The VHR-2 Myrmidon Hover Tank was a stanard reconnaisance hovertank used by officers of the armored divisions of the Army of the Southern Cross, and was originally just concept art in Robotech: The Masters.
The Myrmidon was born of the same project that produced the VHT-1S Spartas Hover Tank, the VHX-1 Eurotas. As testing progressed and engineers packed more armor and weapons into it, the Spartas began to show more promise as a medium IFV. When the Spartas was re-designated as an infantly fighting vehicle, the Spartas project was quickly retooled as the design for the new force reconnaissance mecha. It entered testing soon after the first shipment of Hover Tanks were being issued to their units, and within eight months, Myrmidon squadrons were being organized within the Tactical Corps. Designed along the same lines as its big brother, the Spartas, (despite their relative same scale) the Myrmidon had a three mode transport, tank and battloid variable mecha. It shared many of the same systems as the Spartas, including power plants, engines and even transformation gear.
The interchangeability of parts and ease of maintenance made the Myrmidon very popular among its pilots and crews. Also like the Spartas, the Myrmidon was designed as an open cockpit vehicle to facilitate quick and easy mounting and dismounting, along with allowing an unobstructed field of vision. Since it was never built to be a front-line unit, the designers felt that the pilot's issued body annor would be enough should he encounter enemy fire. Toward the end of the Second Robotech War, up-armored variants were released with a positively pressurized, climate controlled, environmentally sealed pilot's compartment. This protected the pilots and allowed the Myrmidon to operate for longer durations in all manner of enviromnents. Unlike the Spartas, the Myrmidon was never configured for orbital operations.
This "little Hover Tank" excelled at its job as a force reconnaissance vehicle. Its hover jet propulsion system, combined with its tank/guardian and battloid modes made it a truly all-terrain vehicle able to traverse open fields, forests and jungle, broken country, mountainous terrain, city ruins, crashed spacecraft and even shallow bodies of water. The Myrmidon shared the same scale as the Spartas, and was relatively easy to hide and ideal for operating in urban areas and wrecked Zentraedi capital ships.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
Often designated in an anti-air role, and never for heavy combat scenarios, the Myrmidon was fitted with one integral weapon system. Mounted in the arm shields were a pair of triple-barreled plasma cannons like those found on the Spartas. These were mainly for defense and to add covering fire for any reconnaissance troopers who might be operating alongside the mecha. While these weapons were powerful, pilots were advised not to engage enemy armor or massed infantly formations directly. To help aid the Myrmidon in its role, the mecha was fitted with special reconnaissance equipment, and more powerful propulsion system than the Spartas. Sensor spoofers and heat shielding hid it from radar and enhanced optics like thennal imaging. An onboard memory drive had enough space to hold a full week's wmih of reconnaissance data (168 hours of video, stills, sound, and sensor telemetry) in a hardened electronics bay.
The armor on the Hover Tank was a new development in low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating that became the standard for all Terran mecha. Aside from the respectable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor was also resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns. This is owing to the fact that the armor could 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 stopped all small arms, heavy infantry weapons fire, and light mecha-mounted weaponry, and provided good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie's 55mm APFSDS round, and poor resistance to heavy mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the VHT's 105mm smoothbore shells.
The main cannon and tri-cannon were mounted in armored housings on arms that have a thicker armor, and are often used to parry incoming fire. Here the armor resistance was better than that of almost any other mecha of its generation.
When equipped with the armored pilot compartment, the VHR provided full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies could provide atmosphere for eight hours maximum.
The armor was also coated in a non-reflective, radar absorbing paint to further hide it from the prying eyes of the enemy. A canny pilot supporting a squad of reconnaissance troopers could operate unimpeded for weeks behind enemy lines, all the while feeding much needed intel back to home base. Due to their mission profiles, most Myrmidon squads were well away from the front lines of the Second Robotech War and were rarely brought in as force multipliers. Many survived the war and subsequent Invid invasion, and were a common sight among freedom fighters and resistance cells of the Third Robotech War. This vehicle was highly sought after for its combination of speed and protection