Military Terminology

Androids are living beings that are artificially created in large production complexes to serve as inexpensive labor on under-populated planets or under harsh conditions unacceptable to beings with a choice. Not surprisingly, androids have been used as soldiers. Androids cannot reproduce themselves.

Battledrones were not directly related in their development to wardrones, but were misnamed because of their likeness to the smaller vehicles. Battledrones are actually a type of walker tank distinguished by their humanoid appearance. A battledrone is usually operated by one crewman. In popular literature, battledrones are frequently referred to as "mantanks," and are featured in lurid illustrations, striding through devastated countrysides with all weapons blazing.

Battlenet is a fully automated command, control and communications system with positional and status updates. Using the battlenet a commander can visually depict and understand the battlespace environment and situation. A topographic support system receives, formats and merges topographical data and multi-spectral images and provides this information to tactical commanders. This provides a commander with an image of the terrain that superimposes known enemy and friendly locations as well as terrain information. The commander can select a feature, such as a darker area of terrain and receive information identifying it as a thicket. The tactical commander has on-demand, tailored intelligence information derived from reconnaissance, surveillance and electronic battlespace mapping. Selecting an enemy symbol provides all of the information known about that unit or position.

Carriage is the general term used for all types of self-propelled artillery vehicles armed with guns, howitzers, mortars, rockets or missiles. A typical example of the usage is "150mm howitzer carriage."

Carrier is the general term used for all types of armored personnel carriers, except for those that drop in from outside of the atmosphere.

Composite armor is composed of various combinations of steel hardened with alloys, ceramics, carbon and glass fiber, plastics and advanced bonding materials. This is the best armor available and is used in armored vehicles and strongpoints. Cermet is a ceramic matrix fused with metal alloys to produce a strong, durable composite armor. Impervium and durasteel are composite materials used for vehicle armor. Duralloy, plasticrete, plasteel, synthstone and ferrocrete are composites normally used in construction.

Crawler is a term that is sometimes used to describe tracked vehicles.

Cruiser is a new term used for the latest main battle tanks. These vehicle combine grav and thruster technologies to produce high speeds and mobility, while still retaining heavy armor protection and firepower. Their grav drives allow them to float and hover, while their thruster drives give them a high movement rate. Cruisers can perform pop-up maneuvers, like helicopters. Early versions were slab-sided, with their armament fixed to fire forward, requiring the whole vehicle to be aimed at the target much like a fighter aircraft. More recent models have turreted weapon systems with full traverse. Cruisers are the new terror of the battlefield.

Cyborgs are humans or aliens whose bodies have been altered, supplemented or repaired by the addition of machine or electronic parts.

Destroyer is the general term used for all types of tank destroyers, self-propelled antitank guns, assault guns and assault artillery. The term is used for all armored vehicles that are employed in a direct fire role against other armored vehicles, and against strongpoints and fixed defenses.

Enforcers are military police, often employed in riot control and garrison work, and in paramilitary and counter-insurgency roles. Their equipment varies widely, but their arms are usually limited to light weapons and sidearms.

Flitters are small attack vehicles, usually equipped with thruster engines. They are generally armed with medium or heavy infantry weapons and are used by infantry in fast hit-and-run attacks. Jetbikes and jetcycles are often classified in this category.

Grav vehicles utilize highly sophisticated counter-gravity field generators to reduce their weight to a point where they can float in the air. Linked propulsion generators provide directional thrust and steering.

Hover vehicles utilize powerful turbofans and air cushion technology to create lift and thrust. These vehicles move easily across any relatively flat surface: ground, water, snow or ice.

Hunters are scout troops, often armed and armored as regular infantry and equipped with jetpacks. They typically perform as reconnaissance troops or flank guards. They are also known as Rovers.

Intruders are troops trained for lightning raids on key objectives. Their equipment varies with their mission. Formerly known as commandos, these troops are sometimes called Evaders.

Jetbikes are smaller, faster and more agile flitters. The perceived lack of a future on many worlds makes the teenaged members of their populations extremely adept at killing themselves on these machines. Those that survive to be recruited make excellent intruders and scouts.

Lander is the general term used for all types of armored assault landers and landing craft. These vehicles are capable of making planetary landings from space.

LaserGrenadiers are the shock troops and military elite of the Imperium. These troops are equipped as Stormers, with powered armor, jetpacks and a huge array of weaponry. Originally intended only for the toughest combat missions and planetary assaults, they have been greatly expanded and now serve in all theaters of war.

