Gladiator (BattleMech)

This article is about the 55-ton Inner Sphere BattleMech. For other uses, see Gladiator.
Gladiator (BattleMech)
Production information
Manufacturer Merryweather Industries[1]

New Samarkand Armor Works[1]

StarCorps Industries[2]

Production Year 2490[1][3][4][5][6]
Model GLD-4R[1]
Class Medium
Cost 5,002,057 C-bills
Technical specifications
'Mech type Inner Sphere BattleMech
Mass 55 tons
Chassis MW240
Armor Kemplar 5000
Engine CoreTek 275
Communications System Fujika Multiband
Targeting Tracking System General systems AV-12
Heat Sinks 13 single
Speed 86 km/h
Jump Jets GE-2200
BV (1.0) N/A
BV (2.0) 1,291[1][4][7]


The first homegrown BattleMech produced by the Draconis Combine was the Gladiator. The 55-ton 'Mech took seven years to design, as Coordinator Kozo Von Rohrs refused to open up the process to anybody but a select group at New Samarkand Armor Works, the predecessor of Luthien Armor Works, who were under constant surveillance by DEST. 2468 finally saw the GLD-1R Gladiator hit mass-production.[6] Following the Battle of Nox in 2475, the dishonored 'Mech was retired from official production, with NSAW closing down the production lines by 2488.[4]

Merryweather Industries was the first private company to attempt BattleMech production without governmental support. Despite their location in the Terran Hegemony, they acquired the plans to the Gladiator and produced a new run in 2490. They were unable to raise the capital to finish their second run, the 4R, and nearly went bankrupt before changing over to IndustrialMechs. The GLD-4R production lines were closed down in 2495.[4]

A few salvaged Gladiator -1Rs were still in service with militaries across the Inner Sphere and Periphery, though these relics were finally pushed to extinction during the Reunification War.[6]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The 55-ton Gladiator is built on an MW240 chassis, carrying a Core Tek 275 fusion engine that gives it a top speed of 86 km/h, comparable to many other 'Mechs of the same weight. Nine and a half tons of standard armor provides a respectable amount of protection, while five jump jets gives it greater agility and enables the 'Mech to jump up to 150 meters at a time.[4]

A Lord's Light P1 PPC provides long range firepower. Two Argra 1L medium lasers are just as powerful up close and a Thunderstroke SRM-6 exploits any holes in an enemy's armor.[4]


An old Gladiator, likely GLD-1R
  • GLD-2R 
    A more modern variant that still used some primitive technologies, the 2R upgraded the top speed of the 1R to 86 km/h but the armament was unchanged.[1] Few of these were ever fielded, as the design was apparently just a testbed for the newer technologies. Production of the GLD-2R stopped by 2488. BV (2.0) = 1,245,[12] 1,184[13]

Custom Variants[edit]

Design Quirks[edit]

The GLD-1R Gladiator variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[6]


  • The GLD-3R Gladiator variant was featured in Issue 0201 of BattleTechnology. In the article by Dale A. Kemper, additional details are described regarding Merryweather Industries' ill-fated production run of the GLD-3R Gladiator.

Apocryphal Content Starts

The information after this notice comes from apocryphal sources; the canonicity of such information is uncertain.
Please view the reference page for information regarding their canonicity.

  • Originally intended to meet a Star League Defense Force requirement for a new long-range support 'Mech, Merryweather Industries offered the GLD-3R Gladiator, with the first prototypes undergoing testing in 2468. After achieving success in its early field tests, Merryweather Industries was awarded a contract to produce 1,200 of the 'Mechs. However, in 2470 the contract was revoked, pointing to computer simulations that showed the 'Mech was not powerful enough to fill the role it had been built for. Having already produced over 100 of the machines, and prepared to produce 2,000 more, the loss of the contract nearly bankrupted Merryweather Industries. Private investors were quickly sought, and with the approval of the Star League, 2,000 Gladiators were sold, most notably to the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine. Following the conclusion of the first run, Merryweather Industries discontinued the Gladiator line and continued to produce IndustrialMechs. The long-range close-support role would eventually be filled by the Archer, specifically the ARC-2C variant. At the time of the article's printing (February 3028), the author estimates that about 150 of the 'Mechs remain, though most are hybrids. There are no known examples of "standard" Gladiators as they were built.[19]
  • As presented in BattleTechnology, the GLD-3R Gladiator mounts a pair of DLC-10 shoulder-mounted LRM-10 launchers, backed up by a single Duodyne Mark II medium laser in each arm. A Fujika Multiband communication system and General Systems AV-12 targeting package is used. The GLD-3R is mentioned as using GE-2200 jump jets, which are noted as allowing for altitude variation during during movement. The top speed and cruising speed is listed as 58.1 km/h and 84.2 km/h, slower than what its engine should theoretically provide. Compared to the GLD-3R presented in later sources, the one described in BattleTechnology has one fewer jump jet and mounts an extra half-ton of armor.[19]

Apocryphal Content Ends

  • No mention is made of the earlier GLD-1R, GLD-2R, or Merryweather's second Gladiator run, the GLD-4R. The artwork presented for the Gladiator is completely different from the art presented for the GLD-4R Gladiator in Technical Readout: 3075. It is unclear whether the artwork presented is meant to be of an original Gladiator, or one of the many "hybrid" Gladiators mentioned by the article author.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Technical Readout: Succession Wars, pp. 96–97: "GLD-4R Gladiator"
  2. Objectives: Lyran Alliance, p. 9
  3. TechManual, p. 15
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 206–207: "Gladiator 'Mech Profile"
  5. Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 2, p. 5
  7. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 98
  8. Objectives: Lyran Alliance, p. 7
  9. Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 4: "State of the Industry at a Glance (Dec 3079)"
  10. Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 34: "Sword of the Prophet Enterprises"
  11. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 199
  12. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 200
  13. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 96
  14. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 201
  15. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 97
  16. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 99
  17. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 203
  18. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 100
  19. 19.0 19.1 BattleTechnology, #Issue 0201, pp. 42–43