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
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.
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.
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.
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.