MTW-191 Phalanx Heavy Recovery Vehicle
This is the MTW-191 Phalanx Heavy Recovery Vehicle. It was under development by Irish Dragoons engineers in order to provide the Third Regiment with a massive recovery with great flexibility. The design used large, all terrain tires on the Phalanx and a high, floating axel arrangement. The intent was to give it an exceptional ground clearance at high speed. This would allow for fast ingress and egress in rough terrain locations and in situations where speed is vital. When ready to load, the entire chassis is lowered almost to ground level to facilitate loading operations. However, the Royal Alterian Armed Forces had been following the recently reopened Brown-Corning Company assembly lines with great interest. Once the O-66 Oppies began coming off those lines again the R.A.A.F. purchased sixteen of the massive recovery vehicles. They formed twelve of these vehicles into a dedicated recovery company. They made a gift of the remaining four Oppies to the Irish Dragoons since the Third Regiment had often assisted in the rescue, recovery, and salvage of Tiger Brigade ‘Mechs. Though the Third Regiment was appreciative, the gift caused no small amount of consternation amongst Dragoon engineers. Some said that the Oppies made the continued development of the Phalanx unnecessary. Others argued that the Oppie had neither the speed or ground clearance capabilities of the Phalanx. Two prototypes had already been constructed and were undergoing field trials. In these trials the Phalanx proved successful beyond all expectations. These results coupled with the fact that it cost far less to build a Phalanx than to buy an Oppie, production of the Phalanx continued on schedule.
A side note about the Phalanx concerned the nickname for the unit. Following one test deployment a Phalanx returning to base was passing close to a petroleum tank farm when lightening from a developing storm struck a storage tank which caught on fire. The commander of the Phalanx, Staff Sargent Peter Grunter realized that the fire could spread to the entire farm if some action weren’t taken. He ordered his crew to evacuate the vehicle then drove it up to the flaming tank, where he climbed into the crane operator’s position. From here he used the massive arm to punch the large gash across the bottom of the burning allowing the fuel to cascade down an incline away from the other tanks. This saved the huge storage facility. As Peter tried to drive out of the area of danger, fiery debris from the still burning tank ignited the run off and a wave of flaming fuel overwhelmed and destroyed the vehicle. As a result the Phalanxes became known as Flaming Petes. Each vehicle now supports a flaming skull on the hubcaps of the front set of wheels.
| R.O.V.E.R., Phalanx, Hyena, Flexagon recovery company