This article is about the BattleMech. For the Clan faction, see Crusader Clans.
Production information
Manufacturer Kallon Industries

Brigadier Corporation[1]

Tao 'Mechworks

TharHes Industries

Production Year 2752[2]
Model CRD-3R
Class Heavy
Cost 5,686,010 C-bills
Technical specifications
Mech type Inner Sphere BattleMech
Mass 65 tons
Chassis Crucis-B
Armor Riese-500
Engine Magna 260
Communications System Garret T11-b[1]
Targeting Tracking System Garret A6[1]
Heat Sinks 10
Speed 64.8 km/h
BV (1.0) 948[3]
BV (2.0) 1,317[1][4]


The Crusader was initially designed as a close combat BattleMech for the Star League Defense Force, but soon proved itself to be a very adaptable, multi-role design. This reliable workhorse of the SLDF, while not excelling in any one job, was quite capable of accomplishing just about any mission, whether it be close assault, anti-aircraft, counter-insurgency, or even reconnaissance. Its versatility and large number of manufacturers ensured the Crusader its place as one of the most common heavy 'Mechs in the Inner Sphere.[1][5]

The Crusader received its baptism of fire during the Reunification War and remained a common fixture in the regiments of the SLDF for many centuries. Even after the fall of the Star League, the various Successor States continued to field large numbers of Crusaders in their armies, thanks to factories located on Tharkad, Oliver, Asuncion and Bernardo. House Steiner in particular was a notable Crusader user, thanks in part to their well-trained technicians who could have damaged units turned around and ready to fight in a single day.[1][5] A variety of new production variants and field modification kits were turned out for the Crusader after the recovery of the Helm Memory Core, just in time for the Clan Invasion.[6]

In the wake of the Clan Invasion, one of the first new Crusader variants was built by the Cosby BattleMech Research Firm, the (in)famous producer of the No-Dachi 'Mech. Hoping to overcome the lack of prestige of their previous design and win the favor of the Coordinator, the company acquired manufacturing rights to the Crusader through the hostile takeover of another company and unveiled an updated variant of the 'Mech around the start of the FedCom Civil War. Additional variants would continue to be produced in the years since, including models utilized by the Word of Blake during the Jihad.[7]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The primary long-range weapons on the Crusader were two Magna Longbow-15 LRM-15 launchers, providing the Crusader with long-range fire support capabilities that can compete with the Archer and Catapult. These were supplied by two tons of reloads split between the side torsos. For short range combat, the 'Mech carried two Harpoon-6 SRM-6 launchers and two Intek Medium Lasers. Finally, to deter infantry attacks against the Crusader, two M100 Heavy Machine Guns were mounted on the 'Mech. One ton each of SRM and machine gun ammunition was carried in the center torso.[1][5][8]

Each arm was equipped with an LRM launcher, laser and machine gun, while the SRM launchers were built into the legs and mounted at hip height to provide a stable firing location and avoid interference with the LRMs' flight path. Early Crusader models had issues with the arm-mounted launchers and lasers overheating and causing stress to the actuators and internal structure, but this was rectified with the additions of the now-distinctive collars which deflect hot gasses away.[1][5]

The Crusader was well-protected with twelve tons of armor, particularly around the legs, which made it a good hand-to-hand combatant. A thirteen and a half ton fusion engine allowed the Crusader to achieve a decent cruising speed of 43.2 km/h. One disadvantage to the Crusader was its inadequate heat management system, carrying just ten standard heat sinks to handle all the waste heat produced by its weapons and equipment.[1][5]


