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Just reviving this particular discussion, since Valiant mentioned the possibility of allowing such a suit.  Rather than following Rad's (whereever he may be  ) design, I worked on a more practical design that uses Astrays as the basic frame.  This is just a rough draft (and I'm iffy about the name ) but I'd like you Orbies to provide feedback first.

 

General and Technical Data

 

Model number: MBF-M1D+USP-3B

Code name: M1 Astray Diver

Unit type: mass production sea-superiority mobile suit

Manufacturer: Morgenroete, Inc

Operator: Orb Union

First deployment: C.E. 80

Accommodation: pilot only, in standard cockpit in torso

Dimensions: head height 17.53 meters

Weight: max gross weight 73.7 metric tons  (77.3 tons w/RADS)

Construction: unknown

Powerplant: ultracompact energy battery, power output rating unknown

Equipment and design features: sensors, range unknown; sonar, range unknown; water-tight/pressurized components inside frame; USP-3B Dive Controller pack; 4 x fin thrusters (2 x mounted on shoulders, 2 x mounted on lower legs); 1 x Rapid Aquatic Deployment Shell (RADS; optional)

Fixed armaments: 2 x "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel CIWS, fire-linked, mounted in head; 6 x countermeasure canisters, mounted on left and right hip armor

Optional hand armaments: 2 x supercavitating torpedo rotary pods, mounted around wrists, trigger assembly in hands; 1 x “Itagaki” Combat Naginata, stored in compact form at rear hip armor; 1 x Type71-C Beam carbine

 

Historical Notes

 

The MBF-M1 M1 Astray serves as Orb’s first mass produced mobile suit during the first Earth Alliance/ZAFT war.  Prior to the second war, the EF-24R flight rotor Shrike pack was developed to provide the M1 Astray with a limited sustained flight capability.  However, it was apparent that Orb’s military had a glaring weakness, which was especially noticeable after the second Battle of Orb.  The United Emirates of Orb was an island nation yet it did not have any truly aquatic/submersible assets.

 

After the signing of the PEACE Treaty and the reorganization of Orb’s military into the FREE Forces, Morgenroete, Inc. was commission to design an effective mass production mobile suit under the condition that it would be based on the aging M1 Astray frame.  After a few years of trial and error, the Astray Diver was introduced.  Because Orb was unable to acquire sufficient technology from other factions, Morgenroete used innovative methods on old but proven technologies. 

 

While this Astray variant can easily walk on land, its weapons and equipment configuration is almost purely designed for underwater combat.  It is generally not recommended to use the Diver for land combat.  These suits are deployed either from carriers or naval ports. 

 

Technical Notes

 

Design

 

While the Astray Diver used existing suits, modifications needed to be made in order to make it operate well underwater.  This required that the armor, cockpit, hydraulics, and other internal systems were water-tight and pressurized.  A sonar system was also installed and several thrusters were replaced with water-jets.  Additionally, Morgenroete was influenced by observational data of the Astray Blue Frame’s modifications for aquatic combat.  This resulted in fin thrusters; each sleek armor plate had a built thin water jet.  This provided additional maneuverability and hydrodynamics.  Two thrusters were installed on the side of each shoulder while the other two were installed on the side of each lower-leg.

 

USP-3B Dive Controller pack

 

This is the main propulsion unit of the Astray Diver, mounted on the back of the suit.  The central ‘spine’ of the pack consists of a column of protected propellers.  These propellers provide the main ‘thrust’ for the unit and provide enough speed on par with that of other mass produced aquatic suits.  In additional, four hardpoints around and along the ‘spine’ have enhanced water-jets that can swivel a full 360 degrees.  This can provide precision twisting and turning which gives the Diver a significant improvement in maneuverability. 

 

Rapid Aquatic Deployment Shell (RADS)

 

This is optional equipment that the Diver can use in order to quickly reach battle zones, especially given the lack of submersible assets.  The Rapid Aquatic Deployment Shell is constructed of an aluminum alloy for a lightweight, yet sturdy delivery system.  The ‘Shell’ consists of four ‘pieces’ which fit over the entire head and upper torso of the Astray Diver then locked together.  The RADS is propelled by six strategically placed cylindrical chemical boosters.  These boosters use a mixture of chemicals to produce a strong enough concussive force, creating powerful air boost that propels the Astray Diver headfirst at several times its normal maximum speed. 

 

Limited maneuvering is possible by using the Diver’s Dive Controller pack, but it should be reiterated that the RADS is not meant for combat itself; it is only meant to be used to get the Diver quickly to combat zones.  Once the Diver reaches the combat zone, the pilot can then discharge the Shell.  Each Shell has a small transponder which only activates upon separation, so they can be picked up and reused. 

 

Countermeasure Canisters

 

The Astray Diver also carries special countermeasure canisters that spread particulate matter, fragments, and other materials that can disrupt or confuse enemy sensors, torpedoes, and provide a level of concealment.  These are similar to countermeasures carried by military submarines in the past. 

