compiled overview of the 30ton Jackal 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The Jackal was designed by the now famous Vining Engineering and Salvage Team (VEST) in conjunction with House Marik's Earthwerks BattleMech factory on Keystone. VEST began as a five person BattleMech salvage operation on Solaris VII and in seven months has grown into one of the most innovative design groups for the Battlefield technology in the InnerSphere.

The key to VEST's approach is that the designers study and analyze the combat conditions up close, then engineer to meet the needs of the MechWarriors. During salvaging operations on Carse and Nox (1st wave of the Clan invasion) VEST's design team reviewed Clan tactics and the damage they caused to InnerSphere units. They determined that 'Mechs capable of inflicting concentrated damage at long ranges would be most useful to InnerSphere commanders.

For the structure of the Jackal, VEST used a prototype Hollis Mrk VI endo steel frame as the basis for their design. Drawing again on their first-hand experience of the Clans, the engineers tackled the problem of manufacturing a hard-hitting BattleMech with the defenses to hang in for a prolonged fight against superior Clan firepower. One very powerful, energy weapon would be needed to provide unlimited firing and conserve weight for armor.

The core of the Jackal's firepower is the Aberdovey Mk XXX extended range PPC. Mounted in the 'Mech's upper right shoulder, the weapon has proved easy to service. Rather than waste space on static discharge coil systems, the VEST designers simply allow for rear discharge; when the Jackal fires its PPC, there is a blast of blue static electricity out of the back of the 'Mech to the rear of the PPC mount. Though it is not dangerous, the rear discharge is a menacing sight, silhouetting the Jackal during night operations.

Backing the PPC's onslaught is a Holly Streak SRM-2 Pack with 50 salvos. A Burow Anti-Missle System adds another defensive measure and helps against infantry.

In order to sell their design, VEST offered it to a promising new stable on Solaris VII, where the 'Mech took part in several matches. The Jackal proved to be a deadly hunter 'Mech. With speed and firepower equally balanced, it was able to slowly chew away at its opposition before the enemy could close for a kill. Earthwerks was so impressed with the 'Mechs performance that they purchased the design immediately.

Quite a few of these new BattleMechs have been sold to House Liao and deployed along their Periphery border with the Magistracy of Canopus. In the very limited engagements occurring there, the Jackal has served as a highly effective deterrent to the typical Periphery border raiders/pirates.

The Federated Commonwealth has also expressed interest in procurring a shipment of Jackals, but their order has been delayed by the notorious tangle of red tape created by the Free Worlds League's bureaucracy. MIIO operatives believe that the delays are intentional rather than coincidental. According to unofficial sources, the Jackal was designed to be a commodity shared only by House Liao and House Marik.

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