compiled overview of the 65ton Bombardier 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:



Developed as part of a trend toward specialized 'Mechs, the Bombardier was intended to replace mechanized vehicles as rear artillery support. Such vehicles often fell behind their side's advancing BattleMechs, making them inviting targets for enemy 'Mechs that managed to penetrate the front lines. The Bombardier's designers hoped it might solve that problem.

Despite years of tests and war games, the Bombardier ran into trouble in extended combat. Prolonged fighting expended the 'Mech's specialized missiles so quickly that stores of Bombardier ammunition dried up on many planets after only three days of battle. With the Succession Wars disrupting space traffic and armies destroying munitions factories daily throughout the Successor States, resupply was haphazard at best. Ultimately, the Succession Wars destroyed so much of the Inner Sphere's industrial base that the Bombardier's complex guided missiles became impossible to manufacture.

As the First Succession War dragged on, more and more Bombardiers were ordered into front-line lances to act as close support. Not designed for slugging matches, the Bombardier quickly became a favorite target on the battlefield. As spare parts and replacements dried up, a number of damaged Bombardiers were cannibalized to keep other support 'Mechs running. Bombardier parts and equipment appear on patched-together 'Mechs to this day.

By the beginning of the Second Succession War, only a handful of Bombardiers remained in operation, most of them guarding the last few munitions factories that could make the Bombardier's specialized missiles. Since the destruction of those factories, Bombardiers have been equipped with less effective conventional missiles.

Originally capable of traveling at 80 kph, the Bombardier is now constrained to speeds under 64 kph because the Inner Sphere no longer has the ability to maintain and build complex, ultralight engines. Unlike some Star League-era 'Mechs, however, the Bombardier has managed to retain all the advantages of its original armor and most of its weapons.

Technological back sliding during and after the Succession Wars forced the 'Mech to drop several important defensive features. Without the engineering techniques used to make certain materials, the Bombardier's special ammunition storage bins could no longer be replaced. When the components that combined sensors, guidance computers, and fire control could no longer be made to function reliably, the small automated machine guns that shot down incoming missiles were replaced by a standard machine gun.

Despite these drawbacks, the Bombardier is a solid 'Mech design for as long as its ammunition lasts. The Bombardier can adequately serve as a battlefield support 'Mech as long as it finds a safe position from which it can easily withdraw and the pilot watches his 'Mech's heat levels. However, with only six reloads in the torso for each shoulder-mounted LRM-20 rack, the Bombardier cannot linger on the battlefield for long.

Even with an SRM-4 mounted in the right arm and a machine gun in the center torso, the Bombardier is not most MechWarriors' preferred ride. The 'Mech has been relegated to rear-guard duty and other defensive roles in support of other 'Mechs, while other missile carrying BattleMechs such as the Archer and the Catapult perform front-line duty.



Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

BOMBARDIER INC. is an industrial company based in Canada, with its major sources of revenue in Europe and the US. Best known in the US for the Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo products, Bombardier actually has five core businesses: Bombardier Aerospace, Bombardier Transportation, Bombardier Recreational Products, Bombardier Capital, and finally Bombardier International, a business group whose purpose is to drum up business in places other than the US and Europe. As of January 31, 2001, Bombardier's assets come to 20 billion Canadian dollars, and a CDN$31.7bn backlog.

Bombardier is a diversified corporation composed of autonomous operating groups. Each group has the necessary authority upon its operations and is expected to take measures to achieve a high level of performance consistent with the mission, code of ethics, policies and internal governance of the Corporation.
  --Bombardier Website


HISTORY

Bombardier was founded in 1942 as "L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitee" by J. Armand Bombardier, as a company producing tracked vehicles for traversing snow, based on a patent awarded in June of 1937. The company spent the next four years building tracked military vehicles. In the late sixties they released the first commercial personal watercraft, a sit-down model which received only limited success. L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitee became Bombardier Limited in 1967, and was listed on the Montreal and Toronto stock exchanges in 1969. In 1974, they found their way into the Transportation industry (outside of recreational products) with a contract to build equipment for the city of Montreal's subway system.

Bombardier began manufacturing general-use snowmobiles (notably, the C18, and the B12 which would see production in various forms until 1988) during its wartime production of military-use vehicles, but never sold a product under its now-familiar brand name "Ski-Doo" until 1959. 1988 saw the launch of the Sea-Doo product line, a range of personal watercraft which gained a reputation for speed and handling over the competing Wave Runner products from Yamaha. Just a year later, in 1989, Bombardier announced the upcoming production of the Canadair Regional Jet, the first in a long line of aircraft products to come out of Bombardier.

Bombardier began selling two sport boats called the "Speedster" and "Sportster" in 1994, using the same engine as their snowmobile and personal watercraft products. In 1998, the same engine is re-employed to power the new Bombardier ATV Traxter, an all-new ATV.


PRODUCTION FACILITIES

Bombardier has production facilities in Canada, the United States of America, Europe, Brazil, Uganda, India, the People's Republic of China, and in Australia. European facilities are located in Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Poland, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.


References:

Website: Bombardier, Inc. (http://www.bombardier.com)

Website: Personal Watercraft Industry Association, History of Personal Watercraft (http://www.pwia.org/Abo_PWC.htm)

Bom`bar*dier" (?), n. [F. bombardier.] Mil. (a)

One who used or managed a bombard; an artilleryman; a gunner.

[Archaic] (b)

A noncommissioned officer in the British artillery.

Bombardier beetle Zool., a kind of beetle (Brachinus crepitans), so called because, when disturbed, it makes an explosive discharge of a pungent and acrid vapor from its anal glands. The name is applied to other related species, as the B. displosor, which can produce ten or twelve explosions successively. The common American species is B. fumans.

 

© Webster 1913.

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