|SM2 Heavy Artillery Vehicle|
|Manufacturer||Luthien Armor Works|
|Armor||Alpha Compound Ferro-Fibrous|
|Communications System||Sony ABC-14|
|Targeting Tracking System||Neko Megane 9|
The SM2 Heavy Artillery Vehicle originated as an attempt to adapt to the tactics and nature of warfare in the Inner Sphere by Clan Nova Cat. Manufactured from the Luthien Armor Works plant on Barcella originally, the SM2 was a nondescript vehicle that gave the Nova Cats a mobile midrange artillery support vehicle. While it wasn't ideal, the SM2 was manufactured for some years and was adopted by some of the solahma units, seeing service on the battlefield alongside Elementals or infantry equipped with Void battle armor, as well as Mamono Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
Following the Second Combine-Dominion War the Draconis Combine stripped the Luthien Armor Works plant on Barcella away from the Nova Cats, with the entire factory removed and relocated to the world of Hyner; once the plant was back in working order the Dragon began producing SM2s again, but this time the vehicles were made available to a wider market, including groups outside the Combine.
The Nova Cats didn't consider the SM2 production line to be a particular loss - despite efforts to adjust to the Inner Sphere, artillery remained something the Nova Cats were uncomfortable using; the idea of Stars dedicated to providing artillery support was considered to be directly opposed to the role and nature of a warrior, and warriors from the touman assigned to crew an SM2 were invariably those considered to have minimal talent. Once the Combine was producing SM2s for sale outside its borders the vehicle became an immediate success thanks to its Clan technology as well as the limited amphibious capability the SM2 possessed.
Weapons and Equipment
The primary weapon system on the SM2 was a Type 3 Sniper Artillery Piece mounted on the front of the vehicle and supported by five tons of ammunition. The decision to use the Sniper was effectively imposed on the Nova Cats by Luthien Armor Works, who had ample spares for the Type 3 already in the logistics system. As secondary weapons the SM2 had a Series XIV Heavy Machine Gun mounted on each of the left, right and rear sides of the vehicle, all fed from a single half-ton ammunition bin.
- LAW produced small quantities of a version of the SM2 that replaced the Sniper Artillery Piece with a larger Long Tom Cannon and twenty-five rounds of ammunition. This variant wasn't a huge success; while the extra range and power of the Long Tom Cannon was a definite advantage, the vehicle suffered from severe structural instability. This instability was a result of poorly-placed shock rings, with the powerful recoil of the Cannon causing it to actually rip free of the mountings on occasion. LAW took a pragmatic approach to the problems with this variant: they offered it for sale at a reduced price. BV (2.0) = 1,422.