Craft: Imperial Munitions Falconer MAAA
Type: Halftrack Mobile Anti Aircraft Artillery
Length: 6.85 meters
Skill: Ground Vehicle Operation: MAAA
Crew: 1 + 1 gunner
Cargo Capacity: 500 kg
Cost: 30,000 (new), 12,000 (used)
Move: 21; 60 kmh
Body Strength: 2D+1
Quad Laser Cannon
Fire Arc: Turret
Skill: Vehicle Blasters
Fire Control: 3D (Flying targets), 1D (Ground targets)
Range: 100-300/1.2/2.5 km
Unofficially noticing that Rebel fighters frequently outmatched Imperial TIEs in combat, and also frequently attacked targets that lacked much or any fighter cover, Imperial Munitions decided an oppurtunity existed for a ground based anti aircraft system.
Spurred by three goals, 1. the system prove capable of knocking down Rebel starfighters, 2. the system be able to keep up with an AT-AT on the ground, and 3. the system cost less than a TIE, Imperial Munitions developed the Falconer Mobile Anti Aircraft Artillery.
The Falconer was built around a quad laser system reminiscient of (or inspired by) those mounted on the Millenium Falcon, thus the vehicle was named Falconer 'one who tames falcons', in order to cash in on the infamy of the criminal spaceship. The recoil of the lasers was such a conventional repulsorlift was unsuitable for a stable firing platform, yet a Walker design would cost to much. Therefore a tracked design was used, however normal wheels were used under the cab, as that area did not have to withstand the lasers recoil. The quad lasers performed as advertised against starfighters, being both powerful and accurate, though not quite enough to reliably drop the durable rebel fighters in one hit. Further the Falconer cost only half as much as a TIE fighter, and its top speed matched that of an AT-AT, thus meeting all project goals.
Shortcomings were soon apparent, the Falconer was a easy target for other ground vehicles, and for its size rather flimsy. Also, unlike TIEs Falconers were reliant solely on the Rebel starfighters venturing within its range. Crews also disliked the open roof and lack of cover the vehicle provided, despite assurances this made it easier to see the starfighters. Also, the targeting system had great difficulty targeting anything that wasn't flying, often painting the ground itself as the target and other ailments. Some thought this was intentional, making sure captured Falconer's couldn't be used on AT-ATs and other Imperial vehicles, others thought Imperial Munitions had merely invented yet another inaccurate weapon. Finally, while Falconers could keep up with AT-ATs, they could not do so over all the varied terrain AT-ATs easily covered.
These problems, coupled with the fact the Falconer hardly looked very impressive next to AT-ATs and other Imperial vehicles, meant the Empire did not adopt the Falconer in large numbers. However, sales were quite brisk to Imperial member worlds, Corporations and others who had felt the bite of Rebel and Pirate craft. After Endor with the Imperial Remnants being pushed ever more on the defensive Falconer production further increased as New Republic raiders grew bolder and defensive weapons were more in demand.
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