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|Manufacturer||Newhart Interstellar Industries Limited |
Nimakachi Fusion Products Limited
Krupp Armament Works
|Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Communications System||O/P 500A|
|Targeting Tracking System||O/P TA 1240|
|Jump Jets||Pitban LFT-10|
The Spider was the first BattleMech produced by Newhart Industries, designed in 2650 as a light reconnaissance and attack 'Mech to be used by Star League Defense Force Special Operations forces such as the Blackhearts. Beyond exceeding all of the SLDF's minimum requirements Newhart had actually designed the Spider before receiving the Star League's request for proposals and were ready to begin production immediately, factors which helped the company win the contract very quickly. In terms of maneuverability the Spider has a ground speed comparable to a Locust and can out-jump either the vaunted Wasp or Stinger light 'Mechs. Built with top-of-the-line reliable parts, sophisticated reconnaissance equipment and an energy weapon payload which allowed for extended operations without resupply, the Spider was a great success. While not produced in large numbers it could be rapidly manufactured and so served up through to the end of the Star League.
Newhart's Spider factory on New Earth was destroyed in 2776 as part of the Amaris Civil War and very few Spiders ended up in the hands of the Successor States when the Star League dissolved. As their numbers began to dwindle during the Succession Wars, entire offensive operations were conducted simply to secure spare parts for these 'Mechs. So rare was the Spider that Wolf's Dragoons were notable for having an entire lance of Spiders (albeit split among the various regiments). This trend towards extinction was finally reversed when the Free Worlds League was able to secure the schematics for the Spider. In a deal with Nimakachi Fusion Products Limited, the company was given exclusive control of the 'Mech's technical specifications in exchange for building them for the Free Worlds League. Nimakachi began building new Spiders from their factory on Tematagi and later expanded their facilities on Lapida II to produce them as well, resulting in the Free Worlds League and Draconis Combine having the largest number of Spiders in active service.
The recovery of lost Star League technology inspired Nimakachi to update the Spider with new upgrades, resulting in the improved SDR-7M and the derivative Venom. While the Free Worlds League did not express much interest in these 'Mechs, Nimakachi found ready buyers among the other Great Houses. In particular the Draconis Combine had lost a large number of light 'Mechs during the Clan Invasion and bought up local- and foreign-made Spiders to replenish their ranks. The Word of Blake also expressed an interest in these Spiders and bought a number to outfit their military. These Spiders were used as part of the Blakist conquest of Terra and were later gifted to the Protectorate Militia, where they fought in the Jihad. Starting in 3067, the Spider was restyled by Nimakachi which allowed the addition of an ejection system to the cockpit of the new SDR-7K, 7K2, and 7KC.
Weapons and Equipment
The Spider carries a very light armament of two Aberdovey Mk III Medium Lasers mounted in its center torso next to the fusion engine. While more expensive than the common Martell lasers mounted on other 'Mechs they are of superior quality and require very little maintenance. Waste heat generated by the lasers are handled by the standard number of ten heat sinks mounted in the fusion engine. Three and a half tons of armor provide some measure of protection, although most Spider pilots agree that speed is the best defense. The unique armor alignment on the front of the Spider is what gave the 'Mech its name. This spiderweb pattern is further emphasized by a bright red fiberglass sealant in the seams between armor plates.
The Spider carries a grand total of eight jump jets, four each in the left and right torso, giving it an incredible jumping distance of 240 meters. Cutting-edge components, the jump jets can pivot the 'Mech in mid-flight while still reaching its original landing point thanks to advanced computer tracking. This ability for the Spider to "twitch" in the air gives it greater protection as even the most advanced targeting computers can have a hard time acquiring a lock.
The O/P communications system and targeting-tracking system are fully integrated in the Spider, meaning both verbal communications and sensor readings can be transmitted back to headquarters. This advanced computer set-up even includes an entertainment system for those long, lonely nights on recon duty. It also has a serious drawback, in that the system combined with the head's armor layout leaves no space for a proper ejection system: the pilot must manually reach the lower hatch on their own in order to exit the 'Mech. Many Spider pilots therefore practice quickly exiting the 'Mech during their downtime, especially those variants which carry vulnerable ammunition liable to cook-off.
