teh mutha's of all mutha's
the M577 APC
USCMC M577 APC
The M557 APC (armored personnel carrier) is the product of a USCMC requirement for a cheap, lightweight APC that can be deployed from a dropship. The
M577 is very mobile, and well-armed enough to function as a multi-role vehicle within the structure of a lightly-armed fast attack force.
Unfortunately, many trade-offs and limitations have been imposed by the Corpsí requirement that the vehicle be dropship portable.
Chassis & Hull Construction:
The composition of the M577 centers around both minimal weight and maximum rigidity in order to meet the USCMC necessity for a combat ballast under
15,000 kg. The drivetrain is of 4x4 configuration, receiving power from a 286 kW multiple fuel gas turbine. Unfortunately, the M577 uses wheels
instead of tracks to apply its power to the ground, robbing it of off-road performance while increasing field reliability and saving substantial
weight. Solid rubber, low profile tires are wrapped around these massive hubs, proof against small caliber rounds and shrapnel.
The M577ís chassis is composed of bonded titanium around a 5 cm thick floor cavity that guards against anti-personnel mines. The hull is welded from
light titanium alloys and latched or bonded to the chassis. Interior hull surfaces are lined with boron carbide tiles covered with polymer resin 2mm
thick, providing limited ablative protection from lasers penetrating the outer hull. Weight restrictions allow for very limited armor protection,
capable of stopping shrapnel, small arms fire, and low-velocity armor piercing rounds.
Two crew, the driver and section commander, are responsible for vehicle operation. Provisions are provided for twelve passengers, with restraint yokes
for orbital combat drops. The spacious interior is capable of storing materiel sufficient for three days of combat, although this amount of gear
causes the vehicle to become quite cramped. Rear of the cockpit is the Tactical Operations Center, wherein the section commander maintains contact
with the squad with audio and video feeds, monitoring combat in real-time on several video displays.
Sensors, Stealth, & Defensive Systems:
The driverís main field of view is provided via a forward window of armored quartz crystal, with supplemental periscope ports for observation of the
sides of the vehicle. Multi-function displays at the driverís and commanderís locations provide a sensor enhanced view of the combat area surrounding
the APC. Sensors consist of: a thermal imager, TV camera with magnification from 4 to 20x, UV detector, and motion tracker. Millimeter-wave targeting
radars are slaved to the forward gun emplacement and main turret. The slab-sides of the hull give the vehicle a large radar cross section. Radar
absorbent material has been applied to the outer skin, with limited success. All defenses can be controlled by computer logic system, the commander,
For such a light purpose vehicle, the M577 mounts substantial firepower. A small turret traversing the APCs forward arc mounts twin Republic Electric
RE700 20mm Gatling cannon, supplied with 1700 round multi-feed ammo bin. Available round profiles are: High Explosive, High Explosive Armor Piercing,
and Swarm type Anti-Personnel flechette rounds. These weapons use an upscaled version of the pulse technology found in the pulse rifles and smart
guns. The main weapon of the M577 is mounted in a fully traversable, self-contained turret assembly on a rail that continues down the rear of the
vehicle. Motors allow it to moved and stowed on the vehicleís rear, allowing it to fit within a dropship or shuttle bay. Fire control can be automatic
or under the discretion of the vehicle commander. The M577A carries twin 20mW Boyars PARS 150 phased plasma cannon. Each gun carries 1000 rounds of
ammo. The final, and most recent production version, dubbed the M577A3 carries twin 20 MeV turboalternator powered, charged particle beam cannons. A
breakthrough in turbine tech allows deployment of a unit capable of generating 20 mW with a fuel supply sufficient for 50 seconds of continuous fire.
Even though the M577 has many trade-offs and limitations inherent in its design, it has remained the primary workhorse APC for the USCMC. This role is
a result of the M577ís dropship portability, mobility, toughness, and heavy firepower. These features allow it to function as an effective part of the
Marinesí rapid assault force structure.
[Edited on 9/16/2002 by necro99]