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Author Topic: Buccaneer OPERATION: PORTLAND  (Read 496 times)


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« on: 17 December 2021, 16:06:08 »
Buccaneer Operation: PORTLAND
Type: Military Aerodyne
Mass: 3,500 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Introduced: 3049
Mass: 3,500
Battle Value: 1,709
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-F-D-D
Cost: 230,572,800 C-bills

Fuel: 200 tons (6,000)
Safe Thrust: 5
Maximum Thrust: 8
Heat Sinks: 58
Structural Integrity: 9

Code: [Select]
    Nose: 79
    Sides: 67/67
    Aft: 55

    Bay 1:  Light Vehicle (16)      1 Door   
    Bay 2:  Mech (4)                1 Door   
    Bay 3:  Infantry (Jump) (48)    1 Door   
    Bay 4:  Cargo (370.0 tons)      2 Doors   

    96 rounds of Anti-Missile System [IS] ammunition (8 tons)

Escape Pods: 2
Life Boats: 0
Crew:  3 officers, 2 enlisted/non-rated, 2 gunners, 256 bay personnel       

Notes: Mounts 13 tons of ferro-aluminum armor.

Weapons:                                      Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                                Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV     ERV   Class       
Nose (26 Heat)
2 ER Large Laser                          24   2(16)   2(16)   2(16)    0(0)  Laser       
2 Anti-Missile System                      2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)    0(0)  AMS         
    Anti-Missile System Ammo [IS] (24 shots)
RW/LW (10 Heat)
2 Medium Pulse Laser                       8   1(12)    0(0)    0(0)    0(0)  Pulse Laser
2 Anti-Missile System                      2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)    0(0)  AMS         
    Anti-Missile System Ammo [IS] (24 shots)
Aft (10 Heat)
2 Medium Pulse Laser                       8   1(12)    0(0)    0(0)    0(0)  Pulse Laser
2 Anti-Missile System                      2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)    0(0)  AMS         
    Anti-Missile System Ammo [IS] (24 shots)


In the early days of the Clan invasion the superior technology of the invaders had been acknowledged, but few examples were held in the hands of the Inner Sphere nations. What technology did exists was held entirely by those nations that had come into direct contact with the Clans.

Though some Star League technologies were re-introduced by Wolf’s Dragoons during the Outreach conference in 3051, SAFE had already come to the determination that the Clans possessed technologies even more advanced than those lost during the Succession Wars. Accordingly they launched an effort to send a raiding force into the invasion corridor to capture samples of Clan equipment.

A modified and disguised Buccaneer DropShip carried a combined arms force intended to capture whatever technology they could. The heart of this unit was a VTOL-equipped strike force that was intended to quickly swarm a Clan ‘mech, disable it, and capture it for study. This strike force was composed of several Karnov transport VTOLs carrying elite anti-mech trained Jump Infantry, several other Karnovs modified with lift hoists to allow them to carry away a light ‘mech, and several lances of Warrior attack helicopters intended to put the target into heat shutdown.


The dropship was a heavily modified model that began life as a Tharkad-built merchantman. It was modified so that the two large cargo doors covered a larger number of smaller bays.

All told the ship modified for Operation: PORTLAND carried 16 VTOLs split between the three types, plus 8 platoons of Jump infantry to secure their target. As "bait" it also carried a lance of Battlemechs, mostly refits of Star League-era equipment.

The Buccaneer is a notoriously under-armored vessel. To maintain an identical profile to the original it was modified to replace the existing armor with more durable ferro-aluminum panels. In addition, a brace of anti-missile launchers was placed at the nose, tail, and on the assembly at the end of each wing.

Defensive armament was also upgraded. The standard medium lasers were swapped for newer, more accurate pulse models. The LRM launcher in the nose was removed, but the heavy laser in the nose was upgraded to an extended range model, as well as placed in a twin mount with an identical laser.

Perhaps the most drastic change was to the power plant. The Buccaneer is a sturdy vessel, but a slow one. Engineers at Brigadier's facilities on Gibson completely remade the power plant to make it 40 percent more powerful, allowing the Operation: PORTLAND variant to maintain an acceleration equivalent of over 2 gravities with an emergency output of up to 4.


Operation: PORTLAND was a success, though they were not immediately able to secure an Omnimech. The strike force operated on several worlds in the Jade Falcon and Wolf occupation zones. They were able to capture infantry weapons, munitions, spare parts, and even in one case a damaged Elemental battle armor suit. This suit would be used as a template in the development of the Longinus battle armor.

It took several attempts to capture a Omnimech. The mech needed to be small enough that it could be carried by modified Karnov. In addition as SAFE did not want the Lyrans or Clans to know they were operating in the area the ‘mech needed to be isolated enough that it could be snatched from the battlefield before reinforcements could arrive.

It too three tries before the SAFE unit was able to pull this off. On the first attempt, an attack on a Clan Wolf “Dasher” the outstanding speed of the target unit allowed it to remain free long enough for reinforcement to arrive, forcing the SAFE agents to flee. On the second, the targeted Jade falcon “Koshi” suffered an ammunition explosion caused by the infernos damaged the unit to the point that the SAFE unit did not believe it was worth salvaging.

On the third attempt the strike force managed to successfully put a Falcon “Uller” into heat shutdown. The attached jump infantry unit was able to force the pilot from the cockpit. The pilot was unfortunately killed during the incident, denying SAFE any additional information that the might have received.

Upon the unit’s return the mech was dissected by technicians from most of the leading manufacturing firms in the Free Worlds League. The insights gained from this helped speed the development of Imperator’s light gauss rifle, Diverse Optics’ extended-range medium lasers, and the development of the Strider and Owens Omnimechs