|Manufacturer||Newhart Interstellar Industries Limited
|'Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Communications System||O/P 500A|
|Targeting Tracking System||O/P TA 1240|
|Heat Sinks||10 single heat sinks|
|Jump Jets||Pitban LFT-10|
The Spider was the first BattleMech produced by Newhart Industries, designed in 2650 as a light reconnaissance and attack 'Mech to be used by Star League Defense Force Special Operations forces such as the Blackhearts. Beyond exceeding all of the SLDF's minimum requirements, Newhart had actually designed the Spider before receiving the Star League's request for proposals and were ready to begin production immediately, factors which helped the company win the contract very quickly. In terms of maneuverability, the Spider has a ground speed comparable to a Locust and can outjump either the vaunted Wasp or Stinger light 'Mechs. Built with top-of-the-line reliable parts, sophisticated reconnaissance equipment, and an energy weapon payload which allowed for extended operations without resupply, the Spider was a great success. While not produced in large numbers, it could be rapidly manufactured and so served up through to the end of the Star League.
Newhart's Spider factory on New Earth was destroyed in 2776 as part of the Amaris Civil War and very few Spiders ended up in the hands of the Successor States when the Star League dissolved. As their numbers began to dwindle during the Succession Wars, entire offensive operations were conducted simply to secure spare parts for these 'Mechs. So rare was the Spider that Wolf's Dragoons were notable for having an entire lance of Spiders, albeit split among the various regiments. This trend towards extinction was finally reversed when the Free Worlds League was able to secure the schematics for the Spider and, in a deal with Nimakachi Fusion Products Limited, the company was given exclusive control of the 'Mech's technical specifications in exchange for building them for the Free Worlds League. Nimakachi began building new Spiders from their factory on Tematagi and later expanded their facilities on Lapida II to produce them as well, resulting in the Free Worlds League and Draconis Combine having the largest number of Spiders in active service.
The recovery of lost Star League technology inspired Nimakachi to update the Spider with new upgrades, resulting in the improved SDR-7M and the derivative Venom. While the Free Worlds League did not express much interest in these 'Mechs, Nimakachi found ready buyers among the other Great Houses, in particular the Draconis Combine, who had lost a large number of light 'Mechs during the Clan Invasion and bought up local- and foreign-made Spiders to replenish their ranks. The Word of Blake also expressed an interest in these Spiders and bought a number to outfit their military. These Spiders were used as part of the Blakist conquest of Terra and were later gifted to the Protectorate Militia, where they fought in the Jihad. Starting in 3067, the Spider was restyled by Nimakachi, which allowed the addition of an ejection system to the cockpit of the new SDR-7K, 7K2, and 7KC.
Weapons and Equipment
The Spider carries a very light armament of two Aberdovey Mk III medium lasers mounted in its center torso next to the fusion engine. While more expensive than the common Martell lasers mounted on other 'Mechs, they are of superior quality and require very little maintenance. Waste heat generated by the lasers are handled by the standard number of 10 single heat sinks mounted in the fusion engine. Three and a half tons of armor provide some measure of protection, although most Spider pilots agree that speed is the best defense. The unique armor alignment on the front of the Spider is what gave the 'Mech its name, and this spiderweb pattern is further emphasized by a bright red fiberglass sealant in the seams between armor plates.
The Spider carries a grand total of eight jump jetj, four each in the left and right torso, giving it an incredible jumping distance of 240 meters. Using cutting-edge components, the jump jets can pivot the 'Mech in mid-flight while still reaching its original landing point thanks to its advanced computer tracking. This ability for the Spider to "twitch" in the air gives it greater protection, as even the most advanced targeting computers can have a hard time acquiring a lock.
The O/P communications system and targeting-tracking system are fully integrated in the Spider, meaning both verbal communications and sensor readings can be transmitted back to headquarters. This advanced computer setup even includes an entertainment system for those long, lonely nights on recon duty. However, it also has a serious drawback in that the system combined with the head's armor layout leaves no space for a proper ejection system: the pilot must manually reach the lower hatch on their own in order to exit the 'Mech. Many Spider pilots therefore practice quickly exiting the 'Mech during their downtime, especially those variants which carry vulnerable ammunition liable to cook off.
