Grasshopper

3025 Grasshopper1.jpg
Grasshopper
Production information
Manufacturer Lantren Corporation
Jalastar Aerospace [1]
Arc-Royal MechWorks [2]
LexaTech Industries [2]
Production Year 2780[3][4]
Model GHR-5H
Class Heavy
Cost 6,024,574 C-bills
Technical specifications
Mass 70 tons
Chassis Mingh z33/7
Armor Maximillian 100
Engine VOX 280
Communications System Allet-C308
Targeting Tracking System Allet T-11
Heat Sinks 22
Speed 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets Lexington Lifters
Armament
BV (1.0) 1,268[5]
BV (2.0) 1,427[6]

Contents

[edit] Description

Originally intended as a stealthy hunter-killer of light and medium 'Mechs for the SLDF, the Grasshopper entered service in 2780 after hostilities had already ceased in the Amaris Civil War. Problems integrating the original stealth systems with the chassis meant the Grasshopper missed the climatic end to the conflict and these systems were ultimately removed from the final design. The untested and unorthodox 'Mech was distributed primarily to the Regular army rather than the more prestigious Royal army, such that within four years it could be found in most regiments. Thus as the Star League dissolved and in the chaos of Operation Exodus and the defection of many SLDF units to the Successor States, examples of the Grasshopper found their way into the various House armies one way or another.[4][7][8]

With great mobility and a predominately shorter-ranged, energy-based weaponry, the Grasshopper proved itself during the First Succession War. The 'Mech's ground speed of 64.8 km/h was augmented by a pair of Leviathan Lifter jump jets, one in each leg, giving it a jumping capability of one hundred and twenty meters. Revolutionary for its time, the appearance of a heavy 'Mech with the mobility of a lighter design caused a change in tactics; the Grasshopper became known for using surprise and speed to appear suddenly in the midst of a tightly-packed lance, a devastating situation should the enemy lack short-ranged weapons themselves. The use of twenty-two heat sinks also gave it superior heat dissipation rates compared to other heavy 'Mechs, while its low dependence on ammunition allowed the Grasshopper to operate away from established supply lines for extended periods of time. Though it could be outgunned by other 'Mechs of similar tonnage, the combination of its mobility and thirteen tons of standard armor allowed the Grasshopper to at least inflict significant damage before being forced to withdraw. Finally, mounting its primary weapon in its center torso meant the Grasshopper remained combat-capable despite suffering crippling damage, including losing both arms, leading many to classify it as a "zombie" 'Mech.[4][7][8]

Besides hunting down lighter machines to clear the way for heavier, less-mobile 'Mechs, the Grasshopper's mobility and endurance meant it often spearheaded assaults to storm fortifications, lead flanking attacks to hit the enemy from the rear and serve as back-up brawler for companies of light and medium 'Mechs. Its ability to operate independently made it an excellent choice as a raider and guerrilla fighter, an attribute also prized by mercenary units in need of self-reliant 'Mechs. While popular the Grasshopper was also an uncommon sight during the Succession Wars, causing many commanders to mistakenly treat it as just another heavy 'Mech. By the time they realized their mistake it was too late, though following ComStar's publication of Technical Readout: 3025 military leaders became more familiar with the 'Mech.[4][7][8]

In the midst of the Second Succession War the Lantren Corporation's factory on Bryant was destroyed in 2843, a result of worsening global storms and damage inflicted during the conflict, causing production of the 'Mech to cease. However the Grasshopper was usually prioritized over other 'Mechs, even a unit commander's own, when it came time to repair and rebuild after a battle. As such most of the original production run was still in active duty even after centuries of use. Lantren Corporation would eventually introduce a new variant in 3049, the GHR-5J, which upgraded many of its original systems with superior lostech designs. The original model was so popular however that it would continue to outnumber the 5J in decades to come by a ratio of three to one, though when the Draconis Combine introduced their own C3 variant that trend began to reverse. Further variants were introduced in the years following, and the Grasshopper participated in many conflicts, including both sides of the Jihad.[4][8]

[edit] Weapons and Equipment

The Grasshopper carries as its primary weapon a Diplan HD Large Laser in its center torso. Supplementing the large laser at close range are four Diplan M3 Medium Lasers, one on either side of the center torso and one in each arm, allowing the Grasshopper to return fire from any angle with but a torso twist. The large laser's firepower is augmented at long range by a Conan/S LRM-5 launcher mounted in the head and fed by a ton of ammo in the right torso. Too small to be a potent weapon in its own right, most Grasshopper pilots simply use the launcher to soften up a target before they can bring their laser weapons to bear, and on extended campaigns will forgo replenishing their ammunition. This not only lets other 'Mechs make better use of diminishing missile stockpiles, but also removes the potential of an internal ammunition explosion.[9][4]

