Banshee (BattleMech)

This article is about the 95-ton BattleMech. For other uses, see Banshee.
Banshee (BattleMech)
Production information
Manufacturer Defiance Industries (3E, 3S refit, 9S, 11X, 12S)[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Diplass BattleMechs[7]

Star League Weapons Research

Production Year 2475[8]
Model BNC-3E
Class Assault
Cost 9,522,078 C-bills
Technical specifications
'Mech type Inner Sphere BattleMech
Mass 95 tons
Chassis Star League XT
Armor Starshield
Engine GM 380
Communications System Dalban Comline
Targeting Tracking System Dalban HiRez-B
Heat Sinks 16 single
Speed 64.8 km/h
BV (1.0) 1,223[9]
BV (2.0) 1,422[10]


The Banshee, introduced in 2445 by the Terran Hegemony,[11][12] is a 'Mech that was designed specifically for close-assault operations during the early years of BattleMech warfare. A contemporary of the Mackie and Emperor, the Banshee is undeniably fast for one of the heaviest 'Mechs ever produced, and with fifteen tons of armor it is better protected than most other assault 'Mechs. However the use of a massive GM 380 fusion engine left little room for weaponry, and even at the time of its introduction the Banshee was considered undergunned compared to its privately-built competition. As critics noted, what use was impressive armor and mobility if a better-armed enemy could overwhelm and destroy it? The result was a mediocre 'Mech which even the lowly Rifleman could beat as long as it prevented the Banshee's mass from coming into play.[13][14]

The Hegemony soldiered on though, producing five thousand Banshees in a decade before its poor combat performance finally forced them to stop production in 2485 and the 'Mech was relegated to training and militia units for the next few centuries. Even during the Succession Wars the 'Mech's poor reputation meant many commanders saw it as a liability rather than an asset; unless they were fighting on a backwater Periphery world or as part of a poorly-equipped outfit, most Banshees were placed in second-line reserves to provide fire support or fulfill the role of brawlers so that better-armed 'Mechs need not engage in hand-to-hand combat. In this way fully a third of the original Banshee production run remained operational by the dawn of the thirty-first century and could be found throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery, with the lion's share residing within the Lyran Commonwealth.[13][14][15][2]

Though a few attempts had been made over the years to improve the Banshee, Defiance Industries was the first to produce a variant which markedly improved on the original and was suggested by many of its original critics. With help from the Federated Suns and access to blueprints from the original Hesperus II factories, the BNC-3S proved to be such a success the Lyrans began fielding them in front line units, surprising their enemies who ignored them to focus on "real" threats with thoroughly unexpected firepower. Under the Federated Commonwealth improvements would continue to be made, though not at the same priority level as other projects, and the much-improved BNC-5S was active in time to meet the Clan Invasion.[14][15][2]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The two primary weapons on the Banshee, a Magna Hellstar PPC matched up with an Imperator-A Autocannon/5 with one ton of ammo, are mounted in the right and left sides of its torso. The two systems complement each other with similar range profiles and would provide good firepower for a 'Mech weighing at half the tonnage of the Banshee. Perversely for a close-combat 'Mech their minimum ranges means both weapons present targeting difficulties as the Banshee closes in on its enemy, and a Magna Mk I Small Laser mounted in its head appears to have been installed as an afterthought. Sixteen heat sinks help keep the 'Mech cool though, and thanks to its prodigious size the Banshee can turn lighter 'Mechs to scrap in hand-to-hand fighting.[13][14][16][17]


