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|Marsden I Main Battle Tank|
|Armor||AA Battleplate (BAR 7)|
|Engine||Arcturus Engines CM Elite ICE|
|Communications System||Arc-Signal 100|
|Targeting Tracking System||Scorpion Series AFC System|
Named after Archon Robert Marsden, who had died the year before, the Marsden Main Battle Tank entered into service with the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces in 2396, shortly before the start of the Age of War. Combining a time-tested, simple design with modern equipment, it proved a successful general workhorse MBT for the Commonwealth for almost seven decades before it was pushed into second-line duties by its successor, the very similar Marsden II. It continued serving for more than a century in planetary militias and garrison units until the end of the Reunification War, after which all surviving tanks were decommissioned.
Weapons and Equipment
The Marsden I carried an Arcturan Arms Longarm Series Autocannon/5 as its main gun on a fully pivoting turret. The turret also contained a coaxial General A70 Model machine gun for use against infantry. While limited to twenty shots, the autocannon benefited from an advanced fire control system and quickly gained a reputation for accuracy. The real innovation, however, was the six-tube Alpha Wave missile launcher embedded in the thick frontal armor of the tank's hull. With its two tons of ammunition the launcher could keep up sustained missile fire to shatter the enemies' armor or disable their motive systems. It could also fire specialized ammo, such as smoke rockets to create cover.
Some minor electronics upgrades aside, the Marsden I saw no specific variants throughout its service life. The basic design was eventually copied by other major states, leading to almost identical tanks with different names in other militaries.
When it was phased out of service, Arcturan Arms converted a few into engineering tanks and combat bridgelayers but did not pursue those projects further after its own Büffel engineering vehicle proved superior.