- For the Clan BattleMech that was designated Gladiator by the Inner Sphere, please see Executioner.
|Manufacturer||New Samarkand Armor Works, Merryweather Industries, StarCorps Industries|
|Engine||Core Tek 275|
|Communications System||Fujika Multiband|
|Targeting Tracking System||General systems AV-12|
The first homegrown BattleMech produced by the Draconis Combine was the Gladiator. The 55-ton 'Mech took seven years to design, as Coordinator Kozo Von Rohrs refused to open up the process to anybody but a select group at New Samarkand Armor Works (the predecessor of Luthien Armor Works) who were under constant surveillance by DEST. 2468 finally saw the GLD-1R Gladiator hit mass-production. Following the Battle of Nox in 2475, the dishonored 'Mech was retired from official production, with NSAW closing down the production lines by 2488.
Merryweather Industries was the first private company to attempt BattleMech production without governmental support. Despite their location in the Terran Hegemony, they acquired the plans to the Gladiator and produced a new run in 2490. They were unable to raise the capital to finish their second run, the 4R, and nearly went bankrupt before moving into IndustrialMechs. The GLD-4R production lines were closed down in 2495.
The 55-ton Gladiator has a top speed of 86 km/h, comparable to many other 'Mechs of the same weight. Nine and a half tons of armor provides a respectable amount of protection. Five jump jets enables the 'Mech to jump up to 150 meters at a time.
Weapons and Equipment
- The original Gladiator used primitive technologies, so it only had a Large Laser and two Medium Lasers. In addition, it could only manage a top speed around 64 km/h. It was protected by sixteen and a half tons of Primitive Armor. The GLD-1R went out of production by 2488. During the Jihad, several companies began producing this primitive design of Gladiator as a part of the appearance of RetroTech on the battlefield, driven by the need for war materiel; companies which produced the primitive Gladiator during this era included Rastaban Agricultural Products, Metals of the Earth and Sword of the Prophet Enterprises although many of these manufacturing lines had closed down by 3079. BV (2.0) = 1,027
- A more modern variant that still used some primitive technologies, the 2R upgraded the top speed of the 1R to 86 km/h. Few of these were ever fielded, as the design was apparently just a test bed for the newer technologies. Production of the GLD-2R stopped by 2488. BV (2.0) = 1,245, 1,184
- The 5R is an upgraded variant that was unveiled by StarCorps Industries after a Gladiator fielded by Major Alex Keller of the Devil's Brigade that utilized cutting-edge and experimental technology gained notoriety. The production model is powered by a bigger Light Fusion Engine. Improved jump jets, which had been installed onto Major Keller's 'Mech, have been omitted in favor of standard versions, and a C3i Computer allows the 'Mech to share targeting telemetry with like-equipped units. It is armed with a Snub-Nose PPC, two ER Medium Lasers, and an MML-5 with Artemis IV Fire Control System to improve accuracy. Additional heat sinks help to alleviate heat problems. This version has 9.5 tons of standard armor plates, which places it on par with older 55-ton trio. BV (2.0) = 1,345, 1,425
- Keller's GLD-1R
- This variant had a 220-rated Light Fusion Engine connected to a supercharger, which can add some speed. The 'Mech also had six Improved jump jets, and a C3i Computer, which allows the 'Mech to share targeting telemetry with like-equipped units. It is armed with a Snub-Nose PPC (which uses a PPC Capacitor), two ER Medium Lasers, and an MML-5 with one ton of ammunition devoted to long range missiles and another used for short range. Eleven double heat sinks are barely adequate for such a 'Mechs's generated heat. The 'Mech also used eleven tons of armor, which is almost the maximum such a machine can carry. BV (2.0) = 1,348, 1,557
The Gladiator (specifically the GLD-3R variant) was featured in Issue 0201 of BattleTechnology. In the article by Dale A. Kemper, additional details are described regarding Merryweather Industries' ill-fated production run of the GLD-3R Gladiator.
Originally intended to meet a Star League Defense Force requirement for a new long-range support 'Mech, Merryweather Industries offered the GLD-3R Gladiator, with the first prototypes undergoing testing in 2468. After achieving success in its early field tests, Merryweather Industries was awarded a contract to produce twelve hundred of the 'Mechs. However, in 2470 the contract was revoked, pointing to computer simulations that showed the 'Mech was not powerful enough to fill the role it had been built for. Having already produced over a hundred of the machines, and prepared to produce two thousand more, the loss of the contract nearly bankrupted Merryweather Industries. Private investors were quickly sought, and with the approval of the Star League, two thousand Gladiators were sold, most notably to the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine. Following the conclusion of the first run, Merryweather Industries discontinued the Gladiator line and continued to produce IndustrialMechs. The long-range close-support role would eventually be filled by the Archer, specifically the ARC-2C variant. At the time of the article's printing (February 3028), the author estimates that about one hundred and fifty of the 'Mechs remain, though most are hybrids. There are no known examples of "standard" Gladiators as they were built. 
As presented in BattleTechnology, the GLD-3R Gladiator mounts a pair of DLC-10 shoulder-mounted LRM-10 launchers, backed up by a single Duodyne Mark II Medium Laser in each arm. The same Fujika Multiband communication system and General Systems AV-12 used in the GLD-4R are used. The GLD-3R is mentioned as using GE-2200 jumpjets, which are noted as allowing for altitude variation during during movement. The top speed and cruising speed is listed as 58.1kph and 84.2kph, slower than what its engine should theoretically provide. Compared to the GLD-3R presented in later sources, the one described in BattleTechnology has one fewer jump jet and mounts an extra half-ton of armor.
No mention is made of the earlier GLD-1R, GLD-2R, or Merryweather's second Gladiator run (the GLD-4R). The artwork presented for the Gladiator is completely different from the art presented for the GLD-4R Gladiator in Technical Readout: 3075. It is unclear whether the artwork presented is meant to be of an original Gladiator, or one of the many "hybrid" Gladiators mentioned by the article author.
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance, p. 9
- TechManual, p. 15
- Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 206-207, "Gladiator 'Mech Profile"
- Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11
- Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 2, p. 5
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 98
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance, p. 7
- Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 4, "State of the Industry at a Glance (Dec 3079)"
- Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 34, "Sword of the Prophet Enterprises"
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 199
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 200
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 96
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 201
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 97
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 202
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 99
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 203
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 100
- BattleTechnology, Issue 0201, page 42-43
- Era Digest: Age of War
- Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 2
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- Objectives: Draconis Combine
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance
- Record Sheets: 3075
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War
- Technical Readout: 3075
- BattleTechnology, Issue 0201