The LB-X Autocannon is an advanced variation of the standard Autocannon. Its most notable feature is its ability to fire cluster munitions.
It remains unclear what "LB-X" actually stands for. Several suggested explanations are mentioned in various sources:
- "LB" supposedly stands for "Lubalin Ballistics", the original designer and manufacturer of the weapon
- "Light Barrel - Extended Range"
- "Large Bore - Extended"
Originally developed as part of the CROATOAN project in 2595 by Lubalin Ballistics for the Terran Hegemony, the LB-X 10 Autocannon was a derivative of the standard and relatively primitive Autocannon/10 design used for centuries by every military in the Inner Sphere. Taking advantage of advanced materials such as Endo Steel, the company was able to reduce the weight of the weapon for only a slight increase in bulk and mated it with the advanced Mercury-VII targeting system to boost its effective range. The most notable feature of the weapon was its ability to fire both standard HEAP rounds and a specialized anti-'Mech cluster round.
The cluster round fragments in flight, peppering the target with submunitions. The cannon is able to punch through an opponent's armor with standard rounds, and then fire cluster rounds to increase the chance of scoring a critical hit on a target's internal systems. The LB-X's flak-like 'shotgun' effect also makes it an effective and deadly weapon against AeroSpace Fighters, VTOLs and Infantry.
Rushed to the frontlines, the LB 10-X would first see service with the Star League Defense Force during the final battles against the Rim Worlds Republic and the Taurian Concordat during the Reunification War. By 2680 all the Star League member states were manufacturing the popular weapon for their own needs and even for export to Periphery buyers. Because it was so successful in its role, the Star League ultimately chose to allow development to stagnate with the LB 10-X model.
Like many pieces of advanced technology, the LB 10-X became LosTech in the Inner Sphere after 2840 during the maelstrom of the early Succession Wars. The Clans, however, retained the knowledge to produce the advanced materials the LB-X used, and had adapted and expanded the technology to produce LB-X versions of all autocannon classes around 2820.
Long noted for their affection for autocannons, thanks to the Helm Memory Core the Federated Suns regained the ability to produce the original LB-X 10 in 3035, and using this weapon and Clan-tech salvage were able to introduce Inner Sphere versions of the other LB-X classes in 3058.
The following subtypes of LB-X autocannon exist:
- Capellan Confederation
- Draconis Combine
- Federated Suns
- Lyran Alliance
- Free Rasalhague Republic
- Free Worlds League
- St. Ives Compact
- Word of Blake
- Bithinian Ballistics - Bithinia
- Defiance Industries - Hesperus II
- Alphard Trading Corporation - Kendall
- Quickscell Company - Kalidasa
|“|| That is a legacy of one of the very rare times where a weapon system was named by its brand, rather than as a generic. LB stands for Lubalin Ballistics, who made the LB-X weapons used in the Star League-era Champion BattleMechs.
Herbert A. Beas II
|— Herbert A. Beas II, Lead Developer, 24 March 2014|
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 34 "CHP-1N Champion
- Lead Developer confirms name meaning for "LB-X"
- Era Report: 3062, pp. 104-105 "Museum Technica - Production Directed - LB-X autocannons"
- Über dem Gesetz
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 8 "Star League Technology - Weapons - LB 10-X Autocannon"
- Era Report: 2750, p. 98 "Museum Technica - Offensive Military Technologies - LB-X Autocannon"
- TechManual, p. 207 "Weapons and Heavy Equipment - Heavy Equipment - Autocannons - LB-X Autocannon"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 180 "Rules Annex - Prototype Systems - LB 10-X (LB 10X-P)"
- Era Report: 3052, p. 100 "Museum Technica - Technological Renaissance - Ballistic Weapons"
- Era Report: 3052, p. 102 "Museum Technica - The Clan Edge - Ballistic Weapons"
- Tactical Handbook, p.54
- Technical Readout: 3050, pp. 215-216
- BattleTech Master Rules, p. 124