|Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Communications System||Sipher CommCon SCU-4|
|Targeting Tracking System||Cat's Eyes 5|
|Jump Jets||Lexington Lifters|
The Panther is one of the BattleMechs that is most iconic of the Draconis Combine. The design was originally commissioned in 2739 at the behest of the Star League to provide fire support for other light, fast-moving 'Mech units, with the first models going to the SLDF to fight bandits along the Periphery border. The original PNT-8Z model underwent a revision after the disastrous Battle of St. John in 2759, when it was revealed that its main weapon, a Tronel Large Laser, was inefficient in both range and firepower for the immense waste heat generated. Luckily the Panther had also proved itself to be quite hardy, sporting six and a half tons of armor, and maneuverable, thanks to four Lexington Lifter jump jets split between both legs for a total jumping distance of 120 meters, thus an attempt to fix its one deficiency was made by League engineers by replacing the laser with a Lord's Light Particle Projection Cannon. The swap in weaponry, along with a superior armor composite, gave the PNT-9R Panther a new lease on life, such that it has seen over three centuries of continuous use since its introduction.
The Draconis Combine inherited Alshain Weapons' Panther factory on New Oslo when the Star League dissolved and quickly put the production line to work building new Panthers for the DCMS. Their first large-scale use by Kurita warriors came during the First Succession War in the battle for Quentin, when the 2nd Legion of Vega used their Panthers to severely maul the slower, heavier 'Mechs of the 42nd Avalon Hussars while avoiding return fire. Throughout the Succession Wars, the Combine was the only significant user of the Panther, often pairing it with the Jenner in a deadly combination of speed and firepower; though the other Successor States employed Panthers in smaller numbers, these were either the result of battlefield salvage or older League-era 8Z models. The Panther also proved itself a deadly urban combatant, using its mobility to easily navigate the more restricted space of a city environment and take out heavier opponents from rooftop sniping perches with its main weapon. Lyran MechWarriors eventually took to nicknaming the 'Mech the "Alley Cat" for its propensity to conduct dark alley-way "muggings."
Demand for the Panther continued to increase, forcing Alshain to build a secondary factory on Jarett to keep up. In an ironic twist both factories fell within the borders of the Free Rasalhague Republic following its creation in 3034, transferring ownership to the new state, and soon the Panther became a mainstay of the KungsArmé. The situation did not last long however following the invasion of the Clans, and both planets were swiftly conquered by Clan Ghost Bear. While Alshain Weapons crash-built a new line on Tok Do in 3053, they could not maintain their pre-invasion production levels and focused on spare parts and refit kits instead. Eventually Wakazashi Enterprises bought the production license for the Panther and began rolling out new variants from its New Samarkand factory. These have gone on to serve in every DCMS unit since, including the bloody years of the Jihad.
Weapons and EquipmentEdit
The Panther's primary weapon is a Lord's Light PPC mounted in the right arm and boasting one of the highest damage outputs of any weapon. Unfortunately the PPC is also one of the most heat intensive, though many officers see it as a good learning opportunity for raw recruits to spend their first years piloting the Panther and gain experience managing its heat curve with thirteen heat sinks. The PPC is backed up by a reliable Telos Four-Shot SRM-4 launcher mounted in the center torso supplied by a ton of ammunition in the left torso. This mix of long and short-range weapons allows the Panther to stay at range and inflict damage on its enemies and close in and use the SRM-4 to make the killing blow.
