|“||These guys have saved my butt more times than I could count!||”|
—Lt. Annette Kroyer, Jungle Squad
Originally developed as a joint venture between the defense contractor the Proteus Group consortium and the commercial construction equipment producer Haneda, the Dryad was first known as the HCCER 2012 (Heavy Construction/Civil Engineering Robot). The design intent was to create a civilian market labor robot to assist in the rebuilding of human civilization during the Reconstruction Era. It's smaller size and lack of sophisticated sub-systems meant it was relatively cheap to produce, only one-tenth the price of a Spartan main battle/engineering robot. However, two things conspired against it to keep it from being a commercial success. First, it was protoculture-powered, which was costly for the construction agencies that were allowed by law to own and operate it. Second, with all the full sized Zentraedi then on Earth it was hard to justify investing millions in a new machine when you could hire the Zentraedi to do the same work for a fraction of the price. It was not till much later, after most Zentraedi had been micronised and the laws relaxed, that Haneda sold any on the civilian market.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
The CBL Mk. I was nothing more than a HCCER 2012 with an upgraded sensor suite and sealable cockpit module. It was adopted pretty much as is by Task Force Southern Cross in the early years of the Reconstruction Era as a combat engineering robot. The biggest shortcoming of the Mk. I was that it had no armor, being built of light weight materials to save costs. A 12.7mm AP round had little problem piercing its thin skin. This is to say nothing of the effect of an RPG round. As such, many of these early Dryads were brought down by lightly armed bandits and rogue humans. It was also highly vulnerable to mines. The first real combat engineering robot was the Mk. II, which added real armor, improved sensors and integral head lasers. It also had the ability to use the new gun pods then being developed by the ASC.
The small size of the CBL-11 set the trend for all future destroids and battloids to come. The lighter weight meant it was cheaper, easier to transport, and could go places the old destroids could not. It was also found that the destroids rarely encountered situations where they went into actual hand to hand combat, so this too was of little concern. The Dryad has several features unique to its role as a combat engineering robot. Carabeaners points are located on the shoulders, torso and legs. These can be used for anything from clearing logs and obstacles, to climbing downed Zentraedi warships. The forearms were designed with multi-use attachment points. Plasma cutters or conventional torches; grappling hooks which could be launched to climb shear faces or recover damaged armored vehicles from soft ground areas, mine fields or other danger zones; or 12.7mm M2 machine guns could be mounted. The Dryad also has over-sized feet for dealing with soft and/or marshy terrain.
The armor on the later Mk. II and IIJ Dryad was a new development in low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating that became the standard for all Terran mecha after its application to the Vandal Drone. Aside from the respectable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor is also resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns, owing to the fact that the armor can flake off and evaporate in layers under fire from such high-energy weapons, taking much of the weapon's energy and converting it into the latent heat of sublimation in the armor. The armor on the Mk. II and IIJ stopped all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provided good resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and poor to fair resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie's 55mm APFSDS round. The armor on the original production Mk. I was made up of a light weight aluminum alloy with some ceramic composite inserts and would only stop small arms fire up to 7.62mm rounds. Anything heavier, such as 12.7mm AP, have no problem penetrating.
The Dryad provided full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a fully-sealed cockpit module activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The cockpit module was also armored and gave the Dryad the option of operating off-planet on the moon and on Mars. The internal consumables supplies could provide atmosphere purification for one week maximum on Earth and 48 hours in a hostile environment such as the moon or Mars.
Deployed in large numbers to the Zentraedi Control Zones, the Dryad was the first brand new mecha that the fledgling Task Force Southern Cross was issued. Though large numbers of them perished under the thick jungle canopy they showed that human ingenuity could adapt and overcome any enemy.
Tasked many times with simple logging and/or salvage duty, the Dryad became an integral part of the UEF’s Battloid Corps. With the end of the Malcontent Uprisings, those units that didn’t leave with the Pioneer Mission were permanently assigned to the Jungle Squad. There they served as heavy construction units for the Army Corps of Engineers though many took part in the ground final battle of the Second Robotech War.
With the arrival of the Invid, this mecha went into hiding and was used by various militas and freedom fighters.
|Battle Pod Series|