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After the Fourth Succession War the Taurian Defense Force realized that the recovered Lostech now being fielded by the Inner Sphere armies was even more deadly than they had feared. Knowing that the Concordat's tech base was not up to matching the advances in Battlemech terms, The Ministry of Defense sought out the best means to produce the most gain for the least cost as swiftly as possible. Thus the Quartermaster's office issued specifications for a new light tank to replace the aged Vedettes that made up so many of the planetary and militia garrisons. The new tank was to be swift, better armed than the Vedette but above all had to be supportable and sustained by the limited tech base of the garrisons. Vandenberg Mechanized Industries delivered on all three specifications in 3030 with the Dirk.
Lighter, tougher and far deadlier than the Scorpion, cheaper and faster than a Vedette the Dirk is even easier to maintain than Quickscell's Saracen and Hetzer vehicles. With all of the tank's componets manufactured within the Concordat, easy resupply was gauranted. The Dirk's lasers need no ammunitions' stores and its GM 120 fusion plant allows it unlimited range. The control componets are virtually identical the the Vedette as are the communication systems making the transition for garrison crews swift. Although the Dirk 'lost' some range over the Vedette, the new tank's higher speeds and lower mass allow it to close and break away far better. Local orders for the Dirk have risen steadly past the company's ability to manufacture and orders from outside the Taurian Concordat are growing, specifically the MAF high command who are quite taken with the low price and high performance of the Dirk. Protector Jeffrey Calderon granted the Magistracy of Canopus a licence to begin their own production of Dirks on Dunianshire in 3056.
The Dirk 's main gun is a Sunglow Type 2 Large Laser in a well armored turret mount, backed by a Magna Mk 1 Small Laser placed in front; quite similar to the Vedettes weapons arangement of Autocannon and Machine Gun. The two lasers generate roughly 50% more damage than the Vedette while carring nearly 80% of the larger tanks armor.
The Dirk is common throughout the Concordat's planetary garrisions and has been seen in some Outworlds Alliance ground forces. The Magistracy of Canopus also fields a goodly number of these tanks and is seeking more. A few have even been sold to Inner Sphere corporations and Comstar to provide security at some of their facillities in the Periphery.
VMI has attempted few factory variants as the main versions biggest selling point is the tank's simplicty. An attempt to regain the range of the Vedette came forth in the DRK-M prototype which replaced the Large Laser with a pair of LRM-5 launchers and one ton of ammo. Difficulties with the ammo feed lines and crew space have lead the designers to scrap the project, but VMI did have the specs delivered to the Magistracy of Canopus teams for further review. A post-3052 field modification that is becoming more common, is seen carring 2 Medium Lasers and a Medium Pulse Laser in the turret. The armor is remains the same but the tank carries the Ceres Metals Industries manufactured Beagle Probe making these Dirks capable scout tanks as well as a near clone of the Marik Galleon GAL-102 scout tank.
A Deepockets Production/Imagination