- This was an early version of the Panther built in limited numbers and was first used by the SLDF. It mounted an ancient Tronel Large Laser (known for heat and maintenance issues), another heat sink and one ton more armor, along with more advanced communications equipment and a lighter fire-control computer than the later 9R. Conjecture suggests that all -8Z models were upgraded to the same successful configuration as the later -9R model, but retained their different on-board electronics. BV (2.0) = 741
- The 10K Panther is a high tech upgrade of the 9R model introduced by Wakazashi Enterprises. The chassis has been rebuilt using Endo Steel construction techniques and the saved weight used to add an Artemis IV fire control system to the missile launcher, as well as upgrading the PPC to a Lord's Light 2 ER PPC. Since its introduction the 10K has gone on to replace the 9R as the most common model employed by the DCMS. BV (1.0) = 706, BV (2.0) = 838
- The -10K2 Panther retains the ER PPC of the -10K and removes the Artemis IV as well as a heat sink. In exchange the remaining heat sinks have been upgraded to double strength versions, alleviating the heat problems that plague the 10K, while an additional SRM-4 has been added. BV (2.0) = 913
- The 12A Panther is an upgrade of the Panther that attempts to alleviate the heat problems for which the 10K became infamous. In order to do this, three of the heat sinks were removed and the rest upgraded to double strength versions, the ER PPC was replaced with an ER Large Laser and a Medium Pulse Laser, while the missile launcher has also been upgraded to a streak version. It also utilizes a Targeting Computer and additional armor. BV (1.0) = 925, BV (2.0) = 982
- Designed before the Jihad this version only entered service after that war started. An XL engine increases the 'Mech's top speed to 86 km/h while eight Improved Jump Jets maximizes mobility on the battlefield. An XL Gyro allows the PNT-13K to carry a SRM-4 and a Plasma Rifle. BV (2.0) = 996
- The variant produced by the Word of Blake replaces the PPC with a Snub-Nose PPC. To supplement close-range combat, the -14S carries a pair of Rocket Launcher 10s. The Endo Steel chassis supports enough Improved Jump Jets to vault the Panther up to 180 meters at a time. Thirteen heat sinks keeps heat in check, made possible by the inclusion of a Small Cockpit. BV (2.0) = 825
- The PNT-CA is a simple weapon swap. A cooler firing standard PPC is used in place of the PNT-C's ER PPC. BV (2.0) = 787
- PNT-9R Panther Pink Panther
- This Panther is used by Ace Darwin. It has an ER PPC and Double Heat-Sinks.
From MechWarrior Online:
- An variant unlike any other Panther, the 10P switches out the ER PPC and Artemis IV FCS controlled SRM-4 in favor of two Autocannon/2s in the right arm and a single SRM-2 in the center torso. Even built on the 10K's weight-saving Endo-Steel frame, an 175-rated XL engine is required to carrying their heavier autocannons while retaining the jump jets. Carrying ten double heat sinks, two tons worth of autocannon reloads and one of SRM rounds give moderate field endurance. This variant has been released in MechWarrior Online, and thus far has not been released in other canonical media
- PNT-KK Katana Kat
- MechWarrior Online's apocryphal version of the Katana Kat piloted by Minobu Tetsuhara features a large degree of LosTech equipment unavailable during his life time. PGI's Katana Kat is armed with a PPC in each arm and retains the normal center torso SRM-4 rack. The addition of a second PPC is made possible through the use of 140 rated XL engine and an Endo Steel frame. A single ton of reloads and ten double heat sinks keep the Katana Kat in the thick of battle.
- Technical Readout: 3025, p. 30
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 114
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 87
- Introductory Record Sheets, p. 5
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 28
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 26
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 28
- According to the Technical Readout: 3025, p. 30, the only difference between the -8Z and -9R models is the on-board electronics, implying the remaining -8Z models to mount the exact same configuration as the regular -9R by 3025.
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 86
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 94 "Alternate Paths - Amphigean Light Assault Groups: Pack Mentality"
- Combat Manual: Kurita, p. 54 "Kurita Combat Commands - Amphigean Light Assault Group"
- Turning Points: War of 3039 Vega, p. 33
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 98
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 160 "Rules - Akuma"
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, Inner Sphere, p. 54
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 55
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 135
- Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 50
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge, p. 99
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 102
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 67
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 136
- Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p.59
- First Strike, p. 24
- Field Manual Mercenaries, p. 33 "Ace Darwin's Whipits: Natural Selection - The Whipits"
- MechWarrior Online "Resistance Heroes"
- BattleMech Manual, p. 93 Design Quirk Table - Panther Entry.
- Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 70-71
- BattleMech Manual
- Combat Manual: Kurita
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine
- First Strike
- Heir to the Dragon (Novel)
- Introductory Record Sheets
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- MechWarrior Online "Resistance Heroes" Sale Page
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade Print Edition
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, Inner Sphere
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged - The Cutting Edge
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades
- Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Technical Readout: 3085
- Turning Points: War of 3039 Vega
- Wolves on the Border (Novel)
- Dragon's Fury - Abeda Measho's Dossier
- Swordsworn - Fetanet Eryaman's Dossier
- Swordsworn - Captain Ben Gerringer's Dossier
- Stormhammer - Alissa Goldberg's Dossier