The Timberwolf is the UNN’s advanced scout vehicle, ranging far ahead of armored formations to pathfind and identify threats. At a length of seven meters and a weight of twenty-five tons, it is light and maneuverable, with a top speed of 120km/h (75mph) on favorable terrain.
The vehicle has six wheels featuring all-wheel drive, with airless honeycomb tires to eliminate the possibility of flats. These make it suitable for various types of challenging terrain, from muddy swamps and sand to the fine dust of moons and planetoids.
The armor plating on the hull is angled to deflect projectiles and features ceramic materials commonly used to shield spacecraft during reentry, which can dissipate the heat of plasma weapons. Like all UNN vehicles, the Timberwolf can be completely pressurized for operation in dangerous atmospheric conditions and to combat radiological and chemical threats.
On the hood of the vehicle is an armored panel that protects the driver’s canopy and the engine access hatch, which can be raised for maintenance purposes. Under normal circumstances, the crew relies on the array of cameras spaced out around the hull of the vehicle for situational awareness, but the hood panel can be ejected using explosive bolts in the event that the sensor suite is damaged. Above the commander and gunner seats are three-position hatches that can be partially opened to exposed cupola-style windows, or fully opened to allow egress.
Armament and defensive systems include a thirty-millimeter railgun blister that can be operated remotely by the vehicle’s gunner, smoke launchers, reactive armor panels, and a bullbar to protect the vehicle in the event of collisions – unintentional or otherwise.
The engine runs on hydrogen stored in fuel cells, which must be kept at a low temperature to remain in a liquid state. The waste product produced by the engine is potable water, which is stored in tanks accessible from the troop compartment, meaning that the crew always has access to drinkable water in environments where outside sources or the possibility of resupply are not present.
The cab features three seats for the crew which are adjustable for use by various Coalition species, and consoles for operation of the vehicle’s various systems. At the front is the driver, on the left is the gunner, and the commander/navigator sits on the right.
Timberwolf crews are often deployed on long missions with few opportunities for resupply, and are thus expected to spend a lot of time operating from their vehicle. The troop bay situated behind the cab has extensive storage options for long-term habitation, including equipment lockers, stowage areas with netting, optional external bustle racks, and folding cots. The bay can also be used for troop transport and emergency medivac if the situation calls for it.
The Timberwolf’s sensor suite is expanded by the use of six surveillance drones that can be fired from dedicated launchers mounted on the rear hull. These drones feature folding contra-rotating blades, and are charged from the vehicle’s power plant. These increase the effective range of the vehicle significantly and can be used to survey areas of interest or mark targets for the rest of the battalion, commonly coordinating with artillery companies to call in long-range strikes.
This awesome concept art comes courtesy of artist and illustrator Simon Contreras.
Check out more of his work by following the link.