  • CRD-1R 
    Introduced in 2596, little is known about this original Crusader variant.[9]
  • CRD-3D 
    The 3D variant of the Crusader is a simple modification to make the 'Mech's heat load more manageable. Introduced in 2756 and used mostly by the Federated Suns, the two SRM-6 launchers were replaced with two SRM-4 launchers and the machine guns were removed so that the number of heat sinks could be increased by four.[5][14] BV (1.0) = 1,020,[15] BV (2.0) = 1,338[16]
  • CRD-3K 
    Another variant of the Crusader concentrating on lessening its heat burden, the 3K was introduced by the Draconis Combine in 2765. It downsized the LRM launchers to LRM-10 models and removed the machine guns to make room for an additional six heat sinks.[5][17] BV (1.0) = 997,[18] BV (2.0) = 1,290[19]
  • CRD-3L 
    The 3L variant of the Crusader takes concepts from both the 3D and the 3K models to save weight with a twist. Built for the Capellan Confederation starting in 2753, the 'Mech has removed the LRM-15 and SRM-6 launchers and replaced them with two LRM-10 launchers and two SRM-4 launchers. This frees up room for two additional heat sinks as well as the inclusion of four GM Jetstar jump jets, two each in either side torso, giving it a jumping distance of one hundred and twenty meters.[5][20] BV (1.0) = 1,032,[21] BV (2.0) = 1,297[22]
  • CDR-4BR 
    A Star League-tech retrofit of the classic CRD-3R developed by Bander BattleMechs for the mercenary market in 3054, the 4BR switches to double heat sinks and replaces the SRM-6 launchers with a pair of Streak SRM-2s. The weight saved allows an extra ton of LRM reloads for each launcher to be carried, protected by the addition of CASE in each torso.[23] BV (2.0) = 1,407[24]
  • CRD-4K 
    A field modification kit based on the 3K variant and introduced for Kuritan forces in 3049, the 4K removes two heat sinks and replaces the two medium lasers of the 3K with Magna 400P medium pulse models.[27] BV (1.0) = 946,[18] BV (2.0) = 1,268[28]
  • CRD-5K 
    The 5K Crusader was a complete upgrade produced by Cosby BattleMech Research Firm for House Kurita in 3063. The internal structure was replaced with a Foundation CMRFa6 Endo Steel chassis and the engine upgraded to a Nissan 260 XL Engine. The 'Mech's armament was completely overhauled as well: the primary weapons were two Shigunga MRM 30 launchers carried in either arm and, as secondary weapons, two Victory 23R medium lasers split between the side torsos and two Victory Heartbeat medium pulse lasers in the center torso. To allow the 5K to share targeting data, it also carried a C3 Slave Unit, and four tons of MRM reloads was located in the CASE-protected left torso. Finally, to vent waste heat, the 'Mech used eleven double heat sinks and carried twelve tons of Starshield A armor. The electronics were also replaced with a Garret T-11a comm system and Garret D5j T&T system.[29] BV (1.0) = 1,223 (C3: 183),[18] BV (2.0) = 1,463[30]
  • CRD-5M 
    The 5M was the official production-model upgraded variant of the Crusader for the Free Worlds League, introduced in 3049 and using recovered Star League technology. Though using the same Crucis-B chassis as before the 'Mech was powered by a Hermes 260 XL Engine and carried thirteen double heat sinks to vent its heat more efficiently. The 5M was also capable of jumping up to one hundred and twenty meters with its four torso-mounted jump jets. The 'Mech was armed with two Magna Longbow LRM-15 launchers and two Intek medium lasers in its arms, two Hovertec Streak SRM-2 launchers mounted in its legs, a Flame Tech Flamer and a LFN Lindblad machine gun in its right arm, and a LFN Lindblad Shotgun Anti-Missile System on its head. One ton of ammo for the machine gun was carried in the right arm, while two tons of LRM reloads and one ton each for the AMS and Streak launchers were carried in CASE-protected side torsos. This variant was built for the FWLM from Kallon's factories on Ascuncion and Bernardo, as well as the Brigadier plant on Oliver until that planet was captured by the Federated Commonwealth, after which it began building 5Ms for the AFFC.[6][31] BV (1.0) = 1,348,[3] BV (2.0) = 1,408[32]
  • CRD-5S 
    A production-model upgrade of the Crusader utilizing Star League equipment, the 5S was built by TharHes industries on Tharkad for FedCom forces starting in 3049. It varies little from the 3R model, instead removing the machine guns to make room for double heat sinks, CASE to protect the missile reloads, and the addition of a Flamer in the right arm.[6][33] BV (1.0) = 1,149,[15][34] BV (2.0) = 1,446[35]
  • CRD-6M 
    This variant was produced in the Free Worlds League starting in 3074 during the Jihad. It carries two Streak SRM-4 launchers in the legs, while each arm carries a Light PPC and MML-7. The 'Mech's top speed was reduced, so engineers fitted Improved Jump Jets to compensate.[36] BV (2.0) = 1,373[37]
  • CRD-7L 
    Utilizing some of the newest technology available in the Capellan Confederation, the 7L was built by Tao 'Mechworks in 3067. It used Stealth Armor, making it harder to target. The 'Mech also used double heat sinks and is armed with two LRM-15 launchers, two Streak SRM-4 launchers, and two ER Medium Lasers. Finally, the 'Mech carried a Guardian ECM Suite to allow its Stealth Armor to work. In order to make room, the top speed was lowered to 53 km/h by replacing the engine with a Nissan Fusion 195, though jump jets offset that through increased maneuverability. Despite its Liao origins, half of the first production run was sold to the Word of Blake.[7][38] BV (1.0) = 1,507,[21] BV (2.0) = 1,860[39]
  • CRD-7W 
    The Crusader 7W introduced in 3071 was armed with two Krupp MML-9s and two MML-5s, which were capable of firing both LRM and SRM ammunition and were all linked to an Artemis IV FCS that increased their accuracy. These were backed up by two Diverse Optics ER Medium Lasers for close combat. In order to carry such a powerful payload, the 'Mech carried an XL Engine and an XL Gyro to save as much weight as possible. The 7W also used twelve tons of Light Ferro-Fibrous armor with CASE for protection.[40][41] BV (2.0) = 1,221[42]
  • CRD-8L 
    This Capellan Crusader variant, unveiled in 3083, carries two Plasma Rifles, ER Medium Lasers, and MML-7 launchers. The top speed of the 'Mech has been increased to 86 km/h by using an XL Engine, and Endo Steel reduces weight. Eleven and a half tons of armor and CASE systems were used for protection. BV (2.0) = 1,701[43]
  • CRD-8S 
    Created in 3066 with the mindset of "bigger is better", the 8S Crusader was built around an Endo Steel chassis and powered by an XL Engine. The 'Mech carried two LRM-10 launchers and two Medium Lasers but was also armed with the new Heavy Gauss Rifle, giving it great deal of close to medium range firepower.[44] BV (1.0) = 1,711,[34] BV (2.0) = 1,698[45]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • CDR-3R Crael 
    Used by "Crusading Crael", the reigning champion of the DeathRain Arena in Port Krin on Antallos in 3057, this heavily modified Crusader had huge spikes protruding from its chest and shoulders; the latter served to conceal missile launchers and fall off as soon as the shoulder-mounted SRMs were fired for the first time.[46] The shoulder-mounted LRM-15 launchers of the original were replaced with two more SRM-6 racks (mounted in the side torso sections) to boost short-range firepower over the LRM's long range that was less useful in arena combat, and maximized the infighter capabilities by installing Claws on each arm. BV (2.0) = 1,204[47]

