|Manufacturer||Arkhangelsk Tank Plant|
|Mass-Produced at||Soviet War Factory|
|Key Features||» 85 mm autoloading cannon|
» TS1 "Tsarsky" Leech-Beam
» One-size-fits-all auxiliary weapons port
» Integral steel-cavity armor plating
» Air-cooled ammo storage
Battle Footage[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
In a lonely corner of the sprawling Arkhangelsk Tank Plant sits Building 19, a large gray monolith whose only notable feature is a pair of oversized hangar-style doors emblazoned with the building's number. Perhaps it is fitting that the backbone of the Soviet armored corps, the so-called Hammer main battle tank, would be built in such an austere setting. The Hammer Tank is truly a utilitarian weapon built to adapt well to unpredictable battlefield conditions. And to the Soviet military and the nation's people, it is not a weapon at all, but a tool, as its name suggests.
The Hammer's outward appearance is unmistakably Soviet. The blocky hard-angled chassis, the aggressive exposed treads, and the bulky cockpit are reminiscent of earlier Soviet battle tanks. However, the offset cannon and the unusual-looking protuberance in the front of the vehicle do set it apart from earlier models. The Hammer's heavy armor plating protects its crew from all but the heaviest concussive impacts. At the same time, its standard 85 mm autoloading cannon is a proven anti-vehicle weapon, offering excellent rates of fire and lower chances of ammunition accidents. One might expect the turret to spin wildly each time the cannon fires, but a complex recoil-management-and-stabilization system redirects the kick of the gun and keeps the gunner on target through multiple shots. Surprisingly, this technology was "off-the-shelf", being based heavily on the stabilization system used to keep Sickles and Terror Drones upright, modified to handle the explosive force of firing the cannon. Had a solution not been readily available, however, the design team would have created one from scratch, because the offset of the cannon was a critical part of the Hammer tank's most astounding innovation.
Like many discoveries throughout the annals of scientific history, the invention of the TS1 "Tsarsky" Leech-Beam was purely accidental. Arkhangelsk scientists researching magnetic harpoon technology for the Apocalypse project were surprised to find that concentrating the tractor beam and increasing the frequency allowed the device to literally rip metal objects apart (a discovery which nearly caused the collapse of Building 19). The resulting weapon granted two significant boons to the already-impressive Hammer. First, by re-calibrating the magnetic field, segments of shorn vehicular debris could be melded to weak sections of the Hammer's armor, effectively regenerating hull strength in the midst of a battle while the beam was active. Second, by increasing the amplitude at the time of the vehicle's destruction, entire weapons could be incised from the enemy with little to no damage to the weapon itself. Using advancements in Soviet mass production capabilities, Soviet engineers devised a multifunctional weapon interface mounted on the left side of the turret, allowing nearly any weapon to be re-attached. Given its ability to simply steal the armaments of nearly any armed vehicle while patching up any damage sustained in battle, the sheer versatility of the Hammer eclipses that of nearly any other unit in the Soviet arsenal.
Even with such an advanced weapon system, the Hammer Tank's image is not nearly as glamorized as that of other Soviet weapon systems, such as its larger sibling the Apocalypse. Regardless, the workers in Building 19 take great pride in their creations. They must realize that the Hammer Tank represents the core of Soviet military strength, and their calm determination and commitment shows in the final product, for which every Hammer crew is thankful. So say the official sources, which have made no comments on accusations that some Hammer crews have increasingly shown thuglike, callous behavior in the field, perhaps as a result of wielding such a powerful device on the frontlines of their Motherland's many battlefields.
Notes From the Field[edit | edit source]
Battlefield reconnaissance has revealed at least these facts about the Hammer Tank:
- Ready for Battle -- The Hammer is a true main battle tank. Hammer crews are well-protected from small arms and light cannon fire while they lay waste to enemy vehicles. Hammer Tanks offer a fine balance of power and speed for a low cost, now that the Soviets have streamlined their production.
- Pound for pound -- The Hammer's 85 mm cannon cannot effectively target smaller enemies such as infantry and is of course unable to target aircraft at all. This means that anti-armor infantry and aircraft pose a real threat to Hammer Tanks, which is why most commanders use them together with support units such as Sickles and Bullfrogs. The Sickle, in particular, naturally complements the Hammer Tank.
- Adaptable -- The Leech-Beam gives the Hammer a degree of flexibility not found in other main battle tanks. While it of course takes longer to dispatch enemy vehicles than the main cannon, deliberate use of the Leech-Beam can cause the Hammer to gain anti-infantry or anti-aircraft capabilities it normally lacks. Additionally, the ability to regenerate hull strength while in combat has allowed well-trained Soviet Hammer divisions to defeat much larger forces, simply by retreating behind a the main battle line to use the beam's significant range while unharmed vehicles draw fire instead. The practice of shuffling damaged tanks into and out of the line of fire has become known as the "Battle Barynya," with some divisions going so far as to compose lyrics for the dance, most of them unsuitable for print.
- Ready to Crush -- Although the Hammer's main gun is normally ill-suited against infantry, the tank is sufficiently fast and heavy enough to simply roll over smaller threats. As this is a rather gruesome mode of defense, rumors that many Hammer crews relish in this particular tactic are unlikely to be true.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The image captions for the Hammer tank were originally the same as the image captions used in the MiG Fighter profile. This was later corrected.