|'Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Targeting Tracking System||Allet-T11|
|Heat Sinks||22 single|
|Jump Jets||Leviathon Lifters|
Originally intended as a stealthy hunter-killer of light and medium 'Mechs for the SLDF, the Grasshopper entered service in 2780 after hostilities had already ceased in the Amaris Civil War. Problems integrating the original stealth systems with the chassis meant the Grasshopper missed the climactic end to the conflict. The stealth systems were ultimately removed from the final design. The untested and unorthodox 'Mech was distributed primarily to the regular army rather than the more prestigious Royal units, and within four years it could be found in most Star League regiments. Thus as the League dissolved, with the chaos of Operation EXODUS and the defection of many SLDF units to the Successor States, Grasshoppers found their way into the various House armies one way or another.
With great mobility and a predominately shorter-ranged, energy-based weaponry, the Grasshopper proved itself during the First Succession War. The 'Mech's ground speed of 64.8 km/h was augmented by four Leviathan Lifter jump jets, one pair in each leg, giving it a jumping capability of one hundred and twenty meters. Revolutionary for its time, the appearance of a heavy 'Mech with the mobility of a lighter design caused a change in tactics; the Grasshopper became known for using surprise and speed to appear suddenly in the midst of a tightly-packed Lance, a devastating situation should the enemy lack short-ranged weapons themselves. The use of twenty-two heat sinks also gave it superior heat dissipation rates compared to other heavy 'Mechs, while its low dependence on ammunition allowed the Grasshopper to operate away from established supply lines for extended periods of time. Though it could be outgunned by other 'Mechs of similar tonnage, the combination of its mobility and thirteen tons of standard armor allowed the Grasshopper to at least inflict significant damage before being forced to withdraw. Finally, mounting its primary weapon in its center torso meant the Grasshopper remained combat-capable despite suffering crippling damage, including losing both arms, leading many to classify it as a "zombie" 'Mech.
Besides hunting down lighter machines to clear the way for heavier, less-mobile 'Mechs, the Grasshopper's mobility and endurance meant it often spearheaded assaults to storm fortifications, led flanking attacks to hit the enemy from the rear, and served as a backup brawler for companies of light and medium 'Mechs. Its ability to operate independently made it an excellent choice as a raider and guerrilla fighter, an attribute also prized by mercenary units in need of self-reliant 'Mechs. While popular the Grasshopper was also an uncommon sight during the Succession Wars, causing many commanders to mistakenly treat it as just another heavy 'Mech. By the time they realized their mistake it was too late, though following ComStar's publication of Technical Readout: 3025 military leaders became more familiar with the 'Mech.
In the midst of the Second Succession War the Lantren Corporation's factory on Bryant was destroyed in 2843, a result of worsening global storms and damage inflicted during the conflict, causing production of the 'Mech to cease. However, the Grasshopper was usually prioritized over other 'Mechs, even a unit commander's own, when it came time to repair and rebuild after a battle. Thus most of the original production run was still in active duty even after centuries of use. Lantren Corporation would eventually introduce a new variant in 3049, the GHR-5J, which upgraded many of its original systems with superior lostech components. Yet the original model was so popular that it would still outnumber the -5J for decades to come by a ratio of three to one. Only when the Draconis Combine introduced their own C3 variant that trend began to reverse. Further variants were introduced in the years following, and the Grasshopper participated in many conflicts, including both sides of the Jihad.
Weapons and Equipment
The Grasshopper carries a center torso mounted Diplan HD Large Laser as its primary weapon. Supplementing the large laser at close range are four Diplan M3 medium lasers, one on either side of the center torso and one in each arm, allowing the Grasshopper to return fire from any angle with but a torso twist. The large laser's firepower is augmented at long range by a Conan/S LRM-5 launcher mounted in the head and fed by one ton of ammo in the right torso. Too small to be a potent weapon in its own right, most Grasshopper pilots simply use the launcher to soften up a target before they can bring their laser weapons to bear, and on extended campaigns will forgo replenishing their ammunition. This not only lets other 'Mechs make better use of diminishing missile stockpiles, but also removes the potential of an internal ammunition explosion.
