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

With the arrival of the Clans, the formidable armies of both the Draconis Combine and the Federated Commonwealth more than met their match. As regiment after regiment was lost, the leaders of the two realms saw the need to adopt new tactics to counter the technological advantages of the Clans. Some of these tactics led to the creation of the HM-1 Hitman by the Draconis Combine.

The Hitman is an extremely agile and fast light 'Mech, capable of speeds up to 118.8 kph. The 'Mech also features the MASC system, which allows bursts of speed well over 150 kph.

To ensure success of the Hitman's primary purpose, which is to sneak up on enemy units undetected, a Guardian ECM suite was installed. Because the Combine's ability to produce high-quality electronic gear is still somewhat limited, House Kurita had to contract with a Free Worlds League manufacturer to obtain this crucial component.

Once the Hitman is within range of an enemy, the 'Mech's Beagle Active Probe can help identify both the class and the equipment of an enemy 'Mech. The Beagle Active Probe has also proven valuable in minimizing the Hitman's vulnerability to ambush.

If the Hitman is intercepted, it can use its advatage of speed to escape, even from most Clan 'Mechs. With such a 'Mech, the pilot is always free to get away and fight from a more advantageous position.

The Hitman's most important role is accomplished with its target-acquisition gear, which produces a rain of accurate and deadly fire against an enemy target. By transmitting coordinates directly to the fire control of artillery pieces, human error is considerably reduced.

Once the Hitman locates a target, it paints it with the TAG system, allowing the incoming Arrow VI missles to lock on for the kill. This method of attack is what earned the 'Mech its name. To ensure survival after contact with enemy units, the 'Mech also carries a trio of medium lasers and an LRM-5 system. The accuracy of the LRM is increased by the addition of an Artemis IV fire control system.

Many have speculated that the Hitman is really a modified copy of the Capellan Raven, since both 'Mechs pack a wide array of high-tech electronics. However, the Hitman's exterior and design more resemble the shapes of the Draconis Combine's Panther or the Federated Commonwealth's Wolfhound and Valkyrie.

The Hitman is still being tested on the training grounds of the Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy on New Samarkand .

Over a dozen 'Mechs of this class have been involved in large-scale military exercises conducted by the DCMS and Sun Zhang Academy pilots. As battalion-sized units squared off in the ruins and rural areas, these training exercises tested all possible uses of the new equipment. Both traditional tactics and newly developed tactics were pitted against those used by the Clans.

Intelligence experts predict that the Hitman will be deployed when Arrow VI-equipped 'Mechs or vehicles become available in large quantitites. The units stationed on Wolcott, deep within Clan-occupied territory, will surely be the first to receive the Hitman and its "guns".

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