- This article is about the light 30-ton BattleMech. For the much more common medium 40-ton BattleMech and other uses, see Hermes II and Hermes (disambiguation).
|Manufacturer||Irian BattleMechs Unlimited (1A, refits)|
|'Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Chassis||Irian Chassis Class 10 endo steel|
|Communications System||Irian TelStar|
|Targeting Tracking System||Alexis Photon Target Acquisition System|
|Heat Sinks||10 single heat sinks|
The Hermes was first commissioned in 2632 by Irian BattleMechs Unlimited for the Star League Defense Force and reached units in record time, allowing it to be deployed immediately as a heavy scout BattleMech. With the rushed nature of its deployment, it came as little surprise to the SLDF that glitches began appearing in the Hermes, and the 'Mech quickly gained a reputation for having problematic electronics. These problems would eventually be resolved through time-consuming field repairs carried out by SLDF technicians. As for the Hermes' intended mission, the 'Mech was originally designed to be as fast as any 'Mech that existed at the time, trading a great deal of potential firepower and armor for an incredible ground speed. While this made the Hermes nearly untouchable at sustained pace, the MechWarriors who piloted them usually had doubts about taking such an underarmed scout 'Mech into battle and it soon became unpopular.
The Hermes served for 19 years on the front lines before it was reassigned to second-line units. Eventually it was decommissioned and mothballed by the SLDF, but the onset of the Succession Wars would bring the Hermes out of storage to fight again, this time in service to the Successor States as company and battalion-level scouts. As the wars dragged, on much of the technology behind the Hermes became lost and repairs increasingly relied on heavier, less advanced components. When IBMU decided in 2798 to reopen the Hermes production line it was only to build a new design, the Hermes II, instead offering refit and repairs for the decreasing number of Hermes in use. By the end of the Succession Wars most Hermes still operational were little more than scavenged parts held together by sheer determination. Only the Com Guards maintained original-model Hermes, in pristine condition, no less, thanks to their secret stockpile of seized Star League 'Mechs.
When the Helm Memory Core was recovered and the lost knowledge it contained distributed, IBMU decided in 3043 to use the Hermes as a test demonstrator for refitting other outdated designs with new technology. They succeeded in 3047 with the debut of the HER-3S, which added increased electronic surveillance capabilities, and sold these new models to the Free Worlds League Military. After the Clan Invasion the company was given permission to sell these 'Mechs to the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine, although so-called "red tape" prevented any actual sales and guaranteed the FWLM's exclusive use of the new Hermes for another decade. New variants of the Hermes would continue to be produced for several more years and these 'Mechs served in the Jihad on both sides.
Weapons and Equipment
The Hermes is armed with two Hellion-V medium lasers split between the right arm and center torso, tied to an Alexis Photon Target Acquisition System. The Alexis improves accuracy by painting the target with a low-intensity targeting laser before firing; if the system fails to acquire a target lock on a sufficiently high-density target, such as an armored vehicle, the order to fire is held in suspension for two seconds. If the target lock hasn't be reacquired by then the fire order is canceled. While the heat buildup from charging the lasers must still be dissipated, the system decreases wear and tear on the firing emitters, greatly saving on maintenance. Unfortunately the means to produce and repair the Alexis died with the Star League, and by the end of the Succession Wars no Hermes outside the Com Guards had a working system.
A single Olympian Flamer is mounted in the left arm, allowing the Hermes to start fires to cover its escape or deter anti-'Mech infantry, although it is an older design using a napalm-based fuel mixture instead of directly tapping the fusion engine’s plasma field. The napalm gel is forced along pressure hoses towards the nozzle where it is mixed with small amounts of phosphorus suspended in water; when the phosphorus mixes with air it ignites. In addition to jettison racks for the napalm canisters this makes the flamer amongst the safest devised, since the fuel is stored far from the ignition point and only a small amount of phosphorus is needed.
Heat management is provided for by the standard number of 10 single heat sinks mounted in the GM 270 engine. In spite of using an endo steel chassis, this massive engine takes up nearly half of the Hermes' mass and is responsible for its tremendous cruising speed of 97 km/h as well as both an anemic weapons payload and paltry five tons of armor. The replacement of standard armor for ferro-fibrous weave shortly after the 'Mech's introduction did improve survivability.