- An upgrade of the Grasshopper using Star League technology, the -5J replaces the Diplan large laser with a Diverse Optics Sunbeam ER large laser, replaces the Conan/S launcher with a Hovertec streak SRM-2 model, and removes the two torso-mounted medium lasers for a SureFire 444 anti-missile system. BV (1.0) = 1,217; BV (2.0) = 1,354
- The 5N is a very basic field upgrade of the Grasshopper introduced around 3040. The large laser and missile launcher have both been removed and in their place was added a PPC and a fifth medium laser respectively. Though the change increases the design's firepower, it also comes at a greater risk of overheating the 'Mech, especially if the pilot is careless. BV (1.0) = 1,316; BV (2.0) = 1,511
- The 6K variant of the Grasshopper was introduced by LexaTech Industries of Hun Ho in 3064. Upgrading the design by using an Endo Steel chassis and seventeen double heat sinks, it is armed with an ER large laser and five Medium Pulse Lasers. The LRM-5 launcher has also been replaced with a Guided Technologies 2nd Generation Streak SRM-4 missile launcher fed by a ton of ammunition protected by CASE, while a C3 slave unit allows it to share targeting data with friendly units. BV (1.0) = 1,484; BV (2.0) = 1,597
- An upgrade of the 6K introduced in 3068, the 7K replaces the weapons with an eye toward making the Grasshopper independent of supply concerns common during the Jihad. Two arm-mounted Light PPCs provide long-range firepower, while short-range firepower is provided by twin torso-mounted Snub-Nose PPCs. A head-mounted ER medium laser takes the place of the 6K's Streak launcher, while the addition of a Guardian ECM Suite and C3 slave unit makes this Grasshopper a difficult-to-detect guerrilla fighter. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 1,806
- The production version of Arc-Royal MechWorks' GHR-7X prototype, the 7P uses a Torso Mounted Cockpit, Endo Steel skeleton and VOX 280 light fusion engine, and mounts six Leviathan Enhanced Improved Jump Jets. The Type VI Bloodhound Active Probe was also retained. The main difference between the prototype 7X and production 7P, introduced in 3081, is its weaponry: instead of medium pulse lasers and problematic Bombast Lasers, the GHR-7P carries a Maxell X-pulsion Large X-Pulse Laser and an RAMTech 1500Z ER medium laser in each arm while another ER medium is mounted in the head. BV (2.0) = 1,806
- Eschewing the advanced electronics of other recent models, the GHR-8K is a return to the Grasshopper's roots, combining 7K's Light PPCs with the 5H's weapon layout. Mounting an Light PPC in each arm and side torso, supported by a center torso mounted ER Large Laser, made possible by an Endo Steel skeleton and double heat sinks, the return of the 5H's head-mounted LRM-5 rack is a curious choice even with a single ton of reloads in a CASE II protected ammo bin. BV (2.0) = 1,754
- A basic modification of the 5J model introduced by the Combine in 3052, the Grasshopper-C carries a C3 slave unit to allow it to be integrated into a C3 Lance. These models often served as the point 'Mech in a C3 Lance, where its speed and armor allowed it to get close enough to the enemy and share this targeting data with friendly units. To make room for the addition of the C3 unit, ammunition for the Streak SRM-2 launcher was reduced by one ton, though since the Streak launcher was already an ammo-efficient design this resulted in no drop in performance. BV (1.0) = 1,219, (1,234); BV (2.0) = 1,366
- GHR-1X Ghost Hunter
- Bearing the original production name for the GHR chassis, the Ghost Hunter was a testbed for prototype stealth technology acquired under shady circumstances by Lantren. Though it looked good on paper, the stealth systems catastrophically failed during testing, frying the mainframe and setting development back by a year.
- GHR-7K Gravedigger
- Piloted by Major Aaron Pollyea during the resistance to the Word of Blake's occupation of New Avalon, this variant was a captured Kuritan 7K prototype which had undergone testing and modification at the NAIS. The C3 slave module and ER medium laser were removed, allowing a pair of medium pulse laser to be mounted in the center torso, while the Guardian ECM had to be moved to the left torso. The use of Triple Strength Myomer turned this 'Mech into an extremely dangerous brawler, while fourteen double heat sinks still kept it cool and allowed it to activate the TSM. Major Pollyea terrorized local Word units in his matte-black Gravedigger, ambushing patrols and leading commando-style raids against "the robes." BV (2.0) = 2,084
- Grasshopper Reynolds
- The customized Grasshopper used by 3rd Davion Guards Hauptmann Reynolds Allen when he commanded the Allen's Animals raiding company during Operation BIRD DOG. To help him hold out against Clan Smoke Jaguar forces on Luzerne, this 'Mech's standard weapons were replaced with a trio of Clan-Tech ER large lasers mounted in the head and center torso supported by a Clan ER medium laser mounted in each arm and side torso. The remaining free weight was devoted to IS-grade double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 2,344
- A Jihad-era experimental prototype developed on Arc-Royal by Michael Bodien in 3075, this version used a Torso-Mounted Cockpit, Light Engine, and Endo Steel skeleton as the frame to carry six Improved Jump Jets. The standard weaponry is replaced with a head mounted Medium Pulse Laser and a Bombast Laser in each arm. To find its opponents, the head also carries a Bloodhound Active Probe. Even after the refined GHR-7P entered production, ARM still produced a small number of GHR-7X Grasshoppers in response to customer requests, though overall less than ten GHR-7X's were ever manufactured, with the two original prototypes lost on Rochelle. BV (1.0) = ??, BV (2.0) = 1587
These variants were introduced in various apocryphal sources, and thus far have not appeared in any canonical media.
