ROVER- MK-I SERIES 100 MODEL 85D TYPE 100
The original MK-1
series of semi-autonomous 'smart' mine (SASM) was already in production as a
pre-War military aerodyne based dual purpose hunter killer RPV. Designed by a joint venture between
Vought Aerospace and the Rand corporation, the Mark I SASM was designed to be released from
other low or high flying RPVs and APVs
to seed a conflict area. The
integrated data network of the Type 100 was such that it could seamlessly link
with other compatible units on the battlefield and form a crude group
consciousness. What one unit knew,
all knew. The primary purpose of
the Type 100 was covert aerodyne platform surveillance. The Type 100 was silent, fairly fast and
had a high loiter time thanks to the new crystal high density batteries it was
equipped with along with its energy efficient aerodyne lift system and power
saving subroutines. The Type 100
had been sold as a cheaper alternative to the more expensive RPVs and APVs on the market and
had the dual purpose of being able to not only monitor and track a target, but
also to take out that target with an integral core explosive charge (which
subsequently destroyed the Type 100 in the process) should no other weapon or
support units be able to be vectored in for the elimination of the target.
Stocks of the Type 1000
were plentiful in the
Many early massed
Resistance attacks were stopped and even reversed by staggered lines of Type
100 automatic aerodyne mines which garnered the nickname “seeker”
from Resistance units which encountered them and lived to report back. Usually
deployed as static, passive guardians of bases, used to break up infantry
charges, or sent down into the ruins and tunnels favored for hiding and
guerilla warfare by the Resistance, the Seeker has proved to be a very stable
design that has been improved upon over the years by SKYNET’s
own advancing technology tree. Based on a Pre-Sentience design for a cheap,
military aerodyne based RPV which was used for scout purposes, SKYNET was quick
to implement the design into the databases of its automated factories, adding a
dedicated anti-personnel pre-fragmented explosive charge and a limited sensor /
scanner suite fitted to a low level tactical threat computer into the final
design, the Series 100, Model 85D Type 100 SASM which saw production and field
use from 1999 to some months after SKYNET was taken off line (SASMs operating in autonomous mode were unaffected by the
destruction of SKYNET’s command structure and
The result was a spherical shaped, self-propelled, target seeking guided dual purpose anti-personnel / anti-vehicle mine with the ability not only to identify and track its target(s), but also the ability to remain on station and loiter in guard mode for weeks or months on end without maintenance thanks to a small hydrogen fuel cell, high density crystal batteries and a passive solar collector. Seekers could also be supplied with tactical data received from scout or intel units and then be programmed to enter into Resistance tunnel and underground warren areas to seek targets that could not be engaged on the surface. Seekers also were able to maintain a low-power mode which allowed the Seeker to lie amid debris, its sensors queued for passive detection. When a target came within range, the Seeker would power up and engage the target. This dormant ambush mode has resulted in many Resistance casualties.
Seekers are programmed with only limited intelligence and are not much smarter than a dog. They can be tricked and even fooled, but once they acquire a target, they will follow and engage that target as long as they can track it. If a target track is lost, the Seeker will go into a preprogrammed loiter mode where it searches the surrounding area in a methodical and logical, if somewhat preprogrammed manner. If the target is still not found, the Seeker will take up station at its current location and power down, awaiting another target of opportunity.
The 35kph top speed delivered by battery powered lift fans was considered to be adequate in tactical situations given that the movement of the Seeker was almost silent. Seekers attacked by stealth, quietly floating towards their targets in their primary mode, hunting at night, skimming the ground silently, using debris and rubble to mask and hide their movements. Seekers would also 'roost' in tall ruins of buildings, watching the streets below. When a viable target approached, the Seeker would power up and silently descend from above until the unit was within blast range of the target, usually exploding above and behind for maximum lethality in a shower down pattern of fragmentation, resulting in a superior beaten sheath of fragment dispersal.
Solar receptors recharged the crystal batteries during the daytime and special power saving subroutines reduced power consumption throughout the performance envelope. Maximum service ceiling for the Seeker was limited to 2000 meters from ground clearance, enough to clear most entrenched Resistance units in skyscrapers and to remove the last few low flying aircraft that the resistance managed to field in the early part of the war. Increases in speed brought additional propulsion noise that was found to alert Resistance targets too soon, allowing the modified, faster Seekers to be easily dealt with by Resistance defensive measures long before the Seekers could reach effective engagement range. The faster Seeker was limited to a trial run of only 200 units and the design was retooled to the original, slower, quieter model.
The core explosive charge was 10 kilos of synthetic D-4 wrapped around a pre-fragmented alloy rod. Fragmentation was further enhanced by the actual body of the MK-I model ( especially the ceramic aerodyne turbine housing which was pre-fragmented for just this end means) which allowed the charge to pick up a good amount of additional fragments, as well as any debris in and around the area (usually densely urban) that the Seeker detonated in. These design criteria thus greatly increased the lethality radius of the detonation. Maximum lethal radius was 10m, with the lethality falling off sharply after that to a maximum of 20m.