- The 5D Spider is one of two official variants originally developed by Newhart, and was introduced in 2853. Geared towards anti-infantry work, it removes one of the medium lasers and replaces it with a single flamer in the right arm. After the Star League fell, was primarily used by the Federated Suns, and the variant was normally used by militia units since others saw its mission of hunting infantry as a waste of a good 'Mech. BV (1.0) = 412, BV (2.0) = 524
- The 5K Spider is another of two official variants originally developed by Newhart, and was introduced in 2850. Also geared towards anti-infantry work, it removes one of the medium lasers and replaces it with two arm mounted machine guns fed by one ton of ammo stored in the center torso. To make room for its ammunition, the 'Mech sacrifices 60 meters of its jump capability by removing two jump jets. While primarily used by the Draconis Combine during the Succession Wars, the variant was normally used by militia units since others saw its mission of hunting infantry as a waste of a good 'Mech. BV (1.0) = 433, BV (2.0) = 503
- The 7K is an upgrade of the base design, introduced by Nimakachi in 3067 and based on the success of other revitalized classic designs. It's built using an endo steel structure, five and a half tons of ferro-fibrous armor, a light fusion engine in place of the standard model, and carries two medium pulse lasers. Perhaps most critically, Nimakachi was able to finally install an ejection system in the 7K. BV (1.0) = 688 BV (2.0) 752 
- The 7M was Nimakachi's upgrade of the venerable Spider with recovered Star League technology. Released in 3051, it uses a Crucis-II Delux endo steel chassis and three tons of Kallon FWL Special ferro-fibrous armor, freeing up weight to replace the two medium lasers with two Tronel XII medium pulse lasers. Many of the components were also replaced with proprietary technology, including Rawlings 75 jump jets, an Omicron 4002 Networking Channel, and a TRSS Eagle Eye targeting system. One thing they could not do however was include an ejection system for the pilot. BV (1.0) = 492, BV (2.0) = 621
- A post-Jihad variant developed by the Combine in 3084, the SDR-8K uses a compact gyro and a 240-rated XL fusion engine to maintain its ground speed while still allowing it to carry four tons of ferro-fibrous armor. The extra weight left was used to swap the medium lasers of the stock Spider for a single torso mounted PPC capacitor-enhanced snub-nose PPC. BV (2.0) = 1,007
- A post-Jihad variant produced by Krupp Armament Works for the Republic of the Sphere in 3084, the production model 8R was based on the prototype SDR-8X that used during the liberation of Terra. Built on an endo steel chassis and powered by a smaller 210-rated light fusion engine, this reduced its ground speed, the SDR-8R's 10 Pitban LFT-20X improved jump jets gave it amazing maneuverability. Carrying 10 double heat sinks allowed the 8R to fire its twin Diverse Optics ER medium lasers and jump without fear of overheating. Boasting a very different look, the redesigned 8R was also notable for being one of the first Spiders to include an ejection system. BV (2.0) = 694
- The -9M is a further evolution of the -8M. Utilizing light ferro-fibrous, endo steel, and an XL engine leaves enough room to mount two medium variable speed pulse lasers, one in each side torso. These weapons give this Spider a very powerful bite up close, but with range no better than standard medium lasers. This loadout can leave it outranged by most other 'Mechs on the modern battlefield, but its speed and maneuverability help mitigate this. Repeated firing of both lasers and jumping can overburden the 'Mech's 10 double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 687
From MechWarrior Online:
- Venom - While stepping up production of the Spider to meet increasing demand during the Clan Invasion, Nimakachi also introduced a new slightly heavier, uprated version of that venerable 'Mech called the Venom.
- Author Blaine Lee Pardoe stated in a blog entry that, according to his memory which he admitted could be wrong, the Spider was among the BattleMechs for which he wrote the original background as initially published in TRO:3025, after being given only its name, image, and game stats to work with for the TRO entry.
- In German products, the unit's proper name was translated to Spinne. The model code was accordingly changed to SPN-5V.
- In French products, the unit's proper name was translated as Araignée.
- Plastic SDR-5V is included in BattleTech: Inner Sphere Support Lance
Original SDR-5V Spider from TRO:3025
SDR-7M Spider from TRO:3050
SDR-7M Spider from TRO:3050 Upgrade
SDR-8R Spider from TRO:3085
Spider from RG:ilClan v19
Camouflaged SDR-5V Spider from Classic BattleTech Universe
SDR-7M Spider in combat from CCG
Model of Spider from MWO
Spider standee from BattleTech, Fourth Edition
Spider miniature from BattleTech Alpha Strike: Recon Lance Pack
Spider miniature from BattleTech: Inner Sphere Support Lance
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 20-21
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 106-107
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 20-21
- Master Unit List: Spider SDR-5D
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 76
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 85, "SDR-5K Spider"
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 77
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 151
- Technical Readout: 3085", p. 64, "SDR-8R" Spider
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 190
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 92
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 93
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 50
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 65, "SDR-8R" Spider
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 95
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 89
- ”Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 19”, pg13
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 88
- BattleMech Manual, p. 94 Design Quirk Table - Spider Entry.
- BattleMech Manual
- Introductory Record Sheets
- Master Unit List
- MWDA Spirit Cats' Dossier of Lenett Lossey
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3085