  • BNC-1E 
    The original design first produced in 2445, this Banshee variant carries the PPC, Autocannon/5, and Small Laser of the later 3E, as well as a pair of medium lasers. As one of the largest 'Mechs produced with primitive technology, the engine was restricted to a top speed of 54 km/h. More than twenty-two tons of Primitive Armor provided protection to the MechWarrior. The poor top speed of the Banshee-1E was the core design obstacle later engineers would try to overcome in the 3E series. They succeeded, but at the cost of firepower.[18]
  • BNC-3EA 
    Exclusive to Noisiel and serving as one of the "Queens" in the Noisiel Summer Games' famed "BattleChess" matches, the low technology BNC-3EA trades the standard BNC-3E's PPC for a Large Laser, saving weight to add a single rear-facing Small Laser to each side torso and forward facing medium laser in the center torso.[19]
  • BNC-3M 
    The 3M was the first attempt to truly alter the original Banshee and increase its raw firepower. Produced in 2579 by the Free Worlds League the 3M replaced the Autocannon/5 with a second PPC and installed two medium lasers. While this does increase the firepower of the 'Mech, it puts an incredible heat burden on the machine as well.[13][14] BV (1.0) = 1,267, BV (2.0) = 1,595[20]
  • BNC-3MC 
    The 3MC was developed by the Magistracy of Canopus around the time of the War of 3039. It removes five heat sinks and the AC/5 to make room for an Autocannon/10 with two tons of ammunition. Armor protection, speed, and other weaponry remains the same as the -3E model Banshee.[2][2][14] BV (2.0) = 1,487[21]
  • BNC-3Mr 
    This Jihad-era field refit replaces the standard heat sinks with double strength models. An ER PPC and ER medium lasers replace the standard versions, with the updated heat sinks able to dissipate the increased heat.[22] BV (2.0) = 1,801[23]
  • BNC-3Q 
    A 2915 Marik variant produced due to a lack of PPCs, the 3Q removes both Autocannon/5 and PPC and replaces them with a massive Imperator-Zeta Autocannon/20. While this increases the sheer firepower that the Banshee brings to the fight, it also lacks any real secondary weapons and the fact that it has no long range firepower makes it even more vulnerable to bombardment from lighter, better armed 'Mechs.[2][13][14] BV (1.0) = 1,151, BV (2.0) = 1,394[24]
  • BNC-3S 
    The 3026 3S was Defiance Industries' attempt to turn the Banshee into a typical assault 'Mech, replacing the bulky GM engine with a lighter Pitban 285. While this reduces its maximum speed to 54 km/h, it also frees up a great deal of room for weapons. The 'Mech is armed with a mismatched pair of PPCs, the original torso-mounted Magna and a Donal version in the arm, for long range fire supported by an Imperator-B Autocannon/10 to engage an enemy at intermediate ranges, four Magna Mk II medium lasers and a Harpoon-6 SRM-6 launcher for short-range combat, and finally a second Small Laser to round out the weapons payload. Five more heat sinks were added, though overheating remains a problem, and its armoring remains the same.[2][13][14][2] BV (1.0) = 1,323,[25] BV (2.0) = 1,751[26]
  • BNC-7S 
    The 7S is an upgrade of the 5S model and is also powered by a Light Fusion Engine. The 'Mech is built on an Endo Steel chassis and carries fifteen and a half tons of armor. The 7S is armed with a Gauss rifle and an ER PPC for long-range firepower. For close range support, it has an SRM-6 and four ER medium lasers.[30] BV (1.0) = 1,687,[25] BV (2.0) = 2,126[10]
  • BNC-8S 
    The variant of the Banshee was created by the Word of Blake after they took over Hesperus II in 3070. It turns the 'Mech into a brawler with the inclusion of Triple Strength Myomer and a Hatchet. It returns to the XL engine of the 5S and keeps the ubiquitous Small Laser. The LB-X Autocannon/10 is retained from the 6S, though it moves to the other side. An ER Large Laser is added for use at long range and a Snub-Nose PPC is effective at medium range, though it is more damaging up close. An XL Gyro frees up tonnage for four medium lasers, two standard and two extended range models, as well an ER Small Laser. The inclusion of only thirteen double heat sinks ensures that the myomer activates easily. A C3 slave unit allows the 8S to share targeting telemetry, though the fact that it is not one of the Word's improved versions suggests that this 'Mech is not intended for use by Word of Blake Militia, but rather their mercenaries or even important planetary garrisons. Finally, eighteen tons of armor and a Guardian ECM Suite radically improve the defenses of the venerable Banshee.[31] BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 2,369[10]
  • BNC-9S 
    This upgrade of the 8S was produced by Defiance Industries at their Kwangjong-ni annex while Word of Blake held Hesperus II. It retains the light engine of earlier models, but returns to the speed of the earliest versions. It carries a Defiance 753 Heavy PPC, Defiance 250 Light PPC, and Poland Main Model A Gauss Rifle for long range combat. Should an enemy survive long enough to close with the 9S, it can utilize three Defiance E3M ER medium lasers and a single Defiance B3M medium laser. A TharHes Maxi SRM-6 can exploit weaknesses in an opposing unit's armor, while CASE keeps the ammunition from doing too much damage in the event of an explosion. In order to make room for all of these things, the XL Gyro of the 8S is also retained. Finally, a Targeting Computer improves the accuracy of all the weapons except for the missile launcher.[4] BV (1.0) = ?, BV (2.0) = 2,496[32]
  • BNC-9S2 
    This version of the Banshee carries a Heavy PPC, two Light PPCs, Gauss Rifle, and an ER medium laser. All these weapons are tied into a Targeting Computer, and a C3 boosted slave allows it to share targeting data with other friendly units. It uses a light fusion engine and XL Gyro to free weight for these weapons and equipment. BV (2.0) = 2,426[33]
  • BNC-12S 
    This Dark Age variant uses a Clan-spec XL engine to reach a top speed of 64 km/h. An Endo Steel skeleton is used to free weight. The left arm carries an ER PPC, the left torso carries a Gauss rifle, and the right torso carries an ER PPC and SRM-6. The SRM ammo and Gauss Rifle are in the left torso and are protected by CASE. Two tons of Gauss Rifle ammo is carried in the left leg. The remaining weapons (an ER Small Laser in the head and center torso and four ER medium lasers in the right torso) are built to Clan standards. Fourteen double heat sinks are fitted in the engine. The remaining weight is devoted to armor, providing vast amounts of protection. BV (2.0) = 2,562[34]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • BNC-3S Reinesblatt 
    A customized BNC-3S geared toward close combat. The PPCs are removed in favor of a left arm Hatchet and a right arm Large Laser. Also, the SRM-6 is swapped for an LRM-10. BV (2.0) = 1678[35]
  • BNC-5S Sawyer 
    A customized BNC-5S that sacrifices weaponry for mobility. An ER PPC and heat sink are removed to add four jump jets. BV (2.0) = 2,094[36]

