Rover Mark III
The third iteration of a rapidly adopted general purpose transport. The Rovers are a large vehicle of either six or eight wheeled design. The eight wheeled version was first introduced with the Mark III, and not readily accepted citing the increased capacity was not worth the loss of maneuverabilty. As equipped the mark III rolled on 2.5 meter low pressure terra pattern, low pressure tires with run-flat provisions. In combination with the portal hubs it has a ground clearance of one and one-half meters. Bow to stern length is 17 meters for the six wheeled and 20 meters for the eight wheeled. Stance width for both is 5 meters with a height of 5.5 meters. Chassis width is narrower than the stance at 3.2 meters. The cockpit consists of forward facing pilot and co-pilot positions and transverse facing navigation and engineering stations behind and above. The cockpit is separated from the rear area by an airtight hatch and can be covered with a retractable, sealing, hardtop. Payload capacity remains unchanged from the mark II at 9,000kg and 11,500kg for the eight wheeled mark III. Upgrades from the venerable Mark II included an Infinitely Variable Speed Transmission power delivery system which replaced the old Selecta-Trans while keeping the proven engine and portal hubs. Some Mark II's were upgraded to the IVST as a cost saving measure, or when irreparably damaged Mark III's could donate viable parts. While the IVST had a shorter service life than the more robust Selecta-Trans, it did not go unnoticed that combat survivability was greatly enhanced. The extra steps to change gears or quickly reverse from danger being no longer needed made reaction times far quicker. Crews with Mark III's and converted Mark II's were quickly shifted towards active combat zones while crews with the Mark II's (and some with Mark III's back fitted to the Selecta-Trans) were put on logistic support. Although the Mark III retained the drivetrain of the Mark II, the new IVST permitted the use of a multi-mode engine governor. These modes were OFF/MAN, ECO, CRUISE, COMBAT, and EMERGENCY. Eco mode placed the engine at the lower peak of it's powerband where the engine was at it's most fuel efficient, combined with the IVST effective range was improved almost 35%. Cruise mode set the engine output at 65% of maximum power and the IVST would be used to maintain ground speed. Cruise mode was the setting used in design specifications. Combat mode set the engine power at 90% and the IVST would be used for all maneuvers. The amount of immediate power was huge and alert rover pilots could quickly remove themselves from immediate danger. However such sudden maneuvers often resulted in crew injury. Emergency mode carried with it some risks. There was an auxiliary fuel accelerant cartridge which could be triggered for short bursts in combination with a longer injection time. Emergency mode placed the engine in an almost ungoverned condition, the only limit being the theoretical point at which the engine would self destruct. While in Emergency mode, the long-pulse injector setting and the accelerant solinoid would be armed. An automatic pulse of 10, or 20 seconds could be triggered or it could be locked down until released or spent. This system would increase engine output by nearly 100% and fuel consumption as well. The eight-wheeled Mark III, while not as popular among crews, did contain a larger powerplant which had the same mounting points as the engine in the six-wheeled. Towards the end of the Mark III iteration, low hour engines from the eight-wheeled version began to be swapped in for the smaller engines at the end of their service lives. It made the engine compartment cramped, and structural components needed to be modified for them to fit. They became popular with first-strike troops as the higher output engine didn't decrease range in the lighter chassis, but did significantly increase top speeds and lower the center of gravity for dangerous manuvers. During the design phase of the Mark IV, turbo packages were tested on Mark II's and Mark III's to a resounding success. Nearly all of them eventually finding their way into six wheeled Mark III's with eight wheeled engines in the hands of elite crews. Combined with the already in use Emergency mode, power output could be pushed from the 2400hp naturally aspirated base to a turbo-accelerant fogged whopping 5300hp. Capable of throwing the 27,500 kilo rover from a standstill to 167kph in 13 seconds. These crews became known as Speed Fiends. Troops being transported by these crews reported being more scared of the trip than the combat they were going into. Short 6: 26,000kg 64 hours at 65% power ~ 110kph ~ 7000km ~ 1400 liters deisel m3 ~ 21.8 l/hr ~ 2000hp ~ 18sec 1/4mi Long 8: 31,000 kg 64 hours at 65% power ~ 110 kph ~ 7000km ~ 1700 liters deisel m3 ~ 26.6 l/hr ~ 2400hp ~ 18 sec 1/4mi Long 8 in Short 6: 27,500kg 64 hours at 40% power ~ 110kph ~ 7000km ~ 1400 liters deisel m3 ~ 21.8 l/hr 2400 hp ~ 17 sec 1/4mi ~ 130kph Other equipment remained similar to the mark II. Troop capactity remained at 48 without gear, 24 with light gear and 12 with heavy gear. In support roles, it could carry sufficient materiel for three strike teams, with one Rover handling the insertion and a second handling the logistics. Optionally, weapons systems could be mounted, but the Rover was not intended to be a front line fire support. After the roll out of the mark IV the mark III continued to see service in deep cover operations as it's lack of electronics reduced the emmissions it could be detected by. Problems with the design of the new systems of the mark IV would prevent the mark III from being retired until the mark V. Many crews of the newly issued mark V expressed great reluctance at giving up their venerable mark III's. But it did not take long for the significant improvements to win over the troops. Mark III's were mothballed and sent to boneyards for storage, but couldn't be cannibalized for parts as the rover underwent a redesign from the mark IV forward. This results in a lot of mark III's waiting to be rediscovered in the post-collapse era.