The Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) developed the M-304 as a replacement for the M-299 and to provide limited cargo capabilities within the same car frame. They developed reconnaissance, ambulance and a variety of other variants of this design to meet their needs. This design proved rugged and smaller communities adopted these for their self-defense forces as well as a few civilian models.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
For combat use, a variety of small fixed-mount weapons were available for use by a second crew member, such as the EP-37 and RL-6. A rocket-propelled grenade launcher rack was also provided for single crew operation to supplement cyclone forces and defend the forward supply vehicle, at the expense of cargo capacity.
The Army of the Southern Cross (ASC) Tactical Corps used a number of these vehicles to support their infantry forces in the field in the early years before they moved to predominantly hover-capable vehicles. As such a number were still in operation by the time the Robotech Masters arrived.
Due to the small ammunition capacity of the Cyclone veritech cycle, a forward resupply vehicle was determined to be needed to maintain the infantry's fighting effectiveness. The M-304 had a limited capacity to carry the troops and their ammunition to the field. As such, a 3-axle truck was developed to provide a larger cargo capacity. An energy cannon is mounted behind the passenger seat to provide some self-defense capabilities to the vehicle. Due to the restricted field of fire, an add-on missile rack was devised to better protect the vehicle at the expense of some of its cargo capacity.
The body of the M-304/M-306 series is comprised of a light weight titanium-steel alloy and provides excellent protection against small grenade and shell fragments, good protection against small arms fire, and poor resistance to heavier infantry weapons, such as the 12.7mm machinegun round, as well as from fragments and near misses from higher caliber weapons. These vehicles have open air cabs and provide no environmental support. Plastic/canvas covers are available to protect the driver and passenger from rain and provide limited chemical/biological protection.