|Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Engine||GM 280 XL|
|Communications System||CommuTech Multi-Channel 10|
|Targeting Tracking System||BlazeFire SightLock|
|Jump Jets||HildCo Model 12|
The Cataphract is a heavy BattleMech and one of the first original designs since the start of the Succession Wars, though it had inauspicious beginnings. Desperate for a heavy 'Mech design that their ailing infrastructure could sustainably produce and maintain, the Capellan Confederation designed the Cataphract in 3025 to be assembled from parts they could still manufacture. Dubbed a FrankenMech for its appearance, and using components from the Marauder, Shadow Hawk and Phoenix Hawk, the Cataphract was set to become the Confederation's new standard heavy 'Mech. It entered service just before the Fourth Succession War when the production line on Tikonov fell to the Federated Suns. This embarrassing failure was further compounded when many Davion units, including the Crucis Lancers, adopted the Cataphract as their own. However, the product quality from Tikonov left the Federated Suns wanting (at least in part due to deliberate obstruction by workers still loyal to the Confederation). It was not until 3032 that the Confederation finally replaced the lost factory with one on Betelgeuse, producing their own Cataphracts in time for the Andurien Crisis.
Shortly after conquering Tikonov, the Federated Commonwealth began work on the CTF-3D, intended to stand toe-to-toe with an assault 'Mech and be as versatile as possible. Despite the upgrades the CTF-3D was only marginally deployed by the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth and eventually relegated to the Crucis March Militia as an insult to the Capellans. The onset of the Clan Invasion caused everything still in production, including the Cataphract, to be rushed to the front lines. For their part the Capellans were able to produce the CTF-3D from stolen plans and went about creating their own variant, the CTF-3L, which would go on to make up twenty-five percent of all their newly-acquired heavy 'Mechs during the 3050s. In the years afterwards use of the design would wane, though a few new variants would continue to be produced as new technology and new demands arose.
Weapons and Equipment
The longest ranged weapon carried by the CTF-3D Cataphract is a General Motors Nova-5 Ultra AC/5 in its right arm, boasting a rate of fire twice that of a standard autocannon. This is backed up by a Mydron Excel LB-X Autocannon/10 in its right torso, capable of firing both solid and cluster rounds. It is a more popular weapon than the Ultra AC/5, especially for use in an anti-conventional and anti-aircraft role without the possibility of jamming. Finally, the 'Mech has four Intek Medium Lasers for close range defense, one in each arm firing forward and two in its torso covering the rear. With only two tons of ammo for the LB-X 10 and one ton for the Ultra, if it runs dry the Cataphract must fall back to be reloaded before continuing the fight.
Eleven tons of armor combined with CASE allowed the Cataphract to easily absorb damage. Sixteen heat sinks keep it cool while four HildCo Model 12 jump jets gave it a jumping distance of one hundred and twenty meters. Room for these improvements was made by using a GM 280 XL engine.
- The Confederation experimented with a Cataphract variant carrying the Electronic Warfare Equipment that was mounted on the Raven which was being designed around the same time. It was equipped with a single PPC and Autocannon/5, as well as two arm mounted Medium Lasers, the EW equipment, and a Remote Sensor Dispenser on the rear center torso. A single shipment of CTF-0X prototypes was sent to Sian but line production did not commence afterwards because a request for more EW components was denied.
- The original Cataphract, the 1X model is armed with a Ceres Arms Smasher PPC as its primary weapon, backed up by a SarLon MaxiCannon Autocannon/10 with one ton of ammo and the four Ceres Arms medium lasers. Built before the discovery of the Helm Memory Core, it lacks any advanced Star League technology and is built with a standard VOX 280 engine. The 'Mech also lacks the jump jets of the 3D model. BV (1.0) = 1,092, BV (2.0) = 1,316
- Another prototype of the Cataphract design, the 2X is armed with a much more diverse weapons mix. The PPC has been replaced with a Firmir MaxiLaser Large Laser and the arm-mounted medium lasers replaced with a Hovertec Quad SRM-4 in the left arm. While the Autocannon/10 and torso-mounted medium lasers are kept, the latter now fire forward. An extra ton of autocannon ammo is carried, while two heat sinks were replaced with two additional tons of armor. BV (1.0) = 1,035, BV (2.0) = 1,344
- CTF-3Dd (Drone)
- A Capellan experimental unit in 3071 based on the CTF-3D, the cockpit weight was increased to 6.5 tons to accommodate the robotic drone control and the jump jets were removed. An ER Small Laser was added to the left arm. These Mechs were operated by an AI controller known as The Broken. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = ??
