A Japanese helmet.
Part of the traditional Feudal Era suits of armor worn by the highest military class. Each kabuto was a unique work of art with a style and personality all its own. Characteristically designed to make the wearer look fierce, animal horns were often used to enhance the total visual effect.

compiled overview of the 20ton Kabuto 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

For many decades, the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery lacked 'Mechs in the 20-35ton category. During this time, Bushido and single 'Mech-on-'Mech combat were considered the only honorable ways of fighting. Because most light 'Mechs cannot stand toe-to-toe against larger 'Mechs, light 'Mechs had no place in the DCMS.

The arrival of the Clans changed all that. Also believers in single combat, the Clans had superior training and technology, with which they defeated the DCMS at almost every turn. Combine warriors could defeat Clan opponents only by putting the honor of the Draconis Combine before each individual warrior's honor and using all available military assets in combination. The Combine made use of light 'Mechs for fast recon, lighting raids and other attacks. New Combine light 'Mech designs, perfectly suited for these rediscovered tactics, quickly made their way onto the battlefield. The most recent addition is the Kabuto, named for the elaborate "helmet" of armor that encases the 'Mech’s head/cockpit assembly.

The Kabuto is patterned after the highly successful Hitman BattleMech design. The Hitman quickly became a mainstay of the DCMS, being exceptionally fast, armed with impressive firepower for a 'Mech of its class. and loaded with specialized electronics. Even the Hitman's hefty price tag could not detract from its success on the battlefield. Eager to repeat that success, the design teams at Diplan 'Mechyards were ready to begin field-testing the Kabuto by late 3059. The thorough testing of the Hitman by the students of the Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy on New Samarkand had so impressed Diplan 'Mechyards that they arranged to test the Kabuto in the same fashion.

In creating the Kabuto, Diplan 'Mechyards fulfilled their goal of developing a light 'Mech with exceptional speed, armor and firepower at a low price. Built around 2 Guided Technologies 2nd Gen Streak SRM-4 Launchers in it's breast, sheilded by 4.5tons of Starshield A Armor, and with a top speed of well over 110 kph, the Kabuto is a prime example of superior DCMS design and manufacturing. Even the price tag (just under 2.5 million C-bills) is a bargain considering this 'Mech's battlefield performance.

The Kabuto has finished its testing, though it has yet to see combat. The DCMS has begun to issue the 'Mech to units that lost light 'Mechs during Operation Bulldog.

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.

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