- Reportedly introduced in 2881, this variant of the Grasshopper comes with a Supercharger MKIV to dramatically boost its speed. A single medium chemical laser is mounted in each arm, a single medium laser in the left torso, a medium laser in the right torso, a medium chemical laser in the center torso, and an LRM-5 is mounted in the head. This variant comes with 4 Class III jump jets, with two being mounted in each leg.
From MechWarrior Online:
- An apocryphal variant of the Grasshopper introduced in MWO, its armament consists of a Medium Pulse Laser and PPC in each side torso, and with a single medium laser in both the head and the center torso. Two Jump Jets are mounted in each leg coupled with seventeen Double Heat Sinks to handle the significant heat load. Like the 5H, it runs off a 280 standard fusion engine.
- GHR-MJ Mjölnir
- MWO's take on the personal Grasshopper of Tor Miraborg, the Mjölnir is primarily armed with a PPC in the right arm and Gauss rifle on the left arm, retaining the GHR-5H's jump jets, side torso mounted Medium and center torso mounted Large Lasers. Built around a fragile 280-rated XL engine, an Endo Steel frame, and near maximum standard armor, three tons of Gauss rounds and thirteen double heat sinks give Mjölnir more than adequate field endurance.
(While Tor Miraborg canonically piloted a Grasshopper, there is nothing in Canon to suggest it was anything but a standard design, nor is any specific name mentioned for the 'Mech.)
- While still in prototype stage, the GHR BattleMech project did not yet have a set name. A favorite during early design stages, when the stealth system was still part of the design, had been "Ghost Hunter". Grasshopper was only an obscure suggestion from technician Lucia Cavaletta, who engineered a breakthrough for the design in 2779. During the same night she was captured and tortured to death by unknown agents who were interested in the GHR project. She heroically mislead them to believe critically flawed data from an earlier Ghost Hunter prototype was what they were looking for. It is implied that the 'Mech was later named in her honor.
- In German products, the unit's proper name was translated to Grashüpfer. The model code was left unchanged.
- In French products, the unit's proper name was translated as Criquet. The word Sauterelle would be the accurate translation, as criquet is generally used for a different suborder of insects. However, the Locust was translated as the Sauterelle instead, as the word can interchangeably be used for both the Locust and the Grasshopper in French.
- Plastic GHR-5H is included in BattleTech: Inner Sphere Heavy Lance
- Tor Miraborg, future Iron Jarl and leader of Gunzburg, piloted a Grasshopper during the Ronin War.
Original GHR-5H Grasshopper from TRO:3025
GHR-5H Grasshopper from TRO:3050
GHR-5J Grasshopper from TRO:3050 Upgrade
Experimental GHR-7X Grasshopper jumping from XTRO:Mercs
Grasshopper from RG:ilClan v1
A mercenary Grasshopper from Mercenaries Supplemental II cover
GHR-5H Grasshopper from Classic BattleTech Universe
GHR-5H Grasshopper in combat from CCG
MechWarrior Online concept art of the Grasshopper
Grasshopper token from BattleTech, Fourth Edition
Grasshopper miniature from BattleTech Alpha Strike: Assault Lance Pack
Grasshopper miniature from BattleTech: Inner Sphere Heavy Lance
- Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 129
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 188
- Technical Readout: Succession Wars, pp. 132–133: "GHR-5H Grasshopper"
- MUL online date for the Grasshopper
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 150
- Combat Operations, pp. 121, 125
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 155
- "What's in a Name?"
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 86
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 80
- Introductory Record Sheets, p. 20
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 81
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 120
- MUL Profile for GHR-5N includes BV2
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 121
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 100
- Record Sheets: Prototypes, p. 70
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 1, p. 13: "Grasshopper"
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 1, p. 27: "Grasshopper GHR-8K"
- Record Sheets: 3060, p. 180
- A Soldier's Privilege
- Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 196
- Historical Turning Points: Luzerne, p. 3: "Introduction"
- Historical Turning Points: Luzerne, p. 18: "Grasshopper Reynolds"
- Experimental Technical Readout: Mercs, p. 5
- Experimental Technical Readout: Mercs, p. 18
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Heroes of the Inner Sphere
- MechWarrior Online - Irresistible Resistance Page
- MechWarrior Online Resistance Heroes Sale Page
- BattleMech Manual, p. 92: Design Quirk Table - Grasshopper entry
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 85
- BattleMech Manual
- Combat Operations
- Experimental Technical Readout: Mercs
- Historical Turning Points: Luzerne
- Introductory Record Sheets
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- MechWarrior Online Irresistible Resistance Deal Page
- MechWarrior Online Resistance Heroes Sale Page
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 1
- Record Sheets: 3025/3026
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: 3060
- Record Sheets: Prototypes
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- A Soldier's Privilege (short story)
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: Prototypes
- What's in a Name? (short story)