Traversing rugged terrain; Skirmishing; Convoy Escort
|Behind the scenes|
The Ground Assault Vehicle (GAV) JL-723 or Swan is the RDA's primary assault vehicle for nearly all terrain.
In the thick of the jungle and the vast expanse of the plains on Pandora, you will be thankful that you left Hell's Gate with nothing but the best equipment on six wheels: the Swan. This 6x6 is built to take a bump, with its permalloy armor, and deliver a crushing blow to anything in its path with its four turret-mounted, sixty-millimeter rotary autocannons.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
It has a gyrostabilized platform so when the it travels over rough terrain, the gunner platform is stabilized. The extended gunner's chair can rise up to 3.6 meters (11.8 ft high) above the vehicle to see over obstructions between the gun and the target, like the long neck of a swan, hence the name. The gunner must ride high and unprotected, making him a primary target for the enemy and vulnerable to the smallest attack. For this reason, the Swan's common name is the Hellrider.
The six tires also have little armor protection, but are themselves made from a hybrid polymer blend, with titanium strands woven throughout, which make them very tough to puncture. For the under carriage, they've designed a 1.25-centimeter thick permalloy armor that expands to two-thirds of an in inch beneath the chassis to protect against the shrapnel from mines.
To protect the driver and spotter, a rudimentary roll bar exists, but it's rare that a Swan rolls over due to the stability of its gyroscopic system. Should it ever happen, gunners have learned from experience it is better to release the safety harness and jump clear, if there is enough time.
History[edit | edit source]
The Swan was developed from the Terran Jeep trucks that were used by modern soldiers. The previous model was called the "Dove," which in the field was considered far too precious an irony. It is now called the Swan because of the extended gunner's chair which can rise on a crane up to 3.6 meters (11.8 ft) above the vehicle to see over obstructions between the gun and the target, resembling the long neck of a swan. Unfortunately, a Na'vi hunter can more easily clip a head held high than one held low. So the gunner must ride high and open, a primary target for the enemy, even one armed only with a bow and arrow (soldiers joke that an order to sit in the Hellrider seat means they were bad in a previous life.) But if the gunner is proficient, the enemy will be dispatched by four sixty-millimeter rotary autocannons before he becomes a threat.
To offset the top-heavy nature of this mechanical beast, the Swan features a gyroscopic unit under the twin front seats that gives the unit stability even going up a thirty-five degree incline. The oversized tires grip almost any surface and provide positive traction. The Swan is a super-jeep with a persuasive two to four-gun array designed to keep enemy heads down. Strategically similar to the U.S. Navy PT-boats in Earth's Second World War, the Swan is effective and mobile, but also expendable. Their unstated mission on Earth is to draw fire, suppress fire, or provide a moving target that is less expensive to replace than an AMP suit or Scorpion Gunship.
Mission Profile and Specifications[edit | edit source]
The Swan can be used as a scout car to collect intelligence on forward positions in the field, or it can be used to guard convoys and escort RDA diplomats.
The 1.25-centimeter thick permalloy armor expands to two-thirds of an inch beneath the chassis to protect against shrapnel from mines. The body features few frills. The gunner gains access to the elevated chair by stepping onto simple metal bars extending off either side. The driver and spotter gain access by leaping over the side panels. The six tires (two larger in front, four smaller in the rear) have little armor protection, but are made from a hybrid polymer blend, with titanium strands woven throughout, which makes them very tough to puncture, either by jagged rocks, arrows or enemy fire.
Some models feature four fifty-millimeter sentry guns in place of the rotary cannons, depending on the firepower required by each battle scenario. In either case, ammo is fed via an internal pneumatic belt system running up through the crane lift into the weapons (similar to the feed belts on the AMP suits).
There is a rudimentary roll bar giving minor protection to the driver and spotter, but is it rare that a Swan rolls over due to the stability of the gyroscopic system. If it does roll, gunners have learned from experience it is better to release the safety harness and jump clear, if there is enough time. Reinforced recirculating ball steering keeps the machine pointed in the direction the driver aims. The suspension features new flex-alloys and air cylinders to smooth out a rough ride. Six tires help smooth out the bumps as well. There are six vertical steel bars to cut wires or punch through obstacles. Four are mounted on the front grill, two are mounted just forward of both front tires. Inside the cockpit, there is a large, blue HUD display screen that shows, speed, radar, navigation, telecommunications, and cameras.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game - Ingame Pandorapedia
- Pandorapedia - Swan Ground Assault Vehicle article
|Space||Drop Pod · ISV Bradbury · ISV Venture Star · Valkyrie|
|Air||Dragon Assault Ship · Drone · Samson (16) · Scorpion|
|Land (Combat)||AMP Suit (Beyond Glory) · ATV Grinder · Swan · Bulldog|
|Land (Utility)||Bucket Wheel Excavator · Buggy · Digger · Fuel Tanker · Hell Truck · Loader · Pandora Utility Suit · Bulldozer · Slash Cutter · ROVR · Shredder · Lynx Transport|
|Sea||Gator · RDA Boat · Sea Dragon · Crabsuit · Matador · Picador|