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Author Topic: NL-48 Combat Shuttle  (Read 537 times)

Retry

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NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« on: 12 November 2022, 02:49:50 »
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NL-48 Combat Shuttle
Type: Military Aerodyne
Mass: 200 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 3145
Mass: 200
Battle Value: 1,763
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-D
Cost: 15,918,500 C-bills
Fuel: 13 tons (1,040)
Safe Thrust: 5
Maximum Thrust: 8
Heat Sinks: 5 (10)
Structural Integrity: 8
Armor
     Nose: 152
     Sides: 128/128
     Aft: 104
Cargo
Bay 1: BattleArmor (IS) (3) 1 Door
Bay 2: Cargo (6.0 tons) 1 Door
Escape Pods: 0
Life Boats: 0
Crew: 1 officer, 2 enlisted/non-rated, 1 gunner, 18 bay personnel (4 Steerage)
Ammunition: 50 rounds of Arrow IV ammunition (2 tons)
Notes: Mounts 30 tons of standard aerospace armor.
Weapons
and Ammo Location Tonnage Heat SRV MRV LRV ERV
Arrow IV Nose 15 10 0 0 0 0
Active Probe Hull 1.5 - - - - -
ECM Suite Hull 1.5 - - - - -

A shuttle-sized transport with fire support capabilities, the NL-48 Combat Shuttle is designed to unload a platoon of Inner Sphere Battle Armor planetside in under a minute, linger in uncontested airspace (or lightly contested airspace given ample escort), and provide artillery fire support to the company with its Arrow IV artillery piece mounted in the nose.  Once the mission is complete, the NL-48 picks up its infantry platoon and returns to its hosting dropship, warship, or forward operating base.
« Last Edit: 12 November 2022, 05:56:54 by Retry »

Lagrange

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #1 on: 13 November 2022, 20:39:21 »
I haven't worked it out, but could an ASF do this mission more cheaply, with less transport needs, and with easier maintenance?

Dragon Cat

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #2 on: 13 November 2022, 21:06:00 »
I haven't worked it out, but could an ASF do this mission more cheaply, with less transport needs, and with easier maintenance?

I'd have thought with the Small Craft used you'd have better range and endurance than an ASF.  Also 200 tons brings a lot more to table

Only thing I'd say is wouldn't a spheroid be better?  Rule of cool it's a plane but if this thing has to come down in contested territory I'd rather be able to pick my spot landing

Also nothing to protect itself or its ground troops when loading and unloading ouch.  Unless you're dropping an escort foe this too I'll leave my inferno platoon ready to shower your platoon and the ship
« Last Edit: 13 November 2022, 21:08:57 by Dragon Cat »
Below are links to my fan fiction pages.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-(full)/

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-full-part-2/

As always please enjoy and if you have any questions about my AU (or want to chat about ideas I could incorporate into it) feel free to PM me.

Retry

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #3 on: 13 November 2022, 22:50:55 »
I haven't worked it out, but could an ASF do this mission more cheaply, with less transport needs, and with easier maintenance?
IIRC, ASF don't have the capability of dropping infantry or BA (or light vehicles; had a prototype that could carry 50 tons in addition to the Arrow IV but you need to slow the ship down 1-2 points to get it to work).  Small Craft also have a strategic fuel use value, though that usually shouldn't be relevant in this use case.

The infantry carrying capacity theoretically allows it to do other roles in a pinch, such as SAR or general personnel transportation, though it's not the primary purpose.

I'd have thought with the Small Craft used you'd have better range and endurance than an ASF.  Also 200 tons brings a lot more to table

Only thing I'd say is wouldn't a spheroid be better?  Rule of cool it's a plane but if this thing has to come down in contested territory I'd rather be able to pick my spot landing

Also nothing to protect itself or its ground troops when loading and unloading ouch.  Unless you're dropping an escort foe this too I'll leave my inferno platoon ready to shower your platoon and the ship
A Spheroid-based small craft has basically no maneuverability in an atmosphere, so it would essentially be forced to engage from the ground, in which case it would have to land dangerously close to the objective in order to get any usage of its artillery piece, in addition to being vulnerable to any ground-based artillery, both Arrow IV and Tube-based.  Aerodynes have some maneuverability in an atmosphere, so the NL-48 is intended to take off after dropping off their BA and loiter behind the lines while the BA call targets.  Naturally the trade-off is it's vulnerable to fighters, AA Arrows and the like, so you don't deploy them when you're losing the air war (though that's likely true for a spheroid-based shuttle anyways).

Actually, I'm a bit confused on whether Small Craft aerodynes can VTOL or not.  I mean, the Mark VII landing craft is explicitly called out as VTOL capable Aerodyne Small Craft, but that could be just fluff.  The information I've been finding between SO, TW & TM have been rather... inconsistent.

