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- The Evolution Of Long-Range Missiles In BattleTech, or Why You Should Shut Up And Love The LRM-5
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First prototyped by the Terran Hegemony in 2757, Tandem-Charge (or TC) missiles didn't enter service until the Clan Invasion with the Federated Commonwealth. Designed to replace standard SRMs with special warheads that penetrate armor and inflict damage to the internal structure of the target, the Tandem-Charge Missile uses a pair of explosives to inflict damage. The first explosive is a shaped charge that penetrates the unit's outer armor, while the second charge is propelled through the newly created breach to damage internal components.
There are some drawbacks to the Tandem-Charge Missiles however. The first is their cost: At five times the expense of a standard SRM, they're not cheap. They're also very ineffective against conventional infantry. In addition, the Tandem Charge missiles are larger and heavier than their standard counterparts, so a 'Mech can only carry half as many per ton. If TC missiles detonate in the 'Mech's magazine, they will inflict 50% more damage than a standard SRM. They "function as standard SRMs when used against Aerospace Fighters" and are "incompatible with Artemis, Narc, or Streak systems".
The warheads described here are from the Tactical Operations book. They're based on the weapon of the same name from Unbound which, on a successful missile strike, would inflict one point of damage to the armor and one point of damage to the target's internal structure.
- Tactical Operations, p. 372, "Tandem-Charge (TC) Missiles"
- "TC Missiles inflict 2 points of damage as a standard SRM, but for each TC missile that hits roll on the Determining Critical Hits Table. If armor hit, apply -2 modifier".
- "TC missiles are treated as if they inflict one half the base damage of the SRM/MML rack (that is, an SRM-4 with TC missiles is treated as an SRM-2)".
- Tactical Operations says an ammunition explosion will inflict 3 points of damage per missile.
- Unbound, p. 68, "TC (Tandem-Charge) Warhead"