|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Safe Thrust||2 g|
|Max Thrust||3 g|
|Armament|| 6 x Large Lasers |
12 x Medium Lasers
|Armor||15 tons Standard|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||2/0|
|Heat Sinks||129 Standard|
|BV (2.0)|| 2,508|
Quickly recognizing the need for transportation for the newly invented war machines, the Terran Hegemony Naval Department came up with the stopgap idea of taking a pre-existing cargo ship and converting it into a 'Mech Hauler, selecting the Manatee due to its compact size and robust systems. First deployed against the forces of House Davion's 4th Avalon Hussars on Kentares in 2449, at first the Manatee and the 'Mechs they carried successfully struck at the enemy, proving the value of new 'Mech technology. However the Hussars discovered while the BattleMech was hard to combat, the Manatee was relatively lightly armed and armored, and began targeting and shooting them down, eliminating their 'Mechs before landing. The 'Mech carrying Manatee was quickly retired, though its basic form would serve to inspire the creation of all 'Mech carriers that followed, most notably the Star League era Confederate.
During its conversion from civilian to military transport, the craft was armed with an array of energy weaponry, six identical trios of a single Large Laser and two Medium Lasers on each angle, in order to save weight for spare parts and supplies.
With the class selected for its large open single deck cargo bays, the 'Mech-Manatee saw the bays redesigned to hold the massive 'Mech gantries for a complete Lance. Each 'Mech bay had its own bay door, allowing quick deployment once the craft was grounded, the Manatee developed prior to invention of Orbital Drop Pods. Even with a large part of the cargo bay dedicated to the transported 'Mechs, the Manatee still had space for 396 tons of cargo.
- Original design: the original cargo carrying Manatee was capable of carrying up 1,044 tons of cargo although it lacked any defensive or offensive weaponry and had a crew of just five people. Despite the fact only a small fraction of the class were converted to the role of 'Mech carrier, the historical nature of this role has far out shadowed its more mundane service life. BV (2.0) = 720.
- ↑ 1.01.11.21.18.104.22.168.7Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 78, "Manatee 2449"
- ↑ Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 190-191, "Ship Profile"
- ↑ 3.03.1Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 79, "Manatee (Cargo)"
- Technical Readout: 3026 Revised, pp. 108-109, "Manatee Ship Profile"