  • BNC-5S Vandergriff
    A custom BNC-5S piloted by Solaris VII duelist Victor Vandergriff during the Solaris Riots of 3062. The weapon loadout in this variant is similar to a standard BNC-5S. Two ER PPCs are the main armaments, one mounted in the left arm and the other in the right torso. An LB-10X sits in the left torso. The two medium lasers of the original are retained in the left arm. The right arm contains a small SRM-4. Finally, four Luxor jump jets are added for increased mobility.[37] BV (2.0) = 1,853[38]
  • BNC-11X 
    Limited to three chassis, this Banshee model was a thought experiment by Defiance Industries engineers at Kwangjong-ni. Seeking to maximize protection, these engineers installed Armored Shoulder and Armored Hip actuators to prevent the 'Mech from losing a limb. The MechWarrior is protected by an Armored Cockpit. They also maximized protection by adding a ton of Modular Armor to each arm, leg, and forward torso. To make room for this equipment, they used an Endo Steel chassis and a Clan-spec XL engine. For weapons, the engineers installed a Silver Bullet Gauss Rifle and a pair of Bombast Lasers, while an ER Small Laser fills the head as an afterthought. Though not particularly quick (max speed 54 km/h) this Banshee variant can take massive amounts of damage before it falls. BV(2.0) = 2,030[39]

Apocryphal Variants[edit]

Apocryphal Content Starts

The information after this notice comes from apocryphal sources; the canonicity of such information is uncertain.
Please view the reference page for information regarding their canonicity.

