compiled overview of the 35ton OTT-7J Ostscout 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The Ostscout was designed for one purpose: scouting. Its maneuverability, high speed, and jump capacity allow it to avoid trouble easily. Poorly gunned and armored, it can only engage the lightest of 'Mechs with a reasonable assurance of victory.

Enhanced sensor arrays and a hi-res targeting and tracking system supply a constant stream of data about its surroundings. Powerful narrow-band communications equipment allows the Ostscout to report from deep inside enemy territory.

With a maximum speed of 129.6 kilometers per hour, the Ostscout can cover ground quickly. Specialized equipment allows it to map as it goes, recording environmental, hydrological, and geological information. Unusual features are automatically noted and brought to the pilot's attention by the onboard systems.

To avoid interference from the magnetohydrodynamic systems, the sensor arrays were installed outside the main chassis. The OTT-7J uses its actuator systems to aim its sensor arrays.

The Ostscout often travels slowly through interesting areas, waving the arrays in seemingly random patterns. During these periods of maximum-intensity scanning, the OTT-7J is vulnerable to attack because it is accumulating data faster than it can process it. The approach of enemy units often goes unnoticed until they open fire. However, if the first salvo does not cripple the Ostscout, it will very likely escape.

Not only is the Ostscout equipped with a jump capability of 240 meters, but it also has sufficient heat sink capacity to dissipate all the heat that such maneuvers generate. If it jumps only 210 meters, the Ostscout can also fire its laser without overheating. The OTT-7J's ability to jump and fight allows it to escape from trouble quickly. Although technicians have developed a variety of plausible strategies to trap 'Mechs such as the OTT-7J, there seems to be a substantial gap between theory and practice.

Because the Ostscout has a history of avoiding firefights whenever possible, many are in mint condition and still possess their original Star League sensor arrays and data evaluation systems. Because these systems are nearly unique today, commanders have consistently attempted to keep the Ostscout out of battle.

The Ostscout often contributes invaluable information. A successful scouting mission can eliminate most guesswork required for any offensive. Exact information about topography and enemy disposition are vital. The history of the Ostscout is a list of daring missions deep behind enemy lines accumulating such information. During the Rebellion of 3010, Janos Marik used Ostscouts extensively to gain information on rebel movements and strengths. In 2950, OTT-7Js were used on Thule to hunt down the last members of one of Valasek's raiding parties. All through the winter of 3001, Ostscouts scoured the surface of Kasai IV, looking for a Star League parts deposit, and finding only empty bunkers.

In early September of 3021, four Ostscouts were dropped over New Ivaarsen by Draconis Combine DropShips. Their mission was to scout possible landing sights for a Kurita invasion force. Throughout the following five weeks, the OTT-7Js were on the run from Davion patrols and search parties. Despite this near constant pursuit, the Ostscouts managed to accumulate all necessary information and signal the invasion fleet. Of the four scouts, only one was slightly damaged.

The Thousand Kilometer Chase took place in 3024. Due to a computer error, an Ostscout was dropped nearly a thousand kilometers behind enemy lines. MechWarrior Mary Finn of the Chesterton Reserves earned her nickname of 'Hopscotch' because of her incredible success in avoiding the three regiments of Smithson's Chinese Bandits massing there for an offensive. During the ten-hour ordeal, Finn managed to accumulate enough information to allow the Capellan Confederation to launch an effective counter-attack.

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