Not to be confused with the Targeting-tracking system, the Targeting Computer was introduced by Clan Mongoose in 2860. Targeting Computers are sophisticated pieces of electronics that, unlike normal targeting systems, physically help MechWarriors target their opponents. Recoil compensators and gyroscopic stabilizers are used to prevent normal weapon drift from factors such as recoil and movement, while the computer accounts for atmospheric and other conditions to present an accurate "lead" on the target. This allows for more surgical precision of weapons fire, especially with naturally accurate systems, allowing for the user to hit specific parts on the target vehicle.
The Targeting Computer can be used to help aim all direct fire weapons, including most energy and ballistic weapons. This results in a -1 to-hit modifier for all eligible weapons that tie in, or the ability to aim for a location that is not the head with a +3 to-hit penalty. Clan Targeting Computers weigh one ton and occupy one critical slot for every five tons of equipment they control (rounded up), while a comparable Inner Sphere version weighs one ton and occupies one critical slot for every four tons it controls (also rounded up). Total Warfare updated the rules to specify that Pulse Lasers (including Variable Speed Pulse Lasers and X-Pulse Lasers) as well as multishot autocannon cannot aim their fire (but can still benefit from the modifier), unless the affected autocannon are fired in single shot mode. In addition, an LB-X autocannon only receives the benefits if it is firing solid rounds instead of cluster ammunition. The Targeting Computer costs 10,000 C-Bills per ton (ref: The Battletech Compendium, p. 129, 'Weapon and Equipment Price List')
- TechManual, p.238