- Produced by the Capellans based on stolen Davion designs, the 3L is an upgraded version of the Cataphract that follows more in line with the prototype 1X model. It is propelled by an XL engine with MASC instead of jump jets allowing it to reach speeds of 86.4 km/h in short bursts. While it is also armed with an LB-X Autocannon/10 as its primary weapon this is instead matched with a Ceres Arms Warrior ER PPC for powerful striking capabilities at long range. Other differences include the use of four Ceres Arms Model W Medium Pulse Lasers and double heat sinks in place of the standard models. This design was produced by the Confederation at Grand Base following the ascension of Chancellor Romano Liao. BV (1.0) = 1,302, BV (2.0) = 1,545
- This basic refit of the 3L replaced the PPC with a Plasma Rifle. Tonnage was freed up for its three tons of ammunition by swapping out the two forward-facing pulse lasers for ER Medium Lasers. The reduced heat load gives the 3LL the luxury of not building heat before it is damaged. BV (2.0) = 1,664
- A Capellan upgrade produced during the 3060s, the 4L was built using a standard fusion engine and utilized thirteen and a half tons of Stealth Armor along with a Guardian ECM suite for protection. The 'Mech is armed with a Gauss Rifle and an ER PPC as its primary weapons, giving it a powerful long-range punch. For close range defense, the 'Mech carries two ER Medium Lasers. Produced in the wake of the Xin Sheng movement and the recapture of Tikonov, the CTF-4L was intended for the growing number of Shadow Lances within the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces. BV (1.0) = 1,634 (1,627), BV (2.0) = 2,037
- The -4X is a Federated Suns prototype produced following the capture of Tikonov, but it never saw use due to a lukewarm reception. The Large Laser of the 2X is retained, but all of the other weapons are removed in favor of two Autocannon/5s and an LRM-5. In order to fit all of this equipment, the top speed is lowered to 56 km/h. In a strange twist of fate, the copious ammunition bins for the autocannons became popular with the creation of special munitions, making this design much more well-liked than it had been in the past. BV (2.0) = 1,216
- This upgrade of the 3D removes the weapons and is powered by a Light Fusion Engine along with enough improved jump jets to leap up to one hundred and eighty meters. This enables it to bring its Plasma Rifle and Light Autocannon/5 to bear, though a one-ton ammunition bin for the autocannon limits its ability to use special munitions. Two ER Medium Lasers provide backup in case an enemy closes with the Cataphract. The variant is protected by Stealth armor and Guardian ECM. The inclusion of a Small Cockpit allows for the armor to be increased to eleven and a half tons worth. BV (2.0) = 1,742
- Introduced after the Thunderbolt-12R was created, the Cataphract-5L uses several components from that design to create an evolution of the Cataphract-4L. The stealth armor and ECM Suite have been replaced by Reflective Armor and a pair of Small Variable Speed Pulse Lasers add to its close in firepower. The medium lasers have been flipped to cover the rear arc. The main armament remains the same as the 4L. BV (2.0) = 2,090
- CTF-2X Cataphract George
- Taking a 2X variant Cataphract salvaged after the 7th Crucis Lancers capture of Tikonov to replace his aging Warhammer, in the lead-up to the War of 3039 Fox's Teeth member George Lytton's Lucky Thirteen was outfitted with an experimental NAIS Mk. III ER Large Laser prototype to replace the standard model and corrosive coolant Double Heat Sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,367
- CTF-3X Cataphract Sara ("Lucky Thirteen")
- Salvaging her father's 'Mech after his death fighting Clan Jade Falcon on Wotan in 3051, fellow Fox's Teeth member Sara Lytton had Lucky Thirteen fully upgraded prior to the FedCom Civil War. Adopting a modern take on the -2X variant's weapons loadout, the now production grade ER large laser is joined by two ER Mediums in the torso while the SRM-4 is swapped for an ammo-efficient Streak SRM-4 and single ton of reloads, with the standard autocannon replaced with an advanced Rotary AC/5 supplied with three tons of ammo. Mounting Ferro-Fibrous armor allows for a ton less to be carried while allowing the installation of CASE in each torso, while switching all its heat sinks to doubles improves its heat dissipation.