[edit] Variants

  • GHR-5J 
    An upgrade of the Grasshopper using Star League technology, the 5J replaces the Diplan large laser with a Diverse Optics Sunbeam ER Large Laser, replaces the Conan/S launcher with a Hovertech Streak SRM-2 model, and removes the two torso-mounted medium lasers for a SureFire 444 Anti-Missile System. BV (1.0) = 1,217[5], BV (2.0) = 1,354[10]
  • GHR-5N 
    The 5N is a very basic field upgrade of the Grasshopper introduced in 3040. The large laser and missile launcher have both been removed and in their place was added a PPC and a fifth medium laser respectively. Though the changes increased the design's firepower they also came at a greater risk of overheating the 'Mech, especially if the pilot was careless.[8] BV (1.0) = 1,316[5][11], BV (2.0) = 1,511[citation needed]


  • GHR-7K 
    An upgrade of the 6K introduced in 3068, the 7K replaces the weapons with an eye toward making the Grasshopper independent of supply concerns common during the Jihad. Two arm-mounted Light PPCs provide long-range firepower, while short-range firepower is provided by twin torso-mounted Snub-Nose PPCs. A head-mounted ER Medium Laser takes the place of one of the 6K's heat sinks, while the addition of a Guardian ECM Suite and C3 slave unit makes this Grasshopper a difficult-to-detect guerrilla fighter.[8] BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 1,806[13]
  • GHR-C 
    A basic modification of the 5J model introduced by the Combine in 3052, the Grasshopper C carries a C3 slave unit to allow it to be integrated into a C3 lance. These models often served as the point 'Mech in a C3 lance, where its speed and armoring allowed it to get close enough to the enemy and share this targeting data with friendly units. To make room for the addition of the C3 unit, ammunition for the Streak SRM-2 launcher was reduced by one ton, though since the Streak launcher was already an ammo-efficient design this resulted in no drop in performance.[8] BV (1.0) = 1,219[5], (1,234)[15], BV (2.0) = 1,366[13]

[edit] Custom Variants

  • GHR-7K Gravedigger 
    Piloted by Major Aaron Pollyea during the resistance to the Word of Blake's occupation of New Avalon, this variant was a captured Kuritan 7K prototype which had undergone testing and modification at the NAIS. The C3 slave module and ER medium laser were removed, allowing a pair of medium pulse laser to be mounted in the center torso, while the Guardian ECM had to be moved to the left torso. The use of Triple-Strength Mynomer turned this 'Mech into a extremely dangerous brawler, while fourteen double heat sinks still kept it cool and allowed it to activate the TSM. Major Pollyea terrorized local Word units in his matte-black Gravedigger, ambushing patrols and leading commando-style raids against "the robes."[8] BV (2.0) = 2,084[16]
  • Grasshopper Reynolds 
    The customized Grasshopper used by 3rd Davion Guards Hauptmann Reynolds Allen when he commanded the Allen's Animals raiding company during Operation Bird Dog.[17] To help him hold out against Clan Smoke Jaguar forces on Luzerne, this 'Mech's standard weapons were replaced with a trio of Clan-Tech ER large lasers mounted in the head and center torso supported by a Clan ER Medium Laser mounted in each arm and side torso. The remaining free weight was devoted to IS-grade double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 2,344 [18]
  • GHR-7X 
    A Jihad-era experimental prototype developed on Arc-Royal in 3075, this version used a Torso-Mounted Cockpit, Light Engine, and Endo Steel skeleton as the frame to carry six Improved Jump Jets. The standard weaponry is replaced with a head mounted Medium Pulse Laser and a Bombast Laser in each arm. To find its opponents, the head also carries a Bloodhound Active Probe. [19] Even after the refined GHR-7P entered production, ARM still produced a small number of GHR-7X Grasshoppers in response to customer requests. Even so, less than ten GHR-7X's were ever manufactured, with the two original prototypes lost on Rochelle. [2] BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 1587[20]

[edit] Design Quirks

The GHR-7P Grasshopper variant is subject of the following Design Quirks:[2]

[edit] Gallery

[edit] References

  1. Handbook: House Davion, p. 188
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 129
  3. MUL online date for the Grasshopper
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 150
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Combat Operations, p. 121, 125
  6. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 155
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 86
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 80
  9. Introductory Record Sheets, p. 20
  10. Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 81
  11. 'Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 120
  12. 'Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 121
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 100
  14. Record Sheets: Prototypes, p. 70
  15. Record Sheets: 3060, p. 180
  16. Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p.196
  17. Historical Turning Point: Luzerne, p. 3 "Introduction"
  18. Historical Turning Point: Luzerne, p. 18 "Grasshopper Reynolds"
  19. Experimental Technical Readout: Mercs, p. 5
  20. Experimental Technical Readout: Mercs, p. 18

[edit] Bibliography