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|Manufacturer||Semier Data Tron, TAG-Manufacturing|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Drive System||Anacon B500|
|Safe Thrust||1.5 g|
|Max Thrust||2.5 g|
|Fuel (tons)||400 tons|
|Fuel (days)||217.4 days|
|Armament|| 6 x PPCs |
2 x AC/20s
5 x AC/5s
4 x LRM-20s
4 x LRM-10s
6 x SRM-6s
8 x Large Lasers
16 x Medium Lasers
1 x Long Tom III Cannon
|Armor|| Standard |
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||4/5|
|Heat Sinks||131 (single)|
The Fortress-class Assault DropShip is one of the few true ground assault DropShips capable of securing its own landing zone, deploying sufficient forces to hit its targets, and providing them with indirect fire support. Carrying a combined-arms battalion and sufficient logistical and C3 capabilities to support it, a Fortress also makes an excellent anchor for any defensive line, with enough firepower and armor to give most enemies pause. However, even when it was first produced in 2613 the Fortress gained a reputation for being over-engineered and prone to breakage, and as the Succession Wars dragged on its computers, fire control system and even fusion drives were often replaced with inferior parts. Between 2974 and 3027 less than a dozen Fortress-class DropShips were produced, and with most models over a century old the line neared extinction.
The alliance between the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth would save the Fortress, with production restarted by Semier Data Tron to support the newly-formed Federated Commonwealth during the Fourth Succession War. However, despite an initial fast build-up of twenty ships in six years, production of new Fortresses post-war slowed to two a year until 3047, and engine shortages caused some ships to be built with a Quad RanTech 720 drive that consumed fuel at a much faster rate. Eventually the company closed down its manufacturing center to retool and refurbish the facility, and reopened in early 3051 with efforts begun on producing newer, upgraded Fortresses.
The Fortress is noted for its heavy armament and protection, being as heavily armored as the larger Overlord and better armed. The heavy weapons of this load out are the two massive AC/20s, six PPCs, four LRM-20s and eight Large Lasers. These impressive weapons are backed up by five lighter AC/5s, six SRM-6s, four LRM-10s, and sixteen Medium Lasers. The majority of this weaponry is located around the sides of the ship, providing immediate support against any enemy units within the landing area. The capstone of this impressive load-out though is a weapon rarely seen on DropShips: the massive Long Tom Artillery Piece, mounted in the ship's nose. The Long Tom allows the Fortress to back up its battalion no matter where they are, though it can only be used when the ship is grounded. Fully loaded the Fortress carries twenty-five tons of ammo for the Long Tom, along with five tons each for its AC/5s and AC/20s, sixteen tons for the LRMs and four tons for the SRMs.
The Fortress carries an entire combined-arms battalion, a company each of BattleMechs, Combat Vehicles and Infantry, within three Cargo Bays. The first bay carries the ship's compliment of twelve 'Mechs with a single access door. The second carries twelve heavy vehicles, though it is serviced by two doors. The last bay carries three platoons of infantry, who also enter and exit through two access doors, along with one hundred and seventy-five tons of cargo.
- Projected to launch in 3058, this version of the Fortress replaces the normal heat sinks with fewer double heat sinks and uses the extra tonnage to greatly improve the weapons load and strengthen the internal structure of the Dropship. First, two AC/5s, four Medium Lasers and two SRM-6s were stripped out, making room for upgrading the PPCs to ER PPCs and adding Artemis IV to all the remaining missile launchers. Further, the Large Lasers were upgraded to ER and ten of the remaining Medium Lasers were upgraded to Medium Pulse Laser. Finally, to help round out the new weapons load, two Gauss Rifles were added to give the Dropship more long-range punch. Further, the engine was slightly upgraded to a more efficient drive and the structure of the ship was also reinforced, and the cargo capacity increased to 368 tons. BV (1.0) = 5,831, BV (2.0) = 6,072
In German products the unit's proper name was perfectly translated to Festung.
- MUL online date for the Fortress
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 240
- DropShips and JumpShips, p. 50-51
- Technical Readouts: 3057, p. 50-51
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 241