|Schatten Surveillance Airship|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere (Advanced)|
|Chassis Type (Size)||AirShip (Large, Template A)|
|Armament||2x ER Small Lasers|
|Barrier Armor Rating (BAR)||BAR 8|
|Crew||13 (2 officers, 10 enlisted/non-rated, 1 gunner)|
After ComStar founder Jerome Blake's seizure of Terra in 2788, numerous historians and psychoanalysts debated just how the organization was able to maintain such a solid yet relatively benevolent grip on one of humanity's most prosperous, populated and ethnically diverse worlds with only one brief uprising (The "Black December" Incident). In truth ComStar expended considerable resources to maintain extensive surveillance of Terra's population via the Schatten project.
Commissioning Zodiac Systems to design and manufacture a rigid-body surveillance airship in 2791, the company provided ComStar the first completed airship in 2802. Designed to remain aloft at high altitudes for weeks at a time, the Schatten mounted an extensive array of cameras and radar equipment that allowed it to essentially function as low-orbit satellite that could loiter over one location for days at a time. The Schatten underwent periodic upgrades to enhance its abilities, in 2898 being refitted with newer communications intercept technology and a point defense system of two Small Lasers. Full environmental sealing for operation on worlds with hostile environments was added around 2940 and in the post-Clan Invasion era, the point defense system's lasers was upgraded to extended range models.
In order to help mask the Schatten's role, Zodiac also used its basic design to develop the Luxemburg-class cargo airship. With the Luxemburg being sold and used across Terra and a number of other worlds by ComStar and other interested parties, most observers were unaware when in fact a Schatten was snooping from overhead. Successfully running for centuries, the existence of Schatten program was finally uncovered in the wake of Operation Odysseus, with the Word of Blake providing extensive evidence during its attempt to join the Second Star League to back its claim that the program had been discontinued.
Weapons and EquipmentEdit
The Schatten features an extensive surveillance camera bay outfitted with four hi-res imagers, four infrared cameras and a array of standard cameras. The airship also mounts an advanced GUTHRIE look-down radar system. Even with the crew living in steerage quality quarters for the duration of their mission, the Schatten's heavy surveillance equipment limit it to just seven and a half tons of cargo space. It also features Environmental Sealing and Chassis Modification.
- Luxemburg Cargo Airship - Debuted in 2800 to great fanfare at that year's New Year celebrations in Hong Kong, the Luxemburg airship was intentionally visually identical to the Schatten as means of masking the surveillance ship, the removal of the Schatten's advanced equipment providing almost fifty tons of cargo space.
As of this writing there are no canon Record Sheets for this vehicle or its variant at this time.
- Technical Readout: Vehicle Annex, p. 98, "Schatten Surveillance Airship"
- Technical Readout: Vehicle Annex Revised, p. 100, "Schatten Surveillance Airship"
- MUL online date for the Schatten
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 195 "Rules Annex - BattleTech Rules - Gossamer Surveillance Drone"