Narc Missile Beacon
|Narc Missile Beacon|
|Tech Base||Clan / Inner Sphere (IS)|
|Year Availability|| Clan = 2828
IS = 3035
|Year Introduced||Clan = 2828 CHH|
|Year Extinction||IS = 2795|
|Year Reintroduced||IS = 3035 FWL|
|Short Range|| Clan = 1-4
IS = 1-3
|Medium Range|| Clan = 5-8
IS = 4-6
|Long Range|| Clan = 9-12
IS = 7-9
|Tons|| Clan = 2
IS = 3
|Critical Slots|| Clan = 1
IS = 2
|Ammo Per Ton||6|
|Ammo Cost (per ton)||6,000 (homing)|
|BV (1.0)|| Clan = ???
IS = 50
|BV (2.0)||30 (launcher) / 6 (ammo)|
The Narc Missile Beacon is a missile homing utility that can be planted on enemy targets, causing friendly SRMs and LRM missiles (even those that do not traditionally have homing capabilities) to lock on to them. They are particularly useful when used in tandem with LRMs.
Causing quite a stir when it was introduced in 2587, the Narc system offered a radically different way of improve missile target acquisition. The culmination of project TATTLETALE by the Terran Hegemony, the Narc launcher fires a short-range missile whose explosive warhead was replaced with a special Homing Pod mounted behind a magnetic head. These pods broadcast a wide-range electromagnetic beacon, one which can be tracked by SRMs and LRMs whose guidance systems have been modified to home in on the signal. The end result is vastly improved accuracy against targets marked with a Narc beacon.
The reason the Narc system is superior to the similar Artemis IV FCS is that the target lock is never broken because the homing beacon is attached to the target, and that other friendly 'Mechs can fire missiles equipped to follow the signal without carrying their own Narc beacons.
However the Narc system is not without flaws, the main one being its short range. Narc equipped LRMs have double the range of a Narc pod, requiring either a dedicated spotter to close and tag enemies with Narc pods or for the launching 'Mech to close, tag and pull back to fire, a less than ideal arrangement. Also, SRMs and LRMs equipped to track the Narc homing signal cost twice as much as standard munitions. These disadvantages led to the creation of alternate Narc ammunition such as the Explosive Pod to give the launcher more tactical flexibility and the Improved Narc Missile Beacon offering increased range.
The Narc Missile Beacon is manufactured on the following planets:
- TechManual, pp. 232-233, "Narc Missile Beacon"
- TechManual, p. 343, "Clan Heavy Weapons And Equipment Table"
- TechManual, p. 342, "Inner Sphere Heavy Weapons And Equipment Table"
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 11, "Narc Missile Beacon"
- TechManual, p. 317, "Inner Sphere Weapons And Equipment BV Table"
- BattleTech Master Rules, p. 133, "Equipment - Narc Missile Beacon"
- Era Report: 2750, p. 100, "Narc Missile Beacon"