag pulse automatic grenade launcher fed from a pair of helical J bolts that held 100 rounds each, the DRWS could lay down a shower of indirect fire smart targeting rocket assisted grenades each with a range of up to 1 klick. A variety of grenades could be loaded but no selection was possible once the bolt was locked in place. Most bolts held a single type of ammunition, usually one armor piercing and one anti-personnel bolt were loaded into the weapon. Hand off and ammo selection was done through SLICS or PLIEADS as needed and the individual warheads on the 4cm grenades could be smart fused as required and designated as well as handed off to a different designating unit.
[M32c FFRAM (Folding Fin Rocket Assisted Munition) 4cm MRL]- The DRWS also was available in a multiple rocket launcher (MRL) format with a 20 shot tube system. The type of warheads include flechette, HE, and HEAP, chemical, and incendiary. The M32c had a direct fire range of 1km. Most rockets had designated warheads and guidance control through fins allowed adjustment of flight to target. The M32c and the M21c above were often used to 'prepare' an area prior to an assault. Massive volleys of 4cm rockets and 4cm grenades would usually saturate an area before several squads would move in and pacify any resistance. Incendiary rockets were used heavily by raider units for commercial and civilian targets.
As the Last War escalated, guidance packages for the missiles became increasingly complex and smart. The standard Combine light TAC missiles are listed below.
TYPE-34C [SGTM]- "Broomstick"- With an effective range of just over one kilometer, full hand off capacity and full integration into both SLICS and (later) PLIEADS systems, the Type 34 "Broomstick" became the premier infantry portable TAC missile of the Combine during the Last War. The guidance system of the Type 34 Charlie light TAC missile was self guiding target memory with uplink capacity to have primary target redesignation on the fly by any unit with command control within the squad. The Type 34 was a disposable type cartridge design, sliding into a launcher and then locking with a half turn which mated it both to the launcher and to the onboard operating systems.
GAM-4 [HARM]- "Spiral"- A Homing Anti-Radiation Missile able to lock onto a radar and follow it back to its source. The HARM was used to attack automated weapons systems and any target that was throwing out active tracking signals. As jamming technology became more sophisticated, the GAM-4 fell out of use.
GMD-11 [AAHS]- "Parson"- The "Parson" was a All Aspect Heat Seeker designed to home in on thermal images and heat sources such as forced harpshead turbines or the downdraft nozzles of VTOL stabilized aircraft or the hot wash from the ducted fan of a power suit unit. The early models were prone to being fooled by thermal jammers and flares, and as the guidance systems got smarter and more discretionary, the newer pulsed thermal jammers and 'smart' flares began to appear.
H33-C [FiAnFo]- "Dead Eye"- The H33-C "Dead Eye" was a true Fire And Forget target memory missile that guided itself to the target once target lock was achieved. The biggest enemies of the H33-C were the compact jammers carried by even the lightest power suit and the smart chaff dispensers.
IMA-32 [TDALS]- "Sprint"- The "Sprint" was a Target Designated Active Laser Seeking missile that homed in on reflected laser light from a 'painted' target. It could be fooled by prism, Black Window, and other battlefield aerosols.
TWR-02A [OGITW]- "Saberre"- The "Saberre" was almost outdated before the first actions of the Last War. A Optically Guided Instructions Transmitted by Wire missile that relied on a rapidly uncoiling spool of wire to receive course corrections and target data from the launcher required that the designating unit remain still while the missile was being guided to the target. One kilometer of wire was included in the launcher package. While the Pans and the Combine managed to fade their OGITW based TAC missiles out of service, the OGITW remained popular (due to its cheapness) with smaller nations and saw much use in the fierce bush fighting of the back woods hot spots around the world. Second stage boosting and ATG greatly extended the life of this missile system, but by the end of the Last War, only the truly desperate or the unlucky were relying on OGITW based systems.
[Recon Pallet]- Allows advanced scout functions and includes extensive data correlation/analysis systems with high speed data compression and encoded split-burst transmission as well as LOS laser communication with satellites in orbit.