- The 1A Hermes is the downgraded refit of the 1S Hermes introduced in 2856. The primary changes are the removal of the ferro-fibrous armor and the substitution of a standard internal structure for the endo steel structure on the 1S model. Due to these changes, the armor has been reduced by half, but otherwise there were no sacrifices in either speed or weaponry. The Alexis targeting system was also replaced with a Wasat Aggressor. BV (1.0) = 501, BV (2.0) = 601
- The 1B Hermes is the same downgraded version of the 1A Hermes. The only difference is the flamer of the 1A has been removed and replaced with a medium laser. BV (2.0) = 687
- The Royal Hermes introduced in 2740 has an upgraded weapon suite with four medium lasers and one small laser in addition to the flamer. It also mounts a Beagle active probe and MASC motive system. Room for these improvements were made possible by switching to an XL engine, and as usual with Royal 'Mechs, it also uses double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1112
- The HER-3S variant of the Hermes is the first of several upgraded versions that have been modified for use in electronic warfare. Produced by Irian in 3047 this variant of the Hermes retains the endo steel structure and ferro-fibrous armor of the original while dropping the flamer and decreasing the armor tonnage by half. These modifications free up space for an upgraded electronics suite that includes the original Alexis system mated to a Beagle active probe, giving it advanced detection capabilities. In addition, a MASC system has been added to the Hermes to allow it bursts of speed up to 194.4 km/h. BV (1.0) = 510, BV (2.0) = 649
- The 3S1 is the second of the electronic warfare versions of the Hermes and first saw use in 3049. This version has identical modifications to the 3S but instead of the Beagle active probe it carries a Guardian ECM suite. BV (1.0) = 572, BV (2.0) = 726
- The 3S2 is the most rare and the most extreme of the electronic warfare versions of the Hermes. Introduced alongside the 3S1, this version carries almost identical changes to the 3S except that one of the medium lasers has been sacrificed to free weight for a TAG laser designator, allowing the 'Mech to act as a spotter for Arrow IV artillery rounds. BV (1.0) = 466, BV (2.0) = 600
- This version was prepared in 3058 for export to the Draconis Combine. It removes the lasers of the 4S and replaces them with six ER medium lasers. A C3 slave unit is also added to integrate into the Combine's C3 network. Armor is removed to make room for all this equipment and an ER small laser. This variant should not be confused with the HER-4K version of the Hermes II, otherwise known as the Hermes III, which was an export version of the Hermes II. BV (2.0) = 1,470
- Introduced in 3060 for use within the Free Worlds League and by their Word of Blake allies, the 4M removes a medium laser and small laser from the 4K to upgrade the C3 slave unit to an improved C3 computer. BV (2.0) = 1,362
- The 4S Hermes was introduced in 3057 and based on the 3S1 variant. It carries over the MASC and endo steel chassis from the 3S1 model, but has had a complete upgrade of its weapons and engine. The original standard engine has been replaced with an extralight engine, and the armor protection has been upgraded to five and a half tons. The weapons on board the Hermes have also been replaced by three medium pulse lasers, giving the Hermes an unprecedented amount of firepower in its long history. BV (1.0) = 787, BV (2.0) = 1,010
- A variant used exclusively by the Blakists starting in 3068, the 4WB swaps out the ferro-fibrous armor for stealth armor, resulting in a 'Mech that is more difficult to target at the cost of overall armor protection. BV (2.0) = 1,042
The Hermes has the following Design Quirk:
- Hermes II - The Hermes II is a heavy scout BattleMech originally produced shortly after the fall of the Star League. The Hermes II was intended to replace the Hermes; the basic Hermes II mounts an AC/5, a medium laser, a flamer, and 7.5 tons of armor.
Original HER-1S Hermes from TRO:2750
HER-1A Hermes from TRO:3025 Revised
HER-1A Hermes from TRO:3039
HER-3S Hermes from TRO:3050
HER-3S Hermes from TRO:3050 Upgrade
HER-1S Hermes during combat from CCG
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Technical Readout: Succession Wars, pp. 22–23: "HER-1A Hermes"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Technical Readout: 2750, p. 22-23
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 14-15
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 250-251
- ↑ Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 190-191
- ↑ Technical Readout: 3039, p. 251
- ↑ Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 412
- ↑ Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 34
- ↑ Historical: Operation Klondike, p.159
- ↑ Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 191
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 108
- ↑ Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 45
- ↑ BattleMech Manual, p. 92 Design Quirk Table - Hermes Entry.
- ↑ BattleMech Manual Errata (Version 6.01), p. 9
- ↑ Technical Readout: 3025, pp. 40-41
- BattleMech Manual
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- Record Sheets: 3025/3026
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League)
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Technical Readout: 2750
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade