The Locust Main Battle Tank was developed in 74 AF in response to a growing amount of complaints from old generals who were still suspicious of HMVs. They demanded they needed a new vehicle that could deal with all threats which included the growing number of HMVs while being relatively quick and dependable over the new Ranger that had taken many battlefield roles and threatened the traditions of tankers who would be forced to transfer to the HMV divisions if tanks were soon to be obsolete in the new battlefields.
The Royal Ossyrian Military, rather than face riots, desertions and protests from such individuals raised funding and demanded they have a new tank from their on-world military manufacturers that would suit their needs. What they did not account for, however, was that the vehicle had been designed only to fight on Ossyria and no where else.
Unlike the older Grizzly of the Northern Federation or the newer Karsian Goliath, the testing of the Locust went worst than expected and highlighted many flaws which almost doomed the entire project to the scrapyard. The vehicle's central treads had a nasty tendency of lodging the tank in the ground when going over hills, trenches or uneven terrain, the launchers and machine guns were less than reliable in bad weather, engines tended to freeze and be inoperable in extremely cold weather, and less armour than other tanks of its class and size meant it could not compete against other armoured divisions.
The tankers and generals were not impressed to say the least and the project seemed doomed to fail and it was not until the Royal Ossyrian Military threatened the designers to fix these problems who took their design off-world for extensive testing for a full year.
To compensate for the poor reliability of the launchers and the machine guns, the weapons would be hidden within the hull and turret of the vehicle until needed to keep them in top condition before a battle and protected. The entire tank's suspension was heavily modified to allow it to roll over terrain with ease that helped with additional uparmouring on vulnerable sections of the tank while an entirely new, redesigned the engine was put in place.
By the time the redesign was finished, the O-3 A2 Locust, that it had been designated, finally made its way into the hands of Ossyrian tankers who had heard of these new upgrades and development of the old model. Fast, well-armed, the Locust could fight its way against the enemies of Ossyria, using superior mobility on all terrain while holding its own against the growing number of HMVs with an impressive 110km/h at combat speeds, unheard of for most tanks. There was a trade-off, to this, however, the tank still lacked the armour the average MBT had, though the Locust has more than enough armour to shrug off autocannons and less potent anti-tank weapons.
This did not cause problems, however, as the extreme speed and mobility was considered more than enough to get the tanks out of situations and get the first strike. This has made the Locust the Ossyrian's main rapid-response heavy-hitter and the vehicle demanded when flanks or ambushes are required.
The Locust is the front-line battle tank of the Royal Ossyrian Military and is often the very first of unit to spearhead the assault with its speed against enemy ground forces. From there, after breaking enemy lines and formations, the Locust is used as a rapid-response unit, detached to areas that need tank support the most.
The Locust, though not capable of being an effective linebreaker like heavier tanks due to its lighter armour, is a capable skirmishers and reconnaissance tank, scouting enemy positions with its speed and picking away at enemy forces from range before quickly relocating for another strike.
The Locust carries a 200mm cannon in the turret as its main weapon, capable of dealing with all ground targets with the proper ammunition which is known for its high accuracy while on the move, even beyond combat speed.
On the both sides of the turret, the Locust has two six chambered missile pods that are kept concealed until needed. These are can be quickly deployed and fired all at once for devastating results and with the right ammunition, can pose a substantial threat to incoming aircraft.
Finally, the Locust carries three 50cal heavy machine guns mounted in their own turret on the tank that are kept concealed until needed. These are used for self-defense against infantry and light aircraft.
Speed and DefenseEdit
Speed is the number one defense of the Locust, being fast enough to avoid incoming fire and be in the right position to land the first shot, often the kill shot. With a combat speed of 110km/h, with exceptional maneuverability the Locust can escape danger while still being capable of fighting back, but the engines can push the tank even faster when needed.
The special Ossyrian-grade plating of the Locust is relatively light in terms of weight compared to the armour of other tanks while still offering moderate protection against AT weapons. Protection, instead of being focused at the front, is equally distributed to offer safety to the crew from any direction for the Locust can usually be found in the thick of battle as they charge through enemy lines and to protect the vehicle against mobility kills.
Infrared flare launchers are also mounted on the tank, not to provide illumination, but to misguide incoming heat-seeking missiles and blind enemy forces should they be too near.
Service and RepairEdit
Being a tank, a Locust is not terribly hard to maintain, though it is more delicate than other vehicles due to its engines being an incredibly well-built, precise machine that requires constant attention and care of its crew, thankfully, the engine can be rolled out for service with just a simple flick of a switch.
It should be noted, despite the lack of armour, the entire tank's chassis and systems have a very high probability of surviving and it's not uncommon for a Locust to be towed home to be refurbished and repaired within a month allowing all but the most damaged tanks to be put back into service.