|DCS-16 Masakari Drone Command / 鉞ドローンコマンド DCS-16|
|Faction||Empire of the Rising Sun|
|Production Building||Incredible Mobile Fortress Tatsu|
|Heroic Upgrade||Anti-Infantry Drone|
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Created by||Go Raikou Arms Inc., Naha, Okinawa|
|Key Features|| » Vector jet (x8)|
» Nanite generator (x2)
» Nano-steel frame
» Mecha hangar (x3)
» Drone bay (x3)
Tactical Analysis Edit
- Attack of the drones: The Masakari Drone Command is armed with drones for a variety of purposes; ground-attack drones to destroy tanks and vehicles, bomber drones to take out structures and fortifications, and air defence drones for protection against fighters.
- Return of the units: The Masakari also provides the Empire with a much needed function - air transport. Up to 3 small units can be carried by the large craft, enjoying a moderately fast ride over the battlefield to set up flanking attacks or ambushes.
- The infantry menace: The main weakness of the Masakari is anti-air infantry, who are too small as targets for its drones to effectively attack. That, and the drones, while numerous, will not survive very long under enemy fire. This is also true of the Masakari itself, if to a lesser extent.
- Revenge of the carrier: To compensate for the Masakari's lack of effectiveness against infantry, trials are being undertaken to outfit the Masakari with a single Kunai gunner drone, which can make mush of infantry. Usually, the Kunai's blueprints are given to Masakaris that have been around longer.
After the successful integration of the VF-23 Fujin Variable Striker and the VB-12 Raijin X Ground Striker into the Imperial Navy, the Shogunate reviewed data on the Allied aircraft carriers, the drones currently in service of the Imperial military and the weaknesses in the Imperial Navy. The Raijin had a small payload, the Fujin had to return to the Incredible Mobile Fortress Tatsu to rearm its missile arrays if it wanted a bigger punch against hostile enemy aircraft, and the Sea-Wing lacked the range and surface time to shoot down fighters fleeing or flying past them to directly attack the Imperial fleet. The Sky-wing was not well-suited for attacking capital ships, was vulnerable to fighter aircraft when the Fujin Variable Strikers had to return to the Tatsu, and the Tsurugi's torpedoes were not as powerful as the Naginata Cruiser's.
With these weaknesses in hand, the Shogunate contracted Go Raikou Arms Inc. to develop a heavy aircraft capable of providing fire support for Imperial Navy elements, continuing to attack the enemy fleet when Fujin and Raijin Strikers are rearming and recharging, and assisting Sky-wings and Tsurugi Submarine Fighters in providing a constant hail of fire on the enemy fleet to wear them down. The airplane also had to be capable of supporting Imperial Army forces, since the Imperial Navy and Imperial Army share a symbiotic relationship.
The brainstorming inside the Go Raikou Arms Inc. HQ was a short event. To provide constant fire support while staying in range of the enemy's weapons was suicidal. To date, there were no manned airships in Imperial service, short for the Musashi Aerial Battleship, which was an entirely different case which should be ignored. To mindlessly sacrifice pilots by sending them to their deaths would be against Emperor Kamina's wish. It was then decided to simply just use drones. The Empire of the Rising Sun did not have a lack of drones, robots, androids, mecha or the sort. Drones and robots cleaned up the streets of Tokyo and assisted in disaster relief; androids were sent to places as pioneers, or used as lifesavers when human lives are in danger, such as building fires or hiking expeditions gone wrong in mountains. They all had one thing in common: they were replaceable, human lives were not.
With this part of the planning done and essentially half the battle won, it was a simple matter to start designing the actual vessel itself. The most feasible concept was a large, unmanned airship that was kept aloft by huge vector jets. Full-scale development poured into this concept, eventually yielding a prototype model.
The DCS-16 Masakari Drone Command airship uses its reserves of nanites to construct three varieties of drones; "Sensha" drones are launched during an attack run against surface units where they use their plasma-cutter guns to melt open the tops of enemy armour and ships, "Kodachi" drones drop 88mm HE bombs which are variants of the new HE shells used by Tsunami tanks, on structures and buildings. Enemy aircraft that dare to engage the Masakari or otherwise stray near it will be faced with a screen of "Karasu" drones armed with kinetic-burst guns.
However, the Masakari is not just a combat vessel; it is also designed to be able to transport the Hanzo Z, Kitsune and Ikiryo mecha. The Masakari has three hangars for transporting any of the three mecha to their destinations, unaffected by terrain and surface hostiles. In the hangars, the grappling arms are designed only for the three mecha, as they would certainly not fit the Striker-VX since it has no 'shoulders' to speak of, and would certainly crush the Mecha Tengu. In any case, both the Tengu and the VX are fully capable of independent, high speed flight, making a dedicated transport for them redundant.
However, the Masakari was not designed to absorb incoming fire, at least not for long. It is also not very manoeuvrable, since its transport role was designed to quickly accelerate and fly to its desired location in a straight line, not execute high-g maneuvers like a Jet Tengu or a Fujin. The Masakari's nanite generators are incapable of generating enough nanites to construct a steady stream of drones if they are destroyed repeatedly, considering that they are meant to be fire support vessels, not an aircraft carrier of the past, capable of throwing fighter-bombers at a target until it was destroyed.