|Manufacturer||J.B. BattleMechs Inc.|
|Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Armor||SimplePlate Manufacturers Type M|
|Communications System||Jolex Systems|
|Targeting Tracking System||Optisight-12|
|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 kph and a jumping distance of one hundred and eighty meters. The 'Mech also had an almost all energy weapons loadout, but cooled only by ten standard 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 battle-worthy 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. A Chameleon is a medium 'Mech, but 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; these special abilities 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. This was 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) A formerly common but now obscure training 'Mech, the TRC-4B was armed with one Large Laser, two Medium Lasers, four Small Lasers and two Machine Guns. With only 10 normal heat sinks this 'Mech was quite prone to overheating. 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) = ?
- 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. BV (1.0) = 1,101, BV (2.0) = 1,243
- 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 perfectly translated to Chamäleon. The model code was left unchanged.
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade, pp. 132-133, "Chameleon"
- MUL online entry for Chameleon
- Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11
- Record Sheets: 3058 Upgrades, p. 213
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 240
- Technical Readout: 3058, p. 106
- Wolf Pack, p.??
- Wolf Pack, Chapter 41
- BattleTech 2nd Edition: BattleMech Training, p. 1
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 241
- 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