|Manufacturer||Defiance Industries (7V; discontinued 3052)
|'Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Armor||SimplePlate Manufacturers Type M|
|Communications System||Jolex Systems|
|Targeting Tracking System||Optisight-12|
|Heat Sinks||10 single|
|Jump Jets||McCloud Specials|
Since the Terran Hegemony introduced it in 2510, the Chameleon has been the premiere training BattleMech for light- and medium-BattleMech MechWarriors. In fact, with its role away from the battlefield, except in the most desperate of circumstances, the Chameleon has suffered relatively little attrition. Combined with its continuous production on Hesperus II, the Chameleon is one of the most common BattleMechs. Even in the 31st century, the Chameleon is widely used at academies and training cadres throughout the Inner Sphere.
The Chameleon was designed to help a new MechWarrior master the skills of maneuvering and heat management, with a top speed of 97.2 km/h and a jumping distance of 180 meters. The 'Mech also had an almost all energy weapons loadout, but cooled only by 10 single heat sinks; this paucity of freezers forces MechWarriors to concentrate on the 'Mech's heat levels. In some instances, the Chameleon had been forced into combat situations, notably during the Dragoon Civil War.
Production of the Chameleon halted briefly in 3052 when Defiance Industries decided to switch its production to the Nightsky, but was quickly resumed when J.B. BattleMechs Incorporated purchased the rights to the design. J.B. BattleMechs also introduced two battleworthy variants of the Chameleon.
The Chameleon is a training 'Mech, intended to simulate a variety of opponents by mounting a wide variety of weapon systems. While a medium 'Mech by design, it doesn't always look like one; it can be fitted out with extra plates to modify its appearance, and carries special electronics to falsify its signature. It is these special abilities that let it look and scan as something other than what it is, hence the machine's name.
Weapons and Equipment
The Chameleon carried a basic arsenal that allowed a MechWarrior-in-training to learn the skill of heat management. The 'Mech's reliable low-tech arsenal had proven effective when forced into combat; the primary weapon was a Cyclops Eye large laser, backed up by two Intek medium lasers, and a trio of Defiance B3S small lasers. To make the threat of overheating more real to the new MechWarrior, the 'Mech carried two Scatter Gun Light machine guns that can be used for anti-infantry training.
- Also referred to as the CHM-3 Chameleon Training Scout, this formerly common but now obscure training 'Mech was armed with one large laser, two medium lasers, four small lasers, and two machine guns. With only 10 single heat sink this 'Mech was quite prone to overheating, forcing trainees to carefully manage their heat. As manufactured, this 'Mech is perhaps the only Level 1 official, if not canonical, design with 3 critical spaces of equipment installed in the center torso, two machine guns and half a ton of ammo, in violation of the design rules released with it. Additionally, as released, a quarter ton of armor remained unallocated. BV (1.0) = 811; BV (2.0) = ?
- An editing error. Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 241, presented the stats for the TRC-4B but gives the alphanumerical code as CLN-4V. This was corrected to TRC-4B in official errata, and it was also expressly clarified that there is no CLN-4V variant of the Chameleon.
- The 7W variant of the Chameleon looked to use the 'Mech in a full-time combat role. The 'Mech had upgraded the large laser to an ER large laser. Additionally, the machine guns and small lasers had been removed and replaced with a medium pulse laser and double heat sinks. J.B. BattleMechs allowed pilots to turn off the heat management software for battlefield flexibility. BV (1.0) = 1,101; BV (2.0) = 1,243
- Another J.B. BattleMechs combat variant of the Chameleon, the 7Z carried as its primary weapons two large lasers and a single ER large laser. The 7Z carried no other secondary weapons on its chassis and used 12 double heat sinks to handle its massive heat load. BV (1.0) = 1,283; BV (2.0) = 1,527
- This one-off Q-Mech variant of the Chameleon hunted down and attacked senior officers in several academies across the Inner Sphere. It was equipped with a heavy PPC and PPC capacitor, and three improved heavy medium lasers tied into an advanced Clan targeting computer. An Angel ECM suite is mounted in the center torso to disguise its weapons. Despite the increased scrutiny and security at academies caused by this 'Mech, it wasn't a success on the field, with only one confirmed KIA.
- In German products, the unit's proper name was translated to Chamäleon. The model code was left unchanged.
Original TRC-4B Chameleon from BattleTech, Second Edition rulebook
Chameleon from TRO:3058
Experimental CLN-7VQ Chameleon from XTRO:Phantoms
CLN-7W Chameleon in battle from CCG
- Technical Readout: Succession Wars, pp. 78–79: CLN-7V Chameleon
- MUL online entry for Chameleon
- Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade, pp. 132–133: "Chameleon"
- Record Sheets: 3058 Upgrades, p. 213
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 240
- Technical Readout: 3058, p. 106
- Wolf Pack, p. ??
- Wolf Pack, ch. 41
- BattleTech 2nd Edition: BattleMech Training, p. 1
- In this posting on the official BattleTech forum by Joshua "nckestrel" Franklin: "There is errata for RS 3058U stating "Chameleon CLN-4V, p. 241 designation - replace "CLN-4V" with "TRC-4B"" IE. There is no CLN-4V."
- Record Sheets: 3058 Upgrades, p. 214
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 242
- Record Sheets: 3058 Upgrades, p. 215
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 243
- Experimental Technical Readout: Phantoms, p. 4
- BattleMech Manual, p. 90: BattleMech Quirk Table -CLN-7V Entry