Design Quirks[edit]

The Crusader has the following Design Quirks:[48]

Notable pilots[edit]


  • In German products the unit's proper name was perfectly translated to Kreuzritter. The model code was accordingly changed to KRZ-3R.
  • Currently, there is no published description or record sheet for the CRD-1R:
The Crusader was mentioned as existing at a certain date, that predates Streaks, and the CRD-3R is mentioned as being a downgrade of what became the CRD-2R. So a CRD-1R had to be created to be the original Crusader without Streaks.

— nckestrel, freelance writer and maintainer of the Master Unit List 03 February 2017



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 294, "CRD-3R Crusader"
  2. MUL online date for the Crusader
  3. 3.0 3.1 Combat Operations, p. 121
  4. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 478
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Technical Readout: 3025, p. 86
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Technical Readout: 3050, p. 156
  7. 7.0 7.1 Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 40
  8. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 147
  9. MUL Profile for CRD-1R
  10. Technical Readout: 3075, p. 169
  11. MUL Profile for CRD-2R includes BV2.
  12. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged
  13. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 25
  14. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 144
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Combat Operations, p. 127
  16. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 475
  17. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 145
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Combat Operations, p. 124
  19. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 476
  20. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 146
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Combat Operations, p. 122
  22. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 477
  23. Mercenary's Handbook 3055, p. 87
  24. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 124
  25. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 148
  26. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 124
  27. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 149
  28. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 135
  29. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 150 & Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, pp. 29-30
  30. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 126
  31. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 151
  32. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 127
  33. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 152
  34. 34.0 34.1 Combat Operations, p. 131
  35. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 128
  36. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 252
  37. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 130
  38. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, pg. 153 & Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 29
  39. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 130
  40. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 154
  41. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 252
  42. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 132
  43. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 253
  44. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 155 & Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 29
  45. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 134
  46. Royalty and Rogues, pp. 23-24; record sheet p. 69
  47. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 123
  48. BattleMech Manual, p. 91 Design Quirk Table - Crusader Entry.
  49. Prince of Havoc, p. 98
  50. "Decision at Thunder Rift", ch. 27
  51. "Decision at Thunder Rift", ch. 37