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The introduction of the Large Laser by the Terran Hegemony in the 2300’s created a marked distinction among energy weapons between those that were small and efficient and those that were large and bulky but offered considerable punch and range. Subsequent introductions of the PPC, Pulse technology, and Extended Range technology did little to change this distinction. This was of greatest concern when combined with the limited payloads of light ‘Mechs. Such ‘Mechs often had to choose between carrying a single large energy weapon or a mass of smaller ones, trading away either damage potential or useable range.
Most major manufacturers of energy weapons have at some point tried to develop a compromise, but had failed to produce a viable weapon. Most prototypes were either deemed to similar to existing laser classes to be marketable, or were too unreliable for large-scale production. It was not until well after the Clan Invasion that Diverse Optics Inc. would make a breakthrough in this middle ground. Though not able to duplicate the Clan technology from salvaged Clan lasers, engineers at Diverse Optics were able to solve critical efficiency issues that had posed roadblocks to their “Intermediate” class laser development programs. They debuted the first fully functional prototype of their “Intermediate” class laser in 3056. The prototype model was based on conventional laser technology, as this was better understood and easier to adapt. However, by 3059, Diverse Optics was offering Intermediate class lasers with Extended Range and Pulse technology. Many now consider the original production model obsolete, but its lower heat rejection has preserved it as a viable weapon. Recently, an after-market X-Pulse upgrade kit for the Intermediate Pulse Laser has made appearances in the Solaris VII arenas, but Diverse Optics claims not to produce or support that technology.
The current Intermediate Lasers are:
- Intermediate Laser
- Extended Range Intermediate Laser
- Extra-Extended Range Intermediate Laser
- Intermediate Pulse Laser
- Intermediate X-Pulse Laser