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MCT-A11

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The MCT-A11 was the first vehicle to join the "TATV" group of vehicles in late 2334. Originally designed to answer the War Department's requirement for a medium-weight combat tank with a powerful cannon and a strong engine, several designs were made by three companies - Bavarian Heavy Engineering, North American Motor Works, and Johnson-Ford Industries - and each design was followed by a prototype. After the trials were completed, the Bavarian Heavy Engineering's design was chosen to be most efficient, and the other designs were rid of. Although not given an official designation, the design was given the name MCT-A11.

As the War Department called for a fast and powerful mediumweight tank, Bavarian Heavy Engineering altered it's design slightly. The main armament was to be an 75 mm highi velocity cannon with a muzzle brake. It would carry a crew of four - the driver (front left), gunner (left of the cannon), loader (right of the cannon), and the commander (behind the gunner). The secondary armament included two 7.92 mm machine guns common before the 2360s, before the 7.62 mm design was revived in favor of it. One of the machine guns was coaxial, operated by the driver by reaching to the right of the main gun barrel and pulling the machine gun's trigger. The second machine gun was located next to both the driver and loader, and could be operated by either when the other was assisting the tank in combat. When stationary it was commonly used by the driver, but while on the move it was used by the loader or commonly not used at all.

The engine used could bring nearly 861 HP to propel the heavy 46 ton vehicle to a maximum 24 MPH cross-country and nearly 40 MPH on a paved road.

In early final trials the tank's 75 mm gun was deemed underpowered, when pitted against inoperable M8 heavy tanks from the late 23rd century. Therefore, the tank's gun shell was increased ten millimeters in diameter. The barrel was also increased dramatically in length, nearly doubling the velocity of the fired round and therefore increasing armor penetration. However, this decreased the maximum number of shells able to be carried from 79 or 80 to 62.

After continued trials, the maximum armor of the tank of 3.61 inches of steel with several thin layers of interwoven kevlar was deemed too thin and the tank would easily be destroyed on the battlefield. Several tanks were designed with an extra inch and a half of armor, but it greatly increased the weight and therefore decreased the speed, one of the primary things the War Department wanted in the tank. Several more prototypes were designed with a slightly larger chassis that could support a 1,000 HP engine. However, the engine was too large and the 85 mm cannon could not be installed. This was to be made a different variant with a much smaller 60 mm smoothbore cannon.

By this point, many in the War Department began considering that the design cost more than it was worth, as the entire project had reached 90 million credits. However, Bavarian Heavy Engineering managed to continue funding for the tank design.

The original design armed with an 85 mm cannon was, other than the armor and chassis problem, adequate to fit the requirement. Production for the MCT-A11 (Medium Cruiser Tank) began in factories across Earth and in some parts of Mars.

By 2335, after nearly a year of designing and trials, production totals had reached 3,100 units. Most were deployed on Earth. However, a seemingly perfectly-timed rebellion in Central Europe kicked off. Nearly all of the tanks on Earth were immediately shipped to close-combat and armored units to fight the rebels.

However, it would seem that the rebellion would proove to be the MCT-A11's first and only combat experience. Rebels had managed to acquire several hundred of the then-latest Maint Battle Tanks, the MBT-B6. Armed with a 115 mm cannon, it could penetrate 5.6 inches of steel at 2,000 yards. This proved a death sentence for the MCT-A11. Despite never having been designed to combat Main Battle Tanks with highly superior armaments, and the 85 mm cannons were unable to penetrate the 7 inches of kevlar, steel and thin deposits of titanium.

After the rebellion had been put down, the War Department reviewed the casualties. On average it had taken four A11s to destroy a single MBT-B6. The A11 had only proven immediately effective against light tanks and reconnaissance vehicles. The budget for the MCT-A11 had risen to 120 million credits, more than the UEG could handle. Knowing the project had proven a failure, many believed that the MCT-A11 had been an absolute waste of credits and production focuses. However, others also believed that the many credits spent to finance the vehicle's construction and combat tests wouldn't completely go to waste if the tank was to be redirected as a combat training tank. Production stopped when the finished tanks had reached 5,974. Although the tank required a crew of four, many argued it would be a prime training tank for the future crews of light tanks and reconnaissance vehicles. After several years, it gained the name of the "No-Future Tank" by the in-training crews.

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