Combat Frame Data: The Dome

NHX-01A Dome
NHX-01A Dome

Technical Data

Model number: NHX-01A
Nickname: The Dome
Classification: transforming mobile artillery combat frame
Manufacturer: New Haven Colony
Operator: New Haven Colony
First deployment: CY 98
Crew: 1 pilot in central cockpit
Height: 12 meters
Weight: dry weight 99 metric tons, full weight 121 metric tons
Armor type: orihalcum alloy
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: gravity belt, top speed with maneuvering thrusters 60 kph; exo-thrusters: 4x 34,770 kg; top speed 850 kph; maneuvering thrusters 12, 180° turn time 0.61 seconds (central sphere rotating in belt), 1.20 seconds full body; 4x legs: top ground speed 150 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical, gravimetric array mounted in main sphere; one-way orihalcum central screen
Fixed armaments: x4 plasma cannon, output rated at 1.80 MW, mounted in pairs on right and left pop-out turrets; x4 rail gun, fires 100 mm orihalcum sabots, mounted on right and left turrets opposite plasma cannons;  x2 3-tube missile launcher, mounted in top and bottom pop-out caps, x2 triple laser panels, concealed beneath hidden panels to the left and right of top missile pod

General Notes

One of the first planets surveyed for the UCP's Extrasolar Colonization Project, the world that would be named New Haven boasted a temperate climate, breathable air, and fertile soil. The one obstacle to human habitation was a layer of heavy metals and radioactives distributed globally by an ancient asteroid impact.

The military turned to Earth-based think tank ISBC for a a solution. The Commission came up with a novel remedy for New Haven's contaminated soil. ISBC botanists engineered a saw grass-tobacco hybrid capable of rapid propagation that would leech the contaminants out of the ground. The colloquially named "copper grass" proved enormously successful, spreading across every continent and making the land habitable within twenty years.

Early colonists learned that the lifesaving grass was a two-edged sword. Though it made the soil arable for food crops, it also established a monoculture that choked out other plants. The light blue grass' near-total coverage of every landmass gave New Haven a distinct teal glow when viewed from passing ships.

The colony was on the brink of failure when a local chemist made a startling discovery. The copper grass not only drew heavy and radioactive metals through its roots, its metabolic processes actually refined the initially harmful materials into a new alloy with remarkable properties.

Dubbed "orihalcum" after the coveted metal from Earth myth, the new alloy featured high density and energy absorption abilities rivaling carbyne. It even proved capable of channeling and manipulating gravitons and immediately became a key component in gravity wave guides.

Owing to the colony's expected failure, the UCP never built a military base on New Haven, and the prairie ExSol was deemed too strategically insignificant to receive its own XSeeds. When UCN carrier patrols ceased following the Cristofo Colombo disaster, New Haven was left on its own.

To fortify themselves against the ever-present threat of Ynzu attack, the New Haven colonists fell back on their native resourcefulness. Using what they had--which was billions of acres of ore-bearing grass--they designed and built their own line of combat frames.

Orihalcum had teal coloration when unrefined, but the finished metal took on a rich orange luster after processing. The New Haven colonists fashioned this miracle alloy into ball turrets based on the planetary defense emplacements positioned around the colony. They then attached a set of four transforming legs/EM drives to a belt encircling the ball's equator. a pair o fold-out manipulator arms completed the turret's combat frame evolution. Pilots nicknamed their new CF the Dome.

Due to its origins as a defense turret, the Dome packed a weapons loadout to rival the XCD-103 Eisenpferd. The central ball's ability to rotate 360 degrees on its Z axis and up to 30 degrees on all other axes allowed its bristling array of weapons--most of which were themselves mounted on rotating turrets--to fire on almost any arc.

The Dome's standard armament included a pair of pop-out turrets hidden beneath panels in the CF's sides. Each turret mounted a pair of high-output plasma cannons on one side and a pair of rail guns on the other. Both turrets could freely rotate, allowing the plasma cannons and rail guns to fire fore and aft. The rail guns were designed to fire proprietary orihalcum sabots based on anti-armor weaponry. The alloy's energy manipulation properties actually weakened targets' molecular bonds on impact, surpassing even carbyne-tungsten rounds for penetration. A single direct hit to a critical system could incapacitate an XSeed.

Supplementing the Dome's main turrets were a dorsal and a ventral pop-up missile pod--each also on a rotating turret, and a retractable pair of triple laser arrays concealed beneath panels to the left and right of the upper missile pod. These weapons allowed the Dome to bypass ion fields and deliver surgical strikes to soften up targets.

The Dome's one drawback is its slow movement speed and relative lack of maneuverability. These shortcomings can be overcome by strategically deploying Domes in their intended mission role of mobile artillery-colony defense.

If the UCP brass knew of the Domes' existence, they would breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that the orange globes are on their side.

Dome Transformation
Dome transformation diagram


  1. "If the UCP brass knew of the Domes' existence..."

    That's only slightly ominous.

  2. Alright, the dome hits every possible sweet spot for me. Repurposed design? Check. Local resources on a largely agrarian/isolated world? Check. Massively overgunned? CHECK!
    I can vividly imagine one of these rotating in elaborate patterns to bring weaponry to bear on moving targets, and spewing fire the whole time.

    1. Tracers arcing into the night sky! A dozen of these in a frenetic and possibly hopeless defense versus descending enemies. AIR RAID SIRENS! Yessssssss.

    2. wreckage, that is a good summary of the conversation that led to this design!