From MechWarrior 5: Call to Arms Expansion Pack:

  • BNC-2P 
    A melee-focused variation of the BNC-3E model introduced in 3026, the 2P retains the right-torso PPC and head-mounted small laser but drops the AC/5 and its ammo for medium lasers to free up the weight for an assault katana carried in the right arm.[40]

From MechWarrior 5: Heroes of the Inner Sphere Expansion Pack:

  • BNC-3P
    The BNC-3P mounts a medium chemical laser, a medium laser, and a Supercharger MKV sit in the right torso. Two medium chemical lasers and a medium laser are mounted in the left torso. The head contains a Small Laser.[41]

From MechWarrior Online:

  • BNC-SR Siren
    MWO's recreation of Victor Vandergriff's customized BNC-5S piloted during the Solaris Riots. It mounts Two ER PPCs, one mounted in the left arm and the other in the right torso. An LB-10X sits in the left torso. Two medium lasers are mounted in the left arm, the right arm contains an SRM-4. This variant is also the only Banshee variant in game to mount Jump Jets, of which it has four: two in each leg.[43]

Apocryphal Content Ends

Design Quirks[edit]

The Banshee has the following Design Quirks:[44]

The BNC-1E Banshee variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[18]

Notable Pilots[edit]

See: Category:Notable Banshee Pilots


  • In French products, the unit's proper name was kept as Banshee, which has the same meaning in both languages.



  1. Technical Readout: 3039, p. 166: "BNC-3E Banshee"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Technical Readout: Succession Wars, pp. 176–177: "BNC-3S Banshee"
  3. Technical Readout: 3050 Update, p. 104: "BNC-5S Banshee"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Another Banshee rears its Death's Head (dead link)
  5. Experimental Technical Readout: Steiner, p. 8: "BNC-11X Banshee"
  6. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 17, p. 37: "BNC-11S Banshee"
  7. Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 11: "Infrastructural Integrity"
  8. MUL online date for the Banshee (BattleMech)
  9. Combat Operations, p. 121
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 67
  11. Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11: "BattleMech Tech Timeline"
  12. Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 2, p. 8
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 116
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 166
  15. 15.0 15.1 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 104
  16. Classic BattleTech Introductory Record Sheets, p. 24
  17. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 188
  18. 18.0 18.1 Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 2, p. 8
  19. Touring the Sphere: Noisiel, p. 15: "Noisiel Game Rules - Noisiel BattleChess - Noisiel BattleChess Pieces"
  20. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 189
  21. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 265
  22. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 190
  23. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - Old is the New New, p. 119
  24. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 190
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Combat Operations, p. 131
  26. Record Sheets: 3030, p. 191
  27. Record Sheets: 3050 (Inner Sphere), p. 201
  28. Record Sheets: 3050 (Inner Sphere), p. 202
  29. Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 151
  30. Record Sheets: 3050 (Inner Sphere), p. 203
  31. Record Sheets: 3050 (Inner Sphere), p. 204
  32. MUL entry for the BNC-9S
  33. Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 181
  34. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 17, p. 37
  35. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 268
  36. Record Sheets: 3050 (Inner Sphere) Unabridged, p. 267
  37. Illusions of Victory, ch. 18
  38. Record Sheets: 3050 (Inner Sphere) Unabridged, p. 268
  39. Experimental Technical Readout: Steiner, p. 8
  40. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Call to Arms
  41. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Heroes of the Inner Sphere
  42. MechWarrior Online Hero 'Mech La Malinche
  43. MechWarrior Online Solaris-7 Sale Page
  44. BattleMech Manual, p. 90: Battlemech Quirk Table