Thumbing a ride to Terra one planet at a time.
Piloted By: Mitchel Kun
Tech: Inner Sphere/3060 (Standard Rules)
Mass: 60 tons Chassis: Overlord Mk. 3 Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Pitban 240 Fusioin Engine
Cruising Speed: 43.2 km/h Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: Swingline X-1200 Jump Capacity: 120 Meters
Armor: Taijian StarShield II Standard Armor w/ CASE
1 MilDouglas “Emperor Bones” Series Gauss Rifle
2 BlazeFire Longshot ER Medium Lasers
2 MilDouglas “Duke” SRM-6s
Manufacturer: Ceres Metals Industries
Primary Factory: Worlock
Communications System: ceres SuperComm 3
Targeting and Tracking System: Wentland Giga-Track
Ever since Duchess Candace Liao broke the St. Ives Compact away from the Capellan Confederation in 3029, her military commanders have pressured her to expand the military industries within her realm. Until the Clan invasion, she was content to supplement the Compact’s limited BattleMech production runs with units bought from the Federated Commonwealth. With the coming of the Clans, however, that changed.
While HildCo and StarCorps each moved to quickly reintroduce proven Star League-era designs, engineering teams from Ceres Metals worked closely with St. Ives Military officers to design a new heavy BattleMech. The Helios design languished for a few years until Ceres could complete its new facility on Warlock, which was already turning out Blackjack OmniMechs. Another addition to that plant, quietly financed by ComStar, increased the number of Helios production lines to four.
With such designs as the Victor, the Emperor and the Pillager in service, the St. Ives Military is noticeably heavy. While those designs mount considerable firepower, they also rank among the most costly BattleMechs currently in production. The Helios was conceived as a low-cost “bodyguard” for such valuable units. As such, it has no need to be extremely maneuverable; its top speed is only 20 kph higher than HildCo’s Pillager. Likewise, its mission profile suggested only sporadic close-in combat, prompting its designers to mount minimal armor protection. That left almost half of the ’Mech’s mass available for weapons and ammunition.
Constructed almost entirely with Compact-built equipment, the Helios is designed to complement the ‘Mechs it defends. The Helios’ main hitting power comes from its Gauss rifle, giving it the capability to engage enemy units at the same range as its charges. Paired short-range missile launchers and medium lasers provide the additional firepower needed to take down any enemies that stray too close.
The basic configuration of the Helios changed slightly when Ceres expanded its Warlock factory. ComStar financing of the Ceres addition provided the funding necessary to purchase the new extended-range medium lasers from the Free Worlds League, which replaced the two standard medium lasers. Helios ’Mechs already in service will be scheduled for a retrofit of the new weapons as soon as sufficient stock is available.
In light of recent deals signed with the Draconis Combine, two variants have been rushed into production. Candace Liao hopes these variants will boost her own military by providing new weapons to St. Ives troops, and also prove a monetary boon to the St. Ives economy when Ceres begins selling them to the Draconis Combine. The first variant removes one of the lasers to make room for a C3 computer link. That version has only been seen twice, operating as a part of a trial C3 unit. The second variant, the 4A, adds two tons of much needed armor and completely revises the weapons load. An extended range PPC, an MRM-20 launcher and three standard medium lasers turn this ’Mech into an effective close-range brawler.
The first two runs of this ’Mech put the Helios in service in every St. Ives BattleMech regiment. Half of the third run is slated for ComStar, which will undoubtedly use it to make up for losses suffered in action against Clan Smoke Jaguar.