|Forefathers of the current 1960s generation of Syndicate Weapons|
|Brief||Bullet-sized rockets fired from handheld or vehicle mounted weapons that accelerate as they travel|
Robert Mainhardt and Art Biehl joined forces to form MB Associates, or MBA, in order to develop Biehl's armour-piercing rocket propelled rounds. Originally developed in a 13 mm calibre, the cartridges were self-contained self-propelled rockets.
A family of Gyrojet weapons was designed and built, including a pistol, a carbine and a rifle, as well as a squad-level light machine gun. The space age-looking weapons were tested by the Allied Military, where they proved to have problems. One issue was that the vent ports allowed the humid air into fuel, where it made the combustion considerably less reliable. The ports themselves could also become fouled fairly easily, although it was suggested that this could be solved by sealing the magazines or ports. The weapon was eventually rejected and the funding cut off.
It was at that time, early in the 1960s, that the Syndicate were at the height of their feud with FutureTech, and both megacorporations were greedily buying up any arms or technology company that might give them an edge in contracts. The Gyrojet was rescued by MB Associates being purchased by the Syndicate after a bitter bidding war. Beretta, to which MB became a subsidiary, poured money into the technology, which resulted in the modern Gyrojet, free of the previous issues that plagued the system.
Mechanics and Variants Edit
The classic 13mm finless gyrojets are the sort the average citizen would be familiar with. When the hammer strikes the shell, the propellant ignites, in a similar manner to a normal round. The similarities end there as the propellant begins to burn rather than exploding, funneling out the nozzle on the back, sending the round downrange. Though the velocity is considerably slower than a regular round when it leaves the barrel, it gains speed over time; at three hundred metres when the propulsion cuts off, the rocket is travelling at nearly a thousand meters a second, faster than the most powerful anti-materiel rifles. Because of the constant acceleration and a slight engineered bias in the nozzle, the user does not need to compensate for gravity, and the newest versions have a mechanical toggle inside that prevents the round from drifting in the wind. As a result, a simple MB1966 has range and power comparible to that of a sniper rifle, limited only by its low-magnification digital scope.
Though the finless models are the most popular, finned versions are starting to see use among elite units and larger gyrojet weapons. Finned rockets, known as gyrojet missiles, are longer and contain a small microchip as well as motorized flaps, and use data assembled from targeting computers to track enemy targets. Capable of avoiding collisions, tracking enemies around corners, and turns exceeding fifty gravities, these rounds can seek out targets based on a variety of factors, and with a final burst of power shed their fins and strike the target, but have a slower acceleration due to the need to aquire targets and their extra weight.
Though Gyrojets would initially seem to be much better than conventional infantry weapons, they have many limitations. The first is one of cost; the average gyrojet round costs a little over a dollar, and when over a hundred thousand rounds can be expended in a single "mad minute" by a company-sized force, these costs begin to mount very quickly. Rate of fire is another consideration; as rounds do not clear the chamber as quickly as in conventional weapons, rate of fire is limited, usually to less than six rounds a second. Finally, there is the issue of power at short range. One could block a gyrojet round from leaving the chamber with a piece of cardboard, a fact that was demonstrated when a protester of a Pittsburg expansion of Legion Security stuck his finger in the end of a gyrojet rifle and caused a back-up that blew out the gun and wounded the Legionnare firing it. Under ten metres from the muzzle, the round cannot break skin; it has almost no chance of going through Peacekeeper armour before a hundred metres. For this reason, gyrojets are considered specialty weapons, and conventional skirmishers with shotguns or SMGs, such as the Auxiliary, are necessary to prevent the enemy closing in.