|Manufacturer||Wakazashi Enterprises (former), Gorton, Kingsley, and Thorpe Enterprises|
|Use||Close Air Support|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Engine (Type)||Shinobi 250 Turbine|
|Fuel||320 - 2 tons|
|Communications System||Duoteck 5|
|Targeting Tracking System||RCA Instatrac MK II|
|BV (2.0)|| 417|
House Kurita needed to reinforce its dwindling AeroSpace assets near the end of the Third Succession War, and as a stopgap measure created the MechBuster conventional fighter. While having good offensive capabilities, the MechBuster was a long way from a stellar success when it was first introduced. Its Shinobi 250 Turbine engine used a powder-casting technique for its turbine blades which was meant to give them an operating life of 10,000 hours. However, 0.1 percent of the turbines suffered a catastrophic failure after only ten hours of operation. The loss of one prototype and the thousands of man-hours spent trying to find the problem proved fruitless, with the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery finally ordering Shinobi to replace them with traditional blades.
Once assigned to combat duty, the MechBuster proved to be a further disappointment. The fighter had limited ammunition, a very limited fuel load, and its lack of VSTOL capability tied it to easily-targeted airfields. This was well illustrated during the invasion of Sevren in 3024 by House Steiner forces, when two air lances of MechBusters made several brutal attacks on a company from Winfield's Brigade threatening a strategic bridge. The four fighters destroyed seven BattleMechs, suffering only one loss with a lucky shot from a Rifleman. However, upon return to their airfield, the pilots discovered it had been seized by an enemy air-mobile infantry battalion, and were forced to ditch their craft near friendly forces.
The assembly line where MechBusters were built has since been converted to making Shilone aerospace fighters, with only a single workshift dedicated to producing spare parts. However, after its declaration of independence from the Draconis Combine, the Free Rasalhague Republic began purchasing used MechBusters and restarted production to bolster their growing KungsArmé.
Weapons and Equipment
The one asset to the MechBuster is its Zeus 75 Autocannon/20, which fires a four-round burst of hyper-velocity depleted uranium armor penetrators (HDUAP). A single hit from the AC/20 can take out most light and medium 'Mechs, however it only carries one ton of ammunition. The sheer weight of the autocannon and its ammunition also makes the fighter slower and is responsible for the lack of VTOL capability.
The MechBuster has ten external hardpoints, which can be used to carry bombs or other ordnance. When used in conjunction with the fighter's RCA Instatrac Mk II targeting computer, which adjusts for attack angle, drift and altitude, the pilot can see exactly where the bombs will land, improving upon the fighter's capability as a dive-bomber.
- Built as a prototype system, the "SeaBuster" variant of the MechBuster marries a Floatation Hull with a Recon Camera. These two modifications allow the SeaBuster to take off from any available lake or river and function as a reconnaissance asset. This is very useful as the Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle that acts as the main armament only carries a single ton of ammunition, severely limiting battlefield endurance. A mere two and a half tons of Heavy Ferro-Fibrous armor protect the fighter. BV (2.0) = 764
- MUL online date for MechBuster
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 215
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 10
- Technical Readout: 3039, pp. 184-185, "MechBuster Profile"
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 293
- Technical Readout: 3026 Revised, p. 50
- Master Unit List, "MechBuster variants"
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 218
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 12
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 296
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 11
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 216
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 294
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 217
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 295
- Experimental Technical Readout: Periphery, p. 12
- Record Sheets: Unique Fighters, p. 9