Champion

Champion.jpg
Champion
Production information
Manufacturer Bergan Industries
Production Year 2602[1]
Model CHP-1N
Class Heavy
Cost 5,754,400 C-bills
Technical specifications
Tech Base Inner Sphere
Mass 60 tons
Chassis Bergan XI
Armor Star Slab/2 Ferro-Fibrous
Engine Vlar 300
Communications System Garret T-11 C
Targeting Tracking System Mercury-IV w/Artemis IV FCS
Heat Sinks 10
Speed 86.4 km/h
Armament
BV (1.0) 942
BV (2.0) 1,233[2]

Description[edit]

The Champion debuted in 2602 from Bergan Industries, their second-ever BattleMech after the highly-successful Locust, as a generalist combat 'Mech with a focus on heavy reconnaissance and fast strike capabilities. While definitely faster and more maneuverable than other heavy 'Mechs, it was criticized by many for being too large, underarmed and underarmored. Indeed Earthwerks Incorporated had a competing bid, a modified version of their 55-ton Griffin, which had the same performance capabilities and cost less. In the end Bergan won the lobbying wars and an initial order of 200 Champions were produced for the Star League Defense Force.[3][4]

Despite its serious flaws the Champion was one of the most popular 'Mechs with the SLDF: in a era mostly marked by small skirmishes and duels where tactical positioning was key, its swiftness was sufficient enough for many pilots. It served in many of the SLDF's independent BattleMech regiments, and when newer designs began to outpace it the 'Mech was sold to the Star League's member states. Unfortunately Bergen's New Earth factory was destroyed in 2776 during the Amaris Civil War, and in the Succession Wars that followed the Champion suffered heavy losses. Eventually the loss of the advanced technology which went into making the Champion forced many surviving 'Mechs to be refitted with lesser components. Towards the end of the Succession Wars a few Champions could still be found in the arsenals of the Great Houses, with the Capellan Confederation just barely fielding the most followed by the Lyran Commonwealth.[5][2]

ComStar was able to maintain a number of original Champions in their secret stockpiles which were later used to outfit the Com Guards and the Clans maintained the aging design for their garrison forces, which they brought along during the Clan Invasion. A number of ComStar Champions were upgraded prior to the pivotal Battle of Tukayyid, among several designs which informally were known as Clanbusters, and eventually production of original-model Champions was restarted at Bergen's New Earth facility in the late 3050s. A new variant was eventually produced for ComStar and after the ComStar Schism the Champion could be found in the hands of the Word of Blake.[2]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The armament on the Champion is considered by many to be feeble for its size. A Lubalin LB-X Autocannon/10 with two tons of ammo is mounted in the right torso, while one Harpoon 6 SRM-6 Launcher mated to an Artemis IV Fire Control System with one ton of reloads is mounted in the left. These are backed up by two Magna MkII Medium Lasers in the left torso and two Martell Small Lasers in the center torso. The excess heat produced by these weapons is barely kept in check through the use of ten single heat sinks, a result of Bergen trying to keep costs low, while eight tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor provides meager protection. The factor behind the Champion's survival is its massive 20-ton fusion engine which gives the 'Mech good speed and maneuverability.[3]

Variants[edit]

  • CHP-1N2 
    This unofficial but common field refit was first seen in 2667. Given the poor heat management of the Champion, many pilots made the difficult modification of swapping out the traditional heat sinks for double-strength ones. Bergen never authorized this variant as an official factory refit, likely on account it would mean admitting something was wrong with the original design.[5] BV (1.0)= ??, BV (2.0) = 1,233[6]
  • CHP-1Nb 
    A variant reserved for SLDF Royal units, this Champion was introduced in 2751 and replaces all the standard weaponry with a Gauss Rifle and ER PPC. It also uses double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,632[7]
  • CHP-2N 
    The 2N is a downgraded variant first spotted in 2810 that replaces lostech components with one still available. The advanced LB-X Autocannon is replaced it with a standard Mydron Model B Autocannon/10 and the Artemis IV FCS removed. In addition, this variant replaces the Ferro-Fibrous armor with the same weight in standard armor, further reducing the overall armor protection on what is widely acknowledged as an already fragile 'Mech. Note that this 'Mech remained in production during the Succession Wars at Bergan's plant on Corey in the Capellan Confederation. BV (1.0) = 839, BV (2.0) = 1,116 [8]
  • CHP-3N 
    One of the so-called "Clanbuster" variants developed in 3052 by ComStar in the lead-up to the Battle of Tukayyid, this variant is a major upgrade that replaces the standard fusion engine with a lighter but more vulnerable ExtraLight engine, the heat sinks have been upgraded to double heat sinks and two Nightwind Large Lasers, surplus from the Clanbuster upgrade of the Wyvern, have been added to the 'Mech's unoccupied arms. [9] BV (1.0) = 1,059[10], BV (2.0) = 1,400[6]
  • CHP-3P 
    The 3P is the newest variant of the Champion, introduced in 3061. The 'Mech's arsenal has been completely upgraded to modern standards with the complete removal of all of its weapons. In their place this version of the Champion carries four ER Medium Lasers, one in each arm. An Ultra Autocannon/10 replaces the LB-X Autocannon and the SRM-6 has been replaced by an improved Narc Missile Beacon. In addition, the ExtraLight engine used in the 3N has been retained and an improved C3 computer was added to allow the Champion to work as part of a 6-unit C3 network. BV (1.0) = 1,454 [10][11], BV (2.0) = 1,503[6]
  • Champion
    This variant was built by the Clans using their advanced technology, although it differs little from the original. Built in 2867 it uses an XL engine with the weight saved going into the addition of 5 jump jets that enable the 'Mech to jump up to 150 meters at a time. The medium lasers were upgraded to Medium Pulse Lasers and a pair of ER Medium Lasers were added. The small lasers are also upgraded to Small Pulse Lasers. The rest of the weaponry is upgraded to Clan standards and the remaining tonnage went to additional armor.[2] BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 2,191[6]

Related Designs[edit]

  • Champion LAM - Using the bullet-nosed Champion as the basis for an attempt to create a heavy Land Air 'Mech, Bergan Industries ultimately admitted defeat and the flawed concept was discontinued. [12]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. MUL online date for the Champion
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 202-203
  3. 3.0 3.1 Technical Readout: 2750, p. 34-35
  4. Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 70-71
  5. 5.0 5.1 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 262-263
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 78
  7. Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 43
  8. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 136
  9. Tukayyid, p. 14
  10. 10.0 10.1 Combat Operations, p. 123
  11. Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 101
  12. Experimental Technical Readout: Boondoggles, p. 6, "CPN-1X1 Champion LAM"

Bibliography[edit]