Lifter is the general term used for all types of cargo and supply transports. The vehicles are sometimes pressed into service to carry troops.

Mud-huggers is a slang term for infantry, based on their face down on the ground posture when enemy fire comes in.

Powered armor is the popular name for Standard Battle Armor.

Rangers are light infantry equipped with light automatic or energy weapons. They seldom wear armor other than a helmet, and are dressed in uniforms or full body suits. They are also referred to as Stalkers.

Robots are computerized machine beings developed to serve as technicians and skilled labor. As production techniques became more sophisticated, robots were often produced in the physical shape of the race producing them.

Scouter is the general term used for all types of scout cars, armored cars and reconnaissance vehicles.

Sentients are all living beings with intelligence, reason and freewill, whether human or alien. Sentients possess language, writing and advanced civilization. The term has an elitist connotation, in that it is used to separate the "true" sentient races from all the artificial and machine races they have created. Sentients can reproduce themselves and descriptions of these activities have proven extremely popular in intergalactic literature.

Standard Battle Armor is basically full body armor that has been modified and augmented by powered joints that help the wearer offset the weight of the armor and any equipment carried. Standard Battle Armor issued to infantry almost always includes jetpacks for even greater mobility. Another option is the Power Stabilized Limb, which allows a man to carry and operate a heavy infantry weapon. The ultimate development of powered armor is Heavy Battle Armor, which utilizes powered augmentation to provide infantry with the heaviest armor available.

Stormers originated as the shock troops and military elite of the most powerful stellar nations. The troops are equipped with powered armor and an impressive array of energy, automatic and support weapons. Traditionally reserved for the toughest assignments and assaults, the proliferation of Standard Battle Armor has made Stormers much more common. In fact, they have become the regular line infantry of the military forces of the most powerful stellar nations. These troops are less frequently referred to as Chargers.

Strikers are the regular line infantry of most stellar nations. The troops wear full body armor and are usually armed with energy weapons. They are sometimes equipped with jetpacks or gravpacks.

Strongpoints are armored bastions fitted with powerful weapons and intended to anchor defensive lines or protect key installations. There are many different types of strongpoints. Some are operated by a crew, while others are fully automated. Also known as "infantry fighting positions," some strongpoints provide embrasures and fixed weapon cupolas for infantrymen. Strongpoints are considered to be part of the regular forces of stellar nations, unlike other fortifications, which may not be actively manned or automated.

Tank is the general term used for all types of main battle tanks and light, medium and heavy tanks. Combining firepower, armored protection and mobility, they are the principal armored fighting vehicles of most stellar nations. These vehicles utilize all types of chassis: grav, hover, thruster, tracked, wheeled and walker.

Vidscope is the term for a video periscope. Armored vehicles are equipped with vidscopes instead of optical periscopes so that crew members can be positioned deeper within the protective confines of their vehicles. Due to their small size, more vidscopes can be placed on a vehicle than conventional periscopes. They can be placed anywhere on a vehicle and their cables can be run to a central location where the images may be routed to one or more screens. The video systems provide better images than periscopes, with wider fields of view and magnification. Vidscopes can also be linked to thermal imaging systems.

Warbots are small war machines designed to serve as mobile, intelligent weapon platforms for infantry heavy weapons and support weapons. Although they are not robots, and were developed independently of robot designs, their name stems from a contraction of "war robots." Warbots are never man-shaped, but are usually modified spheres or boxes with legs, wheels or tracks for mobility.

Wardrones are armored shells containing organic brains and sufficient organs, tissues and other organic components necessary to support a limited central nervous system capable of independent judgment and initiative. This organic "instinct" center is matched with a computerized "decision" center. Wardrones employ an embedded situational awareness and decision support system that identifies targets and applies rules of engagement. A development of androids with purely military applications, they are living machines. Like warbots, wardrones were developed to perform advanced reconnaissance, spearhead attacks, clear obstacles and breach minefields. Wardrones originally received their name because they were produced from pilotless vehicles (drones) developed for war. The earliest models were operated by remote control. By the time artificial intelligence sufficient to allow independent judgment and operation was developed, the name was in common usage and "drone" had come to be seen as a term signifying something menacing and impersonal. 

This photograph illustrates the differences in size between a Stormer in powered armor, a wardrone and a battledrone.



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