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February 27, 2013, 1:38 am

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SR/L-1 Ostrich

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A common light mech of the Atlantic Federation

One of the workhorse mecha of the Atlantic Federation, the Ostrich sees regular use across all three continents covered by the Federation. It is predominantly used in Africa, and the American central plains areas. Unlike many Federation designs, there is not an aquatic or space variant of the Ostrich. Primarily used for armed scouting, artillery spotting, and fast raid operations, the mech sees plenty of action.

Gen. Saber Reynolds, AFAF Africa Corps

Description:

The SR/L-1 Ostrich is a light mech built on the Pod/Walker design, with a central fuselage/pod supported by two legs that have reverse style avian structure. The reverse leg, while lighter and less able to handle heavy armor plating than the traditional forward knee leg is able to move faster and more efficiently, providing greater speed. The Ostrich is designed to spend most of it's time running, rather than walking. With a top speed near 160 kph is is among the fastest mecha designs lacking wings or other flight features. There are three mounting points for weapons on the mech, a pair of variable hard points above the hip joints/shoulders, and a chin mounted weapon turret. The Ostrich is an older design that has been retrofit and updated a number of times, and it's appearance reveals it's age. 

Manufacturer:

The Ostrich is built by the Atlantic Federation, with major factories running in Kinshasa, Cologne, and Pontiac. 

The largest mechworks in the Federation is the Omni-Motors (built around the old industrial giant General Motors) in Pontiac Michigan. The Ostrich line there produces the lion's share of Ostriches in service. The Cologne Meckwerks has the smallest output of the three, but it is dedicated to special models of the mech, such as the black skinned Stealth/Recon Ostrich as well as electronic warfare and other experimental tech variants. The Kinshasa factory produces the standard Ostrich in numbers, as well as producing replacement parts. The mechs in service in Africa see a lot of action, and require a steady flow of parts.

Deployment:

The Ostrich is a premier scout and recon vehicle, with it's relatively small profile and high overland speed. It sacrifices heavy weapons, and armor to gain it's exceptional speed, which limit's it's value in a slugging match. Most Ostrich pilots are trained to avoid other mecha, and even groups of power armor infantry. The largest concentrations of Ostriches are deployed in Africa, where they face the SAUR, as well as tribal and religious zealots operating in the NE area of the Continent. 

Ostriches are seen as old tech, and there is routinely a contract floating around for the Ostrich replacement, but it's just not in the cards. Ostrich pilots are also largely considered cowards, as they are trained to avoid actual combat or retreat from it. The light armor of the Ostrich is it's greatest drawback in this regard. 

A good scout doesn't need a weapon, because if he's a good scout no one knows he's there and that means he's not running around shooting up supply trucks and outhouses. The Ostrich could carry more armor or firepower, and retain most of it's impressive speed, the shoulder mounts could easily carry multi-tube missile and rocket pods, or light autocannon gun pods. But, the Ostriches deployed with these improved weapons were quickly destroyed, or failed in their scouting missions. Instead of seeking and running, the armed scouts sought and fought, and against main line battle mechs, the ostrich is toast. Crunchy flammable toast.

The ACPS has a reverse engineered version of the Ostrich in limited production, but it is known as the Type 49 Huangchong. 

Variants

EWS Variant: the EWS Ostrich places an enhanced sensor array on the left shoulder hard point and and an ECM system pod on the right shoulder hard point. The chin turret is packed with laser designation and spotting gear and a single anti-personnel machine gun.

Artillery Variant: The shoulder hard points are fit with a pair of light artillery rocket launchers and the chin turret is left empty to offset the weight in the rear ammo bin. The rocket version is used as rapid response, raiding, and counter striking against conventional artillery.

Anti-Battle Armor Variant: The ABA variant carries a pair of short range anti-armor semi guided rocket pods for shooting up power armor infantry. This version is also popular for hunting light armor vehicles and raiding purposes.




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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Dozus
February 27, 2013, 11:23
5xp
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time we've seen Africa mentioned in the Cosmic Era. What's the political layout there, if I may ask? New New Imperialism, the rise of a Pan-African state, ethnic- and language-based state divisions?
Scrasamax
February 27, 2013, 11:43
1xp
Africa is split into three major regions, and I have mentioned it repeatedly.

North and North-East Africa are nominally part of the Eurasian Alliance, but for the most part are backwater areas, ruled by tribal, religious, and other factions. This is a trend that runs from Morocco to the Indian/Pakistan borders. Lacking oil, most of the OPEC nations have imploded.

The Central region, specificallty Congo, Nigeria, the Gold Coast region, etc are a gleaming First World part of the Atlantic Federation and Lagos and Kinshasa are now on par with cities like Paris, London, New Nuyork, and so on.

The South part of the continent consolidated and formed the South African United Republics as a power bloc to resist expansion of the Atlantic Federation because seriously screw those guys. Jo-Burg is a bustling first world city, and space port.
Dragonlordmax
March 3, 2013, 20:35
0xp
Not flashy, but certainly the sort of thing we'd probably see in mech-based warfare. The cynic in me wants to say, "Jeeps? Motorcycles?" but I try not to listen to him.

I am a bit curious as to why you say that an ostrich replacement is "not in the cards." If they're so ubiquitous, you'd think that everyone would want that contract.

And finally, I have no idea on what, if any, actual interactions occur between lions and ostriches, but your line "The Ostrich line there produces the lion's share of Ostriches in service." made me chuckle wondering about it.
Scrasamax
March 3, 2013, 21:11
0xp
Don't tell your inner cynic about the hover bikes and hovercraft which can do the recon job just as well but cheaper.

There isn't an Ostrich replacement seriously on the table because it is not economically feasible to replace the mech. Better mechs can be made, but they are dramatically more expensive. It's the situation the US is facing with the B-52. The bomber is pretty much as good a bomber as you are going to get (altitude, payload, range, speed) and any attempt to replace is doomed pretty much to fail because any replacement is dramatically more expensive. The potential replacements are all also invariably inferior to the Stratofortress in some aspect.

As for the the Lion's Share, its an expression that means the biggest piece. The majority of Ostriches are built in Michigan.


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