Intent: To create a mobile battle platform for the Lords of the Fringe.
Development Thread: If requested
Manufacturer: Iron Crown Productions
Model: Damascus-class repulsortank
Affiliation: Fringe Confederation
Material: Durasteel alloy, turadium treads
Role: Mobile artillery platform, superheavy tank
Height: 12 metres
Length: 45 metres
Width: 30 metres
Weight: 2500 tons
Propulsion: Treads (4), repulsorlift augmentation
Top Speed: 50 km/h
Anti-ground turbolaser turret (3)
Quad laser turret (3)
Anti-orbital turbolaser (4)
Mortar (4, range 3km)
Anti-air laser cannon turret (10)
Anti-ground laser cannon/grenade launcher turret (14)
Anti-infantry weapons mounts (28)
Passenger Capacity: 11 (1 commander, 10 gunners)
Cargo Capacity: 550 kg
Misc. Equipment: Shield generator, targeting sensors
The Damascus-class mobile assault platform defies classification. Huge and relatively non-maneuverable, it requires a specialized drop barge, much like the largest walkers. The barge itself is almost too large to fit within the hangars of all but the largest military starships, dominating those hangars utterly until the barge is deployed.
In concept and scale, it is similar to (but slightly larger than) the XR-85 tank droid, trading the gigantic particle cannon for seven turbolasers and as many small, secondary weapons as mounted by a small capital ship. Its weapons loadout is proportional to a vastly scaled-up NR-N99 Persuader-class tank droid. Although mortal gunners are essential, most of the tank's operations are coordinated by an astromech-style droid brain. Additionally, anti-orbital turbolaser fire is aimed, as a first resort, by the droid brain.
In essence, the Damascus-class is a heavy corvette turned into a ground vehicle. Its entire lower surface area is dominated by four broad turadium treads, spreading out its insane 2500-ton weight over 1350 square metres. This allows for a weight distribution of roughly 1.8 tons per square metre. Although the turadium tread assembly is capable of supporting this weight and achieving reliable mobility, on par with a slow walker-type vehicle, wear and tear are reduced by a repulsor augmentation system which cancels out a respectable fraction of the tank's weight. The repulsor augmentation system also provides a qualitative difference over terrain. The Damascus-class is most at home on bedrock and industrial permacrete. Its wide, high-profile treads prevent it from bottoming out or getting stuck, even though its immense weight generally sinks it through the topsoil and even small hills. Land is never the same after the Damascus-class has rolled over it. The platform is worthless in the desert or in deep water, though it can navigate swamps and rivers provided a rocky bed is not too deeply buried. Though it is waterproof, submersion renders the mortars useless. Furthermore, although turbolasers can fire through deep water effectively, the excessive amounts of heat released would create such turbulence as to block targeting sensors. In other words, the firing rate of the Damascus-class's turbolasers decreases to roughly one shot per minute when submerged. On an ecumenopolis, such as Coruscant, the Damascus-class would likely be unable to land at all, except on a dedicated capital ship landing platform, and its theatre of operations would be highly restricted. Furthermore, its anti-infantry weapons mounts are only operational once ground troopers bring man-portable weapons onboard to fit those mounts.
The tank's greatest weakness may be its versatility. Its four anti-orbital turbolasers are not capable of depressing to fire on any conceivable ground target. Likewise, the other three turbolasers are not capable of engaging orbital targets, due to a very low range of angles of inclination. With exceptional orbital fire control and timing, a straight-line shot from one or two of the anti-ground turbolasers could conceivably leave atmosphere on a tangential straight-line course and strike an orbital target with reduced power, due to longer passage through atmosphere. The best ways to kill a Damascus-class outright include the following:
- Lure or force it into close confines, such as canyons, or heavy obstruction, such as a lake, ancient forest, or ocean.
- Engage with an orbital strike, though such efforts generally place the aggressor within the tank's field of fire.
- Engage at very short range. Although the turadium tread assemblies are, to some degree, lightsabre-resistant, destruction of antipersonnel blasters and grenade launchers could allow melee-based combatants to approach the tank and begin dealing with the upper armour plating.
- Engage with sufficient conventional firepower. A large force of tanks, walkers, aircraft or starfighters can wear down the Damascus-class, though the assault platform boasts a sufficient number of anti-air laser cannons that air strikes generally sustain heavy casualties.