Unfortunately it's just about impossible to add extra guns to the ship while also retaining the other important aspects of Arrow IV & BA company.  Adding guns also means adding gunners, and even with steerage-grade quarters rapidly eats into the payload.  By the time you add enough defensive armaments to be useful, you've no longer got a Small Craft but a Vampire dropship.

While it's noted that an ambush on an unloading NL-48 would be brutal for obvious reasons (and an escort for small craft in general is a good idea if the ASF assets can be spared), I would also suggest that picking which location on an entire planet to place your infantry platoon for that ambush is a proposition which is easier said than done, even if you happen to know their intended target beforehand.

Lagrange

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #4 on: 14 November 2022, 08:41:59 »
I'd have thought with the Small Craft used you'd have better range and endurance than an ASF.  Also 200 tons brings a lot more to table
Endurance may be a potential winner.  Range may not matter as an ASF can easily go from anywhere on a planet to anywhere else.  The 200 tons is eaten up rather rapidly by the engine, compartments, etc...

IIRC, ASF don't have the capability of dropping infantry or BA
I believe they do---Infantry can ride in cargo and the Kirghiz C is classed as an elemental carrier.  You do lose the battle armor _bay_ though, implying longer term life support and maintenance must be provided elsewhere.

Looking at an earlier design, the Workhorse I loads one assault BA squad.  You could drop the PPC+cap for another, drop 3 SLs for a probe, drop 3 SLs for an ECM, then drop 7 tons of armor and 2 more SLs to fit a 3rd squad in a similar configuration & speed.  It would have slightly less armor (28 tons instead of 30), but more armor points due to the use of HFF.   The NL-48 would still benefit from longer endurance, the ability to maintain BA, and better lifesupport facilities.  The ASF solution is half price, fits into an ASF bay, and requires fewer personnel overall.

Actually, I'm a bit confused on whether Small Craft aerodynes can VTOL or not.  I mean, the Mark VII landing craft is explicitly called out as VTOL capable Aerodyne Small Craft, but that could be just fluff.  The information I've been finding between SO, TW & TM have been rather... inconsistent.
I believe they can, but there's a steep piloting roll required.


AlphaMirage

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #5 on: 14 November 2022, 10:11:04 »
I question the usefulness of a transport/fire support craft outside of space ops. On low gravity no air worlds an aerodyne is the same as a spheroid and I could see this being used by Space Marines for attacks on moon or asteroid bases but defiantly not on habitable worlds.

Daryk

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #6 on: 14 November 2022, 19:07:25 »
My solution to this particular problem was a bit different...  ^-^

Retry

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #7 on: 14 November 2022, 22:01:30 »
I believe they do---Infantry can ride in cargo and the Kirghiz C is classed as an elemental carrier.  You do lose the battle armor _bay_ though, implying longer term life support and maintenance must be provided elsewhere.
Interesting that there's a canonical example of an ASF-based BA carrier.

I'm curious how practical it is in practice, since it's cargo-based and not bay-based, there's an extra time component to load & unload units (SO, starting at pg41).  There's also an additional time modifier to prepare a unit for battle after unloading from cargo; conventional infantry get an exception to this requirement, but seemingly not BA.

I should probably stop looking at these transport rules.  The more I look at them, the worse they seem to get!

Lagrange

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #8 on: 14 November 2022, 22:43:52 »
Interesting that there's a canonical example of an ASF-based BA carrier.

I'm curious how practical it is in practice, since it's cargo-based and not bay-based, there's an extra time component to load & unload units (SO, starting at pg41).  There's also an additional time modifier to prepare a unit for battle after unloading from cargo; conventional infantry get an exception to this requirement, but seemingly not BA.

I should probably stop looking at these transport rules.  The more I look at them, the worse they seem to get!
I believe the rules you want are in TW page 225 "Dismounting from Aerospace Carriers". 

It also seems worth noting that TM pages 344-345 explicitly allows BA compartments and bays to be mounted on an ASF.  I suspect people were just a bit sloppy in writing "cargo" and saying "battle armor" rather than writing "battle armor compartment".

Incidentally, it's also interesting to note that infantry bays carry 30 people on an ASF legally.  On an economic basis, that's incredibly cheap (22.5K=15K*1.5(multiplier)) compared to an infantry bay in a smallcraft (750K = 30*5K * 5(multiplier)).

Daryk

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Re: NL-48 Combat Shuttle
« Reply #9 on: 15 November 2022, 04:10:06 »
And Small Craft are a bargain compared to DropShips...  ^-^

 

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