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(RP) Armoured Vehicles in the Ruins of Eridonia, Part I: Coyote AFV

Introduction.

The Marauder raider-pirates of the Eridonian ruins operate a relatively sizable arsenal of armoured vehicles, mostly derived from the models available to the Eridonia Planetary Guard (EPG) at the time of the Fall. After the Fall of the UTN, enormous quantities of mothballed, reserve or paramilitary armoured vehicles were deployed by the remnants of the Planetary Guard in attempt to restore order. In the decades following the complete collapse of civilisation on the world, and the subsequent arrival of ne'er-do-wells from the Angel Nebula, these vehicles would fall into the hands of pirate raiding parties and scavenger clans alike, often facing each other in armoured combat as different groups struggled to survive in the post-apocalyptic heart of the Old Federation.


This series will explore the various vehicles in use by all factions trying to forge an existence in the ruins, in the 46th century; as ATIS begins its historic push into the lower tiers with its own highly advanced vehicle designs.


AFV-4 Coyote Armoured Fighting Vehicle.


History

The AFV-4 Coyote was originally developed by the pre-fall Rockal Armaments Corporation for export to the newly annexed Phoenix Systems after the UTN intervention in 3776 A.D. A variety of paramilitary organisations and local system military forces sprung up in the years following the annexation, all potential customers for a multi-purpose wheeled armoured vehicle designed for patrol, force recon and personnel transport. Rolled out in 3780 A.D, the AFV-4 was an export success, replacing older CEG-derived models based on BTR-201 and BMP-8/9 designs from the 21st and 22nd centuries in use by the Phoenix Republic's former military forces.

AFV-4A Coyote Armoured Fighting Vehicle in UTN Federal Guard colours.

Coyote's design emphasises high mobility in an urban environment thanks to the quad-wheeled drive train, but retains good off-road capability due to the large wheel diameter and powerful Dual-Cylinder Fusion Engine Powerplant. The vehicle can carry up to 8 fully armed medium-weight soldiers internally, along with their equipment, and additional equipment on external rigs. Armament is provided by a multi-purpose remotely operated turret able to carry the versatile FIMD/A-120, 120mm Kinetic Cannon developed for use by the UTN for its own ground forces, in anti-armour role. The Coyote was fitted with the A-120E export variant with slightly lower pressure tolerance and ammunition compatibility was limited to Impulse Dual Purpose instead of Kinetic Penetrators, but nevertheless proved highly popular among paramilitary forces operating planet-side in the Phoenix Cluster.


The vehicle's presence on Eridonia during the fall is largely due to the acquisition of large numbers of Coyotes from Rockal Armaments by the Eridonia Planetary Guard during the 41st Century to augment existing ARV fleets, reinforced by the looming threat of a ground-based invasion of Federal Worlds by Radacri forces. As such, these versatile light recon armoured vehicles are widely used by both sides in the Eridonian Civil war by 4512 A.D.


Characteristics

Armour & Protection

The Coyote's armour consists of light macropolymer arrays with composite inserts optimised for low mass and resistance to small and medium calibre FIMD munitions. Though the vehicle is resistant to most sub 10mm class FIMD projectiles, it is vulnerable to heavier 20mm+ Autocannon class FIMDs and thus relies on its speed to avoid direct confrontations with heavier vehicles. Coyote's turret is equipped with a pair of triple Active Countermeasure deployers on either side; able to deploy IR-masking smoke or EM chaff.


Drivetrain & Propulsion

Coyote features a quad-wheeled drivetrain with an independent hydropneumatic suspension, adjustable per-wheel for reducing the profile of the vehicle and assisting with platform stabilisation over rough terrain. The powerplant is provided by a Rockal Dual-Cylinder 150KW 2100 BHP Cyclic Fusion Impulse Turbine, distributed via an electronically actuated transmission with wheel independent gear ratios handled by the automotive computer, or based on predefined parameters set by the driver.


Crew & Personnel

The vehicle's internal compartment consists of a single, open-plan layout with a two-person crew minimum; driver and commander/gunner both seated on the front of the vehicle with the gunner located directly behind the driver. A third crew member is required (loader) for fast replenishment of the first stage ammunition magazine if the vehicle is deployed in a combat capability with the main gun. In an Armoured Personnel Carrier capacity, The Coyote has internal space with seating for up to six heavily armoured soldiers or eight lightly armoured soldiers and their associated equipment. Additional storage is present in internal bustles on either side of the fighting compartment, which can also be sectioned off to provide 'dry storage' magazine for the main armament at the expense of some internal cargo capacity.


Basic interior layout of the AFV-4 Coyote, viewed from the read door inwards.

Like most Aquarian armoured vehicles, the Coyote features a large rear access door which doubles as a loading ramp, with no hatches or additional doors; both the crew and mounted infantry must disembark via this rear door.


Rear loading ramp of the AFV-4 Coyote.

Like most Aquarian armoured vehicles, the Coyote is expected to operate in essentially any planetary environment, including a complete lack of an atmosphere. As such, it is equipped with a fully-featured internal life-support environmental system with air filtration (oxygen extraction and scrubbing) systems in addition to reserve pure oxygen supplies for use in completely toxic, or oxygen-free environments. The vehicle lacks an internal pressure door for the driver and gunner, however; meaning the crew compartment is not isolated from the troop compartment. This requires full depressurisation of the vehicle for soldiers to dismount. APC variants typically operate depressurised with all crew members wearing their own environmental protection suits - supplemented by the vehicle's large internal oxygen supply tanks.