- The 5D Spider is one of two official variants originally developed by Newhart. Geared towards anti-infantry work, it removes one of the medium lasers and replaces it with a single Flamer in the right arm. It was introduced in 2853 and, after the Star League fell, was primarily used by the Federated Suns. The variant was normally used by militia units since others saw its mission of hunting infantry as a waste of a good 'Mech. BV (1.0) = 412, BV (2.0) = 524
- The 5K Spider is one of two official variants originally developed by Newhart. Also geared towards anti-infantry work, it removes one of the Medium Lasers and replaces it with two arm mounted Machine Guns fed by one ton of ammo stored in the center torso. To make room for its Machine Gun ammunition, the 'Mech sacrifices 60 meters of its jump capability by removing two jump jets. First introduced in 2850, it was primarily used by the Draconis Combine during the Succession Wars. The variant was normally used by militia units since others saw its mission of hunting infantry as a waste of a good 'Mech. BV (1.0) = 433, BV (2.0) = 503
- The 7K is an upgrade of the base design, introduced by Nimakachi in 3067 and based on the success of other revitalized classic designs. It's built using an Endo Steel structure and five and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor, a Light Fusion Engine in place of the standard model, and carries two Medium Pulse Lasers. Perhaps most critically, Nimakachi was able to finally install an ejection system in the 7K. BV (1.0) = 688
- The 7M was Nimakachi's upgrade of the venerable Spider with recovered Star League technology. Released in 3051 it uses a Crucis-II Delux Endo Steel chassis and three tons of Kallon FWL Special Ferro-Fibrous armor, freeing up weight to replace the two medium lasers with two Tronel XII medium pulse lasers. Many of the components were also replaced with proprietary technology, including Rawlings 75 jump jets, an Omicron 4002 Networking Channel, and a TRSS Eagle Eye targeting system. One thing they could not do however was include an ejection system for the pilot. BV (1.0) = 492, BV (2.0) = 621
- A post-Jihad variant developed by the Combine in 3084, the SDR-8K uses a Compact Gyro and a 240 XL Fusion Engine to maintain its ground speed while allowing it to carry four tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor, the extra weight left being used to swap the lasers of the stock Spider for a single torso mounted PPC Capacitor-enhanced Snub-Nose PPC. BV (2.0) = 1,007
- A post-Jihad variant produced by Krupp Armament Works for the Republic of the Sphere in 3084, the production model 8R was based on the prototype SDR-8X that used during the liberation of Terra. Built on an Endo Steel chassis and powered by a smaller 210 Light Fusion Engine - while its ground speed was reduced, the SDR-8R's ten Pitban LFT-20X Improved Jump Jets gave it amazing maneuverability. Carrying ten double heat sinks allowed the 8R to fire its twin Diverse Optics ER Medium Lasers and jump without fear of overheating. Boasting a very different look, the redesigned 8R was also notable for being one of the first Spiders to include an ejection system.  BV (2.0) = 694
From MechWarrior Online:
- Venom - While stepping up production of the Spider to meet increasing demand during the Clan Invasion, Nimakachi also introduced a new slightly heavier, uprated version of that venerable 'Mech called the Venom.
Original image of the SDR-7M Spider from TRO:3050
MechWarrior Online concept art of the Spider
BattleTech Fourth Edition token of the Spider
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 20-21
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 106-107
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 20-21
- Master Unit List: Spider SDR-5D
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 76
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 85, "SDR-5K Spider"
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 77
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 151
- Technical Readout: 3085", p. 64, "SDR-8R" Spider
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 190
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 92
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 93
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 50
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 65, "SDR-8R" Spider
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 95
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 89
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 88
- Introductory Record Sheets
- Master Unit List
- MWDA Spirit Cats's Dossier of Lenett Lossey
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3085