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of the Irish Dragoons

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AVT-64 Slingshot
      One of the Research and Development engineers for the Irish Dragoons got the idea that they needed to develop an anti-DropShip capability. His reasoning was that if a DropShip could be destroyed, severely damaged, knocked off course during orbital insertion or descent that would mean fewer units to deal with on the ground. Although orbital artillery could reach larger ships, it proved relatively ineffective against the smaller DropShips. Also the gigantic artillery pieces didn’t fit in well with the Irish Dragoons style of fast, mobile operations. The next option was a self-propelled platform which deployed a missile that could be effective against DropShips. The missile would need to be smaller than the MLDS missile with an enhanced guidance system which could track a moving (i.e. descending) target.
      Since there was some question about the value of a single use weapon system that might see limited use, the engineers made the targeting system multi-capable. It can be changed from designated aerial targets to designated ground targets (i.e. like artillery) any time prior to launch. The new missile was designated Homing, Autonomous Missile/Air-Ground Selectable (H.A.M.A.G.S.). The H.A.M.A.G.S. was shorter that the MLDS missile but larger in circumference to accommodate the warhead, guidance package and large fuel load.
      The self-propelled chassis was made almost as large as a main battle tank with minimal armor and large engine for speed. The remaining space is used for missile storage so the unit can be reloaded three times after the initial launce instead of being resupplied from external sources. The designers wanted to name the vehicle Crossbow but that name was taken. His second and third choices of Longbow and Short Bow were also taken. As a result the unit was designated the AVT-64 Slingshot and the designers was more or less satisfied with the nomenclature. Of course the Slingshot picked up a nickname once it was deployed to the units in the field. After members of the Third Regiment used to the Slingshot, they began calling it Rosie’s Diner because you could always get a serving of H.A.M. and A.G.S. 24 hours a day.

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