 

Super-cavitating torpedo rotary pods

 

While super-cavitating torpedo technology was available to both the Earth Alliance and ZAFT, Orb was able to acquire that technology early on, though they did not have anything capable of using it.  Rather than having large pods slung under a large bulky frame (as with the Deep Forbidden), or have the launchers built directly into the frame (as with ZAFT aquatic suits), Morgenroete designed special pods that could be fired almost like any other mobile suit hand weapon. 

 

The pods consist of six torpedo tubes attached to each other and around in a circular fashion.  The handle and trigger assembly was inside the ‘hole’ that the tubes encircled.  A quick fire control option was added to allow a pilot to switch the torpedoes from ‘homing’ to ‘dumbfire’ mode.  Because of the generally greater articulation of mobile suit arms, this option allowed a pilot to fire torpedoes straight forward and more accurately at specific targets, rather than just relying on the homing capabilities of the torpedoes.  However, like the torpedoes on other suits, these are primarily effective against other suits and lightly armored vessels. 

 

“Itagaki” Combat Naginata

 

One particular issue with the Diver was whether or not it should have a melee weapon.  Some Morgenroete scientists felt that such weaponry was unnecessary while others preferred to have some sort of weapon if/when the Diver ran out of ammunition.  Taking some inspiration from the tridents that the Earth Alliance’s Deep Forbidden uses, they developed a long, spear-like weapon based upon the Japanese Naginata. 

 

The shaft is about 14 meters in length, but the shaft can slide into itself in order to reduce its length for easy storage on the Astray’s rear hip armor.  The blade (about 3 meters) itself is similar to a katana, in its strong, thin, and curved metal blade.  It has been reinforced to handle the pressures in the sea as well its cutting capability.  The disc-like guard, or tsuba, is located in between the blade and shaft.  A small but powerful water-jet is inside the tsuba, which helps propel the naginata forward with deadly force.  This is used in conjunction with the main functions of the naginata, which involves quick but large spinning radius and long reach.  While the Itagaki is not capable of slicing through Phase Shift armor, its blade and added propulsion will still deal significant damage.  However, this weapon is meant to be used as a last resort.

 

Type71-C Beam carbine

 

It was thought that the Diver would also be able to help in above-sea-level combat, but with its design and configuration, that was not likely.  Instead, the standard issue Type 71 beam rifle was scaled down into a carbine.  This made the weapon weaker, but more compact.  It was also designed to be able to submerge in water and still be able to fire once it is brought out of the water.  But it should be emphasized that this optional armament is meant for surface support, not for aquatic combat.

Edited by Guest

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Nice. It sounds far more practical as a defensive aquatic mobile suit, since we do not have to worry about transforming capabilities and whatnot that might complicate the previous design.

 

The only thing that slightly worries me is that ZAFT's aquatic MSes have the speed to back them up (albeit in transformed mode), and they did show some on-surface capability (especially the later ones).

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Thanks, that was the idea regarding the use of existing technology

 

@ZAFT: Yeah, I'm aware of the significant advantage they have in that category.  But I'm thinking that the Diver would be used in conjunction with land/air forces for the most part.  And this design was the best I could think of without reverting to advanced tech, which creates numerous hurdles on its own accord.  (Unless Orb had 'acquired' tech on a few ZnOs and other suits .>" title="" /> )

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Hmm, though less advanced than Rad's (may he be finally found...) its still a pretty decent underwater MS, and very badly needed as well...

 

About the USP-3B Dive Controller pack, are the swiveling thrusters ala-Azipod units? If they are then I'm all go for them.

 

The Supercavitating torpedo rotary pods, are these mounted around the MS's hands? Besides that I think its pretty good, it provides better aim than the dumb firing torpedoes of other factions.

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The swiveling thrusters are pump or water jets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pump_jet

 

The torpedo pods aren't 'mounted' per se.  Think of putting your hand into a large enough tube or pipe.  Except that instead of a single pipe, you're putting your hand into a gap with six/eight smaller tubes around.  Other factions' suits use homing torpedoes (also supercavitating).

Edited by Guest

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Well we can all put some ideas into this if we come up with any right? The design I reckon is great so far. If we can figure out a way to further improve it on land and underwater speed it'll be up for a proper fight 

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True.  I discussed this design with Ryou as well.  He suggested that the wakizashis should be replaced for a better weapon.  Phonon masers are a no-no, since that tech is probably still restricted to ZAFT and EA. 

 

But he did mention the trident and I pointed out it was what the Deep Forbidden uses.  However, I was thinking of a potential extended melee weapon similar to a trident, if I'm keep the Japanese motif...probably a naginata. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naginata

 

As for above sea level capabilities, I was thinking about a modified Type 71 Beam rifle.  It would be more compact, so it could be easily stored without interfering with the Astray's hydrodynamics.  Size-wise, it would probably be in-between a standard Type 71 and those pistol-like 57mm beam rifles.  But as I mentioned before, the Astray Diver would probably be used in conjunction with land/air forces.  If we put a bit too much emphasize with the above sea level aspects, it would have to sacrifice whatever aquatic advantages it originally had, a balancing act, I guess.

