Courtesy of Mike Miller, from rec.games.mecha.
With the reintroduction of Star League technology after discovery of the Grey Death Memory Core, many technological systems of the Star League era came back into being, including Pulse Lasers, Streak SRMs, and Artemis IV FCS. One little known system, buried in the Memory Core until recently, was a system that improved the to-hit accuracy of missile systems. The NAIS, during their decoding of the Core, logged it with the other partially-researched items of the Star League, but devoted their resources to other endeavors.
Shortly before the Refusal War between Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon, rumors had started filtering into the Inner Sphere that the Clans had developed a missile guidance system that improved both to-hit and missile accuracy. These rumors were vindicated during Operation Bulldog, when several prototype Artemis V systems were used against SLDF forces by the Smoke Jaguars. A few systems were captured partially intact by the Davion Heavy Guards, and were routed back to the NAIS for breakdown and study.
The Artemis V worried the NAIS scientists. Here was a system that not only improved missile accuracy, but improved the chances of a successful lock-on. While unable to duplicate the effects of the Artemis V, the research team was able to discern the lock-on benefits of the system. One grizzlied veteran, who was a member of the original Memery Core decoding team, remembered the partially-researched Star League system and reopened the files, while another member contacted Corean Enterprises, who produces Artemis IV systems on New Avalon, and Holly Missile Systems. 4 months later, the first prototype Athena FCS was completed.
Recent reports indicate that the Clans have had a similar system for some time, although no Inner Sphere unit to date has reported capturing one. Most analysts surmise that this means the Clan's Athena is either relegated to second-line usage, or does not exist amongst the Invading Clans, and instead is held by one of the Home Clans.
The Athena FCS follows all rules for the Artemis IV FCS except for the following:
Instead of adding 2 to the missile hits column, the Athena FCS grants the missile launcher a -1 to the target number to-hit.
The Athena FCS and Artemis IV FCS use similar missile software. While the missiles themselves are not directly compatible between the two systems, the software is modular enough such that the switch can be made relatively easy, although tediously. Swithing the missile load between Artemis IV or Athena does not require a tech roll, but takes 4 hours per ton of ammunition. A successful Technician Roll (with a +2 penalty to the target number) reduces this time to 2 hours. A successful roll with a +4 penalty reduces the time to 90 minutes. Failed rolls do not affect the missiles, but means the change was not made and has to be started over. In MechWarrior, a Technician/Missile skill roll is required.
There is no difference between the Inner Sphere version and the Clan version.
Heat Damage Min Short
Med. Long Tons Crit Ammo
* - See game rules for this equipment.
C-bills (x2 standard for missile ammunition)
Battle Value: +20% to any missile system equipped with Athena FCS. This increase does not apply to ammunition.
Availability: Federated Commonwealth (Fed. Suns)
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Page last modified 31 December, 2003