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ET-60

A factory-fresh ET-60 in profile view.

Introduction

The Ermakov Military Systems ET-60 is a wheeled superheavy breakthrough vehicle used by the Mecharussian Armed Forces. Classified in MAF documentation as a tank, its other key breakaway from the tradition of other vehicles of its class than its use of ten gigantic armoured wheels instead of treads is by being named after Grand Curatrix Elena Trotskaya, as opposed to former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. This breakaway is especially notable because Trotskaya normally loathed the idea of being immortalised with an object, believing it to be a show of exceptional and unjustified hubris. However, she was so impressed with the juggernaut's performance during trials that she approved the suggestion of its commissioner, General Gennady Ermakov, to name it after her.

With the changing military focus to high mobility, it was clear that the slow and weighty Stalin tanks of old were no longer fit for purpose. It was therefore decided by the Military Council that a new type of breakthrough tank was necessary to lead armoured incursions, especially into Europe where the growing, revanchist Old World Conglomerate began to concern Mecharussian commanders. However, problems with developing such a tank arose almost immediately as a result of the limitations of graviton distortion tech: the power required to levitate a vehicle with the same armour and armament as the older IS-44 extended into the high terawatt range, mandating a huge fusion reactor just to keep the vehicle airborne, still less power its weapons and defences.

The problem was solved by two developments: the first was enhancements in energy shielding and plasma weapons technology tested with the T-200 heavy hovertank, the second was the suggestion by Ermakov to use a large wheeled vehicle. Both of these allowed military engineers to construct a war machine with the requested level of protection and firepower, while allowing it to be fast and lightweight enough to keep pace with the new hovertanks.

In the Alternative Canon, the ET-60 makes an appearance slightly earlier because of the outbreak of World War IV, in 2157 – with the first prototypes of the tank being tested during the 2155 invasion of Jotunheim. The ET-60s were used for blitzkrieg attacks across the Western world to devastating effect, proving particularly effective in the North American and European theatres, and would later be deployed to fight in the ground phases of the Helleon Campaigns.

Features

Armament

The ET-60's primary weapon is a battery of multi-purpose guided hot-ion bolt launchers, built into the port and starboard sides of the juggernaut and used to destroy enemy ground vehicles from great distance, though it has difficulty targeting aircraft. Because of the nature of the weapon system, line-of-sight must be maintained with the target at all times, or else the ion bolt will disintegrate. This proved problematic when fighting in environments with dense cover on more than one occasion. When the bolts hit, however, they can cause devastating damage to their target, a barrage being able to destroy even an M6 Edwin heavy tank in a frighteningly-short space of time. The tank is also equipped with less powerful vertically-launched missile systems should the ion launchers fail to inflict damage. For defeating incoming aircraft, it is armed with a RADAR-guided rotary ion chaingun on its 'head', and a heavier, single barrel 85-millimetre flak cannon on its back.

The ET-60 is also outfitted with several Sh-TBP heavy plasma repeaters, built into six remote-controlled ball turrets: two are on the port and starboard side each, another is built into the front of the tank, and the last is affixed to the rear. These make the tank difficult for infantry to kill even in an urban environment, since the juggernaut's high profile gives the gunners a good view of the battlefield – and of positions where enemy troops may ambush it.

If all else fails, the ET-60 can simply crush anything smaller than it, even a main battle tank, in its path under its giant wheels.

Countermeasures

ET-60s thunder into battle bearing the signature magnetic armour of Mecharussian superheavy tanks designed to beat incoming plasma bolts. For combating kinetic rounds, its energy shielding is more than adequate for this endeavour, and the ion cannon can be turned on incoming attack VTOLs to shoot them out of the sky. Missile systems are largely defeated by the laser defence grid that comes standard with larger Mecharussian vehicles. Additionally, its wheels, fashioned from pseudostarlite polymer reinforced with durasteel grains, renders the juggernaut practically immune to mines, unless the mine detonates in the section between the wheels and damages a drive shaft.

The ET-60 possesses little in the way of soft countermeasures, such defences being impractical for a vehicle as large and visible as it, but it is equipped with side-mounted infrared flare launchers to confuse weapons and munitions that require heat-source targeting to function competently.

Notable appearances

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