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

The SDR-5V Spider is the crowning triumph of Newhart Interstellar Industries' long history of armament manufacture. The firm produced mostly aero-space fighters; the Spider was their first and only entry into the BattleMech market.

In 2650, the Star League requisitioned a special 'Mech for its elite commando forces. Newhart Interstellar Industries responded so quickly that most of the other 'Mech manufacturing firms were left sitting in the dust. Newhart had, in fact, already designed the SDR series, which easily exceeded the minimum standards for a lightweight recon/attack 'Mech. They were already geared up for immediate production, and so the Star League awarded Newhart the contract.

The Spider got its name from its front armor alignment, which resembles a Spiderweb. The seams between the armor plates are filled with a bright red fiberglass sealant, which emphasizes the pattern.

The SDR-5V was conceived as a fast-moving 'Mech with ample firepower and the ability to operate for an extended period of time without support. To fulfill the latter requirement, very reliable parts were used on the Spider, which keeps maintenance cycles to a minimum. The 'Mech's firepower consists of two center torso-mounted Aberdovey Mark III medium lasers. Though more expensive than the common Martell medium lasers, they are considered the top quality available.

Jump capacity set this 'Mech above and beyond modified versions of the Locust and other recon 'Mechs. The jump jet system was designed to make standard leaps and also to vary the leap trajectory by pivoting the jets in flight. The jump variables made possible by this design capability play havoc with even the most sophisticated targeting systems.

The Spider's only real design flaw is that its particular configuration of armor and sensors leave no room for a pilot escape system. In case of emergency, the Spider pilot is forced to manually reach the lower hatch to exit the 'Mech.

Very few SDR-5V Spiders were left in the Successor States after the fall of Star League. When House Marik discovered a supply bunker containing several functional Spiders on the planet Keystone in their sphere, they quickly absorbed the 'Mechs into their forces.

In the battle for Styk within House Liao space in 2934, units from Marik's Militia attacked attached units of House Fujita's Second Battalion. While defending the ruins of the city of Devonshire, the Second found itself under attack by the Militia forces' several Spiders. Using a series of close-combat attacks such as jumping, the Spiders cut through Liao's outer defenses, making it possible for Marik forces to control the city for several hours, looting it of supplies.

In 2970, House Steiner made use of several Spiders in a fast raid on the Kurita-held world of LaBlon. As part of the Twelfth Star Guards, the Spiders moved in on the rear area of a Kurita supply dump. As they hit one area, the other raiders struck in force from another location. This tactic allowed Steiner to cut down the spread-out Kurita troops, which could not rally in time to stop their attackers from taking the supplies to a waiting DropShip.

House Davion was desperate to gain control of several Spiders to supplement its own forces, as they were forced to scrap theirs for parts during the First Succession War. In 3000, House Davion's elite First Guards staged a commando-style raid on a 'Mech repair facility on the House Marik world Sirius. Far from their own territory, the attacking forces dropped just outside of the facility and took what they came for, five Spiders that had been brought in for research and preventive maintenance. Despite heavy damage given by Marik's support, the Guards took few losses and succeeded in getting the Spider 'Mechs they had come for.

Another military unit reported to have possession of Spiders is the elite Wolf's Dragoons. Reports from various battlefields state that the Dragoons make use of an entire lance of Spiders, though these reports are not easily confirmed.

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