|Manufacturer||Wakazashi Enterprises |
United Outworlders Corporation
|Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Armor||Choutaka Armorscale, Limited with CASE|
|Engine||VOX 325 XL|
|Communications System||Neil 9000|
|Targeting Tracking System||DLK Type Phased Array Sensors|
Continuing the trend toward specialized BattleMechs, the Bombardier was proposed to the Star League in 2735 by Wakazashi Enterprises as an "artillery 'Mech." The concept behind the design was to make a BattleMech that could replace less-mobile artillery vehicles, which might fall behind in an advance or be destroyed by counter-battery fire. It would be well-protected with twelve and a half tons of armor and use specialized missile racks which could carry diverse types of advanced missiles. Over years of testing and field exercises the Bombardier proved itself extremely effective at fulfilling the long-range fire support role, easily surpassing its vehicular counterparts and even inspiring talks of disbanding the SLDF's artillery arm once enough Bombardiers were operational.
More than 800 of these 'Mechs were in service by the time the Star League collapsed, and as the 'Mech finally entered the battlefield during the Succession Wars its shortcomings became all too apparent. The greatest of these was its endurance, as with limited ammunition stores for its LRM and SRM launchers the Bombardier could not last long in an extended firefight, and unlike other designs such as the older Archer it had no energy weapons to fall back on once its missile stores run dry. Such was the rapid expenditure of its specialized Bombardier Artillery Missiles during the First Succession War that many planets simply ran out after a few days of battle. Many Bombardiers were forced to fight on the front lines in close-support roles, and while well-armored, the 'Mech was not designed for slugging matches, leading to it suffering the most battlefield losses of any BattleMech type. By the time of the Second Succession War the handful of surviving Bombardiers were relegated to defending their dwindling stockpiles of specialized missiles, while others were cannibalized for their parts, and when taking to the field were forced to rely on supply vehicles for additional ordnance, arguably defeating the very purpose for which it was designed.
With its poor reputation Wakazashi Enterprises was content to let the design die out, even refusing to produce the spare parts it still had the technical knowledge to produce, though it allowed Earthwerks Incorporated license to refit a modest number of 'Mechs. By the end of the Succession Wars the remaining BMB-12Ds and -10Ds could be found in militia and reserve units in the Draconis Combine or Free Worlds League, while the Federated Commonwealth gave theirs to training units where ammunition shortages were not a problem. While ComStar secretly developed a limited number of -14C variants for its Com Guards, the most surprising development in the 'Mech's history came after the Clan Invasion, when the Outworlds Alliance began fielding the new BMB-05A variant following a secretive deal with Clan Snow Raven. Their use in a raid on Enif by the Alliance Grenadiers caused the Combine to start refitting their own Bombardier stockpiles.
Weapons and Equipment
The primary weapons on the Bombardier are a pair of Delphinius-20 LRM-20 launchers. These launchers are specially designed to handle the unique ammunition types in use at the time, such as Swarm and Thunder Missile LRMs, and while they have an excellent reach only two tons of ammunition means they run out after only twelve salvos. The secondary weapon carried by the Bombardier is an Arrowlight-4 SRM-4 built into the right arm. While suitable for driving off light units that get within the LRM's minimum range, it is not enough to truly protect the 'Mech from a determined attack and also suffers from having only a single ton of ammunition. A Buzzsaw Anti-Missile System protects the Bombardier from counter-missile fire, while the ammunition for all of the 'Mech's weapons is protected by CASE.
- Fielded by the Outworlds Alliance, the -05A is such a powerful upgrade that many have wondered whether the original model was merely a testbed. The most radical change is the replacement of the LRMs for an Arrow IV Artillery launcher with four tons of ammunition, giving it a reach beyond most other conventional machines. Three Doomsbud Rocket Launcher 20s replace the SRM launcher and provide short range firepower that can make light 'Mechs think twice about closing with the Bombardier. A Small Laser seems an afterthought, though the Anti-Missile System ammo has been doubled. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 1,440
- The 10D variant of the Bombardier is a refit performed by Earthwerks Incorporated during the Succession Wars as many advanced components became lostech; while Wakazashi were content not to manufacture any more Bombardiers, the company was prepared to license Earthwerks to produce parts for existing 'Mechs, resulting in the 10D refit. While the Delphinius and Arrowlight launchers were swapped out for low-tech Doombud and Hovertech models, the AMS system was completely replaced with a Machine Gun. Perhaps the biggest difference was the replacement of VOX 325 XL engine with the smaller Magna 260, giving the design a top speed of 64.8km/h and cruising speed of 43km/h. In addition, the CASE that protected the vulnerable ammunition stores has been removed from the design, while the armor protection itself has not changed. As a part of the refit performed by Earthwerks in their Calloway VI plant the communications system was replaced with the Neil 5000 system and the targeting and tracking system was replaced with the RCA Instatrac Mark XII system. BV (1.0) = 1,015, BV (2.0) = 1,340
- This ComStar variant upgraded the capabilities of the Bombardier while at the same time attempting to address one of the primary issues of the design. The LRM launchers have been mated to a pair of Artemis IV Fire Control Systems while the new electronics package includes an improved C3 computer and the amount of ammunition carried was doubled. These changes increased the overall accuracy and effectiveness of the paired LRM-20s and were implemented by sacrificing the SRM launcher and Anti-Missile System. For close range defense, the 14C carries an ER Small Laser, while the chassis has been upgraded using Endo-Steel. BV (1.0) = 1,346, BV (2.0) = 1,549
- An upgrade of mothballed BMB-10Ds and -12Ds reintroduced by the Combine in response to the Alliance's -05As, the -14K strips out the weapons and equipment and adds a half ton of armor. Four MML 7s provide firepower at all ranges, though the five tons of ammunition are vulnerable in their arm mount. A C3 Slave Unit allows the 14K to share targeting telemetry with like-equipped friendly units and three Machine Guns linked to a Machine Gun Array in the right arm can prove devastating to unarmored infantry. BV (1.0) = ?? , BV (2.0) = 1,249
- Cranston Snord, founder of Snord's Irregulars mercenary unit piloted a Bombardier following the Fourth Succession War.
- MUL online date for the Bombardier
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 207
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 40
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 266
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 206
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 74
- Combat Operations, p. 123
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 145
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 107
- Combat Operations
- Master Unit List
- Record Sheets: 3025/3026
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League)
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Rhonda's Irregulars (scenario pack)
- Technical Readout: 2750
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade