The MT 85 Series, often nicknamed the Empty and commonly referred to, more erroneously, as the "MT Gunship" was a transport designed and produced by VMEW for the Republic Liberation Forces and People's Galactic Alliance. It was highly regarded as the primary workhorse of both organizations, and has enjoyed widespread popularity sicne its adoption, even years after it was introduced.
CharacteristicsEditThe MT 85 series was designed to fill multiple roles with a minimum of maintenance. While in its stock form it is designed to use a short-range tractor beam to carry cargo beneath the "spine," intended for anything from crates of equipment to salvage to tanks and other ground support vehicles to troops. It was also equipped to mount modular weapon pods and sported decent armor and relatively advanced shields for its size. While not comparable to a starfighter in mobility, especially with certain cargo loads, it was fast and agile enough to outmaneuver most other gunships and similar-sized craft, including the later Revenant gunships.
Variant models follow:
- MT 85
- Stock configuration, armed with smoke launchers
- MT 85i
- Infantry configuration, equipped to carry up to fourteen fully equipped troops. Armed only with smoke launchers
- MT/a-i 85
- Assault-infantry or "infantry gunship" configuration, armed with missile pods, smoke launchers, and two side-mounted blaster turrets, and equipped to carry a full squad of troops
- MT 85c
- Civillian configuration, with passenger bay and armed only with smoke launchers
- MT 85S1
- Supply configuration, armed with missilepods, noseguns, and smoke launchers, and equipped to carry military supplies for use in prefab base construction and fortifications, or salvage
- MT 85-M
- Medical configuration, equipped with five medical beds, one small bacta tank, and medical diagnostic and treatment equipment. Armed with two doorguns and smoke launchers
- MM/GS 85
- Gunship configuration armed with a quad-barrel blaster cannons, expanded missile launcher bays, and a rear gun, designed to carry up to three passengers
- MM/LSV 85
- LSV Carrier configuration, capable of carrying two LSV Light Strike Vehicles
- MM/ATT 85
- Attack Tank Transport configuration, equipped to carry one ATX Main Battle Tank
VMEW began development of the MM/PT 85 during the period where the Republic Liberation Front was component to the Onderon monarchy in Iziz, and their pilots used a combination of Cuirasses, MM/PT 70's, and MM/PT 80's. The former two were aged almost beyond the scope of effective use, being decades old, and the more recently released MM/PT 80 proved to be less tactically capable than its predecessor. VMEW started the redesign from scratch, forging a design that was both combat-capable and easily modifiable through the use of standardized components and a truly universal core chassis. They did not complete field trials and begin production, finally releasing the new vehicle as the MM/PT 85, until the day of the Onderon invasion by the Galactic Empire.
Production of the MM/PT 85 became an especially streamlined affair. No longer donating surplus, mothballed vehicles, but created the ships at a loss specifically for use by the Republic Liberation Forces, production lines were made to be cheap, simple, and efficient as possible. Nonetheless, dedicated Velmoran craftsmanship showed in each weld and seam, and the resulting products were not only overwhelmingly durable and reliable, but proved to be immensely capable in a multitude of roles, even ones for which the vehicle was not intended. VMEW continued to revise and update the design as much as they could, but with the creation of the PGA and an influx of generous defense funding to the company, they were able to standardize the modules the RLF had jury-rigged in its guerrilla days, and ultimately simplified the model name of the core unit from MM/PT (Modular Materiel/Personnel Transport) 85 to MT (Modular Transport) 85, and all derivations were similarly renamed. The MT 85 was met with galaxy-wide popularity within military circles, and units were purchased by the GAR, the Fel Empire, and various paramilitary organizations, and demiliterized versions were sold on the civillian transport market to military enthusiasts.
The RLF/Imperial WarEditThe RLF began deploying early MM/PT 85's in the first stages of open conflict with the Galactic Empire, first as supply vehicles to establish makeshift bases in the Onderon jungles, and then as combat transports ferrying troops or even meeting Imperial craft in battle. The RLF engineered the first MM/GS gunships for use on Onderon and in extended surface conflict, a variation that was later standardized.
The MM/PT 85 and its derivations were used in almost every major ground conflict of the war: engagements on Onderon, the rescue of Princess Astra, as escape craft for the RLF Constitutional Convention during the Attack on the Devi, the infiltration by Crimson Squadron commandos into the Imperial Palace, and they were finally used as landing vehicles on Coruscant during the First Battle of Coruscant by the RLF, and went on to be used as patrol vehicles during the occupation.
The People's Galactic AllianceEdit
By the time of the PGA's creation, the MM/PT 85 was renamed the MT 85 and affectionately known by the nickname "M-T" or "Empty" for its traditional role of safely emptying troops and supplies into combat areas. The craft had become almost synonymous with the RLF itself and was soon synonymous with the PGA. The MT 85 was all but officially adopted as the PGAF's primary delivery transport and was fielded by the PGAF and GAR in operations against the Imperial Remnant and the Korriban Sith.
The MT 85 proved suitable even as the PGA went from warfighting and security to defense in the era of peace following the alliance with the Fel Empire and near-elimination of both the Imperial Remnant and Korriban Sith, and the MT gracefully transitioned in parallel from a combat transport to a patrol ship used for peacekeeping operations around PGA space. Use of the MT 85's was largely limited to these sorts of operations until the ermergence of the Revenant Armada.
The Fel EmpireEdit
After working alongside the PGAF in several joint operations, many of which employed the "Empty," the Fel Empire expressed interest in VMEW's MT 85, and with the permission of the PGA, VMEW sold a number of the craft to the new Empire. The Fel Empire used their MT 85's for their own transportation needs, and employed them both in Storm Corps and Imperial Knight operations until the Revenant Invasion.
The War with the RevenantEditThe War with the Revenant began with the Third Battle of Coruscant in which Sith forces invaded the Imperial City. PGAF forces from the PGA embassy rushed to aid the Imperial defense operation, and after repelling the invasion, both forces moved to confront the theft being carried out at the Rendilli Shipyards, deployed in MT/a-i infantry gunships alongside Aurek Starfighters which escorted their boarding operation. The joint forces successfully boarded the station in the gunships and eliminated the Revenant resistance, destroying the station's memory cores before it hypered out, ensuring the PGA's capital ship schematics did not fall into Revenant hands.
Returning to full combat roles and with the creation of AIR and the PGAF Marines, the PGAF used the MT 85's once more as combat craft, employing them in limited engagements against the Sith until the invasion of Coruscant by the Revenant. Senator Tiffany Vandergraffe escaped on an MT 85 as the PGA embassy was being attacked, and the invasion of the PGA later in the first stage of an attempt to liberate the planet saw even more use of the craft in combat engagements.
The continued warring on the city planet finally saw the MT 85 falling out of use, as the cramped urban conditions and traffic-clogged airways required a smaller, more maneuverable craft. It marked the beginning of the next series, the RAP 1 Series which slowly began to replace the MT 85 in combat operations.
Despite the existence of a technical replacement in the RAP series, the MT 85 sees continued use in support roles, especially as the PGA has withdrawn to an isolationist posture interested more in internal security than warfighting. It still retains much of its popularity, and even a measure of near-legendary status for its dogged persistence through all of the RLF and PGA's military conflicts, and it is unlikely the PGA will ever part with its fleet of MT 85's.
People still IM me to ask for one of these goddamn things