- CTF-5MOC Cataphract Naomi
- Magestrix Naomi Centrella's customized variant used during Jihad battles on Sian and later Canopus IV, the 'Mech has been equipped with a Heavy PPC in its right torso and a Plasma Rifle with 2 tons of ammo found its right arm. Also, it has four one-shot Ten-Tube Rocket Launchers mounted into both torsos. As secondary weaponry, it has been given a Medium Pulse Laser in its left torso and Extended Range Medium Laser in the right arm. To handle the heat load the 'Mech has 15 Double heat sinks. To better protect the life of the Magestrix, the 'Mech is encased with Stealth Armor with its required Guardian ECM Suite. To give it mobility, the customized machine has four Jump Jets mounted into its torsos. BV (2.0) = 2,104
These variants were introduced in various apocryphal sources, and thus far have not appeared in any canonical media.
From MechWarrior Online:
- CTF-IM Ilya Muromets
- The Cataphract Hero 'Mech, Grigori Kovalenko's custom Cataphract "Ilya Muromets", Identification Number CTF2X0042A-1013, is armed with an AC/5 in each arm, supported by a right arm Small Laser, a Medium Laser in each side torso and a right torso mounted AC/10. Such a heavy autocannon loadout is made possible through the use of 280 rated XL engine, while three tons of AC/5 rounds and two of AC/10 reloads keep those cannons firing.
- This variant is identical to the MWO version
- Caesar - One of the first new 'Mechs designed for the AFFC, the Caesar resembles a smoother and streamlined Cataphract, with captured Capellan 'Mechs used in the early development testing for the design. Closer to the original Capellan rather than Davion Cataphract, the Caesar mounts an ER PPC, Gauss Rifle and four Medium Pulse Lasers.
Following are design quirks, Unless partial variant is named, all fall under the Design Quirk List from BattleMech Manual.
- The errata (version 2.0) for Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade indicated the data for the CTF-3D's engine (on page 79) should identify it as an XL.
Original Cataphract from Technical Readout: 3050
CTF-3D Cataphract from TRO:3050 Upgrade
CTF-1X Cataphract from TRO:3039
Cataphract from RG:ilClan v6
Experimental CTF-0X Cataphract from XTRO:SW I
CTF-2X Cataphract from BP:4thSW
CTF-1X Cataphract in combat from CCG
CTF-IM Cataphract "Ilya Muromets" from MW5:Mercs
- MUL online date for the Cataphract
- Combat Operations, p. 122
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 75
- Blood Legacy, p. 49
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 230
- From the Ruins
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 78
- Technical Readout: 3050, p. 142
- Experimental Technical Readout: Succession Wars, Volume 1, p. 6
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 153
- Record Sheets, p. 154
- Necromo Nightmare, p. 22
- 'Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 118
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, Inner Sphere, p. 190
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 6, p. 13
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, Vol. 6, p. 20
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 21, 102
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 31, 112
- Record Sheets: Sword and Dragon, p. 7
- Jihad Turning Points: Sian, p. 2, 7, & 13 - Intro, 3rd Canopian Fusiliers profile, and Record sheet for Cataphract Naomi.
- Upcoming Hero Mech: Ilya Muromets
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (ingame)
- BattleMech Manual, p. 90 Design Quirk Table - Cataphract.
- BattleMech Manual
- BattlePack: Fourth Succession War
- Blood Legacy (Novel)
- Combat Operations
- Experimental Technical Readout: Succession Wars, Volume 1
- Field Manual: Capellan Confederation
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation)
- Jihad Turning Points: Sian
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- MechWarrior Online
- Necromo Nightmare
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 6
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: Sword and Dragon
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
- Sword and Fire
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Upcoming Hero Mech: Ilya Muromets