 

But please, further comments and/or suggestions would be most welcome.

 

@kct: Back to the ZAFT advantage...yeah, that's true.  I'm hoping to utilize the Astray's main strength of a light frame for greater mobility into this variant.

Edited by Guest

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Okay... Here is an idea. Why couldn't the suit be fired like a torpedo? What I mean is that it has this streamlined shell so that it can be fired like a torpedo at high speeds. The "torpedo shell armor" can also be supercavitating thus increasing the speed it can travel underwater. Think Wing zero custom in endless waltz floating in space. The shell could then be discarded and later be recovered.

 

Well that's just my idea

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@neog: Interesting.  However, maneuverability would be compromised with such a system.  I don't want to sacrifice that.  (Unless you mean the Astray Diver could 'launch' into the battle with it and the discard the shells once engaged?)

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Lol, yeah, I was thinking of that too when I was searching for pole-type weapons.  I wasn't sure if I should have deviated from the whole Japanese motif that Orb seems to be taking.  I'll think about it.

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Oh sorry about that I hadn't finished reading it. Its Chinese not Japanese but if you just add it to optional weaponry then it might not mass with the motiff but its just a suggestion anyways.

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@liubei: That's what I meant. The MS could be launched into battle via the supercavitating torpedo shell then when it reaches it's target it discards the shell. The shell could also be maneuvered via the MS'es thruster system.

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@neog: Well, obviously some maneuvering is necessary, but I meant combat-level maneuvering.  But anyways...hmm...it is an interesting idea, especially since the Astray D doesn't have a mobile launching platform (no subs ).

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Combat maneuvering is of course imposible at the rate of speed that thing will be going. What it can do is slightly alter the tradjectory using the MS'es' thrusters.

 

OK... I forgot... The shell would also house rocket boosters for it's propulsion system.

 

The inspiration for this shell is the squall rocket torpedo combined with those old school rockets which fire in stages... Like the apollo rockets...

 

 

 

 

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@neog: I just wanted confirmation that it's more of a delivery system.  I got a few ideas regarding its propulsion, some of which relates to yours.

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You're welcome and thanks.

 

I think this design could still use some refining but once that's through, I'll submit it directly to Valiant.  (He said to wait until the main RP re-opens/gets moving)

 

@Sieg: Heh, it originally turned out close to what it is, so I just tweaked and added a word to make it work.

 

@kct: Lol...indeed.  I thought the overall weapon was appropriate for the sluggish nature of aquatic combat.

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wouldn't solid bullets be better that beam weaponry? I mean water does refract light meaning it can possibly decrease the effectiveness of the beam weaponry.

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      -----------------------
       
      From fireminerva:
       
      "Out of curiosity, how does one move up in rank?  I mean, I know that a nomination is needed from someone of a rank equal to or higher than the one your character might be promoted to, but what qualifies a character for nomination?"
       
      To be precise, "nominations by someone of equal rank or higher to rank being promoted to" applies only for promotions to, and within, Command Divisions higher than Junior. This is because such promotions require not only the deliberation of Faction Leaders, but also in-character testing.
       
      For Junior Command Division promotions, any officer of Second Lieutenant rank or higher may promote any soldier with a rank lower than Sergeant Major, and ask for consent. If consent is given, that officer may immediately role-play that soldier's promotion to the next higher rank, without testing. Note that this method is simpler because it also applies for demotions. Also, at this Command Division, promotions of more than one step are allowed, but such cases are the exception rather than the rule, requiring deliberations instead of just consent.
       
      As for factors of promotion, we are being intentionally ambiguous because a character's promotion is not based solely on their in-character performance. In fact, the member him- or herself is reviewed as well. To quote the FREE Forces page:
       
      "Ranks will be given out based on the quality of the application, and several other factors such as adherence to the rules and regulations of Advent Destiny, and even behavior on the forums, to name a few."
       
      Other factors taken into consideration include, but are not limited to: quality of role-plays (not limited to the RP Quality counter), actual role-play participation, initiative in assisting site staff and members with various duties (ex. reviewing character profiles), and contribution to the site and RP as a whole.
       
      The weight of these factors are left to the discretion of the one making the promotion. This is the main reason why all promotions must be reviewed by at least one Faction Leader, and why the rank of Second Lieutenant is intentionally very difficult to attain, both at character application and through standard promotion. Only those judged to be the most deserving will be granted the privilege of judging others.
       
      For example, we won't mind if we end up with only two non-Faction Leader Second Lieutenants and umpteen Sergeant Majors, because we will be certain that those two officers truly deserve their higher rank, as much as the multitude of Sergeant Majors deserve theirs.
       
      Despite this focus on the military, we at Orb want all of our members to be not only the best role-players, but also the best members of Advent Destiny itself.
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