Combat Frame Data: MCF-121 Defender XSeed

MCF-121 Defender XSeed
MCF-121 Defender XSeed

Technical Data

Model number: MCF-121
Code name: Defender XSeed
Nickname: Defender
Classification: mass production, carrier defense combat frame
Manufacturer: Astraea
Operator: United Commonwealth-Protectorate Navy
First deployment: CY 71
Crew: 1 pilot in panoramic cockpit in chest
Height: 19.2 meters
Weight: Dry weight 55 metric tons, full weight 70 metric tons
Armor type: Carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2727 KW
Propulsion: EM impellers: 4x 32,000 kg, 2x 26,875 kg, 4x 21,750 kg; top speed 4095 kph; maneuvering impellers: 24, 180° turn time 0.78 seconds; legs: top ground speed 200 kph
Sensors: gravitational, radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head
Fixed armaments: x2 hyper plasma sword, power rated at 0.90 MW, stored in recharge rack on back, hand-carried in use
Hand armaments: Linear autorifle, loads 70mm tungsten-carbyne rounds, 100 shots per magazine
Special Equipment: Ion field projector

General Notes

In the course of history, seemingly separate events sometimes conspire to define an era. Two such events were the ISBC Report of CY 55, which recommended the mass production of XSeeds, and the Extrasolar Colony Initiative launched in Common Year 70.

Geared toward spreading humanity across the stars as a survival strategy against the Ynzu onslaught, the ExSol Initiative sent dozens of TC/D-equipped colony ships out into the galaxy. UC military doctrine called for each ship to be escorted by a CF carrier with a complement of 120 XSeeds. Once the colonies were established, these carrier groups were to patrol the vast stretches of space between ExSols, ready to assist in the event of an Ynzu attack.

Early tragedies proved that the CF carriers themselves lacked adequate defenses. Following the ISBC's recommendations, a new class of mass-production XSeed was commissioned. Astraea won the short but furious bidding war to secure the contract for what would become the MCF-121 Defender XSeed.

Astraea's CF engineers knew that time was of the essence if they hoped to win the contract. Instead of designing a new XSeed from scratch, they headed off the competition by upgrading their redoubtable AZC-104 Grand Dolph design into an XSeed-class unit.

Armchair generals predicted failure when the first run of Defender XSeeds was rushed into service without full field trials. The MCF-121 proved them wrong almost immediately. Its one-series powerplant gave a single Defender enough speed to intercept multiple Ynzu craft, and its carbyne laminar armor afforded it an extra modicum of staying power. Thanks to revolutionary EM impellers that replaced outmoded rockets, a Defender could engage in dogfights with Ynzu machines on a level playing field.

Against self-repairing alien CFs armed with gravitational lasers, not even carbyne armor guaranteed victory. Astraea compensated for the Defender's comparatively low resiliency with the addition of an ion field projector. Though Ynzu weapons could batter it down with one or two direct hits, the field gave a Defender's pilot extra critical seconds that could spell the difference between success and disaster.

The Defender XSeed makes its debut in Combat Frame XSeed: S. Read it now!


  1. Beautiful artwork, and I love how the story both drives and is driven by mech design.

    I am looking for the panoramic cockpit, but see no evidence of it. No windows, but I guess there are just visual sensors to display on panels surrounding the pilot, so that would make sense. Is this simply a different style of cockpit maybe more like the Pacific Rim mecha rather than a fighter-style cockpit?

    1. Also, top speed? In space? I should have asked this before.

    2. The cockpit is a spherical pod whose entire inner surface is a super high-resolution display. Cameras mounted all around the CF's exterior project a real-time image of its surroundings onto the cockpit walls. The effect is like this:

  2. Nice try, humanity, but this thing can't stand up to a lowly mineral harvester.

    1. No, but it and 29 of its friends can ;)

    2. The first rule of gun-fighting:
      Bring a gun. Bring two guns. Bring all your friends who have guns.

  3. Mr. Niemeier, would I be correct in saying that you’re a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files?

    1. Not particularly. I appreciated the craftsmanship of the one Dresden book I read, but urban fantasy isn't my thing.

    2. If it wasn't DEAD BEAT then that's worth a follow-up read.

    3. It wasn't. It was whichever one was in the Hugo packet a few years back.