The hull plating contains a dense macropolymer lead-like element designed to absorb charged, free particles and various radioactive energy types. The NBC protection element can provide effective protection for crew members in radioactive environments up to 28,000 Roentgens per hour for short periods of time with a passive protection capability reducing exposure dosage by around 75-90% while the vehicle has power.


Armament

Coyote is equipped with a remotely operated, autonomous turret with a multi-purpose weapons platform capability; the turret enclosure is able to accept a variety of different weapon systems that were originally designed to be tailored to a specific client's needs underscoring the export nature of the vehicle. The standard configuration, however, is a long-barrel medium-velocity 120mm Fusion Impulse Mass Driver, specifically, the FIMD/A-120E export variant of the highly successful UTN-designed and operated tank-gun. Coyote is configured to operate the main gun with Dual Purpose rounds using Explosive Fission Impulse Penetrators and tungsten fragmentation shells. Depending on the configuration of the shell set by the gunner, these munitions can either perform anti-armour or anti-fortification, or area-of-effect anti-infantry and light vehicle roles.


The 120MM main gun is supported by an autonomous 16-round auto-loading first stage magazine located directly under the turret, above the fighting compartment. Upon depletion of the first-stage magazine, a dedicated loader crewmember is required to manually replenish the rack with ammunition optionally stored in the forward cargo bustles (either side of the driver's position).


A co-axial 15mm FIMD Machinegun is present on upgraded models aligned below the main gun, or located in an independent weapon station on some versions, however the base model lacks any secondary armament.


Optics & Electronic Systems

All variants of the vehicle are equipped with a Commander Independent Optics System with a fully traversable swivel on top of the turret for enhanced battlefield visibility. The CIOS features built-in Variable Environment Enhancement including VLA and Thermal Imaging.

Commander Independent Optics System

The Main gun also features a multi-spectrum Imaging Sight with similar capability to the CIOS but with increased magnification for long-range engagements. There are two additional Optics Systems located above the driver's position with 180 degree field of view Image Enhancement for the driver; also featuring VLA and Thermal Imaging.


AFV-4 base variant is equipped with an environmental sensor with sensors such as wind direction, atmospheric composition and pressure. This data can be fed into the firing computer for increased accuracy in variable planetary environments.


Usage in the Eridonian Civil War (Circa 4040-present (ongoing))

Due to large numbers being present on the capital world during the Fall of the UTN; primarily due to the deployment of the vehicle by the Eridonia Planetary Guard, the AFV-4 Coyote is a fairly common sight in the ruins, being operated by essentially every major faction and almost all Scavenger Clans. Marauder Pirate Raiders are known to have salvaged many hundreds of these vehicles in the Earthway District alone, potentially many thousands in other Districts across the capital ruins. Coyotes in Scavenger use typically reflect their original configuration in EPG service, with the most common modifications being made to external panels such as additional rigs for cargo and supplies.


Marauder Pirate Raiders, however, are known to perform extensive modifications to their Coyote vehicles; including adding additional applique armour and spikes fashioned from twisted metal debris, likely for ramming other vehicles or fortifications, or simply for the psychological effect on their enemies. The effectiveness of the additional armour plates on Marauder-operated Coyotes is questionable against heavier munitions such as tank-guns or ATGMs, but no doubt provides some level of stand-off protection from low to medium velocity munitions such as those from autocannons in the 20-30MM calibre range.


It is also noteworthy that AFV-4s in Marauder use appear to have had the environmental sensor removed. It is likely it was salvaged for components as the environmental conditions of the ruins are fairly well known.



AFV-4A Coyote in Marauder use. Note the crude applique standoff panels, modified barrel assembly and ATGM launcher

Like other vehicles in Marauder use, Coyotes operated by the pirates posses other non-standard modifications. A common alteration is the application of a crude external heatsink to the barrel assembly; while this no doubt helps in cooling performance (likely to increase the life expectance of the weapon reducing maintenance requirements) the extra weight probably reduces accuracy by increasing pressure on the stabilisation actuators. In addition, Marauder Coyotes appear to have the original gun assembly from the AFV-4B; featuring the co-axial 15mm FIMD Machinegun underneath the main assembly.



Close up of the Marauder-operated Coyote's turret. Note the presence of the under-slung co-axial 15mm FIMD Machinegun as seen on later versions of the vehicle.


Marauders are also known to install a crude ATGM launcher on the turret of AFV-4A Coyote vehicles; it is believed this weapon is comprised of an array of infantry-type shoulder-fired Anti-Tank Missiles arranged in a modified enclosure with a custom fuse trigger. Guidance appears to be controlled by line-of-sight with a beam-riding system to the target. Despite the crude nature of the system, low accuracy is offset by giving Marauder Coyotes a significant anti-armour capability at close range on top of the main gun.


The Coyote seems to serve the Marauders as a fast recon or patrol vehicle, for conducting fast raids, carrying salvaged loot and pirate raiding teams. It appears to be the primary method of transporting their foot soldiers.


[Data Not Complete. Will be updated as available].

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