SecurityMech Treaty of 2613
The SecurityMech Treaty of 2613 was a piece of interstellar legislation passed by the Star League, intended to limit the production of armed IndustrialMechs. The Treaty was effectively the codification and formalization in legislation of codes of practice that had been created as loose classifications by the 'Mech industry itself.
Terms And Conditions
Those 'Mechs constructed in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty are officially deemed SecurityMechs, suitable for use by police forces. The individual conditions of the Treaty have evolved as equipment evolved, but began with the following criteria.
To be legally deemed a SecurityMech, the following conditions must be met:
- A SecurityMech must be built with an IndustrialMech chassis
- A SecurityMech must have a maximum size of no more than 50 tons; within this restriction, only those SecurityMechs defined as Corporate SecurityMechs may have a weight of 40-50 tons, limiting other SecurityMechs to a maximum of 35 tons
- A SecurityMech should have no ranged weapons with an individual weight of more than 2 tons each, although there are a number of additional exceptions and allowances based on the type of weapons
The limitations on weapons has continued to evolve, in line with common perceptions of what constituted "humane" weaponry; energy-based Flamers are unknown outside of warzones or the most tyrannical regimes, although Vehicle Flamers as somewhat more common because of the availability of nonlethal payloads for them.
During the era of the Second Star League a number of additional weapons systems were officially added to the list of proscribed items under the terms of the Treaty; A-Pods were banned in 3059, followed by M-Pods and Rocket Launchers in 3064. The Republic of the Sphere sponsored a provision banning B-Pods and Variable Speed Pulse Lasers from use on SecurityMechs in 3082.
In 3067, the Second Star League legalized the use of the BattleMech Taser on SecurityMechs, despite the weight of the Taser; the reasoning behind this amendment was that IndustrialMech use was on the rise, and it was felt to be a safe method for civilian police forces to apprehend those misusing IndustrialMechs.
A specific subclass of SecurityMech, Corporate SecurityMechs are those intended for use in the defense of industrial facilities critical to national defense. Corporate SecurityMechs are confined to the same list of restrictions in terms of weapons, with the exception that the maximum weight of individual ranged weapons is 9 tons, rather than 2 tons. While Corporate SecurityMechs are subject to the same restricted legalities as standard SecurityMechs in terms of their weaponry, corporations may deploy them without having to fulfill the additional parameters and obligations normally involved in deploying BattleMechs or mercenary commands.
In practice, there are a number of issues with the SecurityMech Treaties; one common issue is producers securing a Corporate SecurityMech designation for 'Mechs that would otherwise be defined as MilitiaMechs - the Arbiter is an example of this, and was clearly intended for marketing to militias.
The SecurityMech Treaties provide a framework for interstellar trade and best practices, but the observance of the treaty has always been dependent upon the rulers of the various nations and their willingness to reinforce peace. This means that the Treaties have suffered varying levels of abuse up to and including wanton abandonment.
Whilst not specifically required to under the terms of the Treaty, many SecurityMech users deliberately reduce the risk to life and property by using nonlethal ammunition, such as tear-gas rounds, smoke rounds, and rubber bullets. The flexibility available to Sprayers, vehicle flamers and Fluid Guns in being able to use mixtures of water and foam to subdue crowds also allows them to perform firefighting functions, making them popular choices.
In addition to the limits on ranged weapons, physical weapons are largely unheard of on SecurityMechs, because of the lack of need for such specialized anti-armor weapons during the course of SecurityMech duties, although Retractable Blades are seen on some SecurityMechs designed to serve as dual use 'Mechs with an agricultural role.
SecurityMechs are described in terms of light, medium, heavy and assault, as are BattleMechs; a Light SecurityMech is one which masses 10 to 15 tons, a Medium SecurityMech masses 20-25 tons, a Heavy SecurityMech masses 30-35 tons, and any SecurityMech massing 40-50 tons is considered an assault weight - and must be from the Corporate SecurityMech subclass.
There is also a law from the early days of BattleMech technology that sought to limit the proliferation of BattleMechs through IndustrialMech exports and defines a BattleMech as essentially any armed 'Mech. Despite being largely forgotten, it is technically effectual in the Draconis Combine as of 3028 and does qualify at least some if not all SecurityMechs as BattleMechs. However, it is usually overridden by the DCMS Procurement Department's definition of a BattleMech which calls for a mass of at least twenty tons except under certain conditions.
- Technical Readout: Vehicle Annex Revised, p. 227, "The SecurityMech Treaties"
- Feather versus Mountain